Model Railway Pictures: Chris & Andrea’s N Scale Layout

Recently I was sent an email showing an absolutely fantastic N scale layout made by husband and wife team Chris and Andrea Butlin, who live in the small village of Sutton upon Derwent just outside of York, UK. Attached to the email were some brilliant model railway pictures of their layout.

What I love about this layout is the fact that there is so much detail in a relatively small space. It just goes to show that bigger isn’t necessarily better. So enjoy the pictures and the email (you can click on the pictures to view the full size image).


Hi Dan,

I’ve attached some photos of the N gauge layout that we have on a board 80cm x 120cm. It is now pretty much finished and is a DC setup with a DMU, Deltic and Jinty locos running in a 1950s/early 1960s era.

My wife Andrea has done all the scenery using her expertise from previously dealing with dolls’ houses. My only input was the layout of rails, the electrics, commenting on things and providing encouragement.


The buildings are almost all Metcalfe Models card kits (but not the signal box or the mini goods platform) but Andrea has altered various bits such as chimneys, added things like a TV aerial of the time, plants/grass growing up walls, bird droppings, plus of course the gardens and their extras such as the flowers, deck chairs, Scout tents, flags.

The church had to be modified (shortened) to fit. The people, bicycles, signs, signals, lamps, cars, buses, telephone box, ducks, pigs, cows etc. were bought and then painted, but the pig-arks were made from a metalized paper.

 A fair bit of the fencing and gates was made from plastic netting that one might use to keep out flies and the hedging then built up on it, the rest was bought and modified to make more realistic.  The field being harvested was made from a carpet off-cut which was then ‘sheared’ to make it look as if it was being harvested – she couldn’t find a better way of showing a corn field.

 It all used her dolls’ house making skills. She thinks all that is left to do now is to age the locos and rolling stock for which she has just bought a purpose-made bottle of ‘rusting’ paint, though I suspect she’ll modify that too in order to give some areas a slightly different kind of coating. As you know rusting can vary in intensity.

She’s only been dealing with model railways for a couple of years so is very much a novice, but I think quite an accomplished one.

Many regards



Again many thanks to Chris and Andrea for sending their model railway pictures in.

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Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!


Leave A Reply (14 comments so far)


  1. John Sutherland
    5 years ago

    Well done Chris and Andrea. Having only started at the beginning of the year I started 2 layouts and thought I would be finished in 6 weeks. I have now re-evaluated and 6 years is more likely . A lovely layout.

  2. Glenn Roach
    5 years ago

    Well Chris your wife has a gift of doing what she does to make the layout look lifelike to all who see it close up.

  3. Bruce
    5 years ago

    This is a show worthy layout with great detail. And looks like it would be easy to operate from a running point of view. Great to see a couple sharing the same interest.

  4. John Dilges
    5 years ago

    What a great layout! Nice to see women sharing an interest in this wonderful hobby and making the transition from dollhouse to roundhouse! Happy modeling!

  5. Tom Oliver
    5 years ago

    What a Great team effort! Good job guys!

  6. Derek Butlin
    5 years ago

    So realistic that I would expect to see Miss Marple alight from the cream and green coach! A brilliant achivement!

  7. bob
    5 years ago

    Nice job Andrea!!! I have seen some ideas here in your layout that I will consider when I get around to building my S scale layout. Looks like alot of time, thought and effort has gone into your creation-Congratulations!!! Now, if I could only get my wife, son or daughters interested.

  8. Barry C Holdstock
    5 years ago

    I’m just undertaking a major rebuild of my N gauge layout & I was really stuck for ideas. Your inspirational English scene has gven me a few ideas.
    Thank you.

  9. Walter L. Norman
    5 years ago

    Well done Chris & Andrea. My wife passed Feb. 12th 2012 She was an artist. She was to do the backdrops on my layout. Info on my layout can be had

  10. Walter L. Norman
    5 years ago

    Well done. My wife passed Feb. 12th 2012. She was an artist & started the backdrops on my layout. Information on my layout can be had at, first link. I’m also
    working on a switchback in ‘N’ scale & an ‘N’ scale 2x4ft.

  11. dorman
    5 years ago

    I just ran out of great grandaughters to make dollhouses for so am encouraged by this display
    to do scale rr

  12. Ross Henry
    5 years ago

    Wish that I had the immagination that your wife has, am only getting started with an “N” scale which have been wanting to do for years. Great job by both of you.
    Keep it up because your set up is a showcase layout all in its self.

  13. Charlie and Max
    5 years ago

    We have loved seeing our Gran and Grandads train layout develop every time we visit. It is great fun to play with too! Well done!

  14. Karl Edmands St. Cath. On. Can
    5 years ago

    Outstanding! It gave me some ideas as I am bout lto set my N gauge for the first time. The detaI gives me lots to think about.


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