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Take one TV Unit...


dseagull

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And Build a Baseboard.

 

Not how they tell you to do it in the magazines, but when I saw the above offered for free on Facebook, my thrifty side couldn't resist.

 

It is (or was!) an Argos 'Cubes' TV Unit - link here; http://www.argos.co.uk/beta/static/Product/partNumber/6090746.htm, and, no doubt, did that job very well. It was described as 'Free to collector, has some marks on top', and was outside waiting for me when I picked it up yesterday evening, but the short spell out in the cold seems to have done it no damage, and it was sound, with just one or two water marks from mugs etc on the top - exactly as described.

 

I quickly stripped it down at home, with the intention of just using the top or bottom as a shelf, but then got thinking about how best I could use the rest. The plinth, helpfully, was just attached with dowels, so that came off straight away and on it's own, it was a little rickety - but the size of it immediately caught my eye, at 27 and a half inches by 13 inches, with little plastic 'feet'. A little smaller than ideal, thought I, but worth a ponder.

 

The top, however, was perfect for my requirements, coming in at just a smidge under 3' in length and 16 inches wide. With this in mind, thoughts turned to increasing the width of the layout, however a 16' deep shelf on top of the desk looked a little ridiculous, so I lopped 3" off the back to give a 13' shelf, hiding the 'chopped' side against the wall and leaving the nicely oak veneered side facing outwards. I then put the plinth on top, just to see what it looked like...

 

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And realised it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

 

I then cut the other shelf (either the top or bottom) down to the same width as the plinth, but it was gone midnight by this point, so gave up for the night, and have spent the last 10 minutes chopping 8' off the side as well to provide a flat surface for the track. This will be attached to the plinth using L-shaped Angle Brackets to form a solid baseboard, and probably covered with cork to make it easier to lay the track.

 

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This has left the three smaller pieces - two were originally sides, and the middle one provided extra support and also divided the 'shelf' underneath the TV Unit. These are just under 16' across the longest dimension, and 6.5' across the width - I was thinking of using them on the ends of the boards, but it would leave a 6.5' backscene, which is lower than I'd like.

 

All of this has meant another amendment to the plan, to take 8' out of the length of the layout, putting us at 27" x 12", and very much into 'Micro Layout' territory. I did knock something up quickly last night, but it didn't quite sit right, so have tried again this afternoon. This time I have simply shifted everything over a little, reducing the distance between the Y point and the level crossing, and making the road more of a winding country lane. It's a bit narrow in the below plan at 2' wide, but with another slight adjustment, can be made to 3" quite easily - this would equate to a road of just over 43' in 4mm scale (if my calculations are correct!), which should do for a country lane in the 1920's.

 

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There are, inevitably, a few compromises - the platform ramps will be a bit steeper than I would have liked, for example, and I think the coal office may be reduced to a token representation, but otherwise, it does fit nicely and it is better than nothing. Having said that, I have gone from a board 12" wide to 13", which I haven't accounted for in the plans, so perhaps there will be a little more room than anticipated. Anyway, it all fits, the domestic authorities are happy (enough ;) ) with the size, it will be solid, stable and portable - oh, and of course it was free!

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Wonderfully creative. To top off the TV theme, all you need now is an old flatscreen TV showing a live backscene - rolling clouds, darting swallows etc  ;)

 

I really like the layout plan. A nice balance of view blocks, and scope for a bit of operation - will there be fiddle yards?

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Wonderfully creative. To top off the TV theme, all you need now is an old flatscreen TV showing a live backscene - rolling clouds, darting swallows etc  ;)

 

I really like the layout plan. A nice balance of view blocks, and scope for a bit of operation - will there be fiddle yards?

 

Thanks Mikkel :) - A live backscene would be a superb idea, but for now I think it will just be a plain, neutral sky blue colour! - never say never though...!

 

There will be fiddle yards, yes, but they will have to be detachable for storage and only come out for operation!

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