Switching Layout- Room Preparation

About a month ago, I posted a drawing of my unfinished basement so that I could share the anticipation of building some kind of layout in all or part of that space.  Though I have a few different rolling stock projects on the go, I’ve just come to the end of three months of intense work and personal challenges, and I needed a few days away from those.  Instead, I spent the past week or so digging through books and searching online for more information on a few possible layout concepts.

All of this has produced a small pile of scrap paper, each decorated with odd loopy lines, and while none of them represent anything close to a track plan, it’s been fun to noodle with some ideas.  Of the dozen that I sketched, I’ve come up with two concepts that work with the space I have available.  Both represent about two miles of railroad selectively compressed along the outside walls of the basement.

Ah yes… those outside walls.  They’re unfinished, and I expect that I would be deeply dissatisfied with a layout in an unfinished room.  I won’t be building anything until the exterior walls are framed and drywalled.  But wait!  One wall is already framed and drywalled on one side!  All I need to do is drywall the other side and I’m good to start building.

layout detail1

Orange oval indicates the location of the wall that is easiest to finish.

So the decision was made.  Instead of aiming for that larger project of two miles, I’m going to build a shelf layout depicting a specific industry or two.  The shelf will measure approximately 12″ to 16″ deep and be about 12′ in length, mounted to the wall ahead of the crawl space (the orange oval in the sketch above).  That crawl space will be a good location for some staging.

Yesterday, I got to work.  I roughed-in three receptacles (one facing the finished side of the wall, and two facing the layout).


I picked up four sheets of 1/2″ drywall after work today, and with any luck, I’ll get some of that up quickly.  I have to do a small amount of framing so that the area above the crawl space is finished with drywall.  I’d like the layout to have finished walls behind and beside it.

So there it is, I’ve defined a layout space that represents an attainable challenge for me.  I expect that finishing the layout side of the walls is within the scope of my abilities and the time I can dedicate to it.  The layout that will be built in this space will serve as a place where I can practice modelling techniques and pose my finished models for photos.  I’ll get to plan a small, operations oriented layout, and then put the plan to the test by actually trying to build it.

Wish me luck.