Here's my first N Gauge Layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Herc Driver, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Very nice work Her Driver.
    Your kids are lucky to have a dad like you who spend some time to build a layout for them. Even if I suspect that the father spend more time running the trains than the kids do :)
    The various pics show that your layout is really progressing.
    I think you created a very nice and complete beginner layout: simple but still including the basic features a model railroad should have, like passing track and industrial siding.

    Are you using Atlas code 80 track ? ( I didn't see any mention of the track code in your post )
    Nice ballasting work . Is the ballast from Woodland scenic ?
    What size is it ?

    Once again, from a newbie, congratulations.
  2. CraigN

    CraigN New Member

    Herc Driver,

    You did a very nice job on your layout. It does not look like a 1st attempt model railraod at all.

    Go with the MT couplers, you won't regret it.

  3. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    This looks like a layout that both dad and the kids could enjoy. Talk about "quality" time. What better way to spend some time with the youngsters?:thumb: We should all be so lucky.

    Nice work, Herc.
  4. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    That does look great for a first timer!:thumb:

  5. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Yes Davidstrains, you just resumed it in 2 words: Quality and Time
  6. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

    I will believe it's your first N scale layout but have trouble believing it's your first layout. Very nice work and looks like something I want to accomplish in N scale.

    Someone else asked this too. Is that Kato Unitrack?
  7. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Sorry for not replying quickly

    Thanks for all the kind words about the layout. Yes, it is very much a beginers where I'm trying new techniques and scenery changes. Some particulars...the track is Bachmann EZ Track N-gauge, ballasted with Woodland Scenics fine gray ballast (twice to finally get it right). The trick I discovered is adding a small amount of carpenter's glue to the alcohol/water/dishsoap mixture. The plastic sides of the track bed allowed my first attempt at ballasting to run off the edges more than I desired, so a small amount of carpenters glue thickened up the mixture just enough to provide better adhesion of the ballast/glue mixture. Since my LHS doesn't stock railroad paints, I used the model paints they had mixing burnt umber/sienna/rust together until I got the desired rust color on the rails. Had to paint them twice with a 00 brush, but it was worth it. I also darkened the mixture for the turnouts to hide the extra metal that connects the rails of the switch so that they look less noticable. That one thing might have been my best addition to the layout. The turnouts by Bachmann are not very prototypical-looking, but covering up the extra metal that joins the rails made them look much better. There are many many small details I'd like to improve and incorporate on this layout...and yes, dad may not run them as much as the kids do, but certainly enjoys working on it (and buying new engines/cars for it too). These three pictures show (1) first ballast attempt: notice the ballasting didn't stay beside the rail ties and all the shiny metal on the turnout that holds the rails together (2) second attempt at ballasting and weathering the rails/turnouts and (3) final weathering and darkening of the turnout rails. There's still a long list of things to improve upon...and weathering the track was first on the list. Hopefully the turnouts look better and don't draw attention like they did before.

    Attached Files:

  8. csxnscale

    csxnscale Member

    Herc you can be proud on this one, that's for sure.
  9. cornerhobbyshop

    cornerhobbyshop New Member

    Well first thing, VERY NICE WORK! Your kids must be very happy that their father is making a set for them. I know mine didn't. I like the weeds that you put in next to the track. Makes it look VERY good, and about your ballasting job. FLAWLESS. It looks great. I jst one question though, what type ofd engine is your Union Pacific?
  10. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Thank you for the kind words. SD45 by Bachmann (Spectrum line) that is waiting by the engine repair station for new knuckle couplers on order from the LHS...I mean engine supply depot. The UP by the switch in close up is a Dash 8-40B. Since I fly around the country, I always try to visit a LHS when I sometimes find some great deals or hard-to-find items. It always seems like when I'm on the west coast, you can find all the east coast RR's at a bargin, and when flying around the east, you get a price break on the west coast lines. The internet is great...but I like visiting the local shops and talking to the folks about the products. Plus you can see the train run, pick 'em up and hold them, and check them out before making a buying decision. Plus, I get many weird looks from the TSA xray scanners going through the airports trying to figure out what that little electronic item is. A couple of times I've had to take out my new purchase and explain to them, "'s only a Dash-8".
  11. cornerhobbyshop

    cornerhobbyshop New Member

    I like your Dash-8, and yes, i agree, it is much better travelling around buying your items for the same reasons you explained. Much better when you can actually pick up and actually hold what you want to buy before you buy. How much did you pay for the Dash-8, if you can remember?
  12. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    $99 in Portland, OR at a great downtown hobby store. Maybe not the absolute best deal...and I'm guessing I could have done better on line, but I spent two hours talking about trains/layouts, getting tips and information about the product that you just can't get on line. That's worth the extra $$ to me.
  13. The Layout is looking good...:thumb:
    I especially like the Southern Rwy. power...:)
  14. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Did someone say Southern?

    Quick pic of some of my Southern lineup...

    Attached Files:

  15. cornerhobbyshop

    cornerhobbyshop New Member

    You've got some nice engines their, I manage a hobby shop and i really dont see many engines that are as good as yours. I am building a layout in the middle of the shop for the kids to control, but of course it will be in a wooden case with a plexiglass cover, =P, for saftey's sake, and I'm looking for a real nice engine that will for awhile without getting too hot, so I was going to ask you if you could maybe sell me one of yours or somthing.
  16. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    First DPM kit

    Wanted to add this picture of the first DPM kit I built/weathered. I need help on highlighting the offset brick areas around the window ledges/doors and building...just doesn't look righ yet but I can't put my finger on why?!? Any ideas?

    Attached Files:

  17. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    :wave: Hi Herc Driver,

    You have a pretty sweet N-Scale layout here. You also got some pretty nice engines and the track looks very good.

    Keep up the good work. O and, more pictures.
  18. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member


    Are the raised areas solid or do they have a brick pattern. If solid, they would be concrete lentils and would need to be tan for old concrete, light grey for newer. If brick, the would mormally be the same color as the surrounding brick, the detail itself being the only highlighting.
  19. CraigN

    CraigN New Member

    I think it looks pretty good.

    A couple of ideas here:

    Add some stains to the roof- you can also add some more detail to it like air moving equipment. I have even glued down extra fine ballast onto my roofs before I paint them to take away the smooth look. I've heard of some people gluing down fine sandpaper too.

    Add some "soot" to the smoke stacks to make them look used.

    Also add some stains under your windowsills.

    Take a look at some older brick buildings and you will notice some of this kind of detail.

    You're doing a great job so far!

  20. mr. bubbles

    mr. bubbles New Member

    nice lay out:thumb:

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