Goals are good things to have. I find that list-making and goal setting spurs me on to accomplish tasks in a realistic timeframe, and I feel that accomplishment which then spurs me onward toward the next item on the list, toward the next goal.
I’m now looking at the projects I have started, or would like to start, and thinking about how to order them properly. In the days when I used to build HO models, I’d build 5 or 6 models all at once. That’s likely not to happen anymore. The fact is, the larger equipment is simply space-hungry.
I have set for myself a goal that I think is reasonable when it comes to kits and cars. I’m planning to work on one freight car at a time. Shocking to think about, when many of us have started kits and set them aside and started others. Seriously, though, one kit car at a time. I believe it is possible to build one car in 4-6 weeks at the rate I work. Not super fast, but yet too, enjoyable.
Here is the list of kit cars that I am planning to build, and the order in which I plan to build them. Please note, there are more cars in the stash than are listed here. I only picked the next 12 because that is roughly a year’s worth of work. Once this list is completed, I’ll prioritize the next set of 12 to build.
- PL&E 36’ boxcar
- NP 36’ fish belly boxcar
- UTLX Van Dyke 6500 gal tank car
- PRR X29 Boxcar
- SP B-50-15 boxcar
- UTLX Van Dyke 6500 gal tank car
- PFE R-30-12 reefer
- PFE R-40-2 reefer
- ATSF Bx-2 boxcar
- SP B-50-12 boxcar
- MKT 1925 single sheathed boxcar
- SP ex-EPSW USRA composite gondola
I initially started cars 1, 2, and 3 from the list. That has proven to be OK, but I am looking forward to wrapping them up and getting the number of in-progress cars down to 1 at a time. That isn’t to say that if I get to a spot with a project where I’m waiting on supplies of data or photos that there won’t be a chance that a 2nd project is moving forward.
If I’m building just one kit at a time, or one car at a time, it’s likely that I’m going to need other projects to occupy modeling time and interest while things dry or while I wait for parts. To that end, I’ve also organized some non-car projects. A number of structures are going to be needed for the layout and getting those built will fall into the project list. I plan to only work on one structure at a time, which will make the structures available as a second ongoing project group. Based on my plans for the layout, I need to build:
- Merced Ice & Cold Storage
- YV water tank at Merced
- YV oil tank at Merced
- YPCCo packing house at Merced
- Yosemite Lumber box factory at Merced Falls
- Yosemite Lumber dry shed at Merced Falls
- YV steel water tank at Merced Falls
- YV station at Merced Falls
There is also a huge need on this railroad for motive power and home-road cars. None of the YV cabooses, rock cars, box cars, flat cars, stock cars, MOW cars, passenger cars, or log cars are commercially available at the moment, and few have ever been in O scale. My guess right now is that I’m going to need/want 2 locomotives, 2 cabooses, 6 rock cars, 2 flat cars, 1 stock car, 1 box car, an unknown number of MOW cars, 2 passenger cars, and 6 log cars. That’s 20-ish cars and 2 locomotives that need to be scratch built. This group, then comprises the third project group that will be available.
I have selected the two locomotives that I want to build. Yosemite Valley 4-4-0 American #23 and Yosemite Valley 2-6-0 Mogul #25 are my targets. Should a third locomotive ever become a want, I would target YV27 or YV29. Two locomotives, though, should keep this railroad busy at least for right now with plans for only two towns in the offing. The rest of the equipment is fairly straight forward. YV observation car 330 is definitely in the plans as one of the passenger cars.
Along with these three groups, there will be layout work to complete. That gives me four more or less separate spheres of projects to tackle. Group 1: Kit Cars. Group 2: Structures. Group 3: Scratch Builds. Group 4: Layout. They can all run concurrently, but the key is going to be one item from each group at a time.
This is what I’m thinking will work for me right now. We’ll see how it all comes together. I used to do this kind of planning in January as a goals for the year kind of look ahead. It may be coming on to August, but this year the scale change and getting that all under control and plans made for moving forward means I and doing this and you are seeing it here at the end of July.
I’m ready to hit the workbench this week and finish-up the NP boxcar build so it can go to paint. The plan is to finish that by the end of August. Books are coming in the mail on how to scratch build locomotives. I’m excited about that. We’ll be looking at Merced Ice & Cold Storage shortly as well, and some big plans for layout construction are also on the horizon.
Lots to do, now that I’m organized, it’s time to get it going.