British railway modelling

Ashby has been in touch with some very British railway modelling:

“Hi Al

A Christmas promise to my son that I would build my grandson a model railway for his birthday this August cos he mad on choo-choo’s specially Thomas the tank engine.

I started one in January but it was to big to fit in my car so back to the drawing board. As I mentioned in my previous post I used insulation board lightly braced and edged with thin plywood. I painted the board a mixture of testing emulsion pots browns grey black and green set out the track several times till I had the basis of the finished layout, curved points set track and flexitrack helped placed onto guagemaster foam ballast.

This is the first OO gauge layout for 50 years and learning new techniques. I like static grass, it covers quickly but I found that using the proper glue helps – pva doesn’t seem to work as well as static grass glue.

Seafoam trees dipped in pva and sprinkled scatter different greens and browns left to dry, the insulation board is easy to make a hole and uhu glue the ‘trees’ into it. The remains of the scatter in the old wok I scraped and used as bushes.

The station was a scale craft kit, once again card glue I hadn’t come across before.

I also had a lot of help from my local model shop advice greatly appreciated.

I can’t wait to see my grandsons face when he sees the model railway.

I started a n gauge layout last year but I am not happy with it so I will start that one again.

keep modelling folks


British railway modelling

model train road

British railway modelling

British railway modelling

British railway modelling

British railway modelling

You can see Ashby’s last post here.

Now on to Dean:

“I have been watching the internet for a miniature video camera and saw this miniature camera. When I saw the price ($16) I knew I had to try it.

A number of sellers offer this on EBay. It comes with a USB power cord and the usual broken English instruction sheet. I charged it up and quickly connected my iPhone to its internal Wi-Fi. It’s possible to record and store video clips, then transfer them to your computer.

Caution: I found I didn’t need a password to connect to the camera, so presumably anyone passing by can see it when it’s powered up, so watch where you point it. Camera is on the left in the photo below with the electronics on the right.

Below are some photos which show how I adapted it to an n-scale boxcar. A couple of slots at the end of the car were needed, one to allow the wire strip to pass through and another to allow plugging it into the USB power cable.

The electronics came wrapped in shrink-tubing. By clipping off the sides of this tubing and filing down the two control switches a bit, I found that it just fit into the boxcar. I glued the electronics to the sides of the car with plastic glue. The camera was glued to small piece of balsa wood that was then glued to the front of the car.

Below are some videos of the car in operation (thanks to Cassius for help putting together this video!):

So, how does it work? Not too great compared to bigger units, but usable as you can see in the first two video clip. I will probably use it to monitor my hidden storage yard where it will be fine.


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here – have a look and let me know if you’d like me to add the cameras…

That’s all for today folks.

A big thanks to Ashby for sharing his British railway modelling pics, and to Dean too.

Please do keep ’em coming. And if you want to follow Ashby’s lead and get going on your layout, don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Had some lovely comments about the site recently – glad at least some of you find it helpful!

26 Responses to British railway modelling

  1. Ken C says:

    Cool video setup. It has me thinking. 🙂


  2. KR says:

    I haven’t seen anything quite like the camera Dean found. Is it possible to post additional information or a link to the supplier?

  3. Peter says:

    One recommendation. If you mount the camera on the loco or push that camera car around by loco the video is so much better.
    Although you won’t see the train itself you don’t get the bits where the camera is just pointing at a piece of scenery when the train goes around a curve which is little disconcerting when watching.

  4. Donald Scharenbroch says:

    The clip on the camera did not include the brand. Was the camera a Mobius? The reason I asked is because I am looking for a miniature camera.

  5. franco428 says:

    Outstanding information! Excellent layout. Totally awesome!

  6. Brad says:

    Love the thought of using these in tunnels(although you would need to add lighting you can turn off and on) in the event of a “mishap” de-rail.Also would love to make an “inspection car” where the cam is at track level.While tinkering and perfecting a layout,it would be useful to see the parts of the line you may not have easy access to(say a track end needs a little filing?) or a problematic turn-out/crossover.Loads os possibilities here

  7. Rob McCrain says:

    Not bad for N. Rob McCrain

  8. Don J says:

    Your videos were nice
    . BUT a better view of the layout would be to place the camera car in front of the locomotive. That way we would see the layout track work , the buildings and all scenery. I hope you can make another video with the car in front. DonJ

  9. Gerry says:

    I didn’t hear any audio with Dean’s video, does it not record audio? Also, I did something similar with a little more expensive camera from a ‘Spy Pen’ that I tore the camera and it’s electronics out of the pen (they’re all minted on a single pub and I needed to bend the camera up 90 degrees) and made a mount for it. Although mine is not wi-fi it takes awesome video and stills…

  10. Dave Wells says:

    Like the camera Dean. I found one on ebay by searching for “WIFI wireless spy camera”

  11. Lee Barry, CEO LZPMRR says:

    while this is the first time I have seen this brand of camera a Rob Klutz of AZL and N Track magazine has talked about someone let him borrow one that fit on his Z gauge cars. He showed some vidoes with it. My question to you is why did you not place it at the end of a flat car. I have one of those mini cameras I bought from Micro Mark, still new in the box. I want to try to use it on one of those flat cars from my Z collection, but it may not fit. If not I will try to use it on one of those “HO/N scale flat cars that are sold with a clear plastic floor and no sides. I bought all of the attachments to run to batteryless using track power for the pickup. These cars are advertised to use to check the track. Again thanks for showing us your camera.

  12. Lee Barry, CEO LZPMRR says:

    I am sorry I mistakenly put an N in from of Track mag when it should have been a Z there, Z Track Magazine.

  13. dave says:

    It works pretty well I wonder if you could mount it in a rubber grommet to take some of the vibration out of it ?? Its amazing how the technology has gotten so low priced and compact that any one can build a hobby cam in about any thing now .

  14. Andrew says:

    Very, very cool.

  15. Helmut Eppich says:


  16. richfiles says:

    I recently picked up a dummy locomotive off ebay for a pittance (the shipping was more). It was one of these toy grade “for display only” type items. The shell is entirely hollow, the cab snaps off the hood section, and the chassis is just a flat plate forming the truck mounts and fuel tank. It’s entirely hollow inside.

    I ordered one of these cameras off ebay, and plan to mount it inside the locomotive. My measurements suggest that if I cut out the divider between the two front center windows of the cab, that it’ll be sufficient clearance for the lens to face forward, with the 8mm camera mounted inside the cab. What’s more, is the front truck is directly below the cab.

    My plan, is to have a post insert into the top of the front truck. The top of that post will have a pin that will pivot the camera so it pans slightly left and right. The goal is to have a camera that leans it’s field of view into turns, as you take them. I suspect the nose of the locomotive will be visible in the bottom of the camera’s field of view. If my assembly work pans out… It should offer an engineer’s eye view of my layout!

    If it works, I’ll definitely share my efforts somewhere!

  17. David says:

    Thank you for this post. I’m going to give this a go on my track

  18. Tom says:

    ChooChooVision has a system that streams over WiFi and can be viewed from an internet browser. The image quality is exceptional. We have been using it over the internet for remote operations as well as posting video on YouTube. At present we have cab-cams temporarily mounted to the engines, and are planning to install them inside the locos. Looks like they sell camera equipped dummy engines and other rolling stock.

    The neat thing is that you can view the camera feed (and take photos) via a web browser. Our engineer is running trains from the other side of the globe, using a remote throttle, and the ChooChooVision cab-cam.

  19. Mike B says:

    Hi – What’s the brand of camera that you use in “Dean’s wireless N scale camera train” please? Thanks

  20. Robert Brady says:

    Great idea but poor quality Spy Camera 4K HD WiFi Hidden Tiny Wireless Spy Cam Mini Camera $38.00 ebay
    The Critic

  21. Will in NM says:

    Nice looking layout Ashby. You’re Grandson should be thrilled to run his Thomas the Tank Engine around the layout and the trackwork looks interesting enough to keep Grandpa entertained as well. 😉

  22. Robert Prouse says:

    Yes, a reference would be good! I’ve tried several of those Wi-Fi cameras. The ones that worked (for awhile) were too big to go through the tunnel portals. Others were incompatible with anything Apple. Others just stopped working. It’s hard in N scale!

  23. Stephen White says:

    Common Dean, PLEASE tell us who the seller is, I can’t find this model anywhere!
    Al, can you please assist?
    Steve White (Sydney)

  24. Erick says:

    love it pretty kool.

  25. Scott J says:

    Dean, try locating the camera in the center of a flat car. You may find that it tracks better around curves.

  26. Brian Olson says:

    As Alistair has allowed me to share with you, video technology truly empowers us to share the stories of our layouts. What I truly appreciate about using “eye level” views is it reminds me of all the work I still need to do to clean up spots on the layout!

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