Association of


Railway Modellers

Reports prior to October 2022 can be found here.

Below are the most recent reports.

Meeting on Wednesday, 1st February, 2023


This evening there were to be two talks by current members, and either in anticipation of this, or in relief at the meetings returning to their usual Wednesday evenings, a record number of twenty-eight members attended.

First up was:-


Baseboards my Doctor Ordered!   by Andy Butler


The title of Andy’s talk; his reference to a very sturdily built O gauge layout on the exhibition circuit nicknamed ‘Hernia Bay’; and his statement that he is currently awaiting his third hernia operation, all led us to expect a discussion of baseboard construction.  Nor were we disappointed; but before that we were treated to a stimulating bonus as Andy described his railway epiphany aged five on a visit to Liverpool Street station, and his subsequent lifelong interest in it.  He gave a brief history of the station together with that of adjacent Broad Street, showing why it would make a particularly interesting model.   Some, if not all, of us were beginning to wonder at Andy’s ambition, not to say bravery, in attempting such a huge project.  With his background in Art and Design, Andy likes to make models and mock-ups as a first step in any scheme, and he soon realised that his layout in OO gauge would measure an impressive 9 metres by 4 metres.  Only marginally deterred, he decided that with some selective compression and by reproducing just the western ‘half’ of the station, platforms 1 to 10, with the road to the taxi rank as a natural scenic break, he could manage with a baseboard width of 1 metre.  He showed a picture of a beautiful miniature maquette he made to test the feasibility of his plan, and then more pictures of the full size mock-up to which he proceeded.  (This was in itself a piece of modelling to which most of us would be happy to aspire.)


This led naturally to the expected baseboard discussion.  With a width of 1 metre and the need to keep baseboard joins both clear of complicated point work, and as far as possible concealed by natural breaks such as over-bridges, baseboards made in traditional ways would have called for the strength of Popeye or Desperate Dan to manoeuvre.   Andy’s solution has been to experiment with foamboard.  Rather than the 5mm board that he was already using in his mock-up, he has found 10mm board to be both extremely light and, properly braced, strong and rigid.  He showed us a large test sample baseboard that he had made, and explained his construction method, which uses half-jointed cross-members cut accurately by using an ingenious paper guide.  This sample clearly proved that Andy has come up with an excellent solution.  And we can only hope so, because his layout is still ambitious and brave at a full length of 6 metres plus a fiddle yard extending into the kitchen! Go, Andy!


Next was:-


Farming : A Modelling Perspective    by Scott Stephenson


Andy Butler had stated early in his talk that he was basically an analogue man, and the wisdom of this was promptly emphasised by the digital age showing its downside, not for the first time, when two pieces of electronic apparatus refused to talk to each other.  Sadly, and to his frustration as well as ours, this meant that none of the photographs that Scott had prepared to illustrate his talk would be viewable, so it was decide that the talk should be postponed until the June meeting.


The evening therefore continued instead for some time with general discussions.


Peter Cox