Regular readers of this blog know I've got a couple of layout ideas bouncing around in my head - something Manx and another in On30. What has stopped progress is planning the baseboards. The traditional 2X1 wood with a chipboard top hasn't been our style for over 20 years and each layout has been put together in slightly different ways.
The new layouts will be similar in look to the Hellingly Hospital Railway. That is they will be a 3D picture with the scene tightly framed by a fascia board. That layout arrives as a scenic section with fiddle yards bolted on the ends. This format was forced on me by the overhead wiring which couldn't easily be joined to allow a longer scene. Trouble is, this limited the length to 3 feet as it had to fit across the back of a Peugeot 306.
Neither new project suffers from the problems of tramway wiring but we have liked the idea of carrying in the model as a lump which is quickly erected and dismantled. Whilst setting up at a model railway exhibition is often a leisurely affair, getting out is something to be done as quickly as possible. No exhibition manager wants to be standing around watching a display fiddling around packing up when everyone else has gone home and quite frankly I want to be on my way to a Little Chef as soon as possible after the death.
So, what we need is an all in one display. The limiting factor this time is a Citroen Berlingo*. While this is a fabulous car, the back is limited to about 3 1/2 feet in length as the rear seats don't fold completely out of the way or come out. But we want a scenic display a bit longer than this. That means either several boards of getting clever.
Well clever is what I think I have done. If I fold the baseboard then we can get 6ft in the back of the car. Folding it complete with fascia is the tough bit if you want something structurally sound. For a while I've had the idea bouncing around in my head - yesterday I finally got around to drawing it up.
Basically there is a front board which flaps up over the scenic area and bolts to the fascia. This makes the boards structurally sound enough to fold using (this is the clever bit) hinges from past table. Then and end board completes the box. Using captive nuts everywhere I expect this packing up to take about 10 minutes tops.
Obviously there are a few details to finalise - some sort of locating pin to hold the top board to the bottom seems like a good idea. I haven't considered legs either yet but hey need to be tall so trestles are out. The basic idea is there though - click on the picture for a bigger look and let me know what you think.
*Yes I know I have a VW Camper which would take a 6ft board. It only returns 20mpg so I prefer to use the 50mpg+ Berlingo if at all possible. The camper is also quite a bit slower and more prone to breakdown. More importantly the mileage limit on classic insurance is 5000 and I'm not about to waste any of that thundering up and down motorways if I can help it.