Vince’s layout


Enclosed is my son’s HO layout which he completed a few months ago. When my sons were 6 and 9 years old we would put together layouts every Christmas Holiday season. Themes each year would be Wild West, Modern Military. Calvary and Indians and modern city layouts circa 50s and 60s.

As they grew and became adults their hobby was put on hold and all was put away . Since I am a graphic artist and painter were all hand painted and the boys early on would build, paint and produce their own layouts.

Jump now to 2013 since the boys haven’t done any train layouts since they were very young.

The three of us we reminiscing about the great times we had in years past working together building our “train platforms”.

So my youngest son decided to start a new HO layout. Work begun early in 2013 and was completed a few months later. We all contributed and my oldest son researched and purchased people and vehicles from all over the world while my youngest planned and built the 3.5′ x 8′. I surprised the boys by telling them I kept all the buildings, houses, people, track & etc. ( I can’t believe how expensive today compared to many years ago).

A lot of new track, foliage, people and vehicles along with some hand built buildings, docks, billboards, etc.

Please take a look and let me know if you would like to see more photos (and video) as well as track design and details of the design.

Best regards


(images are clickable)

“Hi Al,

just uploaded this video , it is with the Deltic now with the bass reflex speaker fitted and of course re-blown, also have added a good few more sound Loco`s just to give viewers an insight as to how they can sound , which can be a bit off putting sometimes hearing them through a computer , but does give some idea of the sounds .



See what’s been added to the latest ebay cheat sheet here.

And lastly, don’t forget it’s the last day of my boy’s fire sale for his scenery print outs. You get every building for just $3 each… it’s here.

Please keep ’em coming.



42 Responses to Vince’s layout

  1. Nice job you all have done there Vince , looks very well detailed

  2. DAVE!. Have been meaning to ask you for some time, what is the size of your layout?, it seems as though it is fitted into your roof space.

  3. Great photo’s Vincent. I enjoyed them and they have given me some ideas. A great looking layout. A lot of carefully planned detail, but not over the top.
    Alastair, how do we send you some of our own layout photo’s? Keep up the great work. I am always excited to get your emails. Cheers!

  4. Dave, your layout never ceases to amaze me. Your an inspiration to all of us in this fantastic hobby. Cheers mate!

  5. Just hit reply to any of my mails!

  6. I would like to see an overall shot or track plan for Vince’s awesome HO layout.

  7. Greater Job!!!

  8. Great Job!!!


  9. Al,
    I’m always impressed with all the layouts that have engines with sound, they seem so much more realistic. Someday maybe my budget will allow me to have them but for now I have to use my unattached MRC sound generators. Vince and sons your layout is well done in a very small space.
    Thank you Al for putting me back on your mailing list as I enjoy seeing other peoples’ layouts as it gets me inspired to continue on mine again. With the weather being nice here in Minnesota it’s hard to motivate myself to staying indoors and working on my train but winter will soon be here and then I’ll start up again. My helixes work very well even though a few of the readers were very skeptical. If anybody desires to know the details please let me know and I’ll be happy to explain as they are so much easier to build than what’s commercially available.


  10. Vince. Great layout.
    I have been pondering how I could build an HO scale layout in my limited space but your 3.5′ x 8′ beauty gives me hope. Could you respond regarding the maximum radius curves ?
    Thanks for sharing a wonderful journey.

  11. Thanks Vincent, family time is the best of times. Dave you always put a smile on my face. Thanks both of you.

  12. Dave, nice work!! Makes me know I can be better.. Thanks – Rog

  13. I appreciate the detail, sound and overall layout of multiple trains. Wish I could have it in my living room. BUT – BUT I do nt have an appreciation of the run away train speeds. They are not to scale. Im use to seeing three rail Lionel racing around the track. Just dont get the warm fuzzy with yours doing the same.

    Slow them down please

  14. Like you say buddy, better than the telly any day!!! As usual Dave you entertain and make me envious simultaneously. Love your outfit and one we can all aspire to. Keep up the good work.


  16. Very compact and interesting layout. Lots of very cool stuff. Nice layout Vince. Good you can still do something together you and your son.

  17. Father and sons…BEAUTIFUL JOB. I also think back to the days when times seem so much easier. As you stated, prices are not as they were. Father has passed and Im left with the pleasent memories. THANK YOU for taking me back.

  18. Vince, loved the story and the layout is really nice. I have a space problem and would love to see the layout plan if you have one. a video would be super too. Keep up the good work.


  20. I do have pre-construction photos of Christophers 3.5 x8″ layout. He used acoustical tile for the mountains which we saw on line during our research as well as plaster cloth. We used foam for the track bed and sprayed it with black and white speckled paint. It is a little less messy than actual ballast glued on the bed.
    We not only bought trees and shrubs but also made a lot ourselves. As far as the track levels he put his flex track down to see if the trains would make some tight curves. He discovered that with a 3.5″ width you can’t run long wheel based locomotives, but almost any other size will work great. We have both very old trains as well as some new ones. I will try to send more construction pics and videos if I can. Thanks for all the great feedback. I look forward to seeing all the layouts that Al sends. It is so great knowing there are so many talented people all over are into the hobby and it’s a pleasure viewing all the beautiful layouts.

  21. Vince,
    Yes please, we would like to see more photos (and video) as well as track design and details of the design

  22. Dave– once again I marvel at what you have accomplished. I just have one minor criticism, and I am not sure if this is easily correctable or not. It is very hard for me (and maybe others) to hear your words and instructions when you are trying to talk over the train noise. This is somewhat disappointing because the info you relay is always so instructive, it is a shame to miss any of it. Maybe my ears are just going to ‘ell. Anyone else have this problem? Would a directional microphone attached to video camera help or even be possible? Thanks again Dave– love your work!

  23. Great accomplishment for layout size but how did you gain the higher elevation right of way?

  24. Vince,
    I am soon planning to build my first layout. It will be HO 4’x8′. Your layout is almost exactly what I’m looking for. It has lots of buildings, water, tunnels, bridges and different levels. I would really like to see more info, be it track plans, more photos, or a how-to PDF.

  25. hi

    would love to see a track plan of your layout

    also more photo to show haw the plan looks now completed


  26. Nice Job, Enjoy!!!

  27. Vince, Family time is precious and special how sweet it is … what a great railroad!
    I remember my Father: Brothers: I, had doing much the same thing each year at Christmas. I treasure those memories … they have a very special place in my heart.

    Dave thanks for all the sounds …

  28. Great layout! PLEASE, ids there a track plan for that?
    gene in Troy!

  29. In answer to Gordon , my layout is approx 8 ft x 30 ft. now and yes it is in my roof space ..thanks for commenting


  31. By all means, I for one and I am sure that others would be very interested in seeing detailed pictures of that beautiful and packed, ‘HO’ layout that you and your son did.

    Please send more pictures. If you can, please send close-up pictures of the home-built / home-made structures. I would be interested to see them.


  32. looks real neat

  33. Vince, those photos are great. Fantastic layout. How was the water done? Looks great.

  34. what a great job would love to see more photos and trains

  35. Vince:
    Great job to you and your boys. Every father’s dream is to see them come back to the hobby, after the growing and being responsible hiatus. My grandson and I would love to see more of your layout. Perhaps a video….
    thanks for sharing.

  36. Hi Dave
    Dave it’s something you’ve said about sound volumes in the video and the speakers in bachmann trains. Well do you relies that you could adjust the sound volume using the cvs in the decoder programming and any bachmann trains that I’ve got have got spaces inside the trains for a speaker usually in the vent space in the roof.
    As for your layout I’d love to be anyway near your skill level you are an inspiration to us all.
    I can remember once from me memory that you were talking about lighting in your layout and I can see that your lights are very bright. Have you tried useing a dimmer for the lights as a whole ring or even useing capacitors if the lights are led?
    Anyway I can only thank you for your time and sharing your layout with us all.

  37. Terrific layout. Would love to see the track plans.

  38. Very nice small layout. A lot has been done in an extremely compact space.

  39. just starting to build my layout in HO.I would love to see your track plans .because of size restrictions mine will also be 4’x8′ with expansion room of another 4’x8′. I have a manual turntable which will be incorporated. great layout thanks. Karl in Dunnville Ontario Canada

  40. how can one get sound on their layout without dcc

  41. Interesting layout, Vince. I like all the action going on. I am working on y first HO layout after collecting trains for 40 years. All the tips and comments are very informative. One of the uses I have made of old water filters is to cut them open, remove the charcoal, dry it, and then apply to the flat roofs of the buildings so that has a “tar and gravel” look. All the tips being shared I find invaluable. Thanks to all your followers Al, and to you.

  42. Hi Dave,

    Your layout is brilliant, wish I had one like that though I’ve got to clear my loft out soon to make way for my new model railway, well that’s the plan anyway, so once again well done with your layout as that has given me inspiration.


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