Peter’s layout

“Hey Al . . .

For what it’s worth, here’s a small layout (narrow gauge) I built some years ago to show:

(a) You don’t have to have much space
(b) you don’t have to spent heaps on the hobby to have fun
(c) you don’t have to have a huge skill(s) base

to get something that works – and to enjoy yourself as a modeller.

Another thing most modellers – or those contemplating modelling a working layout – shd think about is building a small diorama to test their skills and ideas.

And, if nothing else, such a diorama can act as a photo ‘stage’ for models. This one is a little over 300mm (1ft) long.

This is a small one I built several years ago . . . I wanted to see how Woodland Scenics rock moulds wd work if I used plaster (very heavy results I would not attempt again on a portable layout!).

I also wanted to see how:

(a) realistic Micro Engineering N scale track could be made to look
(b) local (to my area) ballast could be made to look in such a small scale
(c) teased green carpet fibres could be used to model realistic railside undergrowth (I mixed this with the usual Woodland Scenics materials


(d) my models stacked up under the glare of close-up camera work (some are fully finished, and I was also testing some simple air-brushed weathering techniques).

Some of these models are Micro Trains, some are NSW rolling stock kits, some – like the tank cars – are scrap-box hand-me-downs I bought for a pence at second-hand stalls), and many are fitted with Intermountain trucks. The tank cars are designed to be extra fuel carriers for the locos.

Hope these help.














What a fantastic little project! Thanks to Peter for sending it in.

Just goes to show that you don’t need a lot of space to enjoy making a layout.

Keep ’em coming folks.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.



21 Responses to Peter’s layout

  1. Sheer ART… Well Done.

  2. wow He can be proud of the work he put into this little scene so real . Just a super job. I dont have any scenery on this lates lay out I made other than the buildings and the backdrops in some areas Well I did keep and reuse the “mountain “coal mine from the last 2 layouts . gives me a lot of switch moves and car movement – empties in loads out .

  3. I keep trying, I hope to make rocks look as good(great) as yours. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Beautiful rock races. Some of the most realistic looking that I have ever seen. Great job!.

  5. Oh it is N gauge, I couldn’t tell so that shows just how good it is.

    David and Katie.

  6. Just brilliant, a great job well done!
    You said that you used Woodlands Scenic rock moulds and plaster and wouldn’t do it again because it’s too heavy; those rocks look pretty darn real to me, no wonder its heavy!
    Mike D

  7. nice little diorama…and a great way to enjoy making layout stuff without time space and limited funds..
    the rock faces are priceless…Im ordering my own set of Woodlands Scenic rock moulds today, myself…

  8. Very nice scenery work, your rock formations look real!

  9. Well that makes my rock faces look very mediocre. Well done!

  10. This will help me, on my modular layout I have about the same size modules and have to be creative and this is going to help.

  11. Excellent rock faces, very inspirational

  12. Excellent work Peter especially difficult to achieve in N scale. To reduce the weight of rock moulds you can press Styrofoam fillers into the mould to reduce the volume of plaster. The foam will preserve the structural strength but reduce the weight.

  13. hey Pete you have done a great job.

  14. Excellent rock faces. I’m working on a small mountain, myself, so I’m anxious to see good examples to help my work along. Yours is definitely well-done. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Peter,
    Liked the detail work on the coal cars and the rock formation is fantastic well done!

    thanks Al

  16. great work, do you have a picture of the layout all together with the trains running?thanks, bob,

  17. great rock work. you need to do a how to now . well done. nice job.

  18. I also model n-scale and I’m amazed at the amount of detail you have packed into a one foot space. I’d like to see more/

  19. Well done!!!!

  20. Brilliant job, probably the most realistic ‘n’ gauge scenery I have ever seen. I hope I will be able to be close to it on my layout when I statrt doing the scenery

  21. I was wondering about engie repair, I have three that have quite working does any one out there know of some one who is reliable?
    I have been enjoying all the layouts I am just a beginner 😉

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