Fantasy N-Scale Portable Layout

Light Weight Construction

Dinosaurs, Stargate and Improbabilium Fluoride



This page has pictures and description of a small (5 1/2 feet long) portable layout that I take to train shows. The layout contains a single loop of N-Scale track that can allow small N-Scale trains to run. The display is made to a fanciful theme with fictional elements as well as some real world inspiration. Visitors mostly enjoy seeing it and sharing with their friends and family members. That give me a great deal of delight.

There is a lot of information here.
What is it?
How did it come to be?
What sorts of inventions and publications provided the inspiration?

There is really far too much for a single web page. I have divided the information up a bit and provided links to the supporting pages. I hope you enjoy it.

Click on this link to see some information on construction
Train Show March 5, 2022
Bill at the Space Coast Show 2022-03-05
Southern Division Award
Award from the Train Collectors Association Southern Division
Layout and parts loaded up for travel
Layout and parts loaded up for travel
View from the back of the car
View from the back of the car
Dinosaurs and Stargate
Dinosaurs and Stargate
Dinosaurs and Stargate side view
Dinosaurs and Stargate side view
IF Refinery Overview
Improbabilium Fluoride Refinery Overview
IF Refinery Lakeside view
IF Refinery Lakeside view
IF Refinery Service Entrance
IF Refinery Service Entrance
IF Refinery Security Fence
IF Refinery Security Fence
IF Refinery Security
IF Refinery Security
Improbabilium first came to my attention in the pages of the National Association of Model Railroaders publication "NMRA Bulletin". One of the contributors invented the word to describe a fictional mineral that was mined and hauled on their model railroad. It has since seen wider usage. A few decades back, I decided to compound it with Fluorine to make a liquid named IF for shipments of tank cars.

Gort, the robot from the original movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is available as a pattern that can be printed using a 3D printer. Those robots were referred to as guardians. They are so employed on this layout.

What about those domes, cylinders and pipes? Visitors mostly refer to them as "The Spaceport". Nope, those are the buildings where the IF is refined and handled. The stuff is very dangerous. That is why there are walls and fences to keep unwanted visitors out of harms way. Those buildings are also printed on a 3D printer. The patterns were labeled as "industrial" pieces for various games.
Suspended in the lake is a model of the Nautilis from Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The appearance is borrowed from the Disney movie of the same name. The model was printed in 3D from a pattern that was available online. It is about half as long as the specifications in the book would suggest. A full-sized ship would have been just too big for the scene.

The lake itself is made of epoxy resin. I carved the lakebed out of the foam and then painted and further decorated it with stones, gravel and ground foam scenic material. Then, the liquid epoxy was poured in and allowed to partially cover the ship. Once it had cured hard, I used a rotary tool to cut ripples in the surface in accordance with the wind and direction of flow. That seriously roughed the surface to a frosted appearance that was nearly opaque. The final step was to brush high-gloss varnish on it to fill in the scratches and restore the intended appearance.
Verne's Nautilis as imagined by Disney
Verne's Nautilis as imagined by Disney
Bridge Over Untroubled Waters
Bridge Over Untroubled Waters
Dinosaur Cemetary
Dinosaur Cemetary
Gort at the Guard Shack
Gort at the Guard Shack
Gort at the Portal
Gort at the Portal

Gort is the name of the robot in the original movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still". The dialog stated that it was a guardian and made to enforce the laws. Having dinosaurs and humans in the same area could lead to dangerous conflicts. So, Gort and Associates.
Great Foamy Mountain
Great Foamy Mountain

A model railroad that is intended to be rich in scenery almost always needs a mountain. How can that be accomplished if the display is also intended to be transportable by someone with an aging back? The answer is foam. Great Foamy mountain is made from surplus Syrofoam and Great Stuff brand expanding foam. The mountain itself is made to be removed and transported in its own plastic tub.
Foamhenge
Foamhenge
Fortifications
Fortifications
Lookout Point
Lookout Point
Lower Access Bridge
Lower Access Bridge
New Dress Pants
New Dress Pants
Into The Mountain
Into The Mountain
Dinosaur Shower
Dinosaur Shower
Discussion Group 1
Discussion Group 1
Marching Home From Work
Marching Home From Work
Marching to a Picnic
Marching to a Picnic
The Promenade
The Promenade
Tiki Dude visiting from Easter Island
Tiki Dude visiting from Easter Island
Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper
Fashionable Headwear
Fashionable Headwear
Some Palm Trees Were Cake Decorations
Some Palm Trees Were Cake Decorations
Fantasy Rocks
Fantasy Rocks

Originally, the rocks were carved foam with a splash of paint.
Downstream View
Downstream View
Fantasy Rocks Updated
Fantasy Rocks Updated with new epoxy castings from standard rock molds
Right Of Way Discussion
Right Of Way Discussion
Right Of Way Part II
Right Of Way Part II

Click on this link to see some information on construction


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