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Hello from France!

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Who am I?

I'm a half french frog and half british roastbeef, currently living in France (Grenoble, in case anyone is local... I can dream, right?). I had mostly OO gauge british outline models as I was growing up, starting from the classic Thomas the Tank engine set, and gradually building the collection from there. A few years ago I got back into the hobby with the intent of going from "train sets" to an actual model railway, and expanded my interests to other outlines with some French and German rolling stock.



Built any layouts?

I made a first attempt at a decent layout (OO gauge) with some actual scenery and weathering on some locos and stock, which ran around a spare room at my mother's house.


Eventually that had to be torn down to allow access to the walls because of a small flood in the house, which taught me that it's probably a good idea to build things in a modular way. The layout had been around for about 5 years, so I wasn't too sad, and was at university most of the time anyway.


About a year ago I felt the need to dive back into model railways, but space being limited in my flat meant I started to look at N gauge. I made a small oval of track on a sheet of extruded polystyrene with some basic scenery to see if I could appreciate the smaller scale, and I have to say I've grown to like it!


I also stumbled across some Kato models while doing research, and liked the look of the japanese steam locos. I've always had some form of interest for foreign countries in general, in particular scandinavian countries and japan, so the idea of modelling some japanese scenery is quite appealing!

I still like my british outline as well, and must admit european prototypes can be quite nice too!



Ok, so what about your new layout project?

So here I am. I found the forum and have looked through quite a few threads, getting ideas for scenery, layout designs and a feel for the forum. It seems like a nice place to share whatever I end up doing!


"What would that be, then?", I hear you ask... Well:

- some japanese scenes, some british scenes, and also maybe some scenes taking inspiration from fantasy novels and/or video games... (and there may also be an idea for some scenery made with origami paper... just for fun!)

- probably a modular design, maybe T-track standard. That way I can have somewhat prototypical running sessions by leaving out the fantasy-inspired modules!

- probably not exactly prototypical, or at least not always. There may be a british GWR prairie tank passing a JNR D51, with a Prussian T-18 waiting in the sidings, for example!

N gauge locomotives I have acquired so far:



I also want to have a serious go at scratch-building things. Buildings, and also some rolling stock (excluding things like bogies, wheels/chassis, for now). I already have a stockpile of paper, card, cereal boxes and various plastic food packaging to recycle!👍



- Lights in buildings, maybe a DIY car system made from old bike parts (cogs, chains, and magnets on cars?). I'd like to get more life and movement into the scenes other than just the trains.

- Sound.

- automation of the above, most likely with an arduino and lots of sensors, motors, and programming! 😁


For sound, I don't have the money for a DCC controller, let alone for sound chipping all my locos. Besides, N gauge speakers would be tiny and probably not that great in terms of quality and depth of sound. What I do have are some nice pc speakers, a decent laptop, a degree in computer science, and a passion for experimenting. So I'm considering some way of taking recorded samples of real trains and playing them from the speakers. I'll need to adapt the sound to what the controller and loco are doing. Through some mix of electronics, sensors, computer vision techniques, (and sheer luck I guess) I hope (or more like dream) of being able to have a way of playing sound corresponding to the loco type and maybe even train consist, as well as scenery such as running water, station announcements, etc. An even further step would be to use multiple speakers, or maybe require people running or observing the layout to wear headphones, and attempt to have spatial/surround sound so that there is an illusion of the sound coming from the loco or scenic point of interest...


Realistically, with a small layout size it will be enough for the sound to just come out of the speakers without any fancy spatial/3D sound. The layout will be set on my desk, so I can't go much over 60 x 160cm (or 2ft by 6ft-ish).  I'd like some of the modules to form a station, to have some interesting operations such as passing loops, loco changes, maybe a tiny bit of shunting. No exact track plan yet.


So, that just about sums it up!


I hope you've found this introduction somewhat interesting, and thank you for taking the time to read it!


Happy modelling









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Hi Kyu, welcome to the forum!

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Welcome and great intro post! You made much of your space with such a large guage set. Come join us over at the N guage platform and keep us up to date on the progress of your new layouts. 👍

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Welcome kyu!


you found the nut house here for Japanese trains! They can be really seductive as you get more of them with the variety, Wild shapes and paint jobs. Japanese scenes are also very seductive as you can pack a lot into a small space, tracks run right past just anything in japan somewhere, and trains are just part of the scene all over. They work very well for smaller modules as you can pack a lot of detail onto a module and scenes change very fast in real life in japan. You can have a rice patty 20’ outside the back door of an 15 story apartment building.


if you are not planning on running your modules with others you can also just make a modular system that suits your space and needs the best. Or design a layout and then cut it up into a few various sized (they don’t have to be all the exact same size), if needed, sections to be able to move if needed. You can engineer in a few expansion points at section joints to go bigger later or also swap out sections for changes of scene (helps on a smaller layout to not get tired of the layout). Or you can even do a hybrid with a chunk of a sectional layout being a strip of Ttrak you can pop out to take to events to run with others. I feel your pain, once you are forced to tear down a layout it makes you want to come up with a better way!





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Hello from another ‘rosbif’ this time in the USA though. I look forward to seeing you on the various forums. Welcome!

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