Painting N scale trains

Jim’s been in touch, he’ shared his pics when it comes to painting N scale trains:

“Hi Al

I have been following you for about 4 years and do enjoy the posts.

I recently saw the post on the painting of a f7 in O scale and decided to post my first attempt at painting a N scale f7 a and b units.

Attached are photos of the locos before painting one of the a unit with the grey paint on and the completed set, along with a short video.

The locos are Bachmann and the dcc controllers in them do not allow for speed matching on 1 loop around my 4 x 6.6 foot layout the b unit is about 3 feet behind, To fix this I also replaced the dcc board with a Digitrac SDN136ps decoder this not only allowed me to speed match it I also got sound as well.

Short history of myself, I am 74 and have had model trains since I was about 8 at one time with a HO layout in my bedroom with the foot of my bed under the layout. There was then a long period of no trains until about 1968 when I purchased my first N scale a Revell 4-6-2 not much done with it until the mid 80s when I started the current layout.

That did not last long and it ended up in storage in the basement of my business until We sold out in 2012 I then moved the layout to our home and started with it again. My daughters cats had got to the layout in storage and most of the wiring was damaged so I decided to go dcc at that time and am now using MRC along with JMRH to run and control my trains.

I will send the video on a email to follow.


painting n scale trains

painting n scale trains

painting n scale trains

painting n scale trains

Next, on to Dale, who hasn’t been painting N scale trains, but building his HO scale layout:

“My layout is a 4 track layout. The pics I sent are from one of the HO scale tracks.

I run an On30 scale train that runs on HO track is one section of the layout. The other trains are HO scale.

The scenery is from my own imagination and does not reflect any know areas of the world. I make some thing myself and some are store bought, but that what makes it fun. I am not DCC, I use 4 controllers to run everything. Its a learn as you go process.

Most of the techniques I use are from the internet and books. Some are from your information. I enjoy building scenes and model railroading.

Best of all my grand kids like running the trains also.

I look forward to sending more pics and maybe a video at a later date.


HO model railroad

HO railroad

HO model train

HO scale town

HO model railroad


I really enjoy all the inspiration from everyone’s posts.

I put this together for my brother.


HO platform

HO scale car

HO scale freight

HO scale car

A huge thanks to Dale, Jon and Jim for sharing how he has beenhaving fun painting N Scale trains.

Even after all these years, I still love seeing what pops up in my inbox – especially when folk write the site inspires them. Makes it all worthwhile.

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 HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

13 Responses to Painting N scale trains

  1. Eldrege Driver says:

    Thanks for all you do to make Model RR a thing to enjoy. I am 91 with a old 4 x 8 sheet of plywood but trains are still fun to run. I enjoy your site.

  2. Sam Walls says:

    I cannot imagine why anyone would change the beautiful Santa Fe War Bonnet paint scheme on perfectly good locomotives, but the CP units turned out great. I’m impressed.
    Sam, Cleburne Texas, Route of the “Texas Chief”

  3. richard Morales says:

    excellent job!!!!!!


  4. Nice work everyone! Keep it up. It’s getting me inspired.

  5. Rube Simon says:

    Jon, I love the effect of the floor in the first photo – looks like Colorado plains in the distance!

  6. Adam Young says:

    This comment is for Jim. Your story sounds vary familiar. I also got back into model railroading after a long hiatus. Also use the MRC DCC unit with JMRI to program decoders. And also having problems speed matching Bachmann A,B units. I talked to a rep. form Bachmann and Lenz at a large model train show, they said the Lenz decoder in those units can be speed matched using CVs 2,5,&6.
    2=low, 5=high, 6=mid speed. Was able to get mine to run close, but still off just a little.

  7. Terry Miller says:

    Nice looking layouts and repaint job..but I think it may be time for the city fathers to raise the taxes on the Golden Valley Canning Company and pave some streets. LOL

    Terry USA

  8. All good…. That diorama however; WOW! Very clean work.
    Also loved the Canadian Pacific units — Hate to say it but Santa Fe units are a dime a dozed… And for good reason… The Santa Fe “Warbonnet” is a classic.
    Those are the first “script” Canadian Pacific units that I have seen ;; Great Job.
    John in California.

  9. Jim Carr says:

    In regards to speed matching my Bachmann n scale f7 a and b. according to JMRI the decoders did not have CV 5 and 6 and changing the speed tables hD no change. Changing to the decoder in the b unit did allow speed matching using the speed tBle and also gave me sound.

  10. Great job on the Loco and B unit – ‘N” is too small and fiddly for my eyesight and nerves.
    Suggest you get onto the Council and get that roading sorted – ‘Scaled-up’ you have some serious boulders there

    Well done
    New Zealand

  11. K.R. Harwood says:

    Very nice work by everyone!

    Questions for Jim. How did you paint the locos? Airbrush? And the lettering is fantastic! I can’t imagine how you got that done in N scale. Did you get decals made?

  12. Mike Ilkenhons says:

    Jim: A very nice repaint on the F7’s. The manufacturers only produce what is hot. Santa Fe is always popular. When what you need/want is not available, DIY is the solution. A problem for many modelers…they do not have your ability and have to run available roads. I am also a retired guy who started back into the hobby a few years ago. I model the CB&Q 1960 and prior. It is increasingly difficult to find the units I would like to have. So I find what I can in the correct model and repaint. I found 7 F7 units in Great Northern colors. The paint jobs looked like a fourth grade art class hand painted them. I repainted in passenger silver with Zephyr numbers. I am in Florida making it even harder to find stuff. But eBay and contacts help. Cheers

  13. Dwight in Toronto says:

    Jim – wonderful job creating the classic Canadian Pacific maroon-&-gray livery. It’s always been my favourite, and many years ago I did the very same thing – careful airbrushing and meticulous decal placement which resulted in a beautiful N scale back-to-back double “A” consist.

    The epitome, however, are the FP9A N scale locomotives produced by Rapido Trains a year or two ago. Incredible detail. My pride & joy is my ABA consist pulling Rapido’s equally detailed10-car “The Canadian” lash-up … it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *