N scale waterfall

Dean’s been in touch with his N scale waterfall that he’s added to his layout:

“Al, cheers, from Dean in New Mexico!

I was trying to get this out a month ago, but a required knee replacement set me back. I’m now to the point that I can get back to my computer.

Here’s the latest progress on my Conejo Valley Railroad: finishing (almost) the scenery.

I constructed and attached all outer boards: two back boards painted sky blue (2 oz blue acrylic added to ¾ of a pint of white wall paint), one on the back and one on the right of the layout.

model train tunnel

And two black fascia boards for the remaining two sides.

n scale bench

I’ve covered the landscape of the entire layout using my usual brown basecoat followed by earth, burnt grass, and light green fine turf scattered over diluted white glue

landscaping n scale

Next, I added small bushes and trees fixed with dilute white glue.

landscaping N scale

Western United States streams usually have a series of rapids followed by straight runs. I used successive layers of ¼” foam covered with plaster cloth to simulate this. The final river is one of the few things I’ll need to finish soon

n scale waterfall stream

Note the initial lower layer is still covered with aluminum foil on the left.

I built up the large waterfall by laying down a shaped layer of white glue on parchment paper. After it dried, I added streaks of more white glue to give it some structure. Here it is dried after dry brushing with white paint.

n scale waterfall

After cutting with scissors to fit the slot in the rock and bending to form where it went over, the waterfall was attached with hot glue.

n scale waterfall

Then the upper river was built up with three layers of white glue.

n scale waterfall glue

Here’s what the falls and upper river look like finished.

n scale waterfall

And a train runs by it.

model railroad train running

Thanks, Al.


A big thanks to Dean for sharing his N scale waterfall addition!

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get going 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.

8 Responses to N scale waterfall

  1. Ralph Berry says:

    Thank you Dean for all that useful information. I like the technique for the waterfall, much easier than trying to make it in place.

  2. Chet Karlewicz says:

    Love the way you made the waterfalls great idea,very clever

  3. Stephen Kurtz says:

    Great idea Dean! It sure looks easier.

  4. Sam H. says:

    Very nice. It gives me some ideas for a new setup we are planning for this year.

  5. Russell Jones says:

    Excellent “how to” do a waterfall and river

  6. John Philip Ruetz says:

    Dean makes the waterfall easy to make. Great job.

  7. Malcolm says:

    Dean, Some great ideas to improve a waterfall on my Z scale layout. I have one suggestion, maybe add some hilly/mountainous terrain to the backdrop with a painted continuation of the stream.

  8. robert dale tiemann says:

    i had a real waterfall on an old set. it took a lot of work and maintenance to water proof it. it was fun.

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