I have been running around in my mind for five months the question of whether to get out of the hobby or not. When I first started this hobby it was because of a friend of mind who had built an HO scale layout with his son over the years and they were constantly inviting me over to see it operate. I had gotten the impression by the visits to various abandoned sites and old equipment that he was big into model railroading and the railroading in general. Well, ast forward four years and to the second layout started after my move to a condo and my present dilemna. His son has graduated and gone off to college and he has basically shown me that it wasn't his interest but his son's that kept him in it and the enthusiam to share the time with me in discussing the layout, going to abandoned rails, etc. Now he has not interest in the hobby let alone the visitation to various rail sites. It was his sharing in the hobby and th visits to th layout that had kept me enthused in the hobby and my build. Now that we no longer get together, my interst and enthusiasm for the hobby has waned back and forth. I have recently begun dismantling my layout to redo it as I wasn't happy with the present setup and the amount of room that is was taking up and also the lack of it being easily operational with the switches because I had made it too wide. While trying to decide my new rendition of the framing I got to thinking of my other interest which is modeling in genral whether cars, planes, ships, etc. and realized that I didn't have the room to be able to do that easily in building them, let alone in displaying them. Thus the dilemna. Do I totally redo the layout into a double layer with a train elevator. Do I create shelves to not only display my models I build but also dioramas of trains that I do? I happen to see posted by Gregory Strecker his newest lauout that is going to be a very nice two level shelf layout. I see potential here in a nunber of ways. With the set up he is building I could display models on one shelf and dioramas of trains on the next thus still working on trains but just one one scene at a time. Or if I go the levels of the two shelves that he is going with I could do a two level shelf layout and then create a worktable under it all to do both the modeling and the train work. That would open up enough room to across the room on the other side to create shels to display th model builds that I complete.
Most people, especially on a train site, will say that it's a no brainer. Build the layout first and anything else comes second or doesn't exist. Still, I value your opinions and want your thoughts. I look at the time it takes to do a layout and onder if I have the time for it. Why? Basically because of age (knocking on 60's door) but also because of my other hobbies. Besides the train layout I want to build models, I want to get into scratchbuilding drag cars, pro drag bikes, and also pro street cars. Creating frames, wheel tubs, doors that open, etc' takes time. I also have a model of a B36 bomber kit tat has a three foot wind span that will take a month or more. I am also a video gamer (yes, oldersters can video game0, a reader (magazines and books), and a Civil War buff (along with other history) and go out with my metal detector from time to time. Then to top all that all, I have a wife that expects me to share time with her. So, as you can see, my plate is full. Thus the dilemna of a full train layout compared to a shelf with train diaromas to keep my hands in trail modeling. So taking it all in, where is the balance? I need to decide before I go any farther in my framing. I would probably be safe in framing the upper and lower shelves since either way I go would work. Thoughts........ideas?