Model train waterfall

Brian has been in touch with the model train waterfall he is working on:

“Hi Al,

I have been helping on an ‘n’ scale display.

The photos below show how I built the waterfall. (Please note – a change of scale for me. Only temporary)

It had to be made to fit in the center of this layout. The lines seen here are where the module joins are and once permanently on display, will be sceniced to hide them. I used marine silicone sealer on a piece of glass made to the right width and length for the waterfall.

plaster for model train waterfall

Here, Woodland Scenics water affects was used to get more flowing water and shape.

model railroad waterfall

Cushion stuffing was used to create water crashing over a rocky outcrop and was glued in place with the WS water effects.

model railroad waterfall with spray

Again cushion stuffing was used at the bottom of the waterfall to creat churning water hitting the pool below. (Still to be poured with Woodland Scenics realistic water)

model train waterfall cotten wool

The cushion stuffing was then teased into shape (in my opinion) and the water from top to bottom was dry brushed with a very light blue to reflect the sky. A final layer of WS water effects was put on to give it that glossy look. (Not on the cushion stuffing)

model railroad waterfall spray

This is the ‘n’ scale display layout almost complete before moving it to the display area in the shopping center. It is 7.3 meters wide by 2.3 meters deep at its widest point. It is of modular design to enable it to be moved into it new home.

It is run by DCC Digitrax with three controllers and is of continental prototype running steam locomotives.

model railroad waterfall

Many thanks

Brian Knysna RSA”

Now on to Margaret:

And she proves in spades that a layout can be whatever you want it to be.

“Dear Alistair,

I built this N scale fairy village layout at the request of my granddaughters. They love it.


model railway fairy village

model railroad fairy village

model railroad fairy village

Next up is Daniel:

“The attached photo is a replication of an actual MOW car that was taken from revenue service for one specific function, one specific function only.

I thought it might be fun for your readers to guess what the car was used for.

mystery freight car

It was part of an eastern railroad. The Delaware and Hudson was the railroad, and was used for one location; Tunnel, NY where the D & H had a tunnel. This is northeast of Binghamton, NY.

weathered freight car

Above is a photo by Bill Mischler (D&H Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment – a GREAT book btw) of the prototypical car as seen in Oneonta, NY. Its usual home was in Binghamton, NY.

Below is the truck the D & H used to clear ice at the Ticonderoga tunnel. This photo is by Jeff Martin (D & H Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment) and was taken in July of 1968.


ice clearing train

A big thanks to Brian for sharing his model train waterfall, and Daniel and Margaret too.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming because it’s getting very thin on the ground this end again.

And if today is the day you decide to join in the fun and take that first step, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

16 Responses to Model train waterfall

  1. robert dale tiemann says:

    i would like to redo one from years ago, a real one. lots of work. was worth it loooked great. this one is good too.

  2. Brian Olson says:

    Just came back from a tour of Norway and saw LOTS of waterfalls. This is very realistic, great tips here.

  3. Mike Mumford says:

    I think that fairy themed N scale layout is just the coolest thing I’ve seen in ages. I am forever astonished at the creativity of this group!

  4. Runna Muck says:

    Brian where exactly does the waterfall start from or originate?

  5. David Howarth says:

    Very Impressive Brian …and well done margaret

  6. george zaky says:

    Nice water fall. Thanks
    I will never forget your layout that you sent us once before and I am thrilled to see it again. Your imagination & talents IMHO are what this Hobby should be all about. First is you made this for your granddaughters and they love it. There is nothing more important than that. The fairy tale village is artful and clever and a zillion stories can be made. Your modelling skills are stellar and you should be proud. I would love to see more.
    You must be the ice breaker at a party- LOL. That car would never make it in my low headroom portals.
    Big Al

  7. Ed Horst says:

    All three are great examples of what ideas will detail one’s dioramas or layouts.. great waterfall tips.. fairy garden to help us keep young with imagination and last is the car & truck for keeping tunnels and outside portals free from debris, ice.. cleaver idea, thanks

  8. Stephen k says:

    Well done. The detail was splendid.

  9. Gus says:

    Brian – The waterfall is incredible. A couple questions…
    You said you used marine silicone sealer on a piece of glass – could you describe what the glass was used for and how this became the waterfall please? With the cushion stuffing, did you do anything to it to solidify it or is it simply glued in place?
    Thanks so much – keep ’em coming!!

  10. Mr. Ron from South Mississippi says:

    Does anyone make a motorized service truck that can be run on a track?

  11. Robert bBrady says:

    Mr Ron A white utility vehicle runs on rails Ebay
    The Critic

  12. David J. Neral says:

    Hi, Al,
    I enjoyed reading your website, and those tips your readers offer. I have a problem with my layout.
    Layout: 7 12 ft by 4 1/2 ft.
    Power; Bachmann power pack and speed controller.
    trackage: E-Z track system
    Layout: mid-1880’s
    Train set: Durango $ Silverton
    I own this layout for about 5 yrs. The track ran along the edge of the platform. with a spur coming off the main line at the lower part of the platform. The train ran good until two months ago.. I switch the train off the main line onto the spur, and the moment it entered the spur it stopped dead.
    I check the tracks with a power tester, there’s power, the switches still working fine. The power pack was plugged into a power strip which in turn plugged into a wall outlet. I even switch out the power strip, and even got a new power pack, but the train won’t run. Even the Polar Express loco which have DCC Sound won’t run either. So I’m in a stump how it happened I’m hoping you or other readers would help me on this problem.

  13. william j plmer says:

    nice and an ice breaker ?

  14. Jim Robinson says:

    I especially like your use of cushion stuffing on your waterfall. It creates an effect few modelers have yet employed (at least those I have seen). I have put it in place, then sprayed it with water and run a plastic for down the waterfall to give it a falling motion. After it dries, I spray it with hair spray. The “fluffy” look at the bottom (seen under the bridge in a photo above) is especially effective. Good work!

  15. Brian Messenger says:

    Reply to Gus’s question, I used the glass as a base to apply the marine clear sealer on. I ran beads of the sealer on the glass base to the length and width of the waterfall as required (I actually used a mirror – didn’t have a piece of glass big enough). Once the sealer was dry after two to three days, I peeled it off from the glass and placed it on the scenery where required and patted it down. I used some of the sealer to fix it to the scenery in strategic spots.
    The cushion stuffing was used as is and just teased/pulled it to the shape to which looked right to me. It was then glued to the scenery using white glue.
    I hope that this explains the clear sealer on glass and cushion stuffing a bit better.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy from Knysna RSA

  16. Gus says:

    Thanks Brian! Yes, that explains it completely. Beautiful work you’ve done. I really appreciate your reply. Take care….

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