HO scale church

Domonic’s been in touch with his HO scale church – have a look at stain glass windows he made, and that dome too, all from a single vintage pic.

“The old photos are of the original church of Saints Peter & Paul in Mundare, Alberta. This was my parish for a couple years back in 1955.6.&7

I made the model from these photos as the old church building is long gone.

The dome is covered in gold leaf flakes. And if You’ll notice I owe the model the three smaller domes. They are more difficult to make! They, too will be gilded.

HO scale church

HO scale church

HO scale church

Many, many more refinements to be done as time, money and interest demands!

Eventually there will be lighting in all the buildings by zoned LED areas.

This church, being the largest feature on the layout, has coloured glass windows throughout. (Not picture windows depicting saints, etc.)

I make the windows by using high gloss acrylic varnish and a broad brush to draw the liquid across the mullions or window frames. It is a long and tedious operation. It’s almost like blowing bubbles! Sometimes it forms a sheet, sometimes it will break. Then I must repeat the process. To get colours I use a thin water-colour wash and let it spread on the “glass” I can repeat this as often as needed to get the right tone.

This whole process has been quite successful, and I have made dozens of windows in this manner.

HO scale church

HO scale church

This is the main section of the layout and town of Dorothy. The town gets it’s name from the ghost town of Dorothy, Alberta, whose old grain elevator is still standing, and I made a copy of it from photos. It stands with my larger elevators.

The Ukrainian Church is at the top centre of the photo.

HO scale church

This shows my “Dorothy” grain elevator #903. I chose that number as it is the radar outfit I was in while in the USAF. The other elevators are numbered 905, 907, and 909.

HO scale grain elevator

The shows shows my “elevator row”. 903 is dwarfed by the others, but that is how small the prototype is.

HO scale grain elevator

This is my first annex which is accessible by a removable one track trestle. The annex is my “Cudahy” area containing Red Star Yeast and Milwaukee Vinegar Company, The Campbell Bell Foundry, and my favourite, the Romanowski Coal Company.

This picture is the other end of the “L” shaped main layout. It has a six house residential area, Saint Ambrose Park and fountain, and the Russian Church and bell tower.

HO scale

HO scale

There are several shelves above two sides of the layout. One set has all HO gauge equipment and the other has my American Flyer, Lionel and Marx collections.

A little over lapping here. This is the central area of the main. Visible is the J.B.Meyer Organ Pipe factory, which is a hundred year old operation here in Milwaukee. The streetcar and passenger station is an old Tru-Scale mission-style kit.

This is a closer look at the Romanowski Coal Company. They were down the street from where I lived back during the Second World War.

I can provide more details if You want and more close-up pix of things of particular interest.

Ho scale coal bunker

Close up of scale model of full length wooden 32 foot Bombarde pipe.


Dominic, Milwaukee.”

A huge thank you to Dominic for sharing his HO scale church.

What I love about Dominic’s layout is his theme – your layout can be whatever you want it to be. And I’ll bet he’s had a great time putting it together too, which really is what it’s all about.

That’s all this time folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you’re looking for inspiration to make that first step.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

29 Responses to HO scale church

  1. Cary B says:

    Awesome layout Dominic, the detail is amazing. Your scratch building skills are to be admired
    Cary B New Market Maryland

  2. Joe Adair says:

    Great layout.

  3. Art Jones says:

    It would be nice to see a video of how he makes his stained glass windows.
    Great layout with lots of detail.

  4. Bob Richards says:

    Fantastic layout with detail. It’s a very busy layout which like. It demonstrates Dominic’s great creative abilities and skill to carry them through. I am envious!

  5. Bob Belk says:


    Great work! It’s nostalgia time as I worked on the Syncrude Project in Edmonton (Project Office) in 1975-1977. Two very satisfying years as I did graduate school of business in the evenings and coached the Nordic Ski Team.

  6. Earnie says:

    very nice

  7. Richard Sappelli says:

    This is the most fantastic church building I have ever seen. We have a similar church here in Bethlehem,Pa but this model takes the cake. What an excellent layout and Dominac should receive the prize. His pipe organ company is really a novel idea and looks beautiful.
    All in all this is one heck of a super layout. I love Milwaukee but worry about it’s future politically. Be safe out there.

    And have fun wit your trains.

  8. Mike RICHARDSON says:

    Dominic, All I can say is it is a fantastic layout. Such detail and hard work you must have put in to it. So very beautiful. The gilded dome and stain glass windows is “Wow”.

  9. Very nice work you have done there Dominic …Dangerous Dave

  10. Burt Sharf says:

    This is a wonderful layout. Enjoyed the opportunity to look at it. The detail is wonderful.

  11. Robert Dickson says:

    Fantastic. Such a beautiful layout. So much work and imagination. Would love to see it in person. Please keep us updated.

  12. I love the layout,Especially like the Ukranian Church & Elevater # 903. I’m in awe of all your hardwork and brilliant ideas. Would love to see it in person.

  13. Mark says:

    Looks like things are coming together nicely. I am struggling to nail down a track plan for my new layout. I never knew that a track plan would halt my progress. I underestimated how important the track layout side of things is. I been waiting some 30 + years to have the space for a large layout. I now have it and I am a deer in the headlights of how to begin. If anyone enjoys designing HO scale layouts please contact me. I really need the help to get me started. I’m sorry to “high jack” the thread but I’m desperate. I have thousands of dollars in engines, buildings, track, rolling stock, everything you can think of I probably have at least 2 of them. Noke. Thanks!

  14. Bill Sparling says:

    I very seldom leave comments but this one deserves a BOOK.
    To have modeled from photographs and reproduce an entire town in any scale is truly a masterful work of art. That church is phenomenal and the gold onion domes are beautiful. It is amazing that you were able to find enough photos to resurrect this long-gone town and your craftsmanship is over the moon.
    Thanks for sharing. May we see more.
    Bill Sparling, Sequim, WA

  15. Robin Walker says:

    You’ve made a tremendous job of the Organ Builder’s workshop! Made me chuckle!!! The 32′ Bombarde pipe reminds me of one of the smoothest sounding pedal reeds ever – the Trombone stop on the organ at St Michael’s Basingstoke, where I used to be organist, in Hampshire, UK, was a superb sounding rank!
    Good display.

  16. Jeff waters says:

    Nice layout. I lived in cudahy through my childhood. Just started doing my layout after not having any for about 20 yrs. don’t know if I can do as nice as you but I hope it will come out ok. Jeff

  17. Ralph Isaacs says:

    Love the details on the buildings. Fantastic.

  18. That church is beyond amazing…
    Excellent work!

  19. Bob says:

    Just like everyone else said, an outstanding layout because of the thought behind it.

  20. J. Jeffrey Zetto says:


    If that 32′ Bombarde were the lunch whistle, I bet it was heard all over town!

  21. Re: Mark; There are several track planning programs that you can down load and test out your ideas before you build. Some of them are free or have free limited trial options. I tested several free programs and am now using the full version of AnyRail6. It is easy to learn and has a wide range of options in every scale with a large library of building foot prints, vehicles, signals,…etc. from many model companies. I especially like that it will calculate a slope right thru a turnout or bridge unlike some of the free programs. If you use this program, I suggest that you first set up and save your room/layout area dimensions with walls, doorways and obstructions. Then use this as the basis for each version of
    you test layouts so that you don’t have to redraw it every time. Have fun!

  22. John Birch says:

    Excellent work. As an organist who has completed 63 years of playing, I like the organ pipes! The church is brilliant.
    For the church on my layout, I photographed real stained glass windows and then, after fiddling to get the exact size, printed them out on transparency film, cut them out and glued them in place. Very, very happy with the effect.

  23. Talk about creativity, so many dynamite ideas brought all together and so well done. As Mr. Romanowski would have said “StoLat”

  24. Joe Gennari says:

    All I can say is …FANTASIC … What skill he has!!!

  25. Stephen D Gispanski says:

    Hello Dominic, very nice layout. I like how you put together some of the area’s, like the cross track with left and right switches. Now all you need is a little switch engine.
    SDG St.Petersburg Fl, USA

  26. Dominic Joseph Radanovich says:

    Alastair I am deeply honoured that You have posted my layout again. When I saw “Dominic’s layout” I thought oh another Dominic. Then I opened it up to this totally familiar scene. It was pretty, wasn’t it? There have been some major changes to the main ‘L’ shaped sections. The town has been divided to both sides of the church. The monastery is now at the east end of the church. Across from the church I have added the convent for the Ukrainian nuns (SSMI), and St. Isadore School. The farm has an enlarged raised area with mainline standard gauge tracks running beneath it. I have extended the HOn3 line along the back of the main, with incline to the area behind the farm and a spur that goes to an invisible coal mine. The two annexes are about the same as in these photos, except that I have a circular route going over two trestles from the main ‘L’ over to and through the annex that has Romanowski Coal Co. and Red Star Yeast. J have added more longer shelves around the room for display and storage of my ‘collections’, including a round the room track at the top of the room for my G-scale equipment. This is still a work in progress, as always. When I get further along I will post new pictures with You. So, thank You and everybody who have liked this layout.
    D.J.Radanovich, Milwaukee.

  27. Steen A. Lunde says:

    Unreal detail , “very” nice work , good luck , enjoy & keep rolling .

  28. James R. Cooper says:

    Great layout with detailed buildings. I especially liked the Ukrainian Church.
    My wife and I went to a Ukrainian Church in Monessen, PA. We moved to Delaware and then just recently to Lancaster, PA.
    We loved seeing the model of your Ukrainian Church.
    Thank you for sharing,

  29. George Zaky says:

    I loved your layout and narrative. I had a chuckle at your response- You cant keep a good man down. LOL You’re an inspiration to all of us old geezers.

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