Alasdair’s layout

“Hi al, thank you for all your advice as to my layout lighting and all those who wrote in I appreciate it very much.Hope you enjoy the pics.


Alasdair Macdougall”

Great to see some pics where all the tips have been put to good use!

Ebay cheat sheet (HO scale)
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You can get to the full ‘ebay cheat’ sheet here.



26 Responses to Alasdair’s layout

  1. Thanks for the great photos what a lovely layout,welldone.

  2. Done a good job there with the lighting Alastdair

  3. I have a suggestion regarding the height of the layout. I noticed that there is a gap from the top of the layout to the bottom of the background images.

    I would recommend that the layout be raised to meet with the bottom of the background or reposition the background lower to mate with the layout’s top.

  4. Awesome layout, great attention to details!

  5. I commend you on a great looking layout. But I agree with Toni about the background picture. It looks like to me that it is glued to the wall. If the layout can be moved enough for U to get closer to it would be easier to make an attempt to remove it to reapply it in the new position.
    I would suggest another round of night time shots in a low light affect that would let the lighting stand out a little bit more. Again it is only a suggestion from me to you.

  6. Great layout and lighting. I ready like the detail on the buildings.

  7. Awesome layouthe attention to detail, love t

  8. a very compact layout not an easy job getting to every place to put the lighting in. the light setup is great not to much and not to bright. i love it .need a video of the trains going from afternoon to dusk.

  9. Very nice and charming layout, Alasdair. I light the lighting.

  10. Great lighting. I think it really sets off the layout. If you get a chance to post any replies if you could please let me know what brand the yard lights are are that would be greatly appreciated.



  11. Al,

    You have a great layout there. My hat off to you.
    Enjoy … the lighting and detail are superb.

    Thanks Al for sharing.



  12. I was just in the process of starting to build my 3′ x 6′ N scale model railroad.
    My wife decided she did not want it in the room that was decided upon. So I changed the room and the size and it is going to now be 2′ x 9′ Made ony minor variations to the plan. It will work. Cna’t wait to get started. Your tips and railroad pictures and videos has helped me a great deal in my design. Ooopppps! Now my wife tells me she wants us to move to a +55 planned community. Since I am 70 years of age and wil not have to do any outside work. Only one floor of living. I am holding on the RR until we move. Then I will probably modify the RR again … and have enough time to build it. All I want to do is get the RR built.

    There is a reason for all this delay. Patience is a virtue … I will be patient … but when I get started no rest for the weary.

    Thank you!



    PS: I have had all my products for this RR for two years.

  13. Great layout! The lighting looks great, as far as cameras can capture it. The pic’s are fantastic. They showed some track detail that I’ve been having some problems with, thank you.
    Oops on the backdrop, but hay, things happen. The roof lines line up, and at first glance it all works. I couldn’t tell untill I read the other responces.
    Good Work and keep it up.

  14. Excellent layout and the detail is fantastic. I am still in the planning stage so mine will be awhile before I have any pictures to share

  15. what a great layout, well done ,

  16. excellent layout, very busy, and the lighting is good, I am at the moment building an 8ft x 2ft exhibition layout an I’m at the moment just started work on the river bed can any of you knowlegable people out there give me advice on how to achieve a good looking river, thanks! in anticipation.

  17. Great layout Alasdair, super detailing and great lighting, thanks for sharing, Pete

  18. Hi Al,
    I’ve recently seen many readers inquiring about creating water/rivers. I thought I would therefore offer my knowledge and experience in having done this on my current and previous layouts with satisfying realistic results.

    To Ken Thomas: (and others wanting tips on creating rivers…)

    The general steps to creating “a good looking river” involves:
    > create your river banks and bed using any of various materials like plywood, extruded pink/blue home insulating foam sheets, plaster gauze sheets…or combinations of such items.
    > use acrylic paints of the color appropriate to the river bed you’re modeling to set the color depth of the water. E.g., use deep greens for deep water, lighter greens with brown for muddy waters, and shades of beige for sand and silt… Colors should be darkest at the center of the river and gradually lightening toward the shore/riverbanks.
    > then add river rocks (gravel and talus size) along the shoreline and thinning out toward the deeper waters. Glue in place with diluted white glue and allow to dry overnight.
    > add any larger rocks along the banks areas if desired and glue as done with the sandy/muddy rocks above.
    > add any other things you might want in the shallower areas like plant growth or drift wood… and glue also and allow to dry throughly.
    > now you can add the water to the otherwise finished dry river. I would recommend using “Realistic Water” by Woodland Scenics. Follow the directions on the product. When that has dried you can then apply “Water Effects” by Woodland Scenics if you want to create waves or rapids. This is a white substance of a cream-like consistency. Apply the “Water Effects” with a brush and stiple it with the brush edge in a downward motion to create waves and/or rapids. The product dries clear like the “Realistic Water” product. If you want rapids/white water, just stiple on some white paint by dry brushing the crests of the waves or rolling waters.


  19. it certainly look very effective. well done


  21. Great looking layout, however needs fencing around the track to complete it, British railway law, looks very obvious in the town area. Sorry, my only criticism. Great layout and lighting effects.

  22. Thanks Arnie, for the information on modelling water, much appreciated.

  23. beautiful

  24. I live in central Texas USA and I have been to many large cities and seen some very large rail yards. My question is. Why does a model layout have to be so crowed. It seem to me that more open, finer details,more realism.
    George in Texas

  25. good work – if it makes you happy – then it is successful Always appreciate the tips and information on this site – it is the best

  26. Hello, Does anyone know where I can get 1/87 scale vehicles at a reasonable price? The only ones that I can find are too expensive and the Match Box type are not all at the same scale. I would appreciate any help I can get. thanks Les

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