Hank’s HO railroad – piece by piece…

Not long ago, Hank got in touch.

He showed us how lack of space should never stop you having fun (you can see his post here).

Well, he’s been kind enough to send in a few more pics:

“Hi Al,

really like your site have gotten many great ideas from it. I do have some of your printable buildings but have not made many as yet. I shake too as a result of RA but I refuse to let that stop me.

You asked if I had any more pics so here you go. Many of my vehicles are built from kitsch. I hope you will enjoy them.

I think that I have finally solved my leaky basement problem so now it’s time for bench work to begin.

Thanks Hank.

BTW all of it is HO scale.”

HO scale factory

HO street scene

HO scale street scene

HO scale building pack

HO buiding

HO scale apartment

HO scale factory

“Hello Al.

Thought I would add an observation and a tip to fellow modelers.; I’ve been building model railroads in HO scale for 50+ years and I usually start with a 4×8 sheet of plywood, and then add on as needed–always making rectangle tables for the track such as Crazy Dave’s great layout.

A few months ago I started planning a new layout by drawing the tracks as I wanted them to look first– not based on the predetermined shape of the table top.

I came to the realization that the earth doesn’t have 90 degree angles and neither should a layout.

This worked much better and gave me peninsulas jutting out on both sides and leading to an interesting look in addition to providing me walk-in space for hard to reach areas.

Of course the overall table needs to conform in some way to the available space in the room so you have to take that into consideration.

Thanks for all your help and the input of other modelers–I’m glad I found your blog.

Incidentally the Damnit 2 railroad is coming along after 6 months of trying to find a new configuration for a freight/passenger yard. (thanks to members who contributed ideas). As the snow begins to fall in the U.S. Rocky Mountains I hope to have most of the basic work done soon.

Take care and keep modeling


(Terry’s last post is here.)

“Hi Al,

My latest video may be of interest to you. It is about the construction of scratch built canopies for my island platform.

As I was thinking about my Howe Street Station and what I wanted it overall to look like when it was done I could see I needed to do some scratch work.

I really wanted was some canopies that fit my island platform and stayed in the style and feel of the canopies that came with my March station buildings set as best as I could. Studying the Google satellite and Street Views of the real Church station made me realize the new canopies needed to have skylights.

I also wanted skylights so it would not be so dark under the canopies. Lastly I wanted a design that I could remove for cleaning and for building new scenes on my platforms.

Here is a picture of the partially finished area I am concerning myself with. I am building two more canopies beside the two in the photo so that other than a small space between them, they will run most of the length of the platform.

The scene in the first of the video is of a partially finished Howe Street Station. There will be more lighting added on the station side when I can get to it. The canopies have kept me busy of a couple of weeks.

The plastic card I used did not come in the exact size needed so it had to be precisely cut up so it could be welded back together with the cut out for the glazing. I used Wills Kits SSMP219 Builders sheets – corrugated asbestos plastic card and clear styrene for the glass. The muttons or frames for the windows were made from various Plastruct shapes as well as the framing under the roof.

Rob McCrain – Farland Howe”

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

A huge thanks today for Hank, Terry and Hall of Fame member, Rob.

I don’t think I will ever tire of seeing what’s in my inbox each morning.

And lastly, thanks to everyone who has mailed me comments on my second backdrop. Please let me know what you’d like for the number 3!

That’s all for today, folks, please do keep ’em coming.

Please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you’ve decided it’s time to take the first step on your masterpiece.



6 Responses to Hank’s HO railroad – piece by piece…

  1. Robert Brady says:

    i’m sure after all is completed the layout will look amazing. What I fail to cope with is why not lay all ground affects,side walks, grass, roadways before buildings and trees? Would seem to be easier.
    Robert B

  2. More great ideas…

  3. Warren Ferguson says:

    I really like what you’re doing, Hank. Send more pics when you have time!
    Warren, AL, USA

  4. Susan Cannon says:

    Rob, LOVE the skylights! If only there were more of them in real life. 🙂 Great job. Thanks for sharing.

  5. John Meyer, Sr. says:

    Bob, I’m envious of your locos smooth arrivals and departures “in perfect scale speed”. Mine are jerky and not realistic at all and I don’t know how to fix the problem.
    You’re to be commended on the realism attended to your layouts.

    Jack in a Florida.

  6. Hank, how do you fasten the rail way to the cork? I see you have cork over foam like I am working on.

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