2017 In Review

Its been another great year in terms of this hobby for me.  Lots of good times with friends attending shows, dinners, visiting friends layouts, and working on a wide variety of projects.  I wrote about what I had planned for 2017 here and where I was mid-year here. This post will sum up the year that was in 2017 for me!!

The first part of this post summarizes what I listed as my “plan” for the year in my 2017 New Years post, following this, I get into some more detail on the projects.

Projects Underway

Projects to Start


  • Weathering – Did some, got a bit better, still a long way to go
  • Soldering – Did some, got a bit better, still a long way to go
  • Track Building – Didn’t do any.  Will need to in 2018

Thing’s I’m expecting to arrive in Stores

  • Rapido Trains Royal Hudson – Hopefully late 2018, Rapido promising a sample and tour early in 2018 to show off the model
  • Heljan Lynton & Barnstaple OO9 2-6-2 – Massive problems in the first run, the one I’ve ordered is now in limbo as Heljan switches factories and re-manufactures them
  • RealTrack Class 156 DMU – Likely to receive in January 2018
  • Rapido Trains New Look Buses – Both I’ve ordered are in Canada, received the first from the TTC, will pay and pick up my 2nd in the new year.
  • Mike McGrattan Memorial Gondola – Received, and displayed in honour of Mike

So, with that high level summary of the “plan” (insofar as one can plan a hobby), a bit of a chat on what I did is below:

Completed Projects

I “completed” a few projects this year, some are really done done, and others are at a point where they can be displayed even if they aren’t done (i.e. a number of passenger cars that need custom built interiors).  Projects which reached this “completed” stage in 2016 are my 009 Gauge Talyllyn, the HO Scale Dominion of Canada Shipment, HO Scale Passenger Car Nova Scotia, and the HO Scale Railway Village Model.  It feels good to look at projects and be content with them.  I know there are little areas here and there I can and probably will touch up or change.  But for most visitors to our apartment, they look like finished models rather than a pile of metal, plastic and resin bits on my workbench!

“Finished” projects from 2017, Shipment of Dominion of Canada, Talyllyn, the Railway Village and “Nova Scotia” (alongside Cape Race and Jackman).

I also did some work on a few small things not for me.  I now offer on Shapeways a 3D printed speeder in S Scale and Sn42 narrow gauge.  Why, why not? As much as I don’t normally have time to re-scale my 3D printed parts, I got a number of requests for these, and the sales have justified the effort.

Also in the Completed Projects world is my dalliance with going back to some old school plastic model kits of things other than trains.  It very much served as a bit of a reset to work on something not train related, and just scratch an itch and work on some other skills that I haven’t necessarily been using on model train projects.

Completed non-railroad projects. Scale models of Optimus Prime, a Corvette C7R and the Canadian Football League 737.

Things I’m working on

There are a lot of active projects, still too many, but key among them is one I have “started” in 2017 that will hopefully dominate my modelling for 2018, starting to seriously look at building a layout in the apartment.  The Liberty Village Layout (actual name TBD). I haven’t built anything yet, but as a planning exercise, I’m working my way though designing a track plan, and figuring out how to make a layout work in our apartment.  More than anything I’ve done in the past few years, the prospect of building a proper layout has invigorated me in the last quarter of 2017.

In terms of actual projects being worked on, I have my first test print of the original single level GO cars.  I’ve made adjustments to the model, it still has a lot of work to go, particularly on wheels and trucks before being either done for display, or something I can sell, but i can work on it.  If nothing else, the number of people who’ve expressed interest in this tells me I’m on the right path if I can work out the kinks and bring a product to market at a reasonable cost.  I’m also making slow and steady progress on building my first OO Scale passenger car kit.  The kit is a British Rail Diagram 73 First Open, I’m almost done the exterior, now I just have to get going on the interior and the final details.  I made a good start in a small narrow gauge shelf layout early in the year, but motivation petered out over wiring, but hopefully I will get back to that as well in 2018.  Finally, my biggest ongoing project is a model of 587 Yonge Street, the now demolished home of Bar Volo.  I’m almost done the interior of the building.  Once that is done, its some LED lighting and wiring on the interior, and it will be on to the exterior details and final assembly.  This is something I am hoping to make a good bit of progress on in January and have done earlyish in 2018.

Projects on the go, Layout Design for our apartment, 587 Yonge St, Hawker Siddeley GO Coaches, a British Rail Mk1 First Class Coach, and a Narrow Gauge display/swtiching puzzle layout.

Things to Come

With hopefully starting layout construction earlyish in 2018, there aren’t a lot of new projects on the horizon.  I have a growing collection of freight car kits to work on.  I think I will likely start on them and try to bring them all through the build process at around the same pace so when I set up the paint booth for priming and painting, I can achieve several projects in one go.  The cars will form a big part of the stock for the layout, and will allow me to move on a lot of commercial models I own that aren’t right for the layout or era being modeled.  I’m looking at getting as many of the “little” projects like interiors for coaches done to really put away some of the models I’m working on in advance of building a layout, as there will be ample work in building benchwork, finalizing the track plan, laying track and starting scenery, and that’s before I even start building buildings for the layout!

All in all, I’m happy with my 2017 year in modelling.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it, and hopefully there will be lots more to come in 2018!

2 thoughts on “2017 In Review

  1. Don’t let the kinks in the uni-level GO cars beat you down. I can’t wait to buy a few from you.

    Happy New Year Stephen.

  2. Thank you Matt, I hope you are well. I haven’t had much time in the past few months (since fixing the windows in early October) to look at working on the GO Cars. The bodyshell itself isn’t terrible. The issues are going to be getting trucks that run reliably and where people can find wheelsets that will work. Certainly things that can be overcome. I just need to actually order my 2nd attempt at the trucks and see how they work and move on from there.

    They’ll get there everntually (i hope!)


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