Firstly, I'm sure you will get one or two scathing comments about the Dapol Pendolino. It doesn't have the best reputation, but hopefully you will have a good one...
There are many theories on what is the best material for a baseboard. Personally, I have used chipboard (because offcuts were available to me where I work). However, for a static layout (I.E. not portable), many people suggest ply-wood for its stability and resistance to damp conditions. Others say that MDF is perfectly acceptable. Actually, the choice of baseboard material matters less if the frame underneath is substantial.
You should also consider what style of construction to use. A flat frame with chipboard/MDF/ply-wood top is simplest, but if you are planning a multi-layered layout with roads and track at different heights, in the long-run an "open-frame" construction is best. In retrospect, I wish I had made that choice on some of my layout.
As for track underlay, there are several options - underlay isn't essencial, but it can help cut-down vibration and therefore noise. Choices include cork (possibly cheepest), foam or the new mastic product which has recently appeared on the scene.(try
for cork underlay - a link I found recently, but haven't yet tried).
As for scatter materials... just about any half-decent model railway shop should carry these. Woodland Scenics produce one of the most popular ranges, but there are others. If you don't have a good local retailer, you could try one of the many excellent online/mailorder retailers. Here are some I have used or had recommended to me :
53a Models is based in Hull and run by a regular contributor in this group.
Models is my local shop in Preston
is a well-established 'net retailer in Liverpool
There are however many, many more. Ebay can be useful. There is always a huge amount of stuff on offer there, but the usual warnings about Ebay apply and many items go for unrealistically prices. I regularly find second-hand items in my local shop at lower prices than Ebay with the added benefit of being able to inspect before I buy.
Most of all, have fun. That's what it's all about.
Thank you for the information from you both. I have heard that people are not very keen on the DAPOL Pendolino but I think it looks good and it suits the era I am modelling.
Anymore information that you may have from time to time would be very gratefully received as I am starting from new a complete novice and need all the help I can.
At the moment I am in the midst of drawing us a design for my layout. This is not an easy thing either. I hope to have a rough outline finished by the end of today and I am considering opening a website with the layout to allow people to help me.
I would agree about the Peco series, but you might like to consider purchasing a book on the subject. They are not too expensive, e.g. The Model Railway Manual: A Step-by-step Guide to Building a Layout by C.J. Freezer published by Patrick Stephens Limited (Haynes Group)
Books like these are available on the internet, just go to an online bookstore such as Amazon, and enter "model railway" or something similar into the search facility, and you should get plenty to choose from. As you are a newcomer I would advise that you avoid Ebay completely for a while. Most people who bid for items on there either have more money than sense, or are trying to drive the prices up to create profits for themselves without realising the same items can be bought from local second-hand shops or swapmeets for a fraction of the price, and with no exorbitant postal charges either.