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Layout sub-structure

David Holman


At exhibitions, I often find myself paying as much attention to how a layout is built, as its scenic 'face'. This is because, despite many layouts and many more shows, I am still trying to find ways of making transportation & setting up simpler. My preferred favourite [not yet built I might add] would be an inflatable layout, which could be taken to shows in a carrier bag, but be able to be blown up to many times its deflated size...

This is probably some way off [would need inflatable stock too!], so over the last three layouts have used the same set up. This is the 'Ulysses' frame, devised by Iain Rice in his Small Layouts book. My version has folding trestles, linked by pairs of longitudinal beams. The latter are around five feet long and are bolted together at their ends, which provides reasonable stability. Angle plates at one end of each beam fit into the slot at the top of the trestle.

The photos show the layout set up in the living room [wife out shopping], so I could fit the lighting posts/pelmets and check the levels of the baseboards on the beams. Thankfully, all went well, so the last couple of days have been spent painting the rear and fascias of each board & am now starting the lettering for the pelmets.





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