When Nigel turns up on my doorstep with a carrier bag the contents can be good or bad. Sometimes it's sweets, but yesterday some returned books, an empty sardine can and the partly coupled SSA scrap wagons that he'd wandered off with some time ago. What followed for the rest of the day was the setting up of Llynfordd right across the front room and the testing of an operating sequence, with Nigel dashing off at intervals into the back room and fitting and re-fitting couplings to the Cambrian SSAs. All this found me evaluating the whole project. It's been almost a year from start to finish and has not been as easy as I would have thought. Some of this is about personal approach - I'm used to a more rural scenic style and this is semi-urban, but that aside there are one or two points to consider:
1. At 11' long it's akward to set up for long periods. It doesn't bother anyone else, but it bothers me.
2.I had thought that in taking on a Blue Diesel period in OO on Peco track that I was working in the mainstream - far more than I have done in the past with light and narrow prototypes. I mistakenly thought that this would be, not easy, but less frustrating.
3. I thought that using mostly commercial stuff: namely track,rolling stock and some scenic items that the quality would be good. No it isn't. The Peco track is good and the newer locos are beautiful runners, but... there are compatibility issues even from the same manufacturer. I expect to have to spend time juggling couplings in the kit/scratch world of 009 , not from Bachmann/Hornby/Peco. They are designed with the young beginner in mind and should work together as stated. If two blokes with a combined modelling experience of 70 years have to prat about for a few hours then it will frustrate even the most enthusiastic beginner. I should be able to get at least 90% reliable uncoupling with this stuff as I did with the retro fitted Kadees on the US models. Plug and play items should be just that. Not plug and pray.
It's a year on since I walked away from Mike Denwood, pointing an imaginary gun to my head after saying yes to building Llynfordd with a deadline of the Worthing show in September with nothing but a s/h Hornby Class 155 in my hand. With only a few weeks to go - it's nearly finished.