After a bit over a year’s careful consideration, procrastination, consternation and many, many other words that end in “tion” I have finally decided to remove the old Wuiske Models layout and start again.
The factors leading to this mammoth decision were many but mostly down to three things.
3. I had always regretted not making the layout with a double track main line.
These three factors have eventually worn me down enough to make me decide to remove what was the largest QR narrow gauge layout ever built and build something better suited to my needs (well this week anyway).
Once the decision was made, Jade and I managed to remove the entire layout over the course of about 4 days work. We managed to save all of the buildings, trees, people, vehicles and even some of the track.
The previous layout had a one hundred and fifty foot mainline run. With our new, free standing layout this will be reduced to a one hundred and twenty five foot main line run. Having said that, it will be double track so effectively it makes two hundred and fifty foot of main line trackage available to us.
After having placed a lengthy (and somewhat confused) order with Home Hardware in beautiful downtown Dalby, we managed to get a few sheets of fibro, a dozen or so sheets of 12mm MDF and 40 5.4 metre lengths of 35mm x 70mm studding material delivered to us on Planet Jandowae.
The last layout had taught me many things other than not mounting the layout from the walls. Such as, DO NOT use Cyprus for framing. Whilst it is very hardy and termites find it about as appetising as a rare steak to a vegitableist, the timber does not age well and in fact shrinks. This means that any screws you wish to remove will be nearly impossible (trust me; I’ve just tried it a few thousand times).
Also the timber becomes EXREMELY brittle over time. Similarly, we discovered that 9mm MDF is far more resilient to moisture and other issues than plywood or even marine ply. Obviously if 9mm MDF is great then surely 12mm MDF will be 33% better still? Well it makes sense to me at least.
After having our layout room take a minor swim in the 2011 floods, we have had a few learning experiences that have guided us along the path we are now following. With any luck, whilst we stumble down this path (now only) semi blindly we can at least take comfort in the fact that our guide dog is at least partially sighted so hopefully we will be able to apply some of the hard earned lessons we have picked up over the years to our new layout.
With removing the old layout, the tools required were pretty simple and some were loads of fun to use. First off, we needed a hammer. Then we needed a bigger hammer. A dremel was used to cut the track into shorter lengths for removal. In the end, we simply removed four inch sections of rail from the main yard to allow running the jigsaw through without damaging the blade.
The plan was simple, measure the room, including doorways. Draw it up in 1:1 scale on CAD and then mark an imaginary line 800mm in from each wall. If 800mm walkways prove to be too small than we shall all have to collectively suck out guts in and pretend that we are all built like underfed Kate Moss dolls.
With the progress of the new layout, Jade and I have found a renewed interest and vigour for our own modelling passions. Based on just that alone, ripping out the old layout and starting again has been well worth the effort and heartache that went into making this decision.
Being manufacturers, we do often find that our own interests do suffer from time to time within this great hobby. So to be able to tackle such a big project with excitement and (for an extremely rare change) planning has been a wonderfully enjoyable thing and we look forward to seeing how we go with the layout.
One of the side effects of the new design is that we will have very few deep scenes on the layout. For long time readers of our Adam’s Corner section of the website, you’ll recall that we discovered (the hard way) that whilst deep scenes can look wonderful and impressive, they are actually a nightmare to live with.
Having to use a ladder to remove dust and cobwebs gets to be more than a little dull after a while. Playing tag with one extremely crafty and elusive spider for a period of 6 months and managing to come within mere millimetres of ending his little 8 legged existence simply because he has worked out just how short your reach is not only frustrating but downright infuriating.
When you reach a realisation that after 30 or so years on this planet, you have been outwitted by a small creature with more legs than IQ points it does tend to reaffirm your resolve to retract his breathing permit once and for all. After not succeeding in this seemingly simple task for the hundredth time and deciding “awe shucks, perhaps he’s not such a bad bloke after all” it does tend to make one reconsider their aims, goals and own intelligence levels.
As a point, that spider is still in the layout room somewhere… I’ve decided to name him George. No doubt George is sitting somewhere in the layout room patiently awaiting the construction of his shiny new home and –planning new and exciting ways of eluding and annoying his strange long haired house builder.
Jade and I would like to thank the hundreds of people (yes there has been that many visitants to the Jandowae asylum) that have visited and run trains on the Wuiske Models layout over the past nine years and say that we look forward to running more trains in the years to come.
As we always say though, we shall see how we go.