More of your model train pics

“Hi Alastair

As a retired Electrician I prefer to hard wire switches and lights, but recently bought a system called light genie, excellent stuff, and I cannot wait to incorporate it onto my lay out.

However a couple of pics of my shelf layout. (I used IKEA floating shelf and covered with Aldis green mat cut up as well as some stuff from Model Tech Studios as background and loads etc.) as a useful tip, the cobbled road from Lemax is great stuff but needs a lot of patience to get it to lay flat.

Thanks again


“I liked Larry’s shed so I thought I would show what I did with this paper cutout, along with a few other paper cutout projects I did.


Rather enjoying seeing all your pics of the print out scenery. If you want to have a bash at one of the engine sheds, you can download them here.

That’s all for today folks, please do keep ’em coming, and don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to stop sctratching your head and cover ground with your layout.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here


Cary’s latest G scale update

Cary’s been in touch again – and I’m so glad he has, bcasue you all know how much I like to see your updates.

His last post, is here (scroll down).

“Hi Al,

I thought I would provide an update on my garden railroad project here in Crestwood, Kentucky. I had hoped to lay track this summer but didn’t make it that far.

I brought in 7 tons of gravel and did get the track bed in place. I’m going to let it settle and pack during the winter and hopefully have a good base for my track come spring 2018.

Once I started putting the track bed in place I realized I had some more digging and adjustments to get the grades right.

Here’s a short video that shows how things are coming together.

Thanks again for sending the posts, its great seeing what everyone is up to!


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here

A huge thanks to Cary – hope you enjoyed it.

Please keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to dive in and have some fun with your own layout.




Larry’s train shed

Starting today’s missive with this gem from Barry:

“Don’t let fear keep you from trying something you haven’t done before. The expert has made more mistakes than the beginner ever will.”

Wise words, when you consider how a lot of us feel.

And to prove a point, here’s a question from Russell that I’m sure we can all relate to:


MY NAME IS Russell, I’ve been in Model Trains since I was 6 Yrs old. and have had some good size layout and some small layouts, But this is the smallest one yet for my HO Scale layout 2Ft x 3Ft and even though I live in a 29 Ft Camp Trailer the hardest part for me is Downsizing my entire layout.

My layout did consist of 4 Lumber Mills, 3 Communities, 1 Coaling/Gravel Mining Operation, 1 Dairy, 2 large Farms, 3 R.R.Yards. and a lot of forest area.

Now it is down to 1 Mill, A small Dairy with a small Stock Yard and 1 Small Community.still with some 77 Rolling Stock and 5 Locomotives (1. Shay, 1. 0-6-0, 2. 0-4-0 and 1. Porter Hustler)

I just don’t feel like I belong to any R.R. Organization being that my layout is so small and who would want someone layout connected to their large layouts.

I also feel intimidated when I go to Train Show and see all those Large Layouts and see all those things that I would like to put on my layout but with no room it’s kind of hard for me. Where do I belong in the Model R.R. ?

Sincerely Russell”

I would love to hear your repies to Russell – please post a comment below if you can.

Hemi’s been in touch with some great tips:


I’ve a model railroaded all of my life pretty much, (since age 2!)

A few of my ‘load’ ideas:

Coal? Michael’s Craft store “black decorative sand” with the use of .030 thick styrene, glued and sealed around the inside edges of the coal hopper, so that glue can not seep through, let to fully cure.

Then add the black sand in “heaps” to look like the piles left from the coal bunker/loader, glue down with white glue as ballast would be applied to the tracks that said car will ride upon. I’ve found that 3 applications of the blasting glue seals the ‘load’ to the top of that fitted plastic liner…. NO paint required…… and looks as realistic as the real thing!

Being a modeled for so long I have 2 Unimat machine centers….one lathe, & one milling machine. I make A LOT of aluminum “chips”….. recycled the chips in gondola cars glued yet again like ballast would be, makes for a realistic scrap metal load…. rust up with paint or actual rust dust when gluing in, looks great!!!!

I’ll send pics of all this when I am able….

Need lighting for either DC cab control (analog)? Easy!!!! Get that old radio, CD player, VCR, even an old 8 track player (for the older crew), find out what a Diode looks like, and remove it from the pc board, and your off to make your own directional lighting!!!!

Wanna make a old Athearn blue box dummy have directional lighting???? Again, easy….. The older Athearn dummies had metal truck side frames…..GOOD! Those said side frames make for great electrical pick ups to power lighting without them being powered or geared to run, and pull, and still look good. Run the wires as you would for a powered loco, and solder them to the diodes, placed correctly, and you’ll have a “lighted” dummy….I call this trick, “Dummy with a brain” LOL

Also, this trick WILL run both analog as well as DCC, DCC users be sure to try to add some light resistance to the bulb, with say a 480 OHM, 1/4 watt resistor…. Remember, the higher OHM resistor, the dimmer the bulbs brightness will be! The resistors ALSO can be extracted from those old electronic things….. Radio, CD player, DVD player, VCR, and again, even an old 8 track player….

With all the old electronic stuff being stripped of its electrical components, they once had “binding posts” that wire was once tightly wrapped around said posts for electrical connections….. those posts? Make GREAT flat car stakes….. fitted to open stAke pockets like those on Athearn 40 & 50 foot flat cars that never had them in the kit…..

Also, those old electronic things being stripped of their parts also contain pc board power supplies. DO NOT, use them for train controls unless your so electrically inclined, to figure out the output voltage, and AMP’s they put out to not destroy electrical things you’d rather not loose…. BUT, use those little things for flat car loads!!!! I’ve got a couple planned myself…..

Got a junk electrical drill? The armature in it with it taken all apart and the shafts being nothing but straight, with nothing on them make for a great HeAvy duty 4 truck flat car load!!!! -I’ve got one of the Walthers 4 truck depress center cars with one on it to look like a power plant part….. Mine currently is made to look like one that’s been removed, the next car I do, will be a cleaned up new & shiny one to look like the new part coming to the power plant!!!!

Again, I’ll provide picks when I’m able of this….

Hope all enjoy!!!!

Best regards, Al,


And now on to Larry:

“Alaster, here is my little twist on your train shed. Really turned out great.

Larry from MD. U.S.A.”

I asked Larry how he did the doors, here’s his reply:

“Made a pattern of paper and transferred it to cardboard. the crossbracing in also cardboard. Used a fine line marker for the lines and balsa wood for the door catch. Chain is 40 links to the inch. Buy the way, this is HO scale. Glad you liked it and will send more pics if you would like.

Thanks, Larry”

Love what Larry’s done there!

Here’s a pic of one John made:

As with all the scenery on the site – it’s made from these printouts that you just stick together:

You can download the engine shed here.

Or if you want the bundle, you can grab that here.

But you might just want to pick and mix – there are 3 different engine sheds in the store – in which case you can do that here.

Here’s John showing you how to put them together:

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here

That’s all today folks – please do keep ’em coming.

Don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you feel like everyone else is having the fun.