Craig gets back in touch


Thanks for the response from the readers. They asked for more pictures and a track plan, so I took some more photos. The guy who made the bench work took the plans from the Blackwater Jct in Model Railroader magazine, I don’t know the date or issue, but I think it’s from Maryland. And he gave me the book he made when I bought the track from him.

The first picture shows the overall track plan in that book and I have added the outside loop drawn in black. The area labeled Blackwater is the town I now call Hunter. I am still working on the engine servicing area, as you can see from the photos. The second and third pictures show the west end of the layout and the photo labeled East end shows the other end of the layout including the engine service area, the little town of Caelville and Cienna Lake.

It also shows a good view of the river. The river was interesting to model. I used Magic Water and believe me, it finds every pinhole and drips. Make sure the riverbed is sealed completely before mixing the two-part resin and pouring it. I poured it in two stages. After pouring the first level, I dry-brushed areas around the rocks to show ripples and sprinkled stuff on top like grit, bits of leaves ground really fine, not much just a little. Then when I poured the 2nd layer over this, it looked like stuff floating just under the surface of the water.

On the 2nd layer, when the Magic Water started to set, I teased the surface into bumps, then when it set completely, I used water effects on top of the Magic Water and formed waves and ripples. I dry-brushed these ripples with white paint as you can see in the picture of Cienna Lake.

The pics labeled Hunter 1 and Downtown show two views of the town of Hunter. There was a question of where I got the dimestore Indian. It came with the kit for that structure. A view of the mine and the busy crossing shows the industry that keeps Hunter alive and going. The view of the River shows the seam under one of the three mountains. I have yet to make this seam “disappear”. All three mountains are removable so that I can access the track under them.

The photo titled Bar B Que shows the company homes owned by the mine, and the families getting together for a weekend bar-b-que. I made the street lights out of some grain of rice bulbs and some spare plastic that I drilled and filed down to achieve the tapered shape mounted on skewers painted gray and weathered with sandpaper to achieve an “old pole” look. The wire still needs to be painted, but whose layout isn’t always under construction?

I’ll send some pics of the intitial stages of my construction and some more details of the river, rocks and the mountains later. Thanks much for the response from the other readers. I really enjoy this link, keep it up.


Bar B Que

Cienna Lake

Downtown #1

East End

Hunter 1

Main Street



Track Plan

West End 2

West End

Big thanks to Craig! I do love reading about your layouts and how you all solve different problems. Superb.

Please do keep ’em coming.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Miss it, and miss out.



PS You can search through years of posts (like Craig’s earlier ones), here.

28 Responses to Craig gets back in touch

  1. BEAUTIFUL WORK SPEAKS FOR ITSELF ! And this is beautiful work. Congrats ! Ferdinand.

  2. I think it is a great layout and plenty of shunting and running well done

  3. I love it, I wish my layout look half as good. Thanks for the look.

  4. Nice, very nice.

  5. The curved streets really add to the charm of the layout. They make sense because the geography of the area being modeled is not flat. I have always tended to lay out rectangular streets and city blocks. Your approach makes more sense. Thanks. Beautiful work. The buildings look like they belong.

  6. Craig mentioned that all photos were labeled. I could not see the labels. However on a different note, What an exceptional layout. The details are awesome. Super great work.
    Craig .

  7. Love this site Al. Gathering a lot of great ideas. I would like to ask a favor of those who send in pictures of their layouts to let us all know what scale he is modeling in.

    Keep up the good work on sorting out the posts Al.

  8. Thanks Craig – an exciting layout!

  9. what an excellent layout Craig…
    the detail is superb and the mountain has such power
    I would like to have a layout done like this….
    keep it runnin dude

  10. What size is the layout. thanks mike.

  11. Craig,
    What a wonderful beautiful exciting model railroad: Enjoy to the fullest what you have created. Model railroading is a great pastime … isn’t it? Yes it is!!
    best regards,
    P.S. Thank you Craig for sharing … thank you Al for bringing this to us!

  12. the colors and details harmonize very well. There is so much to look at. the camera work is supper. Great layout.

  13. Looks very much like the “HO Layout that grows from 1957? Model Trains and the book of the same name. Well done.

  14. Lovely layout

  15. great layout nice detail mountain and tunnel unbelievable no layout is ever finished especially when watching this site thanks for being part of it.

  16. spectacular and I take it that it is all on an 8′ x 4′ table.

  17. Great Layout ! ! The track plan is from a MR featured in a 2009? article. That track plan was of the plan of a 4 x 8 feature of the RIO GRAND SOUTHERN using selective compression. It was anexellent track plan and Graig used it in a modern eara time line. A great job. It appears that none of the space was wasted
    Don Wick
    The Yard Master
    West Bend, WI U S A

  18. Love it! Would love to know how to get the grey colored look of the roads in the town… That’s a perfect match with weathered asphalt!
    Mahalo from Hawaii!

  19. not bad design… looks good

  20. Well made use of every part of this layout which has been finished to a very high standard. Excellent pictures and description as well, thanks Craig for sharing!

  21. Great Layout Craig. Keep the pics coming. I just love to watch and imagine. Like the way you used the 50’s theme. what size is the layout?

  22. put so-called professionals to shame, well worth the effort. Thank you Ron

  23. I again must give huge recognition to the fantastic water scenes. I am such a fan. I might need to set up a photo bucket titled Model RR Water Scenes. With permission, I would include Craig’s water scenes.

  24. Craig — you’ve done a marvelous job on your layout. Can’t tell the dimensions of the layout, but you’ve accomplished a lot of hard work in what looks to be a relatively small area. Love the detailing. Keep up the good work.


  25. Outstanding layout Craig, very well detailed, love it. So much work no doubt went into this just by the beautiful results shown. I can hours on my layout every week and it never look like this. Thanks so much for sharing.

  26. Very well laid out. Just plain beautiful layout.

  27. VERY impressive!! Lots of activity in a relatively compact space, and beautiful craftsmanship.

  28. Great layout – hope mine looks half as good when it’s finished

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