An English N-Scale Diorama

Started by tooStupid, August 19, 2019, 12:10:49 PM

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When I started model railroading back in the early 1970's I was going to University and needed some stress relief and a distraction form my failing grades. That is when I got into building a N-Scale layout. It lasted a couple of years, like most things I do, and I put the stuff in boxes and hide it away.

Years later when I retired I was encouraged by my wife to get back into modelling. N-scale was out of the question as I could barely see the box cars. So I gave all my N-Scale gear to my daughter to help her over a rough patch. She dove into creating a "layout" and quickly built a 3'x4" layout with a couple sidings and some waterfront. Like me she lost interest in it after a couple years and it stood in the train room getting dusty.

Just last spring she spent ever day getting here high school grades up to qualify for university. This summer she got accepted and is now living in Ottawa about to start four years living away from home. Before she left she "The Great Purge" happened and one of the items purged was her "layout". She said I could whatever I wanted to do with it. Challenge accepted!

I will occasionally post in this thread what I've (we) done to her layout to turn it to a "English" influenced diorama. As always with my posts they will be sporadic and sometimes too wordy or very few words. So stay tuned as I get my act together and start to play with her diorama.


Just to get things started out.

Kelsie and I spent hours in from of a computer trying to figure what she wanted in her layout. We looked at tons of pictures and videos, but it came to actually drawing the layout using ANYRail to sketch out what she wanted.  This is what we came up with.

It was simple and easy to build and would fit on here desk, which it never got there though. The main baseboard and landscape features were then built by her with help from me. She definitely had a vision she wanted to model to and we did what we could to get there.

When she pasted the layout on to me, I needed to get out of the train room and put it on a shelf or desktop somewhere out of the way. So out cam the saw and cutters and I turned it into.

That will give you a taste of what is to come.


Looking forward to what happens next...................
Mike :)


Marty, you stated N scale (gauge over there :) ) was too small back when. Have you considered doing OO9? Narrow gauge in 1/76 (OO) scale, using N scale (9mm) track.

There's a good sized active Society, it is well supported by Peco, and a couple of other big name mfrs., as well as a large cottage industry.

Just a thought.




I had considered all the scales and gauges from Z to Large Scale and it came down to the smallest scale that my hand tremors would start being an issue; so it was HO Scale/Gauge/Size. It was the cheapest and had the most suppliers were I did not have to pay shipping and duties and tariffs.

As for this diorama N-Scale was chosen because I gave my daughter the N-Scale stock I had purchased in the early 1970s. As you know that was the first wave of N-Scale popularity, besides my first layout could fit on my desk.

What I am doing with this diorama is just "finishing" it off. You could say do the refinements my daughter no longer has the time for.



Here is an overview picture of what the diorama looks like after my daughter did "her" final touches to the diorama. This is what I have to work with to turn it into a more English diorama.

(Ignore the motive power and cars as they are the only ones she wants to keep. I will sell the rest)

[size=78%]I am open to suggestions on how to "britishify" it more using the existing structures. [/size][/size][size=78%]The structures were the cheapest kits we could find for less than $15 Cdn at train show flea markets.[/size]


Hmm, here is a close-up of one of the structures.

You can see the viaduct behind it.


Hey Marty:

Looks just great.




Nice little scene and diorama.

Tom ;D
"If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed."
Thomas Jefferson

Tom Langford


Thanks for the comments.

here is a quick snap of the bus maintenance shed.


Martin, Not sure how "English" you want to make it but we don't have many large wooden industrial or even residential structures and don't use shingles this side of the pond. An easy fix for roofs would be n scale tile or slate paper with brick paper for walls, cheap and available from the UK.
Modelling my version of Colorado Narrow Gauge here in the UK.  Any resemblance to reality is purely accidental.



Hey Justice City:

Great job on the diorama.


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