Jump to content

Phil Parker

The Billy Bookcase layouts

Recommended Posts

 

In the Spring issue of BRM, I've started a series of micro layouts designed to fit on the shelves of an Ikea Billy Bookcase.

 

There will be three layouts - OO, 009 and N

 

I'm keen to build an N gauge model to see how the smaller scale makes better use of the space. In theory, we ought to be able to fit a lot more model on the shelf than in the larger scales, but I don't want something crammed with trackwork.

 

So, I'm throwing down a challenge to N gauge modellers via RMweb. We have a shelf, how would you fill it?

 

I'll have a look at the plans, pick the one that I like best and build it. As far as the design goes, we don't have a lot of N gauge stock so something operable with a single loco would be perfect. Any era and any prototype will be considered but the stock at least, must be available ready-to-run.

 

SHelf_rmweb.jpg

 

The shelf is 76cm by 26cm. I'm assuming any fiddle yard would be separate and hanging off the end - unless someone can come up with a design that keeps it on the "board".

 

I'd prefer plans drawn up in something like AnyRail, or made from Peco point plans printed out and stuck on a full-sized rectangle.  That way we have half a chance it will really fit. I'll certainly be drawing out the plan before ordering track. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom Faulkner has sent me this plan based on Machynlleth DMU Depot.

 

Machynlleth DMU Depot.jpg

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about one set in 1814 right at the dawn of the railway...

 

The Puffing Billy Bookcase. 

 

Edited by sharris
  • Funny 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This plan you might recognise... I've rendered it using Peco Setrack so it will fit in the space allowed. It might well be possible to do something similar using small-radius Peco Streamline points if desired, although Farish 101 and 108 DMUs and Dapol 142s can negotiate the 9" radius points used on the plan.

BRM-Minories.png

NOTE: A Dapol 142 can't negotiate the "middle" line above with the unpowered car leading--it derails at the "wiggle". It might work better if you straightened this part out, although the original plan (CJF's Minories) does have wiggles at this point. The wiggle does involve using two ST-47 2nd radius half curves, which are not available separately (they come, along with the short ST-43 straight, with the curved points). Farish 108 (and I assume 101 DMUs) can negotiate all of the tracks. Despite the number of successive dead frog points, both the 142 and 108 can negotiate the layout at a crawl.

Edited by D9020 Nimbus
Additional information re 142 negotiating track
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So.... who's tempted to build a bookcase layout? What would you build in a 76cm x 26cm footprint? Perhaps some of you are brave enough to sketch a rough plan of your proposed layout for the May issue of BRM? Share your thoughts below...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Howard Smith said:

So.... who's tempted to build a bookcase layout? What would you build in a 76cm x 26cm footprint? Perhaps some of you are brave enough to sketch a rough plan of your proposed layout for the May issue of BRM? Share your thoughts below...

 

Definitely tempted - a logical next step from stand-alone kits via a cakebox towards a full layout. 

Is there a deadline for ideas? 

Is this developing into a challenge in its own right? (ie: with an end deadline too - I'm not worried about trying to win anything, but am finding the cakebox deadline helpful, though I might regret saying that at the end of this month)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, pay attention.

 

Bookshelves are for books, not toy trains!

 

Are the moderators all on half-term holiday?

 

Ian.

  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Ian Stewart said:

Now, pay attention.

 

Bookshelves are for books, not toy trains!

 

Are the moderators all on half-term holiday?

 

Ian.

There's always a catch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Iain Rice, in his book Designs for Urban Layouts has a layout called Virtua in Industria which uses what are basically three dioramas on a common theme, in this case an Alkali works, mounted vertical like shelves on a wall and linked by cassettes.  Not for me, but I can see the potential and it could be easily modified to utilise a Billy bookcase, especially in N or 009!

 

Roja

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ian Stewart said:

Now, pay attention.

 

Bookshelves are for books, not toy trains!

 

Are the moderators all on half-term holiday?

 

Ian.

“The Billy Railcase layouts

By Phil Parker, Wednesday at 16:34 in BRM Magazine”

Happy now?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Billys used to come in three widths - 80 cm, 60 cm, and 40 cm. The 60 cm version was optimal as a bookcase - linear capacity vs. sag, ideal for one's casebound wagon books - and hence was discontinued many years ago:

 

528334346_Shelfofhonour.JPG.996776ee43d235f1ac62a597025e7582.JPG

 

Nevertheless I had hoped that the three categories - 00 (may I say 4 mm scale standard gauge?), N (or 2mm), and 009 - might have been allocated to the three shelf lengths!

 

In the spirit of inclusion, what about other scales? An S scale or 7 mm scale narrow gauge microlayout would surely be just as feasible on an 80 cm Billy?

 

For those who say Billy is for books, there's official counter-approval.

Edited by Compound2632
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

 

Definitely tempted - a logical next step from stand-alone kits via a cakebox towards a full layout. 

Is there a deadline for ideas? 

Is this developing into a challenge in its own right? (ie: with an end deadline too - I'm not worried about trying to win anything, but am finding the cakebox deadline helpful, though I might regret saying that at the end of this month)

 

March 15 for a chance to get a slot in the May issue...

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ian Stewart said:

Now, pay attention.

 

Bookshelves are for books, not toy trains!

 

Are the moderators all on half-term holiday?

 

Ian.

One could pay homage to the book by including a W H Smith's on the model, possibly with some model MRJs on the magazine rack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

Billys used to come in three widths - 80 cm, 60 cm, and 40 cm. The 60 cm version was optimal as a bookcase - linear capacity vs. sag, ideal for one's casebound wagon books - and hence was discontinued many years ago:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_03/528334346_Shelfofhonour.JPG.996776ee43d235f1ac62a597025e7582.JPG

 

Nevertheless I had hoped that the three categories - 00 (may I say 4 mm scale standard gauge?), N (or 2mm), and 009 - might have been allocated to the three shelf lengths!

 

In the spirit of inclusion, what about other scales? An S scale or 7 mm scale narrow gauge microlayout would surely be just as feasible on an 80 cm Billy?

 

For those who say Billy is for books, there's official counter-approval.

 

Have you been nicking my books? :P

 

Got all of those apart from the NE Records. :)

 

 

Jason

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ian Stewart said:

Now, pay attention.

 

Bookshelves are for books, not toy trains!

 

Are the moderators all on half-term holiday?

 

Ian.

 

Only if you don't own enough books. I'd need many, many Billy's to contain my library...

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You've missed one salient point Phil, how many shelves has the Billy bookcase got and how many trackplans need to be rustled up?!!

 

MIke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Enterprisingwestern said:

 

You've missed one salient point Phil, how many shelves has the Billy bookcase got and how many trackplans need to be rustled up?!!

 

MIke.

It's a modular-type system with available add-ons: I have one with 8 shelves (and different vertical spacing too).

 

You can buy the shelves separately, per the opening post's photo by the look of it.

 

As a further note: the inside shelves are 76cm, and the sides are 2cm thick each (hence a reference to 80cm earlier in the thread). A layout for the top of a bookcase could theoretically be a little bit bigger, I suppose (but that's not the challenge).

 

(I moved house last year)

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
  • Informative/Useful 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They come in 106 and 202cm heights too. I have both, and have a couple of glass shelves instead of wood in one - the glass is thinner so you get a few extra mm height to put stuff - probably not so useful for building a railway on though.

 

Mine are old enough that the corner units are proper corner units with extra deep hexagonal  shaped shelves.

  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

 

What a smashing idea! Hopefully it will get folk doodling and coming up with ideas and ultimately modelling. The space constraints will mean some interesting designs but will get people thinking. 

 

8 hours ago, 37Oban said:

Hi,

 

Iain Rice, in his book Designs for Urban Layouts has a layout called Virtua in Industria which uses what are basically three dioramas on a common theme, in this case an Alkali works, mounted vertical like shelves on a wall and linked by cassettes.  Not for me, but I can see the potential and it could be easily modified to utilise a Billy bookcase, especially in N or 009!

 

Roja

 

Roja,

 

That Ian Rice design is immediately what I though of too. Three inter-connected diorama/micro layouts displayed one above the other but where stock moved between each scene using cassettes. It lends itself perfectly to these Ikea shelving units. Definitely an interesting concept.

 

3 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

It's a modular-type system with available add-ons: I have one with 8 shelves (and different vertical spacing too).

 

You can buy the shelves separately, per the opening post's photo by the look of it.

 

As a further note: the inside shelves are 76cm, and the sides are 2cm thick each (hence a reference to 80cm earlier in the thread). A layout for the top of a bookcase could theoretically be a little bit bigger, I suppose (but that's not the challenge).

 

(I moved house last year)

 

That modular system lends itself perfectly to the Ian Rice concept explained above. Even if it isn't multiple dioramas displayed at any one time, he beauty of a standard sized unit is that two or three could be interchanged and displayed in one 'slot' as and when desired. Any other shelves could then be retained.... well for books I suppose! 

 

7 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

Billys used to come in three widths - 80 cm, 60 cm, and 40 cm. The 60 cm version was optimal as a bookcase - linear capacity vs. sag, ideal for one's casebound wagon books - and hence was discontinued many years ago:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_03/528334346_Shelfofhonour.JPG.996776ee43d235f1ac62a597025e7582.JPG

 

Nevertheless I had hoped that the three categories - 00 (may I say 4 mm scale standard gauge?), N (or 2mm), and 009 - might have been allocated to the three shelf lengths!

 

In the spirit of inclusion, what about other scales? An S scale or 7 mm scale narrow gauge microlayout would surely be just as feasible on an 80 cm Billy?

 

For those who say Billy is for books, there's official counter-approval.

 

I think the more variety with regard to scalesthe better. Who will be the first bright spark to come up with a workable design in 7mm scale standard gauge..... now that would be a challenge! I wonder whether it's possible?

 

Anyway, I think this is a great idea so hopefully it creates some real interest. 

 

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just read the article. It seems an interesting concept and I look forward to seeing it develop.

 

I need to get some more Billy bookcase shelves as some of mine have sagged due to weight of books, I'll swap shelves around with the Sci-fi/Fantasty shelves first though. The small metal bits don't give a lot of support sadly with anything more than a moderate load on the 80cm shelves, so a brace might be worthwhile.

 

The shelves are available separately at least and for iirc, £10 each for the 80cm ones if you need more. If you run out of the metal bits that they sit on, IKEA will send you more if you request them via their spares dept.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If this goes well Phil, how about upping the ante for the next challenge and designing a layout to be fully self contained in one of these?

I ponder the possibilities every time I am in Ikea!

 

https://www.ikea.com/es/en/products/storage-furniture/wall-shelves/ekby-alex-shelf-with-drawers-white-art-20192828/

 

Mike.

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought the Ekby could have a layout on top, with the stock in the draws to put it away. Watching this with interest, but don't we need a full forum for them all :)

  • Agree 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, sjrixon said:

Watching this with interest, but don't we need a full forum for them all :)

It is starting to look that way: I was thinking this morning of asking the 'powers that be' whether there might ultimately be a something in the magazine section, the layout planning section or the modelling section (with box files / micro layouts). I guess we need to demonstrate that the interest on this thread is turning into worked out ideas that'll be followed through first.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, sjrixon said:

I always thought the Ekby could have a layout on top, with the stock in the draws to put it away. Watching this with interest, but don't we need a full forum for them all :)

 

Having seen some of the wall fixing methods for these sorts of things, I'm unsure that'd be wise without more support brackets as a lot of the shelves Ikea sell aren't designed for much weight, probably fine with N gauge though as I would imagine that a small layout wouldn't add up very heavy, but OO, modern locos can get quite heavy now combined with the weight of scenic and control stuff etc.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.