N scale figure 8

Clarke’s been in touch with his N scale figure 8 track plan.

“Finally becoming a reality! Just retired and am starting my first layout.

Rail laid & painted, two train operation going smoothly, all track and wiring for rails complete. Ballasting & scenery next.

Also putting lighting in place (Blue LED plus track lighting, for general illumination) now.

N Scale figure 8, plus double around inner loop, single mainline outer loop, with double crossover for interchange. Two train operation, or single train completes entire route in about a minute. Probably adding a reversing trolley as well.

I have learned so much, both good & bad, building this so far.

I made some rookie mistakes, but have had far more fun building this than a man my age, should!

I’ve used N scale standard code 80 throughout, with the exception of the elevated “trolley run” where I substituted Kato track, for ease of installation, etc.

I’ve weathered and ballasted all the track, painted the Kato rails with burnt sienna to enhance realism, and have had exceptionally great luck with operating the trains! No derailments or major issues.

I did have to dig myself out of a design hole, on one curve that required a tight radius.

I used a tight Kato track, and masked the mistake with mountain scenery. Another place has too steep a grade (3%) but I masked that with tunnels.

For the tunnel portals I purchased rather than scratch built, enough was available to make that an easy decision.

Chooch makes great products for this, and you can see the result in the pictures. All of the stone & brick wall work was carved out of Styrofoam, and I was amazed at how well, and quite frankly, easy that was to create!

I am moving towards developing the town in each of it’s variations and moving forward with scenery (trees & other stuff that’s green, and not gray).



N scale figure 8

N scale figure 8

N scale figure 8

N scale figure 8

N scale figure 8

N scale figure 8

Now on to Peter.

He’s been busy scratch building from the print out scenery:

“Hi Al,

Here’s one of my scratch builds.


I really do a get a kick out of seeing what you’ve created with the print out scenery. There’s more in the pipeline by the way, the talented (or bonkers) John is having a go with it right now.

Here’s John making some office buildings a while ago, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with the latest prints.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming – I can’t tell you how short I am of things to post.

Don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to make a start, just like Clark did.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

14 Responses to N scale figure 8

  1. Jeff says:

    What a great start Clarke. Looks fantastic so far.

  2. Kevin McArdle says:

    Great job. Enjoy your second childhood.

  3. That’s pretty cool,great effort!!

  4. Don Poitras says:

    Holy moly Clarke,you are a natural!So very well planned and your workmanship is in a league of it’s own.I hope you send more pictures when you have completed this great piece of art!You have inspired me to complete my first layout.Thanks,Don👍

  5. Erick says:

    Look Great.!!!!!!

  6. Tim says:

    You mentioned 3% grade was steep for your train. Is that because it is N scale?

  7. Carved stone abutments and walls are outstanding–very well done!!

  8. Dave A says:

    Clarke’s N scale layout is impressive. For a beginner he is very skilled. I would like to know how he got the stone walls look so real; I have never been able to create that effect, despite all my attempts?

  9. Tony, Kitty Hawk NC says:

    Clarke- great looking layout- keep us posted on your progress! Love the Daylight!

    Peter- nice looking scratch build!

  10. Would love to know which kits Pete used for that incredible freight station.
    Good to hear that we can expect another video from John. I love his enthusiasm and wish I knew where to find all his videos in one place.

    3% is not usually a steep grade in any scale. That said, optically it is a different story.

  11. Clark Corn says:

    Thanks everyone, appreciate all the comments!
    The 3%+ grade is just visibly awkward, but it works fine. But I just wanted to hide it some. I created the “daylight” affect with very narrow (15 degree) par 30 lamps on track. That creates great shadowing affects, just as the brights sun dies. Then they are dimmable, for great affects with blue LED iI installed.

  12. Steven Kanner says:

    Hi Clark. Can you tell us the size of the layout. Also did you use kato track for all the track?

  13. Jim Kennedy says:

    I am not just making this up. I am getting ready to build my first n scale layout and I had been looking for layout ideas. One morning some time ago I was washing dishes and was using dawn on a griddle and put this same design on the griddle. I realized the potential for a layout immediately and drew it out on paper before I washed the griddle. That design is going to be my first layout. So maybe I am doing something right after all. Glad to know that someone else had the idea first. Now I have a resource.

  14. Robert S. says:

    Could you please publish a track plan and track list. This is exactly the layout I have wanted to build.

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