Engine shed scratch build

“Just want to say thank you to Brian for his engine shed photos. It got me thinking and scrounging and for $3 ….probably less… I got a good start on mine. Here are a couple of photos.

All the best


Engine shed scratch build

Engine shed scratch build

Engine shed scratch build

“At one time I had a huge ho layout and needed a lot of ground cover especially in the railroad yards.

Being cheap I wasn’t about to go to the store and buy packaged ballast/rock materials so looking around I realized that the rocks/and that the city uses on streets to make traction in snow easier, I simply took a bucket, walked out to the curb and scooped some up. Voila! easy, right scale, and FREE.

You can take advantage of this either in the winter when they first sand the streets, or in the spring after they sweep the stuff clear. There’s always some left near the curbs. Here’s a couple of shots of the roundhouse area of one of my previous layouts to show how it looks:




A huge thanks to Terry and Rolly. And now for a slow, meandering countdown.

I’d thought I’d republish the top 10 posts of this year (that’s the most viewed ones). Of course, it’s not a level playing field – so I’ve taken out the Hall of Fame posts, and the ‘most popular post’ which are in the site’s navigation. Here’s what we’re left with. I have to tell you, I was really quite surprised.

Click here for the 10th most popular post of the year. Believe it or not, this post was published in 2012.

That’s all this time, folks.

Please do keep ’em coming. If Terry and Rolly have got you chomping at the bit, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

11 Responses to Engine shed scratch build

  1. Ben Hawkins says:

    That is Great

  2. Brian Messenger says:

    Nice job on your engine house Rolland, I like the detailed widows that you have in the walls, the floor details and shelving along the back wall. Keep it going – Brian

  3. Rod Mackay says:

    Lovely job, mind you, if youre looking for something to do next, most depots have at least one inspection pit. to fall down, fill with water or need hot ash shovelling out of.

  4. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Could we see more ?

  5. Rolland says:

    Actually there are 2 gaps under both tracks between the floor supports that can be used as pits.
    I have other buildings and boats that I scratched built that I can send pics of if you wish.

  6. woww….nice engine house
    killer detail….
    and the tip about the ‘FREEEE’ ballast
    it looks so real because it actually IS REAL ballast….with street dirt etc,.,,perfect.
    aaand it is freee……hahaahahaha
    keep ’em runnin’ fellas
    st john in long beach calif

  7. Rolland says:

    Just to clarify the $3.00 was for the balsa wood, all the inside details and the windows were free. The inside details came from old printers I found in the recycle bin and the windows were 1/4″ wire mesh and of course painted.

  8. dominick scannavino says:

    Great information Please keep it coming.

  9. Michael Day says:

    Ballast: It’s not free but it’s very cheap; a sandy mix used to stabilize paving bricks. The big advantage is it comes with sand-sized glue granules mixed in. So to anchor it in place you just sprinkle with water instead of diluted white glue, thereby avoiding getting glue on points and other places where you don’t want it. Name escapes me but the hardware/builders’ supply would be the place to go.

    Good looking loco shed! I put pits in, with steps at one end, gluing the rails on top edges then adding cardboard to make them flush.

  10. James says:

    Amazing. Never seen anything like it. Maby add a few yard lamps>

  11. David says:

    Very nice job on the engine house, amazing detail.

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