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J. Palacio

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Train in a Box #1

About 3 years ago I bought 3 sets of “Tomy” ( Tomix) "N" scale “Super Mini Rail Set Oval Layout Set” (item #91080), I ordered thru an internet store which import items directly from Japan. Each set was an oval of 9” x 14 ¼” (4 1/8” radii curved sections) and cost me about $24 per set.
(Double click on images to enlarge)

On January 2007 my cousin Andres was going back to Canada, and I wanted to give him a present to take it back home. I thought it was a good idea to make a train layout together so we could spent some time doing teamwork.
It had to be a layout he could carry with him on the plane, so I decided we can use one of the “mini” track sets to fit it in a small wood box. The box I found was an old hinged box used to carry ceramic tile samples, it was 10 ¾”x 15 ½” x 1 ¾” high, interior dimensions, big enough for Tomy track.

For the base, I cut a ¼” plywood piece and draw the oval track shape, the location of the building, the rocks and the road with a thin pencil line. Then I glued down some plaster rock castings that I made with a rubber mold, and filled the gaps with more plaster. I carved some crevices with an exacto knife so the rocks will look more natural, and then paint them with a diluted dark brown acrylic paint. Those acrylic paints are the ones that come in small plastic bottles of 2 oz (Americana, Delta Ceramcoat, Plaid, etc ) and cost about $1 or $2 each

At one corner of the board I placed a piece of plywood with a drill hole, over some wood blockings, for the future placement of a female plug on that hole.

After that I brushed some acrylic paint on the board (light brown) and when dry, I applied white glue (Elmer’s white glue) in order to attach ground cover to simulate grass and bushes. I bought a Landscaping Learning Kit (LK954) from “Woodland Scenics” that has seven little bags of colored grinded material.

I also added some trees that came in another kit from the same manufacturer mentioned above, and a plaster casting of a Cuban Farmer’s Hut (Bohio) that I carved about 20 years ago and made a rubber mold in order to have some castings. It was painted also with diluted acrylic colors.
Then I installed the Tomy track also with white glue and placed the completed model in the wood box.

The trains are USA railroad lines, so this are looking somehow out of place, if we think we are supposed to make a layout representing a Cuban countryside.
Conclusion: Looks nice and compact but just a few locomotives and cars could run on this small radius track.

This is a close up of the trees and tobacco fields:

The farm with the Bohio:

The corner with the plug feeder:





Anonymous said...

Very Nice layout.

Henry Wagner said...

What locomotive are you using on the N scale layout? I'm tempted to build an N scale layout that small, but want to make sure I can get a locomotive that will navigate the tight curves.

j.palacio said...

The one in the photo is an SW9 from Life Like. It has some problems
with this small radii, but most of the time it works nicely. The best
performer for this layout the Bachmann Brill Trolley

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