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Author Archive: John Cubbin

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Grinched | N Scale Christmas Layout | Part 3

Grinched | N Scale Christmas Layout | Part 3

In the last Grinched article, we showed the buck converter adjustable power step down module that we’d be using to power the string of Christmas lights around the tree lot. In this article we’ll see how it’s going to fit in to the layout as well as some of the lights we’ll be using. For […]

December 19, 2016 More
Grinched | N Scale Christmas Layout | Part 2

Grinched | N Scale Christmas Layout | Part 2

For this installment of Grinched, our Micro-Trains themed Christmas layout, trees take front and center. I was going to use commercially available trees but I wanted to try something a little special for this layout and furnace filter trees seemed a good idea. I’ve never made furnace filter trees before but I do like tall pines, […]

December 13, 2016 More
Grinched | N Scale Christmas Layout | Part 1

Grinched | N Scale Christmas Layout | Part 1

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 […]

November 28, 2016 More
The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Final

The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Final

We’re happy to officially say “Happy Halloween” with our completed MTL Haunted Hamlet N scale layout and just in time too! This was a fun project and one I’ve been meaning to build for several years now. I’m actually looking forward to Halloween next year so I can go back in and polish up some […]

October 31, 2016 More
The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 4

The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 4

In this Haunted Hamlet update (as we’re more terrified than ever of our deadline!), we get all our electrical business sorted. As much as I’d like to say I’m an electrical whiz, this was actually my first time tackling LEDs that weren’t plug-and-play, and I found the learning curve a little tricky. Math was never […]

October 27, 2016 More
The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 3

The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 3

In this installment of the MTL Haunted Hamlet build, we get down to fleshing out the layout, and we begin with the layout base. I wanted to give the layout a good authentic Halloween feel. As we wrote earlier, the base inspiration came from a rustic serving tray with rope handles. I do like to […]

October 24, 2016 More
The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 2

The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 2

Last time in the Haunted Hamlet build, we got our layout base together and rough arrangement of the buildings in place. This time out, we’re finalizing some of the hamlet’s details. Even on a layout this small, I want to have a sense of a place; roads that come in and out of town, like […]

October 11, 2016 More
The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 1

The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 1

Welcome to our online build of the N scale Micro-Trains Haunted Hamlet layout, a small but very scary layout! I wanted to build this little layout for some Halloween fun and maybe to get some of you to build a similar layout as a great way to introduce some younger people to the hobby. Kids love […]

October 5, 2016 More
Micro-Trains Haunted Hamlet Layout

Micro-Trains Haunted Hamlet Layout

Almost every year for the past several years around this time, I’ve wanted to play with the Micro-Trains Haunted Hamlet building set, usually a few days or so before Halloween and by then it’s a bit late. This year, I’m all in for the Haunted Hamlet, and over a month before Halloween get here, cool! […]

September 19, 2016 More
Real Soil or Ground Foam?

Real Soil or Ground Foam?

When building small scenes that will be photographed close-up, I’ve always used real soil as a base layer. I have coffee grinder for milling any real soil I collect down to dust but this can be a bit messy (think clouds of dust when you open the grinder!), and not always convenient or 100% consistent, […]

August 23, 2016 More
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