Jim presses on with his layout

“Hello all, from across the Big Pond It’s Jim Volmer Sr. with an new update on my dream layout.

I have finally decided to name the new layout after my best friend. Her name is Starr and she is now eleven years old. Not my child, my children are all grown. NO Starr is my Doberman. Starr is my sweetheart, very loving, and highly protective of me. When my ex-wife would go off and get stupid acting toward me, Starr would go in front of me and sit there, just waiting for her to do something really stupid. Thank goodness, my ex-wife would back down. So since she is my loving companion I thought the best way to remember her would be to name the layout after her, and therefore the railroad will be called STARR POINT, and no, Starr does not know how to point.

Ok now onto the update. The following pictures are of the MOUNTAIN. In the last update I showed the beginning of the mountain shape with the cardboard strips being used. So here is that last picture once again.

The picture does not tell the mere size of the mountain. It measures 4 feet 3 inches from north side to the south side, 2 feet 5 inches deep and 18 inches high. Whew, that is a very big mountain. It contains three portals, and two sets of track, one set that climbs up through the inside of the mountain to the 6 foot bridge that leads to the reverse loop and cargo terminal. The lower track runs through the mountain from the south portal to the north portal, exists and runs along the river that sits in the front of the mountain.

So here is a picture of the mountain with the screen installed and one with the plaster cloth also installed. It took 5 rolls of plaster cloth to cover the mountain and the river area.

This picture is looking back 6 feet ( the distance from the mountain to the end of the bridge area ) toward the mountain.
For the portals of the mountain entrances, I decided to use rock ‘ out cropping ‘ from the old mountain. When I dismantled the old layout, I saved most of the rock out cropping to use on the new layout. I still have to make some to replace the ones I could not save, but that is okay.

The first picture is of the North Lower Portal with the rocks installed. It took approximately 30 minutes to complete this opening.

The picture above shows the South Lower Portal without the rocks installed. I wanted to show how dramatically the portals look once the rocks were installed and how they enhance the opening appearance.

And here you can see the dramatic difference the rocks once installed make the opening stand out so much more. There are many, many other options available for tunnel portals. Since this is a mountain area, what better material to use than rock ‘out cropping’s ‘ made using HYDROCAL. As you will notice the ‘PORTAL ENTRANCE’ that takes the train(s) to the upper level is not completed here. It will be completed shortly and included in the next update.

On the top of the mountain will be trees, lots and lots of trees, along with a HO Lionel operating Radar Tower and some out buildings in “N” scale for ‘force perspective’ It should look pretty neat once it is fully completed.

The ‘river’ area in front of the mountain shown below will include people fishing both on land and

from a boat. I am also going to include HO ROCK CLIMBERS for the mountain. I think it would be neat to have rock climbers climbing to the top of the mountain.

Well that is all for now. In the next update I will be showing the COMPLETED MOUNTAIN less the climbers for now the river completed less the men fishing, HO PROGRAMABLE TURNTABLE, and HOLDING TRACKS FOR THE ENGINES plus much more.

Jim Volmer Sr”

Big thanks to Jim – hope you enjoyed this post as much as me.

Lots about on the latest ebay cheat sheet at the mo. I have no idea why.



12 Responses to Jim presses on with his layout

  1. mICHAEL gIBB says:

    That looks realy great

  2. Austin Wilson says:

    WOW, that is an incredible mountain,love it Jim. Love the name of the layout as well, very nice to name it after your dog who loves you and protects you. Happy railroading, I love my HO scale trains and layout. Take care. Austin.

  3. Ron Schultz says:

    nice start hope you left some type of “in the tunnel acess” in event of derailments ect.

  4. ben miller says:

    looks great gives me a chance to change some of mine around

  5. Leon Tucker says:

    I was wondering what happens if you have a derailment inside the mountain? Is there an access to get to it….


  6. D.B. Lewis says:

    Jim, nice job on the model, and a very useful short tutorial as well … I’m inspired now to work in my yellow laborador’s name, as she was to me what Starr was to you.

  7. Tom says:

    Rock out cropping looks stunning. It does allow the portals to stand out. Nice thought … Great work!

    About your Doberman Starr “Starr Point” a wonderful name for a model railroad layout. A loving tribute to your best friend. AWESOME

    Can’t wait for the update. That mountain.

    thanks Al for sharing!

    best regards,


    PS going to e-bay

  8. Jim I think you are doing a great job, on your lay out. Keep up the great work. Keep us updated.

  9. Neal Marrison says:

    Very nice job, Jim!!

  10. Yolli says:

    Awesome mountain…makes my little n scale one look like a bump in the horizon…lol…Im naming my layout after Dr Who as I am a huge fan of the show…Ill post some pix when Im a bit further along. Its my first layout, so its a big learning curve & Im so thankful for all the tips…cheers from Down Under

  11. the how to of the mountain is great have filed it for the future. am looking forward to follow up photos.

  12. THOMAS says:


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