Dick’s layout


“This is one section I have completed. I used extruded foam for the rocks and painted them with acrylic paint and dry brushed the white for accent.

The track ballast I used “Chicken Grit”, bought it at my local farm store. If I need it smaller I grid it on a granite stone with a granite rolling pin I had floating around the house. Paid $3.45 USA dollars for 5 lbs, cheaper that buying the pre-made stuff.

Some of the trees by the cabin I cut off some of my wife Sedum flowers, in the fall when they dried out. I also use the small branches to make flowering shrubs.

Utility poles are large (to scale) skewers and the cross arms are wool match sticks. The transformers and a dowel painted gray. The insulators are plastic beads (cut in half) and placed over smaller skewer, they fit perfectly.


The rocks in the picture, I picked up at a Pet Store, it is aquarium gravel. Works great as there are
different sizes.

The grass is a mixture of standard you by in bulk and I purchased a sheet of Flower Topper from my local craft store. The nice thing about this is that it has an adhesive backing, “no glue required”.


I have found an antique and unique store that has model train “stuff”. All the train cars I paid $4.00 for and they were in great shape, all I need to do on some of them was change the couplers.

The Exxon-Mobile diesel storage tank is PVC pipe and #14 solid copper wire painted. M make all my own signs, do a search for the sign image I am looking for and convert it to PDF and then I can scale them.

That’s all for now.

I work in HO scale and am a beginner. I am retired and 68 years old and it takes up the day, by the way, my wife is into it as well. She is my design coordinator, she has increased the size of my original 4’x8′ table top the 5’x12′, didn’t expect that.


Big thanks to Dick for sharing – a lovely narrative of his layout. Looks great too. And it’s also a fine example of how to stretch you budget.

That’s all this time folks. Please keep ’em coming.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.



PS You can search through years of posts, here.

8 Responses to Dick’s layout

  1. Great layout nice to se the wife has interest in what you are doing and of couture helping

  2. Hi Dick and wife. Nice layout. She even added more to it. Wife is a keeper lol. Keep up the good work Dick and Wife. love to see more of your layout as you go. Thank’s

  3. That is awesome that his wife has taken interest in it as well. I bet if you gave her a layout of her own to work out she would come up with something fancier 10 fold! The ladies are a touch more creative and much more patient.

    Keep up the good work. Sometimes the satisfaction is constructing and fabricating bits and pieces rather than paying a bunch of money for an off-the-shelf item that 100’s of other railroaders may have in their layout.

    The only downside I see with this layout is that I am not much for parking lots. Just like in real life they take up valuable real estate where you could have more interesting scenery instead. But maybe a parking lot is just temporary until they make more great goodies to place on their layout.

    Keep on Track! (should be the new slogan!!!)

  4. Your railroad looks mighty fine Dick.
    Great use of common items and transforming them into realistic products for the railroad.
    The BIGGEST PLUS is having your wife join in working on the railroad also.
    Have a great weekend.

  5. Great stuff Al keep up the good work.I would like to post some photos of my layout in progress, how do I go about doing so?
    Thank you,

  6. great layout Dick and the details are verry koool
    utilizing and adapting all types of OTHER products to the pike surely does have an impact on your budget!!
    keep it runnin !!

  7. Dick…Great layout. You are most fortunate having your wife request expansion! Can you tell me a little more about “Flower Topper”?

  8. Great to see a husband and wife layout, would like to see more of them.

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