N scale module: Jim’s

Jim’s been busy on his N scale module for his model railroad club:

“Alastair attached are photos of the 2 6foot modules that myself and another member of our model Railroad Club are building.

Still needs more detailing but we do have N Scale trains running.

Our club layout has always been HO so members of our club running N scale were not able to run our trains with these new modules we will be able to and club members can cross these modules with there trains on the upper level.

I have sent a total of 9 photos 3 on this email and 2 more with 3 each

Moose Jaw, SK. Canada”

N scale 6 foot club module

N scale 6 foot club module

N scale club module at night

N scale module at night

n scale module night scene

n scale module sidings

n scale town module

n scale town

n scale tunnel

N scale modules for a HO club – love it!

Now on to Eytan:

“Hi Al,

I m a newcomer to that game, When I lived in London in the 60-70th, I bought from Hamleys a Fleishmann set.

For 30 years it was laying in an old suitcase.

Cov-19 made me do work at home and I found the suitcase,,,, that was 10 months ago.

I started reading on the internet everything about layouts and how to start.

Your site is my daily teacher and master.

I table is 330cm u shape and 150 deep (on both sides and 80 cm at the centre).

I used only wood from old pallets. I have started building 8×4 feet, but very soon realised that I would not be able to reach all points on the table.

Then I decided to change it to U shape.

not knowing/having a computer programme, I started with my own planning.

I m enclosing my layout without and scenery.

I m sending a few photos.

Many thanks indeed for all I have learned from you

Regards Eytan from Israel”

n scale track work

n scale track work

n scale track work

A huge thanks to Jim and Eytan.

I really do enjoy reading about how you all fell back into the hobby, and seeing the pics of your endevours make it even more special.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you pick the hobby back up, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

N scale 2×3: Mike’s

Mike’s been busy on his N scale 2×3:

“Greetings Alistair,

I’ve been an armchair modeler and avid reader of your blog for 3 or 4 years, and finally decided to “make a start”, as is so often encouraged by you and your contributors.

I’ve got an idea for an HO gauge project in a big spare room, but being a sort of “learning by doing” guy I built this diorama to just see how it would go.

I figure I would make plenty of mistakes and better to do it on a small scale.

I bought this little used N scale set on Ebay for short money and added some extra track and a switch, went to the lumberyard for foam board and adhesive and just went after it. What a blast!

I read lots of tips and advice before, but not until I really got my hands into it did it sink in: My #1 lesson?

Make absolutely sure you have your track work right before you go any further. If the train doesn’t run right it isn’t much fun.

The other thing I learned is that I, personally, really like the landscape part of the hobby and not so much the technical and wiring part.

I envision my bigger layout being long runs and great scenery, with only enough sidings and switching to make it interesting. And I want to learn more about painting clouds and sky. The concept of dead rail layouts using a battery powered r/c locomotive bears further study…

It still needs some finishing touches- I have some 3d printed livestock, wild animals, figures, wagons, etc. ordered to add some interest.

But anyway, here’s a quick video of Dry Creek Junction.

The narrative: In about 1885 some forward thinking and influential ranchers near Rawlins, Wyoming persuaded the Union Pacific railroad to put a spur line into the little town of Dry Creek.

The intention was to start breeding Hereford Cattle which could be shipped via rail car to the Eastern markets via the recently opened line to Kansas City.

The little town of Dry Creek, which was before just a single dry goods store and saloon for local ranchers soon became a gathering and loading place for this expanding cattle market and grew to include a hotel for travelers and cattle buyers, a restaurant and a much bigger saloon and brothel for cowhands and drivers, The railroad was bringing commerce and prosperity.

Note: The cattle sorting and loading facilities are yet to be constructed- its that big open space near the headquarters of the old Dry Creek Ranch.

A layout is a process, right? Still sorting out how to build an authentic period buck and rail fence and corral in N scale. My prototypes in round toothpicks don’t cut it! But what a lot of fun figuring it out. I’d be open to any good fence advice!


Griffin, Indiana and Dubois, Wyoming.”

n scale 2x3 baseboard

n scale 2x3 baseboard with mountain

N scale 2x3 baseboard with mountain

n scale 2x3 mountain scene

n scale 2x3

n scale 2x3 steam engine

N scale 2x3

Love what Mike has done with his N scale 2×3.

He’s made a start and that’s what it’s all about. Can’t wait to see his HO scale!

If you fancy following Mike’s lead, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

Model railroad backdrop – Rob’s

Rob’s been busy getting his model railroad backdrop just right:

“Hi Al,

I created a mural for the back of my layout earlier on in the build of my Colorado and North Western.

But I was not happy with it and had the intention to create or improve it and then have it reprinted.

I worked on the new version of the model railroad backdrop/backscene off and on for a number of weeks. When I arrived at what I thought would be a better picture, I had it printed.

It really turned out well and this time I am very happy with it. I did have to adjust it slightly after I got it back from the printer and the method I used is demonstrated in the video.

I am including a real photo of Longs Peak which figures prominently on my backdrop. I though some folks would enjoy seeing what It really looks like (first picture below).

The backdrop is not a photo, it is an original creation by me.

I have included a photo of my Hiway Cafe’ because it relates to the backdrop. There is a miniature version of the back scene along the wall in the cafe’ behind the counter. It is very hard to see, but it is there none-the-less.


phot for model railroad backdrop

freight yard with backdrop

model railroad backdrop on hill

model railroad backdrop

model railroad cafe

model railroad factory with backdrop

model railroad factory

model railroad N scale main street at night

N scale pizzaland

model railroad n scale rear car

N scale road crossing

N scale road scene

N scale roof top scene

N scale buildings

A huge thanks to Hall of Fame member, Rob.

It’s wonderful to see a layout come to life, especially one like this.

If you want to get up to date with what Rob has been busy with, his last post is here.

When it comes to model railroad backdrops, I was reminded of Ken’s fantastic ‘how to’, which you can see here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your model railway – the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.