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Indoors

DocRef: JC21a

The majority of "indoor" layouts are built for exhibition purposes, for the obvious reason that (unless you live in a baronial hall) the size of any layout will be seriously restricted. Having said that, there are small "cameo" layouts which provide their owners with plenty of satisfaction.

As an example of the "exhibition" type of layout, these notes are based upon the (currently under construction....as at March 2018) "Monkton Priors" project to produce an exhibition layout for The Gauge 3 Society.

When building an exhibition layout, there are factors which come into play, which would not get a second thought if building a "fixed" layout.

1) Portability (both in terms of manageable handling and transportation requirements)

2) Ease of stacking for storage

3) Resistance to transit damage

4) Speed and ease of assembly and dismantling

5) Reliability of linkages and joints (whether mechanical or electrical).

6) Design scenery for ease of removal and packing.

Before construction began, there was considerable discussion as to the nature of the base units : Should they be "heavy duty" for rigidity and resilience or lightweight for ease of portability? Criteria under consideration included the volume involved for transportation and the speed and ease of erection and dismantling at exhibition venues. At the end of the day, the conventional, heavily-braced, route was followed but the weight penalty has been an issue when moving the boards.

Add photo of underside of board

The boards are aligned by large diameter dowels/spigots (cut from a broom handle) and held together by large nuts, bolts and washers. Removeable, cross-braced, legs are bolted on but removed during storage and transit.

Add photo of fitted legs

The "landscape" scenery is relatively lightweight and a combination of expanded styrene foam, plus chicken wire and mesh formers, overlaid with "Modroc" plaster bandage. Large items,such as cuttings, are held in situ by dowels, so that they can be quickly fitted and removed. A useful coating which is waterproof and sets rock hard is "Paverpol" : It is so tough, that outdoor sculptures can be made by painting it over linen supported by a wire frame! See Paverpol website for more details.

Civil engineering structures (tunnels, retaining walls, etc.) and platforms, buildings, etc. have been cast in polyurethane resin. Other details, such as water cranes, loading gauges and platform lamps, have been made from a mix of materials and are described here.

Since this is an indoor layout, the scenery does not need to be waterproof but does need to be resilient under conditions of high humidity : You don't want "soggy" sagging scenery with mildew and mushrooms growing over it!

Operation of pointwork and signals can be electrical, without the problems of water ingress and corrosion, which would be a challenge for a garden line.

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Page last modified on February 28, 2018, at 06:35 PM