Well, I am finally going to "do it". Back in January, I received an HO-Scale Craftsman Kit from Scott Mason, Fine Scale Miniatures' Bartholow's Coal Company (Jewel Series No. 9), to build for his layout, with the caveat that I "stick to the instructions" and don't stray. For those who don't know George Sellios' FSM outstanding craftsman kit work, check throughout the Model Railroad Forum (http://www.mrrforums.com/) to see several renditions of this kit and many other "FSM beauties". Well, recently Scott was interviewed on the Model Railcast Show, a weekly Podcast (Episode #53, http://www.modelrailcast.com/MrcBlog/Show53.asp), and he mentioned my enthusiasm for kit building and how he is "helping me out". Weeeell, the wife & daughter heard it, so they immediately turned to me, gave me 'the look' and said, "So, what's taking so long???" Uh-oh... by the way, thanks for the age-reducer Scott... it helps! :o)
Needless to say, I cracked the box late Saturday night, and started looking through all the components. Amazing! There are many pieces of basswood, roofing, cardstock, metal bitz and roofing materials, almost a bit intimidating, but this is nothing different than what Scott teaches on in his Building Craftsman Kit DVD series (check out http://www.scottymason.com/). So, with that in mind, I hung up the color poster on the wall behind me, for a good, visual reference. FSM Instructions, come in sections, also on poster-like, fold-out papers. It takes quite a bit to prep for this. I will start bracing the clapboard walls, along with priming the white-metal castings. I'm just waiting on some Floquil, solvent-based paints, so I can start priming the walls and get things really in motion.
For me, grad class on Tuesday and Thursday nights this week, but... no HW, cuz next week is SPRING BREAK, baby! Woohoo! That means, next weekend and the following weekend, I can work on the kit! Or, until I get the paints, maybe I'll tinker a bit with building benchwork for my new layout. I have all the tools I need to start, have read (and hilighted the heck out of) Jeff Wilson's book on building basic benchwork; I just need to pick up some 1 x4s, 2x2s, and some adjustable feet/levelers. I can have a 30" x 8' piece of box/open-grid benchwork up in a night! Bob Leonard is putting the final tinkers on a couple of track plans, so this may be a good thing.
Pretty exciting stuff, at least for me, the Train Fanaic!