More fantastic pics from Tom

Wow! Tom has kindly sent in more pics after all your comments from last time.

If you missed his last post, it’s here.

But Tom – it’s a video we all want to see!

Just an amazing layout. A big thank you, Tom. We’ve all enjoyed your talent.

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.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

88 Responses to More fantastic pics from Tom

  1. Gene says:

    love the dirt and old rail town feel of his work….railroads are typically dirty seedy looking places and not all glitz and shine…loved the junk piles,dirty places,vehicles and bad roofs of his buildings as it totally removes any feel of the dreaded “plasticville” look that many think looks good…Great job!

  2. Cameron says:

    Keep em coming Tom. Brilliant layout.

  3. Bernard and Jayne says:

    What about that then? The attention to small detail really does do the business
    With so much clutter and junk lying about it puts me in mind of my own

    Tom has got to be congratulated on producing a really interesting layout ,long may he do so, in the meantime thankyou for letting us see all those layouts and of course the tips .
    Best Regards Bernard and Jayne (just down the road from the Severn ValleyRailway)

  4. Walter N. says:

    Double WoW ! I so like the uncluttered look of what I have seen. It seems to be a lots art ?

    Thank you again for all you have offered and allowed us all to view these many months, it is truly a pleasure.

    Thank you

  5. Pat Taylor says:

    An outstanding job with some of the best attention to detail I have seen. Great Job!!!!!

  6. Larry says:

    This series by Tom is excellent. Seeing the detail in the rustic settings – a steam locomotive on a city street – various settings displaying men at work. I almost expected to see an old corn silo beside a rural station. Many years ago the one in our village burned to the ground because of internal combustion. It burned for almost a week. The alcohol in there must have been potent. It couldn’t be put out by our local fire department so it was left to its fate.

  7. Larry says:

    Another comment. A video might be okay too, but would it take away from what we are seeing here??

  8. Steve says:

    Very,very cool. Gave me a stiffy.

  9. He’s got more talent in his little finger than I have in my whole body! fantastic and very realistic layout.

  10. Jake says:

    Tom, the pictures are fantastic. I like the pictures because I have time to look over all the little details that have been put into the scene. With video, things are moving to fast to catch all of that. Keep sending those “still” pictures. I enjoy every one of them.

  11. eduardo says:

    Fantastic very realistic.
    Me parece un trabajo muy realista y acabado, con lujo de detalles.

  12. Alan Boswell says:

    Hi, The whole layout is brilliant, but those building are amazing.

  13. John Wisnieski says:

    Exceptionally nice Tom, very detail oriented. Keep up the great work.

  14. Greg says:

    Your pictures Tom are amazing and extremely realistic. Do you make your buildings from scratch? If so what materials do use use and what manufactures do you use for doors, windows, siding and roofs.

    Also how do you make your trees

  15. Cord says:


  16. Don Garner says:

    Tom – What a fantastic looking layout. It’s hard to build a structure straight and true. I can only imagine how hard it is to build one that looks run-down, dilapidated and worn-out. Great job. Looking forward to the movie!

  17. kenn says:

    This is awesome! I love the rustic look. The detail is great. I sure wish that I could get my scenery to look as real. Thanks for sharing these pictures. They are inspiring.

  18. Chris says:

    Really cool pics, love the attention to detail

  19. Austin Wilson says:

    Beautiful layout and really nice photos. Love it, thanks for sharing.

  20. K Cunningham says:

    very real looking… great job

  21. Raymond Bove says:

    Absolutely fabulous. Far too many layouts and Rolling stock are much too pristine. The only drawback (nitpicking) is that all that wonderful detailing does detract from the actual railway.

  22. Allen Bachelder says:

    Every scene tells a story. Not just incredibly skilled detail work, but fantastic imagination as well. Congratulations!

  23. Arnie Steiner says:

    Tom – superior workmanship! All the accolades given you are well deserved. The attention to minute scenic detail is second to none. Love the era and the superb weathering from vehicles to buildings to trash and miscellaneous objects. Figures always add another dimension to any setting and yours have special appeal given the many with unique features (like the man in the deep sea diving suit…).

    I would love to see a video; a sort of tour of the layout following a train around the layout. I’m sure it would be amazing if mixed with photos to stop the action as the video reaches points of visual interest. The photo would give the viewer time to digest the amazing details. Then the video would continue from there doing the same thing with other photos along the route… And the atmosphere you’ve captured in photos would be maintained if shot under soft flourescent lighting to allow for shadows and eliminate any harsh glaring.

    Magnificent. Keep up the good work!

  24. jim says:

    A true artist at work!! beautifully done!! You truly bring this layout to life in the work that has been performed. Thislooks just like pictures i have seen from the past its like you hae went pack in time and are able to live there. Lol truly inspirational.

  25. THOMAS says:


  26. Stuart says:

    The detail is just wonderful and finished off so brilliantly. Well done and please send more if you can, it’s inspiring

  27. Pete Wotring says:

    sure could use your talent on my layout-SUPERIOR

  28. Skip says:

    Thanks for these great pics. There are some MRR scene recreations that evoke feelings of having been there once, perhaps in a past life? ;>})

    And these are just so…



  29. Denny says:

    Can you tell me who makes that “switcher” engine in the last photo? Think it’s On3.
    Outstanding weathered old steam town!

  30. mike Severance says:

    WOW!!! Excellent photos and that layout is amazing. I’ve never been a big fan of that old time style of layout but this one is awesomely detailed and crafted. I give it two thumbs up for both of you guys.

  31. pete dechant says:

    hey tom only thing is I don’t think they had the rr crossing back in those days

  32. pete dechant says:

    boy this is awesome wish I could do something like this!!!

  33. Barry Rowe says:

    I think I have been to this town! Thanks for sharing with us. Very skillfully made layout.


  34. SHELDON PHX. AZ. says:

    Wonderful job ! I love your attention to detail.
    As always I would love to have an idea of the over all project.
    Gauge, dimensions ect.

  35. Robert Tennison says:

    Wow! Tom, how do you do that? Amazing details, especially the buildings!
    BUT, you need to hold a town counsel meeting and get the town to fund a beautification project to clean up all the trash and debris.
    Great layout!

  36. tom in az says:

    Well Tom my name is Tom also I have a N scale and am working on a hO. I guess all the great comments have been made, so true all of them. I would love to know about your buildings, if you scratch build or kits? You have to me the best realistic work I have ever seen, and I have see a lot. I would love to watch you work. Your and insperation to us all. I would love to see a full pic of the overall layout, Fantastic work!!!!!! Tom in AZ

  37. Jim says:

    Simply great!!! Ya gotta love the the small details and the feeling of being true to life. Again, great job.

  38. absolute WOW love it!

  39. Victor Heffern says:

    I have never seen such beautiful weathered houses. You did a remarkable job. Thanks for sharing Vic

  40. Fred Pohl says:

    I like your layout It looks ON3 and It seems like a throwback to the early fifties This would take me back to my childhood days The only narrow guage I rode and photogtagpned was Disney and Busch Gardens I would like to get to Colorado to Photogragph the Cumbrec Toltec & Scenic I been to Skagway Alaska If I got a few shots of rolling stock I was doing good I did acquire a VHS for My VCR I’m basicly electric traction orineted but if steam is there I will photogragph it come hell or high water

  41. Earl Hoppe says:

    Man this is GREAT

  42. Rich Fath says:

    Fantastic attention to detail. Thank you for sharing!!!

  43. Jerry says:

    Those are oh so awesome. How I wish I had 1/3 the insight and skill to make a layout like that.

  44. Linda says:

    Wonderful job. Great detail and realism. Keep the pics coming.

  45. JerryMitch says:

    GREAT looking layout! GREAT detail! B U T, I do not understand the telegraph/electric poles. How much better the over all scene would be with them complete with wires especially if you are promoting you’r modeling. It is that lack of detail that really takes away from the whole scene. No excuses about the wires being more trouble than being worth it. I have never had a problem and the positive comments are worth it. Otherwise, nice job!

  46. Don Jessup says:

    Tom is an extraordinary model builder. On30 yes? Getting the scale and realistic weathering, dust, mud, etc. just right is an amazing feat. Pics of the overall layout would be really be captivating…perhaps at a future date? Thank you for sharing and here’s hoping you continue for many more years. Thanks again…Don

  47. Robert Shuman says:

    Just amazing work. Truly inspiring. Thank you!

  48. Warren Ferguson says:

    Tom, these are wonderful pictures of a truly outstanding layout. This is exactly the kind of period work I would love to create in my HO layout. I don’t, of course, hope to achieve the kind of work you’ve done, but it sure gives me a target. Simply the Best! Keep up the superb work, and please, send more pics and a video. Thanks, Warren ( modeling the L&N in Alabama, USA.)

  49. Art Peterson says:

    Most impressive!

  50. Richard Scott says:

    WOW !! I have been a model railroader for over fifty years and I have very rarely seen anything that compares to his realism and detail. Wonderful !

  51. David A. Massimi says:

    wow, Wow, WOW ! That is phenomenal !
    Each scene is a story in itself….you are very talented and remarkably creative…have never seen anything so interesting except reality itself, which you have re-created beautifully.
    Thanks so much for sharing with the rest of us….i too would be happy to see more!
    Dave, in NY

  52. THOMAS says:

    hey tom, super layout best i have seen in a long time beautiful work.
    nice to see originality in a layout.
    what materials did you use to make the dirt roads and junk yard.

  53. Ross Johnston says:

    Great photos Tom! Your detail is amazing. However I, like many others, would love to see a video of your layout. Keep up the great work. Cheers Rossco Adelaide, South Australia

  54. Ray Suckling says:

    Great work Tom. only one question, where did you get you vintage automobiles from? I have been looking for something like that for ages to no avail.
    Ray Au……..

  55. Peter Modrow says:

    Spectacular! Please share some how to pics, videos, night scenes or whatever.
    This is wonderful.

  56. Stephen Gispanski says:

    Tom, fantastic beautiful work. So real looking, the old houses to the woods with blow down trees. I was looking for some wild animals but did not see any, probably an oversight on my behalf. But I have to say, Out standing lay out. I like to see more, is there any chance that you can show the blue prints of your lay out?
    Thank you for showing what you have so far.
    S.D.G. St.Petersburg Florida.

  57. Hemi says:

    Beautiful Layout!!!!! NICE done and in my “era” of desire! STEAM!

  58. Bob Vernon says:

    Some of the best railroad modelling I have ever seen, absolutely stunning….

  59. Keith A. Myers says:

    Good evening, after looking over your pic of your layout, I must say you have done a dam good job. Keep on trucking!!!!!!!! Thanks for a good looking layout.

    Keith A. Myers

  60. G. Von Wollenberg says:

    Spectacular! Beautiful narrow gauge layout. Jealous.
    Geoff, Dallas TX

  61. Wm althsus says:

    Your level of detail is incredible! It feels real. Well done!!! Bill in Virginia

  62. George from Long Island, NY says:

    your artistic talents are amazing and so appreciated. Your hard work is also noticed and admired. The detail and realism makes me spend some time on each pic because I don’t want to miss anything. Your audience now demands more of you in description, more about you, and more about videos.
    I hope you now know how important you are in the AL loop.

  63. p says:

    great photos will help me peter

  64. Choochoo52 says:

    A man of talent and patience. neither of which I possess obviously. Wonderful!

  65. Rube Simon says:

    I especially like the shot with the storm in the background (dark area in the wall behind it). The rest – all so real! Incredible. Makes me wish I could go there and take a deep whiff of the ambiance.

  66. Bill says:

    Wonderful layout Tom so realistic!

  67. Chuck Wendt says:

    Great scenery, greater imagination. I really enjoy your sharing your talent. CW

  68. Chip Aderholdt says:

    Absolutely Fantastic, Great talent

  69. Gary Mitchell says:

    Great looking layout Tom

  70. Ed Lustigman says:

    Really awesome modeling, thanks for sharing

  71. Andrew Aves says:

    WOW! Magnificent model

  72. David Schaffner says:

    Wow! What a realistic feel to an old town which reminds me of a neighborhood I lived in when I was growing up….Love the old building which all had such an amazing look of a poor town….Love the half hidden cars and the rustic train…Where did you get those old cars? You are a true landscaper on the miniature scale. Great job..Liked the seemingly old houses with that old feel to them…One of the best layouts I have seen….Great photography..

  73. Sid Pratt says:


  74. Wade Monn says:

    Now that is a truly inspiring layout! The gritty look and feel is captivating !

  75. Will in NM says:

    Tom, That’s a great looking layout you’ve created. It looks like On30 or On3 to me and that 1/48th scale gives you some help in creating such excellent details. The dilapidated buildings and worn look of the trains reminds me of George Selios’ fabulous Franklin & South Manchester layout. I’d love to see a video, a track plan and some higher resolution photos of your layout.

    Oh, and ignore the guy who complained about your missing telephone and power wires. I agree that would be a nice addition, but it’s your creation and you can do it however you like.

  76. William Wiles says:

    To me this some one who is enjoying model rail roading and who has done an excellent job of creating old looking as well as newer buildings. Herein Canada the navy has an expression, ” Bravo Zulu ”. Remarkable work !! No, I served in the RCAF.

  77. Andrew in Johannesburg RSA says:

    WOW. SO much character. Wonderful detail. Judging from the period depicted, I thought there might have been a prohibitionist, Al Capone type of car chase with them racing away from a still! Love the detail. Well done!!

  78. CARL ANGDAHL says:

    Great pictures. Gives a body time to really absorb the details. Realistic is an understatement for your work. Do you hire out?

  79. Gerald Edgar says:

    Defines ‘detailing’!

  80. I Love the dirt roads. Where did you find all the old cars?? And is that a 49-50 Studebaker parked next to the fence in pictures 5 and 10?

    Ms Jackie

  81. Doug Calderwood says:

    I can’t add anything, everyone else has said it all. The only thing missing is a full view of the layout. I certainly wouldn’t mind a video. I think this is one of the best Era displays ever. Doug C.

  82. Neal Jeffrey Perry says:

    You’ve dome ramshackle amazingly well! Great work photographing as well.


  83. matiSon says:

    Tom has made the type of layout that I was trying to make. It is very interesting and realistic. Instead, what I did turned out too neat, too idealistic. I really like this one.

  84. Bruce Young Sr says:

    LOVE the old look like it’s a scene for back up in the holler of Tennessee. You captured the essence of a bygone era.

  85. Tony Weisbecker says:

    WOW ! ! ! rural America as it once was , excellent display with such realism .. Simply wonderful the steam era was .

  86. Dr. Jon says:

    I love the way you did your streets. A publication on this process would be priceless…

  87. Steve Ruple says:

    Love the awesome pictures, great job !!!!!!!

  88. robert dale tiemann says:

    great detail. good pictures. nice job.

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