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Introducing The Kato Mini Diorama Circus

Whether you have come across the Kato Mini Diorama Circus online, in a magazine or at one of the events that it has attended, you will definitely agree it is like no other layout you will have seen. With bright colours, varying themes, and with each module being constructed by a modeller from anywhere in the world, you can find out what it's all about below.

What Is The Kato Diorama Circus?

A circular model railway made up of Kato Mini Diorama bases alongside pictures showing how to connect each module.

The Kato Mini Diorama Circus is an event where small dioramas are built using the Kato Mini Diorama Bases and then connected together at exhibitions around the country to showcase the fun side of railway modelling. These events, which started in Japan, have already attracted more than 800 pieces, with N-gauge model trains running on the unique and varied dioramas built by modellers from around the world.

Usually, the most enjoyable part of a diorama is making it, and the next opportunity to present it is even more exciting, but the Kato Mini Diorama Circus takes this one step further, allowing the bases to connect together to create one large Circus Layout.

A single module of the Kato Mini Diorama Circus made from the curved K24-052 module.

Where Can You See the Kato Mini Diorama Circus?

You can visit a number of shows and events around the country which will feature the Circus. The layout is never the same, as each time it is constructed new and different modules are used, so you will never see the same layout twice!

We have worked with Kato to help them bring the circus to the UK and we are proud to support them at the events. You can find out where the Mini Circus Diorama will be on our Events Page.

Six individual images of some of the modules from the Kato Diorama Circus built  by modellers from around the world.

How To Build Your Own Mini Diorama Base

The Kato Mini Diorama Circus is made up of dioramas built by modellers from around the world, and you can build your own too. All you need to do is to purchase your own diorama base, build it and decorate it in any way you like. The only rule is to keep the track clear so it can be used as a working model (there is a clearance gauge within the pack) but the theme and materials are all up to you.

All you need is one of the Kato Mini Diorama Base Kits. There are two to choose from; one straight and one curved. Once you have made your selection, you just need to assemble the base following the simple instructions.

K24-051 and K24-052 Mini Diorama Bases built as they are supplied.
Supplied as laser-cut kits, these bases can be customised to your hearts content.

You will need to remove the components from the sprue using a Craft Knife and we would recommend doing this on a Cutting Mat or a Workstation. The kit can then be assembled using the Deluxe Materials Laser Cut Kit Glue.

Once constructed there is no limit on what you can add to your diorama base. Some of our favourites have included one finished using Lego building blocks, one taking inspiration from the surrealists with trees made using wire armatures and pompoms to the more realistic scenes depicting a platform scene or goods yard. Whatever you chose to use, the important thing is to have fun doing it, and maybe trying out an idea or technique outside your comfort zone.

Get Involved!

A picture of the small Mini Diorama Bases assembled into the Kato Mini Diorama Circus at The International N Gauge Show in Warwick Exhibition Centre in 2023.
Featured at The International N Gauge Show in 2023, this was one of many times the Kato Mini Diorama Circus has been exhibited in the UK.

Once you have completed your Mini Diorama Base, you can submit your model for inclusion at the next gathering of the circus. Check out the Kato Website for details on how to enter your model into the next build of the Mini Diorama Circus.

Once registered, all you need to do is simply bring your module along to the next appearance at an event and it will be added to the fantastical creation that is the Kato Diorama Circus.

Shop Modelling Materials at Gaugemaster

From building kits to paints and glues and figures, discover all the modelling materials you can use to decorate your Mini Diorama Base with Gaugemaster.

This article has been written by our staff here at Gaugemaster, drawing on thousands of hours of modelling experience. Each article has been written to make it easy for everyone from beginner to expert to learn and expand their own knowledge base. If there is something you would like to see covered, feel free to contact us to suggest a topic - we’d love to hear from you.

For more articles like this, and many others; don't forget to check out the Gaugemaster Knowledge Base.