Start small. THINK BIG.
Starting in January, we're embarking on a new layout project building a TOMA layout. With TOMA (The One Module Approach) we're building a home layout in module sections.
The new project layout is based is a proto-freelanced version of the Vermont Railway set in modern day. Eclectic small industries abound up there – in some ways it's like the clock stopped 20-30 years ago.
That's not the only prototype we looked at either for this project. There's more than a few great modern-day modeling examples out there if you look around. I was blown away at how fun modeling modern day can be with our TOMA layout. Wait until you see what we can do with this layout – and it's all totally contemporary!
We're building industries, weathering freight cars, building quaint scenes – and having a blast modeling modern day. It's the furthest thing from boring.
Along with the video series, there will be a number of construction articles in MRH covering rolling stock, structures, and so on done for the TOMA layout project. So you'll get a taste of what modeling modern is like - and even if you're not into modern, there's plenty of how-to tips that will apply to any modeling era.
One modeler on the MRH forum said this about modeling modern:
To each their own, but I love running trains in any era.
That pretty much sums it up for me. Every era has fun things in it that I enjoy. It's the old glass half full or glass half empty proverb. It's all a matter of how you choose to look at it.
When I started my Siskiyou Line, I was going to model the early 1970s because I could have a few grungy black widow F units along with shiny new tunnel motors. That was 1991 and some local modelers started bringing (then modern) TEBUs and rebuilt SD9Es, along with very grungy tunnel motors and cars without roof walks to run on my layout – essentially contemporary stuff that I figured was boring.
This got me to rethink my layout era of the early 1970s. As I toyed with moving my layout era to the 1980s, I fell in love with the no roofwalk look and haven't looked back. At the time (the 90s), the 1980s was practically contemporary modeling and even then some guys were complaining that "modern railroading was boring".
After starting on the TMTV TOMA layout modeling the modern day Vermont Railway, we're having a total blast! Suddenly studying modern day railroading details has become engrossing! I've never been so excited about a layout project in a long time with all the new methods available for building a layout now.
Hmm. Makes me think seriously about starting over – the hobby has come a long way since I started my Siskiyou Line some 25 years ago ...
– Joe Fugate
P.S. The TOMA layout will be on display in the MRH booth at many of the shows we attend in 2017. Come by and see it in person!