Well, as I mentioned in other posts already, I'm starting to build my first layout. And since I was encouraged to share the buiding process... well here it is. I'm taking it very slow so updates may be sparse. So in this first post I will write about the history of the project, it's current state, and plans for the future. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to build a model railroad, but for different reasons it never came to happen. Time passed and now I'm in my late 30's and married. And it just so happens my wife is very enthusiastic about the project too. I must also mention that she is very skilled when it comes to crafting, if you think she is going to help me with this project, you are wrong. It is actually me who's helping her with the more rough constructing and the electrics/electronics. We've been toying with the idea since forever, but last year we actually started to consider it seriously. We have a spare room with a table about 160x80cm, so the plan was to build our baseboard on top of it. Aquiring this kind of materials in my country is not easy nor cheap, and we had a trip to the US planned by the beggining of the year, so we included some tracks in our shopping list. And we did indeed bought track and even a train set. My wife and I are in love with japanese culture so when we saw this model, we just knew it was exactly what we needed. My only regret is that the 10-397 is not DCC friendly, but nevermind, DC is cheaper, and I think we can do everything we want, at least for now. I designed a layout which was a single track making a double loop. You can kind of guess it in the first picture. But after a few tests, we realized that a single track was not enough so we decided to move the table away and use the contour of the room for the layout. This new design has 2 separate loops, a detour, a double crossover connecting both loops, an alternate route for the inner loop going all the way to the top-right, and even a train yard for operations/parking. Certainly an inprovement over the original design. Plus, we will take advantage of a corner of the room which is currently just collecting trash, AND I think the weird contour of the room will make the layout look much more interesting. I just realized that there are a couple of updates missing in the picture above. There is going to be an additional detour right after the double crossover, and here you can also see the operation yard in the alternate route area. Since my experience is next to null, I'm going to build it in two stages. The first one is both main loops, and the second is the detour to the right. However, I plan to have all the turnouts in place for the expansion. Also, I want the whole thing to be modular, the main big rectangle will actually be divided in half and it will not be attached to the wall. Instead, it will be supported by several small pieces of furniture that do not yet exist either. I have not yet mentioned anything about the theme or the scenery. But I did mention we love japanese culture, and we do have a shinkansen, so yes, it is going to be a japanese themed layout. To the left it is going to be an urban area, hopefully resembling akihabara, and to the right it will reflect a japanese countryside. As I mentioned my wife is quite skilled in her handicraft, so she already starting with the buildings. Here is the first one finished. It is a reproduction of one the SEGA buildings in Akihabara. This weekend I was in the process of asking for prices of wood for the baseboard. Hopefully I can have the pieces before next weekend. We'll see. I look forward for your comments, opinions and suggestions.