James’ N Scale Train Layout Project– Episode #3

Kato EMD E7 New York Central 20th Century Limited, in a shortened consist

By now I was really grooving on both building my first layout with my great gear and materials, as well as documenting the process to post on my YT channel. I was working every day on the project, spending at least 4 hours but sometimes more. There was always something to do and I was always up for doing it! Truth be told, I was excited about sharing the progress and that motivated me even further.

My family was very patient and gave me the time and space I needed, providing that I clean up everything after every session completely. Since this was an often-used room in our home, nobody wanted to trip over boxes of plaster or fake trees, and nobody ever did. This system really helped me manage the million tasks associated with building this layout, that no task could last more than a few hours without a stopping point, after which I cleaned up everything and put everything away, in a closet, out in the garage, etc. Physically and psychologically, this process enabled me to execute literally hundreds of small art projects over roughly 6 months which combined resulted in a finished layout.

I remember starting the New Year 2022 with launching Episode 3, with beginning construction of my tunnels and the first placement of Styrofoam back panels. Those tunnels eventually will support a towering removable mountain and it’s so awesome I recorded those early days to the the “before” and later, the “after” result. The back panels, as well, will turn into hallmark features of my layout– which I promise to reveal in future episodes!

Kato’s beautiful packaging is also a sturdy Styrofoam storage case!

Episode 3 also marks an extended appearance of the Kato EMD E7 A/B New York Central diesel along with my first passenger cars, the Kato New York Central 20th Century Limited 9-car Set. I do a whole episode on this much-loved set a little later so I won’t go into detail now about how this set elevated my knowledge and experience in the hobby. It’s also probably the most beautiful passenger train I’ve ever seen.

Kato NYC 20th Century Limited — An Amazing Train

On a small track with 4% grades and an elevated S-curve, it’s a challenge to get all 9 cars in this set running at once. I wasn’t able to accomplish it during this episode! It had to wait until I had enough experience and once I did, I was able to capture it beautifully in later Episodes.

I was also getting really good feedback that adding music to the trains-in-action footage was something people liked, and I sure love doing it. Even people who aren’t into model trains take a moment’s delight when they see N scale trains run via good quality video (i.e., in focus, smooth tracking and basic editing.) And I was getting better at finding the “cinematic” spots on my layout, even in its early construction stages, to capture on video!

Here’s Episode 3:

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