I have added a layer of cork track underlay to one of my baseboards. This will be the terminus baseboard.
I brought a sheet of cork from the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association. Using the full size print out of the track plan I created a paper template and cut the cork sheet to shape. It was glued into place with lots of PVA glue, then weighted down with lots of heavy objects and left for a week to dry.
Next, tracklaying. Gulp!
Baseboards must be like busses. You wait ages for one to come and then two arrive together.
Well not quite. I was so pleased with the first baseboard that I decided to build a second one while I remembered how. 🙂 It did take a week to build the second one, so they didn’t arrive simultaneously.
To hold the baseboards together I have decided to use hinges with removable pins. You can pull out the pin to separate the two halves of the hinge and separate the baseboards. I saw this in the British Railway Modelling video of their ‘Edgeworth’ layout (at around 2 minutes 10 seconds in the video). I’m sure this has been done many times before but this is where I saw it for the first time. It looked a neat idea, so I thought I’d give it a try.
I am quite excited by the idea of the Granta Valley Railway. So much so that I decided to build the first baseboard.
I sketched out a simple design and went to my local builders merchant for the wood. The tops and sides are made of 9mm plywood. The builders merchant cut these to size using their large electric ‘sheet saw’. The cuts cost me nothing and saved me a lot of time. The frame is simple pine wood measuring 44mm x 19mm in section.
The first step was to attach the pine frame to the plywood edging. I pre-drilled holes in the baseboard so that I’d be able to attach the sides and ends to it.
The sides and ends were positioned and attached to the baseboard.
Here’s the finished baseboard, glued and screwed together. I know I’ll never be a cabinet maker, but I’m quite pleased with it.
Jonathan asked to see the clearances between the backboards and the line to the fiddle yard. Here you are: The 4 wheel coach is about 54 mm long and 24 mm wide (approximately 2.1 x 1 inches). The clearance between the coach and the backboard is around 7 mm (approx. 9/32 inch). The distance between the coach and the mounting block holding the screw is even less, around 3 mm (approx. 1/8 inch).
I hope none of the passengers lean out!
My friends know that I want to spend this summer making the scenery on my layout.
So, why have I spent the last 10 days building a fiddle yard?
Well, there is method in my madness. Before starting the scenery I need to make the backboards. However, the track leading to the fiddle yard will be very close to the backboards. I need to lay the track to the fiddle yard first, then position the backboards to ensure there is adequate clearance for the rolling stock. Then I can start on the scenery….
I decided to go for a simple cassette fiddle yard system. I, erm.., borrowed the design from Michael Campbell and used U section plastic trunking for the cassette. There are brass clips to connect the cassette to the track leading to the layout and provide power to the track.
The fiddle yard unit is connected to the layout using a couple of bolts and wingnuts. This will make it easy to remove for transport.
The track coming from the layout to the fiddle yard unit is curved. It was difficult to fix the rails so that they will stay in place and remain well aligned. In future, I will never connect a fiddle yard to a layout using curved track. It is straight track for all connections from now on.
Some layouts are the result of careful planning, others just emerge.. somehow.
I brought an oval of set track on eBay so that I could test the models I am building. Every time I wanted to test something I had to get the track out, assemble it and wire up the controller before I could start.
I decided to put the oval track on a baseboard so that it was available instantly. A quick rummage in the garage and I found some thin plywood for the base and a length of 25 x 32mm pine for the frame. These were ideal and a simple 78 x 58 cm baseboard was quickly created.
When I stood back to admire my work and I realised that I have seen whole 009 layouts of this size.
Perhaps I could be a bit more ambitious and create a small layout on this board?
That’s when the fun started. Out came some track, points and I created paper templates for the curves. What emerged was a simple oval track plan with a country station featuring a passing loop, a goods siding and a loco siding. It seems to fit (!) and will be a much more interesting than the simple oval test track.
Now all I need to do is build it.