The Black Diamond Modules are designed the way they are - fairly short and fairly narrow - because I wanted a layout which is not permanently on display but both easy to set up and dismantle in a sensible amount of time. The resulting modular layout elements can indeed be joined to form a temporary layout very easily and fairly quickly.

But what about the time the modules aren't set up and have to be stored?

The individual modules are rather sturdy pieces of woodwork in themselves, so in theory they could just be tucked away, covered in plastic sheeting. However, scenicking does introduce a number of delicate Z Scale items such as trees, buildings, etc., which can be prone to storage damage if not handled with care. And as dust is even more of a problem in Z Scale than with larger modelling scales, the idea of storing modules in some form of enclosed container was a logical way to go.


  Working with the same material (10mm plywood) used on the modules themselves, a simple box was the sturdy and easy to build storage solution.

Having the plywood cut to the required sizes at a DIY store means that assembling a storage box can be done in under an hour without having to run at top speed. The individual pieces of plywood are assembled using plenty of woodscrews, but no glue; a mitre clamp ensures all corners are square and true.

Once assembled, the box provides slightly more room than the actual measurements of the module, which makes lifting out and lowering back a module easy.

The sturdy 10mm plywood protects the contents reliably, the lid is held in place safely by latches. This not only keeps out dust and unwanted cobwebs but also stores the modules in a dry and dark environment, counteracting the fading of the colours of scenic material seen quite often on permanently displayed layouts.

Modules placed in their respective storage boxes can now also be stacked safely. Ultimately, these boxes also allow transport over longer distances without the risk of any major damage occuring; handles on each side facilitate moving the boxes around.

Naturally the box could be painted and embellished, but for the time being the natural wood look seems pleasing enough.






page created 13 March 2020
last updated 24 July 2021