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pasting table layouts are not new.......Chris Ellis did a series of articles inthe old, defunct''Scale Model Trains' mag......a shunting layout based on A.R.Walkley's pre war design....fitted within a paste table.....article called ''layout in a paste table!!''

Paste tables are a tad flimsy, however, they make a good lightweight ''instant'' surface.....

the Chris Ellis set-up actually turned the table inside -out........so that when folded, the layout was contained inside...re-movable buildings, etc....

the hinges were reversed, and I believe he inserted an extra layer of wood round the perimeter, not for strength, but to increase the height available when folded!

if using two tables, bolt together with carriage bolts and butterfly nuts for quick dismantling.......like I said..instant, and at around a fiver each, cheap.

what about a B&Q smooth-faced interior door?

but a couple of their own-brand workmates [I bought two at a tenner each] to stand it on.......all breaks down to easily-stored sections??

and....for a surface which can be affixed to the wood, what about an off-cut of building insulation sheet....the stuff with the foil on the outside...the foam is quite rigid enough to make a board on its own.......
 

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the post from frame69 reminds me of back in the 1960's as a young muddler, on advice from RM, I obtained a large pack of cork bark, for rock faces....considered state-of-the-art in those days!

used it on my first real model railway...a shelfer, narrow gauge OOn3, Triang TT track, jinty / airfix pug cross, and wagon underframes.........I RECENTLY DISCOVERED A CONVERTED COACH BODY I USED!.....................................mentioned layout before in these pages....the coach was an HO german old 4 wheeler....possibly Piko or similar, which were very cheap in those days....stripped of its running gear and fitted with a triang underframe.

most of the layout was recycled into something else...the cork was used on several subsequent TT layouts, and I still have a piece...

Incidentally, has anyone noticed those cheapo toy train packs for sale in seaside shops, etc?

some have german-type 4 wheel coaches in?

these make quite presentable freelance narrow gauge coaches in one's chosen scale gauge combo.....usually for sale around a coupla quids....
 

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depends what they're being used for......?

not a lot of weight involved, I suspect......and a board is only flimsy if someone sits on it.

As long as the base actually holds the track and scenery together, ie doesn't flex, [which a paste table doesn't], then it really doesn't matter what it's made of......given criteria for pin-holding, weight, sound absorbtion, etc.

Really, baseboards only have to be strong if they are going to take some abuse, ie get knocked about.

as for the weight they have to carry?

well, everybody on here seems to be commenting on how light these RTR locos are getting?

Paste tables themselves do take a lot of abuse, ie bashing with a big wet brush, etc....yet seem to remain fairly STABLE...which is I think what might be the nub of the matter here??

I WOULD advise that , if considering a paste table [as opposed to a box file, for example], then chose one whose top is made from plywood rather than hardboard??

[personally, I've stripped my old ply paste table...I never intend decorating again.....and will use the ply to ''sheath'' underneath, some 25mm foam insulation from Jewsons...in itself quite rigid, yet oh so light???

I shall be building only a series of smallish planks...shelf layouts, trying out various scales and gauges , even prototypes, for variety.....plus, easy to store and move when I shift abode...[ or the family have to clear out my possessions once I kark it.]
 

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sounds ok...the important thing about a baseboard, is to prevent sagging or movement. The track needs a fairly stable base to sit on....otherwisedistortion can occur[on a smal level, of course] which can result in unreliability of running.

scenery doesn't need such a supportive base, though....

bracing was once mooted as being needed at 1 foot intervals...if the ply is rigid enough, this can be stretched a bit......what you are after is a framework like an egg box, topped with your chosen surface.
that is basically the 'conventional' approach....a dozen ''how to'' books offer this idea.....

however, those of experience often look for alternatives...sometimes conventional baseboard-building can be intimidating for beginners...sometimes it's just too heavy or inconvenient....sometimes folk suggest ideas in order to promote discussion, or simply to get others started with modelling...ideas and stimulation?
 
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