HO scale working figures

Bill’s been back in touch with the HO scale working figures that he’s added to his switching layout.

And he also shares how he makes them stand up too:

“Hi Al,

I’m still in detailing mode for my 4×8 HO Scale Switching Layout.

I finally won a great deal on EBay and picked up well over 100 figures. A lot of them are passengers and town folks but enough were workers so my layout is coming to life.

Since the layout is built on foam board I decided to super glue a track nail to the bottom of one foot on each person. After that dried I decided where I wanted the figure then I used a craft pin to make a starter hole then pushed the figure/nail into the pilot hole.

It worked very well and they are easy to reposition if I decide to do something different.

This weekends project is detailing inside the repair shops. Some details I will affix to the floor and others I will leave loose.

I picked up some figures welding and I have LED welding kits so I’m looking to install those in between enjoying nice summer weather this weekend and next. I also will start putting the frame together on the next 4×8 section.

I had an epiphany on how to do something interesting with the track work that will go on it. I’ll show all when I get started on putting the track down to test my idea.

All the Best to you and fellow modelers

Bill in Virginia”

HO scale working figures

HO scale switching yard

HO scale working figures

HO scale switching yard

4x8 switching layout

HO scale working figures

HO scale working figures

HO scale working figures

A huge thanks to Bill for sharing his HO scale working figures – a fab update. It’s funny how even a few figures can really bring a layout to life.

He’s done a lot to his scenery since his last update. Stunning stuff. Can’t wait for next one!

Hope you enjoyed Bill’s latest as much as I did.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

23 Responses to HO scale working figures

  1. Eric Rayner says:

    Very nice, but don’t cut down all the trees.

  2. Robert Leiby says:

    Like the engine house concrete floor arrangement and loved the outside electrical power transformer arrangement on the duel poles. The entire site looks active the way it is it is designed and arranged.


  3. Brian Messenger says:

    I know from experience how 100 figures disappear even on a small layout (like my shelf layout). When you tell people that there are more than 100 figures on a layout, they look at you as if you are joking. A few of my super detailed buildings have between 16 and 20 figures in and around them. Jokes aside, Bill your layout is looking really great. Brian – the HOn3 guy – Knysna 🇿🇦

  4. Danny says:

    As a fellow Virginian my hats off.that is some very nice work.I don’t get much time to work on my layout in the summer
    Just too busy.but looking at some of those stunning pictures inspired me to put more time into my layout.

  5. JOHN says:

    Bill, You’ve added a great balance of realism and artistic license. It all makes for a tremendous layout! Thank you for sharing. John

  6. Lawrence Mercier says:

    Very nicely done with a lot of detail. Thanks Lawrence

  7. Dave Bulford says:

    A very impressive use of the figures you’ve recently obtained. It all looks so natural, and not ‘staged’.
    – dave in ontario.

  8. Allan Johnston says:

    Excellent details! Hope I can achieve something similar when when I finish laying track.

  9. Mike Ilkenhons says:

    Bill… the detail is really eye catching. I am a novice at landscaping and your techniques looks great… if you have the chance, ask Al for my contact info so that I might PM you on a couple of things I see but not sure how you did it. Of course that is if you do not mind sharing that…my specialty is scratch building structures. I would like my landscaping to look as good … Cheers , Mike, Clermont , Florida

  10. Lewis Brumberg Jr. says:

    I am so impressed by your work that I cannot say all the many things I should. Your thoughts, detail which is out of this world, and your fine work – words are hard to come by and giving you credit which you richly deserve. Wouid love to see your trains run.

  11. Jim Lynch says:

    Great idea on the track nail glued to a foot. Have to try on my n-scale set.

  12. Cal Garo says:

    Exceptional!!! Very nice work and very realistic. I like layouts that look realistic and not like a toy. You can tell a lot of work and planning went in to this. Usually I don’t comment much, but when I see work like this, it tickles my fancy!! Love it. Kudos!!

  13. Colin Gilburt says:

    One of the best so far. All in scale and well planned and executed. All areas very interesting and again well planned. For such a small layout its just very very good.
    Concrete floor in shed needs some weathering but I assume this is still work in progress, I’m sure it will be done to a very high standard.

  14. Rich B. says:

    Isn’t that something, want to be there. Roll up my sleeves and start shoveling😋

  15. paul vogel says:

    Very nice layout Bill…….Thanks for sharing !

  16. peter a pearson says:

    great job

  17. Robert Blomquist says:

    Hello model rail builders. This is my first reply and I’m a brand new beginner. After 70 years of designing, building and racing sailboats I finally have to give it up. At 82 my lack of stability and agility does not allow me to handle these modern fast sailboats and for the safety of my crew and myself, it is time.
    I am planning a switching layout in HO scale and am seriously considering the Airwire 900 control system by CVP products. I would enjoy and appreciate any comments regarding this system that your experienced readers may have.
    Thanks Al, for your blog. Bob ( Sarasota Sailor ) Blomquist

  18. Gary Mitchell says:

    Great layout

  19. Rev. Chuck Dixon says:

    As busy as i am, you have inspired me to get busy on a small layout again. Great work.

  20. Ralph Berry says:

    Marvellous use of figures to liven up the layout. A great layout.

  21. Jim Richards says:

    Looks really great. Can’t wait until the next update. now I need to look for people as well.

  22. Carl Halgren says:


    Good luck starting out in model railroading. As for controllers, try to visit some local clubs and see what they are using, maybe even join a club. That way, if you need help, there will be some experienced people around to answer your questions and give you advice.

    Still in training,
    Carl in Kansas

  23. Gary Manganiello says:

    Great work on the detail. Love the yard work. Great effect with the tire marks in the ground.

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