Sunday, April 16, 2017

Protecting the details

Yesterday was the last day of our 8 day long exhibit at the Hiller Aviation Museum.   Everything worked well including the passing siding on the Musashi-Koyama modules after the rework I had done on the controls.

Sometimes the space provided for our layouts is too small to set up rope barriers.  Almost all adult visitors know not to touch anything on the layout but it's another story with small kids.  Up to now I had held back on the details I want to have near the front edge of the Musashi-Koyama module set.  Prior to this exhibit I decided it was time to have some sort of clear screen in front of the modules.

On an old home layout I had made some shields from clear plastic material to keep my cats off the layout and thought it would be a good solution for this.

I have had some success making small control panels from plastic sheet but for these I decided to have them made for by TAP Plastics.   One shield is 36 inches wide and is mounted to the module on the left and the other shield is 42.75 inches wide and is attach to the middle module and to the small extension.  Both are 9 inches tall.

I should have had the shields made just a bit smaller than the width of the modules.  I had not considered that the front of Paul's adjoining modules might not be flush with mine.  So my shields ended up being just slightly too wide.

We got things to fit by overlapping the shields where they meet in the middle.  I can remove the small amount of material with my belt sander and be ready for the next time with set up.

Each shield is attached with a pair of  knurled head thumb screws.  Holes were drilled on the front frame of the modules and tee nuts were installed from the inside.

Once installed, the shields worked out great.  This was a very busy 8 day show and nothing was taken, moved, or touched on the modules.


  1. Hi Brad shows can be an issue with touching. We stopped putting our barriers around our very large N Trak module (when we had them)and didn't have an issue. When we displayed TRC we never did have barriers for that and only lost one item so I guess we were lucky.
    8 days boy that's a long time to be at a show!

    1. Hi Rod,

      Yes, 8 days is a long time to have a portable layout setup. The Ntrak group has several members who live close to this venue and almost all of us are retired now. We also rotated as during the week days we did not need a full crew.

  2. Retirement what a lovely word. I retired almost 15 years ago at age 59 and have enjoyed every minute. Now patiently waiting for our new home to be completed (hopefully mid year)so I can start a small shelf layout. Cheers Brad.