A laboratory model of a section of the earth-ionosphere has been designed and constructed to provide a means for systematically investigating the effect of ionospheric perturbations on long range VLF paths. This model provides a capability for the investigation of a wide variety of different disturbed ionospheric conditions. For any given configuration, all the pertinent parameters are clearly defined and repeatable. This is in contradistinction to naturally occurring events, for which many parameters that are important for a clear interpretation are either unknown or, at best, poorly known. The design rationale and the construction methods are presented in this paper with initial experimental data obtained from the model for uniform propagation paths. It is shown that these data are in good agreement with theoretical data obtained for the modeled conditions. Data are also presented for propagation paths through a nuclear type ionospheric perturbation. These data exhibit both amplitude loss and phase advance caused by the perturbation.