5. Ready for Prime Time

By July 2011, the layout could pass for done, even though there was still plenty of dotting and crossing of i's and t's yet to be done. But I'd managed to acquire a G&D boxcar and a D&RGW Bumble Bee passenger set, which could not be more perfect.

Going into 2012, progress slowed considerably as I prepared to attend a Z Scale convention in Medford, Oregon. The G&D was slated to make the trek west along with her sister layout, the James River Branch.

The convention was a tremendous success. But the trip home was a disaster: the James River Branch was damaged beyond repair during shipping. While the G&D didn't suffer a scratch, the loss of the JRB—five years in the making—rattled me deeply, and I stopped modeling for a month.

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