Model train foam mountain

Eric’s been back in touch, this time with his model train foam mountain:

If you missed his first post, where he starts, it’s here.

“Al, how’s it going?

Been spending time on lower expansion completing board expansion and getting ready to cover with insulation foam board.

Then I began laying track out again with a few changes.

I had to make a cut out in the one area due to reach and needing to get to upper ceiling layout but I have a plan for that. It will follow with pictures.

I decided to use Woodland Scenics grass mats to cover areas and then I will came back and filled in with a few more grasses out of shaker dispensers.

I have also cut in an over size creek and will use realistic water with the normal creek garb.

I hope to moved track off in sections to lay mat, then trim off access.

I have attached some photos of the model train foam mountain build.

It started with insulation foam cut and glue gunned together with a lift off top for easy access. Next is to cover with Woodland Scenics plaster cloth.

All of you have fun out there in trainn land.

Eric the firefighter from St. Louis.”

model railroad laying track

model train bench

corner for model train mountain

model train foam mountain

model train foam mountain

model train foam mountain

“Hi Al Robert here from Florida.

Coal load made easy.

Looked at prices of coal load couldn’t find size, so being frustrated I made my own with cut to size corex board.

It’s stryene board honey cone comes in white,black or blue. I get it locally from a sign shop.

Cut what you want to size. my case a 54′ coal hopper then i purchased a bag of black cinder from a fabric / art store (Joanne Fabrics).

Pour some on the coal car with corex in place (painted black) Spray 75% water 25% alcohol as a wetting agent like you do for ballast now elmers white glue same ratio.

I also seen the corex on ebay and if they have black ballast that would work. what i bought glistens in the light. looks like real coal.


model railroad coal

model railroad coal

“Hello Al:

I am a big fan of the Gn15 scale.

My friend John Zareva converted this HO engine I bought for little money at a local show in New Jersey into a Gn15 locomotive.

He cut out a part of the roof of the F7 A-Unit and fitted a driver’s compartment complete with a driver in G-Scale.

The result is a loco such as exists in virtually every country in the world in amusement parks and many other venues.

The interesting thing is that the loco can be converted back to HO simply by taking the engineer out and putting the hatch back into place !

Next we will do some cars and put G-Scale passengers o them.

All of this can be had for little money and it fits perfectly with existing G-Scale structures..

Best Regards


HO conversion

HO conversion

I haven’t stopped smiling since I saw Thomas’s pics. Brilliant.

And it proves the rule: your layout is whatever you want it to be – there are no rules.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

A big thanks to Eric for sharing his model train foam mountain, and to Bob and Thomas too.

And if you want to make a start, just like they did, 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.

8 Responses to Model train foam mountain

  1. Chris Daws says:

    If you have access to used carbon filters as used on domestic RO water filter systems, split it open it’s full of railway sized coal.
    Not sure how to include a picture with this post otherwise I’d show you how good it looks and one filter contains enough for a coal mine!

  2. Richard Coerse says:

    A couple of chunks of coal, a hammer and a hard surface is all you need to get a large supply of coal for your hoppers and gondolas or a coal mine. You can make it any size you wish and for short money.

    Richard Coerse
    Lexington Park, MD, USA

  3. Marklin ed says:

    Thanks for the pictures and information. Like the fact you can see all kinds of layouts. I look at you beginner guide yesterday and realized how much great information.

  4. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    All good stuff today. I like the nice flowing curves on Eric’s layout. Great coal making tip. And especially like the park ride train idea from Thomas. His tip is fun to do and results in a nice animated park train ride on the layout.


    Terrific idea for any scale. I think I will try a Z on an N layout with a carnival.

  6. Eric Rayner says:

    Coal loads. the other day I got two coal wagons, one without a load, Had some Jarvis coal sprinkles. Modelling in N it was easy to find a 1/4 inch piece of furniture foam (fireproof) and cut to size of wagon then glued on some Jarvis coal, looks better than the imitation load on other wagon so another load coming up. No use of hammer involved. 🙂

  7. Robert Brady says:

    Richard not much call for coal down here in South Florida,Hence the hobby store.

  8. Robert D. Bouskill says:

    Many people throw away Brita filters, but I found discarded filters cut open yield perfect ballast for HO scale railroads. You have to let it dry out though.

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