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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 4mm scale 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.

To Part 2.


neil whitehead said...

will be staring a new layout in 7mm soon so will be following you with interest

David Smith said...

Hi Neil, My 7mm layout build may not start until after xmas 2019. It will use the insulation board method cited here, even thought this series relates to 4 mm modelling. I trust you are following my 7mm rolling stock builds, currently underway. See '0 gauge on the cheap?' Link in the right hand column.

Anonymous said...

Can recommend baseboards made from styrene sheets or similar (see my 'Shaftesbury' layout, Railway Modeller July 2021). I prefer foam sheets without aluminium covering costing about £6.00. I have no experience of using these baseboards for portable layouts.

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