N Scale Railroad Freilassing Roundhouse

Hi everyone, this is still a work in progress but here is my N scale 1/160 model of the well known locomotive roundhouse in Freilassing in the south of Germany. Almost everything here is done on my Emblaser Core using cardstock, laser board and 3mm MDF for the frames (the roof chimneys and mounts for the servo motors were 3d printed and the window glazing is acetate cut on a Cricuit type machine). This project came about as I was looking for a roundhouse to fit a fairly tight corner on my layout and none of the commercial options worked well (and they would have been very pricy). The prototype for this building was made as a model in HO scale by Faller and Pola over the years but was never done in N scale. Like my electric locomotive shed the doors are hinged on ultra tiny magnets using music wire. The door open/close pushrods also use small magnets and music wire to get around the limitations of working mechanisms in such a small scale. The servos are smaller than the ubiquitous SG90 servos and are hidden in ‘offices’ at the back of the building (controlled by an Arduino nano). I still have to add drain pipes, roof capping, other details and a lot of sooty weathering before it is done. I may add lighting with some LEDs to this and my other locomotive shed once the layout is more complete. Chris





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Amazingly detailed work as always.

Thanks for sharing the images.

This is incredible!
Would you mind sharing a close-up of the magnet and music wire door ‘hinge’?

Hi Lliam, here are some close ups of how I built this. This came out of trying to figure out how to easily scratch build small hinges for N scale that would withstand the rigours of automatic opening etc. I tried more standard hinges but any jitter or misalignment of the servos would lead to the hinges breaking or coming apart.

The roundhouse has small u-shaped bits of steel music wire installed and the doors have a cutout for a 1x1x5mm rare earth magnets (super cheap from ebay). This makes the doors incredibly easy to install and remove and provides a reasonable hinge mechanism. To make them open and close I have another bit of music wire with a 90 bend at the end that ‘sticks’ to a 1x1x3mm magnet on each door. That connection works to operate the doors without any ‘negative’ consequences if the throwbar overextends etc due to servo jitter or misalignment or a door is accidentally closed onto a locomotive - I wanted to prevent any hard to repair damage if this occured. I use an Arduino to control all the servos and with the parts I had available there was always a bit of jitter to deal with when the servos powered on - I may switch to the new servo decoders from ESU as they supposedly prevent the jitter. The mechanism (all cut on my Emblaser Core) in my original pics inside the roundhouse is there so the two doors are synchronized when opening and closing (the servos are offset to one side).

For my electric lok shed without servos I just used the small magnets on the door frame and ran a length of music wire along the edge of the doors. This allows for the same hinge action to work so I can open close the doors easily be hand and remove/replace them easily. It all works fine right now but I may try to refine it all bit more in the future once I have a servo decoder that allows for smoother action etc.

Edit: magnets come from zigmystermagnets.com or zigmag416 on ebay


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That is really outstanding work. Speechless

Thank you for going to the effort of documenting the hinge and throwbar design - I’m not sure if this is standard practice on N scale models, but it is really clever!

Thanks again for sharing and providing some inspiration for future small scale hinge challenges.