HO scale model roundhouse

Herb has been having fun with his HO scale model roundhouse and track – really like what he’s done:

“Hi my name is Herb from Melbourne Australia I enjoy your emails, so i will send a couple of pictures of my layout.

Not much too talk about,& i don’t model any spefic era as my son is austic.

But we get out there & have a great deal of fun & father son bonding time & i believe that’s what’s life is all about.

Plus we get out from under my wife’s feet well that’s all for now.

From Herb & Rick in the land down under.”

ho scale model roundhouse

HO scale model roundhouse layout

HO scale model roundhouse train room

ho scale model roundhouse

model train track plan

“Hi Al,

This picture shows a dismantled L E D christmas light from a multi coloured string. When a string of L E D christmas lights stop working don’t throw it away dismantle it and use the L E Ds in train sets, even if you buy a string of 70 multi coloured lights you will have many different coloured L E Ds for your hobbies sets you just need to figure out what resistance you need to use as they can be used on AC/DC, I have replaced the headlights on some of the Diesel engines sure nice & bright, I have also converted the lighting in some of the passenger cars but you also need to make a reversing bridge to reverse + & – without losing the lights. also different colours use different resistance, and some are assembled a little differently so you just need to experintment.


“Hi Al.

One of the most frustrating and demoralizing events in model railroading is when your short wheelbase or sound equipped loco halts be/cause of poor or dirty track.

Fortunately, manufacturers are now beginning to equip locos with “keep alive” or “stay alive” modules that make this problem a thing of the past.

Attached is a photo of a “stay alive” equipped 4 wheel Plymouth switcher that will run all day through any track configuration with absolutely no power loss.

Truly a pleasure to operate even at speed step 1 while watching the couplers mate.


stay alive loco

A big thanks to Herb for sharing his HO scale model roundhouse, and to Mark and Ken too.

I real mixed bag today – but enjoyed them all. Just goes to show, you don’t have to have a finished layout to enjoy ’em.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get stop dreaming and start doing, 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.

17 Responses to HO scale model roundhouse

  1. Ron Watson says:

    I love the layout and i’m looking forward to starting my layout.

  2. Steve Johnson says:

    I very much enjoyed Herb’s post from Australia, not only because it was so good, but also because he mentioned he has done the work with his autistic son.

    I, too, have an autistic son, and would like to talk to Herb about how he incorporates his son into the model railroading activity. My son is totally enthusiastic about our on-again, offs-again 8×12 layout that comes and goes at holiday time, but his hand-eye coordination gets in the way of doing any meaningful work with me on the layout. Very frustrating for both son and father.

    I would like Herb’s input into what I might try to better integrate my son into the HO set-up we have. May I have his address?

    Many thanks,

    “You spend a good deal of your life gripping a baseball, and it turns out it was the other way around all the time.”
    – Jim Bouton

  3. Chuck Bartunek says:


  4. Andrew says:

    I’m a teacher with 2 boys. In regards to your autistic son and being frustrated trying to do modelling together here is a suggestion. Let go of being a perfectionist all the time. Let him contribute as he can. Give him a section he can put his models regardless of the accuracy of the details. If there is a model that you really insist on being accurate, that’s yours, but let him have pieces that can be totally his. Perhaps you can sneak down at night when he his sleeping, set his contribution aside, run things in perfect scale and then when your 15-20 minutes are done put his back on so in the morning he would never even know. It’s about making him feel good about his contribution. “Happiness is found in making others happy.” Hope this helps.

  5. Malcolm Hodgson says:

    Christmas lights seem to be the cheapest way to get lights for model railways. You can use a “trimmer” which is an adjustable resistance to adjust the brightness of each LED then when you are happy you have the brightness (or of course the dimness, depends on your point of view) that you require. you can quickly measure the resistance across the trimmer with a multi-meter. Then you know what resistors to order to achieve the same result for all the other LEDS of that colour. Each LED colour “drops” different voltages so that is why different resistors are required to match the light output.

  6. christine says:

    You have video and no trains running.

  7. Jack Endicott. says:

    A good source for LED’s is Geek by Wish. I ordered 300 Leds Red yewwiw blue and green for 7 dollars and 100 RGB LED,s for 10 dollars. They also Trees at a low price. Shipments come slow became they are shiped from China.

  8. Jim says:

    Wow!!!! Love the round house and turn table, Herb and Rick. Wish I had the space for one one my layout. Your layout when landscaped will surely look great. Hope to see more down the line.

    Nice video Jeff. A wide angle view would be more effective. Just say’n.

    Jim AZ

  9. Rick D says:

    I feel so lucky with my kids. They are both grown and I have 3 grandchildren. My Dad has passed away so cherish what you have, it only happens once. Like I have said in the past, by the grace of God go I as I was almost killed 3 times while a Police Officer in Toronto Ontario Canada. Enjoy the weekend everybody and happy modelling. 320pm Toronto time and a huge rain storm passing through. It WAS a nice day. Back to the layout. Thanks again Al for your help personally as well as the web, posts and all else. Next time.

  10. Jim Richards says:

    I am so happy you included the information the gentleman from Australia . Talk about being perfect that was it. Thank you it is nice to hear that someone and their son does this together!

  11. Ennis Hackman says:

    Please turn your cell phone 90 degrees to get the wide screen view
    Great otherwise

  12. Carl says:

    Herb, a huge hug to you for your activity with your son. Absolutely wonderful. Keep up the great work. And btw, the layout is smashing.
    Carl in Ontario, Canada

  13. Linda says:

    Herb, Great job. Wow, lots of trains and what a round house! Your right that quality family time is most important.
    Also Jeff, nice video. My favorite is the War of the worlds scene of the space ship zapping the tank! Well done.

  14. jim Sulkosky says:

    Looks great keep up the great work.

  15. Richard Standing says:

    When you’ve got a TARDIS on your layout, you don’t need to worry about era….

  16. George says:

    Looks great to m Herb !
    I wish I had a place to set up a large village like that .

  17. Robert Shuman says:

    Looks really nice! Here’s a tip, I have used just a little dry wall spackle to fill the cracks between the sheets of cork. Works well and you can even get a little creative with it.

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