2. The Same But Different

The Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad quickly gave rise to a number of opportunities, as well as just as many quandaries. At the time, the Jersey City Industrial Railroad faced some issues with respect to its temporal setting: I couldn't decide between the 30s and the 80s—each had strong appeal. With the arrival of the HMR and its shared geographical setting, I realized one could be set in the earlier era, and the other in the later. But which would be which?

To this day I've not decided. It basically comes down to which one gets to keep the elevated railroad, because its existence helps define that layout's era. In my mind's eye they're both visually appealing, so it's been very hard to choose. Ultimately it doesn't matter; since both layouts are in "stasis," there's no compelling reason to make a choice anytime soon.

Meanwhile, I'd nailed down the season: winter, complete with dirty, slushy snow. I'd made this choice not because I wanted to model winter scenes—although that's always had a strong appeal—but because of the unsightly Unitrack. It occurred to me that I could "bury the bulk" in snow.

After a quick test using white Fun Foam for snow, I determined the track would indeed look a lot better, especially if I first sprayed the track white. Then I did a test to see if I could model the "ugly" snow of a typical city scene.

The results exceeded my expectations, so I quickly proceeded to blanket the layout with model snow.

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