It's funny how my approach to the hobby has changed over the past couple of years. Was it only 2 years ago when, on a whim, I wandered into the local model shop and bought an engine and a couple of coaches? It was a moment of nostalgia, looking back to my childhood interest in model railways. I never had any intention of getting into it again in a serious way.... for about 10 minutes that is! Then the thought popped into my head, "Well, it would be nice to have somewhere to display them, wouldn't it? Maybe I'll just build a little static diorama - a length of Peco track and a bit of green scatter along the edges..."
That was 2 years ago. Now here I am actively planning a P4 layout, with all that it entails - hand-built track, compensation...! It was inevitable really I suppose; I seem incapable of doing anything in half measures - it's all or nothing. So once I had first entertained the idea of creating any sort of 'model' it was simply a matter of time! My feeling is, quite simply: if a job's worth doing it's worth doing properly. Shortcuts and compromises - for the sake of a reduction in time and effort - will only lead to less enjoyment at the end of the day: enjoyment of the modelling process itself, and enjoyment of the end result.
You might ask then why I didn't opt for P4 immediately? Well, when I started out my knowledge of railway matters, real and model, was fairly limited. There were compromises I felt were acceptable because I didn't know any better. Ignorance is bliss you might say; but these things don't last for long. I read a lot of historical railway magazines (Great Western RailwayJournal, Backtrack, Steam World, British Railways Illustrated, Steam Days, Railway Bylines...) and that, coupled with books, DVDs, websites, visits to preserved railways... it all quickly adds up to a situation where it's not nearly so easy to overlook the smaller details. It doesn't take long to become a rivet-counter!!!!