I’d had enough. Seriously, I was ready to quit the craft altogether from my inability to design a satisfying layout. I was convinced I had a major character flaw that prevented me from seeing a design through to completion and it frustrated the daylights out of me.
We all know the drill: create a plan that fills every inch of space; build a fraction of it, then run out of enthusiasm or bored. Read about the latest shiny thing, convince ourselves that’s what we need to do and start from zero again, and again, and again.
Switching to P48 was a step in the right direction for me but I soon discovered the layout design literature and conventions are geared to a 1:87.1 mindset. P48 has its own challenges and I didn’t need the added burden of trying to reconcile somebody else’s criteria into a layout I would be happy with. I was fed up with model railroading in general.
So, what changed?
I did, after I realized I really didn’t want a conventional layout.
I changed my priorities and learned to ask better questions about the things that are specifically meaningful to me about trains and modeling. I learned to appreciate the strengths of quarter-inch scale and how to design with them instead of letting conventional ideas and stereotypes dictate my choices.
Maybe you’re in a similar place and, as Simon notes in his review, this volume doesn’t provide pat answers. The key is to take these questions as a guide and make them your own. That’s the only way to find the answers that are most relevant for you.