What says Christmas more than an 18” round Christmas pizza layout? That’s what I thought too, so let’s jump into our new layout project in N scale that we’ve cleverly titled “Grinched”. This Christmas layout is based on the pizza layout we started last year, which makes a (sort of) good argument for procrastination.
This layout features the Micro-Trains laser cut kits that we showed in our previous pizza articles, and we’ll be adding LED lighting to the buildings to spice things up a bit. Having used a good number of LEDs on the previous layout, the Haunted Hamlet, I’m hooked on them now. This time out I’m going to try to reduce the junction size of all the wires, resistors and power routing down to a single printed circuit board (PCB).
On the Haunted Hamlet layout, I had all kinds of free space under the layout for wiring but on this layout, I have a flat-bottomed pan and free space is at a premium. I could wire up the PCB and then carve out a section on the bottom of the layout foam to house it, but I like the idea of always making wiring accessible just in case I have to troubleshoot at some point. The plan then is to use a 9VDC batter holder to house the fully wired PCB so it will be accessible after the layout is completed. This will be the first time I’m using a PCB so it should be interesting!
Since this is a Christmas-themed layout, there will definitely be snow but I also wanted a more obvious visual cue so I’m going to make a Christmas tree lot in the center of the layout. Just need to buy or make a good number of N scale pines in the ½ inch range to represent 6’ to 8’ trees. This will be also a great time to break out the decal paper and create some signage.
On small layouts, I always like to create height variations for added interest. I initially decided to go with some simple hills surrounding the buildings. The free space from the outside edge of the track to the edge of the layout itself is just a 1 ¼” so these hills can’t be too high, otherwise the angles of the rocks would look a bit too severe.
I applied expanding foam to the layout and once cured, carved the foam down to the approximate height I wanted. Next, cast rock fragments were attached to the foam using PL construction adhesive, making sure the protruding rocks wouldn’t get in the way of the trains. With no other scenery in place, the rocks do actually look a little Stonehenge-like but this will be minimized once more scenery is in place. I also have to figure out where to drill a 2” hole through the layout for the Bluetooth wireless speaker I used in the Haunted Hamlet layout, as we definitely want Christmas music in this scene.
We’re off to a good start here on the Grinched layout, make sure to check back on our progress here and feel free to chat with us on our Facebook page too!
Micro-Trains Laser Cut Buildings
N Scale Buildings
Category: Raildig Build Projects