Model railroad building lighting

Fred’s been back in touch with some model railroad building lighting that will make your eyes water with envy.

(His last post is here.)

“Hi Alastair –

Check out the backdrop, for which some separate photos, and also some photos showing the weird perspective of my oil refinery access road through the refinery.

It always amazes me to see the kinks in a straight line you have to impose between modeled road and rendered extension on a vertical backdrop.

I think that the visual tricks of backdrop making are probably the most stimulating and satisfying parts of my project.

Amy questions, please let me know.


model railroad led lighting

model railroad led lighting

model railroad led lighting

harbor layout

model railroad led lighting

model railroad led lighting

LED train lights

harbor layout

It’s a bit of a squint to see Fred’s video, but sorry, not much I can do about that.

(Here’s the bigger version on youtube.

A huge thanks to Fred – his layout is a real joy to see. It looks just as good at night as it does in the day.

Now on to Mike:

“Hi Al,

With time on my hands, bought a coffee at the local coffee shop and grabbed a stir stick, my imagination went off the rails.

$5 bought me a box of 1000 stir sticks, a quick drawing, small saw and glue and I was off.

The framing is mostly done now the roofing and siding, followed by trim and windows. I can stay locked down for a bit longer.

Shed fits my 4-8-4 American Flyer steamer.

Mike Acebo

East Marion NY”

engine house

engine shed

locomotive shed

freight house

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget, if want to make your start on your layout, just like Mike did, 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.

model train answers

24 Responses to Model railroad building lighting

  1. Ralph Berry says:

    Splendid nigh time scene Fred, well worth all the work you have put in. Thank you for sharing .

    A splendid model Mike. A lot of trouble to go to but very rewarding result.

  2. Robert Brady says:

    Fred it amazes me the patience you have and the ingenuity involved in assembling those LEDs to make the scenes come alive. Bravo !
    The Critic

  3. Herman Crauwels says:

    Dear Fred,
    Fantastic project thanks for chearing with os!
    HC Treintje Herman Crauwels

  4. Brian Olson says:

    Amazing work, and that picture of the maze of wiring reminds me why I didn’t include lights on the layout I built after retiring!

  5. Rob McCrain says:

    What vision Fred had when he planned his lighted cityscape wonderland. The perspective and integration of the bridge and buildings into one breathtaking scene is a fantastic accomplishment. Nice going. Maybe someday, I will have a chance to steal or instead emulate some of your ideas.
    Rob McCrain

  6. George Zaky says:

    No one comes close to you for making a city scene with such realistic lighting. Bravo. Behind the scene shows how hard you worked to get those affects.
    If I’m not mistaken, a long time back, you had those vehicles running on that bridge. I would guess Magnorail. Do they still run?
    A fellow American Flyer guy. Ask Big Al for my email-I live in Middle Island and we can compare notes.
    Big AL
    Great stuff

  7. Bill in Virginia says:

    Both posts are fantastic. The detail and time spent for the lighting and the engine shed build have both produced incredible results.

  8. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Fred……Awesome…….that really is the best night scene I have ever seen for a layout. Great work. Beautiful

    Mike…….send pictures when finished with the engine house…looking good.

  9. william j plmer says:

    amazing work

  10. robert dale tiemann says:

    lots of wires, wow. loks like spaghetti. mine isnt quite that bad but, you need the power. very nice layout.

  11. Fred Costello says:

    Fred has raised model railroading craftsmanship to higher level of art form. Congrats for achieving an unsurpassed level of excellence!

  12. Nancy says:

    Very NICELY done, Gentlemen. Mike, your structure will doubtlessly pass County Codes. But Fred, the Electrical Instector will “Red Tag” you if he catches a glimpse of that back side!!
    Wonderful Fun. This is the best part of my day!!

    Nancy from Sequim

  13. Pat Robertazzi says:

    Fred, one word. WOW!!

  14. Dr. Jon Blake says:

    You talk about beautiful stick construction… That train barn is awesome. I am building a replica of our family retreat in Wisconsin and I appreciate what Fred has done.

    This one will stay in my memory bank!

  15. Glyn Jones says:

    What a fantastic achievement Fred- stunning landscape effect and perspective and as others have commented, a monumental effort in wiring and fiber optics! I can but dream of achieving lighting like that…

  16. Glenn Dean Holden says:

    Wow- I thought my lighting was good, but your’s is fantastic !!

  17. Charles J Eyster says:

    Fred, how many times does it you to gain the proper depth perception for the lights at the end of the long street? It would take me twenty years to accomplish that half as well as you have done. True artistry and talent my friend! Bravo!!!

  18. Larry S Green says:

    It is fun making something that is worth something out of something that is worth almost nothing.

  19. robert dale tiemann says:

    stunning saya it all.that was a lot of hard work and love put into that layout.

  20. Brian Olson says:

    My previous layout had lots of lights, fun to creat day to darkness. My new layout id daylight only, but so admire those who string all those TINY wires everywhere!

  21. Steve Ruple says:

    Nice scratch built engine house Mike, looks awesome.

  22. Rich B. says:

    Yes indeedy, looks exactly what was done with integral filter black lighting and fluorescent paint. Stuff would just jump out at you, but of coarse fiber optics today. Seriously a dab of paint in each window or anywheres did it.

    Have seen this before but could view daily it’s so intricate, detailed and unusual. Just as everything is completely different yet the same. Way smarter and advanced past centuries than anybody realizes today. Some things better to of not known about ever certainly.


  23. John Simms says:

    Love the AF Mike Acebo. I’m building my AF layout in T&P livery.

  24. Jeff in Seattle says:

    Yes, this has always been one of my favorite layouts in every way! Not being very “electrical minded” myself. I stand in awe of what fellow modelers have accomplished. Bravo!!!

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