Mike’s New N scale

“Hi Al,

Just completed a small N-Scale project over the holidays. 2X4 platform, a simple oval, paper houses, foam mountains. It’s my first N-Scale so nothing fancy just getting my feet wet on this one.









And Cameron’s still beavering away (here’s his last post):

“Dear Al,

Yet another instalment.

With the three main building out of the way I moved onto the other minor structures. It may seem counter intuitive to build all the buildings and structures ahead of the scenery but on a small layout I find it helpful. This way I can experiment with subtle changes to the locations of the structures before they are fixed in place. Even on a layout like this, where I am essentially copying a real location, there is still a bit of artistic licence.

The additional structures include a stock pen, power pole, loading guage, fences and trees. The stock pen is plastic but the other elements are largely brass and metal. I found with my last layout is that scenic items like, trees and posts tend to get knocked around a bit as you are using the layout. By soldering these out of metal I can make sure they robust enough to handle my children’s enthusiasm.

The trees are made using wire from electrical cable twisted to form the truck and branches. I then take a small length of hemp or brown string and chop it up into small fibres only 3-4mm long. I brush a bit of white glue onto the very ends of the branches and scatter the fibres on top. The visible parts of the truck are then coated with a mixture of plaster and white glue to hide the twisted wire. This assemblage is then sprayed with some grey/brown paint. Once dry I spray the tree with some contact cement (Quick Grip is the product in Australia) and sprinkle on some fine Woodland Scenics ground turf. You can repeat the last process until you get the desired effect. Believe it or not it is easier than it sounds and best of all is a very cheap alternative to ready made trees.

The wire boundary fence is made from square brass stock with thin wire soldered onto the uprights.








Fantastic stuff from Cameron and Mike. Of course, I’m biased, but I loved seeing the printout scenery in Mike’s layout.

If you’d like to share any tips or pics (or whatever) please just hit reply to any of my mails. If you’re attaching pics, probably best not to send more than 3 pics per mail, otherwise they get lost in cyberspace. But send as many mails as you like to get them over…

That’s all this time folks, please do keep ’em coming. And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if it’s been a decade or two since you last laid some track.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Some great deals at this time of the year.

28 Responses to Mike’s New N scale

  1. Great work and layout.

  2. I have N Scale, your layout is beautiful.

  3. Mike if that is getting your feet wet it’s time to plunge in as your first attempt is great.

    Eric (Leeds) UK

  4. Great layouts

  5. That’s a terrific little N scale start Mike. . And Cameron, that last picture with the track ending in the grass with a great backdrop, tree and end of track signal is really realistic, wow!!
    Both enties very inspiring today.
    Dick Chapple Sr
    Hardin Montana USA

  6. Beautiful layout. Really detailed for a first try. I’ve ben into nscale since the late 1990’s. I don’t have a layout now, but have one on the drawing board.
    Great work!

  7. What size deck did you use

  8. Good stuff. “N” scale were always my favorite.

  9. Mike also is quite a photographer.

    Quite an impressive first-time effort in N scale.

  10. Nice layout Mike.

  11. Yooo Mike! Getting your feet wet? I think your wading boots are filled to the top with water and you are about to go under! Your supposed
    “little platform ” runs circles around anything I made since 1964!
    I really like the attention to detail on your layout! I have built platforms
    From GSCALE to ZScale and none of MY attempts are or were any as good as yours!

  12. Great tips, but explain how the telephone pole was made as well as the telltale and switch throws.

  13. nice job. great start and keep on trainin

  14. If this is a quick layout, I cannot wait to see a full blown layout. Amazing workmanship.

  15. A very smart layout Mike.
    Great attention to detail.

  16. Really fabulous- thanks for sharing! I’m becoming envious of the smaller scales, you can accomplish so much so quickly. I’ve been working on my outdoor G scale layout for almost 4 years and still have yet to lay the first piece of track, but i’m in too deep now to change direction 🙂 Have fun, Cary in Kentcuky

  17. This is a great layout. I am just beginning my N scale layout on a 3′ X 4′ board. I have Kato track for this layout but I need a beginning. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Best Wishes,

  18. Some people just have a natural talent to be able to put what they see on a layout and make it look good. Nice layout.

  19. Excellent post and work..
    The printout scenery is very effective on the N scale layout…
    Cameron’s model work is impeccable and his pace is amazing!
    John from California

  20. Very well done Mark! I applaud your remarkable talent and attention to detail. Please continue on with your remarkable gift!

  21. Mark,
    Great layout. Your talent and attention given to the layout is amazing.

  22. great pictures.very much like the layout. nice and simple in design. great scenery. great craftmenship all round.

  23. great job, inspiring! Can we see a picture of the track layout?
    PH Basralian
    Houston Tx

  24. Well done Mike with your layout in such a short time also …and Cameron you sure make a good job with you building scenics …Dangerous Dave

  25. Well done Mike

  26. Thank you all for the kind words. I really enjoyed working in N-Scale. I’m already planning the next layout.

  27. Love all the posts, all the incredible ideas and all the videos. I wish we could get more o gauge, o scale. I know, small potatoes.

  28. Nicely done both. Looks like 1:1 scale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *