Narrow Gauge Layout

There have recently been some excellent new releases of Narrow Gauge items most notably the Double Fairlie from Bachmann and this has prompted me to try my hand at building a new layout in this gauge. It is something I have never worked with before so let’s hope that I can cope with the small scale of some of the models.

Here is a photo of the item which triggered my interest, The Bachmann Double Fairlie Loco.

And shown below is a rough drawing of what I am trying to achieve in a space approximately 240by 60cms. As is obvious from the sketch I don’t go into great detail with my plans, I just try to get an idea of what is possible in the space and then tweak it as I go along. The back of the layout has already been modified to provide a couple of storage loops so that you will get different trains entering and exiting the tunnel section.

The critical part of the layout is the reverse curve leading up to the higher level. By necessity it has to be 10inch radius when the minimum recommended 9 inches but it is also combined with a 1in 45 climb. This meant that it took some time making it smooth as possible so that the locos could negotiate it without problems.

Now we have our first video with a short review of the Fairlie Locomotive and a look around the layout after the first stages of tracklaying.

Building The Scenery

We start by building a framework of 2 and 4mm ply plus foam blocks to form the contours.

Then using bandages dipped in or painted with plaster of Paris we build up the hillside and then finally a coat of earth effect paint to form a base for the scatter materials to follow.

Here is a short video showing how the work progressed when building the rear scenic area

Working on The Rockface

Starting with the Plain Woodland Scenics rock mouldings we give an overall coat of light grey and then start adding coats of progressively darker greys, applying them in patches and working the paint into the nooks and crevices of the rockface.

As a final touch I applied burnt umber onto any ledges where earth and vegetation might appear and also worked the paint up from the ground level, again to simulate soil and mineral contamination.

A Fairlie Crew

I normally put crews to all my Locos but with the limited amount of space in this engine I was struggling to find suitable figures that would fit. Luckily Modelu have recently released some sets specifically for the Fairlie so some were duly ordered, painted and fitted

The Water Mill

I recently purchased a Bachmann Water Mill which turned out to be quite a bit smaller than expected so it wouldn’t really fit where it was intended to, any way after a re-think I decided make a small cameo with it by sitting it on a corner of the layout. I cut two pieces of 2mm ply to give the depth to make a small outlet stream. The catchment pond was carved out of a piece of fine grain packing material. This was all put together, painted and textured with a still water compound used for the pond and stream.

So, after a few final touches of scenery and building up the water level a couple of millimeters each day we end up with this, just need to find some finishing touches, such as people and accessories now.

Up The Embankment

In this third video we show the process of building the embankment plus some detail of modifying the Tortoise point motors so that they will fit snugly under the baseboard.