Brent’s HO model railroad

Brent’s a man of very few words – but it’s a cracking layout:

“Hi Alastair,

Just wanted to send you a few picks of my almost completed HO layout. I think it’s coming along nicely.



(All images are clickable)

HO model train tunnel

HO model train lakehouse

HO model train factory

Model train school house

HO model train girder bridge

model railroad church

HO model train tunnel

HO model railroad desert

HO model railroad desert

HO model railroad bridge waterfall

“Has anyone besides me gotten tired of having to pay $150 for repairs on my MTH engines.

I’m looking into gutting all their electronics in favor of more conventional DCC decoders. Need input!


A big thanks to Brent – some wonderful detail there. And who can help Greg?

If you’d like to share your layout, by the way, just email me.

That’s all for today folks.

Don’t forget the ebay cheat sheet if you want to grab a great deal.

And of course, there’s the Beginner’s Guide, if you want to get going on your layout like Brent did.



41 Responses to Brent’s HO model railroad

  1. Roy Forbes says:

    Fantastic. Really like the waterfall – super effect.

  2. NJ Mark says:

    Brent, your scenery is great, I really love the waterfall! How big is the layout?

    Cheers! NJ Mark

  3. Colin says:

    Nice layout the desert scene is very good as is the water fall and pond. Only one small item is the 90 degree corners on the roads outside the town hall type building.
    Well done a lovely layout especially the change of environment.

  4. Ian Brown says:

    Stunning set up given me some ideas for my own when I finally get round to setting it up

  5. Patrick Hanlon says:

    I love the dark rock detail. Those are not molds. You sculted those free hand didn’t you? They are fantastic.

  6. Robert Brady says:

    The waterfall and the river are the bomb.I have to do that asap,great layout

  7. Appookta says:

    Brent – how did you do the waterfall?!? It’s amazing!!!

  8. Warren Ferguson says:

    Outstanding work! The desert scene and the waterfall are beautiful.

  9. Bill Roberts says:

    The ghost town is the most imaginative thing I have ever seen! I would like to know how you made the water fall and the shale rock above the tunnel. What a great job. Much to be copied.

  10. Rob McCrain says:

    Very nice modeling. I like it. Very realistic, Rob McCrain

  11. David Hannan says:

    Love the waterfall! The rest is very well done!

  12. Don Jennings says:

    I would think the city road department would straighten out those sharp corners by the firehouse. I like the water falls look good

  13. Bob B says:

    People always show the details but never the big picture. I would like to see some pics where the whole layout is shown. Some pics as though we are walking up to the layout and can see it in it’s entirety.

  14. Frank Polo says:

    Inspiring layout. I liked the tunnel to tunnel run.

  15. Ramsey Arnold says:

    The detail and effect of the waterfall and beyond is beautiful!

  16. Don says:

    Superb work and love it!!

  17. A great job on the desert scene.You’ve given me a great boost in trying to figure out my desert scene and what I want to achieve!! Thanks!!

  18. Larry says:

    You are definitely correct, MTH stuff is way over priced and overrated. I have some Bachmann engines that are superb and some old Spectrum that I converted to DCC with even old Digitrax decoders that are just great. Sound is fantastic plus how about 1” movement in one minute for slow speed control !?!

  19. Mike Pettruzzelli says:


  20. Kathe Kozlowski says:

    Overall the layout is superb. Shows a lot of thought and an over all plan for one area and scene to meld into the next one. What is the size of your layout? What radii are you using for your curves? Send more posts!
    Frank & Kathe , Florida

  21. Minnesota Dan says:

    Brent, excellent work, and one of the best waterfalls I have seen. You must enlighten us on how you did it. Also, do they make HO scale Sears catalogs for the outhouse?

    Minnesota Dan

  22. tom in az says:

    Great work, I don`t keep many post but this one I will save for future viewing and to help my work. Tom in Payson AZ

  23. For my $.02 worth I think you are going in the right train of thought with the revamp of the electronics jmo !

  24. Patrick Talley says:


    Adding DCC decoders to a poorly running locomotive will not fox any of your problems. You will still be using the same motors & gears you have now. I would suggest you take a little time on YouTube to learn how to service & repair your locomotives. I was scared to death to open my first one, but now people pay me fix theirs and upgrade to DCC. It’s like Alastair says all the time, “It’s just a matter of getting started”…

  25. Hemi says:

    To Greg,
    I myself have seen sefveral people to have issues with MTH HO Scale locomotives, and mentioned that same thing to them, Turns out I was asked if I’d do the work to make them more “regular” DCC then the MTH set-up…… Plus $150 is a bit much to dump into something, a LOT of the time seems to be there issue, not the consumer!

    ANYWAY, Yes, I’d go the more conventional “regular” DCC route to lessen the $$$$$ burden! -I myself, have taken one of the early made SD70ACe’s and totally made it DC Cab Control (as I run mostly older stuff), I just can’t justify the cost involved with DCC so…. I stayed in DC cab control because of the sheer size of my collection….. The MTH works GREAT in DC Cab Control now without a problem!

  26. excellent detail Greg
    nice layout
    yeh the waterfall is awesome
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif

  27. Jerry Suits says:

    Amazing waterfall! Fantastic layout!

  28. mike richardson says:

    Great layout. Very impressive detail. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Allan Blossom says:

    overall layout track plan please .

  30. Brad says:

    Terrific water work!!! I would add some people,but otherwise lookin good!!!

  31. Jim says:

    Great looking layout. Nice details with the water features. Being partial to the desert, l really appreciate your modeling skills in that area of your layout.

    Jim AZ

  32. Art Jones says:

    I have one MTH engine that has their supposed DCC decoder. I find it very difficult to operate the engine and I am considering replacing the factory decoder.


  33. John Reynolds says:

    Beautiful work.
    Many great scenes.
    As to MTH… — I actually have two and a Bachman Shay that I am thinking on pulling the electronics on and making straight DC analogue units out of them.
    Several reasons for this…. Biggest one is that the noise/sound unit in the MTH loco is annoying to me and disrupts operation when I am switching. ON the Bachmann, the decoder fried and I do not use it anyway.
    John from Cali

  34. Tim Haas says:

    Hi Brent,
    Excellent work on the entire layout. I do agree with another commenter that I wish people would add a picture of their entire layout…the big picture like you are walking up to it, I think it adds a more complete point of view. Thanks for sharing and again excellent work!

  35. Brian Rockey says:

    Absolutely stunning landscaping around the lake and waterfall – one of the best that I have seen. Also, very nice rock faces by the tunnel. Excellent work!

  36. Ian McDonald says:

    Amazing photos. unbelievable scenery. Thanks for sharing.

  37. David Schaffner says:

    Awesome layout, Love so much of it, the ghost town is so cool. Also like the dark rock formations and the tunnel out of a ridge or mesa…..Well done. Very imaginative.

  38. Howard Parrett says:

    Very nice layout. Best waterfall I have seen. Would like to know how you made it, please.

  39. Deon Joubert says:

    Hi Brent
    Wow I really must say I am impressed. Well done. your rock formations are really well made also. Keep up the enthusiasm or should I say zeal.

  40. bill collins says:

    Great job. I see you have some of the woodland scenic buildings that I have. I usually pick mine up at swap meets or occasionally on ebay at about 1/2 price or less. Add some people and bring the layout to life ! Excellent work.

  41. Andy in Yakima says:

    If you look around, you will see many people in these scenes. I particularly like the guys pushing the car into the gas station, and the folks in the park. Did the lady fall down in front of City Hall? Oh, and the wedding couple at church is a nice touch.

Leave a Reply

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