Japanese themed N scale ultra micro and US themed 2-micros-in-1 layout scenery progress and operations.
Japanese N scale Ultra Micro Layout
It’s about time I posted an update on the ultra micro Japanese N scale layout. So here goes… Since the last blog post that mentioned the Japanese N scale layout, I’ve settled on a track plan, which was quite different to the plan on that previous blog post, purchased a 2 car tram, and 2 more freight cars. I’ve added freight and passenger platforms, and am about to start on the scenery.
With a lot of previous layouts I used discarded polystyrene packing materials. But with the move to more earth-friendly materials I’ve had a hard time sourcing that. So while I continue searching for polystyrene packaging, I tried building a small hill out of layers of chipboard, which was then painted and covered with grass and other ground cover. With some success.
I’ve also done some research on Ebay to see availability and cost of some pre-built Japanese buildings for the layout. As it turns out, they are pretty expensive, but as I don’t feel confident scratchbuilding N scale structures they will have to do. So I ordered a Tomix Japanese-style 2 building set. I’m just awaiting it’s arrival.
I’ve had some operating sessions of this layout, with a mixture of tram and freight train journeys, and have found it to be interesting to operate. The fact that 2 of the spurs handle both trams and freight cars makes it an interesting ‘shuffling act’ to make sure that there is space for the tram at the various platforms when there needs to be. I’ve yet to entirely settle on an operating scheme for this layout, doing some experimenting of various ideas. But even that experimenting is lots of fun as it is always different. Like my other layouts, this one will eventually be used for virtually interchanged freight.
This layout is now much more scenic, with the lower part of the river completed between where the waterfall will be and the front edge of the layout. I’ve also built a small scratchbuilt hut over the river on the lower level. You might think that’s not very prototypical, but I know of at least one example of a smallish building being built over a watercourse because of lack of other suitable space in a valley.
I’ve operated this layout numerous times since installing it in our living space some months, and am really enjoying it. Even though the trackage on both levels is basically an Inglenook, the difference in configuration and they way various industries have to be switched and the inclusion of trains to the Petra depot means it doesn’t feel like they are the same track arrangement. Even though the trackage doesn’t allow for many freight cars at a time to be switched on either the upper or lower levels, at times I’ve had operating sessions that move a lot more cars than what the track capacities might suggest.