I almost had to force myself to go back to work on the G&D. For a long time there'd been an empty patch of ground that I hadn't decided how to utilize. Then it came to me: a forgotten little graveyard. Somehow it seemed suitably "Allen-esque."
The choice wasn't a conscious "statement" on how I was feeling at the time, or an omen of what I was contemplating next. But, as it happened, the graveyard scene was the last photograph I'd taken of the layout. Not long afterward, I destroyed the G&D.
The layout had done its job: it entertained me and educated me, and through my blog it did the same for countless others. But there was more to it than a project that had simply run its course; I'd become quite disenchanted with Z Scale. It wasn't the modeling challenges presented by the scale; that's what I'd sought in the first place, and I tackled them with great enthusiasm. No, it was what went on behind the scenes: the business culture was alarmingly toxic, a fact I learned firsthand having become a manufacturer.
I needed to utterly divorce myself from the entire world of Z Scale, even though I'd become friends with some of the other modelers. It simply wasn't worth it for me to have my soul eaten by my competitors. Indeed, I didn't really even want to have competitors per se; I sought collaborators. For me, there was much more to be gained by working with one another, rather than against. But given the prevailing mentality, that would have been impossible. So I got out.
It's sad, really; as I review the photos of the Gorre and Daphetid, I feel a twinge of loss and regret. But it doesn't matter any more: between various diseases and old age, I've lost quite a lot of my modeling abilities. And so I've bid Z Scale farewell, for all time. Some of it, at least, had been fun.
Afterward, I returned to N Scale, albeit with an inauspicious start.