HO model railroad lake – Ben’s

Ben’s been back in touch. Have a look at his HO model railroad lake – he’s got it spot on:

“Hi Al,

It’s been some time since my last post to you. I’ve had some interesting challenges over the past year, which include a bout with pneumonia, basement flooding and a gas line break at the house.

But, now thankfully everything is well and back together.

I’ve finished the 9 scenes I’ve been working on in my HO layout for the past 4 years and thought I would share them with you and your readers.

Here are pictures of the 9 scenes.

If your readers are interested, they can view a video I made that shows more detail of each scene, the 3 lines of trains running and other fun stuff.

HO model railroad lake

Golden Pond – Created from memories of childhood summer vacations.

HO model railroad lake

Whispering Creek – An enhanced vision of a creek near our home.

HO scale VW camper

Grandma’s House at Grill and Chill Park – Summertime fun when I was a teen at the local park.

HO scale  freight

Hazel Dell School and Prairie Road – One room schoolhouse I attended and the road leading to the farm.

model railroad barn farmyard

Olson’s Dairy Farm – Childhood memories of life on the farm.

HO scale grass scene

Shelby’s Garden – Named after and created for my wife, who loves to garden.

HO model railroad lake

Lake Shelby – Imaginary mountain lake scene.

HO scale farmyard barn printable building

Barn Made From Al’s Beginner’s Guide – What fun!

The last picture is of the barn I made from downloading your Beginners Guide. It was my first attempt, so it’s not perfect but it was a lot of fun to make!

Thank you for all you do in posting and sending out everyone’s projects, pictures and such!

Ben From Chicago.”

A big thanks to Ben – a really nice HO model railroad lake there.

His video is very good too. If you’re toying with the idea of making a start, it’s well worth watching.

If you’d like to see Ben’s other posts on his railroad:

Ben’s HO layout update

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

27 Responses to HO model railroad lake – Ben’s

  1. John Reynolds says:

    Nice work on the barn.

  2. Brian Rockey says:

    Fantastic layout Ben, great video and some good tips. Thank you.
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  3. Plenty of detail ..well done Ben …

  4. Mike P says:

    Ben your layout is spectacular, thanks for sharing

  5. Robert Brady says:

    Excellent Tutorial Ben, kept me interested the entire 9 minutes. And HO the way to go..
    The Critic

  6. george zaky says:

    Awesome! Great narrative & video and so much thanks for the technical.
    Now what? You cant put your many talents to sleep and, because you submitted to this great sight, AL’s pals will not allow you to wither away.
    Imagination and artistry must not be constrained. The gauntlet has been thrown.
    Please keep it up- you dont know how inspiring you’ve been.
    Be safe & well
    George from LI, NY

  7. val says:

    hi Ben, what a fantastic job you’ve done on the scenery! it’s truly fabulous to see it . I’m only just getting started on my ho layout.the plat form tables are done now,so I can start designing a track plan, my layout isn’t very big but it’ll do for now I’m planing on using a lot of blue foam to make hills, and mountains and a few tunnel’s.. but I haven’t had much experience doing foam,I love how you’ve done your small hills and such, they looked really great . hope I can dias well as you’ve done. any tips you might have would help me good luck finishing your layout. thanksagain looks fantastic .. val in Utah!!

  8. val says:

    hi Ben it’s val again, I meant to say that if you have any tips or photos you could share, to help me start on the foam would be greatly appreciated and most welcomed . thanks again for sharing your photos and video and for such a great job you’ve done on your layout.i’ll give you a very very big#10

  9. John Bullock says:

    Love how the layout reflects your personal life experiences.

  10. ted martin says:

    Magnificent. One of the first things I noticed was the trains moving at scale speed. Terrific. The detail put into the landscape is a guide for the rest of us.

  11. Erick says:

    Looks pretty kool.!! Keep up the good workmanship. I hope mine turns out that goods

  12. I recently acquired some g scale, lgb coaches that a previous owner decided to spray paint the family name on the side of. Anyone know how I can restore these without ruining there value I would appreciate the help

  13. Well worth the 4 years you spent on it, Ben. Looks great!!!

  14. Bruce Benson says:

    Excellent layout Ben….really like that you based alot on your youth.

  15. David Gott says:

    Great video presentation, Ben gave save good ideas to use

  16. jack guasta says:

    Loved your layout video, Ben. You obviously have the know-how and made a terrific layout. Only wish you might be in the business of building other layouts for HO enthusiasts (like me) who can’t do as you, but certainly enjoy the hobby.
    I am in Naperville IL if you have any interest. (jack.guasta@gmail.com)

  17. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    Very well done layout, and tutorial. That was a fast nine minutes as it held my interest all the time.

  18. Al Rocheleau says:

    Really like your layout, Ben. I am making a note of how you have divided the layout into specific scenes. Would like to know if your layout is 4′ deep? If so, are you able to reach all tracks at your 40″ height (with elevated backdrop) for maintenance? I would like to know the length of your benches to get an idea if I can allow the all-around clearance in the 12′ x 14′ room in which I will build my layout in HO scale.
    Is the base under the removable foam scenes also removable for maintenance?

    Al from south of Wichita

  19. Dominic Joseph Radanovich says:

    Really great layout. Beautiful!. I love all the meaningful nostalgic scenes, buildings, etc. I have employed the same tactic on my HO layout with many things of memory from my childhood on through my long life (84 years).
    Thank You for the trip down memory lane!
    Joseph in Milwaukee.

  20. Ronald Cuculic says:

    Nice layout, great attention to detail. Nice job on the video!

  21. DJfromNJ says:

    Just plain awesome. Thanks, Ben, for sharing your how-to- do-it tips.

  22. Ben Olson says:

    Hello and thanks to all of you for your comments, they are much appreciated! A few of you had questions, so here are my responses.
    Val: If you are looking for tips on building your layout you can visit my YouTube channel and watch some of my “how-to” videos. They may be helpful. I also found Al’s “Beginners Guide” to be very helpful! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2xpcyxD6g4iy_Atvjfltrg
    Ted: Thanks for noticing the train speeds. I actually used to run them a lot faster until I got feedback from other modelers to slow them down, and they were right!
    Al Rocheleau: The length of the two legs of the benchwork is 18 ft on the longer side and 8 ft. on the shorter side. I use a 3-step ladder to get over the backdrop to do occasional maintenance. The layout is 4 ft wide in all areas, but because it is a walk-around it’s actually easy to reach most areas.

  23. Paul Fixx says:

    Interesting video. Looks like, some great scenes. If the camera work in that first section scanning through the scenes doesn’t make you dizzy nothing will. I’d love to see it more slowly with a steadier camera to really have a good look.

  24. Andrew Aves says:

    Thank you for sharing Ben – You have constructed an awesome layout. I agree with your recommendation to create removable scenes. An added advantage is the avoidance of plaster dust, grass, etc. getting onto the track and the consequential cleaning up.
    Best wishes
    from Andrew in Oz

  25. Will Catz says:

    where can i get information on Marklin track E track M, what is the difference on Marklin center wiring in the track? and what can run on the 5100s The local hobby store could not find anything on the Marklin website. I have “Z” “N” and HO can different trains (different manufactures) run from the (same gage) run on different manufacturers track? I’m trying to get cars and track before i build and set my tracks.
    Thank You

  26. Ross Johnston says:

    Thanks for sharing your l;ayout and cab ride Ben. I really enjoyed watching it. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, South Australia

  27. Dave Karper says:

    Will Catz, Marklin uses a center third rail like Lionel tinplate, and uses AC for power. Most all other scale trains use two rails,and are powered by DC.

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