Dave’s latest layout video

“Hi Alister

Here is the second half of my village, again I have mounted the buildings onto a balsa deck so it can be worked on as and when is necessary, I have also installed lighting into the pub and fire station, so the village can be in illumination.

I have made my own street lamps from the stem of a cotton wool bud, a screw cap and an LED with a resistor so that I can run the village on 12 volts with the main feed being used to connect the village electrics which is on to a 5mm self adhesive copper tape, which is hidden beneath the village mounted onto balsa boards. The boards are 3″ wide and 1/16″ thick, which provides an excellent kerb depth from the road.

Once installed I will get a few pictures to you if the one half of the village as well. Then it’s onto the other side, so more to follow.

I would value again as I asked the other day when I sent you the first lot of photos your reader opinion please.


“Hi Al . just dowloaded a new video showing a few changes again , and adding ballast , then painting the tracks and the ballast , and to finish off adding grass and underbrush ….

Something to watch anyway with this cold snowy weather we are having


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.


I know you only post photos and videos of layouts but I could not resist sending you a photo I recently took at the Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.

I send it because so many of the modelers I have seen on your web site over the years craft wonderful layouts through mountainous territory. So I though this photograph of an actual railroad cut through the mountains might inspire someone! I can send you a jpg file if you are interested!

This is an antique Albumen print entitled “The Royal Gorge, Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River, Colorado” which was taken around 1880 by William Henry Jackson, an American landscape photographer who lived from 1843 to 1942.

After working for the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories as a landscape photographer, Jackson moves to Colorado where he was commissioned by railroad companies to produce promotional images such as this one for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad.

For what it’s worth!



Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts”

A big thanks to Andy, John and Dave.

That’s all for this missive – please do keep ’em coming.

Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to take the plunge and get going.



18 Responses to Dave’s latest layout video

  1. Rod Mackay says:

    Nice job on the buildings, did you use any particular way of stopping the lights shining through the walls?
    Re. Dave’s siding, most sidings were laid on black ash, of which the railway always had plenty, rather than go to the expense of ballast. Until steam finished in 68 the line sides were kept well cut to reduce cinders causing fires, and still for a good while after, the railway used really effective weed killers to reduce ballast contamination, so if you’re modelling before the 70s you don’t want all that grass and underbrush. Glad to see you put the roof back on the signal box, drivers would often say we ought to “get the roof off” if we held them up in the wee small hours and they thought we needed waking up!
    One of my old boxes had originally been an open platform on a cutting side and the blokes petitioned the board of trade for a proper building as they worked 12 hour shifts in all weathers. The directors of the Rhymney Railway considered this and bought them one (1) stout overcoat, with a strict instruction it be handed over to the next man taking duty!

  2. Bruce says:

    Thank you Dave, John and Al.
    Enjoy all articles by Dave.
    Great pic of Royal Gorge. Have seen the gorge only from the Mtn top one from the bridge built during the 1930’s. I can consider that deep cut on my new layout.
    Thanks again to all. Bruce in SC USA

  3. Bruce says:

    How remiss of me to omit the great posts by Andy. Thank you for the building updates.
    Bruce in SC USA

  4. i love this layout, and the tips but how big is it.( feet and inches )please

  5. Mike ( South Australia) says:

    The Gorge now that’s what I can call a cutting.

    For DD aka Dangerous Dave,
    What snow??? LOL cobber you should think of coming here, the forecasted temperature for my area is 39 degree

  6. Martyn Duncan says:

    Always especially like watching Dave’s vlogs on here. But at 5:08, I thought to myself, that siding looks “dangerously” close to the loop line. Then sure enough at 18:46 the 44175 loco gave the brake van that is parked up in the siding a couple of good clatters as it went through!! Nothing a little adjustment won’t cure, I am sure!!

  7. Jeremy Blumin says:

    Do you prefer the Woodland Scenic foam roadbed now or the cork roadbed?
    How about after putting ballast down, any preference on roadbed?

  8. Mike says:

    Very nice, Andy…Keep up the good work…Mike

  9. Robert Bell says:

    Very nice.

  10. MacInSoCal, N Scale; SP, UP, ATSF; Transition Era, Barstow Area says:

    Andy; Nice work. 3 comments. I would rework the sidewalk into a gentle cure. Also, each property should have a driveway. I always weather my building. especially white ones.

  11. Harvey Stunkart says:

    Dangerous Dave’s video’s are a big inspiration to me as i am building a layout in my spare bedroom,always a lot of good idea’s. keep up the good work dave and a big thank you to Alistair for making all the videos and other blogs from other modelers available

  12. I have several hundred photos of that canyon and the Animas River Canyon (Durango & Silverton). All taken with modern digital camera. Readers can look at the YouTube videos posted about the CMRM. CMRM, Colorado Model Railroad Museum, is a very accurate depiction of a mountain railroad. Warning CMRM is a 20 (HO miles) trip so there is a lot to see.

  13. Ray says:

    Love the Royal Gorge image and will use it in sculpting my cuttings. Thank you.

  14. Cary says:

    Hi Andy, I like the idea of making your scenes modular and removable, seems to make a lot of sense for repairs, upgrades later. I agree with one of the others who commented on adding drive ways, thinking about the actual function of the building/grounds tends to give ideas about the other things that might be sitting around the property and adds details of interest for the viewer. Hope your having fun, the buildings look great! Cary in Kentucky

  15. Ian Mc Donald says:

    nice work to everybody.

  16. Lee Barry, CEO LZPMRR says:

    very nice building work. Are these Z scale? In Z there is a company that is making buildings/houses/ect. One of their best is a corner front “drug store/grocery store. I bought 2 kits but due my health I’ve done nothing with them. Keep telling my self I’m gonna try one of them, same as running my Z scale layout. I have been wanting to send Al some pictures of my layout but don’t know how to do it using my cameras’ chip and my computer.

  17. d j howarth says:

    Thanks for comments ..re D Dave Layout change ..yes the siding is too close I have now change this …I had tried to leave room for a road through but it did not work out so now its allowed me to move that track further out …as for the question how big is the layout ..its £0 ft. x 8ft. I know it looks bigger on film ..cheers and a big shout for Andy those buildings look great …HAPPY MODELLING FROM DANGEROUS DAVE

  18. Peter briggs says:

    Dave, without question your track has to be the most authentic I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a few. its a a detail that lets so many layouts down.
    Well down old son

    Peter from down under

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