HO scale structures and scenery: Jim’s

Jim’s been back in touch with a post on his HO scale structures and scenery.

Have a look at what he’s had built:

“Picking up where I left off. I will cover more structures and some scenery in this thread.

Here are some of the early pictures of my yard.

The first pic is the EAST tower of the Colton Yard. It has a twin on the West end.

More weathering and lighting details are scheduled for both structures.

Signal house HO scale

HO scale signal house

This is NOT an antenna farm. It is a section of one of the primary focal points, which is a LARGE farm with crops and lots of cattle.

HO scale farm build

I had a difficult time trying to get “D” type block signals.

Details West -out of stock, no ETA.

Walthers Kato – look like they belong on a 1950’s Lionel layout.

These are avail on the bay:

HO scale traffic lights

Lucky for me PMD was able to get the 13 that I needed from one of their many contacts.

Remember this picture of Veteran’s Park?

HO scale park build

A couple of weeks later it looked like this. Starting to shape up nicely.

HO scale park build

HO scale park

HO scale park

There was still more to be added. This scene is one of the key focal points on my layout.

Early on the tunnel portals and surrounding area looked like this.

HO scale tunnel

HO scale tunnel

Here are a few wider shots that include the “first rough coat” ground cover.

All the GREEN is just a base to give all additional ground cover applications a surface to cling to.

When these guys get going the acres and acres of well-manicured “putting greens” will disappear.

HO scale embankment

HO scale embankment

The second coat of the general ground cover has been applied to some areas of the layout.

Things are starting to come together a bit faster now. The 3rd and 4th layers will be added this week.

At this point, it is all about layers, texture, and colors blending together. Also, note that no trees or bushes have been added yet. It will get better.

HO scale embankment

HO scale bridge build

More landscape details as layers, texture, and colors blend together.

HO scale tunnel scenery

The scouts are camping this weekend at Camp Wenonah. This too is in the early stages. Many more details will be added.

HO scale camp site

Scout Master Grayson is just returning from his walk through the woods. He can’t wait to tell the boys what he saw in the clearing.

HO scale camp site clearing

The crew of Steve, Joe, and Jim like to mess with me. They are always adding STUFF on the days I come to take pictures. What a GREAT crew. Ask for anything and they will make it happen. This whole campground was an afterthought just to fill in some empty space. More pictures of this later.

My all-time favorite Christmas movie will be playing 365 days per year. This also gets more details later. The “Boys” fabricated all the lettering.

Can’t take this hobby too seriously, IMHO you gotta have a little whimsey. [:D]

The guys doing the build once again display their humor by staging a circus train wreck before I arrived. The helicopter crew captured these beasts hanging around the lake. I have been assured that they will be rounded up before the layout is delivered.

HO scale circus scene

HO scale bisen

I was also assured that the track gaps would disappear when the trestle bridge is installed on the upper level. Too dangerous to fix now with the giant albino bird and gator hanging around.

HO scale bridge build

Calling it quits for today. I will post again tomorrow. Hint: It starts to get REAL.


A huge big thank to Jim for sharing the evolution of his HO scale.

It just goes to show you can have a lot of fun with a layout, even when you’re not building it yourself.

I love what he’s done, I think the personl touches really add to it.

Jim’s first post is here.

Here’s his second post.

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

And if today is the day you get tired of sitting on the side lines, 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.

35 Responses to HO scale structures and scenery: Jim’s

  1. Robert Brady says:

    Your track lament and ballast work is outstanding Jim.
    The Critic

  2. Great story and pic’s of Jim’s layout Alastair, enjoyed very much.

  3. John says:

    Love that “Double-Double” tunnel portal. Very good looking!

  4. Jim Landing says:

    Nice work, amazing detail.

  5. Erick says:

    Looks pretty kool. I hope mine turns out that good.

  6. George Zaky says:

    Great job
    Keep it whimsical. The park looks great.
    Now some working Vids
    Be safe
    George from LI, NY

  7. Tony Kitty Hawk, NC says:


    Thanks for the update. Love the before and after and in progress photos! Great work!

  8. John says:

    Nice work how can i get hold of PMD ?

  9. Tom Provo says:

    a great layout. I’m envious.

  10. George Niosi says:

    You are an artist love it

  11. John Reynolds says:

    Very impressive.

  12. Dan Williams says:

    Great pictures!! Love all the animals. I really like the crop of “T” pins, always wondered where they came from.

  13. JOHN BULLOCK says:

    Love watching the evolution for each setting… which looks great!

  14. Brian Olson says:

    Love the tunnel entrances.

  15. Rod Mackay says:

    No need for a train wreck, just model a safari park! One Mothers’ Day I was working a train on the Severn Valley and we passed mums and offspring in the fields of sheep, cows, horses, ducks, deer and elephants, very appropriate.

  16. Anthony Weisbecker says:

    I have everything that possibly is needed for a huge layout ,huge layout especially for steam engines of all sizes even back to the early 1800’s American and Foreign which are my loves . build many a Bowser loco also (Bug Boy was a challenge) and loved it also . The mind is sure willing but the body is old and worn so here it all sits in the biggest plastic storage boxes available . Space is always a problem in a Florida retirement size house . Need to win the lotto to buy much bigger place to live out my childhood dreams . All these setups on here just brings tears to ones eyes and bravo to these fellas and their accomplishments .

  17. david howarth says:

    Nice work Jim

  18. Virgil says:

    The detail, such as the vines on the tunnel wall, are absolutely great!! Not many people would think of something like that. I envy the layout!

  19. Marklin. Ed says:

    Great layout, liked the tunnels, yes you need trees and some more friends coming. Over to help with your layout.

  20. Jim AZ says:

    Nicely done. Some good looking scenes.

    Jim AZ

  21. Harold Payne says:

    Nicely done.
    However, the crossover on a bridge
    is not a great idea. I hope you don’t have
    any derailments.
    Good luck on your progress.
    Happy New Year.

  22. Alan R Manzer says:

    Been Scouting over twenty years. Don’t ever remember any Airstreamc being parked at the campsite:; not that I wouldn’t mind having one there now! Very, Very nice scenery.

  23. James Corradini says:

    Beautiful work, I really like your workbench in the background of that one picture all your tools and goodies impressive.

  24. Gary P MANGANIELLO says:

    Jim…… gorgeous work….. show us some overview pics of the entire layout.

  25. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Jim. Thanks sending in the design and layers of your outstanding layout. Like the scout camp and the memorial park. Only bit I would comment on is the two tunnel entrances in reality I doubt that they would have left such a narrow edge of such heavy boulders bordering the entrance to the 2nd tunnel. They would have the rocks. It would make it much easier for access to the track for repairs etc in the real world.

  26. Will in NM says:

    Santa Fe Jim,
    That’s shaping up to be a really nice layout! I really appreciate your older posts explaining how PMD is building the layout. Are they also building the structures and the scenery, or is that your handiwork? Would a prototype railroad build a crossover on a bridge? I’ve never seen one, but there’s usually a prototype for about anything you can think of.

    I’ve been a train collector for 60 years, but never completed a layout. I’ve started several over the years, but never finished them because I keep changing the track plans. Now I have a 32 x 48 shop building with a 10+ foot high ceiling that would make an ideal large train room, but I’ve got so much junk and power tools in it, that I’d have to do an estate sale to empty it out. I never even thought of making it my train shop until a year or so ago. At 75 years old, I think I’d need the services of an outfit like PMD to get the layout built in a reasonable time frame. 🙂

    Best of luck with your layout build. Thanks for keeping us posted with your progress.

  27. Bob Thompson says:

    That’s great work. Everything looks so realistic

  28. Brian Olson says:

    Great examples here how small scenes are such an important part of the “big picture” of your layout. Regardless of scale or size.

  29. Steve Ruple says:

    A really nice layout Jim, lot’s of scenery. I like the double tunnel designs, great job !!!!!

  30. John Birch says:

    I love the gardens and foliage. Well done.

  31. John V says:

    Great job, great layout and just the right amount of detail.

  32. John Philip Ruetz says:

    Nice clean layout . Looks great. Good detail.

  33. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice. i like the buffalo or bison, the camp ground, the stream liner, the tunnels. nice job.

  34. Dan Piccolo says:

    Where do you get that track and ballast combination?

  35. Scott Mandelup says:

    Jim. Great job. Can you tell us how you made the building signs. They were terrific.

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