Is The Depot any good?

Of course that’s the wrong question. I can cast eyes across the net at the many wonderful models by modelers that I admire and I can see that in several areas my own humble efforts come up a little short.

However all that is fine. With no modelling skills whatsoever I knew that building my first layout was going to be a challenge and that I needed to be easy on myself during the process. Rather than get bogged down at any stage trying to make it perfect I followed Allen McClelland’s famous ‘good enough’ principle: make it good enough to fit into the overall picture but keep moving.

I created a very clear set of goals for this first layout and made sure I stuck to them.

  1. Finish the layout.
  2. Stay focused on the big picture.
  3. Don’t get bogged down: do the best you can and then move on.
  4. Pick out a few essential features to really make a big effort on and save the rest for reworking in phase two: tracklaying, bench work, wiring were prioritized; everything else was secondary.
  5. Practice new methods and use new materials as much as possible.
  6. Have fun.

As my goals were largely based around my basic skills and the desire to learn I kept them limited and realistic. When I look over the layout now I see that I achieved most of what I wanted for this first phase. From that perspective I think The Depot is pretty good and has given me a solid foundation of skills to move ahead with.

2 Replies to “Is The Depot any good?”

  1. I would say there are a lot of modelers (including me) that would have loved watching the Depot module being built from the start, instead of being introduced to it after it was almost completed. I think the true measure of any layout is how much it inspires others in the hobby, and so far, all three of your efforts have done an incredible job of doing just that. I also think you willingness to share your trials and errors, along with your successes and detailed techniques sets a landmark for the hobby. So it has definitely has provided a learning experience for all of us, and I don’t think you could ask for, or expect, much more.

    1. Thanks Robert,

      Very kind. I wasn’t confident enough to show anybody the building of The Depot. Before I started I didn’t know what the twists and turns were going to be and I wasn’t ready to share what could have been a massive failure.

      The building of the Town should give a good insight into the general development methods of The Depot.

      If I inspire other modelers it would be to make them think about track landscaping: to do more than just ballast track. The Depot’s primary aim was to show everyone including myself what a model could look like with properly landscaped track. I think it turned out well and I’m looking forward to exploring the concept to a much greater degree on The Town.

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