Eric’s latest N scale layout update

“Hi Al

My N gauge 2016/17 Project shown early January has reached a point where I am happy to show off the improved scenery and running sessions under improved lighting.

But knowing how everyone wants information on the layout, I will get to that first.

The baseboards at their widest measure approximately 90” * 72” (229cm*158cm) they are built using Sundeala (Compressed newsprint) model board and work round a built in wardrobe with a solid wall, plus an access hatch. The track I use is Peco Setrack and their flexi track, the underlay is ready gravelled with added matching gravel between the tracks. I also use a 1.5 turn helix at the right of the layout to get the height.

Tracks are accessed by lifting away portions of the scenery, for instance the four plaster panels that make up the moorland on the left, are not fixed so lift away. To the right over the helix the castle panel lifts away and in the centre the lake lifts out. One thing I will mention here is that I do not plan a new layout by planning ahead on paper but do it in my head allowing me to alter things to fit as I go along, so don’t ask for a track plan please.

Now the layout has the mentioned moorland to the left with sheep and horse riders, with tracks circling around the lake/ camping grounds below, that seem to have come together quite nicely with boating, shop, toilet block and bungalow and even an adventure playground for the kids to enjoy when I populate with more people / tents etc.

To the right a brand new top board over the helix has a rather nice little ruined castle on top of it’s rocky perch which has turned out better than I hoped. The castle is a Noch item ordered through Amazon as I haven’t seen them on normal retailers websites. The castle appears to be made of cork but nicely moulded.

The two tracks run along the long section to the front of the layout with 8 sidings and twin track engine shed with the twin tracks showing behind. As someone mentioned on the last post it is difficult to tell which tunnel the train will emerge from which adds to the fun, unless you are looking for a derailment J

I hope you will excuse the occasional shakiness as it is difficult to keep the camera steady as you move around

Note in the back left by the hill a small lake and to the right of that note the start of a feeder stream for the big lake. There is still a lot to do but so far I am delighted by the results to date. Let me know what you think.

Eric (Leeds) UK”

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.


Sometimes the simplest things take a great deal of time. All I wanted was a bunch of lines scribed on a piece of aluminum. Being retired means I can do whatever I want as long as I don’t spend any money. Years ago I made an X-Y table to fit on a drill press. It never worked as it was not strong enough to work as a milling machine. I need eight pieces to fit in square holes on the side of a “O” guage model diesel. The lines need to represent louvers and are fifteen degree slats in real life.

Here is what I made using a support for a dremmel tool. The aluminum square tube was an interesting piece of junk I saw at the steel store. Yes I wasted a buck. I brought it home not knowing what it might become. I used a couple of 2×4 boards and cut semi circles out of the sides at about 15 degrees and made slats to go at the top and bottom to clamp on to the drill press. I used 3/8 threaded rod to hold the whole thing together. T-Y table uses a forty thread per inch screw so that each division of the collar id one thousandth of an inch. I carefully milled the aluminum until I got what I thought might work. I will cut squares out of the section to then glue into holes I will make in the model. Making this by hand using automotive bondo was just too crude and did not work well.


That’s all for today folks. Thanks to everyone – especially Eric, I enjoyed his video.

And if it’s got you chomping at the bit to get started, don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide.

Keep ’em coming folks.



14 Responses to Eric’s latest N scale layout update

  1. Rod Mackay says:

    Magnificent effort with the angled drill-holder, I’m far too lazy, I would just have cut strips of cardboard and laid them over each other to form the louvres and varnished them until solid and then painted it silver, but then an old friend was a great believer in Shellac.
    Eric, lovely scenic work, that lake’s superb, although the road tunnel’s a bit overkill, how about a nice winding country lane up over the moor, with a queue forming of some cyclists, a caravan, an ashcart and a milk float following a tractor? That’s what I seem to attract in any country lane.
    By the way, DMUs never ran with a BG in the middle, and those Deltics are Growlers, but then it’s N gauge, isn’t it. Is project 17 putting up the knitting for the 25Kv?
    All the best,


    Well done ! Love watching the trains running.

  3. d j howarth says:

    Well done Eric the scenics , and of course the layout , plenty going on ..with plenty of detail …….Dangerous dave

  4. Larry Kuenning says:

    Dave, I lived in Des Plaines for most of 1953. Does your layout include the Choo Choo Restaurant? Meals were delivered on an electric train running around the counter. — Larry in Maine

  5. Perry says:

    But where are the freight trains? All I see is passenger trains. Do your RR just run passenger trains?

  6. Bernie says:

    Great work. I love your water effect work.

  7. George says:

    I love the whole thing ! It looks fantastic and you don’t need to run more than passengers , if they keep the business going well enough to pay the bills right ?
    The idea is to have fun and keep on plug-n- !
    I love the lake ,the idea of where is it coming out next and the horse riders on
    the high point of it all !
    keep on trucking ,be well and keep safe Sir !

  8. NJ Mark says:

    Beautiful work! I especially love the herd of deer. Cheers! NJ Mark

  9. nice layouts
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif

  10. Vincent H. says:

    Totally impressed, of your ingenuity and talent, keep up the good work.

  11. ARNIE STEINER says:

    Hi Eric — You’ve got a well-thought out layout that is fun to watch because of the continuous running of trains at different levels on the layout. The interest is sustained and heightened even further as the viewer of a train watches it disappear into or behind terrain elements and then surprisingly re-appears in a somewhat unexpected place. Nice work — Arnie, Staten Island, NY

  12. Rod Mackay says:

    Dear 4.20pm, no we don’t just run passenger trains, there is considerable traffic in coal, stone, steel, some oil and chemicals, and growing container and swapbody traffic, the latter mainly to depsea ports and via the Channel tunnel. The line I used to work carried power station coal, car engines, silica/silicium ore, occasional bulk cement traffic and lots of diverted steel and oil when the main line was shut for maintenance. But we do run much more frequent passenger trains than is common in the US.

  13. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great video nice size layout great scenery nice to see trains running.

  14. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    The castle is excellent !

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