Modelling N Gauge Low Relief Street Scene

Modelling N Gauge Low Relief Street Scene


We've all wandered down idyllic streets, full of picturesque buildings with loads of character. But how can you create such a scene on your own layout or diorama? With our new range of N gauge UW buildings, I wanted to show you an example of how you can create your own perfect street.


The Street Scene

The buildings were selected to show a varied selection of the low relief kits in the range and to represent a suburban street with a realistic mixture of styles. The church/chapel, whilst based on a chapel in Hayle, Cornwall,  is a generic frontage which can be seen in many parts of the UK. The larger, Georgian townhouse, is a combination of several such buildings in Truro, and features raised front steps to an ornate porch, brick embellishments framing the door and windows, and four floors including the basement. There is also a small fenced garden, on each side of the steps. The remaining two buildings are a townhouse and a townhouse with a shop, again inspired by several such prototypes in Truro.

Each of these kits was built guided by the step-by-step photo instructions, painting the various parts as appropriate during the build process. 

Having completed the buildings, I then needed somewhere to display them.


The baseboard is a new test build for a longer version of the mini-diorama baseboard kit, BB031. The kit fits together in exactly the same way as the original version.  To provide a decent paint surface, I first sprayed with Halford's Grey Primer, as I've found this works exceptionally well on the MDF.  To give a slightly blue sky, I sprayed the top few inches with a pastel/chalky light blue, feathering the lower edge.

I positioned the buildings and then cut some pavement pieces to size. As supplied, the LX253-N Pavement Strips have a kerb on each edge, so one of these was removed.

I also decided to stagger the pavement, so the church and larger house had a small plot of land in front, whereas the two smaller buildings would not. I used two of the angled LX220-N 60° Pavement Corners, with a small length of straight pavement in between.

Once the pavement was glued down, I gave the whole lot a patchy wash with  Citadel ‘Nuln Oil’.

I replaced the buildings, and in between I daubed some green splodges on the backscene. I removed the buildings and extended each ‘foliage’ area slightly on each side, so it would appear to be behind the buildings.  I added some brown splodges too, to give the impression of twigs.

In front of each ‘hedge’, I added a patch of brown paint, then smeared PVA glue over the paint and sprinkled on some SP007 Arid Earth powder. 

Adding the details

Once the backscene was complete, and the four buildings were in position, I started to add the finishing details.

I cut a couple of squares of grass mat to fit either side of the path, in front of the church.

I then added some LX223-N Wooden Fencing and two of the small LX003-N Gates to the border of the church plot.

I also added an LX239-N Parish Notice Board in front of the fence.

Inside the garden, I added some HP006 Small White Tufts of flowers.

For the large townhouse, I added some of the more ornate LX011-N Wrought Iron Railings. I painted these gloss black, with little dabs of gold for the top spike. For the garden, I used some of the HP010 Medium Rose tufts.

As the garden extends beside the house, I curved a piece of the wrought iron fencing to match the curve of the pavement, then added a large LX003-N Gate against the Medium Town House wall.

As the next two buildings open directly onto the pavement, I added some more fencing between them, and at the end of the scene. I painted this fence in a much darker brown, to contrast with that around the church.

Behind the fences, I added some of the new Tree Foliage material, in various shades, to represent shrubbery.

Final detailing

I added some grids to the road surface. I cut these from the AX113-N Vintage Road Signs sheet. I also added a 30mph sign, which I actually got from the S07 Modern Lineside Signs kit, not realising I could have used signs from the Vintage Signs sheet.

Of course, I could have added yellow lines, people, vehicles, and lots of other details such as chimney pots, satellite dishes or aerials, lamp posts, telegraph poles, etc. 

What will you add to your street scenes?  Do let us know and show us your pictures.

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Yeah! It always cheers me to to see new N gauge products being released and these low relief buildings look great. My own layout buildings are all scratch built, but there are some great components in these new buildings for me to cannibalise from in the future. Lovely to see this diorama also showcasing some of your existing detailing products which I’m very familiar with. Best wishes Huw