Bob’s O gauge layout update

Rob’s been back in touch.

And he’s been busy on his layout: as we all know, they are never finished.

(Here’s his last post if you want to refresh your memory.)

“Hi Al,

I know how much you love updates, so here goes…….

I’m modeling O gauge on a small layout so space is a premium.

I had a grade on the right side of the layout that was too steep for an engine to pull more than one or two cars and I found that I wasn’t using it much at all.

Since the track was hardly used, I decided to rip it out and change up the track plan. I took out the grade and built two short sidings in the space.

The upper level became a short siding for the tourist railroad to stop at along the route to allow passengers to get off and stop for lunch.

The main level became an industrial siding for a local business. I built a small building from Ameritowne Models here in the US.

The kits are pretty basic but easily bashed to your liking. I added floors and lighting but didn’t furnish the interiors. The interior lights are LED’s that I scratch built, but I purchased the exterior fixtures, also LED.

Once I had that done I decided I needed something for a backdrop behind the building. I had bought your building prints a while back and decided to use one of the engine sheds as a building flat.

I scaled up the print to get the size I wanted and started printing and gluing, and cutting. I cut out the windows and set the main wall on top of a second full print to give the flat some depth.

I also extended the roof out over the top of the wall slightly by adding a second layer to the facia on the print.

I added a second building print that I found on the web behind the flat. The sky prints were the final touch.

I still need to do some detailing, including one of your fences in front of the flat. The new track plan gives me more operational variety, I like switching, and really improved the look of the layout.

The last pic is before the latest change. As you can see I made use of some otherwise dead space above the file cabinets. Had to get creative since the wife didn’t want to give up much space in our small basement.


Bob from LI, NY, USA”

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

o gauge

A huge thanks to Rob.

It’s another fine example of how getting your layout ‘just right’ is an endless task.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going on your very own layout.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

Bill’s N scale progress

Bill’s been back in touch.

It’s always a pleasure when I see his name in my inbox.

Here’s his last post to refresh your memory.

“Hi Al

I’ve taken some vacation and have been having fun adding more to my N scale layout.

Progress is being made and I’m having a lot of fun bringing it to life 😀 since my last submission I’ve gotten quite a bit more done.

I’ve added more trees and ground cover as well as taking some cheap eBay buildings I purchased and giving them new life with paint and weathering.

Take care and keep doing all the wonderful things you do for our hobby!

In Virginia”..

And Brian has been back in touch too (his last post is here).

“Hi Alaistair.

A follow up on progress on my layout with some photos taken with my old Sony DSC F-707 Camera. Have not used it in about 10 years. If I want excellent night photos with a great depth of field, then this is the camera that I use.

At last, laid all the track for both the harbor and Pelican Bay.

Lots of operation here with six line side industries to fill. Will keep an operator busy for quite a while.

It will be switchman’s nightmare as well as the yard master who has to set up a train in the yard at Cascade Creek for this area. A lot of backwards and forwards to do in the tight space (passing siding). It is limited as well as is the head shunt track.

Next is to add sleepers in the gaps, solder droppers where needed to the buss wires underneath and make some of the points DCC compatible. (Some are already done from my old layout in CT) While under the layout, have to put the Blue point motors in and wire them up as well.

A few pieces of different rolling stock pushed through (O-5-0) made sure that all track and point work is okay before running the locomotives.

For those who always ask where are the trains, two locomotives are busy setting out and picking up cars at the industries.

All in a good days work .

Thank goodness my eyes are one hundred percent now. Saw the Ophthalmologist last Friday, very happy and no more work to be done to the eyes, except for a follow up in five months time. Still need spectacles to do fine work though.

Knysna RSA”

It’s wonderful to see layout like these come to life. I love an update!

That’s all for today.

I’ve had a couple of emails asking about the July 4th sale – the page will be taken down today. But if you are quick you can still grab it.

It’s here for an hour or two longer until I put everything back to how it was.

I know some of you are buying it just for the buildings – $69 worth.

Including the discount on the Beginner’s Guide, it’s an $87 saving.

What’s more, I won’t be having another sale for a long, long time.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.



Andrew’s wartime railway

“Hi Al and all the dedicated followers

In a previous post, you mentioned your fascination for wartime dioramas within the railway theme and I guess, thanks to my past, I am no different.

I have attached a few pics of just the one side of my very much in progress layout which is set on or around 16 March 1942.

The scene is a small port/harbour that has been taken over by an undisclosed Commando Battalion who are, in conjunction with the Royal Navy, preparing for Operation Chariot, “The greatest raid of all time”, namely the Raid on the Normandy Dock, which took place on 28 March 1942.

(I mention that more for the benefit of your younger followers as I do not wish to insult the older farts like myself).

Further for the youngsters (haha), this was where an old destroyer (HMS Cambeltown) was stripped down to look like a German ship, packed with 4.5 tone of high explosive and accompanied by 18 smaller craft (wooden motor launches, a gunboat and an motor torpedo boat), set sail for the French Port at St Nazaire with a mind to ram the Normandie dock and put it out of action thereby preventing the Tirpitz from having a suitable dry dock for repairs.

(Without boring your readers with the detail, Jeremy Clarkson did a superb presentation of the raid on youtube)

Back to my layout… the challenge was finding a suitable backdrop to the little dock that I have built (and herein lies a challenge I have not been able to solve, but more on that later).

Being 1942 and in keeping with the rest of the layout, I wanted a throw-back on the Victorian era and thought that an old warehouse would do the job.

But nobody had a warehouse that fitted the period in question and I had to return to the internet of things to find photographs of what I was looking for.

And I was in luck. I found two suitable options – The one being a photo of the Metropolitan Wharf (I don’t have a clue as to where it is) and another of a completely different building, a nice, old, stone building (which I guess could have been a warehouse).

So I downloaded the photos, pulled them into Photoshop, got them scaled to the right dimensions for OO and then started modifying them in terms of length, etc to fit in with my little harbour.

Needless to say, being a complete novice at working with cardboard, it took a few attempts where the demolishing company situated down the road at Stonemill Hamlet (My closest town to “Bridgeport”
were the only winners.

Eventually,I managed to construct something that I was reasonably happy with (it still has some imperfections but these are relatively minor in the greater scheme of things).

The Photos show the finished product with a narrow platform out front.

There is still plenty to do on the scene such as:

Solving the water problem in my dock (hope you like my scratch built dock gates), finish the concrete ground works, placing the figures, building the 2 Bofors guns and sandbag emplacements, the hoists above the warehouse doors, finish making the torpedo’s, place my sailors from Langley Models and so on and so on and so on…

…you guys know the drill.

Now, because my warehouse also serves as the divider between two completely different scenes, I needed to do something on the other side and found a factory that I could modify, on Wordsworth Model Railway and here I must sing the praises of the author (Mike) for the fantastic work he has done. It is a site worth (excuse the pun) visiting for any English OO modeller.

Al, you provide a far greater service than I think you imagine in keeping this hobby alive for all, old and young.

I also extend a thank you to all those contributors out there who have given so freely of their knowledge and experience as the many tips help to keep this amazing hobby affordable for so many of us.

That’s all for now. Stay Safe….stay healthy and keep on trackin.

Johannesburg RSA.”

A huge thanks to Andrew – he’s been kind enough to supply me with the artwork he used to create his scene, so I will get it on the site as soon as possible.

I think it really does show in spades with a computer, bit of cardboard and glue you can create anything you want to.

Now on to Dana.

He’s used some of the prints and some imagination to help him with his wonderful harbour scene:

“My first ever Harbor/seaport site coming along with a lighthouse, sea captain house, 50+pine trees, (all my own designs – new ideas with a working lighthouse headlight), all my railroad layout scenes supported by my wife’s (Eileen’s) painted backgrounds…working on two sea vessels…stay tuned…a railroad wide short of our current D&E Model Railroad included…coming next…


A big thanks to Andrew and Dana.

It just goes to show if you have the textures, walls, roofs and doors, you are only limited by your imagination with the prints.

That’s all for today folks.

Please don’t forget today is the last day when you can grab the Beginner’s Guide for just $9.

You get 8 buildings bundled absolutely free with the Beginner’s Guide – of course I’m biased but they are a great way to get started with your layout and have some fun too.

But please don’t hang about – tomorrow the price goes back up to $27 and the buildings disappear.

Grab it here, right now.



PS Here’s John’s version of the free engine shed print that comes with the Beginner’s Guide.

PPS And here’s Ryszard version.