“Hi Al! Long time subscriber but first time to share my work and tips from my layout.
To begin, a little about where I come from as my layout reflects aspects of my life and my hometown. I am a pharmacist and 43 years old and live in Bardstown, KY (also known as the bourbon capital of the world).
I have loved electric trains since my first set when I was 7 years old from the 80’s – a TYCO Chattanooga Choo Choo – which I still own today and it still operates! I am also a huge baseball fan, not only of MLB but also enjoy baseball movies, etc.
My wife and I met when we were 16 years old. She worked as a waitress on the My Old Kentucky Home Dinner Train that RJ Corman Railroad Corporation owns and operates here in Bardstown. She grew up on a dairy farm and her father still farms to this day.
Anyway, enough about me and my history but I had to share some of it because my layout is of no particular place or industry, but instead a culmination of my memories and experiences throughout my life – all condensed on a 4 x 8 HO scale layout!
It features a dairy farm with pond, a “Field of Dreams” baseball field (complete with kids from “The Sandlot” playing ball) made into the cornfield across the road from the dairy farm, a little general store similar to the one down the road from where I grew up, and a distillery rickhouse similar to one you would find here in Bardstown storing and aging barrels of bourbon at the Heaven Hill property.
The layout can be switched from DC to DCC with a toggle switch so I can run both my old TYCO locomotives (and a replica of the dinner train that my wife worked on as a waitress when we dated) as well as my Athearn RTR locomotives with sounds. I also installed a small Bluetooth speaker in the water tower near the baseball field and can play background sounds from a little league ballpark while running the trains.
Then final product:
The one tip I wanted to share is that about how I made the cornfield. I surely didn’t want to plant each individual stalk of corn because I would have been cross-eyed and out of money to do it properly to look realistic!
I found a way to make a decent sized cornfield for less that $25 and it turned out pretty good in my opinion. First I started with buying an outdoor coconut husk welcome mat that one would put at the entrance into their house. It was already a golden brown color, plain and uniform, and able to be cut to whatever shape I wanted.
Once I cut it to shape, I spray painted over the top with a medium dark green and let dry completely for a few days. Once dry, I used a wire brush and scrubbed over the top that I painted and brought back remnants of the golden brown color through the green and it creates the look of tassels on the corn! Then just glue it down to the location of your choice on the layout! The thickness of this mat is perfect height for a maturing cornfield!
Happy model railroading!
Jacob from Kentucky”
A huge thanks to Jacob – I do love it when folk create their own themes from their own lives. Wonderful!
That’s all for today folks, please do keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to recreate your youth on your layout.