Our Layouts – over 4mm scale

Featured below: “Little Ease” (1:16), “Raven Hill” (O9), “Knights Yard” (1:16) and “Longstone” (Gn15).

By Bill Knight

This is an economically, but skilfully made shunting puzzle layout built by Bill. It is modelled in 1:16 scale in a very small space (approx 43″ x 27″). The baseboard is made from slats of a venetian blind rescued from a skip with a corrugated cardboard top surface. The track represents 10.25″ gauge using adapted “00” gauge track. The locomotives are battery operated, one is an adapted toy, but all the others together with the rolling stock, track and buildings are made from cardboard and strip wood. “Little Ease” is a deceptively simple shunting puzzle, the object being to make up a train of three wagons from a total of six on the layout.

Click on image to enlarge:


After Graham had completed his 009 layout “Shortwaite Hill” he decided to change scales to O9 (7mm scale, 15″ gauge). To try out the scale he built a small working diorama in a drawer (from an old cheap chest of drawers). The handle was removed and it was turned on it’s face to present a small scene in a baseboard area of about 20″ x 4.5″. This was ultimately to grasp a new scale and lead on to develop a larger exhibition layout.

The layout is based on North Yorkshire Moors scenery and is 7ft 2″ wide x 1ft 8″ deep and portrays a line running along a scenic hillside and into a small village. The station has a passenger platform and loop, a goods siding and a small engine shed siding. Loco kits are resin, 3D prints, and brass. All the wagons are resin kits, and the passenger coaches are either scratch built or heavily modified proprietary items.


By Bill Knight

Bill would say that much of his modelling over the years has been on a trial and error basis, but after much experimentation he was encouraged by a Club member to try his hand at large scale narrow gauge, so he chose 1:16, running on “0” gauge track. He built a growing collection of small industrial type wagons with chassis made entirely of cardboard, and bodies made from a mixture of cardboard and strip wood. Eventually he built from the same materials his first locomotive after a he was handed a mechanism to use. These items and several more weird and wonderful locos now operate the “Nuttery Vale Light Railway”, which are to be seen on “Knights Yard”.

Loco No. 3 at the fuelling point and No. 2 on the middle siding in the yard.

The locomotives are all home made and run by batteries, one is an adapted toy, and are manually operated up and down the tracks of this shunting layout. It is the headquarters of a narrow gauge railway serving a nearby nursery which always seems short of money. It is a large scale model in a very small space. The scenic section is just under 3ft long with a further head shunt/fiddle yard of 18″.

A view of the scenic section. Bill also displays a side table showing the materials and methods of construction.

There are seven sources of traffic at Knights Yard, the rear siding serves a workshop, water tank and store, the middle siding serves a packing shed, and the front siding serves a loading platform, locomotive fuelling point and the kick-back siding complete with chain hoist, is used for permanent way materials etc.

This view shows the packing shed and displays the attention to detail in a slightly run-down yard. Card, strip wood, second hand plastic track are the main materials here, the baseboard is made from wooden venetian blind slats and foam board.


Owned by Barry Weston

This 1:24, 15″ gauge layout (or popularly Gn15) is 5ft 5″ by 3ft 3″ and displayed end-on showing three scenes, a mill, a village scene and a moorland scene. There is a fiddle yard at one end where ordinary Peco 00 track is used, but in the scenic area Peco 0-16.5 Streamline is utilised. The points are powered by Tortoise slow action turnout machines. The buildings are scratch built based around a foam board shell with Slater’s 0 gauge Dressed Stone as a cladding, and card tiles on the roofs. Some of the buildings have York Modelmaking laser cut window frames. The rocks were made of a mix of sawdust, p.v.a, acrylic paint and lightweight filler, and much use was made of floristry materials from a garden centre for the foliage. The locos are all Smallbrook Studio kits, the wagons are by Sidelines and Smallbrook, and the coaches scratch built and Smallbrook.

“Triton” shunting in the Mill yard.
“Delta” runs through the Longstone village and slows for the station platform.
“Proteus” crosses a small stream on the bridge at Fox Gill.
“Proteus” leaves the mill en-route through the (central) back scene to the station.