Another update from Alan

I got this in from ‘J’. It’s short and very to the point – but looks great!

“This lake is made from left over marine varnish. The color is from dried boiler sludge.


marine varnish lake

“Hello Al.

To continue the tour of my South Wales layout, I’ll start at the station terminus. I deliberately did not put in a run round feature so that it would create another shunting movement for the station pilot. When a train arrives at the buffers, it uncouples and moves forward to an isolated section of track operated by a switch. As it is DC operated this is essential. When the coaches are taken away, the loco can go to shed.

The 3 way point was retro fitted so it was too difficult to fit point motors below so I had no option than surface mounted ones. The scratch built signal box hides them.

Most of the rest of the pics speak for themselves as I have annotated them fairly comprehensibly.

I have just taken delivery of some sea foam trees, but they havn’t been planted yet.

The final instalment will follow in a few days which will include pictures of the fiddleyards.

Happy modelling


















Thanks to everyone. I’m deeply envious of Alan’s set up and chair!

That’s your lot today peeps.

Keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to make that big start.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

41 Responses to Another update from Alan

  1. Jim says:

    Wow. Great job. But one question. Where the heck do you get “dried boiler sludge”??? And what kind of mind thinks of using it on a railroad layout? It looks great. Would be hard to find here since we don’t use boilers to power our air conditioners in Arizona!

  2. Max Dosser says:

    Bloody fantastic mate. The overall views of the layout are extremely good and inspiring. Good luck with it all. I will patiently wait for the next post of the fiddle yards.

  3. Chris Jordan says:

    Well done Allan with the imagination and sideways out of the box thinking. Keep up the good work and cant wait to enjoy your next video of fiddle yard also gives me incentive to do a bit more painting preparation in my new railway cellar, cheers mate: kind regards Chris aged 66 and due to start 10th layout over my lifetime both here and in different countries.

  4. Raymond Bove says:

    Splendid layout! Do you have a trackplan you could publish???



  5. sundaram says:

    Fantastic layout mate. You seem to like doing the additional scenic items and stuff yourself instead buying them. This is where innovation gets in and the time is usefully spent. It gives a lot of satisfaction as well. I do the same.

    keep up the good work.

  6. Wayne says:

    Fantastic layout.

  7. peter benson says:

    Well done its fantastic wish it was mine.

  8. John Taylor says:

    Marvelous work! I am especially impressed by the way you’ve integrated your nicely detailed 3-D structures and scenics with the excellent backdrops. Any chance you might be able to share some detailed photos and maybe even a few how-to tips?

  9. wow..wotta killer layout….Alan is REALLY good at this….
    cant wait to see the fiddle yardsf

  10. Steve Roberts says:

    What a great job, and a lot of simple – easy tips Nice work Steve R UK.

  11. Peter Jacobs says:

    very good work. Are both these layouts complete circuits do you use a trap door to get inside, if so what conections do you use to complete the electrical circuit opposite the hinged end of the trap door on the layout.?

    .Peter J. Little bit of England, Whitby, Ontario Canada.

  12. christine says:

    Very nice. Work of art.

  13. Ian Mc Donald says:

    what a very nice layout unbelievable scenery. the photos and notes make it really understanding need more inspiration.

  14. paul Otway says:

    nice railway

  15. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    Extremely creative, one of the best ever. Blows me away!

  16. Greg says:

    Vey nice layout. The second picture is of a control board. I can see the switches and lines representing track, but I cannot read the words on the board. Can we see a larger photo of this board. Also are the toggle switches Single pole Single Throw (SPST) switches?

  17. Joe says:

    Thank you for another year of great model train pictures and how to information.

  18. Incredible attention to detail, well done indeed!! Norman UK.

  19. Jay Turkewitz says:

    Looks Great . I am bulding my first train set for my 2 grandsons . where can I get a layout book that shows what tracks I need Ho scale

  20. Alan roberts says:

    I model in 00 scale so don’t really know about H0, but PECO publish track plans, maybe they do H0 as well or you could scale 00 down.

  21. david howarth says:

    A very nice layout you have built there Alan ..Dave

  22. Rod Mackay says:

    Oh go on Alan, how hard would an inspection pit be? Hole drilled at each end, piece of ply across the rails as a bearer for the guard, and jigsaw through the board just inside the chairs. (Runs away and hides!)
    I see you too have instructions on your panel to help manage the three-way point, I have two of the darned things in my fiddle-yard and wish I didn’t, confused the operators mightily at our first exhibition recently.

  23. Jim says:

    Great looking layout, Alan. And with so much detail. You have a great talent.

    Cute water scene J”

    Jim AZ

  24. David says:

    Super cool, man, super cool. Love it.

  25. David Wooff says:

    Excellent Work Alan.
    To those who want a larger image to read the annotations:- on Windows pc, try holding ctrl down and press +(plus) a few times. Same with minus key to return to original window size.

  26. Warren Ferguson says:

    Outstanding! Very, very nice layout.
    One thing I liked was the cardboard boxes you made to cover locos not in use. Such a simple thing, but it had not occurred to me!
    Warren, AL,USA

  27. Alan, A1 – DITTO to ALL said…✓✓✓ Ramsey Montrose, CO

  28. TOM SAWYER says:

    thanks for the tip on how to make pics larger. it worked! didn’t want to complain about not being able to see pics very well. on such beautiful work!

  29. Ewart says:

    Your scene is timed just prior to the last days of the world! It is magnificent. The water comes in nice and blue from a couple of drain-pipes that have probably diverted a mountain stream, and the clean water enters a river that’s been horribly polluted for generations. The locals are so used to it, they cannot see the damage done. They are even swimming in it. The shed – whatever it does – has all the signs of imminent collapse. For a snapshot of industrial “just do it and to hell with the consequences” your little scene is a masterpiece. Well done.

  30. Gary Manganiello says:

    Great scenery….. I love the foliage scenery around the lake.

    Gary M

  31. Robert Brady says:

    No fumes from your gastric lake? LOL.

  32. Alan Batcheldor says:

    Seriously fantastic modelling. Puts mine to shame. Must get on with it. Great work.

  33. Keith Miller says:

    Some really nice work here today. BTW David Wooff mentioned zooming on Windows PCs – you can do the same on Macs with ‘cmd +’ and ‘cmd -‘
    (Or double click on the image)

  34. Tom says:

    Very nice the detail!!!

  35. Jim Logue says:

    WOW, Fantastic!! A lot of love and hard work. Thanks for sharing.
    Jim L. Now from Fla.

  36. Julio says:


  37. Michael Brookman says:

    Wow! A simple rail plan with great operating possibilities and fantastic scenic-ing! Inspiring. Thx for sharing.

  38. So realistic!

  39. Sam Miller says:

    Many thanks for taking the time Alan in sharing your layout in pictures with explanations…. It’s very realistic and inspiring to all modelers!

  40. Dominic Joseph Radanovich says:

    This is a beautiful layout, but . . . a lake of marine varnish and boiler sludge? And your little people are swimming in it? I hope there’s a hospital nearby and ambulances at the ready!!! It looks great.
    Joseph in Milwaukee.

  41. Jim Landing says:

    Great layout and nicely explained.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *