The views…

I need to rant

What’s inside that ground throw to make it “spring”? Why two springs that I’ll never see again. That was my fault. I’m using these N scale ground throws because they are smaller and their shorter throw, compared to the HO ones, is closer to what I need. I’ve been screwing around with N scale for thirty years and I’ve still never seen an N scale turnout, let alone an HO one, that needs this much throw.

Plaster roads? I knew I hated using plaster, joint compound, etc. for roads but did it anyway like I doubted my past experience. You can sand this all day long and still not have the quality of surface you could achieve with a sheet of styrene or cardstock. Plus, it’s just such a friggin mess no matter how careful you’re being.

These two turnouts and this stretch of street running is a mountain of frustration more that it’s ever going to be worth. I feel like the little kid on the receiving end of: “Why are you hitting yourself?”

I just want to cry. I’ll feel better tomorrow but this isn’t my hobby. The whole point of Coy is progress and what I have in these two feet of track is not even close. I’m not modelling something, just what comes from my imagination and I’m willing to call it here.



Categories: Coy Paper (HO) model railway

12 replies

  1. I’d send you a Snickers bar if I could. 😉

  2. Progress…
    It’s interesting, from hundreds of miles away I feel the frustration with this, yet can also see such promise. Perhaps progress in this instance is learning how to make these turnouts work the way you envisage, using the parts available to you (if you can replace those springs!) and using old techniques practiced and refined. Plaster roads are a PITA, but they can work with time and patience… remember, real roads aren’t perfect, and the colouring comes later.
    If you imagine all you need is a pretty smooth surface… then try Gordon Gravett’s technique of painting it in gloss paint and dusting on liberal quantities of talc.. it works a treat, adds texture, hides blemishes and brings more consistency in the finish… perhaps one to keep in mind.

    • Good morning!

      Progress from this point will be the product of many things as you suggest. The malleable design of Coy facilitates that. So, from the start I need to compare the state if things and compare that to the original scope; I need to prioritize the goals for this project to make sure they’re not being sacrificed while I serve my stubbornness.

      A lot of what I’m doing are old fashioned things and a lot of what I’m trying to access draws back to my early periods in the hobby (well, magnetism let alone tiny magnets didn’t exist when I was young – that was so long ago) but, in the case of the turnouts and those plaster roads, it’s not so much my needing to make something work as it is to find a harmony with the process I’m using. Last year while working on the ‘ballast from road grit’ experiment or the work here in Coy, so far, using the recycled ties and layers of ballast colour and texture they ‘work’ in my opinion because the nature of their process seems in balance with my inner needs to express creation in this work. While the other resolutions to remedy these are all sound technology they seem unnatural and in Coy and unlike in my professional work I want to serve a rather selfish creative process that prioritizes one over the other. It’s only two turnouts and a couple feet of road and once it’s done it’ll largely never need to be done again so I want to make sure I invested the time wisely – where “wisely” is the process.

      I love this conversation. Sorry for taking so long to reply.

  3. Plaster roads are so frustrating. I’ve tried them and had them crack during the sanding process… arggh!

    I’ve never thought of using N scale ground throws. HMM!!!

    • The N scale ground throws are a neat trick. I’ve used them before but never took one apart. I don’t regret doing that but those springs are gone.

      Plaster roads…ever fibre in my instinct told me “NO!” and I still did it. Probably others have had luck with this but it has never, isn’t now, and is unlikely to ever feel productive.

  4. Perhaps go back and re-read your earlier posts on Coy? You will read about the joy of Coy (Coy-Joy?) and that might encourage you to continue.
    This is frustrating and I feel your pain. But it can all be fixed.

    • It can all be fixed and I’m passionate enough about this work to see it through. Part of the remedy will be correcting things that need addressing and part will, no doubt, be my needing to prioritize things and adapt.

  5. This is just my personal observation and not meant to be a critique or criticism, but could part of the frustration be that once it’s completed, that’s all there is? To me, again just my opinion, this reminds me of Tony Koesters LDE’s. Layout Design Elements. A perfect replica of a real place destined to be a part of something larger. I don’t get the sense from your previous posts, that this is part of something larger. I love the idea of what you are doing and applaud your efforts, but once it’s done, then what?

    • True, this is as large as it gets. As a layout it was neither designed nor constructed to be expanded. It could be, it just isn’t. I’m grateful for your question and the conversation it encourages is wonderful.

      Traditionally we think if construction phases in building a layout and a declaration of complete. Here, I expect to rebuild sections and regard this as an iterative canvas. I expect that I’ll see things that I want to redo and then can. I’ll see things other modellers did that I want to try and I will replace elements of this layout to accommodate that. For example: I’m genuinely proud of how that siding into Coy looks and it feels amazing running the engine up and down it but there are some things I’d like to try redoing like replacing the PC board ties with wood ones and spikes.

      A thing I had to learn is to consider the layout not like a construction project with defined start and end points marking completion of things but more like the family home: a framework or platform that evolves with the lives that intersect with it.

      I hope that’s not too ambiguous an answer.

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