dealing with frustration!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by csxengineer, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    I'm sick of my layout! I have worked forever, and changed every inch of it a million times. I was even eyeing up a sledgehammer. I can't seem to ever be happy with it. I've went through billions of trackplans, prototype photos, and scratchpads. But the problem is ME! I'm never happy with it, although other people like what I've done, I just can't get it done! What started as a 8' x 10' n scale dream of steel mills, changed to coal hauling, to shortline, to nothing but a headache! HELP! How do you guys deal with this?
  2. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Maybe it's time to switch over to On30...

    How about using all that N gauge equipment for HOn30? or On18. :D :D :D :D :D

    Sorry, I'm only kidding around...

    Seriously though, we can all be our own worst critics. That's natural.

    What is your most favourite part of the hobby?

    I'd guess that you enjoy building and creating more than you enjoy operations and finished layouts.

    Maybe, try planning for change...

    If you accept that nothing is permenant and change is the only constant, then you should be okey.

    Set up a system where your layout is a grid and as you finish one section, you automatically tear out and restart the next section...

    It's a little less drastic than complete demolition.

    Then again, complete demolition can be therapeudic too...

    Or there's always Decoupage or machramey... :D

    Kidding again....
  3. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    It will pass, Try a small diaram of some thing totaly different.
    Or try er, er, overhead and a 30s theam:D

    The thing to remember is "your layout is never finished" it just cannot be as there is always some thing else to add.;)
    I am redoing a section because as the years roll by one gets better at the hobby and can redo a section differently yet within the same theam.
  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    You are not alone csxengineer
    Most of us have gone through what you are experiencing. Why else do I have a third layout in the same space in a ten year period. Just because the first two didn't feel right. We learn from the experience and I think there is a lot of truth in what TinGoat says. The guidance from the folks here have really helped me to plan and build my current layout to my satisfaction. It still has a long way to go.
    Now before I started coming to the Gauge, I was a kit builder and only started scratchbuilding when I saw what folks here were doing. Now I am hooked on it.
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    The advice I had for myself and my sons was that if you ever began to dread going to work then it was time to change jobs. I guess the same has to go for a hobby. Life is too short to get frustrated over a job or over something that should bring relaxation and pleasure. I haven't been in the hobby that long, but I'm enjoying every minute of it because I love to model and to run trains. I'm amazed at what some people do here and my goals are to reach that level of perfection.

    I don't know what your goals are or why you are into model railroading, and I'd hate to see you go do something else if you really want to do modeling, but it isn't worth blowing a gasket over, no hobby, sport or job is.

    Two guys from The-Gauge family came over yesterday to talk and run trains on my layout. Well, we had a tough time since my layout is far from finished and I had just finished ballasting last week and had a lot of track to straghten out, but that didn't matter to any of us. We had a great time and eventually I'll get things working where trains will run without stalling or derailing... but it didn't happen yesterday, and probably won't for weeks to come. I have a lot to learn, and this is the place I call home and get the help and support I need.

    Sorry for the lengthy answer, but I had to tell you how I feel about doing what I'm doing. If you get frustrated with this hobby do you think there is something else that is easier and will work for you? Calm down, relax, take it a step at a time and enjoy the trip. it isn't easy and I guess that's the best part, knowing you suceeded at something that was a bit of a challenge.

  6. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Robin and Don have hit the nail right on the head. I have had trouble with my layout last year and was very unhappy with it. I was about to completely give it up when Robin tore his layout down and strarted on a new one. I figured if he could do it so could I. Also my wife got tired of me complaining and suggested I tear it down and start over. I would say my layout is about 1/2 complete. All the track is down and my engines run great on them. One thing. Don't hurry. This causes mistakes. especially when laying track. I have had to relay a couple of sections because I was in a hurry to get my trains running and goofed up.

    Also, think about maybe walking away from your layout for a time, then go back and see how it goes.
  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi csx!
    Hey listen this is just a hobby, not your whole life!
    There have certainly been plenty of times when I've been VERY frustratedwith some aspect of this hobby...something breaks, or something won't operate properly...this is just a given...all model railroaders live with this at some point. (for me, it's a lot!) But who cares? If something's becoming frustrating, or boring for me, I just do something else! If you get tired of wiring, work on some scenery...if you get tired of that, work on some rolling stock, etc...
    Take Chris's advice, & build a diorama...Try a diorama in a different scale...
    And hey, if all else fails, TAKE A BREAK! Last time I checked, they hadn't imposed the 40hr week on model railroaders!:D
    There have been times when I've been known to ignore modeling for days, or even weeks at a time! Sometimes this causes you to come back with a fresh perspective, & enthusiasm.
    The bottom line is don't sweat it!
    If that layout has become a headach, tear it down! Lord knows we've all done that! Start over...maybe with some kind of modular thing, that you can expand as you go...
    Anyway, good luck, my friend...hope I've been of some help...?:)
  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First you need to relax and think of what you want in a layout that will fit your needs and modeling styles-be realistic with your goals. Clean your mind of any of your old thoughts and negative feelings. Start fresh.

    Now take another look at your layout..Is that layout the one you wanted? If the answer is NO then redo your layout and learn from your past mistakes.

    I offer up these thoughts for your consideration.

    1.Think of your wants and needs..Be realistic.

    2.Avoid to much track and unrealistic steep grades.These two are real layout killers to be aviod.

    3.Keep operation in mind.By operation I mean the following
    a.A yard.You can switch cars into different trains by having a working yard.

    b.a engine service area where you can"service"your engines between runs.

    c.Industries..You can switch these industries by running a local freight.

    4.Think outside of the box dare to be different.Avoid the Lionel trap of layout design..This is your more common beginners layout plans found in most model magazines and layout books.They may look good but in all Truth once built they are found wanting in keeping up the modelers interest..

    And finally

    5.Design your own layout with your wants in mind-but be realistic and flexible...

    Good Luck! :D
  9. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    You could look in the yellow pages under "Therapists" and find one that specialises in MRS. (Model Railroad Syndrome). I'm sure, given a firm diagnosis, a cure can be found. :p :eek: :cool:
  10. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hey CSX,

    I can relate. I've been frustrated by the hobby and my abilities from time to time. When that happens I take a break and do something else for a while. When I come back to it I try to remind myself that everything is changeable. No matter how much time energy or money you've put into the layout or sections of it, its your hobby and you can rip it out and start again. I've made several changes over the last two years and anticipate making more...smaller ones as time goes on though. I've only just last week spiked down what I believe is the FINAL trackplan. :)
    I'll redo some structures and scenary as time goes by too.

    So, keep in mind: Its suppoed to be fun. If its not, let it sit for awhile until you're in the mood. Secondly, you can alter it any way you want. As a third thought I recommend simplification to make it easier to get things looking and working right. A complex layout with multiple problems is a lot less fun than a more basic one that runs like a dream!

    Best wishes!
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Maybe you're like Shamus, who builds layouts and tears them down again. Maybe you should try building a small super detailed layout and then another with a different theme, then link them.
    I often suggest that you go back to where you were when you first started to be interested in trains and model that. (For me, that would be the pre-teen years, but it could be anytime).
    Maybe you're really a Lionel man, and should have a barrel unloader and a log loader and ... :D
  12. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I've had the same problem..............
    You see something that someone else has done, that looks real good. When you try to copy it, it didn't come out as good, and you get pi....frustrated.
    The cure for me was is...If it looks right to me, and I'm happy the way it came out, then its good....
    If not...Trash pick-up is Thursdays!
  13. guppyman

    guppyman Member

    You are all going about this the wrong way.....

    What you really need to do is take over a LOT more floor space! Take all of your wants/needs, and build all of them with as much floorspace as required. Tell the wife it's therapy so you don't have a nervous breakdown. She'll understand....
  14. jawatkins

    jawatkins Member

    You all have great answers. There are those of us out there who tend to be our own wortst critics( guilty as charged) and beat ourselves up when what we envision in our heads doesn't come out right on the layout.

    Scenery is my thing and there are times when I can see it in my head and make it happen and other times that I too would like to go find the sledgehammer. I know the feeling of having others look at what you've done and say how great it is. All the while I'm thinking it looks like crap and would like to pull it all out. ( And I have done that, too.)

    Don't get so twisted if it's not perfect, you'll take the fun out of the hobby. And isn't having fun what it's all about? Hobbies should stimulate us mentally and challenge us, not frustrate us.
    And as the rest have said, sometimes you have to walk away and come back to it later and look at your project with a fresh eye. Sounds like sage advice.

    Anyway, best of luck
  15. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    "All of life's little problems can be solved..........with a chainsaw!"
    :D :D :D :D

    It's been so long since I posted the *spacefreighter photos*, that I cant begin to find them again. The posting was my way of saying what you are saying now. We get frustrated when the layout isn't looking right. I simply move to a different kind of project. A ship model, a spaceship, perhaps a different scale. HO, HOn3, N, On30. HO is my primary, but I also do the others.
    A good single malt scotch helps. :D :D
  16. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    hey csx

    i been in your shoes and i have smashed a layout with a 20 pound sleg it was the last layout i did in ho it was 6 years of work and about 10 x 12 i had a bigger mess when i was done but that was not my last i did it to 2 n scale layouts befor i got to where i am now i riped out parts of this layout and redone it but when i get to that point i take a couple of milk jugs filled with water out back with the 12 gage shot gun and take it out on them but then agin we all can't do that i look at my layout to help me get out other problems that happen in a day with begin an at home dad of a disabled child you'll get that dream layout you want you can do what i did this year look into a pirotechnics perment thats a blast when you can light that big stuff off and your freinds are sitting their with their mouths wide open as for my layout it would sit their for weeks at a time with nothing new on it and boxes of new train stuff from ebay and stuff from the hobby shop sitting right out side the door the thing that helped me plan my layout was a pad of paper that went every where i did every thought i had of a track plan i put it in the note pad and when it came to that time to put that paper to bench work i went through it and took what i liked and made a plan out of that just remember that this is your hobby and it is their to help you relax not make you made to the point to grab that hammer
  17. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I threw out all my post 1980 MR magazines and resolved to please one audience---me and my family. If you find yourself looking at your work and comparing it to others and finding your work falls short, you're no longer enjoying a hobby, you're maintaining an extension of "Keeping up with the Jones; Chapter- Model Railroad". It is my utter delight to know that there is some rivet counter out there somewhere foaming at the mouth, looking at my work, screaming; "That Ain't Prototype!!!" and it is my honor and pleasure to look upon a pile of misshapen wood and plastic that its builder is beaming with pride over and without patronizing say, "Well done."
  18. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    hey CSX
    been ripping mine for the upteen time too but it will come to us any the only poeple we have to please is ourselfs any way I just go do some thing else like those couplers(GOD I HATE THEM) or put a kit together.....welcome to the CLUB ..... :D :D :D Rich

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