Experimenting with Module Building – ICE Diorama Rework

For the last 2 weeks I have not been active in this blog instead have been active in a German model railway forum, developing my track plan together with a few modelers. I will get back to that topic at a later date. In the meantime, I have visited a large handy mart Hornbach and searched almost every row and corner for something useful for my layout and diorama.


I got most of the tools I needed for model railway construction as I have zero to start with. So the initial investment in tools will make a major dent in this year’s model railway budget. No major purchase of rolling stocks this round. Just woods, tracks and turnouts. The focus for the rest of this year or at least until end of this coming winter season is on layout construction, wiring and track testings. I have locos and rolling stocks (ICE and US’ P41 and Superliner) These would be a good start.

I got my poplar plywood supply for a local wood mart not far from my place. These are 3 ply, 6mm thick plywood cut according to the dimensions of my earlier 80cm x 20cm pine wood base. It is nice to have the mart cut and pack all I needed. I will retain this base for the diorama but for the module layout, the bottom will be open.



I positioned the plywood sheets and marked where they will be placed and marked the positions where the screws will be placed to form the base frame.



I managed to retain most of my earlier diorama and the shaped Peco tracks were used to mark the position of the tracks for this rework. I remarked them on this new baseboard, which I will cut according to its curves (cookie cutter method). This baseboard will be elevated about 10cm from the base.



I made a NEM102 gauge from 1mm thick styrene. I find this a useful tool for determining the loading gauges. I found someone in Germany who made this according to NEM dimensions.

In my previous diorama, I did not have a tunnel. This time, I decided to add a tunnel portal on the west side. I found this Busch N-scale portal, which came in 2 pieces, but I will only use one. The tunnel portal is 55mm wide at the base. I need to reduce the track distance from 33mm to 30mm at each end. Nice to see how useful this NEM102 gauge is in ensuring that rolling stocks do not hit the side of any structures such as signal mast, tunnel portal, etc.


I marked the position where the portal will be fixed.


Next weekend I will drill and screw to position all the plywood sheets and start the next new step.

The purpose of this diorama is an experiment for my module building. Previously I was working with corrugated cardboard, which though easy to cut but would not last. Hence, after a few years, I have decided it is time to work with wood. Eventually, I would have to so this is a good opportunity to start and learn.

For my earlier posts on the diorama, check here.


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