- Space saving storage
- Protection from damage and dust.
- Opportunity to focus on detailed modelling giving results within a reasonable time scale.
* Ikea do not currently sell the APA box but it is available on eBay from other suppliers.
Another influence for me undertaking a small layout build is Mikkel's The Farthing Layouts - 'a series of small 00 layouts that show different sections of a GWR junction station'. I like the concept of detailed modelling parts of a large station complex, e.g. a goods shed and siding, with imagination providing the railway landscape between modules.
I had studied Swanage years ago when I scratch built its LSWR water tower for my Misterton Layout (water tower since scrapped) and I always thought that the loco yard in particular would make for an interesting model. Looking at the track plan it needs only 1 metre length for 4mm scale and includes everything from the railway bridge to the back of the engine shed.
1 metre length is longer than the APA box. My first thought was to make by own APA box to the dimensions I needed so I bought a Lidl/Parkside table saw to prepare the timber that I already had to hand. Unfortunately it broke down after only 5 minutes use and I'm having difficulty getting it replaced under manufacturer warranty.
As I researched further I came across Tim Horn's laser cut baseboard modules made from MDF or ply. Nice modules but more interesting was a comment in a forum - 'make your own from foam board' So, that is what I did.
I was concerned that foam board is not robust but I hedged my bets thinking that the mortice and tenon / jigsaw type construction would give it sufficient rigidity. The dimension of the module is 1000mm x 400mm x 400mm. This required 5 sheets of A1 5mm thick foam board, bought from Hobbycraft for only £14. The basic box shown here required a full day to construct. The top is still to make (it is included in the 5 sheets mentioned) and I want to add a black fascia to the front.
Great care is needed because the foam board marks easily and panels will break if roughly handled. But the cutting of the mortises was a dream with only a sharp knife needed. Panels were glued together using PVA. So far I am happy with the rigidity of the module. Later on I'll need to make fiddle yards for either end using the same methodology.
I'll be posting progress on this Blog but I am not setting a timescale to complete. I'll be modelling as and when I feel like it. Postings therefore, may be more sporadic than the previous Project 16.
To Part 2.