All Aboard! Miniature Toy Train

I'm so excited to have finished this project! This tiny toy train was commissioned by a friend as a gift for her boyfriend, who is crazy about trains. He's also a big fan of the Polar Express book and movie. This miniature railroad layout is 4" square and fits in a clear lucite box for display.

I made the track entirely out of polymer clay. It has 210 individually made (and attached) railroad ties, each only 3/16" (4.5mm) long. A hill and some trees complete the snowy landscape.

The handpainted metal train is about 4.5" (11cm) long. It has three passenger cars and a coal car. The passenger cars are each just under an inch long and 3/8" (9mm) tall, the engine is a little bit bigger. The engine has a tiny brass bell on it and a wee engineer in the window, although you can't really see that in the pictures. I used whiskers shed by my cat for some of the finest painting on the train (I knew I saved them for something!)

I've archived this in my Minis Gallery. Click on the photos for a larger view and more detail.


Merry Jingle said...

You've done amazing job, it looks wonderful! Painting with cat whiskers, you really can work with tiny scale! Fab, I'm sure he'll love it :)


Debbie said...

Grace, you have the patience of a Saint. The little Train and Track is fabulous. I bet your customer was over the moon. I did laugh when I read that you'd used the Cat's Whiskers for painting...LOL xx

Wendy Luane Barber said...

My goodness! What a wonderful gift. What a wonderful layout. You are amazing and yes, I am bowing to you. Thanks for sharing.

elis said...

It looks wonderful.

Sans said...

Grace, what can I say except "wow!". Wow at how beautiful the train turned out, wow at the tiny scale and of course, cat whiskers? wow wow!

Do you mean you bundle them and made them into paint brush or you used 1 whisker at a time?

TreeFeathers said...

Thanks for all the comments, everyone! It was so fun making this, now I want to make more trains! I can't wait to find out if the BF likes it.

Sans, I used single whiskers for some of the tiniest painting, like the engineer in the window. That was after I tried cutting down a couple paintbrushes to a single hair, and accidentally kept cutting them all off. Then I remembered I'd saved a bunch of whiskers. Worked perfectly! :)

- Grace

Anonymous said...

The train and entire scene is beautiful. What a neat item! Are you sure your cat was shedding whiskers or are you harvesting them? Ha Ha

TreeFeathers said...

Ha ha, Sherm! :P My poor kitty cat, I'd never do that to him! I just pick them up when he leaves them on my desk or work table, I knew they'd come in handy for something one of these days.

- Grace

Maia's Twinkle Miniatures said...

The scene is really beautiful, you did an amazing job! I love the little snow covered hill!

Peach Blossom Hill said...

Grace, this is wonderful! My Dad is a big train fan and we have several gauges of mini trains though none set up--we have Gauge N, G and Z! I love this!


Anonymous said...

I just added your feed to my favorites. I really enjoy reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

Composite Litmus said...

This reminds me of the toy manufactured by Maruchu of Japan. You can see how their miniature train runs in the video below:


About Me

My Photo
Griffins, traditionally, are Guardians. Often carved at temple doors in ancient times, they were said to guard the way to Wisdom. I, on the other hand, seem to be the Guardian primarily of odd bits of string, pinecones, scraps of paper, mismatched socks, old calendars, homeless imps and gnomes, pencils with no erasers, jokes nobody gets, forgotten gods, keys with no locks, and other people’s lighters. If any of these things might be of use to you, let me know.
View my complete profile

View Posts by Subject