N scale city buildings

Fred has been in touch again with his N scale city buildings.

I think you’ll probably remember his layout – it’s stunning.

And Fred, as you’ll see, also enjoys his night scenes, as the pictures show.

But do you know what, before you carry on reading, why not grab a coffee and have a look at the video on his last post.

It really gets across just how busy Fred has been.

“Hi Al,

I put modeling aside from last April ‘til this December to take up the violin again with a professional teacher and try to finish up a book I’m writing. (Too many projects in my retirement!)

But I’m back in the game again, and have been recently working on the N Scale city of Port Charles, complete with its theater street, neon lights, and a rather seedy strip joint.

Thought I’d share some photogs with you in case you needed more grist for the mill.

In the distance you can see my oil refinery, which is about 25% done. I’m illuminating with “Pica” LEDs, which are very fussy, very expensive, and very time consuming. Every single light you see is rheostat adjustable!

All the best,


(All images are clickable)

n scale city buildings

N scale rail yard

n scale city buildings

N scale rail yard

n scale city buildings

n scale city buildings

n scale city buildings

N scale wide shot

N scale port and refinery

N scale panoramic shot

n scale city buildings

n scale city buildings

Stunning, stunning stuff. Can’t thank Fred enough for sharing his N scale city buildings.

What I adore about his layout is that it looks stunning in the day light, and then at night, it looks just as amazing.

Fred enjoys the scenery part of the hobby, as many of you do (me included).

I know some of you just like running trains, and then there are those that love running trains, and getting the scenery ‘just right’.

And that’s the wonderful thing about this hobby – it’s entirely up to you.

What’s more, you choose at what pace to go at too. Take Fred, for example, he’s writing a book and busy playing the violin too. He works on his layout when he wants too. I know many of you do little on your layouts in the summer, and pick it up again in the winter.

It’s not unusual for a layout to take years – and even then, they are never truely finished, there’s always a corner you want to change or bit you want to improve.

Again, take Fred for example, as well as working on his layout when you wants too, he also works on the bit he wants to. As you’ll see from his pics, the lighting on his N scale city buildings is amazing, and that’s because he wasn’t in a hurry, he just wanted to get it right. That’s why there are hundreds and hundreds of fibre optic lights in his layout.

The same goes for his oil refinery. The lighting and the weathering on it is spot on. Fred’s gone at his own pace, on each bit of his layout when he felt like it.

But here’s the part I always think about. At some point, Fred has a bare table. There was nothing on it but perhaps some scattered track, a few tools and some bits of foam.

It just goes to show it’s all about making that start. You can go at whatever pace feels good for you, but without that start nothing happens.

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

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More N scale layouts here if that’s your thing.

24 Responses to N scale city buildings

  1. Bob Martin says:

    Wow! What a fantastic layout !!!
    Those night scenes are really fantastic with the lighting !!!
    Where did you get the time or money or patience to accomplish all that building & constructing that great layout , in addition , playing the violin & writing a book .
    I’m going on 86 , how about sending me a small percentage of your energy & know how .
    Bob Martin

  2. James says:

    beautiful city scene

  3. By far the best modelling I think I’ve ever seen. The line between reality and fantasy is really blurred. Brilliant

  4. Steve Breezy says:

    Beautiful, I can’t say that enough! Can’t wait to purchase the program

  5. Steve Roberts says:

    Brilliant piece of work Fred. Looks like a real city. Superb work in ‘N’.
    Steve R UK.

  6. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow!!!! That’s an awesome job on your layout the set up and the lighting Great work especially with N scale thanks for sharing!

  7. John Birch says:

    Amazing! Such detail! Congratulations!

  8. Steven / SoCal says:

    I’m impressed to say the least. Very, very nice.

  9. The nicest city landscape I have ever seen
    This is from a guy who worked in NYC his whole life
    Your detail with the city streets are stunning, great job well done.

  10. I have never seen such a sight! Thanks for your AMAZING realism and scope. You have inspired me to have your patience and persistence.

  11. NJ Mark says:

    WOW! I am stunned. Remarkable job, great detail. Thanks for sharing. Cheers! NJ Mark

  12. Rube Simon says:

    I’m speechless, other than to say “unbelievably fantastic”!

  13. paul vogel says:

    I laughed my butt off at Fred. He’s a riot ! Also, his layout is amazing. Wonderful work on his part. Also want to say thanks for the info on the city buildings. Thanks again…….Paul….Brookfield, Ohio USA

  14. Peter Lloyd says:

    The best back scenes I have seen. Perfectly integrating the foreground detail into the background. Lighting superb and so realistic. Real attention to detail and craftsmanship.

    I am currently building (9 months so far) a 10ft x 6ft N scale railway with long intercity trains – Eurostar etc. DC and DCC operable. Will be modern European. Detail is key to me and realism…so taking my time.

    Just starting the scenery now.

  15. Al: Freds n-scale layout is above and beyond musium scale. He must have the patience of a saint ! I hope he made plans to pass it on as it would be a shame
    to loose something that is approaching art work. In my case, I’m the builder and
    my brother has all the trains. One thing I did come up with is a bifold train board.
    You put two 4×8 sheets together and hinge on the long side. Fasten one long side
    to the wall and a boat trailer winch to the ceiling. With fold in legs you winch down
    for a 8×8 and winch up for a 8x16inch against the wall. you can decorate the
    bottom of the visible sind if you hide the wiring. It worked for me ! Thanks for
    showing us USA guys such a neat layout. RJL

  16. Rick Slunaker says:

    Words can’t really describe this perfection!!

    I am intrigued by RJL’s winchable folding layout. Got any photos or specs you would like to share? Thanks in advance.


  17. Stephen D Gispanski says:

    Great job and very planed out Fred. Two sense back when you showed your dam and bridge, you came a long way. I seen where you were going to put the ship, it was empty but some boards were there. Night view you have the tanker there and I see the reflection of the lights off the water, how much did you put in that spot of resin water. Very nicely done, and your back drop of the city lights appearing through the clouds or fog, very nicely done. Great job done all around, there are more, “scenes” that are done very very nice but I do not want to make 10 page essay. Lol keep on railing and keep them on the rails.
    SDG St.Petersburg Fla USA

  18. Richard Littlefield says:

    It almost brings tears to my eyes to see this layout. It is what I have dreamed of doing but cannot… It is wonderful to see that someone has achieved it. It is actually better than I thought it could be. Magnificent. It has been worth waiting years to see this.

  19. Absolutely fantastic modeling. I love the nighttime scenes. Everything looks so real.

  20. Pat Smith says:

    I loved it—Great—I live in the Chicago area and these scenes remind me so much of downtown! Fantastic—–Pat Smith

  21. Dominic Joseph Radanovich, Milwaukee. says:

    Wow! Your Port Charles is beautiful. It sure reminds me of Chicago. It is sort of what you see when leaving on Amtrak out of the south side of Union Station. Been there many times. Again, wow!

  22. Who is “Fred”. His cityscapes are incredible. Would like to thank him for sharing.

  23. Robert Brady says:

    The Critic

  24. Bill in Virginia says:

    Absolutely beautiful layout!

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