Covid brings about a new man-cave

new log cabinTime for a new home… Again….

Long time readers will know that early last year (2020) we moved home. And included in this was a move of base for my model making and model railway to the spare room and loft of our new home.

Unfortunately reality, in the form of Covid, came knocking and I and my wife — like many others — ended up working from home.

And while the planned arrangement of the new house initially worked well it became apparent in the months following that more dedicated home-office space was needed. (The room plan for the new house was based on one of us working at home at a time. With both of us working at home full-time additional space needed to be found).

As a result the spare room that I hoped to use as a man-cave was repurposed as an additional home-office and I gave up on the loft/spare room plan and invested in a garden cabin / studio.

I paid for a lovely log cabin from Denmark in March and after a 3 month delay (due to restrictions caused by Covid) it’s finally arrived and been built by the installers, complete with insulation and extra security for the door and window.

Along with basic build, it’s also been fitted with 40AMP power supply, dedicated fuse box and isolating switch — all within the cabin — to be safe and allow for quick shutoff if needed. This 40AMP supply is on a new fused ring main which runs from house via heavy duty shielded cable.  (A 40AMP is well over the top but gives me plugs for all the various tools, 3D printers and other devices I’ll have in, plus lighting, heating and still have room for future expansion if wanted).

For creature comforts it also carpeted and has a mini fridge and heaters so its usable all year round.

For additional security there’s also an alarm and CCTV with sound and movement sensors hooked up to my phone for alerts and remote server for video recording. Ironically, nothing of value is kept in the cabin or that warrants the measures in place but I have a thing about security and protecting my property).

It’s the best and most comfortable workspace and finally gives me a place where I have everything I need to hand and I’m really looking forward to working in it and the improvement it’ll bring to my model making once I’ve sorted out the internal layout.

I’m still trying out various arrangements for the the layout and storage options.

The current arrangement of the new man-cave. Time will tell if this works..

My current layout is to have my main workspace in one corner — facing the window for extra light as seen above, with model railways and models behind me so I can swivel around to work on them.

A desk opposite will house the spray booth and larger electrical devices while consumables — static grasses, scatter, etc — will be stored under the desks and on shelving.

All the paints and tools will be above and around my principal work space as seen here although I’m yet to settle on their final positioning.

How to organise the paints is still presenting a challenge.

I was going to do it by colour but what about type (acrylic, enamel, brush or airbrush etc) and what happens with special colours, powders and the like?

I’d love to hear how you order your paints, any suggestions are welcome in a comment below.


Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

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