Geoff’s stunning layout


I came upon a product some years back that might interest our fellow modelers. My ex-wife and I had ceramic shop.

Duncan, the ceramic paint maker has this product called mask-and-peel. It is a liquid rubber that can be brushed on. Do not use your good brushes!!

Take for an example, a tank car model. Brush the mask-and peel on both sides of the model, let dry, then apply tube glue, and press parts together.

After the glue dries peel off the rubber, and using a sharp blade carefully cut off the excess glue.

You now have a perfect joint, no filling or sanding needed.



I have found that some sprues from plastic frets holding say gutters etc are ideal for downpipes from a reasonable distance and the small tags look like fixing plates for the wall.

When you vacuum up ( through a net like stocking material) keep it as it is ideal for scrub land and barren ground often found near the line side


Steve M”


Cleaning Lionel tubular track: Simple and cheap and easy, and you get to run the train to do it.

I think many of you guys make this problem way too hard.

First, there are two types of things you want to remove from your track. One is oil and grease. The other is corrosion.

Alcohol will not remove corrosion, but it will remove oil and grease.

I use about 3 folded paper towels attached to a car like a gondola and towed behind a loco like a 2353 to remove grease. It takes a little while, but I am running the train to do this.

To remove corrosion, I put the train on the track and run it.

After a few joyful hours of running the train, the track has a bright, shiny, very narrow stripe on the very top of the rails.

Why would I want to clean all the corrosion off of the rails? The real trains have corroded rails which have a shiny stripe on top.

This cleaning process has worked well for me for the last several years.

No longer am I trying to clean rusty track with a wire wheel. A lot of my track is old and somewhat corroded.

I have 125 pieces of 072 that is about 80 years old, and surprise, surprise, it is not shiny. It is corroded, but still works well.”

God Bless


“Hi Al,

I’ve been watching your stuff for a while now and thought maybe you’d like to see some of my videos made over the past few years of my layout.

It’s a composite representation of the Short North between Sydney and Newcastle in New South Wales Australia using locomotives and rolling stock common on that 110 mile stretch between 1910-69.

In particular, I have re-created all the trains faithful to their consists at the time I was traveling as a kid up to see my grandparents on a variety of passenger trains during the 1950-65 period.

The attachment is actually of an early 4-4-0 12 class pulling end platform cars passing a TF class standard Consolidation class locomotive – the year would have been around 1915. If you’d like me to send more I have lots!

Best wishes and keep up the good work – I love English railways and used to have a layout earlier modelled on the LMS/GWR

Kind regards


Stunning work from Geoff. Big thanks to him for sharing.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, 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.

23 Responses to Geoff’s stunning layout

  1. Tim Parker says:

    Very nice from what I could see, beautiful and realistic scenery as well. Would love to see the entire layout some day…… Would be cool to place a wireless cam on one of your engines and take us on a tour of your fantastic layout. Great Job!!!

  2. Thomas Meleck says:

    Terrific video and very nice scenery. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Alva C. Good says:

    Very enjoyable for viewing.

  4. very cool layout Geoff
    and a kitchen scrubby pad on the bottom of a caboose works well to clean the tracks….no matter what scale….
    keep it running guys!!

  5. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    Thanks for showing your fine work. That is some outstanding scenery.
    Most of us “yanks” aren’t very familiar with equipment from “Oz”
    …………………………………………….Thanks Mate!

  6. Pete Evangel says:

    Love the train with the hopper cars. Very real speed control, gave me time to look at some detail. Love love the scenery. Tons of detail work here, even to the point of the reflection of the passenger cars in the water. I have a question though. Not being from the beautiful land of down under, what is the car right behind the tender? I saw the caboose at the end, but did they use two such cars back then?

  7. Gary O'Connor says:

    Could we please have more video Geoff. It is not too often we get to see an Aussie setup.

    Love your scenery and those carriages take me back to my youth. Travelling from the outer western suburbs to Sydney and back in those carriages is one of my favourite memories.

    Please show us more.

  8. Ralph Berry says:

    Great scene Geoff,
    I could almost feel the sun belting down and hear the insects.

  9. paul Otway says:

    So realistic

  10. Ray Farrell says:

    Great video, great scenery, great trains and great layout. Congratulations.

  11. Peter says:

    Congratulations on a nice one Geoff. Reminds me when visiting in the 60’s. Very well captured.

  12. Roger says:

    Nice Job.. Coal Cars, Awesome- Rog

  13. Bob Miller says:

    Love the video Geoff ….. I for one would love to see more,lot’s more.

  14. Bruce McIntyre says:

    Hey Geoff, Old Fellow,

    I travelled from Maitland to Waratah to work for 42 years commencing at the end of 1948. In the early days, those platform carriages were frequently used. My trick going home was to go to sleep from about Hexham to Telarah. Someone would always wake me up.

    Alas for those 10 ton col hoppers , they do represent a peek into the past. Did you know that those letters on the side represented the mine or the owner which owned the hopper? Those hoppers had no steam driven brakes. There was provision to apply the brakes manually, but then they also had to be released manually. This meant these hoppers were not allowed on the Government lines, (except for the coal lines from Maitland to Newcastle) so they were restricted usually to South Maitland Railways lines from East Greta Junction to service the vaious underground mines out beyonbd Cessnock. These hoppers are no longer in use. Most of the underground mines on the South Maitland field have now closed down in favour of the big open-cut nines around Singleton and Gunnadah, and also around Gloucester.

    These days coal from these new places is transported in 70 tonne wagons, with rakes of up to 84 in a train. There are no longer guards’ van or cabooses on the backs of these trains.

    Anyhow, thanks a bunch for bringing nostalgia back again.

    Bruce from Maitland.

  15. Danny Barr says:

    very nice lay out

  16. Andrew says:

    Love the video, how did you get the reflection in the water to look so real?

  17. THOMAS says:


  18. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great layout love the scenery and the old trains bring on longer video.

  19. Ray Suckling says:

    Looks good Geoff, would love to see more, I am modeling in a similar period in Qld.
    Well done.

  20. Outstand layouts of trains. I am getting some great ideas from this.

  21. Will in NM says:

    Geoff, Great video! I vote for more videos whenever you can upload them. And thanks to Bruce McIntyre for explaining the letters on the sides of the coal hoppers and giving us so much interesting history of them. And most of all, thanks again to Alistair Lee for making this website possible. May you and all your model railroad fans have a wonderful and safe new year!

  22. Gary Bevan says:

    Love it. Brings back memories. I grew up in Wollongong where the South Bulli Colliery met the Illawarra Mainline near Bellambi station. They were the days when, during the school holidays, the colliery drivers used to take us kids on the footplate the length of the branch line.

  23. Nancy Schweitzer says:

    What a GREAT taste of Goeff’s layout! Swell details. The hopper cars were a delightful surprise! And a big thanks to Bruce from Maitland for the historical orientation!
    LOVE this Hobby,
    Nancy from Sequim

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