Constructing the cabin to house the railway is only part of the challenge, the other is building the layout. I am an impatient sort, wanting everything to be done yesterday, but I can stand in one place for 3 hours just to take a picture, (yes photography is my main hobby), so I have infinite patience.
The first start was a diorama which kept me busy in the autumn evenings, this was cut up into 5 pieces when I moved it into another room … second start. It rapidly became obvious that that was never going to work because I like big and the room was simply not big enough, especially when I was considering including an air field / show ground in the layout.
The question was, what to do and how to do it? the answer proved to be simple. The cabin will not be ready for some time so instead of thinking big, I needed to think small. In fact I needed to think modular. This light bulb moment came while reading a copy of Railway Modeller in which was being discussed exhibition layouts, all of which have to be modular to be transported.
This approach allows me to work on sections of the layout to completion during the evenings or inclement weather, and makes them easier to store until needed. As the frame is made from 3×2 timbers they are sturdy enough to be moved without cracking and eventually bolted together. The addition of legs and we have a complete layout with only the joins to cover.
You may notice from the image above that the scene is part of the first diorama, this has been cut and placed on the frame so that the other end of the original can be fitted on the left, thus rebuilding the back half of the original. The frame at the back needs to be strengthened with cross members, but the front will be left open with the MDF board fitted to the underside of the frame to provide a lower level. I will eventually use the same approach to recover all of the elements from the original diorama thus eliminating waste.