N Scale Track Plans 2×4

N scale track plans 2×4 are the best choice for enjoying a model train layout in small spaces. This type of track plan still comes with all of the bells and whistles of larger layouts but in a limited space.

Every model railroader knows the satisfaction of seeing a model railroad come to full fruition. Here, you get to see, step-by-step, the construction of an N scale with a figure 8 layout.

What started as a simple track plan on a 2×4 sheet of plywood resulted in a track that’s far more interesting than others that are twice its size. Despite the relatively small size of the base board, the modeler was able to maximize its entire surface to create breathtaking scenery.

Whether you’re just starting out as a modeler or have been doing it for decades, here’s a 2×4 model train layout you can learn from.

2×4 N Scale Track Plan on Plywood

2x4 n scale track plan

The track plan is on a 2×4 sheet of plywood framed by 1×3 boards. Use a Sabre saw to cut through the 1/4-inch plywood for the elevated track and grade changes. The darker line cuts are the only ones that are visible on the plywood board.

Are you struggling to build a model train layout that fits your limited space but still want a functional, realistic and enjoyable layout with all the bells and whistles?

Access step by step directions that you can watch on your mobile phone, computer or print out while building your layout.

Incline Baseboard on 2’x4’ Plywood

incline 2'x4' track plan on plywood

At this stage, the grades and track areas have been elevated with plenty of support underneath to carry the weight of the model trains. Additionally, a cork roadbed was installed. Notice that the cork roadbed was painted a darker shade than the ballast. This is so that if pieces of the ballast chip off, the roadbed will still maintain its old look. 

N Scale 2×4 Track Plan with Mountains

n scale track plan 2x4 with mountains

Next up is the Atlas flex track. Along with a viaduct and tunnel portals, this was installed and ballasted. The part draped over with a plaster cloth is the mountain in progress. This was constructed with corrugated cardboard web and plenty of hot glue.

Baseboard with Plaster Cloth for Mountain

n scale with plaster cloth 2x4 layout

What you’re seeing here is the finished mountain as well as the elevated areas. Paint has also been applied for sections to make them look like they’re covered in soil. The rocky texture was achieved by covering aluminum foil with plaster and a layer of plaster cloth. After the plaster cured, it was separated from the foil and was used to cover the mountain. Finally, the spackle compound was used to fill in the smaller cracks.

2×4 N Scale Layout with Tunnels

2x4 n scale track layout with tunnels

It’s essential to prime the surface before applying colors, Unfortunately, that was not done here. This was supposed to bear washes of brown, gray, and yellow. The resulting shade is not what was intended due to the plaster’s alkalinity changing the final color.

N Scale 2×4 Figure 8 Design

2x4 figure 8 design

The overall landscaping of the layout is slowly taking shape. Elements such as grass have been added, which gives it a pop of color. Not only does this make the whole more realistic, but it also emphasizes the Figure 8 layout of the tracks. Still, more detail is yet to be added.

Complete N Scale Track Plan 2×4 Layout Design

n scale 2x4 track plan layout design

From a bare 2×4 sheet of plywood, the model railroad has transformed into a realistic piece of work. The empty spaces have been filled out with trees, more color, and structures such as buildings and a bridge. Despite the earlier mistake of not priming the mountains before painting, a rugged and life-like appearance was achieved.

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