The good and bad of my first N Scale layout

The City

As opposed to my O Gauge layout, which took 3 years to get to a state of completion, my N Scale 'layout on a door' took less than 3 months! However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I think I like the process of 'building the layout' almost as much as running the trains (at least some parts of it) and the rather limited operations of this first N Scale layout needed to be addressed. Some parts of 'version 1' will be carried through to my expanded 'version 2', such as the 'downtown' or city area.

The above photo shows a 'birds eye view' of the 'downtown' / city end of the layout. As you can see, operations were basically two very simple loops with the city on one end, and elevated tracks going over an industrial area on the other end. The city has several buildings from Kato and Tomix, which are obviously based on Japanese prototypes, such as the blue and green buildings in the below photo. I like the modern look of these buildings on the layout and I must say, the packaging and construction of these buildings is really great.

Sitting next to each other on the end of the city area are two buildings that I really enjoyed for different reasons. The large church is the Vollmer 7760 Cathedral, which I think turned out really nice. I wanted a building with a very 'gothic' look to it and the Vollmer cathedral works nicely. I also placed a small white LED in the steps in the front of the cathedral to give the tall spire some 'up lighting' and to further highlight the models shape and detail.

The building next to it may be recognizable to most people, its pretty much a standard Model Power 'ready-built' movie theater with a bit of customization. Rather than using the basic plastic signage that came with the Model Power movie theater, I thought I would add some light and animation with one of Miller Engineering's theater marquee lights.

In addition to the animated sign, the building was repainted (as a lot of the structures on my layout are prone to!) and multiple LED lights were added. I still have some touch up and detail to do to the theater, but overall I am quite pleased. The hardest part was bending the plastic 'marquee' so that it would match up with both ends of the building. The instructions for these things say specifically NOT to do that, so maybe I got lucky! It does work, so I'm not complaining!

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