Brick scribing template

To go in and around the rails of my street track I thought I’d create a quick template. The idea here being to tape the template down to my work surface then tape a sheet of styrene smaller than the template to the template itself. Then I’d be able to use a the lines from the template to help me to line up the steel straight edge I scribe against. Looking at shots of brick/cobble-paved trackage in Halifax and Nova Scotia it sure looks, to me, like they fit about 5 full bricks between the rails. It seems that in N scale we always make things a little larger so I tried scaling that dimension up about 20% and find that they do in fact, to my eyes at least, look better.

Click on the image below to download a PDF copy of the template if you’d like to try it out.

the square in the bottom left corner should be 1" square when the sheet is printed



  1. Do you really etch bricks that small??

    What about doing Belgian Block style? I recently used a god wall patch, MH Ready Patch. A iittle moist going on but it held up and din’t shrink. Dried hard and was easy to sand. I wonder if something like this would be a decent mediium for forming block and sidewalks?

    What do you etch with, e.g. scribe, needle, pin or homemade sculpting tool?

    I just threw out this weeks garbage and I pondered over an Apple iPhone box. Excellent hardboard covered in white stock paper. For small walls etc it would be perfect, nice and strong. Perfect for sidewalks? Only about an 1/8″ thick.

    What do you do around bends in the rails? I was thinking if you covered the rails somehow and then went over it with a metal tool, cut to the rail standard, you could form (scribe) the spacing needed for the wheels to travel. (when the spackle was medium soft and formable)

    I wanted to put in a short trolley line on my layout thru the main street…so I’m following this closely.

    1. Thanks for the comment. When I first drew them they were really small and I worry that they still are. I plan on scribing these onto 0.020″ thick styrene sheet and I will use a homemade scribing tool for the job. I find N scale is constantly a battle between what is right and what looks right and the size of these bricks is a reminder of that.

      I’m familiar with the block style you mentioned and it would be a great deal easier and I’ll confess I find that tempting since scribing a parallel grid would be a lot faster.

      Driving this whole project is my desire to make up a set of sections that I’ll use as masters. From these I’ll make resin castings so I feel like I’m willing to trade extra labour here, at the front-end, of the project for a simpler version at the back. So when I make up my first curved and then again later when I make up turnouts I expect some extra work but again that will be amortised over efficiencies I hope to realise in making the cast pieces.

      Thanks again. Great to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s