HO scale harbor model

Brian’s been back in touch with his HO scale harbor model.

“Hi Alastair,

photos of the latest build, one finished and the second one almost finished.

Below is the 99% finished FSM Seafood Emporium in place on my layout after more that 3 months of work on it.

HO scale harbor

Now to bed it onto the layout with ground cover and surrounding details.

A photo showing a boat loading / offloading products at the wharf.

HO scale boat

Note the fresh fish and lobsters on the sorting table and the blacksmith eyeing them for his lunch. (He already has the fire going inside).The guy in the small boat alongside is hoping to get a freebie from his mate on the bigger boat.

HO scale boat

My next project, a Sierra West kit, the first building of 4 items in the kit – Foss Launch Co. The main building.

On this very rare occasion, I will be basically assembling it straight out of the box with no kit bashing or modifications to it. The only addition will be a full interior and lights added

As usual when building kits, I always make a cardboard mock-up of the building from the plans to make sure that it is what is correct for the position on the layout.

cardboard HO scale

Here it is shown above the start of the kit assembly using my corner magnetic clamps.

HO scale building

This is where it will be positioned on the wharf at Pelican Bay. The wharf was scratch built many years ago and was on one of my previous layouts in two different locations as I made changes to it. That layout is long gone.

placing building on layout

Below – adding the corner posts as well as the door trim.

Quite a complex roof system for this building.

roof for model building

I tried a new technique for the tarpaper roof and very impressed with the outcome of it. (As per instructions in the kit) Putting shingles on the peaked roof next.

roof for model building

Signs made according to the instructions and the +/- 15 year old dry transfers still worked well.

A view of it placed temporarily on the wharf.

As seen here, it is in close proximity to my Builders in Scale Boat repair complex. (Which also took over 3 months to build with the modifications to the kit).

Below, after figuring out which castings to use for this structure and painting them, placing them on the wharf.

harbor wharft buildign

Still lots more to add before it will be complete.

Added an interior. (roofs are removable)

HO scale harbor model

Checking placement of the exterior details.

Now just to add the lights, wire it all up and place on the layout.

I must add that this I the first Foss Scale kit that I have assembled and am very impressed with the quality, ease of assembly and the amount of extras that are in the kit.

One part of this kit that stood out for me are the roof shingle strips. They are the best that I have ever used and look very real.

So far, this kit built as per instructions has taken me seven days (no modifications or kit bashing)

Till next time – keep modelling.
Brian – the HOn3 guy in Knysna. RSA”

A big thanks to Brian for sharing HO scale harbor model.

You can see Brian’s HO scale harbor post here.

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 Apologies to Brian for the order of the pics. How Brian sent them and how I received are them are two different things.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

17 Responses to HO scale harbor model

  1. Ron Swolley says:

    Beautiful work. I can almost see the fish flopping on the table. Great job.


  2. Brian Rockey says:

    Wow! You are indeed a premier league modeller Brian.
    Best to all
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  3. David says:

    Huge round if applause. Wonderful work

  4. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Brian well done with the whole presentation. The buildings look outstanding and the wharf side additions of the fish table and blacksmith etc really add a lot of interest. One item that does jar a bit is the quality of the water. Just painting it blue really lets the whole scene down. A few days ago the site had a master class of detailing water in harbour and sea side situations. The post gives lots of tips. It may help with the detailing of the water.

  5. Brian Olson says:

    Nice work! My layout is set in Wyoming so no need for harbor scenes but if I was ever to build a new layout, and I live in Georgia, a harbor scene would work!

  6. John says:

    Great work!

  7. Robert Kent says:

    Very impressive work again and very inspirational

  8. Erick says:

    Wow i like that.

  9. Brian Messenger says:

    To Colin E, the reason there is no water at present is that there is still a lot of work needed further down the harbour wall and base. Once all that is done then the water will be cast in place.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy in Knysna RSA

  10. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Brian….. I love the work and the detail and the colors…….Love the fish on the table and the detail……. Great work on the scratch building …… the look of the scene with the weathering is fantastic. I’m jealous…

  11. Old Taz says:

    Beautiful work you must have a lot of time in on that one

  12. Jim Kennedy says:

    Great scene. It tells a great story. Wouldlovetoput something like that on my layout when I can get to that point. The only criticism is that the water level needs to be a little higher and needs a few small ripples in it. I can only hope that I can show the talent for building that you have.

  13. Excellent job. I wish I had the talent and patience to build something like you did. Been wanting to start building an HO layout one of these days.

  14. Dave Karper says:

    Thank you Mr. Lee.

  15. Dave Karper says:

    I would really like to see what Bryan Messenger could do with Mr. Lee’s printouts.

  16. Rob says:

    What a wonderful scene. It’s amazing the quality of the modeling that is displayed on this site on a regular basis.
    That said I have to ask again… Why not paint the fascia a light gray camo or something to blend with the building as opposed to the bright green? I ask this question a lot of you modelers. It seems like the stark delineation of the end of the table could be blended better with some camo type coloring to better match the scene and give it more depth possibly. I ask this as a spectator who is totally in awe of the modeling work displayed on this site and who has no business telling anyone what to do on their works of art.

  17. Brian Messenger says:

    Rob, I have thought about a medium grey colour for quite a while now and am now seriously considering doing it
    It will involve a lot of work to paint all the facia around the two levels but it will be done.
    I will first finish working on my current ‘new’ model building then get around to the painting of the facia boards.
    After I paint the grey colour around, I must put a plexiglass strip all the way around the water area. Only then can I pour the final layers of water in Pelican Bay.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy in Knysna. RSA

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