I must be a Master Model Railroader by now… sheesh!

A barn for the layout

A barn for the layout

I must be the world’s most super-advanced master model railroader.  (And I mean no dis-respect to you real MMRs out there.). But really, in the last year, I have poured over volumes of information about our hobby.  I have done prototype research out the wazoo and I have probably single-handedly restored Kalmbach Publishing to the top 10 publisher list.  I have read enough books about basic and advanced model railroading that I know I can tackle any task with absolute ease.  Bring on the MMR judges, I’ll just knock out a few craftsman kits, wire up and hand build a quad crossover for the yard and then scenic my layout well enough to make Dave Frary say “wow”.

Why is it then that every time I sit at my hobby desk to start a project, I am gripped with anxiety and fear?  Why do my masterpieces not look like the image on the cover of Model Railroader?  I mean, I know all this stuff!!!

Luckily, I’m not completely befuddled as a human being and I realize that reading is not doing and that you have work these skills to develop them and enjoy them.  Yes, my first wood kit in n-scale is no barn-burner (it’s just an STS barn kit), but it doesn’t suck either.  I’m not headed to the craftsman structure hall of fame just yet.  But my next kit is looking pretty darn good, except for the door I glued at a very wonky angle…

The point is, I get it.  I have to get off my large duff and start doing these things.  Only then will it matter.  The very extended test track I built is now my experimenters lab where I try things, new and old and see what works.

And yet, I am still here struggling with a track plan for the big road.   One of my procrastinator tools on this has been to evaluate 3rd plan-it, CadRail and XTrackCad.  I can admit that all three have me flummoxed in spots, so much so that I may just say the hell with it and put the track down and see what happens.

I mean seriously, track planning is a pain in the butt, and who ever knows if you’ve done it right.  I bet I could draw a plan and submit it to 15 people and get 15 different responses about how “operationally good” the plan is.  I have literally wasted almost a year doing nothing but silly projects while I mucked about the track plan.

Well, to heck with that, I’m a going to sketch up something, try it on the guys at the N-Scale forums and press on.  It’s time to get off my DUFF!