My first 4' X 6' layout was started in 1956. Most of the structures were scratchbuilt from card stock, and balsa. The "Public warehouse" article in a 1957 "Model Trains" was one of the first things I built from a magazine "how to", built mostly from cardboard. I've had modules at Milwaukee's "Trainfest" for 20 years now. The 8' X 10' modular layout I started in 1973, that moved every three years, as I changed duty stations, is now all but gone. My current model railroading is centered around product design, and kit developement for GC Laser. There is a large part of modeling time that goes to sailing ship models, which takes me back to the years before model railroads. http://forum.zealot.com/t95149/ has a sample of the shipbuilding. http://forum.zealot.com/t95442/ has a picture of the first layout. http://forum.zealot.com/t94849/ shows the current modules.