Christmas N scale – Harry’s

Harry’s been in touch with his Christmas N scale:

“Hi Al,

I don’t know if you remember me, but I sent photos of my small N Scale layout quite a while back and it got good comments from some great modelers and I felt honored.

This layout had a strange genesis, I had one of my locos, the Santa Fe warbonnet F7 stop working and after troubleshooting, found the decoder had failed.

The loco was a bit noisy and didn’t run really well, so instead of replacing the decoder, I rewired it to DC and decided to run DC trains around my small Christmas Tree.

Well, this developed as another stream of consciousness design and now I have a layout with a folded over under loop and two spurs.

The spurs can each hold a DC train and the track in the spur is only active when I throw the toggle switch to the spur. That way I can hold two trains and run either one out and around and switch them when I want.

The two turnouts are controlled by an Arduino driving small servos like my main layout and I used the second pole of a DPDT toggle switch to power the spur track.

The DC power pack is a $3 DC to DC buck converter and a 12V wall wart power supply. It’s truly a ghetto layout as the electronics are in the mountain, thus the removable mountain top.

Like I said this was to be a simple loop around the tree layout, but I just kept adding scenery.

I built the trestle and truss bridge from stained basswood sticks and the girder bridge is a cut apart Atlas plastic bridge to accommodate the curved track.

The layout is 28 inches by 37 inches, the size being determined by the needed room to do an over under with reasonable grade. The layout is basically cookie cutter design on 1/4″ ply mounted to 1×3 bench-work.

I used a bit of plaster cloth and Sculptamold to finish the scenery and the mountain is made from the same florist foam with Sculptamold I used on my main layout.

This Christmas N scale layout did give me a chance to fool around with my static grass applicator I made from a $3 Harbor Freight bug zapper. The thing runs on D cells and generates 15,000 volts. It looks like a tennis racquet and I just removed the racquet portion and replaced it with a small sifter from the dollar store connected to one terminal.

I then took the other terminal and brought it out to an alligator clip which I clip to a dissecting needle and it works like a champ. So basically I have a $120 static grass applicator for four bucks. It’s not easy being cheap.


Christm n scale control panel

Christmas N scale

Christmas N scale tree

Christmas train layout

Christmas trestle

Chrsitmas truss  Bridge

A huge thanks for Harry sharing his Christmas N scale.

If not mistaken, Harry’s last post is here.

Now on to Hall of Fame member, Rob:

“Hi Al,

This is the holiday video for my British outline layout Farland Howe.

I wondered if some of your readers might enjoy it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a great new year.


A big thanks to Rob and Harry.

That’s all for today folks.

Keep ’em coming.

Please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going on your own model railroad adventure.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

11 Responses to Christmas N scale – Harry’s

  1. Nice to see you are still going ahead with Farland Rob , Have a good Xmas ….Dangerous Dave

  2. Peter Waring says:

    Harry, I love the way you have adapted your layout for Christmas, it looks great.
    Rob, what can I say, I never tire from looking at your layout, especially the UK variety 😂. I really draw inspiration from your layouts and gives me hope that I can bring my to a reasonably good standard. Many thanks to both of you and have a great Christmas and New Year.
    Regards, Peter…

  3. Rick Swinwood says:

    I truly love enjoy all of the imagination that goes into the multitude of layouts the site brings . It has been my inspiration for years. Thank you.

  4. Dwight in Toronto says:

    Hey Rob, wonderful job as always. Thanks for devoting the time to crafting that nice little video.

  5. John says:

    Wow… you’ve done quite a lot in a small space… which seems to have made your layout much larger!

  6. Bill in Virginia says:

    Tis the season. Great to see creativity and Holiday cheer go hand in hand!!

  7. Erick says:

    Nice: But to small for me

  8. KenG says:

    Gee that little town much have had a huge Christmas tree budget this year!

  9. Andrew Aves says:

    Must be a bit chilly on the beach at Christmas Bob – LOL
    Andrew from Down Under

  10. Kendall Clarke says:

    Thanks for sharing Rob, happy holidays to you and yours !

  11. John Bigglestone says:

    Loved the music Rob. Brilliant video!
    Have a great holiday and I look forward to the missing episode
    Hope the voice is good

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