“Here’s a link to a YouTube video of the N scale railroad I built for my grandson.
I’ve included a few pics of the control board wiring layout to add to Barry’s submission, nice work Barry!
“I like your foam landscape mountain for a base ideas, but I am old school I guess. I use metal screen wire, which I tack down on all ends w/thumb tacks, then attach it permantly with liquid nails pressed thru the screen mesh. You can crumple it to make realistic landscape terrains. Finally a coat of joint compound to stiffen it all up. A second coating of joint compund with saw dust, crumbles of sheetrock or just textured plain looks realistic, it is also light and can span several inches.
For vertical rock right of way cuts I use stacked broken sheetrock (1 to 2 inches wide) liquid nailed together and coated with heavy latex paint. I also stick in sheetrock crumbles for added detail. Using a nail to make vertical blast holes adds more realism to the rock face.
I will try some foam though.
“Maybe not my best tip, but it has saved me a lot money. I use those inexpensive acrylic paints, such as Apple Barrel and Cerama Coat, that are sold at Wal Mart, Hobby Lobby and elsewhere. What is nice is they provide a flat finish (gloss is available in some colors) that one want’s for model railroads. They are water based and you can thin them according to your tastes to not hide detail. You can add a small drop of dish soap to allow it to flow better, though I normally do not. It may take a few coats if really thin. They can be applied by brush or by air brush. Clean up is easy and they are not destructive to plastics. There is also a huge variety of colors to choose from. Water based paints take a bit longer to dry but the results are well worth it.
I am continually impressed with many of the tips, innovative and creativie ideas, and videos that readers send in to you. It’s been a couple of months since my last contact with or submission to you though I am frequently doing some sort of project on my layout.
Recently, with the holidays rolling around, I thought I might try something quick and simple to add a temporary holiday touch to my N scale layout. I chose to use ‘oversized’ model pine trees (O scale) to simulate tall 50 foot trees to create an eye-catching effect (sort of like the annual giant Christmas tree erected in Rockefeller Center here in New York City). So I simply sprinkled very fine multi-colored glitter (to simulate light bulbs) on the trees and secured it to the trees with hairspray. The hairspray was chosen because of its properties: it’s not sticky to the touch and dries almost immediately upon contact; and it does not change the surface properties of either the glitter or the tree branches — i.e., the glitter remains shiny while the tree keeps it flat, natural finish. I then simply stuck the trees into my (foam insulation-based) terrain.
Unrelated to the photos, I am also sending a link to one of the recent videos I did the couple of months. I hope you and the readers might like to see it. It’s a look at the Empire Builder passenger train running on my N scale layout. It is my attempt to capture some the historical evolution of the train from the 1950s to more modern times.