Mike’s DCC video

“Hi Al,

Thank you for the pictures; they are very impressive!

In the spirit of fun, I thought I might share some of my own work.

I’d appreciate some feedback if you are feeling up to it!

Thanks again and looking forward to hearing from you.

Warmest Regards,


These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

These are pictures from my 3 ft x 6 ft n-scale layout

And last time Mike sent in pics of his ‘simple’ DCC layout (if you missed it, it’s here).

Well he’s been kind enough to also send in a video:

Thanks to Karl and Mike. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of looking at all your layouts. Fabulous stuff.

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 ease yourself back into this fine hobby.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

65 Responses to Mike’s DCC video

  1. builder Kim says:

    Wow Mike.That is super nice layout.You got those tree’s all in the right place.The water look great. I noticed you have a bunch of static crossing signal’s. How would you like to get them working sort of. least lighted. I have another idea using a mini rc servo to operate the switches.With the servo you can do away with them switches. Your flicking a switch anyways to change them right. Anyways if you want.Ask Al to ask me and I will send in a fast video of the static crossing signal’s working. also a pic of what I mean with the servo. Again super nice layout.Thank you very much for sending it in.Also Al

  2. Al says:

    Great job on the whole effort.
    What did you use for trees?



  3. colin says:

    By far the best scenery layout I’ve seen in a long while. One or two tiny out of scale items “the rocks at the side of the river” but all in all a great layout and a credit to the builder. Well done keep them coming everyone’s layouts gives, I’m sure, a great deal of enthusiasm to keep building.

  4. Bob Crompton says:

    What can I say but this is a great layout you can see the dedication that you Guys have put into this layout fantastic looks like you are going to need a bigger room, keep up the good work looking forward to any up grades that you do Bob

  5. Ron Schultz says:

    very nice. I loved my helicopter ride over the layout and watching the trains and seeing the town. thanks for sharing it . I think i just heard the call for me to report to the basement and take out the local on the South Point RR. Pick up some cars from the interchange track and deliver them to the proper sidings . Then I think the crew can stop in the town of Grusum and eat in the little place called the Snake Belly Bar and Grill . They serve good food and the prices are right .

  6. mike chissler says:

    Thanks for all the comments. Al, I’d love to see the video of the crossings. One of my next additions will be lighting and crossings. Im not an electrician so I’ll need to get some help

  7. John Gibson says:


    Was temped to ask you to send some pictures of your layout and not the of the town you live in. Fantastic detail. Know my layout will never look as good thanks for sharing


  8. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    @ Karl. Beautiful job! You have a lot going on there yet it doesn’t look “cluttered”
    It all fits together very well. Very well proportioned.

    @Mike Also a very fine layout . I noticed that you have made liberal use of Young Mr. Lees buildings. They look very good, as does your whole display.

  9. Rod Mackay says:

    Lovely overall effect, a great blend of scenic treatment and buildings, looks really natural, well maybe except for the curved viaducts, it had to be a really sticky situation for a railroad to do that, sometimes hard to get away from in a model though. Are you planning to put some wires up for that electric set? It was a labour of love on my layout, but well worth it in the end. The trick is in calculating exactly where the masts need to go to use one of the standard length catenary sections, and sharpish curves do need a lot of masts to keep the wire over the pantograph.

  10. jim morris says:

    Great layout. looks like a lot of time and effort was put into your layout.

  11. Peter says:

    very good layout, density of trees is very real.

  12. Mike Wright says:

    Al! Great job as always.
    I’m trying to figure out how to buy 1 building from your son. Factory. I wish I could also see a larger photo of it. Thanks.

  13. Ron Roedel says:

    “The rocks at the side of the river” are too big” I guess you don’t get out much. How long did it take for you to come up with that criticism on one of the nicest detailed layout I have seen in a long time.
    How about submitting photos or a video of your railroad I would really like to see perfection.

    Ron R

  14. Brent Polson says:

    The greenery definitely makes this layout believable – especially the pic with the road tunnel – looks like a real forest beyond! Great work and attention to detail! The boulders on the riverbank are too polished though – take off the shine and it will look more realistic. Fantastic either way!

  15. William "Sarge" Myrick says:

    Outstanding scenery and track work. The N scale layout I’m building looks a lot like yours. In fact your pictures showed me what was missing in mine on the hills. More trees. Your hills look full, dense. Mine look a little sparse. Time for some more “Super Trees”. (in answer to the question someone posted asking what you used for your trees) If you were in California, I’d drive a hundred miles just to see your layout.
    AL, send me an email on how to send you a couple of pictures.

  16. Cord Reynolds says:

    Beautiful layout, Karl. Especially impressed by the water.

  17. Guy says:

    Unbelievable, ,,what great talent, ,,,best one yet,,,,,keep up the good work. ….

  18. Thomas Meleck says:

    Great looking layout and photos. Love the video where the acela is traveling just a bit faster than the local freight. Terrific. Thanks for posting.

  19. Joe Gray says:

    So impressed with your layout for several reasons.. (1) It seems to be of a small rural atmosphere and (2) you have achieved the epitome of detail and definition…I might ask how long have you worked to get these results… Realizing that a layout is a continuous work in progress, I’m just curious!…Great job.

  20. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    @ Ron R.
    Exactly right ! Entirely too many rivet counters in this HOBBY some times..
    Bill Fitzpatrick

  21. Jim says:

    I am impressed at the complete layout. What a great job. Hopefully mine will be completed shortly.

  22. Peter Jones says:

    Karl, what a fantastic layout, superb scenery buildings and track work. One of the finest layouts I have seen for such a long time.

    Pete “The Mackem” in England

  23. builder Kim says:

    sorry Karl got the name mixed up. I sent Al a few video’s. like more info and I will provide.

  24. Joe Chute says:


    How did you get the water so right? Best I have ever seen.

    Best regards,

    Joe Chute – Columbus, Ohio, USA

  25. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great photos this hobby just brings out so much talent in people.very impressive video nice seeing shots of trains moving and all types of scenery .

  26. Jon B says:

    Amazing layout. I am so impressed with the trees, water, buildings….everything. Great job. Layouts like yours inspire us to keep going. Wow.

  27. Ian Brown says:

    Well Karl, I put three of your shots on my Kindle, and called my wife over. She studied the pictures. Turned to me: “So? What am I supposed to see?” “Um, nothing special.” “Well why did you call me to see nothing special? It’s a pretty place by the railroad in a small town.” Now I am grinning and she is confused. “Dear, it IS a small town. Very small. HO scale small.” “That’s not real?” “Nope.” She looks closely again….walks away shaking her head.

  28. John Reynolds says:

    A truly engaging little layout, (pun intended) very nice, well done.

  29. Jon Irwin says:

    Karl, great scenery, the trees shrubs etc blend very well.the water is great and also the ballast which sometimes gets overlooked on a layout and can undo an otherwise good job. Well done mate looks really good.

    Jon, Canberra Australia.

  30. james says:

    why is there no ballast ?

  31. james says:

    never mind….. he got the molded on roadbed….. ooops

  32. Warner says:

    Love the whole layout. Very well done. The Hydro electrical towers are very impressive. I have been looking for some. Did you build or purchase them? Where are they available if purchased?

  33. jim from nc says:

    Both of these are terrific layouts! I’ve never seen better-looking vegetation anywhere than on Karl’s project. Extremely realistic.

  34. david howarth says:

    Karl has a stunning layout there , looks very realistic , and Mike you have also built a great railroad there , with plenty of detail …Dave

  35. Danny Barr says:

    very nice set up great scenery and buildings

  36. Ian Campbell says:

    Wonderful natural weathering & depth of detail, Karl. Esp. the richness of ground-cover. Everything looks lived-in.
    Scale? It looks HO, but I’m not sure.

  37. James E.Richards says:

    Great job on the scenery and water effect. Nice job on the photos as well

  38. Gerry says:

    Very nice Karl and Mike. Mike, I especially liked your little inner city back and forth commuter…
    Still, as I said in my previous comment of Mike’s photo’s, there is still no way to tell that it’s a DCC layout. For all practical matters you could just as well be running it DC…just sayin’.

  39. Karl,
    Yours is by far the very best scenery I’ve ever seen. Please tell us where did you get the trees or how did you make them. Your entire layout is spectacular and most realistic. Great job! Would love to see a video of your trains running.
    Best wishes,
    Mike M

  40. Don Bartletti says:

    Karl: I don’t live in the South but I’ve worked there on and off and I swear as I looked at your layout photos I could feel and smell the heat, humidity and diesel. Your towering trees & water features all contribute to a vicarious visual experience. Would love to see a video someday. I suggest using a tripod and make 10-15 second clips of different scenes with rolling stock moving by. Don’t hand hold and pan all over town – we don’t want to break a sweat. Be cool Karl!
    — Digital Don

  41. Tom says:

    Karl: with such perfection, you have displayed talent you can offer others. Please describe, with photos, how you do your sidewalks. Unbelievably real.

  42. Terry Fretwell says:

    Great layout. I would love to see a panoramic view of the layout from above.

  43. Billy Mills says:

    Took Dave’s advice & ordered a100 piece pack of the ho scale figures.
    Was somewhat disappointed in them. Quality was poor compared to other figures I currently have & the figures were a head shorter – will probably use ’em on the school ground. They were painted, however the paint job is sloppy & several were not painted at all.
    But Dave may be right though. Placed inside the catches these figures will give some depth to an empty coach.

    Any way, this is just my experience.

  44. Great work Karl! In every aspect each photo got my interest.
    And great video Mike. Lots going on there and that’s cool!

  45. Terry Miller says:

    Excellent layout Mike–but have a question. From :50 sec to 1:03 seconds in the video is a shot of what looks like a street car going from point A to point B and then reversing itself. What did you use to make it do that? I’ve been trying to create the same effect for years but never found the right equipment to make it reverse. Years ago I had a lionel car with a big bumper on the front which moved back and forth to reverse the current and motor…but haven’t found a similar car in HO.
    Thanks in advance for the needed information

  46. Jan Boen says:

    Wow Carl, some pictures are very life like. Great job!

  47. Brad says:

    Trees are fabulous!!! Only reco I can make is to weather the buildings a bit

  48. Stunning scenery. Very, very nicely done…

  49. anthoney king says:

    OMG Awesome layout loved it so much there I’m not sure if you can improve on that thanks for sharing

  50. Martin Wood says:

    The best & most realistic scenery I have ever seen! Over the last 10 years I have attended about 20 rail exhibitions a year & seen many of the UK’s best layouts. Yours possibly has the finest scenery I have ever seen.

  51. Phil says:

    Really impressed with foliage I must redouble my efforts

  52. Rob Schweitzer says:

    Great layout, super pictures, very realistic. Is there a specific reason you don’t seem to have any people in the pictures?

  53. Marshall Roath says:

    The workmanship and detail in this layout are phenomenal. It has the best trackside grass, rocks and roadbed I’ve seen. I am an old graphic designer and did notice the use of the type face Helvetica on the buildings. This face was designed by a Swiss designer in the 60s and not used in the US widely until the late 70s.

  54. Tony G says:

    Mike real nice job professionally thought out and put together.

  55. Chris Warr says:

    Great layout, well done with it all, I can see that you’ve put a lot of effort into this as the results show

  56. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great Layouy!!!

  57. Ruben Simon says:

    Love the trees & greenery! I can’t take my eyes long enough to look at the rest of the layout. I’ll have to go back and look at the rest specifically. Just so real!

  58. Fred Costello says:

    Super realism by dedicated craftsmen!! Simply marvelous 👌👍

  59. Terry Patti says:

    Wow! Best scenery I have ever seen on a layout. Super realistic!

  60. Wow. Everything is perfect. The rail sounds are right on. Thank you.

  61. Gary Thornton says:

    Really magnificent scenery. Well done, especially the river.

  62. Glenn Michalek says:

    Great layout. Allot of time and hard work. Love to see trains with cabooses at the end. Was sad to see then gone. As a kid, use to wave a the guy looking out the window. They always waved back.

  63. Robert says:

    Outstanding layout .
    A lot of time and thought went into it .
    However , you had a trolley running , and I did not get to see it barely . Was it circular track for it , or did it go from one point and then back again ? I was hopeing to see it running through town a little . Just alittle constructive critisiam . The HIGH speed bullit train looked out of place . I never seen one coming around such tight turns .They generally run straight for their time and speed .
    Still , nicely done town and craftsmanship .

  64. Joe y says:

    FANTASTIC! The scenery is simply amazing, I love the density of the vegetation – it really gives it a wow look. The point to point trolley is something I want on my layout as well. As for the curved via duct comment I live very close to one that has been operating non stop since July 4, 1835. Another must have for mine! You REALLY nailed this one Mike.

  65. Malcolm says:

    Very, very nice. The first picture includes a switch (turnout, whatever) that has a manual throw that is not concealed in any way. I was surprised, given the quality of the rest of the layout. Totally unrealistic. There are ways to camouflage things like that. Have to be careful to avoid impeding access to the lever, however.

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