I managed to spend some time in the train room this past few days. I went to my favourite hardware outlet the other day to pick up some more plywood only to discover a big hole where only a few weeks ago there had been large stack of my favourite 12mm marine ply. Never being daunted I decided that the plan would shift and I’d put some work into the backdrop I started prior to the arrival of my guests a couple of weeks ago.

I started by adding some stiffening joists to the benchwork and cut and screwed in some cross beams from 9mm play to the lower parts of the legs. This had an amazing effect on the stability of the whole section of benchwork. I won’t claim I can climb on it but it is certainly not going anywhere soon. This donkey work required me to pull the sections apart but once I’d reassembled the frames I moved onto installing the framework for the 3mm MDF backdrop I plan running along the rear of this part of the layout.

The framework for the MDF backdrop is very simple: basically it’s a post and rail fence running along the back of the ladder frames. The uprights are off-cuts from 1×3 and 1×4 pine, some of which has been sitting around for at least 10 years waiting to be used. you can tell it’s old wood by how dark it is compared to the new timber I made the base frames from. This older timber has been recycled from at least one other layout, the first version of Morpeth I ever built in Armidale starting around 2003.

Again my handy, dandy laser level proved its worth although the battery did give out and so I was reduced to using a small spirit level for a time. However in general I’m very pleased with the progress of this work session and the next step is the installation of the backdrop MDF which will have curved corners and should really start to define the modelling area. I can anticipate the need for a trip to the extruded foam outlet I get my landscaping foam from soon.

How about a trip to Eagle Farm Phil and Peter? 🙂


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