N scale EZ track layout

John’s been in touch with his N scale EZ track layout:

“Right now my life is in transition.

Like many, I’m forced me to reassess my priorities.

In the reassessment, I purchased a new home in Nevada where I am building my minimum gauge outdoor railroad.

I am still working in Southern California 400 miles from my Nevada home. That commute is a killer!

To keep myself occupied, I decided to build my last Southern California layout.

The layout had to be small as my relocation and retirement are about three months away.

At first I was going to build a copy of a layout I built for my son some 25 years ago. That ship was scuttled by a multitude of misfortunes. In my frustrations I remembered a saying I learned some 40 years ago “Blessed are they that go in circles for one day they shall be called wheels.”

Quickly I grabbed my Bible to see if this could be found in the Beatitudes. No Luck.

After much research I found these words of wisdom came from Rodney Roundbottom.

Rodney was well named, he was born early in the 12th century on an morning in March, March 14th. As a bit of a Dionysian Epicure, Rodney was nearly as large at the equator as he was at the the poles.

For his size, Rodney fought well and became one of the lesser known knights of the round table, Sir Compherance of Pye.

It was shortly after joining the Knights that he uttered what proved to be a fate filled phrase “Blessed are they that go in circles…”. It seems that a couple of his better known compatriots took stock of his words (rumor has it they took a fence or two as well).

It was concluded that his observation was a slight against them and their endless discussions. They had Sir Compherance thrown in a punitentury, pilloried, and removed from the lists.

In honor of Rodney Roundbottom, my new layout is “Pizza Pye”

N scale EZ track layout circular layout

N scale EZ track layout adding landscape

N scale EZ track layout adding landscape

As one looks at my little layout one should notice that when it came to track, I took the EZ way out.

This track design was called a “Pizza” by the late Carl Arndt. It is a true micro-layout by his definition in that it fits in a four square foot space. The term “pizza” refers to the fact it is round like a pie and looks like it could fit in a pizza box.

N scale EZ track layout adding cliffs to model railroad

N scale EZ track layout model railroad sand

N scale EZ track layout model railroad rocks and trees

One may wonder why there are not any structures on this layout.

The reason will be obvious in a moment.

I wanted to be able to run both N Scale and HOn30/HOe/HO 009 trains on it.

Trees and rocks are indeterminate scale, buildings would give the game away.

Trees and rocks are arranged to hide the train as it makes its circuit around its fishbowl.

These scenic elements make the layout look bigger, They create an illusion by fooling the eye.

There is still more to do but it is serviceable for the present.

N scale EZ track layout on30

on30 circular model railroad

on30 model railroad

Some reasons to build small layouts like this Pizza or an Inglenook…

1. To try a different scale than the one you may be used to.
2. To learn new techniques, try different ideas.
3. To Get Started and have fun.


Now on to Ernesto.

There’s bit of a language barrier, but nothing google translate can’t handle:

“Hello Al,

I would like to collaborate on your page with some photos of my model, I have been a ferromodelista since I was 10 years old.

I am currently 75 living in Mexico City


model railroad crash

model railroad garage

moel railroad campsite

model train farmyard

model train farmyard

A huge thanks to Ernesto – I do enjoy seeing layout from all around the world.

And thanks to John too, for sharing his N scale EZ track, he has hit the nail on the head with his ‘Pizza Pye’ track plan. What a fab way to start!

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.

model train answers

21 Responses to N scale EZ track layout

  1. Steve, Lincs, UK says:

    Great work Ernesto, loved the garage sign!

    John, a great idea and a very witty write-up. I reckon you could do stand-up comedy in your retirement!

  2. TerrySipe says:

    ‘Papa John’ The pizza just proves that sometimes less is more. Looks great and looks like fun to create.
    Ernesto, Love the detail. Great job.

  3. John Bullock says:

    John, “When the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie, it’s a railroad!” Who knew I had it wrong all these years. Great write-up too!

    Ernesto, nice pics of your layout! Thanks.

  4. Tony, Kitty Hawk NC says:

    Ernesto and John- 2 great posts for a Sunday morning! And love the humor! Many thanks to both of you!

  5. jack masarie says:

    Johnny Pizzaseed. (innovator-wordsmith). BRAVO
    Shlack in NC

  6. Warren Ferguson says:

    Loved your soliloquy, John! And your railroad.

    ‘Que bueno, Ernesto, un magnifico ferrocaril!
    (The garage sign is great )

  7. Erick says:

    Looks good; Keep up the good work.

  8. Ernesto,
    Que Dios te bendiga en todo sus esfuerzos.
    (May God bless you in all your efforts.)
    Su ferrocarril modelismo es un obra magnifico!
    (Your model railroad is a magnificent work.

    Thank you for the kind and humorous responses to my little layout.
    I did think of writing the story in poetic prose but that would have been verse.

  9. On my little layout, there were two experiments that worked fairly well.
    I have been working with the glue soaked fabric as an alternative to heavier plaster based techniques for a while now. At first I used glue soaked paper bag and newspaper material, That worked well and is very inexpensive. The switch to cheap fabric is more recent and gives a much stronger base.
    The first of the new experiments was the use of foam rocks. I like the result I got but it is something I do need to perfect. They did photograph well and did blend nicely with some scenic pictures that I used on the backdrop.
    The second was the use of a foam clay product called Model Magic. There are a few providers of this product and my verdict is still out. It worked very well for the areas where I used it here.

  10. Bob muhme says:

    John, your perfect circle story had me laughing, great minimalist work!
    Ernesto, great landscaping, very detailed!
    Bob, N scales in MI and AZ

  11. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Ernesto………….love your attention to detail…….great work.

  12. Ernesto Reyes Vizzuett says:

    Thank you Al for give me a space in your page, i hope you have a good day!!!

  13. Harold says:

    John,…You took an ordinary table and made it extraordinary.

  14. Harold says:

    Earnestly…that barnyard makes me think I’m back on the farm

  15. Dick Lobach says:

    A friend of mine built a round layout on a bicycle wheel that was perfectly balanced. but set on an angle, the train stayed in one place and the layout went around. Just something to think about.

  16. Dave Karper says:

    Dick Lobach, was your friend the late Joe Luber? He had that as display in the window of Pro Custom Hobbies in Catonsville, Maryland sometime in the 1970’s. A circle of plywood the diameter of the wheel was added as a base for the track and scenery It was areal eye catcher, and received many great comments, not only from customers, but also from many passers by.It was a complete model railroad.

  17. Terry Plunkett in Oz says:

    I would like to suggest a little addition to John’s layout. Given his fascination with geometry, I suggest he adds three American Indian women sitting on animal hides. One needs to be sitting on a hippopotamus hide, while the other two should be smaller and sitting on buffalo hides. The weight of the squaw on the hippo hide should be equal to the combined weight of the other two ladies. This will demonstrate that the squaw on the hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the squaws on the other two hides!

  18. George Zaky says:

    Hey! Pies on! As they say in Italian.
    Mui bien! Keep sending stuff Amigo.
    Big Al
    Mr 2 – a day. A humorous & happy blog and as it should be. Brightened my day.
    Muchos Gracias

  19. Dave H from the Pacific NW says:

    Hey John, love your sense of humor.

  20. Tom Busler says:

    I loved your story. One suggestion: Use pepperoni instead of rocks for your scenery.
    Tom in Mississippi

  21. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice work.

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