I have been giving much thought to the layout that I hope to run ‘Kaffie’ on one day. It will have to be an estate railway, a la Duffield and Eaton, so rather different to everything I’ve built since the 1970s!
As for the layout planning, I have come up with some basic principles, based on my experiences with Wood Bros and Watt’s. I shall go for a very simple, roundy-roundy trackplan, and only have one baseboard – no fiddle yard or hidden semicircle add-ons. The trauma of the early hours of MOMING’15 are still etched deep in my psyche – no joints allowed! On the other hand, the points on Watts’ actually worked quite well, so I shall probably allow one, or at most two, into the plan.
With these criteria in mind, I’ve started on the construction of the one and only baseboard. Last year I built a little layout for Grandson using a sheet of Celotex insulation foam from Wickes, so I am using the same material for this one. I put a 3mm hardboard base and sides on Grandson’s layout, and the same has been done with the new one, but I’m using two sheets of Celotex, one on top of t’other to give depth for landscape shaping. The board is a shade under 3’ x 2’ because of the size of the Celotex sheets, and I had to cut the sheets into several pieces to get the required size and shape out of the two. (The size is also the max I could sweet-talk mai laidy waif into allowing into the house.)
I followed the thread on the NGRM Forum about sticking this type of foam sheet http://ngrm-online.com/forums/index.php ... foamboard/
and did a bit of digging online, to come up with this:
I got it through Amazon - it’s for use in the building industry. I had thought that I could do all the sticking with it, but the instructions (I broke the habit of a lifetime and read them first) say it isn’t recommended for sticking foam-to- foam, so I used it for the foam-to-hardboard sticking only. For the foam-to-foam I fall back on good old Copydex. The NGRM thread talked about the problem of most glues not drying between layers of foam – with Copydex you coat both surfaces to be joined, let them dry, and then place them together – the grab is instant and phenomenal.
This is the state of play at the moment:
I used lots of bamboo kebab skewers to link the various bits of foam sheet, and lock them into the hardboard surround – extra security for the joins, and to stop warpage. You can see the ones around the sides. Said sides are high because I want to fix the scenic break(s) to them – they’ll be cut away in the middle of the sides when the landscaping is done – the cutaway you see was done so that I could get at the top of the foam sheets to level them up – using bits was all very clever, but they didn’t end up level. A surform tool is great for this job, if rather messy – best done outside on a windy day - a lady at the other end of the village has been wondering where the strange yellow dust comes from.
I’ve stuck a sheet of 5mm black foamboard from the art shop on top – with Copydex – to act as the track base, and drawn out the provisional trackplan on it:
I’m also working on the back-story, and I’ve got a title - ‘The Berger Hall Railway’, owned by Sir Macintosh Berger, a thus-far unknown customer of Sir Arthur Heywood. The railway will be set in 1900, and will involve all sorts of new concepts for me – trees! – grass! – clean loco and stock! – steam loco! No place for rust and ramshackle on this layout.
Hours of fun.