I’ve got back to the Lowfits, but nothing to report at the moment. Really, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what to model next, and then trying to understand the government conditions for us actually to hold an ESNG meeting.
But thinking about modelling has raised some interesting questions. What do I actually enjoy about modelling? And what should my next layout look like? Do I build more modules for ESNG N-mod and N-Club? Or another micro-layout like my little American switching layout? Of do I try for something a little bigger?
What I have (probably) learnt over the past months is that I am really missing the social side of the hobby. I miss club nights and the long term friendships there – some 20 years or so old. Surprisingly, I realise that I also greatly miss exhibitions and exhibiting with the club. Yes, it’s often a pain, and hard work, but there’s a real sense of achievement when we pull off another show, or spend a few days somewhere like Stuttgart playing trains.
I have also realised that I probably have too much rolling stock – it is all pushing me towards a mega-layout that I just can’t see myself building. That’s another reason why I like club nights – sometime I can’t be bothered to run a train (or can’t get hold of a track), but it gives me a chance to run some longer trains. And that rolling stock comes from a range of parts of the UK (and world) and different eras.
I also realise that I do enjoy building things. I very much enjoyed putting the kits together that I built through the lockdown. And I enjoyed putting together the switching layout. I do run it from time to time, but the real pleasure is in creating a working diorama, rather than the operation.
So, after all this ramble, what is my conclusion? I should probably build small layouts, with a variety of themes. Perhaps on modules sometimes. Perhaps I should also build a smallish test track to watch the trains go by. This tiny looped-8 appeared on RMWeb a while back and is strangely satisfying. It would give place to run locomotives in, and to watch a couple of trains go by.
And this 5 ft circle is also visually satisfying – now I’ve lost weight, I’d even fit in the middle of the operating well! At least this would allow me to run 6-coach trains, or a Brighton Belle?
So lots of ideas – all good ones. Next, I need to decide…..
And as for meetings, it’s a roller coaster ride for clubs all over the UK (from RMWeb)…..