Engaging with N gauge…

Ian Redman of Small ‘N’ Working discusses micro-layouts

I started creating micro-layouts around 2005-2006 with English Country Scene being the first. I was inspired to set up Small ‘N’ Working as a ‘name’ after I had created a few of this type of layout.

I initially created them as a challenge to see what I could fit as a working layout into small containers. I do my modelling entirely as a hobby alongside my full-time work.

The smallest layout, without scenery, is a track laid on to a mini disc. The smallest scenic layout is Nuts About Trains, which is inside a coconut. This was created as a response to a challenge by the N Gauge Society for a diorama in a nutshell. I decided to make it a working layout, gaining second prize in the competition. I now have around 30 layouts of various sizes and scenic themes, ranging from traditional British layouts to Japanese themed layouts and some built to appeal to families and children using Lego and other well-known children’s toys.

The particular challenges presented when working with these small layouts and the various containers I use are:

  • Laying the track in tight radii;
  • Finding a locomotive that will work on the tight radii, note none of my locomotives are modified;
  • Remembering to allow sufficient clearance for the trains against the ‘outside walls’.

I think the appeal for modellers of small layouts is being able to have a small working layout that is easily stored if there is a lack of space for a traditional layout, plus they are a bit different.

For the full article, see the April edition of Modelling – available now!

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