Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Great Lakes Northern

I want to get off to a good start modeling wise in 2017, so this post is something that I hope will give me some extra motivation to work on the layout this year. While it wasn't one of my goals for the year, giving my layout a name seemed like a good idea moving forward. The name "basement layout" just wasn't all that cool.

A while back I put together two posts about my ideas for a future freelanced model railroad. This was back before I had started design and construction on the "basement layout". I had a good general idea of the theme, location, and era of this fictional railroad. I even came up with a name (Michigan Consolidated) and a paint scheme. Well, fast forward to now and I've done some tinkering with these ideas and made some changes.

I decided that I actually didn't like the name I came up with so it was back to the drawing board. I wanted to stick with something Michigan related because that's what I would like to model on my layout, even if it is a fictional representation of it. That being said, the new name for my layout and model railroad will be Great Lakes Northern. I'd like to loosely base my layout on late 80's to mid 90's northern Michigan, hence the Great Lakes part. Here's the logo:


I designed the logo and word mark myself using the graphics design software Inkscape. It is not overly complicated and even looks good in just black and white. I'll have to work on the color scheme as that is something I need before I can start applying this to any custom painted locomotives.

As far as the logo itself, there is some symbolism by design. The pentagon shape and the five trees are meant to represent the five Great Lakes. The trees themselves represent northern Michigan forests and could even be seen as arrows pointing north. The lines along the bottom, at least the negative space inside them, are supposed to represent the two main lines of this fictional railroad. I'll have more details on that later.

I may even change the name and address of the entire blog to Great Lakes Northern since that sounds nicer than the current name. We'll see though, for now I'm just going to refer to the layout as the Great Lakes Northern.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Goals for 2017

The goals I've laid out for 2017 are similar to the ones from last year. They aren't anything crazy, just some things that will help move the layout construction along. I'm hoping to at a minimum have the track and wiring done this year so I can focus on building a locomotive and rolling stock fleet. This whole model railroading thing is a long term project to me so the rest can always wait until I can find more free time for it.

Goals for 2017
  • Finalize the track plan for the basement layout
  • Purchase and install the rest of the track and cork roadbed
  • Complete wiring and DCC system hookup
  • Be able to run trains and basic operations
  • Purchase and build another structure kit
  • Add to my Detroit & Mackinac collection

Knowing that I wasn't really able to meet any of my goals for 2016, I'm going to use these as just a rough guideline for the upcoming year. I'll be happy as long as I can find some free time here and there to work on the layout. I'd really like to at least have some trains running so I can share that with my two sons. I'm also really looking forward to working on the structure kits for the city and industrial scenes.