From ‘Achievable Layouts’:
If you want to do this (build and achievable layout) as well, I think the first step is self-awareness.
Be honest with yourself about how prolific you are in the hobby. At the same time, be honest about the investment required (in terms of in time, money and other resources) in order to build a layout to your standards (whatever they are). Then match your layout ambitions to your resources.
Linked to ‘Gene’s P48 blog’:
What do you really need to pull of an achievable railroad? One or two locomotives is really all I need. I am fortunate to own several Glacier Park brass imports. A couple dozen cars and a caboose or two is all I need. I can concentrate on structures and scenery.
Even Agrippa on NGF was getting (slightly) philosophical:
Thought I’d add if cash is tight no need to try and buy large amounts of stock , instead build a small layout like Littleton Curve deceptively simple where the emphasis is on scenery, just an oval , passing loop, loco and some trucks. A small tank engine or shunter doesn’t cost the earth and a few Peco truck kits won’t break the bank.
That is the “problem” though – the Collector takes over from the Modeller kinda attitude…small trains and their surroundings cease to become something to model and are something to buy.
Look at my expensive shiny new toy……
And perhaps that’s my problem – I’ve become too much of a collector. But does it have to be either/or? I should be able to collect models, and run them down the club, but also build or run models for a small layout. I don’t need a plywood empire!