Tag Archives: construction

New Round the Room Layout

The Concept

Initially, I was very much into Great Western 1920s and 30s, influenced by my father and a layout we built in my childhood, but the more time I have spent on forums and reading books, the more I have grown to appreciate Southern and post nationalisation steam. A great influence on me was Southernboy’s Frankland. Its suburban feel, Southern stock and superb modelling, plus his excellent posting style really picqued my interest. Then I got a copy of Waterloo Sunset with its footage of 60s steam on the Southwest and West of England mainlines – another big influence.

Running wise, I like to see trains passing and am more interested in passengers operations than freight, although some mail, parcel, milk and general goods stock is always welcome. Plus I wanted a decent shed area for displaying some locos awaiting their turn.

So I started listing what elements I wanted and so came up with this:

Passenger operations
Mainline station with at least 4 platforms
Minimum of dual line running
Loco shed
Continuous running
Some storage sidings for trains and/or carriage sidings
Opportunity to scratch build a suburban area
Late crest Southern Region with some Western interlopers
Ability to swap eras to run some Maunsell era stock (with the odd GWR interloper)
To have fun
To revert to rule one whenever the fancy took me

A house move earlier this year meant I now had use of a third bedroom as an office/modelling/layout room but knowing that we are likely to move again in the next 5 years or so meant I wanted the boards to be semi portable modules. The space available would be very roughly 7ft by 7ft around the walls, initially on units/desks but with the ability to be raised on legs to free up workspce under the layout as things developed.

I don’t have a trackplan I’m afraid, rather am working from a plan in my head, various sections of which have been mocked up in trial runs. Simply put, the east side will have a 4 platform station and town, the north will have the 4 lines go down to 2 with a spur off to the loco shed, the west side will see the 2 lines continue with some train storage sidings (maybe hidden) and the south a spur to carriage sidings before the 2 lines split back into 4 before heading back round into the station.

Thanks for reading and any feedback welcomed.

Next the boards and name ideas.

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Posted by on December 1, 2017 in DCC Layout, Round the Room



Same layout, new baseboard

The original layout I was working on was 8ft by 3ft on two 4ft boards constructed from a 18mm x 45mm softwood frame topped with reused 6mm ply. This caused me a few issues, warping, instability, difficulty in joining and a lack of depth underneath for point motors and dropping the landscape for waterways and ponds etc. Plus space was an issue in our current property and even though we are selling, now the diy was completed, I had the modelling bug bad again.

After spending a month or two pondering my options yet seemingly just going around in circles, we came up with an idea. I knew I wanted to stick with the original 8 by 3 plan but would want to extend it if our new property allowed so thought why not reduce the layout to a 5ft length and then add another board when space allowed to complete the original plan. Maybe the extension could be another 4 or 5ft board giving a total length of upto 10ft eventually.

As the orginal plan consisted of a town, station, industry and sidings area on the left 4ft board and a countryside, village, farm area on the right 4ft it would mean choosing just one half and allowing an extra foot for the return curve. I decided to go for the town board as this was more developed. I would build it in such a way that although it will, in its current form, be a self contained layout, I could easy modify the right hand end to extend the run back to the original design.

I should at this point explain that I do not get overly worried about being strictly prototypically accurate as long as it looks right to my eye. My preferred era is the steam of the 1930s to 1960s and populated with a mixtue of Great Western and Southern Railway with some BR stock. Oh and did I mention its N gauge.

Here are photos of the original boards to give an idea of the track plan. The left hand side will feature the town over the curves whilst the right hand countryside end was to have a hillside with tunneI over the outside loop.

Left hand side -the town will cover the the end if the board.

Left hand side -the town will cover the the end if the board.

Right hand board - the outer loop will pass undera hill.

Right hand board – the outer loop will pass undera hill.

The new 5ft by 3ft board was pre-cut from an 8 by 4ft sheet of 6mm WBP external ply with 4inch strips being used the make the frame. 1″ by 1/2″ battening was used to brace the frame and to give something to glue and nail to. This would also form the part of the frame the top could be screwed into. Front to back bracing was spaced at 12inch intervals. Once this was constucted using wood glue and nails & staples, the cross pieces had a 2in deep by 6mm wide slot cut into them from underneath. Then a lengthwise brace had similar slots cut and was slotted in down the centre of the frame. After drilling, counter sinking and screwing the top board to the frame, the whole structure was giving a good coat of quick drying satin varnish. Once thorough dry, I tested the rigidity of the structure by standing on it. This egg box method of construction, as well as being obviously very strong,  is also incredibly light weighing somewhere between half and two thirds the weight of one of my slightly smaller previous baseboards.

Ply, £20, 1″ x 1/2″ pine battoning, £3, varnish, £5, -Total cost £28.

Next job, track laying.

Underneath of the new eggbox baseboard.

Underneath of the new eggbox baseboard.

Top of new eggbox baseboard.

Top of new eggbox baseboard.

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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in DCC Layout


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