4. B+ for Effort

From the storage unit I collected a bare minimum of tools and such: one X-Acto knife, a ruler, tweezers, a few nail files, various glues and solvents, several brushes, and about a dozen bottles of paint. I also grabbed a soldering iron and my trusty little micro-table saw, which I must use sparingly as I'm living off-grid. A small cutting mat just barely fits on my lone table—alternating with my computer keyboard as necessary—while the layout occupies half of my bed. (Yes, I'd been sleeping with my layout; let the jokes commence.) I made frequent trips to the storage unit to retrieve and return boxes of kits, kit parts and other supplies. It's quite the logistics exercise.

As the layout progressed, I "abandoned" more and more of it, until abandonment overtook the majority of structures and scenes. Urban blight became the visual theme. About a month into the project, I awoke one morning with a strange new perspective. I'd felt all along that this yet-to-be-named layout bore some resemblance to the ill-fated Penn Central; why not just make it the Penn Central? As a bonus, I could utilize stock PC merchandise from my collection. When I struck upon the idea of switching to the Penn Central, the visual theme seemed even more right, since the setting shared the same "doom and gloom" overtones as the railroad itself. This is not to say I have anything against the Penn Central; I neither like it nor dislike it. It is what it is.

After a couple of months of kitbashing, the layout looked like this:

  1. Haber Manufacturing
  2. Stephen A. Greene Furniture
  3. The Weller Company
  4. Tanna Hill Apartments South
  5. Tomb of the Unknown
  6. The Coal Trestle
  7. Downtown Southwest Stockton
  8. Rearden Metal Fabrication
  9. Dick's Welding
  10. Spano's Service Station
  11. Central Point Fuel Oil
  12. Stockton Station
  13. Stock Tower

I'd made pretty good progress: I'd started nearly all of the structures, and even finished one. Plus I did a token bit of scenery. But as much as I'd wanted to stick with it, the pressures of survival slowly overwhelmed the project, and I had to let it go for a while. Maybe I'll dig it back out, maybe I won't. Life is simply too unpredictable at the moment.

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