Back story: My wife and I have been building a small house in southern Thailand where she grew up. The new home was to serve as a new house for her mother, who will live on the first floor, and a second floor apartment for us during our long summer vacations there. The project went seriously over budget (by more than 50%) earlier this year, depleting our savings. As things went haywire there due to the inability of Joy to manage the project from here, the construction put our marriage, house in the states and her job in jeopardy. Ultimately, we came up with a plan: rent a room out of our home, obtain a home equity loan and Joy would resign her position to move to Thailand for a few months to oversee completion of the house. Things went shockingly well, and she was granted a 11 week leave of absence from her job, so she didn't have to resign. We are still deeply in debt, but we have a way out. The house will be completed before the apartment Joy's mom is living in is sold. This has put a stopper on my Boston Line layout, which is at the beginning stages of benchwork. Luckily, I have enough small projects to work on for years. The Thai house serves as a bit of a western oasis for me. I had gone back and forth with the architect for over a year (with Joy translating EVERYTHING) on the plan. It was quite a challenge getting him to see why I wanted the design I did and how it should look. Even small details like light switch height, dual US/Asian style outlets and solar tinting on the windows were detailed. At one point, I had to show the mason how to lay imitation wood floor tile (real wood rots in monsoon country) in a 1/3 overlap pattern. Of course a new house needs trains! The layout: I want something different from my modern Conrail layout at home. Since I have a few B&M steam engines, this would be a great place to showcase them. The layout would be set in the 1930's, feature only steam and will model a branch line to the fictional mill town of Clarkton, ME. Because space is at an absolute premium, this will be a shelf layout. And because this is Thailand, everything needs to be designed in metric. In addition to all of this, the complete lack of modeling supplies in SE Asia means that EVERYTHING will need to be imported in luggage. We have several large suitcases that are on their last legs. I plan to build a cage inside them to which small layout sections will be bolted. Basic scenery and track will be built into the sections, with buildings and fragile items to be carried separately in other luggage. High priced items (engines, rolling stock) will travel with me in carry-on. It will probably take me 2-3 trips to build out the layout, or about 3 years. Equipment: My current equipment includes: Bachmann 2-8-0, 2-6-0, MP 4-4-0 and a Athearn 2-6-0 painted in BM. I also have a LL 0-8-0 and Bachmann 0-6-0 being detailed and painted into BM. Another Bachmann 0-6-0 will be painted in MEC for transfers. In addition, I have a Bachmann 10 wheeler and Light Mountain currently unlettered and waiting for ideas. Display engines on additional shelves will include a W&LE 2-6-6-2 ATSF Northern and N&W J. Although many of these have DCC, I do not plan that as of right now.