Sunday, 7 August 2011

Making a stand

With the separate cassette slotting into the end without support the boxfile has to be operated on a flat surface, and a table-top is ideal. Except that:
(1) tables at exhibition venues always seem to bow towards the middle, and as the table will probably be shared with another boxfile that could mean a serious slope to one end! and...
(2) a table is a little low for most people to view.
So it seemed to me that it would be worth making a stand to place the layout on.

And here is the result of the raid on the stocks of offcuts and recycled pieces of wood in the garage! It is simply 6mm MDF on some softwood ends, making a box about 2ft wide, 1ft deep. and 6 inches tall. It provides a flat surface for the layout, by adding packing under one end it can also be levelled, and has an open rear providing somewhere to hide the exhibition paraphernalia. The lamp used to illuminate the layout can be clamped in place too. (You can see here why I thought the gates on the cassette shown in the last post were necessary! At the time of this photo they had not been added).

This view shows the the lamp over the layout, it works well and gives a very good light. The extra 6 inches of height help with the display, without making it harder to operate or more difficult for children (and the disbled) to view. I might even stick some information about the layout on the front.

You may have noticed the backscene. My first attempt was to spray white over a grey background, with paper templates for hills etc being removed with each coat to give a "shadows in the mist" effect. Actually the effect was terrible! Fortunately my parents were visiting so I asked my Mum to bring her paints - she has got quite good at painting backscenes over the years! The cloudy sky works well with the flourescent lamp and the hint of countryside beyond helps set the farm scene.

With the boxfile packed away, and a second boxfile being used to store the buildings, backscene end boards, and stock. the stand can be inverted to provide a carrying box for the lot. There should also be space for the transformer and lamp! From underneath you can see the pencil marks and screw holes from a previous aborted project. OK, so the stand is a bit of an extravagance - being larger than the layout - but using it as a transport box as well as a stand makes it doubly useful, and it isn't extra kit to transport as I'd probably need a box anyway.
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