OO/HO African profile model railway in Kenya: 03 - the baseboard

A forum that is covering an African profile OO/HO scale model railway being built in Kenya by John Ashworth
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John Ashworth
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OO/HO African profile model railway in Kenya: 03 - the baseboard

Post by John Ashworth »

For several months now, on and off, I've been expanding the framework for the base board, a boring job since I'm no carpenter and don't particularly enjoy carpentry, but it has to be done. The place is a bit of a mess, with loads of foam polystyrene lying around, which we will eventually use for scenery. But I did manage to get the missus to help a bit with the carpentry.

We've also been improving the general ambience, building a verandah to keep the afternoon sun off the walls of the shipping container in which the model railway is being built, putting a door and window in the side, and a few other small things.
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Re: OO/HO African profile model railway in Kenya: 03 - the baseboard

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More progress on the baseboards. The bottom left will be the river area, and the upper level baseboard on the opposite wall will be the coaling stage and ash pit. The lower level will be an unmanned passing loop.
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Re: OO/HO African profile model railway in Kenya: 03 - the baseboard

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I've now laid the baseboards for the station (farthest from the camera) and the loco depot (in the middle).
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Re: OO/HO African profile model railway in Kenya: 03 - the baseboard

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I've started to construct the framework for the spiral, where the track goes round in a circle and passes underneath itself as it loses altitude. This is an authentic African railway feature - there is one at Mazeras in Kenya.
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Re: OO/HO African profile model railway in Kenya: 03 - the baseboard

Post by John Ashworth »

A few reflections on building the baseboard and its timber frame. Obviously it's very big, bigger than your average private layout. We tried as much as possible to use scrap timber which we had lying around after building our house, to save on cost. In fact some of the best wood came from the roof rack of a 1968 Land Rover which I used to have! But we also purchased timber locally, and that proved to be a problem, as it was very warped and bent. Looking around local timber yards and hardware shops I couldn't see anything better, and even when we built our veranda to shade the side of the model railway room, the timber which the contractor got for us wasn't too straight. Eventually I was visiting an elderly friend in Nairobi who had recently rebuilt an old wooden cottage, and I noticed how straight his timber was, so he alerted me to the fact that you can buy good timber in Nairobi in certain places, although it's expensive. The timber yard he recommended was on the wrong side of town for me, but I then remembered an Indian neighbour who has a hardware shop and yard, also a bit expensive, so I went to him and ordered over 200 foot of 2" x 1" timber. Much to my delight it was straight, properly planed, and of even dimensions. It was a pleasure building the second half of the baseboard with decent timber compared to the first! When I laid the softboard on the timber frame, there was a very nasty bump in the middle of where the station would be, so I had to take that board up again and work on the frame with a plane. Eventually I got the bump down to manageable proportions - African railways are a bit wobbly and bumpy, so hopefully it is prototypical!
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Re: OO/HO African profile model railway in Kenya: 03 - the baseboard

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An update on what the baseboard looks like now.
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