HO scale fairground

Jack’s been in touch again. He’s been busy adding his HO scale fairground scene:

(His last post is here.)

“Hi Al,

I made some progress on the amusement park. I didn’t know what to do for the base of the park, so I decided to just do it all in concrete. I can add planters later with flowers and such.

I went to Home Depot to get some more flooring samples but there weren’t any. Looks like they no longer sell sheet vinyl. I found two vinyl floor tiles that look like concrete, so I bought them. I cut them to fit the space. They were a little shiny so I sprayed them with Dull Coat.

The old Dorney Park had a pond with swans and sea lions which you could feed. I decided to add a pond and don’t you know you can get ho gauge swans and sea lions. So they are on order.

I got some fencing that is fancier than the chain link fence Dorney Park had, but I wanted something decent looking since the park is across the street from the church. The fence has brick pillars and iron fencing. I put it together in about 6” sections using a jig I made. It’s too flimsy to make longer sections. I’ll glue the sections together as I go.

Between the park and the tracks, I made concrete walls with my flooring samples. I cut them into scale 6′ strips, glued them back to back and curved them to the radius of the track. I painted the top edge brown and glued them to the edge of the ‘concrete’ base.

HO scale fairground

The photos show the jig I made and the concrete base for the park. The concrete walls are in place and I am test fitting the iron fence.

I also wanted something happening at the church, so I got some wedding people.

I also needed a number of cars for my parking lots. I found 50 cars for $15 on line. I knew they wouldn’t be great, but they are OK as fillers. About half the cars are very dark blue, green and black. I’ll be painting some of them lighter colors. They’ll do until I replace them with better ones down the road.

HO scale fairground

HO scale fairground

HO scale fencing

The old Dorney Park had a sky ride with gondolas for 2 people. I couldn’t find any gondolas I liked, so I made some from small plastic Easter eggs. They look pretty much like the original.

Attached are some photos and a video of the park. The video is a little jerky, but captures the essence of the scene.

Jack in PA”

HO scale fairground

HO scale fairground

HO scale fairground

HO scale fairground

HO scale fairground

And now on to Brian:

“Hi Al, I have finished the sawmill at last and placed it on the layout. It just needs to be “bedded” into the surrounds.
This is a continuation of my previous post of building and modifying a Fine Scale Miniatures Sawmill.

Photo below, roof done except for the roof walk and fire barrels

Below, test fit on the layout to make sure all is in the correct place. The crane will be used to offload logs from the log cars as well as the incoming logs by road on trucks.

scratch build

Below, the mitre box used for cutting the roof truss pieces at the correct angle and length.

scratch build sawmill

The five roof trusses assembled.

Final test before carrying on with the building at the workbench.

This is where a lot of time is needed in painting all the details. After the main color, I use a wash to age it and add the used look to the parts. (I use Warhammer washes)

Same procedure used here as above.

I have used 12 volt grain of wheat bulbs in Campbell Scale lamp shades for the interior lighting and run them at 6 volts from a power source under the layout to ensure long lasting lights.

model railroad sawmill

The fun part of the hobby is placing all the bits and pieces in the model.

I spray paint all the metal castings with a light sand color and when dry, I start picking out all the detail and color on them. When this is complete, I then do a black wash over all the parts and do a final dry brush using white acrylic paint from a tube.

Figures in (as close as you can get) positions are placed around the model to bring it to life. I have placed 15 figures around this model.

Two night shots of the sawmill in action.

model railroad sawmill

Final photos of the sawmill on the layout ready to receive the first load of logs.

Total number of hours to build this model is 91. It is an HO Scale model used on my 3 foot narrow gauge layout named the Cascade Creek Railroad.

My next model to build is also a Fine Scale Miniatures kit of a logging repair shed which will be placed to the right of the sawmill above.

Till next time – keep having FUN.


A huge thanks to Brian. I’ve lost count of the wonderful ‘step by steps’ he’s done for us.

And thanks to Jack too, for sharing his HO scale fairground.

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.

39 Responses to HO scale fairground

  1. Roy says:

    Really impressive especially the wrought iron work. Must get back onto mine sooner rather than later.

  2. david howarth says:

    Love that model fairground, well done all round ..dangerou dave

  3. Bob says:

    WOW, that looks great! That fence is outstanding!

  4. NJ Mark says:

    Jack, Dorney Park looks great. I really like the iron gates and fencing. Top notch!! Cheers! NJ Mark PS Clever use of the Easter eggs!

  5. Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    Looks great

  6. Frank Goodman says:

    Perfect. Put a big smile/grin on my face. Good job. Frank G.

  7. Ed says:

    Would have look A lot better if the train MOVED

  8. Frank says:


    Was this modeled after the old Dorney Park in Allentown PA?

  9. Daniel Promen says:


    I really like the iron fencing. Where did you locate it?

    Great job.


  10. Jack Bury says:

    It was modeled after the old Dorney Park in Allentown.

  11. Jack Bury says:

    The fence is Busch 6016 iron fence. I got it at hobby link

  12. Rob McCrain says:

    A really fun layout. Nice to see some frivolity for a change. Well done. Rob McCrain

  13. Robert Pagano says:

    This is some awesome modeling work and thanks for sharing all of your craftsmanship…
    Bobby Pagano

  14. Jim says:

    Truly impressive modeling. Great video too. Nice touch with the suspended gondolas.

    Jim AZ

  15. Bob Walker says:

    Great looking layout… my personal favorite is the comical Hot Dog stand – would love to know where you found that one… 😉
    Bob W in NH, USA

  16. John eaton says:

    Well done Jack and having the music playing as well!! That fairground is a true labour of love my friend!

  17. yeeeow….pretty creative amusement park
    and the wedding at the church is pricless
    keep em runnin fellas
    stJohn in long beach calif

  18. John Bury says:

    The hot dog stand and all the other stands are from Faller.

  19. Warren Ferguson says:

    Wonderful creations, Jack. It’s obvious you put your heart into them. The wrought iron fencing really is inspired. Altogether a fine tribute to Dorney Park. Thank you for sharing your work with us.

  20. Thomas Murphy says:

    Jack, thank you for the trip back in time. I remember Dorney Park well and you brought back fond memories with your great rendition!
    Regards, Tom (USA)

  21. Lee Barry, CEO LZPMRR says:

    excellent work. wish I could do it, since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,stage 4 last March,2016 and also with a collapsed right lung and under chemo treatments at my local nut hospital, the Mtn. Home,Tn /Johnson City,Tn VA Hospital until the treatment decides it no longer will work, so starts all over with something else, which involves installing a “port” in my right chest. I’ve been told if this total procedure works out as well as 40% to 60% as well as the previous one I’m doing good. Hope maybe I can get well enough to mess with my Z gage model railroad.

  22. Christine C says:

    Talk about bringing life into the scene, WOW. I wish I was in HO scale just so I could visit the park and ride the rides.

  23. John Reynolds says:

    very nice work

  24. Paul Selwyn Otway says:


  25. chuck hen says:

    Your Dorney Park is really nice, if this is Allentown Pa, maybe it had a Zepher ride. Not certain, but 16″ gauge comes to mind..

  26. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great pictures good video nice lighting through out. thanks for sharing.

  27. John Bury says:

    It did have a Zepher train. Not sure the gauge

  28. jim Sulkosky says:

    Looks great jack keep up the great work.

  29. Jim says:

    Awsome! Easter eggs! Who would have ever thunk of that

  30. george zaky says:

    Awesome! Beyond clever and masterful. From regular stuff to wonderland. Much thanks for the description
    Wow. It would take me 91 hours just to plan something like that. What a fabulous creativity. Top notch modeling. Thanks
    George from NY

  31. Gordon Valentine says:

    Jack B.
    I like the way you used the Dorney Park. Remined me of when we lived in Macunge

  32. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Hi Brian
    Your build of the logging workshop is very very good. I like all the detail of the workshop equipment, the lighting is very well done. It fits in well on your layout.
    I have only one criticism and that is the logs awaiting processing are just far to shiny/reflective. Unless it is a very wet day, and by the dress of the workers its not raining. perhaps a bit of matting agent would take the reflection off.. A very small criticism for a fine piece of modelling. Well done

  33. Marklin ed says:

    I work at a saw mill, it never looked so clean. Need to put sawdust around the building and bark pieces. And slabs. Just an idea. It is a great job, very wonderful.You did a great job.

  34. Will in NM says:

    Jack, I really enjoyed your recreation of Dorney Park. Great attention to detail! But how do the people in the easter egg skyride get down from it? Clever use of linoleum to make your concrete base for the park. The calliope music to go with the video was perfect.

    Brain, Thanks for the step by step photos of your FSM sawmill. You have more patience than I do. I’ve got the FSM sawmill kit, the Keystone bandsaw mill kit, and the Sierra West Models Deer Creek sawmill kit, but haven’t had the guts or time to tackle the work of actually building even one of them. Your example may finally give me the courage to try one of them.

  35. PAT I says:

    Jack being from the lehigh valley(Bethlehem) I loved that someone did old dorney park brings bach a lot of memories thanks for the trip back in time ps don’t forget the parking lot on the hill and Castle Rock Gardens or the road thru the park with the cop directing traffic and yelling ay us kids bolting out of our cars to get french fries thanks again great job and thanks for the memories would love to see it in person

  36. Robert Rigter says:

    Awesome work!

    Question; has anybody done a aerial tramway or mountain trolley yet?

    Would seem a natural for a model mountain railroad layout…. 🙂

    I keep looking forward to this truly dedicated artistry and craftsmanship. Thank you.

  37. OkieBikerDude says:

    That cinches it, I’m buying a box of wooden coffee stirrers.

  38. Peter Harvey says:

    Wonderful engineering, technical brilliance, artistic beauty with scenery. Can we have some train running, timetables, branch lines and main line running please.

  39. Kevin McArdle says:

    Brian,check out BTS (better than scale) models to complete your model lumber mill. They have amazing craftsman models, and many details available to enhance your already amazing mode. Thanks for sharing.

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