Geoff’s HO layout


Couple shots of what I have been working on last few months.


“Enjoyed your tips today. Here’s one on making an N-scale security fence with a concertina wire topping. I found an incomplete fence kit at a train show. Without enough posts, I made my own out of florist wire and bent the tops of them the length of a needle nose pliers. The incomplete kit had some nice brass wire mesh, but you can also use wedding veil cloth. I attached the posts to the mesh and sprayed it with metallic paint.

For concertina, I stripped 22 gauge wire and separated the strands. Each of the separated strands then were tightly wrapped around wire with the insulation still intact. The result is a beautiful coiled wire strand. It can be stretched (or not) to suit your needs across the posts that have a tiny dab of super glue on the tops. The great thing is that the topping does not have to be painted.


“Hey al been subscribing to your tips and have to say they have been helpful but thought it was time for me to share a great tip I have got.

When modelling British road it is usually hard to make them realistic I have spent days trying different methods and came up with this one.

Use double sided foam tape to make shuttering, so you make the basic outline of the road and the paths along the sides of the roads too. The reason I use this is because it’s available cheaply in most pound stores and is inexpensive.

Next I use a very watery mix of regular plaster skim ( multi finish plaster) available in most DIY stores, it’s cheap and can be used for loads of different things. I use either a piece of card or you could buy he right tool tool spread the watery mixture to create the road. Once dry you can then remove the tape and it leave crisp clean edges. Once you have a road all the same layer I use matchsticks and stick them down with Pva to create curb stones for the path edgings and then repeat the same process of shuttering with thin plaster skim.

One finished the plaster can be painted with inexpensive black arcylic paint and is allowed to dry. When dry the surface can be lightly sanded with regular sandpaper to make the surface appear worn or lighter where traffic is more frequent.

Also another tip is if you want to shutter up to the side of buildings, it can be difficult because plaster gets on the buildings so what I tend to do it use a small paint brush with water to clean excess off the buildings once the road is finished but before it’s dried.

Hope this helps you modellers out there to create more realistic roads :) May be a picture on its way just gotta set up the camera so will let you know .

Many thanks tim”

“Hi Al

I am a 70 year old retiree originally from the UK and now resident in Perth Western Australia.

With time on my hands I have just completed a 3 x 2.5 metre HO/OO layout which I started 18 months. My layout encompasses some 200 metres of wiring, operating 80 or more street and building lights through15 mobile phone transformers. Ironically however, I shall soon be doing a ‘Dave Howarth’ and starting over again as my layout has several shortfalls not identified in my original planning.

Before I rip it all up I would dearly like to send some pictures for possible inclusion in your weekly ‘round robin’ but am unsure what your preferred method is for receiving submission because as you know they take up a considerable amount of space for electronic transmissions. Your advice on this matter would be appreciated.

In the mean time I have taken the liberty of enclosing a few samples to hopefully whet your appetite.

Kind regards


Big thanks to everyone for today’s post. And good luck to Geoff with his new layout!

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.



7 Responses to Geoff’s HO layout

  1. Nice work Geoff.
    Interesting to see Niagara Falls (The Canadian Falls) as the backdrop behind Geoff’s “town” in the last picture. Where did you find the backdrop?

  2. Wow Larry that is one clean layout.I really like it.not because its clean but well organized.really nice pieces in there.mind if I copy a few in wood.where ya get the sidewalks.alot of sidewalks for sale are way to wide for people and take up a lot of sidewalks are about the same size.But I made my own from that strip tape you use to stick on the side of shelves and such,and use a iron to heat to real well for sidewalks and has that concrete grain to it when you paint it.thanks for the idea’s love your layout.

  3. Oh just a comment.mountain climbers scaleing the cliffs be great.

  4. promise last comment.your traffic is driving on the wrong side of the

  5. okay im sorry really last one.does the street lights work.

  6. Great layout Geoff, I think placing all the people,and many of them, makes the layout come alive.

  7. What a great looking layout Al! Keep up the great work. I look forward to seeing your new one! You have created a new term amongst railway modellers – “Doing a Dave Howarth”!!

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