My Eagle Lake & Northern Model Railway in N Scale
This is a freelance N scale layout that follows North American prototype, inspired in part by scenes from the International of Maine CPR shortline and embodying an international flavour with my love of the Yorkshire moors. Overall, the aim is to give it a North American prototypical appearance, while allowing me my subliminal memories of other times and other places. (For some observations on our wonderful hobby, go to Basic Model Railway Insights, and for some additional commentary by a confirmed N scale modeller, More About N Scale.)
Finally, where did Eagle Lake & Northern come from? All the place names, stations and features are named after favourite spots, family and friends, some coincidentally legitimately with names such as "Norwood", "Spencer" and "Dagmar", and the MacMillan Yards have been fudged into the McMillan Yards. You can change trains at Percy Junction, or dally at Cooper's Creek or Dobell's Gulch, take an excursion from the Adamerica Mine, take a side trip to Erin's Springs, yodel across the valley at Murphy's Folly, contemplate the hills at Moore Falls, look around town at Lillianstown or Normanton or Bunt Meadows, or trundle over the trestle to view the spectacular Emily's Falls. They all know who they are, except for my good friend David Norwood who has, alas, passed on.
The vast majority of the buildings above have been built from scratch, often at a more diminutive scale than N in order to convey distance and perspective. There are some familiar N scale station kits, notably three ubiquitous "Rico" stations by Pola-N, one by Heljan and the "Malden" station by Model Power. There is a modelling rule of thumb that for a consistently eye-appealing layout one should not mix media - i.e., consistently use card, or wood or plastic. Rules, however, are meant to be broken; and with a bit of luck one can get away with it (with most viewers, anyway) by blending them well into the surrounding scape.
With all that said, as one cruises around collectible stores, vacation tourist traps and other assorted, sometimes unlikely venues, if one stays alert, one can come across intriguing opportunities to add items that intrigue and contribute to the diversity of the scene. For instance:
Some time ago I was browsing in a local collectible store to come across a whole collection of Bailey's (yes, Irish Cream) plaster-cast buildings in pretty-darn close to N scale. They must have been give-aways as a promotion to go with their bottles, and had obviously been a collection by someone who had enjoyed their Bailey's - going for a buck each.
Another find was in a book store, of all places, where there were four figurine structures to illustrate a book on famous castles in the western hemisphere. The book had parted company from the figurines, so the latter were on the remainder table free with any purchase in the store. Again, hey presto. All four are on the layout, and illustrated below is Warwick Castle - somewhat less than N scale, but up on a moor, that's just perfect!
Yes, so keep your eyes open and think model railway!