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Hello there,

 

I am 13 and would really like to get into model railways. I am pretty sure that a base-board is my first step and don't know where to buy one. If any seasoned model rail enthusiasts can help me, or anyone at all really, I would be very grateful.

 

Thanks,

Matthewq

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The answer may depend on your woodworking skills.

Do you want a (laser cut) kit or do you want to build it from scratch? At 13, I would have been happy to save some money by doing more work myself. A kit fits together better & with less effort than anything I have built from scratch.

 

If you want to build it from scratch, then many, including myself, will recommend plywood. I have used chipboard & mdf. I have also worked with fibre board. All are soft & warp when they absorb moisture. A coat or 2 of varnish will help too. Bracing is also useful. The lighter the board, the more bracing you will need.

 

Do you have any idea how big it will need to be & whether you want to build it in sections?

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Scale Model Scenery do a range of kits, including some that fit into plastic boxes for storage.

 

To some extent, it depends how big a layout you want. Do you want an oval of track, or a more narrow end-to-end layout? What scale would you be looking at working in?

 

If you're just starting in the hobby, I'd suggest starting small. That way, you can get a layout going in a fairly short time and decide where you want to go from there. A small shelf, the sort of thing available at any DIY store, can be a good starting point for a shunting layout. You might want to look into some classic designs like "Inglenook Sidings" or the "Timesaver" to see what's possible.

 

If you want to go really small, a lot of people build micro-layouts in box files, which of course are very cheap, easy to work with and easy to store. However, they are limited in space, particularly if you model in 00 scale or larger. The Ikea "Knagglig" crate is slightly larger than a box file, but again is an increasingly popular venue for micro-layouts.

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2 hours ago, Matthewq said:

Hello there,

 

I am 13 and would really like to get into model railways. I am pretty sure that a base-board is my first step and don't know where to buy one. If any seasoned model rail enthusiasts can help me, or anyone at all really, I would be very grateful.

 

Thanks,

Matthewq

Hi Matthew,

 

It's great to see one of the younger generation on here wanting to start railway modelling.. There are literally thousands of people on this forum, and of those there will be many who can relate to your position and will want to give help and advice.

 

 I am going to take a slightly different slant to your request!

 

Before you start bashing out standard 1200 mm x 600 mm baseboards,  take a while to look at the space you have available in the home, and where these baseboards will be erected.

 

Do you have a permanent location, or does it have to be portable and dismantled between sessions?

 

Then I'd suggest you have a look at a rough plan of the proposed track  plan that will sit on these boards. (Remember not to cram the boards with too much track)

 

Once you've done that you can work out where the best place for joints between boards can be placed.  For instance, placing points across a baseboard joint on a portable line is going to be a bit difficult!

 

Getting timber cut accurately can be problematic if you don't have ready access to the correct equipment.

 

However, once you know what you need, a trip to the local timber merchant (a proper timber merchant, not the likes of Wickes or B&Q)  explain what you need and they will probably cut your boards out for you. (Certainly our local yard is more than happy to do this as it's all to do with  future recommendation and their reputation.)

 

Don't be afraid to ask questions at every stage of the proceedings.

 

Remember the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

Don't be afraid to ask questions at every stage of the proceedings.

 

Remember the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

 

 

 

Truer words have never been spoken.  I so do wish when I was 13 or so and working on a layout I had something along the lines of this forum to see what others have done, and most importantly ask questions.  The key is realizing that there usually is no one way to do something, but when asking here, you will get a collection of ideas to sift through and think about.  And if something doesn't go right, see if you can determine why and how to avoid that in the future.  I would bet that every person here has stories about "messing something up" when they first started.  Good luck!

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Me too - especially as I knew nothing about carpentry and nor did my father. I learnt pretty quickly! And I still have all my fingers and thumbs too.

 

If I can also echo some of the advice - go for plywood. If your layout isn't going to be wider than 600 - 900mm, you can use 10mm thick ply and use pieces 100mm deep to form the edge and end supports and the bracing underneath - worked fine on mine. Go for it young man.

 

I suggest too that you have some layout in mind as this will determine the size of boards you need - don't forget that whatever you design, you may have to stretch over the tracks and such if anything becomes derailed, especially if the layout is against a wall, for example.

 

And welcome to RMweb by the way.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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