A very fun N scale

“I found out that you never really finish one of these things.

But there comes a time when you have to put it down.

A few years back I sent some pictures of a small layout in N-scale, you may remember.

I planned to have it finished in a few years.

It looked something like this:

N scale

My circumstances required that I have had to finish early:

N scale

N scale

n scale

N scale

N scale

Summary – Mostly from scratch.

Buildings are BBQ cedar wraps, soaked for a few weeks so grain stands out.

There are nine outhouses (commemorating my weak bladder), eight tiny people, seven waterfalls, six bears, five trash cans, four raccoons, three dogs, two old rusted vehicles, and an old monitor spewing water onto an ore vein.

The mountain is Capitol Peak and the Knife Edge in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. There is also the Crystal Falls Mill near Gunnison, built in 1892.

Several references are made to popular movies. Two examples are on the controller itself, Back to the Future III and Spaceballs.

This was my first attempt at doing a train diorama, and if you like it, please take a bow.

You all have been an inspiration to me.


Maybe a switching game featuring Kennecott Mine in Alaska… If I can stop playing with this one.


A big thanks to ‘W’.

I enjoy any layout that has character – and this one certainly has. Loved the nods to the movies.

And now on to Dangerous Dave who has been feeling festive:

“Hi Al, I finally got my Christmas video put together.

I have used a bit of footage from my layout back in 2016, but also from the layout as it is now.

It should bring a smile to a few and lets face it after the Year we have had, and the near future we need something to cheers us up.

As usual some may think I have been on the Sherry Bottle, but just hope it brings a bit of fun to all with something to laugh at.



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Still updated daily.

A big thanks to Dave and W.

Please do keep ’em coming folks.

And if you want to stop dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

Remember, it’s the start that stops most people.



29 Responses to A very fun N scale

  1. Frank Ludwig says:

    Love the “Space Balls” reference…always good when a loco functions well at Ludicrous Speed.

  2. Allan Clarke says:

    Hi Dave,
    Don’t forget to ‘please put a penny in the old mans hat’.
    Have a wonderful Christmas, and happy new year, from all down under.

  3. Marty says:

    did that German Express train come across the ocean??

  4. Sedat says:

    very good ,so beautiful

  5. Peter Maylott says:

    Many thanks to all of your contributor’s for a wonderful year, and Dave’s Christmas Special really is what it is all about, having fun!

    Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year.

    From the £10 Pom

  6. Peter says:

    Great video Dave, many thanks for the compilation over the years, your layout is great as usual. Have a good Christmas and New Year, well the best we can manage under the circumstances! Also seasons greetings to all you model railway buffs out there, stay safe everyone.

  7. NJ Mark says:

    Thanks to all for sharing. And a special thanks to Al. This year we certainly needed something of a diversion from the situation around the globe and with this blog or whatever it’s called, Al gave us all some inspiration and fun. Merry Christmas and a Happy New (and better) Year. Cheers! NJ Mark

  8. Ken says:

    Merry Christmas 🎄 🎅 to all, to big D and big W I loved the layouts, Big D. I loved the Special Effects of your video, they were GREAT!!!!!!!!

  9. Robert Brady says:

    Merry Christmas To Dangerous Dave And Bravo for the Holiday show.
    Oh Mcgoo you’ve done it again !
    The Critic

  10. george zaky says:

    Imaginative and wonderful layout. You N guys never cease to amaze me.
    Thanks for that. We wish you & your clan the best. Be well & safe.
    Big Al- thanks
    From the Polar Express- ” Funny about trains. It doesnt matter where you’re going. It’s that you get On.” And so it is about our hobby that has a little more meaning this time of year. Get on with it with joy & spirit!!
    Best and be safe
    George from LI,NY

  11. Doug Lasater says:

    What fun. You did an incredible job on this. My grandsons would go crazy about your set.

  12. John Duryea says:

    Thank You Dave for this Christmas video it was very nice and hope you have a good one also.

  13. Erick says:

    Pretty neat looking. Keep up the good work.

  14. Robert Wilkinson says:

    Be sure to shout out a BIG thanks from Bob Wilkinson in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. That was not only a great layout, but what a VIDEO!!!
    Thanks so much for re-kindling my childhood love of trains!!! God Bless you and make your Christmastide be just as wonderful as the one wished for ALL of us!
    Bob Wilkinson

  15. Frank Vazquez says:

    Very nice, I really liked the part with Tony’s Bar from the music to the lights and special effects that really helped convey the mood and atmosphere of a club.

    Just watching the trains roll in the more serene moments was tranquilizing.

    Sadly my older brother passed away November 28, 2020 at 7:22 PM. He would have enjoyed this video as he liked Christmas and Star Trek and to see people happy and helping each other. It was unexpected and it’s hard for me to get over the idea that I can’t watch TV or movies or listen to music or do anything with him or just talk to him anymore. I feel like by engaging in things we liked, hobbies and activities of our past, that he would like being able to see me having fun from his place in the clouds.

    Merry Christmas to Dave and all you people who appreciate model railroading.

  16. Greg Schaefer says:

    And if any of you are ever in Chicago, the botanic society has a G scale railroad. Outside in the better weather, inside for Christmas. All of the scenery is made from natural items, just like W. Buildings and bridges are all made from scratch using sticks and twigs and varnish. W, thank you for sharing your wonderful work. Wishing you the best.

  17. Overwhelmed today…
    First the N-Gauge layout…
    Awesome, so much to love.
    The “Steampunk” fascia and controller are just genius work. Very fun.
    Reading the list of details in “Twelve Days of Christmas” order, I was surprised that the last was not “A partridge in a pear tree” —
    As one familiar with Malakoff Diggings… The monitor is seldom modeled when mining scenes are modeled.
    And now to “Dangerous Dave”
    Great video (as they all are). A bit of “anti-“Social Distancing” going on at Tony’s? The “Nymph du Pave” out front suggests that might be the case.
    Now I deserve that load of coal destined for 2020 (It has been a very bad year.) On the other hand, my little 1″ scale Atlantic will be running soon and its firebox would love a little Welsh coal. On that subject, How come on my side of the pond we use 7.5 inch track gauge (5′ broad gauge in 1.5 inch scale) while you use a more appropriate 7.25 inch gauge (closer to scale but 7.125 would be closer yet.)? On the other hand, for 1 inch scale, you use 5 inch gauge (5 food broad gauge) while we use 4.75 inch gauge which is very close to scale?
    In 1 inch scale, 4.75 inches is equal to 4 foot 9 inches… Very close to the proper 4 foot 8 and 1/2 inches that is standard track gauge.

  18. dave says:

    A bit of steampunk in the N scale ! I have been to the jingle rails G scale in Indy and another fun vid from dave merry Christmas to every body .

  19. Dave, you are an inspiration. So much to like and smile about. can’t thank you enough.

  20. mike vassar says:

    Love the layout.

  21. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome Christmas video Dave, thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas to every one.

  22. Mike Balog says:

    The N Scale Layout was Imaginative. Laughing at the Speed Points on the Controller, Direct Reference to the “Space Balls” Movie… Great Video Christmas Tour of your Layout Dangerous Dave… Thanks for all your Model RR Tips and Videos you have shared with the Rest of the Model Railroad World too. Wishing all of you Across the Pond, a Very Blessed Merry Christmas and a Maskless Happy New Year as Well… From, Mike in New Hampshire, U.S.A. 12.19.2020.

  23. Peter Gallagher says:

    Dangerous Dave has certainly earned his nickname. He never ceases to amaze with his layout. I wish I could muster his ability and patience to do something like that. But alas, time has probably passed me by. Merry Christmas, everyone, and happy railroading!

  24. Old Ben says:

    You make us laugh and cry at the same time. You are the perfect model railroad
    MC. Your work is beautiful and your yard is unbelievable . You have talent beyond
    most peoples ability. Thanks for sharing and making us enjoy the hobby beyond words

  25. Mark Houck says:

    Thanks for sharing great job, the steam is great and give me ideas

  26. I also love the steampunk vibe. Very cool!

  27. Mike Matejka says:

    love that futuristic control panel — great things in a small space with N scale!

  28. Great layout great job on the controller funny stuff!!!

  29. john thorogood says:

    In “W’s” picture #5 reminds me of the grotto on the Hawaiian island of Kawai.
    That’s the only one you can get to by small water craft.

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