Like most of us I spend a good deal of time thinking and planning future projects, and sometimes help others with theirs. What you see above is just that, in the foreground is some 3D ‘thinking’. When the Forest of Dean (FoD), project gets underway I want it to be pretty well structured, and not suffer from too many changes, there will be some, that’s a fact of life. Last weekend I took Bawdsey to Larkrail. To do that meant moving quite a bit of stuff to dig the layout out of storage. A by product of this was to set Shelfie up on the chassis I’m using for the new Southern project. Whilst Shelfie was up I happened to store some of the Berry Wiggins bitumen tankers on the new Southern board which has just had the track receive it’s first coats of paint.
The law of unintended consequences comes into play here, the tank wagons looked good sitting on the track and my mind turned to ‘Whimsey’ a FoD layout design element if ever there was one! Whimsey goods yard was a simple linear twin loop layout, in latter years being an unloading and storage depot for Bitumen for road construction and repair. So, out came some Peco OO track and the simple Whimsey track plan was quickly mocked up in front of Shelfie. I know the rough space in terms of footprint I need and I feel it would work particularly well as a peninsular section, the thin nature of the prototype working in it’s favour. I really enjoy some of this 3D planning, you instantly get a feel for if the plan will work within the allocated footprint, this saves a huge amount of time and frustration. Not so long ago I was shown a layout design for a modest space, around 8ft x 2ft scenic footprint. Using lining wallpaper, Peco track, and a few items of rolling stock I was able to show that the design would look cramped, there was no space allowing the layout and trains to breathe. It helped the builder realise his design wouldn’t work as he hoped, potentially saving him future problems. The downside being it can also cause frustration when you realise the grand scheme, even if a branch or short line project won’t work.
So what of the happy returns then? Well this diversion reminded me of the articulated truck you see here, it’s two kits, the tractor unit and the trailer tank. I bought them to build a representation of the articulated bitumen tankers that operated out of Whimsey, and messing about with the layout design reminded me of this shelf queen, sitting there, waiting it’s time. So taking it out of the box reminded me why it had sat on the shelf, the tractor unit chassis was a flat bed rather than aprototypical open frame chassis looking a bit ‘meh!’ in the process. I can fix that I thought, so out came the drills to make a pepper pot pattern, and the blades to cut away the solid section. Success! An hour or two of work has got this unusual truck well under way to completion, that satisfaction now feeding the creative motivation to build and plan more ‘stuff’.