Amusement park HO scale – Jack’s

Jack’s been in touch again with his amusement park HO scale.

If you missed his last post, it’s here.

“Hi Al,

The residential area of the layout is almost complete.

I built a Noch kids playground, which is laser cut and pretty frustrating to build. There is a rope bridge between two towers.

I couldn’t figure out how to assemble it. You have to glue planks to the ‘rope’ side pieces. I finally cut two spacers a little shorter than the planks and using my spray glue sprayed the edges.

I was then able to hold the sides in place while gluing 4 of the 12 planks in place. I could then remove the spacers and glue the balance of the planks.

For the amusement park I built a number of Faller rides and booths. They are more detailed than other brands of amusement rides, but they have lots of parts.

The kids merry go round has 137 pieces. The only downside to the Faller stuff is that although some wording is in English, others of it is in German. You’d think they would come out with an English sticker set.

I didn’t find a ticket booth so I built one from balsa wood. I am calling my amusement park Dorney Park where I went as a kid. I found photos of signs on the Internet and using sprue material from the merry go round made signs. I just have to work out placement of the rides and booths.

I have the tunnel portals in and the cardboard on the mountain is covered with plaster cloth.

A word of caution regarding Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. I had poured the pond about 4 days ago. I hadn’t brought the ground cover down to the water’s edge, so I put painters tape on the water and finished the ground cover.

After removing the tape, I had impressions of the tape in the water. Fortunately I had some Realistic Water left, so I poured a thin layer on the pond. All looks good now.


HO scale road

model train garden hut

HO scale swimming pool

amusement park ho scale

amusement park ho scale

amusement park ho scale

amusement park ho scale

HO layout

model train tunnel plaster

And here’s a video – a bit dark, but that’s to show off the lights:

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Still going strong!

A huge thanks to Jack for sharing his amusement park HO scale. A wonderful narrative and pics – every layout has its frustrations, and Jack’s is no exception.

It also goes to show your theme can be anything you want it to be – here’s a short list of some of the different themes on the blog:

Old west themed model trains

Bermuda model railway

New England themed layout

50s theme layout

Disney world model train

Harry Potter model railway

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you decide to get busy and stop dreaming, 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.

30 Responses to Amusement park HO scale – Jack’s

  1. Rod Mackay says:

    The first job I ever wanted was brakeman on the roller coaster at Barry Island, it was a classic wooden one with ” scenery” attached (i.e. mostly plywood sheets painted to look like snow-covered mountain peaks) and a couple of part-hidden sidings where they could put away and maintain the trains. Fascinating but sadly long demolished now. Thanks for the memories Jack, nice work.

  2. NJ Mark says:

    Your residential area is wonderful. I really like the pool water effect. Great job. Cheers! NJ Mark

  3. Dwight in Toronto says:

    Nice job Jack. I hope the Woodland Scenic “water” works for you … it was a huge failure on my layout. Looked great for about 3 months, then developed littlle air bubbles, some of which grew into golf-ball sized blisters. Had to cut out 2 square feet of scenery and start all over, using a two-part epoxy “water”. So much better, even three years later. Good luck!

  4. Dan o wise says:

    Top shop work in all corners my trains show ing a little neglect been flying model planes this year. But will get back to trains after this. Keep um coming.

  5. Ray, Massachusetts says:

    Awesome work Jack. I assume this is HO? I have a N scale carnival and the amusement rides are hard to come by in N. Yours looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Bruce says:

    Great, Jack. Show more as you go.

    Al, link to Jack’s last post takes one back to Lawrence’s. Just a slight inconvenience, but understandable with all the daily “bennies” you provide to your sharing all.

    Thanks, Bruce in SC USA

  7. Joe Cavilla says:

    Nice use of the left over sprues. Very nice layout and workmanship.

  8. Perry says:

    where did you find the playground stuff?

  9. David Hannan says:

    Love the swimming pool!

  10. Linda says:

    Jack, Great job so far. Love all the details on the residential area, especially the pool and the lattice with flowering vines on the car port, and the children’s play set. The amusement park has a great start. Keep the pictures coming.
    Linda, PA

  11. pat says:

    Jack you wouldn’t recognise dorney park today damn shame

  12. Terry says:

    Nice job….but noticed the liquor & wine bottles in the background of the first picture. Now THAT’S the way to run a layout! lol

  13. Jonathan Felgenhauer says:

    Jack, the funny thing about your amusement park is that i just got a job at Dorney Park. I like what you are doing with it.

  14. Joe graham says:

    also agree with the wine and liquor bottles in the background, oh, great looking layout 🙂

  15. Dennis Highsmith says:

    thanks for the memories, Jack! as a kid growing up in Philly in the mid 60’s, Dorney Park was my favorite place to go!

  16. Michael R. McCabe says:

    Jack, does that supply of wine in the background help with your creativity?

  17. Jack Bury says:

    The playground stuff is from Noch. Got it on line.
    I live in Allentown so I know the evolution of Dorney Park. It is far different than when I was a kid.
    Ich denke, soll ich Deutsch lernen

  18. Love the swimming pool!!

  19. skip says:

    very nice setup one day ill get there.
    could u send me a diagram of a dpot ( double pole double thro ) so I could up my DIGITRAX PR3 AND THE MAIN LINE.
    there r all kinds of video’s but I couldn’t print them out can u help.

  20. Idris Dixon says:

    Yeah I agree with Rod of Barry now he mention it, but Jack, I hope you are going to create some sort of fencing between the park and the railway track, you know what kids are like or the council is likely to close you down, otherwise very good

    Idris Pencoed (Wales)

  21. Ben Olson says:

    Jack, I love the playground scene and the pool scene…very creative! I hope you will post again as I’d like to see what you do with the mountain scene. Keep up the great work and please share your progress in the future!

  22. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Nice work Jack… the house with the pool……..wish I had one in my back yard right now.

  23. Will in NM says:

    Jack: Very nice work! Your carnival rides and Dorney Park signs and ticket booth look great. I also liked the backyard swimming pool and fencing. Now all it needs is a couple of bathing beauties in bikinis on those chaise lounges. 🙂

    Your video was very well done. Thanks for running the train at a reasonable speed — it makes the layout seem bigger than 4×8. Your residential area could use some lights in the houses and streetlights. Dangerous Dave has posted videos of how he’s added LED lights to his structures very inexpensively. Also, the Woodland Scenics Just-Plug system is an easy way to add lighting, though a bit expensive compared to Dave’s Chinese LEDs.

    All in all, your layout is looking very good. Please keep us posted as it progresses.

  24. Erick says:

    Very Very kool.!!!!!! I hope mine comes out that good.

  25. Brian Olson says:

    Sure appreciate all the creative work we see here!

  26. Steve, Lins, UK says:

    To Bruce at 11:43…Al’s link looks correct to me – you need to scroll down to get to Jack’s post.

  27. Bob Meriam says:

    Great work so far. Love the carnival area, something I always wanted to do. You have rekindled some of those ideas. Nice layout!

  28. Marc Robert Recker says:

    I don’t know how the crossing gates work, but they should be down be4 the train enters the crossing & not when the train is in the crossing. Other wise nice layout.

  29. robert dale tiemann says:

    i have always loved trains with circuses, roller coasters, theme parks. nice job.

  30. william james palmer says:


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