Anyone who has explored the late Carl Arendt’s micro layouts themed website will probably have happened upon a page or small layout scrapbook featuring layouts in boxes of various sizes, as small as a pencil case box. Model railways in small boxes, around shoe box in size, are quite common in the model railway micro layout community. This page features layouts under 2 square feet (610mm sq) in size, which mostly limits the layouts to be in things like boxfiles and shoe boxes, although very long skinny layouts could also be included if I decide to build any of those.

Boxfile Layout

Constructed in late 2021 over a couple of months (due to other distractions), this layout is 380mm x 264mm x 80mm (1’3″ x 10.5″ x 3.25″) in size with a 1.1 square feet footprint.

The layout is generic in theme, so that I can use any motive power or carriages from any part of the world that will fit on it. Theoretically, that means I can have any of my locomotives from EMD GPs down to Ruston & Hornsby 48DSs, but in reality, for operatintg it only short 2 axle motive power and carriages up to about 35 scale feet in length can be used. So the layout douvbles as a very small operating layout and a diorama to put locomotives and carriages on for photography. As of November 2021 the layout in the boxfile is completed, but I hadn’t yet made a ‘fiddle stick’ so the layout isn’t operational.

The scenery consists of an embankment on one long side of the layout, and a stone retaining wall on the opposite long side, with a low relief building on one short side of the layout and an opening on the other short side where a fiddle yard / stick can be attached.

The scenery landforms are low density polystyrene, cut and shaped to the required shape and then painted and ground cover added. Ground cover a bottom layout of sand with static grass, stones, short trees and bushes of varying types to give a slightly run down / overgrown look to the whole scene.

Blog entries for relating to this page can be found in the Under 2 Square Feet category.


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