There has been quite a lot of activity chez mois in preparation for St Ruth's forthcoming appearance at Nottingham, mainly on the buildings front as those watching the St Ruth blog will have seen. This has meant something of a hiatus in areas like locos and rolling stock because once I get started on these the buildings won't get a look in.
Those who saw St Ruth at the Oxford Expo in 2010 may have noticed a lack of many things including (but not limited to) coaches. This show came at an awkward time because it was a few months before Farish released their excellent Blue Riband Mark 1 coaches, so we needed more coaches but we didn't want to spend money on things that would be eclipsed by the shiny new offerings.
Anyway, that isn't such an issue now and the credit cards have been in action on several occasions since then to acquire some of the nice new things. The only snag being that until recently, they were all sat in a carrier bag inside their original boxes - hardly a convenient way to take them to and from shows, so something had to be done.
Some years ago when I needed a stock box I did a 'proper' job and made one from wood and ply with modules inside that would plug into my then layout. Nice, but rather time consuming. This time I decided to opt for a solution that could be done in the bare minimum of time.
The trick was to find some sturdy boxes that were just a little larger inside than the height of a coach. The first thing I found was a gift box which once contained some socks. This was then lined with 5mm foam board and some partitions made from the same material. One partition was made from mounting board in order to squeeze 5 rows in. This is a handy box for parcels vehicles but is too short to fit two 64ft coaches end to end. The second box looks almost like a quality product (provided that you don't look to closely). In fact it is a box which once contained a children's painting set (the paints had already been used by said children I hasten to add). After ripping out the vacuum formed plastic inserts and getting rid of the strange adhesive that held them in place (something that looks rather like it might have come out of your nose), the box was lined and partitioned with 5mm foamboard.
I didn't keep track of the time for the first one, but the second one took less than 90 minutes to make and cost me pretty close to nothing.
Both boxes are already full of coaches, so I'm on the lookout for other suitable items to recycle.