2017 Departing On Track 1


The start of a new year feels like a crossing sign (this one at the Illinois Railway Museum).  It’s a good time to Stop, Look at projects and plans, Listen to that inner voice and advice received, and then step forward into the new year reinvigorated

As 2017 comes to a close, I thought I would take a few minutes and thank you, readers of this blog, for coming to see what I have to share.  When I started really trying to write here in 2014, 100 of you read posts that year.  From there on, through 2015 and 2016 there was exponential growth, until this year, when over 7400 visits to the page have been made.  I’m honored and humbled by that number. I hope those of you who visit have found these thoughts to be useful, and I am thankful that you are choosing to spend a few minutes each week reading what I have to share.

December is usually a difficult month to secure modeling time, with school concerts, parties, shopping, and holiday preparations taking time that might wind up being spent at the workbench.  This year has been no exception, but I have found time for some small projects.  My goals for December were somewhat lofty, but I didn’t do too badly at achieving them.

The Accurail 36’ Trainfest special car did get new details added, and I enjoyed every minute of doing the work on that car.  I will build more of these in the future.  The car hasn’t managed to get touch-up paint done, so I’ll call this goal 50%, but the details are added and a few minutes of time will get it to the finish line. There will be more on this car early in the new year.

I wanted to build a new sanding block for cutting my RPM boxcar.  I decided to hold off on this, and have asked Santa for a new saw to remove the ends, having learned a different technique other than sanding the ends.  As work picks up on that car in 2018, I’ll share what I’ve decided to try.

I wanted to accomplish some full-size track planning for the YV.  That has been done.  You can read about it in last week’s blog post here:  https://yosemitevalleyrailroad.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/11-track-planning-with-large-paper-part-1/

I wanted to sort projects, which I’ve done, making some changes by deletion.  I decided to pick two projects at a time but not to plan the full year.  I’ve chosen to focus on having fun, and not over-planning.  I’ve discovered that my penchant for planning has paralyzed some actual progress in certain places.

I also wanted to share 2018’s goals with you, so without further ado, here is what I want to do in the New Year:

  • 2018’s modeling will be based on having fun.  While modeling in general is fun, the Accurail car I built showed me that I don’t need to be building a resin car for the fun.  I need to be building what I’m interested in, and doing something at the workbench, without trying to program and assembly line my models.  I’m aiming for quality models, learning new skills, and enjoying all I can.
  • I plan to learn Sketchup to be able to model some unique equipment and parts.  I haven’t yet picked a subject for starting with, but I have established a Sketchup account and collected several photos and drawings to work with.
  • I want to build my planned model of Bagby, and have it at least to basic scenery by the end of the summer.

That’s it.  The goals are really simple, leaving me wiggle room to tackle them in small monthly goals and adjust along the way.

2018 is bound to bring some changes to direction along the way.  Some of my efforts will be going to a joint project with my wife that we hope will last the next decade while we’re in our current location and may go further into the future.  Yet another reason to lighten up on the planning to some degree.

One thing you can be sure of is that I will be sharing 2018’s portion of the path to Yosemite here with you.

Time to get back to the workbench!



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