Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Secrets of the Railway Cupboard

So, as revealed in Sunday's post, the planned railway room was knocked on the head by a combination of cost and common sense.  I'll admit there followed some dark days full of contemplation, soul searching, potential sales lists and listening to to The Smiths... (OK, some of that might not be true, I certainly didn't manage to find the Smiths CD).  Perhaps I really felt that something had to change or give in modelling terms in order to carry on?

Whilst I'm still working on how to provide more space for layout building in the future, I at least have allocated work space (and a grand plan to use it) and I still have my storage facility.  Enter the railway cupboard (though not literally as you are likely to stub your toe!).  Our house is blessed with two walk-in wardrobes/closets and the one in the main bedroom has been the railway cupboard for many years.  Over that time random shelves have been added and I'd got it pretty much to suit my needs.  However, most of the paint and some of the plaster were falling off the wall and the gloss woodwork was going a sour cream shade.  So bad in fact, that I didn't take a 'before' picture to go with this 'after' one:

Refurbished Railway Cupboard.
As a summary of work completed, I removed a false ceiling at door frame height and all but one shelf; the middle rear shelf is original, those above and below are copies in the original architrave support/floorboard plank style; side shelves are pine on recycled brackets; the ceiling was papered (over the cracks!) and painted; the walls have been patch plastered, filled, base-coated and emulsioned; skirting and shelves primed and painted in water based satin (for speed) and the door frame primed and glossed. To finish off the floor has been covered with hardboard followed by self-adhesive vinyl planks.  Despite an injection of capital from the 'modelling fund' to buy some timber and the flooring, I've made as much use of left overs and recycled material and left over paint as I can to keep costs down.  Almost looks to good to put anything in there!

But I did....

Rather full!
To be honest there is more in there than usual, the contents of two stacking crates and everything to the left hand side on the floor is usually on or under the workbench, and will hopefully be out there again soon.  In usual form 'Shifting Sands' would sit on the left in it's storage box, taking up about 28" x 11".  I have made careful provision for storage of larger items in the refurbished cupboard, the lower shelf is over 4' from the floor, allowing me to store timber and perhaps one day a 4' long baseboard end-on.  Unfortunately there's a long way to go before we get to that stage, and there still might not be enough floor space to make it work.

So one thing that did occur to me was whether 'Shifting Samds' could be rebuilt in a format that took up less storage floorspace?  This would actually be a return to the very early days of the design when the idea was that almost everything over fence/figure height would be removable for storage and the board stored in under 6" depth.  I produced another of my composite doodles to see how it might look with a few of the bulkier buildings removed:

A less visually bulky, reduced height 'Shifting Sands'
The ice cream van makes another appearance (I do actually have the model in store), along with a camper van, also from Oxford Diecast.  The removeable backscene would be reduced in height to the line just visible sketched behind the vehicles.  A new, lighter weight, storage box would be made to complete the transformation.  Something does appeal to me about the simplicity of this arrangement, but echoing back to my previous posting, would it again be tinkering and diluting a proven concept?

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see I'm not the only one with a railway cupboard...though mine has a shelf where the layout is being displayed/operated as well! Puts a limit on the dimensions (and you have to make sure it can be removed once built as well!) but forces you to be creative!