Looking for the easiest, quickest, way to start building model railways and operating your trains? Pre-made modular model railway baseboards are the ideal solution.
Unlike traditional open-top or large flat baseboards, pre-made modular baseboards are a great option if you desire a small layout, a quick-start way to get into model railways, or a portable layout.
What are they?
Pre-made modular baseboards are typically compact small boards that are precision made and supplied in various modules of different shapes and sizes that can be then secured together to create the layout format you want.
First used for exhibition layouts, the modules come in sizes that can easily stored and moved; typically small enough to fit into a car.
The boards have appropriate support underneath for stability and space for wiring and can be placed on a workbench, tabletop or even decorating table when you want to work on layout or operate your trains.
What are modular baseboards made from?
Many model railways are made from a variety of wood, often what the builder has lying around, but usually plywood. Pre-made modular baseboards are also made of either plywood or MDF. The ones I use, are laser cut for precision with the panels and parts held together with clips and the same glue used for polystyrene. Where multiple boards are connected to form a long run, metal brackets are also used for added strength.
How much do they cost?
The cost for the whole layout and fiddle yard will depend on how big you want it to be and how many modules are needed. Individual modules start from around £10 increasing to £30, £40, and £50 depending on specification, features, and size.
For a typical end-to-end branch-line style OO gauage layout of around 5ft long, you could use two long run units and have the basis of a layout baseboard for around £80. While that’s more expensive than buying sheets of plywood from a DIY store, this will be quicker to put together and require fewer tools and wood cutting.
Where to get modular baseboards
A number of businesses in the UK make and sell premium modular baseboards, including Scale Model Scenery, Grainge & Hodder, White RoseModel Works. Personally, I now use the modular boards from Scale Model Scenery and recommend their range.
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