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The Budget OO Gauge Layout Project
Layout-on-a-budget-cover-image

Image courtesy of Thinh H

We’ve been talking about doing this for so long now, we thought we really should get started, so it’s been pushed right to the top of our To Do list! Money is tight for most of the world at the moment, and we’re no different, so there’s not always a lot of cash to spare when it comes to our hobbies. But for many people, including ourselves, having a hobby is a form of therapy! It’s relaxing… It’s escapism… It’s something you love to do. So the premise of “The Budget OO Gauge Layout Project” is to build a cheap model railway layout on as smaller financial budget as possible. That doesn’t mean we don’t have big plans for this though… It mustn’t look cheap in any way, shape or form.

We’ll be attempting to source as larger proportion of the baseboard and modelling materials as possible for as little as possible or indeed free, from Freecycle and Freegle, and by recycling food packaging, cardboard, plastic, using all sorts of odds and ends, with the ultimate aim of producing a realistic looking layout that we’re proud of.

Why are we doing it?

To try and help dispel the myth that Railway & Railroad modelling is an expensive hobby. Ok, you can’t cut every corner and do the whole thing for free, but with a bit of careful planning, thought and ingenuity we reckon it’s possible to create something pretty special and leave as smaller dent on your wallet as possible. We’re also going to be demonstrating how to use some of our Sponsor’s Model Railway Scenery‘s download and print card kits to keep the costs down.

The Master-Plan

Our ultimate aim with the Budget Layout Project is to produce a realistic layout that is worthy of being showcased at model railway shows and club meetings, and possibly even schools around the country, as an example of what can be done with a minimal budget and modest modelling skills. We hope to inspire railway modellers young and old to get stuck in, think a little differently about their layouts and experiment with creating their own buildings, structures and finishing touches.

Design Brief

The design brief for the layout is as follows:

  • The budget is £0, or as close to that as possible. Some money will have to be spent, but the budget must be kept in check at all times.
  • The layout will be in OO scale.
  • It must have at least one working track section
  • As many buildings and features as possible will be either scratchbuilt using recycled materials. Or constructed using download and print kits card kits and texture papers to keep costs to a minimum
  • The layout will use as much recycled materials as possible
  • The layout must be portable to enable it to be taken to exhibitions and shows
  • The layout shall have some working lighting
  • The finished layout shall feature the following:
    • High Street / Town with shops and a pub
    • Residential Area with a block of flats and assorted housing
    • A beach with promenade
    • Station with two platforms
    • An industrial estate
    • Campsite
    • A photographic backscene
  • A record of all costs incurred throughout the project must be publicly displayed on Model Trains Online.

Wish us luck folks. You can follow our progress on here as we’ll be posting regular updates throughout the project. We’ll also look at getting a dedicated Facebook page set up plus you can follow us on Twitter @ModelTrainsGB #TBOOGLP

As always, your comments are very much appreciated. Please also like and share this post with your fellow modellers if you enjoy our ramblings! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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