Tuesday, 4 March 2014

One baseboard layout designs

Over the last few months - basically since the launch of Tal-coed - I've been discussing the ideal of the one lift exhibition layout. I'm not the only one; even CP spoke for quite a while at not Eurotrack about reducing weight and the pros and cons of cased layouts with a lot of the same arguments. It seems the older we get the appeal of having a layout which is carry-able by one person in one trip grows. This is not just a weight/size thing. Small layouts are more personal; you can get a little closer with them. But how small can you go without sacrificing operational quality over a 7 hour exhibiting day and how big or small is small?
I touched upon this here:

Tal-coed is just about my maximum comfortable lift and is an oval at 4' x19" with 9mm track, but is the above (J Andrew's 4mm OOWeston Road) the desirable minimum? 38" long and operated with Terriers. Could the small fiddle yard be very lightweight and folded up tight to the side? And would 4mm ply and small square section timber as bracing drop the weight enough without sacrificing strength?

And of course there is Mr Nevard's BQ.

Did I mention the Arundel show on Saturday?


  1. Although the complete Nottery Quay was on two baseboards, each 4 feet by one foot, the Nottery Quay board could quite easily be used on its own. The viewable section is only about three feet and originally there was a small turntable fiddle yard under the hill. This board could easily be manhandled by one ten stone weakling.

    Chris OD

  2. For a light weight board consider foam core as the structure with 4mm ply skin. I can lift Thakeham Tiles with one finger, though usually I use a hand.

  3. Mr Ford
    A definite cat amongst the Pigeons here as a modeller I like the idea though I like large radius points which increase the length of a station and I like back scenes and the disguise of the join which tends to increase the width of the board.and therefore the weight of the board, Also I'm into recycling of old boards at present 2 x1 and Sundeala.
    As an Exhibition Manager I dislike the Idea where will I find my medium size showy layouts that attract the eye in the exhibition hall take up space but allow a reasonable number of kids and enthusiasts to look at.

  4. Thats a very nice compact track plan. For a wide discussion of one lift layouts I'd recommend Iain Rice's Layout Design book http://bit.ly/1fIG2ho I'ts certainly got my grey matter stimulated when it comes to designing the next layout.

  5. I'm also currently pondering the track plan for a small layout. My starting point is actually the box I've bought for storing the layout, which will of course dictate the size. This box has the added advantage of the storage trays which should act as a stock box as well, so just a single item to move around and store. Your plan would not quite fit in that box though as the maximum internal measurement is 285mm (or about 11 inches). The height (certainly with the trays) might also be a problem; I'm getting around this using 9mm MDF as the base board without any framing, although this means any point motors, wiring etc. will have to be carefully hidden above the baseboard (I did this on my previous layout without too many problems).

    1. I realized that saying "maximum internal measurement is 285mm" is a little misleading. That is only the depth, the width is 1135mm or around 44 inches. Hence my comment that your layout plan would almost fit.

  6. Thanks for sharing, that was interesting!