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Black Borders

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Hi Guys

Is there any reason why some exhibition layouts have been painted black all around the out sides?

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I've seen plain wood, white, green, brown and black paint used on baseboard edges. Green tends to match the grass of adjacent scenery and I assume that's an attempt to merge the edge with the rest of the layout. I think that brown is quite good - it could almost be a cross-section through the 'earth' of the scenery and does not stand out as much as white or green. White I've only seen once and it did rather stand out. I assume black is used to minimise the intrusion of the edge - and it seems to be used particularly where dark drapes are used to conceal the underside of the layout from public view.
Many just seem to leave the wood on view, sometimes varnished.
John Webb
Interesting question.

Most layouts I've seen tend to use green. St Laurent uses green, but the main reason for this is because the actual green chosen is one of the greens used by the SNCB.

Thinking about it I would tend to agree with Johns reasoning .
What is required from the border is not to distract from the model, so a mat black area works well but so do colours which compliment the scenery on the modelled area. I saw a very nice layout at Crewe Railway Age recently where the baseboard edge was painted a kind of light sandy colour to match the dry western US scenery of the layout.

The choice is entirely up to the modeller though. It's like choosing a frame to go with a picture.
Another reason for painting the outsides of exhibition layouts is scuff damage, any casing will eventually get marked if left plain, if you paint it you can always patch up any damage. Personally I have always used green for my layouts.


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