As you know, I'm actually working on recreating Erie's 149th Street Harlem Station in HO scale. That project was a departure from my habitual work and a challenge to myself. Would it be a real achievable layout or just another bitter false start?
I gave myself two weeks to "complete" this project. The deadline was my
own vacations. I'm glad to tell you I reach this step in a week. At a
rate of 8 to 12 hours per day, it moved at a steady pace.
I consider I have now completed all the messy basic stuff including
painting track and roads in basic colors. To me, this is a true
achievement. Thought I started to build many layouts in my life -
probably over 20 - this is the second time I reach that point where only
building structures, scenery and detail cars remain. The first time was
when I was 7 years old and I built my first 4' x 4' train layout with
my father, sister and brother. Good to be back on track after a 25 years
hiatus! Seriously, never reaching some level of achievement can be
quite distressing at some point.
I've learned a few things bout myself while doing this project. I didn't
over design the project, but took a decent amount of time to plan
carefully the project. When I started to rip wood, I knew there was no
turning point and decided to address issues as they appeared. I didn't
let small things stop the project and thought about alternate way to get
the job done in due time. I was ready to sacrifice my obsession for
perfection which had always been my most major pitfall. Funnily, I can't
say I cut corners on quality as the final product is quite good.
Finally, I didn't set a real schedule but each time I started a job, I
made a point I would complete it on the same day if possible. That was
particularly important to get over boring or painstaking work.