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Friday, 21 September 2018

A Model Railway - Baseboard #1

There are now sufficient number of buildings in my card kit catalogue to build a complete Southern Region station complex. Many of them have been used across several of my own model railways but, not all together on one layout. This project is about construction of  A Model Railway that uses a set of model buildings to build a complete station.

I wanted a small, shelf type layout that would be simple and quick to make (the card buildings are time consuming to build but I have a set built some time ago).

I could build the station in about 1.2 m plus off stage fiddle yard. That would be a bit too small for me because shunting movements would disappear into the fiddle yard. I prefer some landscape before the station for trains to run through and to observe shunting 'on stage'.

I settled on about 2.4 m x 400 mm plus off stage fiddle yard.

Thoughts turn to baseboard construction. Having seen the American preference for Styrofoam insulation board, being very light, strong, preformed and easily sculptured I decided to adopt the same. However, there are few high street retail outlets selling it in the UK and certainly not the usual DIY warehouses. A likely source is 4D Model Shop located in London but the price was a shock at about £50 plus postage for the size of interest.

I returned to the local DIY warehouses and all of them sell something similar. I found that Wickes offered it at a very low price of £6 for 1200 mm x 450 mm x 50mm. Two lengths were purchased. I'll need another later for the fiddle yard.

Unlike Styrofoam it is covered in aluminium foil. I'll have to see whether or not that is a handicap.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Groundcover Bargain or What?

I have said before on this Blog (or the other one) that the supermarket or garden centre can be a good source of unusual modelling materials, given a bit of imagination. Recently I found a bin load of these packets (photo right) at the garden centre with knocked down price of £0.20 each from £2.49 (80% off). I nearly bought more but was not too sure what it was. It looked suitable for modelling foliage, either bushes or tree leaves.

Upon opening it was found to be some kind of moss about 20cm square, probably meant to cover the soil of house plants. It was very dry but still mostly green in colour. I remembered seeing an indoor model railway featured in a magazine many moons ago where real moss was used as ground cover. The layout builder occasionally spayed it with water to keep it lush and green.

I picked off pieces and simply pressed it onto the embankment to give the appearance of low scrub. Quite impressed by the result.


Thursday, 6 September 2018

Andover Modelex 2018

I had a shopping list and decided to go to this exhibition as lower prices for second hand items can be found at events compared to ebay. I did pick up some items on my list but traders seemed a bit thin on the ground compared to previous years. There were also large voids in the two halls compared to previous years, which made me think either there were fewer exhibits or the layouts were on the small side. Never the less there was a good mix of a high quality exhibits.

Bodmin (N guage) struck a chord with me as I visited the prototype last year. I remembered walking along the platform, chatting to the signalman at his box about the T9 languishing in the shed a little further down the yard. Now with a helicopter viewpoint I see the entire station complex with all the recognisable structures but in miniature.

There is something about finescale layouts that stand out from the crowd. Instantly you recognise it as such from the finely modelled details and uncluttered appearance. Llangerisech (2mm FS) is no exception. It is an extremely well lit very tidy layout.

My personal Best In Show was Leiscester Belgrave Road (00 gauge). A truly massive station complex at 25' x 7'. It can be difficult to judge the scale of a layout this size. It is 00 but looks smaller to those of us modelling smaller footprints.


Saturday, 1 September 2018

September Website Cover

Bulleid West Country Class 34040 'Crewkerne' passes through Hewish Gates.

View the cover here.
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