"portable scenes"

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Fred's Loco Shop Foreman
I'm working on two new scenes on my railroad right now. 1 is a dining car restaurant complete with parking lot, flower s/ greenery, steps and a handicapped ramp. The other is a frac sand and aggregate transloading facility. They are in the design phase right now and will be being built over the next two or three months. I do not think that my current layout will last more than 5 years at the most, less than that if we move soon. It has been a good starter railroad, and a good proving ground. (And you can't beat free!). I would like to build these two scenes on some sort of base so they can be moved to the new layout when the time comes. Does anyone have any experience in stuff like this, or can recommend a good base material to use? I think plywood would be too thick and I'm not sure if styrene is going to be strong enough. I am afraid to lose the scenery, details, and hard work when it comes time to demolish the current layout...


Well-Known Member
Staff member
If it were me, and I wanted to build my new layout "around" my portable scenes, I would use the same materials that I intended using for my layout proper. IE 1/2" ply with foam etc etc etc. That way, your portable scene/s will become apart of the new layout and there will not be any need to remove anything from the portables.

I did a small diorama using 1/2" ply etc and it worked well. Light easy to handle with everything attached to it. All I need to do now is build a layout for IT to have a home in :)

Jim 68cuda

Active Member
Gatorboard. Its like the foam core board you see in art supply stores, but instead of paper on either side of the foam, its a thin layer of wood on either side of the foam. I wish I had used it in places instead of foam core board. Someone told me that some lumber yards or home improvement stores may be able to special order it, but only in 4'x8'sheets. Some hobby vendors carry it in smaller sizes.


Active Member
For the last 15 years or so I've been using 1/2" MDF for my diorama bases. Haven't had any problems. I attach Styrofoam to the base with Silicone. Hopefully if I ever decide to remove it from the base it will come off easy.

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