Kato F3 engines n scale – Sheldon’s

Sheldon’s been in touch – he’s shared a vid of his kato F3 engines n scale running on his layout:

“Hi Al,

I have been working on the layout for about eleven years. I only run Kato engines and Micro Trains rolling stock. No particular community or railroad. If I like the look of the equipment it gets added. Seeing the trains running is my enjoyment.

In the beginning, I had only DC. Added DCC three years ago. After cleaning up the wiring from all the blocks etc. I had to get rid of some one hundred feet of used wire.

When our local club has a open house I can run three trains at a time.

I also run two HO trains around the perimeter of the room, above the layout. One of these trains leaves the room at one end and comes back a little later at the other end. The kids love this.

A favorite car is a box car that has a camera mounted. Battery pack is in the car. Picture is very good. Better battery life would be great. LED’s are new to me but I’m learning. I have always said that if I understood electricity I would be dangerous…


kato f3 engines n scale

kato f3 engines n scale sidings

trains and planes

kato f3 engines n scale train layout

model train backdrop

model train flyover

kato f3 engines n scale

Latest ebay cheat is here.

A big thanks to Sheldon for sharing his Kato F3 engines n scale layout – I do love seeing the personal touches folk add to their layouts: Sheldon’s planes made me smile.

Don’t forget today is the last today you can bag the launch price for the latest engine shed.

John’s ‘how to’ video for the engine shed makes it a fun old project too.

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.

75 Responses to Kato F3 engines n scale – Sheldon’s

  1. steve says:

    Nice Job .
    Love the Planes flying over head
    in the intrest of having fun I put King Kong on top of City Hall , then added a couple of Biplanes buzzing by him
    Steve , Sarver Pa

  2. Ben H says:

    Looks very good, Wish mine looked half that good.

  3. Dave Fairfull says:

    Very nice layout Sheldon.
    Dave F.

  4. Ron Schultz says:

    the mirror for the background is a nice touch.

  5. Richard Fabiszak says:

    Beautiful layout. I am curious about the room size. How large is the room? Thanks.

  6. Joseph Wright says:

    Wonderful layout thanks for sharing

  7. christine says:

    Very nice layout. And I too like the mirror.

  8. kevin says:

    Truly a work of art, very well planned and in good taste. Very appealing to the eyes!!!

  9. Really nice. I do like the balloons and the plane., along with everything else I could see. Thanks for posting Sheldon.

  10. Marty says:

    Sheldon, Wow! Would you please take some more video of your whole layout that would be really cool to see it all.

  11. Lee Barry, CEO LZPMRR says:

    nice looking layout. Send more video using your “car” video system. I bought a system for my layout, a Z scale 37 x 27 x 10 runners but haven’t tried to see if it would do alright on my car, regarding the size. Mine you can hook it to track power thru the wheels of one of the cars trucks, or here’s an idea find an old truck and attach it to the car the camera is on, it has to have a coupler on both ends and then use the 2 separate axles for the power pickup. Front one for positive rail and the rear one for negative rail. I’m still out on exactly how to hook the wires up to the rails. Any ideas out there???

  12. Timothy Crump says:

    Excellent details….love the planes and the road crew!!!

  13. Rose Fabiszak says:

    Love your layout. I converting my home office room – into our train layout area. How big is your room and how big are the tables? This is very similar to what we are thinking of doing with the HO – U shape layout we are designing. Knowing your room and table size will help us get a better prospective.


  14. George Ross says:

    Starting Over in new House With New Layout . Have to try the Video Camera on the Box Car. Great Layout.

  15. Phil Saruk says:

    Magnificent! Love every bit of it! Airplanes, Roads that go places etc.! Absolutely Beautiful!

  16. tommy marco says:

    just wonderful best of both worlds for me trains and planes, made my day thank you Sheldon

  17. Harold Goldstein says:

    I have N gauge so I use less space do they have layouts on wood I could put together or already set up just have put my trains on it

  18. Scott Newman says:

    very nice layout

  19. paul says:

    very nice 🙂

  20. Dave Ewing says:

    Hi Sheldon, nice write up and I enjoyed your layout. Can’t add anything to that which has already been said.
    Dave in Eden NC

  21. Bill Logan says:

    wow wow wow Sheldon i am amazed at the layout with the USA flag fluttering in the foreground with balloons and aircraft flying around.It must be hard sometimes to watch your trains operating.
    Bill L

  22. paul Otway says:

    nice layout Sheldon

  23. terry powers says:

    love that that the first photo is a layout overview.

  24. terry powers says:

    I love that the first photo is an overview of the layout.

  25. Pete Evangel says:

    My kind of layout. Not based on anything real, just pure imagination. I love it. Of course I’m not a rivet counter (I saw that on this blog so I’m gonna borrow it) so I dont care if it’s absolutely true. I love seeing what comes from peoples brains!! It means something to them and that is what really matters. Very nice work Sheldon. Would love to see more video, you’res whetted my appetite to see more of your layout in action.

    Also, could you show us the HO system that runs out of the room and then returns? Would love to see that (video of course)!!!

    Pete-warm and dry in Silicon Valley

  26. Ron says:

    Sheldon: Wow. For a guy who purports to know little about electricity it looks to me like you’ve got it “wired”. Fantastic layout. I am curious about the non mirrored backdrop. Did you paint it or is it a poster or …?
    Again, great layout, enjoy.

  27. Ron says:

    Oh and a shout out to Dave from Eden. I was born/raised in Reidsville.

  28. Rod Mackay says:

    Beautiful job Sheldon, very nice use of the backscenes, and although there’s a lot of railroad there it still looks like it runs through the scenery, not like the scenery is just shoe-horned into spare corners. Well done.

  29. Malcolm says:

    Thank you Sheldon, I’m starting a new layout after being away from rail roading for some years. I have a 14″x14″ with a door way in the same area as your opening. I was not sure of how to design the frame work. As we all know, the foundation is the most important. I will be working in HO scale, n in the early 50’s so I can run steam n diesel. Mack.

  30. Dan says:

    Nicely done ! Thanks for sharing .

  31. Dangerous Dave says:

    Nice layout you have built there with a good track designe , well done …Dave

  32. Kenton says:

    Awesome job!

  33. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great layout I to like the plane touch nice detail thanks for sharing.

  34. Roger N says:

    A real nice system.
    Are the balloons – balloons or just images on the backdrop?
    Again, a real nice and inspiring layout.

    Makes me want to get off my lazy (not really lazy, just too many irons in the fire) butt, and get my system up and running.
    I have discovered on my layout, that I am going to have to rebuild the spirals between the levels, they are too light/flimsy. Going to take 5 sheets of plywood just for them.
    My layout is N scale, in a 16×20 foot room with no windows and a double wide entry. The layout is a “G” shape with the entry between the openings of the “G”. The layout/system is very loosely based in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, complete with a harbor terminal and military supply depot.

    That is enough talk about mine.

  35. chuck67 says:

    This way above the club & pro layouts I’ve paid to see with my kids. H O or N. Truly nice work Sheldon. Thanks for sharing

  36. Ken Lindberg says:

    Great effort, you can be my designer any time.
    I’m a Marklin HO guy that has to yet unpack from a move.

  37. Cary B says:

    I love the layout Sheldon, the hot air balloons in backdrop are nice effect.
    Thanks for sharing

  38. Richard Bittenbender says:

    Fantastic. Love the open feeling of the layout and, as many have mentioned the fabulous quirky but true to life scenes you have created. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.


  39. Dan says:

    I’m just getting into this. Very impressive . I to was wondering about size, room size, and base. Thanks and have a great year.

  40. Ian Pither says:

    You seem happy with your DCC system. Our you allowed to tell please which it is?

  41. Steve Lorentz says:

    Wonderful job, lots of detail. Brings back lots of memories of my Dads annual N gauge layouts. He’d sketch during the summer, put the platform up after Labor Day n usually we’re still putting finishing touches Christmas Eve. Everybody who came to visit enjoyed the showing. Yous looks fantastic Sheldon!

  42. Bob Walker says:

    Hi Sheldon! I can only echo other folks’ comments… very nicely done… I, like others who have posted here, am only just beginning & am using SCARM to plan a layout. Did you use any software in the design of your layout? Keep up the great work, sir… 😉

    Bob W
    Temple, NH, USA

  43. rossjohnston54@hotmail.com says:

    Great work Sheldon!! I would like to see your layout and dimensions as I am about to lay track on my support structure in my 20 x 18 foot shed. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, South Australia

  44. Jan Watters says:

    well done

  45. Louis Seldon says:

    Didn’t see in your or other comments, what gauge, how the biplane is suspended, balloons I’d guess are painted on the backdrop?, photo of the camera boxcar would be nice.
    Louis, Ft. Worth, Texas

  46. jim Sulkosky says:

    Wow nice layout keep up the great work.

  47. Thomas Murphy says:

    Nice work Sheldon, the best to you. Keep up the inspiring ideas.

  48. Tony B Kitty Hawk NC says:

    Great layout- I especially like the aviation parts! Definitely some ideas here that I’ll steal!

  49. Skip Duld says:

    i just wanted to commenyt on the books that u sell. i guss they great i just didn’t get a chanch to use them yet.
    i was using the digatrax sys. but im traying to sell it because its to diffucult to use. im learning disable and without help i can’t read directings. yes i would like u to help but if u can’t be here u can’t help. i realy enjoy ur articles.
    tks for everything.


    The room is about 18 by 20 feet. Extended golf cart garage.The lay out is about 14 at the rear and the sides are 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. I have been using Digitrax for my DCC and love it. All engines are KATO . I don’t consider myself to have any artistic ability’s but I did paint the backdrop. The balloons are cut out and glued.
    A local friend is helping do a complete rewire of the buss system.
    Word to the wise. When doing your wiring be very precise.. DO NOT MIX AND MATCH. You never see it but If not done with care you will regret it.


    The layout is N scale……. love the details!

  52. Jim Az says:

    Nicely done. So many interesting scenes on display. Great modeling and thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  53. Gerry says:

    Very nice layout Sheldon; impressive!!!!

  54. Cary E Price says:

    Great layout Sheldon, like many of the others, enjoy the scenic touches you’ve added like the aircraft and lighted signs. Detail is great, hope your having fun with this great layout! Cary in KY

  55. CARL ANGDAHL says:

    Very nice RR. Couldn’t determine or maybe missed it somewhere but layout appears to be “N”. I hope my under construction G-guage looks half this good.

  56. dick hogle says:

    Noticed the balloon’s right away. The ones in the photo are the actual balloons that launch every October in Albuquerque NM. Very nice layout.

  57. Frank Staus says:

    Sheldon—or anyone—can you kindly tell me what DCC is? I’ve been putting train layouts together for many years but just recently got back into some modest layouts after 20 or years. Please explain the advantages of DCC. I would appreciate it. Thank you, Frank

  58. Monroe De Jarnette says:

    Nicely done. I love the touch that the airplanes add. I was a smokejumper in an earlier life. In 1949 we were still using the Ford Trimotors as jump planes. I had a 1/87th scale trimotor flying above my layout. I intended to have two smokejumpers as they exited the plane, but I never got around to that. You Have neat layout. Congratulations!

  59. I have an O gauge layout that I am building. Would really like to see more photos and videos of O gauge.


  60. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Wow….love the layout………..the backdrops, the constructions scenes, the hot air ballons, the plane and the trains………..great detail……..

  61. Scott Llewellyn says:

    Thank you for your pictures and video love your layout. I agree with everyone else the planes and balloons are a great touch. I have to say my favorite part was old glory, being a Navy veteran I do so appreciate the American flag. Keep up the great work Scott from western Pennsylvania

  62. Ms. Jackie says:

    TO Frank Staus ,

    I sure that you will find an answer to you question at the forum!!!!!!!

  63. Greg Marples says:

    You have inspired me to get back to work! I half finished a large L shaped N scale layout years ago, but life got in the way of finishing it. It models my ideal of my hometown, Marysville, Kansas, and the UP depot and yards(Central Division Hub). A fanciful brewery, stockyards and a limestone quarry for interest. 1920’s era. Thanks so much, doc!

  64. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great layout, like to see a video!!!

  65. Erick says:

    Very Kool.!!!! Keep up the good work, I hope mine turns out that good.

  66. Dearest Al, It does my heart good to see that you are ageing just like the rest of us. I’m eighty two and have all the symptoms as you do also. The mind plays some funny (tickle funny) tricks on us on a regular basis. Thank GOD for all the blessings., and thank you AL for all the work you do and the reasons you do it. I for one would really enjoy meeting you in person, but, emails will have to do……….
    A toast to AL,(top shelf single malt Scotch) may the steam always be up ,may the tracks always be shiny and may the family train be a thing of pride……..Richard

  67. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Sheldon…..beautiful layout…. Great touch with the planes.

  68. Paul says:

    Some really nice and unexpected things. Outstanding job.

  69. Don says:

    from the airplane & ballons to the coal & tanker trains to the lake & mountains in the back ground, the whole layout is awesome. well done.

  70. Don says:

    the road crew & airplane make this original & different.

  71. Dave in AZ says:

    When I was in Electrician’s Mate A school in 1960 an old Chief EM explained electracy. He said “Electricity, you cant see it but it’s there.”.

    Dave in Arizona

  72. Steve Ruple says:

    Very nice layout and beautiful scenery

  73. Wayne Rybak says:

    Love those airplanes. Where’s the landing strip?

  74. robert dale tiemann says:

    great layout. thanks yoe reminded me that i need to get back to rebuilding mine.

  75. Ross Johnston says:

    What a great layout Sheldon! Please send in longer videos so I can get an idea of your whole layout. Thanks again. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, South Australia.

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