Guest Contributor: Mike
Adding bridges or tunnels
to your small n scale layout can add life to your model train. It
might sound difficult, but by paying attention to the details and following
simple steps, you can add bridges and tunnels in your layout and enjoy the feat
of designing a complex layout.
Follow the given steps to
design a lifelike bridge in your small N scale layout:
1. Design the bridge that
you want to model.
2. Assemble all the parts
that you require to build the bridge. Real life bridges are usually made of
steel, but using tiny steel beams is not practical for the model train
3. You can use parts made
of wood, plastic, or brass for your railroad bridge.
4. Use a good miter box to
cut the beams squarely and accurately.
5. Make more than one
assembly jig because majority of the truss bridges are made of multiple truss
panels and repeated floors.
6. You can use pushpins to
hold things down on your layout.
7. Use sand paper to clear
the edges and remnants.
8. Paint the bridge and add
weathering effects to make it look old.
9. You can make your bridge
look more real by adding a flowing river under it.
Adding tunnels in your
small N scale layout will add drama to your model train. It creates an amazing
affect of model trains disappearing and reappearing through the tunnel. This
will keep the viewers interested in your setup and will make your layout more
fun. Following are the simple steps that you can follow to add tunnels in your
1. To measure the width and
height, place the tallest rail car or engine on a section of your train track
and measure the height in millimeters (or inches).
2. Once you have taken the
measurements add 20% to these measurements to allow the train to pass easily
through the tunnel.
3. Secure the road bed with
white glue and rail nails.
4. Make reference point
along the sides of the track according to the minimum clearance
5. Mark the exit and entry
point of the tunnel on the base of the layout.
6. Use a newspaper to mark
the location of the track between both portals.
7. To make the interior
walls of the tunnel, cut the newspaper along the lines that you have
8. Cut and mark the outer
side of the tunnel to define the shape of the model mountain.
9. Match the template with
the reference line and trim if necessary.
10. Take a foam sheet and
place the template over it. Mark the edges of the template to make it easier
for you to cut.
11. Cut several layers of
foam using a
12. Stack the layer one
over another and apply glue between the layers to form a tunnel and mountain
around the track. Secure the foam with the help of nails
13. Add the top sheet of
foam once you have achieved the desired height of the tunnel.
14. Add portals at entry
and exit and secure them at the base of the layout.
These are some simple steps
that you can follow to add life to your layout by adding realistic tunnels and
bridges in your small N scale layout.