The visible section of what I am calling 'phase 1' of the layout (as detailed in the previous thread) consists of two baseboards, one with a station throat and the other with the station itself. I had a fair amount of wood to use, so I knocked up some extra modules just in case they came in handy. This is what I ended up with:
They are formed of 1x3" planed pine frames with a 9mm MDF top. There are cross-braces every eighteen inches or so. This method of construction, along with the dowel and latches later, was to provide a solid base for a station area which is nominally flat by design.
Here's a mock-up of the track plan on the boards:
Here's how I'm joining the modules - originally intended to go to shows with, it was important that the layout could be aligned reliably each time. Now that's less of a factor, but still useful:
One really cool space-saving device (particularly if you have a shelf layout) is a traverser - it moves forward and backward to align with incoming tracks without the need for points or turnouts. It's less useful if you want to do computer controlled routing or if you're not hands-on but still interesting. Here's a video I did showing the traverser:
In terms of lessons learned:
- I should have been more sure about whether I wanted to take this layout out and exhibit it (or even move it around). I think if I had the foresight I would have built the layout in-situ in order to take more advantage of the space.
- Though stations are technically quite flat places (see Part 1's shot of Bromley North) I think larger elevation differences with more slopes/etc. would have been nice. Any further scenic sections will use open grid/L-girder benchwork to make changes in elevation easier and more dynamic, as well as some bolt-on extensions to the front for the same effect.
- The layout in-situ feels long and sinuous and has an authentic look about it, but I'm a bit worried it's TOO simple - as a home layout it needs to be extended to include other layout design elements!