HO scale park

Allen is putting his retirement to good use and has sent in pics of his HO scale park.

I can’t wait to see the rest of it, he’s off to a flying start:

“Hi Alastair,

First I want to thank you for all you do for our hobby. Please keep it up.

I recently retired and relocated to be closer to our kids and grandkids.

That being said I have always wanted to have an HO layout and had inherited a large amount of vintage track, trains, building kits, etc. but life kept getting in the way.

So after retiring, moving into our new residence and getting settled in I really started planning and looking into what I wanted to do with this. I hope the pdf attachments go through so you can see the start of my upcoming “empire”.

So after several (dozens) of simple sketches I invested in the SCARMS program to pull my ideas together (sort of). The layout will cover many of the different things I love about model railroading like scenery and mini dioramas throughout.

I plan on having a middle divider to separate the fictitious cityscapes from the country hills (with tunnels) and moving pedalboats on the local park waterway.

I am going old school DC as the main power is mostly steam locomotives from quite a few years ago. My Dad liked B & O so there are a number of them and “Chessie” with some other styles I personally liked.

I am trying to have the steam age represented but know there will be some older and some newer power being engaged at times.

I am also going to have an elevated tramway in the city that will also be on the main level in the residential area after traversing through the “rural” area by the park and waterway.

The playground is my first attempt at scratchbuilding but I am pretty proud with how it turned out. Kids have a play castle with a two story slide, a rock climbing wall, jungle gym, cargo net and swing set to amuse themselves. The area is fenced in with plenty of places for guardians to “keep an eye on things”

This scene will be located in the park area next to the waterway once I start putting in the terrain.

I took some pictures of various items I have been working on (for detailing my layout after laying the tracks out).

Sort of stockpiling people, vehicles, etc.

The construction equipment will go on the “new” roadway shown on the trackplan.

Other vehicles will be placed throughout all areas and these are just a sampling.

I try to add details to vehicles like handles, turn signal lenses, some interior details (and drivers if they are going to be “active” on the roads).

The boats are scratch modified inexpensive decorations that were the right size for me to add the outboards, wind screens and boaters for the waterway.

The outboards are shaped balsa wood that was sealed and painted with acrylics.

The windscreens are salvaged packing acetate, carefully cut and scribed, then attached with cyanoacrylate.

The service station is an old kit I put together and weathered, “Jake”, the owner is chatting with his customer “Pam” about some upcoming work on her older car to keep it running well.

The Deluxe Ice Cream Van is an old Matchbox model that I opened up so I could paint the diamond plate floor, stainless steel cooler doors, ice cream cone stacks, etc.

I also added “Bill”, the ice cream man in his lavender uniform (with a couple of cones in his hands and one in a holder on the counter).

Last is the pool and a 1932 Seagrave fire truck.

I used a Krylon primer to get the concrete look around the pool walkway.

I put several thin coats of gloss varnish to give the water a reflective look.

I then added a family of figures I painted to give it some “life”.

Thanks again Al, I will send updates with pics as I progress on this adventure.

I am also planning on using some of your paper scenic buildings as well on this layout.

Anyway, that is my getting started post, I hope you can get it into the blog.

All the best to you,

Allen (retired in Indiana)”

scarm track plan HO scale model train

scarm HO scale track plan

Benchwork for HO scale

HO scale park

HO scale play park

side view ho scale park

overhead view park

overhead view park

Benchwork for water model train

HO scale boats

HO scale contstruction

HO scale servixce station

HO scale vehicles

HO scale icecream van

model train swimming pool

A big thanks to Allen for sharing his HO scale park – really looking forward to seeing this one progress. It’s a fine way to spend a retirement!

His play park is also a great reminder on how the people in a scene bring a layout to life.

(Dan recently did a post on this: Model train people.

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 is that’s your thing.

15 Responses to HO scale park

  1. Jerry Swick says:

    Would like to see some quarry scenes. I’m a retired minor and want to start an hour scale layout. I want to include a realistic quarry scene just not sure how to go about it. Maybe you could share some ideas with a rookie. Thanks hope to hear back from you guys. Keep up the good work 👍

  2. Colin edinburgh says:

    Hi Allen. Love the concept you’re following. The play park is outstanding. If I had to comment it would be the scale of your fence. It is maybe a little to heavy. It maybe worth revisiting that aspect. Best to get these things correct otherwise you could continue to make really good scenes but lessen their appeal by a simple thing like fence scale

  3. Stephen Hill says:

    Allen , enjoyed your narrative , appears you’re off to a great start . Nice job on the playground scene., certain the remaining scenes will be as keen . Only thing I could suggest is you’d better keep that cat out of there .
    Keep us posted on your progress .

  4. Don says:

    I liked the lake concept really nice touch & the playground with the old ford station wagon & the mini cooper & the vw convertible nice touch. outstanding use of space & design.

  5. Steven Porcelius says:

    Hi Al

    A few weeks ago someone mentioned a sell / buy section
    I would definitely recommend this as I have a complete HO train set of 11 engines, 50+ rolling stock, track galore, switches, bridges, houses from my large collection as I moved into my “G” series trains
    I would like to see it get a great home for someone

  6. JOHN BULLOCK says:

    Allen, I like the double reverse loop layout design as it allows for both left to right and right to left operating scenarios… which means more options for passenger trains and any freight switching which might be considered. Love the play castle.

  7. robert dale tiemann says:

    ice cream truck is great so is the rest, nice job.

  8. Malcolm says:

    Very nicely done. I note a cat in one of the pictures. I recommend excluding the cat from the train room because they like to play with things they’ve seen move. Even if the cat does not mess with the layout (that would be one exceptional cat!) it will shed hair that gets into everything.

  9. Kevin V says:

    Nice layout, You just gave me some ideas to navigate around a window in a small room I have available. How do you avoid a Cattrastophe on your train layout?

  10. jacin says:

    Very nice , Like the layout idea , now to try to figure out how in O , thx

  11. Allen Lukowski says:

    Thanks everyone for the great comments.

    Mr. Yin (our remaining tuxedo cat as we lost his brother Yang last year) was only around as I developed the framework for the layout. He will not be getting into things going forward (for all the cat related possibilities).

    I am looking into options for a smaller fence line to make the playground area more visible for visitors to enjoy.

    I will post updates and pictures with Al as I continue to progress with this ongoing project. Thanks again Al for all you do for our hobby. I have really learned a lot from your many contributors (and the Beginners Guide).

    Keep on chugging!!!

  12. Brian Messenger says:

    Allen, I like the start that you have made on your layout. Some very nice details you are putting on it. The boats and outboard motors are excellent. Well done.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your work as you progress.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy from Knysna RSA

  13. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome pictures of your new layout. Many great ideas for your railroad. Look’s like your off to a great start. I would like to see more progress as you continue to build your empire.

  14. robert dale tiemann says:

    creative use of space.

  15. Nancy from Gig Harbor, WA says:

    Allen, great work! Good on ya! Where did you get those great old cars?

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