John’s suitcase layout

“Dear Mr. Lee

I mentioned my desire to build a layout I could fit in a suitcase.

I began this in late May or early June.

It is On30 (1/4 inch scale narrow gauge).

I mentioned to you a while back when your covered bridge was new that I saw an engine shed.

The shed you see here is my “proof of concept”, there are adjustments to be made, a lot of adjustments.

The water tower is made from a loo roll and is loosely based on the water tower that served the Edaville RR.

The yellow shed you may recognize also.

I do not have the layout named yet but I am thinking “Valise Yard” as the layout is exactly three feet long when unfolded.

In this picture you see some of the equipment I have built for this little layout.

The little A frame ore cars are made of card and sit on Bachmann’s On30 Passenger Car trucks -one carriage bogie per car.

The real purpose of this picture has been to show the capacities of each spur, a 2-1-3 Inglenook

For those with very limited space, the Inglenook shunting plan is a great way to have a model railway.

The Inglenook takes up little space and is very fun to operate.

It is also a plan that is thrifty on the budget!

I hope you have enjoyed my submissions today,

Sincerely,

John from Cali”


“Al,

Really enjoy your site. Used to build model trains and many great memories. These days, I do dioramas.

Working on a method to creat realistic-looking explosions.

1. Creat a cage around what you want to blow up with the chicken wire

2. Take the cage off the model and cover with stretched cotton balls attached by applying glue to the chicken wire. Be sure to pull the cotton and not just stuff in cotton balls

3. When the chicken wire is all covered with cotton, stuff orange and yellow tissue paper (or cellophane) inside the wire cage.

4. Spray paint the cotton using florescent orange and yellow paint touches of flat black. Stand back and only give a misting over the cotton. Mix the orange and yellow.

5. Attach an LED light source to model at to fit inside the cage you have built. (Here, using a light from a headstrap)

6. Turn the light on and place the cotton cage over the model … you’ve got your explosion!

Here is the final diorama scene for the explosing RV.

John Fraim
New Albany, Ohio”

A big thanks to John and John.

It still amazes me what lands in my inbox every morning – hope you enjoyed today’s as much as I did.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to start on your layout (It’s all about making a start).

Best

Al

PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

12 responses to “John’s suitcase layout”

  1. Robert Brady says:

    Ill do it to my diesel repair shop,thanks for the fabulous idea John.

  2. BRry Barnes says:

    I have learnt something. Great.

  3. NJ Mark says:

    The explosion effect is perfect and will suit my needs for an exploding fireworks stand “owned” by my brother who is a fireworks fanatic. Many thanks. Cheers! NJ Mark

  4. Brad says:

    The explosion is terrific.Great tips and how to’s here constantly.Have saved some for after I move and BEGIN my large HO layout.GREAT hobby we have,with seemingly endless new thoughts and ideas.I want to thank Al for making this site possible

  5. Appookta says:

    Re: explosion: HA! How creative!!!

  6. David in old Albany, Ohio says:

    What a blast, John!

  7. Rob McCrain says:

    John from Cali, very clever. You can run and store your layout in a very small space.
    John Fraim, Love the concept of an explosion. You could add some fun or a surprise to viewers.
    Rob

  8. Allan Jelinek says:

    Sorry.
    I just don’t get it.

  9. Hemi says:

    THAT “Explosion” would BE GREAT used ANYWHERE…. LOVE the idea….. NOW how do I make a gasoline tank car explode……………. -SOUND be GREAT too!

  10. Andrew says:

    Thanks John and John – Great imagination and creativity

  11. Ralph Berry says:

    Great use for the Inglenook layout looks great.

    My grandsons will be very pleased to see an explosion even if it is artificial.

  12. Richard Standing says:

    You… were only supposed…. to blow the bl–dy doors off!

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