The idea is simple: to get a
compact, light and strong diorama.
compact because it
needs to be stored under a bed without problem. In our case, the height
constraint is fixed at 20.5 cm. The other dimensions are ‘standard’, 120
x 60 cm. The roadbed’s height is at 9.5 cm to obtain enough clearance for
scenery items, and is based on commercial dimensions for pine girders.
Light, to allow
easy transport (exhibitions) and facilitate installation. Given it must
spend most of its time under a bed, the set-up and storage operations must
be easy; too much weight would remove much pleasure to the game. To lighten
benchwork as much as possible, the base will be made of 2 cm-foam board (the
one used for isolation and sold in most hardware stores).
frequent assemblies and disassemblies must not hinder the structure
integrity. The frame will be made of 9.5 x 2 cm-pine girders on three sides.
The fourth (back) side will be made of 14 mm-plywood. It will be 19.5 cm
high and will serve as a support base for the backdrop.
It will be a portable diorama,
so its shape will be that of a suitcase. It will have a two-fold cover, one fold
for the backdrop, the other for a sort of ceiling, as well as a support for
halogen lighting. A 14 mm-plywood board, placed on the front of the diorama, can
pivot on hinges to allow to open it. It will also have handles for easy
A little picture is worth more than a long speech. This is the open diorama. It
will have four feet that are not represented on the picture.
This is the closed
diorama (except the handles).
The two parts of the
cover have been folded, the front board has pivoted to close the case and
two plywood boards close the sides. The three boards are secured with
The staging yard
The diorama is wide
enough to build a BA station, obviously allowing for selective
compression, but cannot provide with great operation possibilities. I plan
to add a staging yard, made of two side modules and one back module. The
back module will be the actual staging yard, where all trains will
originate and end, while the side modules will close the loop. It will
look like that:
With this 180 x 110 cm
structure, it will be possible to carry a fairly good number of switching
operations and to vary the show with trains prepared on the staging yard
hidden by the cover used as a backdrop.
With this 180 x 110 cm structure, it will
be possible to carry a fairly good number of switching operations and to
vary the show with trains prepared on the staging yard hidden by the cover
used as a backdrop.
Track Plan This is the moment to present
the track plan:
The station is composed of a through track
(1), a passing siding (2) and a freight siding (3), as well as two engine
tracks with a shed (4), served by three small turntables.
The staging yard is composed of three
tracks to prepare the trains.
The curve radii of the tracks that lead
to staging (6 and 7) are fairly tight (330 mm), especially if compared to
the real curves. They are, alas, indispensable to maintain the overall
size to an acceptable level. To mitigate the negative effect of those
curves, I plan to hide the track behind some trees or structures.
I have said before that the layout needs
to be stored under a bed.
This is done by separating
the modules like this:
Then you just have to fold up the backdrop
to close the station module. The two board that close the station sides
have not been represented, but will be present in reality.
The two side modules, placed side by
side, are closed by a cover and two boards, that have a double function:
secure the two modules and close the volume.
The staging yard module as well will be
closed in a similar way with a cover and two boards.