Stories in what we throw away

middenboundA lot of archeology involves sifting through some ancient people’s garbage dump, usually called a midden to fancy it up. From what was thrown away, you can figure out something about what they ate, what they wore, what they had enough of to throw away the broken ones, etc. What might a future archeologist deduce about the guy who threw away some 1 1/2″ x 1″ pine blocks?  Used for ritual purposes, no doubt.

I have begun fabricating and installing the subroadbed supports. Main line roadbed height will be 3″ above the top edge of the baseboards. I flubbed the calculation of how high the supports should be by forgetting to allow for the 1″ taken up by the plywood and Homasote. I only figured this out after I had set up a stop block on my chop saw and chopped a bunch of verticals. Fortunately, taking an inch off is much easier than putting one on.

While I was down there, I glued down some ties on one of the Homasote bits I am redoing so I can test various colouring and weathering methods. I thought the dark walnut stain I used on the previous layout ended up too dark but I didn’t get around to trying to fade it with washes so I will be testing that possibility along with a couple of others.

Some Milestones for Comstock Road

Milestones were originally literal stones marking the distance along roads as a way of telling how far you had gone and how far you had left to go. In project planning, figurative milestones serve the same purpose. I think of them as a measure of “doneness”. I find having some milestones help to keep up enthusiasm by providing reinforcement of the feeling that one is getting closer to the goal, whatever it is.

For Comstock Road, my ultimate goal is a completed layout for some value of complete. As an interim form of completion, I want to be able to operate the layout. Total completion is a long way in the future even for an achievable layout such as this one so what are some of my milestones along the way to completion?

  1. Trackplan finalized – Done
  2. Template drawn with Templot – Done
  3. Baseboard frames – Done
  4. Layout space decluttered – Done (This is the one where the project was most in danger of bogging down.)
  5. Trackbed – In Progress
  6. Run a locomotive – short plain section with alligator clips will do.
  7. Basic landforms aka terra foama
  8. A turnout laid and wired with servo
  9. Track laid
  10. Rest of servos installed and wired.
  11. Traverser on manual
  12. Powered traverser
  13. Layout backdrop and lighting valance
  14. Operating session?
  15. Building mockups

That is obviously not all the way to complete and in the virtual planning world I don’t necessarily have to do them all in strict order. For instance, the backdrop and valance will get built and be installed fairly soon if only to get the materials on hand off the floor behind the layout. Scenery  and buildings will likely be moving along in parallel as the whim takes me.

I have no particular schedule to keep but I hope to keep moving along. I am aiming to get a (the) loco moving by then end of the month at the latest.