Z Scale Train In a Book

Posted by Chris Carpenter on

Following up on my Z scale train in a box, I had some track left over so I decided to do a small layout in book.  I ordered a one of the cool boxes that look like a book on Amazon.  It's about 12"x9" on the inside.  Just enough for a Rokuhan Shorty loop layout.

The box cover wasn't something I really loved though. So I decided to recover it black "faux" leather and put some engraving on it.  Turns out engraving on black leather doesn't really show up well. So my next option was to use foil.  I read up on the technique where you make a pattern, put glue on the pattern and sprinkle the foil. That seemed like a lot of work with inconsistent results.  I found some foil rolls at Micheals for Cricut machines and figured I could laser cut those.  I got an Ace of Spades vector pattern and loaded it up in the laser cutter.  Turned out really well.


Laser cutting the foil patternLaser cut ace of spades pattern

With that done, I turned to doing the layout inside the box.  There isn't a lot of room but I still wanted to do a winter layout.  I wanted a tunnel, two houses and road. I was also going to add some snow covered trees. The houses were printed from resin with the windows cut out so light could shine through. The tunnel was cut out of foam. The road I made from 600 grit black sandpaper.  I also wanted a small pond that I made from UV resin.  When that was done I resin printed some bridge pieces to go over my little lake.

Track on the plywood board for the book train Resin printed houses

I wanted the houses to have little lamp posts so I designed a couple of lamp post covers to go on the LEDs I had left over from the box train.  I printed those in clear resin.  I also cut some small LED strips to go in the houses.  

With all the parts together, I drilled holes for the wired and glued everything down Then it was time to add snow and ice.  I bought the Scene-A-Rama Winter Effects kit to bring my snowy landscape to life. This was the first time I've done a winter layout and it was pretty fun.  Took me a bit to get the hang of how you make different snow effects like drifts and smooth snow.  I think its not bad for a first go.

The electronics are similar to the train box.  Speed, direction, switch and light control.  This time it does run fairly well on a 9v battery.  Squeezing it all in to the box was a little tricky but works.

Houses and tunnel before snow

Layout with snow added.

Close up of the lake


As usual here's some video:


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