There are many challenges when building a model railway baseboard, ranging from choosing the type of wood to use, to selecting the best method of construction. Are you a beginner railway modeller, or simply inexperienced at constructing baseboards? A solution may be getting model railway baseboards ready made. Could this be the best solution for your layout?
Advantages of Ready Made Model Railway Baseboards
Let's take a look at some of the reasons for considering a ready made model railway baseboard. Perhaps the main advantage of purchasing one is the convenience factor - it is certainly more convenient to get a specialist to construct a model railway baseboard, rather than building one yourself. There's no getting away from it, constructing a good quality baseboard is one of the most important parts of building a model railway - and one that is essential to get right to ensure the longevity of the layout. Therefore, readymade model railway baseboards may be a good solution for those with limited baseboard building experience that are looking to get a solid base upon which to construct their model railway.
The construction process also takes time - with getting model railway baseboards ready made, this is all taken care of for you, meaning you can focus on other areas of the build process. Perhaps you prefer to focus on electrics or scenery? A readymade baseboard would be a good choice in this case.
Disadvantages of Ready Made Model Railway Baseboards
There are also some reasons why ready made baseboards may not be suitable for building your next layout. Firstly, the cost is usually one of the main factors - it will almost certainly be cheaper to purchase the woods and build the baseboard yourself. This will, of course, depend on the company you entrust with doing the work. Different baseboard specialists will all have their own pricing, so it's important to look around for the best deal. But always remember that good quality work it often worth paying a little more for - particularly with something as important as the baseboard.
Another potential disadvantage of a readymade baseboard is that it takes away an enjoyable part of the hobby for many people. Most modellers find that building a custom baseboard is a fun part of the process and one which is very satisfying when complete. When opting for a pre-built baseboard, this part of the process will be taken away, so if this is important to you, model railway baseboards that are ready made will not be suitable.
Should You Purchase a Ready Made Baseboard?
Ready made baseboards will usually not be suitable for experienced modellers or for people who simply want to have total control over the build of their layout. For many, the planning and building of the baseboard is a key part of the hobby. By effectively 'outsourcing' the construction of the baseboard, you are taking away an area that could potentially bring a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction, in addition to the development of some useful skills.
However, others will find the convenience of getting model railway baseboards ready made to be an important factor. Perhaps you have limited time or simply prefer to focus on other aspects of the hobby, such as the scenery and electrics. If so, then a ready made baseboard may be for you.
To summarise the pros and cons of purchasing ready made baseboards:
- They provide a convenient way of getting a quality model railway baseboard, however they are usually more expensive than doing it yourself
- Custom builds are more time consuming, so readymade baseboards will save you time. However, this will obviously depend on the delivery and lead times of the supplier used.
- Often, they will not 'fit' a room as well as a custom baseboard
If you decide to go down the route of getting model railway baseboards ready made, it is always best to use a reputable specialist company to ensure the quality is of a high standard. Where possible, get a recommendation from a fellow modeller, or read online reviews of companies that undertake this work, prior to purchasing.