Rod’s fantastic layout

“Dear Al,

A friend forwards your output to me which is always interesting, so I thought you might care to see a few shots of Diano Marina in HO. It’s based on our favourite resort on the Italian Riviera dei Fiori, although we’ve had to take some liberties such as moving our hotel fifty yards nearer the railway so we can see the trains go by from the swimming pool.

The very spooky part was that I had to add a floor to the model of the hotel to fully cover the corner of the sky backscene, and when we rang to reserve our next summer’s holiday we were told, “we’re so sorry, we’re not going to be open then as we’re adding a new floor!”

The layout is 9′ x 11′ using Peco track, Sommerfeldt overhead and mostly Roco or Rivarossi stock. The track plan is simple – just a platform loop and a goods loop off the single main line, but there are ten roads in the fiddle yard to offer some variety. Control is ordinary DC with control panels mountable outside for home use or inside for exhibiting.

I’ve put in over 500 sessions on the layout to date so probably a thousand hours, but then I take forever to get anything much done.


(images are clickable)

“Hi Alastair

Progress on the new wharf:

This is the 2nd building of 9 in the Red Hook Wharf kit build. (FOS Scale product -limited issue) Complete with interior and exterior lighting, window shades, lifebelt and life ring on the wall, dirt bins, tool rack and odd tins. (extras from the good old “scrap” box – bits box)

Weathering – the building was painted white, stippled with 2 shades of blue and a tan color. A very thin black wash finished off the weathering. The yellow sign on the side of the building was sanded on the back side to get it very thin and see through, glued it to the building using a very watered down white glue. The sign was then distressed using a Fiberglass eraser after it had dried. The top sign was glued to a piece of card-stock and distressed in the same way.

The total size of this 9 building kit when built (the way I plan it) will be 36″ long x 14″ wide.


A big thanks to Rod and Brian.

I thought Brian’s buildings look excellent – but if you’re not a talented as Brian (like me) have a look at the print out buildings here.

And if you’re heading off to ebay, here’s the latest ‘ebay cheat sheet‘. Thank you for all the emails on it. I do appreciate them.

Keep ’em coming!



23 Responses to Rod’s fantastic layout

  1. Rod.

    Great layout , Ilike the garden scenes



  3. Hi Rod, That’s a great layout and happens to be my favourite place to stay. Lovely place with cool air coming in off the Med. The buildings look exactly the same to. Well done mate!

  4. I am just starting out with ‘N-gage”, always looking for ideas. You have done a fantastic job. Trying to satay relaxed and not getting ahead of myself is the big challenge. All the best John H

  5. Ron, great layout. The detail is great.

    Brian, you are an artist. I look forward to seeing your buildings. Nice touch with the rubber bland.

  6. A great looking layout, for sure. I always like seeing Model RR’s engines & rolling stock of other countries on the planet. Since I grew up seeing only American made engines and rolling stock.

  7. Thank you all, and Colin, if you know Diano I expect you’ll know that the Bar Eden is in the bottom of that huge pink L-shaped block of flats in the fourth pic, next to the level crossing, and Mario insisted on giving us a free beer each when we showed him some pics of the model, what a nice guy! Just been doing the ‘O sole mio’ pizzeria and have now started on a corner of the campsite, just the station to finish and it’s done.

  8. nice to see very clean lay out thanks for not werthing the train
    realy good I like it very mutch


  10. neat layout

  11. Lindsay, I know what you mean about the weathering, it’s a real pleasure to be using whites and pastel shades, as most of the UK modelling we do at our local club is set in the ’50s and 60s and you always seem to be putting on more rust, more grime, more rather grim dark greens and maroons. Diano being a busy seaside resort does spend a bit on keeping things tidy, but I promise you there is some grafitti on odd walls and the old goods shed. (Oddly some of it in English, I don’t think many British vandals get to the riviera, I think it’s just that stuff sounds smarter in ‘foreign’.) The trains ought to be weathered in a light tan (little black diesel exhaust in Italy as they have a lot of hydro-electric power) but I can’t quite bring myself to do it!
    Thomas, the overhead only covers the scenic side (doing the fiddle yard as well would have been a nightmare) so it’s cosmetic, but the pans do run under the wires, I found I could just raise the last section each end at a gentle angle so it rises above the maximum elevation of the pantographs, and they run down under it happily enough. The parts were quite a price though, not bad value but it soon mounts up.

  12. great looking layout

  13. Al, I sent a reply earlier, perhaps it was lost. I believe that your e-mails are
    the best to instruct and maintain the great interest in model railroading.
    My father worked for the L & N Railroad in Louisville for 51 years. Was awarded a golden watch, which I cherish with great honor. we traveled
    a great deal on his free passes and enjoyed our travels with much gusto.
    I guess his occupation possesed my great desire for the railroad functions
    of the many trips on the rails witnessing the smell of the smoke, the coaches
    squeaking between cars and long blasting whistles hammering down the
    silver tracks with smoke puffing and bellowing from the stack with bells
    ringing, with great rumble swaying side to side. Here we come!

  14. Really Like The Attention To Detail!

  15. great stuff. keep it up.regards EH.

  16. Dammit. From the first sentence, ” I thought you might care to see a few shots of Diano Marina in HO” I was trying to work out which American state had the abbreviation HO. Then it hit me.
    Thanks for all these tips.. THat is a stunning layout.

  17. Thanks for keeping me on you mailing list. I do not have a layout at present but have a lot of British steam from a wide range of time (including Hornby Dublo from 1954.

    Living in Canada, I would like to do a British Rail Museum Park in Canada in small modules so I can do a bit at a time. Do you have any suggestions, plans. links, contact, etc.

    Thanks in advance. David

  18. Oh, my goodness! I love the person who thought that HO was a state in the US!!! We think alike. That’s scary. Just yesterday, I mistook Ms. (Miss) for MS (Mississippi), the state in which I live, so see? You are not alone. Thanks, whoever you are, for sharing the moment in your life that struck the heart of this aging railroading lady. I’m 80, and still trying to complete one layout…..Marion

  19. Hi Rod, may I ask you what make the catekary masts and wires are? I buld in N Gauge and use Sommerfeldt masts and wires and they are working (!). Haven’t seen your masts anywhere yet. Thx. for a quick update.
    Claus in Peacehaven, England

  20. …amazing… felt like family vacation happening decades ago…

  21. Really nice. I love your pool area.
    Great idea. Jim, NJ, USA

  22. I love the scenery. I’m still ballasting track after about a year and it is a fairly simple layout. Keep the pix coming. Cheers! NJ Mark

  23. Nice layout, where did you get those palm trees?

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