Model train large trees

Ben’s been in touch with his model train large trees – enormous ones in fact:


I am starting a HO scale layout of Pacific NW logging using around 1900 as the time I want to represent.

I have started making Giant Redwoods and Giant sequoias for this. I have found that many confuse these trees as being the same and model them incorrectly.

It turns out they are completely different tree species. I have a prototype model of a Giant Sequoia found in Oregon and sometimes in California and I am working on a prototype for a Giant Redwood found in the northern coastal region of California.

This shows on the left the basic structure of Giant Sequoia w/o foliage; center right is smaller completed Giant Sequoia.; on the left is the trunk of a Giant Costal Redwood. Note differences in bark and trunk configuration. Can send building details if desired.

Model train large trees

On the left, trunk and limbs of Giant Sequoia before foliage and on the right are two Giant Sequoias with the smaller of the two in the foreground. Details if desired.

Model train large trees

This is a scratch build Giant Sequoia. 24” tall, so 174ft. in HO scale.

Model train large trees


Ben USA”

Model train large trees? They look enormous, just like the real thing! A bog thanks to Ben.

There’s lots of tree posts on the blog – Rob’s how to make trees springs to mind.

“Hi Al,

Just uploaded this video showing what changes have been done so far.

Mainly showing the incline now added and the plaster cloth added, a test run going both forward and reverse over it, and well all I can say is well chuffed, it runs so smooth now ….

The downside is I am not sure when I shall be able to complete it all, I had a bit of a fall in the garden Saturday, more a trip up on a step, but did something to my knee.

It could be some time before I can continue and send more videos.



daves model railway

model railway carriages

Poor old Dangerous Dave. I hope he gets well soon.

When it comes to inclines, I’m always reminded of Bruces’s incline post.

Now on to Marvin:

“Al, attached is a photo of logs from an upper Midwest weed called “Common Mullen”. Besides log cars, a 7 footer makes a great walking stick.


model railroad logs

Now to Jeff:

” Hi Al

I took my layout down last week for cleaning purposes. Putting it back up is like a jigsaw puzzle. I am suggesting seeing my layo0/uts are basically one dinemsional and I have space for a 8.5 (9×9) x 8.5 ft equivalent. If i did not have furniture in my living it could be as big as 12×12 and still able to walk about it.

For any novice, veteran, expert I pass along these tidbits having toiled in the ho scale for forty six years now.

Some common sense items: strip outlets with surge protection. Alot of people do not realize how much power juice a non battery operated train set takes to run and use. A lot of fires could start of be prevented by not using these.

Common safety tools: Safety glasses and needle nose pliers I find invaluable when it comes to handingly the track joiners….If at all possible have one of the rolling magnets handy you will not believe what they pick up.

When it says age seven and up, make sure adult supervision is a must. Anything under seven, there are too many parts pieces for infants to young children to get hurt cut or even swallow pieces of trains.

If you find this useful thank you and please pass along to your readers. If you would like pictures of my newest endeavor with my trains ill pass them along.

Thanks for now.


model train kit

model train kit

And lastly Larry has a question:

“Hi Al,

I’ve enjoyed all of your pictures and articles. Like many I’m no spring rooster and decided to get back into the hobby.

The question is that I have brass tracks and I would like to know how to keep them clean? In so many of the pictures the track looks like brass unless that’s just how they look in the pictures.

Can you guys give me any advise.



Over the years, there have been many, many posts on track cleaning.

For me, the one that sticks out the most is Kim’s track cleaner.

A big thanks to Ben for sharing his model train large trees, and to Larry, Jeff, Marvin and Dave.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you join in on the fun and start your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

22 Responses to Model train large trees

  1. Steve - Australia says:

    Get well soon Dave

  2. Rod Mackay says:

    Aww Dave, so sorry to hear about your accident, that’s really hard luck mate. Get well soon. Meanwhile, as long as there’s tea and a comfy sofa, you can plan the next rebuild in exquisite detail! Good luck.

  3. Chuck says:

    Dave. I enjoy your videos! I hope your knee problem isn’t too serious and you will be running before you know it. I’m having shoulder surgery in a week. So I will be done for awhile recovering. Take care of yourself.

  4. Michael Hoover says:

    I hope you heal up quickly and get to feeling better soon. I know how you must feel having hurt my knee at work. Please get well soon!

  5. Rob McCrain says:

    Fabulous trees, Ben. You have really captured the look and feel of the giant Sequoia. They are a very majestic species. Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  6. GREGORY TICE says:

    Get well soon Dave, we need your input.

  7. George Zaky says:

    You have made friends all over the world and we wish you speedy recovery. Us old guys take longer to heal, easier to get hurt, and we have to show how strong we are. Getting old is not for Sissys. No matter what- carry on!
    Those trees are awesome.
    Jeff & Larry
    Layouts should be made so you never have to take them apart. For you and Larry do some Utube research about No-ox-id that you place sparingly on tracks. For some they swear that track cleaning is history and for me the jury’s still out on this one and it will take a long time to prove its worth.

  8. Erick says:

    That is good workmanship? I hope comes out that good.

  9. Macbear says:

    Get well soon, Dave. You’re an inspiration and your practical tips have helped me to avoid model railway blunders; however, your habits of not treating yourself kindly are a warning. Hopefully, convalescence may include your forbearing lady wife taking you to look at your favoured NYMR prototypes.

  10. Bill Orton says:

    Thank you for showing us the procedure for making the filler around the incline. Simple and yet elegant once complete. Get well soon.

    Marvin, can you tell us how you made the straps for the gondola. Just as important as the logs. Thanks


  11. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Get well soon Dave

  12. Rob Schweitzer says:

    Dave, so sorry to hear about your knee, hope it gets fixed soon. I have a friend who has, at age 75, two new knees. He is now able to walk 18 holes for golf easily, ahh technology! Thank for the usual interesting and highly useful video. Hope to see you back working on your layout real soon.
    Rob Schweitzer
    St. Goar & Murren Scenic Railway
    Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

  13. David Schaffner says:

    Be careful sir, when we get a little older, we have to become more aware of our surroundings, especially steps. At my uncle’s house there is a step separating two rooms. I knew it was there but fell anyway, hurting my knee and twisting my back.
    I’m 81 years old and walk every day, so this set back hinders my walks…
    Get well wishes and a speedy recovery…God Speed!

  14. Al Hinkle says:

    Thank you for sharing your always brilliant work. You’re layout is truly inspiring.
    Hope your knee issue is quickly resolved. Perhaps you can use the time for projects on the bench long neglected.

  15. JoeS inME says:

    I use a CMX track cleaning car; they can be found in O and HO but they are not inexpensive.
    E-bay also shows several track cleaning cars available at the moment.

  16. Boob Dannheim says:

    Dave, Hope you get well soon. Love your videos.

  17. david Howarth says:

    Thank you All for your very kind comments , I did have a new knee 6 years ago and was hoping that this was not a sign the other needed replacing , and now after 6 days and doing a lot of exercises given by a NHS physio ( i am told need to do 6 months before a Knee surgeon will look at you now ) also wearing one of those Elasticated Knee supports , have found with the help of a walking stick can now walk reasonably good , unable to climb those steps though as yet , bit of luck a few weeks will see me back up there ……..fingers crossed …Thanks again to you all …Dangerous Dave

  18. Bruce Y says:

    Dave. So sorry to hear of your misshap. Follow what your Drs say and hopefully can climb those stairs again. I love the method you use for adjustments to your track/ layout. GET WELL SOON. CHEERS

  19. John Hauser says:

    We all await your recovery and look forward to seeing the completed modification to your layout. I can see that your influence is international and that so many of us receive inspiration from you efforts. Be Well!
    John Hauser

  20. Jim Turner says:

    Of course we want the how-to details on those trees! A native Californian, I look for every chance to get to Yosemite and its Redwood groves. Favorite drive- Jedediah Smith forest. You have magnificent models of magnificent trees! PS there is a small redwood grove in SoCal at Irvine Park.

  21. matiSon says:

    Hi Dave, There are lots of train lovers on this site like myself who might be willing to lend a hand if you need help while you are laid up, as long as the travel distance is not too great.

  22. Robert Millott says:

    Nice work on the incline. I always love looking at your videos. They give me inspiration. Praying for a quick recovery. My wife and I just got back from a trip to Bermuda and Nassau and came down with Covid. Been working on my new layout since 2018 in a new house. Have a three car garage all for me. Will hopefully get some pictures up soon. So much to do when you retire.

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