N scale scratch building materials

Lucien has been in touch with a great example of what you can use for N scale scratch building materials:

“In Romania hobby trains are few. This passion should be funded. In Romania it costs a lot to have a hobby because salaries are lower in the rest of Europe.

Now I am working as a TV journalist Romanian Television. I have not forgotten, but my old profession. During dictator Ceausescu I worked as a designer and I even made some of the elements of the models that explain dictator construction plans.

I still have some of the elements of a model ever since. It was a hall of large plants. equipped with an industrial railway.

My father gave me the passion for trains. When I was a child I received from him the first train on the 16mm kit. Later, when we had more trains, I realized that I can not build a diorama.It would be to occupied the entire apartment, unthinkable thing for my mother. I have risked everything to sleep outside with my trains and layout.

At 25 I bought an apartment, so the girls were thrilled. I took off with all the trains and the mother was also happy.

The first diorama I built for a priest. The guy did not really believe in God, but instead was fond of trains.It was the kind of guy who entrain if you have gone to the Railway station. He was carrying a crazy passion, and money. So he took his 9mm diorama

Later I realized that occupy space dioramas and women not much took place, so I switched to gauge Z (hi, hi, hi, just kidding!)

I’ve used, at the beginning, plastic material from phone cards. I have made the first bridges. Unfortunately in Romania there is no stores for Z format, so I chose to build them one after original plans which we have reduced to scale 1/220.

And then we used a plastic material particular whom we use for television blends

To amuse myself, I started to use and toothpicks in combination with various other materials

Romania has developed much in real estate and developers will show customers mock-ups after plans. I had a contract of buildings near a stations, so we’ve done, along with a Buddy, to 1/ 200th scale.

To amuse myself, I started to use and toothpicks in combination with various other materials”


N scale tooth pick wall

N scale tooth pick wall

N scale tooth pick wall

N scale tooth pick wall

N scale scratch building materials

N scale scratch building materials:

N scale tooth pick wall

model train house wall

N scale scratch building materials

N scale scratch building materials

N scale scratch building materials

N scale scratch building materials

N scale scratch building materials

n scale house

n scale house

N scale scratch building materials house

n scale house

n scale house

N scale scratch building materials house

n scale house

n scale house

“Hi Al,

When I first installed this modified ‘N’ scale to HOn3 Heljan turntable, it worked perfectly for about a day.

Then it twisted the drive shaft underneath, after it had a bind above and bent the drive shaft to about 2 degrees off vertical, then would only rotate 180 degrees and bind.

I left it for a couple of months (to regain my sanity) and then removed it carefully (I had allowed for a certain amount of lifting in case anything went wrong) and sorted out the problem. Got the drive shaft vertical to the underside of the pit again. Tested it and replaced it in the cut-out on the layout and hey presto, working like it should.

I used a 1 RPM 12 volt motor (ex Walther’s in the USA) underneath and run it on 1.5 volts to obtain a nice slow steady speed.

I am now able to turn the locomotives again and the roundhouse gang can get get back to work.

All the best


Thanks to Brian and to Lucian for showing us how you really can use anything for N scale scratch building materials.

I have a whole load of stuff from Lucian. I can’t wait to show you his bridge – made from old credit cards believe it or not.

Please keep ’em coming folks.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

And the Model Railroads Guide for Complete Beginners is here.



model train answers

58 Responses to N scale scratch building materials

  1. Jim says:

    Fantastic build…z scale is the hardest to model I think……..jim

  2. Alan says:

    Great work Lucian, you have a lot of patience, the house looks wonderful.

  3. Brian Messenger says:

    Great to see a fellow modeler scratch building especially in 1:200 ‘Z’ scale. Well done. Brian

  4. Bob Cassidy says:

    WOW, a lot of patience in that project! Nice job.

  5. Rob says:

    That building looks great

  6. Joe says:

    Outstanding work! Too cool for words!

  7. Phil says:

    Good stuff – as always.
    What’s happened to Cameron (Hall of Fame) – we haven’t heard from him for quite a while. Any updates from him, or new videos or photos of his brilliant layout?

  8. Roy says:

    Lucian, yours is some of the finest scratch-building that I have seen. It takes time but you should be very satisfied with your creations.

  9. robert says:

    what a beautiful story and storyteller. complete with accent (hi, hi hi ) but very skilled model builder.

  10. eric7 says:

    Great work, I work in N but to see what you have done in G is fantastic, very well done, you must have real patience to get those results.

  11. Ian Pickersgill says:

    If you ever needed inspiration to get you scratch building Lucians example has to be it. A superb example of just what can be a achieved with patience. Congratulations Lucian on a job superbly carried out.

  12. bryan says:

    anyone got a good alternative to peco and hornby 00 foam track underlay

  13. Aidan says:

    Fantastic!,.. Toothpicks would make an ideal log cabin set in the forest..

  14. Bill says:

    We have spent the summer in Colorado escaping the heat of Houston.
    This house would sell for several 100,000 $s according to the location.
    Would have to be blown up to full scale though . What a talented guy.

  15. Don says:

    WOW! Superb modeling.

  16. holeee crapolee Lucian!!
    you have to be the greatest scratch builder EVER…..!!!
    wotta guy!!
    you guys that build Z gauges stuff amaze me…
    such patience…

  17. Ken Stramel says:

    Excellent work and lots of time to do. It truly paid off. Keep up the good work.

  18. kim says:

    Some great idea’s. What white material did you use for the building.Is that the stuff to fix holes in walls? Great work. Can we see more scratch building please.

  19. John Ailshire says:

    Glad there are still folks who will work for their passion.

  20. James Wilson says:

    From humble beginnings,Lucian has shown ,with the gift of talent and patients,the almost impossible can be accomplished! I salute you Sir for what you are doing!!!

  21. paul Otway says:

    That is a very nice model house lucian.

  22. florin says:

    very nice
    but you can buy from ebay
    good luck

  23. Terry Westcott says:

    The construction is great. I don’t understand the log wall section with the rock. The toothpicks would make a great log cabin though. You did a great job.

  24. Mike says:

    Thanks for the sharing and inspiration Lucian, you are a true artist. Beautiful and skillful work. I raise my hat to your brilliance. As they say “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

  25. Ian McDonald says:

    great patience and a nice model. like the turn table. how much reward you get after completing something.

  26. Pete Evangel says:

    I was wondering at first what all the cut off pieces were going to me. Holy-Moley. A log cabin! Genius. Z scale is very difficult to do, I should know, I dont do it!!! (hands will not work with things that fine). I admire your work Lucian. Cant wait to see more

  27. david howarth says:

    Great job you have made of the House /building Lucien , and Brian well done on sorting out the Turntable …Dave

  28. Bernard Calver says:

    I congratulate you Lucian in achieving true modelling success when many of us in Western Europe would fail at the first hurdle. I am sure your story hides much more than you are able to tell on this forum. You are putting many of us to shame as I know you don’t have the luxury of ‘popping’ down to your shops to spend on buying materials, let alone spend on purchasing ready made machine built models imported at great expense from foreign parts. You can claim to be a true modeller having used your own skill and ingenuity to achieve satisfaction in your hobby. Well done.

  29. Herman says:

    Stunning work Lucian keep on sending us your wonderful creations !

  30. Harley says:

    That was great… I’m going to work on one…
    Thanks Harley

  31. Nathan Perreira says:

    Thanks for sharing, Lucien and Brian the patients in detail you put into these pieces are amazing. Nathan

  32. Jim Saccento says:

    Looks nice and smooth, Brian, even for “n”. Would have enjoyed seeing the loco chug off on one of the lead tracks.

  33. kim says:

    Thank’s Lucian” for that great build. What material are you using for the rock wall. I found a cheap product that may work. I sent picture into Al.

  34. Rod Mackay says:

    “At 25 I bought an apartment, so the girls were thrilled.”

    I only wish I could say the same!!
    Lovely project mate, look forward to seeing a whole layout.


  35. Mike Pace says:

    That is awesome, what someone can do with a great imagination !!!

  36. tom keller says:

    your instructions were great with the tooth pick.logs, i am trying to build a log cabin from our civil war era. they called it a mustering station. (getting volunteers) i would like to know HOW you did the stone work. I have a chimney to make that has the same random stone. Feel free to contact me by email. Thanks. TK

  37. Timothy Olson says:

    Wow! I am blown away…..What a talent!

  38. Emil says:

    This is magnificent. I wish that I had half the talent that you have. Do you have any photos of the work that you did under the Ceausescu regime. I’m sure that many if not all the followers on Alistair’s forum would be interested


  39. Nice build on the house. Looks fantastic. How clever.

    On the turntable, was hoping to see the table stop at some rails and the engine move. I am sure the table moves around, but wanted to see it stop and the engine drive off.

  40. Charles A Menges says:

    Interesting building – It shows that by thinking out-of-the-box results can be positive. Job well done. I’m going to give it a try.

  41. Cary E Price says:

    Great build Lucian! Love seeing folks using their creativity and improvised materials to get great results as you have. Also great to hear how you have overcome the constraints to keep your hobby going. Best of luck and thanks for sharing. Cary in KY

  42. Mike RICHARDSON says:

    Lucian, what great talent and patience you have to complete such a beautiful building. It is amazing what you have done with so little to work with. Keep us up to date on your project. I plan to use many of your ideas and technics in the future. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Mike from Alabama

  43. Kevin McArdle says:

    We modelers in America take so much for granted. The options for modeling to us are seemingly endless.

  44. Ross Johnston says:

    Lucian! You have done a fantastic job under very difficult conditions. I would love to see your layout too. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, Australia

  45. Robert Bonnett says:

    Lucein, Please find your way to Europe or America or even Canada if at all possible. You will have an amazing time with trains and building layouts!!!

  46. Chris Munson says:

    Lucian, what genius! You’re practicing micro-architecture, and only near the end of the photostory to we see just how small your model is! Bravo!

  47. Bob Amling says:

    Your passion has certainly sustained you. What a great model you created! I look forward to seeing your use of the phone cards. Did I miss it, How did you create the stone walls for the house?
    Bob in Colts Neck Crossing, NJ

  48. William Swenberg says:

    If you look at real log cabins you would see that the ends would go all the way up the side including the roof. On some cabins they put boards on the end of the roof. And they would be vertical.

  49. Will in NM says:

    Beautiful work Lucien! I can’t imagine what patience it takes to work in Z scale. By the way, where do you find your Z scale women? 🙂

    Bryan, Great work on the HOn3 turntable.

  50. Mike Street says:

    Amazing stuff from Lucian, especially as it’s in Z. Just shows what you can achieve without all the bought materials we have access to.
    Mike S

  51. Welder dave says:

    Shows what you can go when you have talent and there are limited materials on hand that came out really good ! Really realistic log and stone construction!

  52. Mike Balog says:

    Lucien: Great Talent and even greater Patience.. to do that kind of accurate scratch build modeling in Z Scale is Amazing. You must have perfect eyesight and nimble fingers! Really liked the narrative, complete with “Accent”… Laughing at Will in NM question,. Where do you find Z Scale Women? . From Mike in N.H. U.S.A.

  53. Thomas Klosterman says:

    Lucian,Great house model. I’ve visited Slovakia and this house could fit in. Very Eastern European style. In Slovakia, the logs are squared off. This style house is still built, but now is very expensive. Tom

  54. Timothy Morlok says:

    Great job Lucian! To me it looks like the brick walls are made by etching the outlines of the stones into a foam core cardboard sheet. I have seen this technique use on other builds.

  55. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool.!!! I hope mine come out like that.

  56. Ron Schultz says:

    the stone and log house may be Z but it called to me. “Build me in HO” this is one of the best ideas i have seen combine, logs and stone together. I copied and saved the pictures to my lathe turning projects file.

  57. Vance Arthur says:

    I am just starting to get ideas for my buildings.
    Thank you for sharing. What a great job you

  58. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like the walls and the logs very nice.

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