HO scale tunnel and stone walls

Tommy has been in touch with his HO scale tunnel and stone walls.

Have a look at the pics, even unfinished they are amazing.

Sadly, as you’ll read Tommy couldn’t finish them, but as you’ll also read, he’s still carrying the torch for this hobby, he want’s to inspire somebody out there:

“Hello, I’m Tommy from Sweden.

I had a project to build a layout on my attic.

But there was a change in life, so I had to tear it down again.

I made a supporting stonewall with arches and a tunnel openings for the layout.

Maby the photos can bring some inspiration to you.

HO scale tunnel stone walls

HO scale tunnel stone walls

HO scale tunnel stone walls

model railroad helix

model railroad embankment wall

HO scale tunnel stone walls

HO scale tunnel stone walls

HO scale tunnel stone walls

HO scale tunnel stone walls

HO scale tunnel stone walls

HO scale tunnel  stone walls

HO scale tunnel and stone wall:

tunnel entrance stone wall

HO scale tunnel wall

model train stone tunnel entrance

HO scale tunnel stone portal

HO scale tunnel stone portal

HO scale tunnel stone portal

I also made this Helix as well as the HO scale tunnel.

I constructed it, disembled it and build it back up on the attic.

HO scale helix

model train helix

HO scale helix

model railroad HO scale helix

model railroad ho scale helix

model railroad helix

The HO scale tunnel, stonewalls and so on are not ready.

They still need some colors and greenery on them.

The mountain is not ready – made between the pain.

Just made them to look a little better for now.


I asked Tommy how he made his amazing HO scale tunnel, stone walls, and er, he mentioned the pain?

He came back with this reply which got me thinking a lot about the wonderful people this hobby attracts:

“I was in an accident and broke my back, one of the reasons why the attic layout was stopped.

I was lucky, I did not get paralysed. I just have other problems with nerve function and a lot of very high pain.

I was operated, got two flat titanium rods and ten screwes into my spine.

The stone walls:

Brick walls and tunnel openings are made from styrofoam (pink or blue are the colors I know), used to insulate houses with. So You will find them at Your Home Depot.

Make the surface uneven with something, roll something over the surface to make dents in the surface, or hit it with a steel brush.

Make try outs and practice on a piece of foam first.

Then decide wich one you like.

Once You get the hang of it, you never buy ready made brickwalls again…

Nothing is right, nothings is wrong.

You are the one to be happy with the finish and how you do it.

Then I just form the bricks with a small charp screwdriver, pressing it gently down into the foam.

If you do bricks, it helps with horizontal guide lines so they get the uniformed look, but don’t press to hard on the pen.

If you plan to do natural stone, just go on making them on free hand.

Only think about the scale, so you get it right. Mine is HO scale tunnel.

I also rub in some ready made plaster, the one you even out the walls at home with, before painting.

Then before it’s dry, clean the surface gently with a moist sponge until you get the depth of joints you like.

As I said before, have some piece to try on, until you get the hang of it.

When it’s dry, I paint with waterbased color, I use Liquitex or you can use simular paint. But only waterbased color or glue.

By the way, the drain pipes coming out under the arches, are made from Johnson cotton sticks, the one some use to clean their ears with.

Sorry for my English I am in Sweden.

Best regards


A huge big thanks to Tommy for sharing his HO scale tunnel and stone walls, and for sharing his advice – for me this line says it all:

“Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. You are the one to be happy with the finish and how you do it.”

Please, if Tommy has inspired you in any shape or form, please do leave a comment and below.

And I wish him health and the best recovery possible. Tommy, thanks so much for sharing.

Tommy’s post reminded me of a two others.

When it comes to making a helix – Lawrence’s springs to mind:

Making a helix

And when it comes to HO scale tunnels and stone walls (and other scales come to that), John’s video on the printable buildings:

How to make a viaduct for your model train.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, just like Tommy did, 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.

23 Responses to HO scale tunnel and stone walls

  1. Will in NM says:

    Dear Tommy,
    I am so sorry to hear about your accident and subsequent pain. I wish you a speedy and complete recovery. Thank you for sharing your layout photos and excellent brick arch instructions. They will definitely help many modelers to save money and get great arches and tunnel portals.

  2. TOM HIRSCH says:

    I was also in a bad accident, after 3 operations my Neck is held together with titanium and is Fused from C4–T1 and if not for NORCO’s I would be unable to lay track.

  3. James says:

    3 tracks, WOW!

  4. Ellis James English says:

    I know, “feel better” for the 1,345,543 time doesn’t help. I hope you better times ahead. I can’t wait to see where you are going with your layout. Please keep updates.

  5. Rich B. says:

    Today’s presentation and narrative is mind boggling. The portals themselves are a hobby in itself and never had a remote idea even about a 3 track/tier heli-coil layout in such compact quarters, adjustable leveling no less.😊

  6. Scott says:

    Wishing you the best recovery possible – a very encouraging post at multiple levels – thank you for taking the time to share Tommy – despite the pain. 😢

  7. Brian Olson says:

    Excellent work and ideas here!

  8. Don says:

    awesome workmanship, when done must show more pics.

  9. george zaky says:

    I wish for you the strength & courage to keep going and do whatever you wish to make you happy & what gives you joy. Obviously you have patience and talent so use those attributes even if it takes you on a different journey.
    You entered into the world of Alastair Lee and now we care about what you do and hope you keep us updated even if it’s growing tomatoes.
    Big Al
    I took some liberty here but I feel that once he is a model train guy he’s one of us forever.
    Be safe

  10. Rob McCrain says:

    Brilliant work. I particularly like the scored brick/stone. I am a fan of the crafted stone/brick. I hope you can continue building this wonderful layout. The fun is in the building, not the finishing anyway. Rob McCrain

  11. John Hauser - LINY says:

    Tommy: Sorry to read of your health issues, I wish you a full recovery and being pain free. Your hand made brick walls and portals are magnificent, you definitely have an abundance of talent and patience.. This hobby takes us to many places and enables us to be creative, artistic and constructive. Thank You for sharing this , it is a truly masterful work.

    John – LINY

  12. Eddk says:

    Beautiful detail work. I hope you’re pain subsides so you can continue the great work

  13. gene SERVOSS says:

    I would like to see that then it gets finished

  14. Ray Volpe says:

    Sorry about your back, tough break. I’m just old with stiff joints but can appreciate you issues. Tedious process cutting all those groves but fabulous results! And your English is way better than my Swedish 😎

  15. Roger Turner says:

    Awesome modeling of your stone walls and tunnels. At first glance I assumed they were store bought. A true craftsman makes it look easy and you certainly did that.
    Keep up the great work and please share with us.

    The best to you!!
    Roger in Kansas

  16. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Tommy…. great work…..impressed with the detail of the drainage coming out of the walls…..great touch.

    John……you do fantastic work with the printables…….you add that extra detail and it really brings out the model.

  17. robert dale tiemann says:

    lots of work, but looks worth it. very nice.

  18. Al Otis says:

    JUST WOW!!!!!

  19. Mike Balog says:

    Hi Tommy,,, From Across the Pond… Am sad that you have such a problem with your back. Praying our good Lord holds you in the palm of His healing Hands. For a successful long lasting recovery… and getting your mobility returned to you too.

    Your Carved Walls and Tunnel Portals are a Masterpiece in Craftsmenship, Very Realistic ~ And admired your Helex that you built as well. Maybe you can use it on your next layout. Maybe you can make up a jig to make the brickwork for the tunnel and brick walls… using thin metal strips, soldered together in rows with them attached to simulate completed sections of brickwork.. that you can butt up against each other to glue together? Suggest using OLD Hanging File Folder Metal Strips that hold the folders in a file cabinet. Maybe that would work for you to cut down the time carving rows of bricks with a knife blade. ??? Just a Suggestion. Also, could try the Artists Modeling Clay, that comes in different colors and can roll it our like cookie dough and us the jig to make brickwork. Bet that also can be used to make “brick or cobble stone streets” too. ~ Wishing You Well, and For ALL the VETERANS,, On both Sides of the Pond. Happy Veterans Day and Remembrance Day in Canada, England and in Australia. Too. *S*A*L*U*T*E*

  20. Susan Cannon says:

    Tommy, your English is much much better than my Swedish! Thank you for sharing your photos and your procedure. It shows how some good thinking can get wonderful results without spending a lot of money.

  21. Andrew Ball says:

    Thanks for sharing your work, so sorry to hear that pain is preventing you from continuing, hope it improves soon for you and you can get back to enjoying your marvellous craftsmanship

  22. Sid says:

    The level of skill and artistry displayed in your work is incredible. I am truly amazed at the results you achieved with a block of insulating foam!

  23. Bill Robinson says:

    Tommy, you have impressed us all with your ingenuity and skill. We all hope you will find a good pain management solution.
    I am also sure that you will have many offers from others to help you relocate and finish your layout.
    Bästa önskningar för förbättrad hälsa och lyck

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