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Absolute Beginner's Diorama


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Having finally given in and decided to try my hand at some train modeling, I thought I'd make a small thread on my project. Mostly to try and encourage myself to actually follow through on it. I've decided to start small, thinking that reducing the scope of the project will also increase my chances of "success". And I use that word very loosely, because I have 0 idea what the heck I'm doing. Never done railway modeling before, nor am I particularly "handy", for lack of a better term. This is going to go well!


The one thing I did know was that I wanted to model a real-world place. I don't care that much about the trains themselves as much as what I associate with them, so I knew right away it would have to be something I had some sort of emotional (?) connection to. I considered making a station, but in the end settled for just a "slice of track" that represents a very vivid memory of my first trip to Japan. I've since learned that the E353 has run on this line to boot, so that just makes it even better!

I'm going for an A3 size footprint, simply because the materials available to me fit that size with minimal fuss. I could've gone T-trak, but I'm not that stressed out about being able to use this for a layout. I don't even have any trains or anything anyway 😄 (for now... dun-dun-dunnn!). Secondly, I'd have to order the track from abroad which is a hassle at the best of times - and knowing myself I need to get started ASAP before I get distracted! N-scale is rather limited here, so the only thing I could get my hands on was Peco flex-track. Which is completely pointless for this, since all the track is straight... buuut I also ended up having to buy quite a lot so maybe it'll be useful for later projects 😄 (did I mention I'm a complete noob and mostly incompetent?).

All this to say, I have at least started on the basic layout of the diorama. It is ever so slightly squeezed together compared to the "prototype" to fit everything and eliminate some "empty space" but otherwise I intend to make it as close to reality as I can.

For now, I need to do some sanding on the basic shape of the foam (let's just say the cutting was not done with ideal tools) and the ends of the tracks (no, these were not cut with ideal tools either...) but it's cool to see things starting to come together, however crudely! Oh, and the disgustingly irregular pile of foam in the background is getting ready to be a placeholder for a tunnel opening I ordered from Japan. We'll see how bad a job I'm able to do of carving it!

I'll try to keep this thread updated and hopefully I'll be able to finish this thing before too long!


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that’s great, best to what suits your interests best and with the fewest impediments. That gets the juices flowing and sucks you into the hobby!


will enjoy watching the progress.





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The Flex track that you purchased, while being straight when purchased, well it does flex.

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8 hours ago, katoftw said:

The Flex track that you purchased, while being straight when purchased, well it does flex.

It sure does, especially when being manhandled by an idiot trying to cut it with an old, blunt pair of hobby cutters!

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