N gauge trains


Easy Steps to Construct
N Gauge Buildings from Scratch

Using N scale for your model train layout allows you to depict large scale areas in a small space. N scale allows you add everything in your layout from a single building to a small town or a village. While you can find many readymade buildings that you can simply prop in your model, getting the perfect look for your scenery may require you to make the N gauge buildings from scratch.

Constructing the building your self will allow you to be creative and imaginative. Building from scratch means that you can make anything from a skyscraper to an old mansion depending on the scene that you are trying to create.

Following are some of the steps that you can follow in order to build an N gauge building from scratch:

Step 1

Find images on the internet and in railroading magazines that you wish to construct.

Step 2

Once you have the picture of the scenery that you want to create, take a piece of paper and make two scaled drawings. To scale the building according to N scale, use a conversion scale. For example for every 13 feet, 4 inches of the real building, add 1 inch to your drawing.

In the first drawing only draw the shapes of the surfaces. You can use the first drawing as a template to create the basic structure of your building. Use the second drawing to add details in your structure.

Step 3

Once you have created the template for the building structure, it is time to gather materials required to build it. To give your buildings a realistic look you can purchase supplies made from styrene which looks like commonly used construction material such as concrete and brick. Other materials that are commonly used to construct buildings are balsa, cardstock, and foam core (or core flute) sheets. You can use these supplies to give the desired shape to your buildings from rooftops, to walls.

Harder materials can be used to add detailing in your buildings such as windows and doors.

Step 4

Use the drawing that you made, to cut the body of the building that you want to make. Use the measurements from your drawing to cut out the shapes from the sheets that you are using. Use a hobby knife to cut the sheets. Clean the edges of the sheet with the help of the sand paper.

Step 5

Glue the pieces together. Before leaving the pieces to dry, hold the pieces together and allow them to sit for a minute. Keep the N gauge building overnight and allow the glue to dry completely before you start the next step.

Step 6

Since N scale is one of the smallest scales, N gauge buildings will need less realism to express the image of the building. You can add more details to larger structures such as multistory buildings.
You can cut pieces from the sheet to add details to your building. Allow all the additions to dry overnight before you move on to the next step.

Step 7

Use acrylic paints to mimic the look of the real structure. Start by applying a coat of primer to help the paints stick on to the structure. Allow the base to dry for at least two hours before you apply another coat of paint.

Use different sizes of brush to add details in your N scale building. Keep the building overnight to dry and add weathering effects to make it look like it has been exposed to elements like the real structure.

Step 9

After you have added the weathering effects, apply matte clear coat to your model to protect the layers of paint. Allow the paints and the clear coat to rest for 24 hours so that the paints dry completely.

These are the simple steps that you can follow to build, close to life N gauge buildings for your model train layout.

Model Train Resources

N scale book

Getting Started In
N Scale Model Railroading

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N scale Track Plans

Space Saving
From Plan To Performance

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 N gauge buildings













N Gauge Railway Layouts

N Gauge Locomotives

N Scale Buildings

N Gauge Model Railway Layouts

Small N Scale Layout

N Scale Scenery

N Gauge Track Plans

Model Train Layouts

Buying and Building N Gauge Train Layouts

Article kindly supplied by Malcolm Richards (Mally)

Model railroading has been popular around the world since the 1940’s and in the United States particularly since the 1950’s and 1960’s. If you want to get started buying and building N gauge train layouts there are some decisions you will have to make first. Why N gauge and do you want to buy a layout or do you want to build it yourself?

Many people prefer the N gauge because it is smaller than HO or O. Lionel trains, made famous in the United States in the1950’s was an O gauge. People with less available space in their homes or apartments will usually choose the N scale because it is smaller and easy to fit almost anywhere. Another reason for choosing the N scale is that even if you have a lot of space you can build a very long train with whole cities and countryside. You have enough space to do anything you want with an N gauge layout.

To buy or to build

The question now is do you buy or build your layout. Buying a layout completely finished can be a problem. First of all most layouts, even for N gauge, are bulky, big and heavy. Anything larger than a 4X8 layout would be too large to ship in one piece if you buy it online or if you buy it from a catalog. The shipping cost could equal the cost of the layout.

If you buy a complete layout you need to make sure you get everything you need and want. Most often people are selling layouts because the like to build them and want start another one and need the space. They are probably not selling the trains with the layout. However you should get everything else that would be needed to make the scene on the layout complete. This includes the backboard with legs, the scenery including any hills, mountains, tunnels, and water features.
It also includes structures, buildings, bridges, cars, people, and animals. You should get any trees, bushes, flowers etc. that the seller had on the board. The entire track must be included and you need a guarantee that it is in good condition and that your trains will not derail or stop at any time during running the.

You will want to see pictures that are clear and close up so you can really see what you are getting. If you buy it locally and pick it up this is not a problem. If you do buy a completed layout, not only will you get a ready-made set up, you will not have the joy of making it and it will  could cost you between $400 to $4000 depending on the size and condition.

However if you choose to build be prepared to be patient, prepared and establish yourself in the best part of railroading – doing some or all of the work yourself. The base is easily built with wood pieces and foam board. You can also use foam board to cut out any hills or mountains. You can buy kits for the structures, trees, bushes, people and animals. You will get exactly what you want with as much detail as you want if you choose to make it instead of building it.

However the costs of the kits, the materials to build the board, the tracks and the structures are ever increasing. You might be able to buy a ready-made layout for a lot less than it would cost to buy all the materials to make one. It used to be cheaper to make your own, but with the increased prices by the manufacturers that is no longer necessarily.

You might pay $1000 for a complete, detailed 4X8 layout in good working order. You might spend more than twice that to build it yourself.  We would recommend that you build your own N gauge train layout if you want the thrill and satisfaction of doing it yourself.

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