N scale buildings – Robert’s

Robert’s been in touch with some very nice N scale buildings – it’s a fab little layout:


model train layout

I started this N gauge project three years ago. Now you can see it is nearly complete.

The layout is a figure eight nested inside an oval. The town of Sunnydale is on the left, with a boardwalk and a beach.

In the center is a mountain with a resort on top, and to the right is Forest Falls. There is an aerial tramway going from Sunnydale to the resort.

I tried to create a pleasing place I would want to jump into. This is what I got.

The mountain top is connectorized so I can remove it and place a small Christmas tree in the center when the season comes.

N scale buildings houses

Here is an aerial view of the cul de sac. There is a gazebo at the center, with shops are at 10, 11, and 1 o’clock and a church at 6.

N scale buildings shops

These two stores are illuminated with interiors. The store pharmacy windows have apothecary jars and window displays, while the restaurant has tables and chairs, DIY. What you may not be able to see is that there are backgrounds, also illuminated.

I searched for photos of apparel shop and pharmacy interiors, reduced the size, then printed it on photo paper.

An LED behind it brightens it like a rear projection movie screen, and use of foil on top redirects light to brighten the windows.

N scale buildings shops

Here are April’s Bakery and a swank home with a school bus in front. You can see tables and chairs in April’s for those who must eat NOW.

N scale buidlings diner

Here’s a better shot of April’s. You can see the background showing the counter and a lady in front of it ordering her goodies.

N scale track beach board walk

This is a boardwalk leading to the beach, with a guy walking hastily to check out the chicks. All my stuff is scratch or heavily modified, but the boardwalk is special; the rails are made from angel hair pasta.

N scale forest lake

Here is Forest Falls. You’ll see five waterfalls. Notice there is a hot air balloon on top of the mountain and a guy on a diving board waving to the balloon riders while building up courage to take a dive. Pig sty at 12 o’clock and a shack with a still at 1 and the Early Bird Bait Shop at 2.

N scale lake shore

This shows the continuation of the water flow. Five falls to a lake, ending in a river that flows under the tracks and then under a covered bridge (built primarily from toothpicks).

Here is another viewing angle of the falls. The windmill in the foreground does indeed rotate. I built the structure around a tiny right-angle 3VDC gearmotor. You’ll notice two sandhill cranes doing a mating dance in the back yard at 6 o’clock. There are a couple of foot bridges spanning the babbling brook. A cow is crossing one while another cow contemplates following, maybe to check out the sheep by the windmill. Almost every house has a hitching post with horses.

N scale adding scenery

Here you see a Sinclair gas station with illuminated background interior, illuminated pumps, and illuminated sign. Getting lights into homemade N gauge pumps was a hoot. Incidentally, all the street lights flicker and were built from scratch. The food store has an actual interior I made. To the left of the food store is an Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Little Oscar is popping out of the top to give the kiddies wiener whistles and hot dogs.

In case you couldn’t read the Sinclair sign, here it is.

You can see the lighthouse with its beacon and flashing warning light, then clockwise is the carousel (3VDC gearmotor, illuminated, scratch built), the cotton candy stand, the lodge (soon to be with beer garden), an illuminated fountain, the balloon, guy on a diving board, and the foghorns for the lighthouse. But what’s that fire burning down below?

Oh no, it’s a dragon! Actually it’s Elliot from Pete’s Dragon. He’s so happy… lazing on the beach, watching the waves, with a tropical cocktail on a granite table along with a bowl of apples for roasting!

My sister in law was looking at April’s Bakery on the other side of the board, and she was amused. She asked what was upstairs. I said nothing. She replied, “Well, there’s what looks like a chest of drawers and a couple of light fixtures. I think someone’s moving in.” (If you look at the close up photo you can see the artifacts she was talking about.)


A big thanks to Robert for sharing his layotu and how he designed his N scale buildings.

(Don’t forget, there’s lots of printable buildings here).

What I liked most about Robert’s layout is had a clear theme in mind: somewhere he’d like to visit.

As you all know, I do love a layout with a theme.

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.

model train answers

15 Responses to N scale buildings – Robert’s

  1. Greg Marples says:

    Making your own interiors using a printer is genius. Backlighting them as well! The foreground interior furnishings are great as well. Incredible detail!

  2. Bob Amling says:

    Amazing scenery and the narrative is great.

  3. Rob says:

    Lights inside N Guage gas pumps. Now that is an amazing accomplishment! I for one would like to know more about how you did that.

  4. Scott J says:

    I wish I had you available to decorate my n scale layout! Great work on yours!

  5. Erick says:

    Pretty kool.!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope mine turns out that good.

  6. Bob From Towson says:

    You Sir Are A Master Craftsman Extraordinaire!!!!!!!

  7. Ken of Lakewood Shores says:

    Love it. Book me a room for next week.

  8. Welder dave says:

    I’ve been thru Sinclair Wyoming 100s of times along I 80 they have a big refinery there amazing what steady hands can do with N gauge ! I have a Bit of a shake can’t do work that fine !

  9. Rich B. says:

    Saw beginning stages of this and quite skeptical… it has turned out really well executed and modeling is excellent. Ocean activity is outstanding. Looks as you’d expect and the whimsy just adds with it. A centerpiece layout, really different.


  10. Don says:

    nice touch with the Sinclair station & dinosaur, the round about & lake, excellent work.

  11. Stephen Hill says:

    Hey Rich let’s see yours

  12. TJK says:

    I second the motion from Stephen Hill..
    Hey Rich, lets see yours.

  13. robert dale tiemann says:

    help another cal de sac!!! just kidding. great job.love the water work.

  14. Steve Ruple says:

    AWESOME LAYOUT !!!!!, Great detailing on many of the sites. You have put a lot of work on this layout, great job. I don’t think that I would want to be the man on the diving board trying to dive because I don’t think it would be a safe dive to the lake (LOL)

  15. Andrew Aves says:

    Wow! Thank you for showing us your layout Robert – Awesome
    Andrew in Oz

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