Thursday, May 24, 2007

Scale isn’t what it used to be...

I started making a bogie van: an easy project, I thought. It’s just sides, roof, and two ends right? A big box. No problem. I should have it done in a couple of days…

You know what happened: a week later I've just finished the under frame and bodged on the bogies. When it’s presentable I’ll post pictures, but until then here’s what it’s meant to look like, eventually. Sort of.

The original is about 14 metres long, so naturally I measured it out on paper to see what this looked like. It looked ridiculous. Huge. Like a Gn15 model, which would be fine except I’m not building a Gn15 model. Of course that’s partly because the RHB is a Metre gauge line, and mine is about 750mm, and they are 1:72 scale bogies masquerading under a 1:43.5 scale wagon, but even so, it’d really dwarf the layout. So I’ve compromised. Instead of an accurate 337mm over buffers, the base (I would hesitate to call it a ‘Chassis’) is an inaccurate but somehow better-looking 250mm. I know that will cause some to throw their hands up in horror.

In case anyone is still reading. I’ll add that I’ve been researching baseboards. I’m a contender for the title of “Worst carpenter in the world, ever” so I’ve been looking at alternatives. The layout will have a semi permanent home in our living room, supported in its entirety on an Ikea shelf: the occasional movement being to another shelf for storage. So what’s possible? Some of the nice people at the Gnatterbox have suggested there are a lot of alternatives in the realm of card or paper, or even polystyrene. A promising idea is that I could make a board by sandwiching polystyrene with heavy-duty card. Apparently a baseboard made using this method turned out to be very strong (as in: “you could stand on it”) Sounds like some experimenting is called for.

I’m open to ideas, suggestions, and verbal throwing-up-of-hands-in-horror in the comments below.

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