Divide et Impera! The scenic divider helps to cope with different scenes


You may find the idea of having different scenes on a micro layout somewhat strange.  But it is not! There is one great tool to use: the scenic divider. Above you can see a design for 530 x 50 cm (ok…in 1:43,5 that´s still a micro, isn`t it?) called “Arendtshausen-Carlsfeld”. You may have noticed my bow to the late Carl Arendt… The road bridge plays the role of a scenic divider, splitting the layout into a more scenic part (right) and a fiddle Yard on the left.


Other plan, same story. Also in “Trübemünde Strand” – a fictious terminus somewhere on Germanys coast – the road bridge is helpful to seperate station and the “rest of the world”. The design bases on Carl Arendt´s “Amalgamated Terminal“.



Quod erat demonstrandum…”Krumme Fohre” gets a scenic divider mock up…it´s not the best road bridge ever seen, I have to admit, but it may illustrate the principle.
See you! Alex


The Backdrop Question – Is Black Beautiful?

One of the main issues of micro railroading is to simulate the wideness of landscape. Hmm…how to achieve, if there are only a few centimeters in depth? If you are a gifted painter, grap brush and colors and paint your favorite landscape on the layouts rear wall. If you are not…better try a less ambitious alternative.  Ok, no backdrop is not the best choice, that´s obvious…

…”Schnakenhörn” started without a backdrop…

May be a more neutral backdrop is a possibility to solve our problem? Let´s try a black backdrop. Not bad at all…isn´t it? I liked the dramatic look…but after some time I have had enough of the permanent stormy atmosphere…


…”Krumme Fohre” changed from black to sky blue…

My next attempt was to use a panoramic photo as a backdrop. I am not quite content with reflections and edges, but overall (and for the moment) I like the naturalistic version more.


KF Panorama schmal
…the same comparison..abstract or naturalistic…

The same story once more…Also “Grub am Forst” got rid of it´s black backdrop. The new one was a commercial backdrop showing a bucolic scenery. Unfortunately I wasn´t able to avoid problems with gluing. Using spray adhesive was not one of my best ideas…


…”Grub am Forst” moved from black to blue, too…

There are two more versions left. In Europe the sky is often more grey than blue. So I tried light grey at my harbour station “Weserkai”. Looks more friendly and reminds me of a rainy day at the coast…

…grey may be an alternative…seen at “Weserkai”…
…”Sioux Falls” – and now for something completely different: the mirror trick…

For the sake of completeness I have to mention the mirror trick. At “Sioux Falls” the mirror was used to make the layout seem longer. Ok, your choice. There is more than one way leading to Rome…


Heavy Metal at “Schnakenhoern”- a retro-style micro layout

Let´s have a look into the junk box. Wow…a lot of old H0-tracks made of metal and made by the famous german model railroad producer Märklin. Time to create a retro-style Micro layout. “Schnakenhoern” (ok…hard to pronounce for non-german speakers…sounds like “Shnukenhearn”) is a small (fictitious) harbor at the North Sea coast of Germany. Once more I used a “sneak off track” for better operating. As you can see, the entire layout is completely woodfree…everything was made of styrofoam – except the trackwork, certainly! Lesson learned – don´t dump all old stuff, may be you can use it some day… By the way, “Schnakenhoern” has been sold some years ago.

When in Rome, do like the Romans do…”Stazione Montelupo”

Bella Italia! If you don´t have the time to spend your holidays in Italy, an option may be to build your next layout in italian style… “Montelupo” was my try to have the attractive mixture of ancient ruines and ordinary industrial buildings on 165 x 35 cm. Especially the aqueduct – made of styrofoam – was my favorite fixed idea. I´m not quite sure that there are such situations in italian reality…but it could be… After three Inglenooks it´s obvious that Montelupo belongs more to the category “lots of tracks”. In the northeastern corner you can find a rudimental staging track. The rare passenger trains took advantage from the single platform (please recognize the palm trees, which are signalling: “yes, that´s somewhere in the south!”) and  the scooter factory provides a lot of wagonloads – enough work for the operator. The trackwork was Piko A.