HO scale mountain – Joseph’s

Joseph’s been back in touch, this time with his HO scale mountain build:

(His last post is here.)

“I’ve been really working on the landscaping this last year and here is where I am.

By no means done (are we ever?) but all the big stuff is finished.

HO scale mountain

My HO scale mountain and construction on the West end of the layout.

HO scale mountain

One of the challenges was blending the already completed scenery smoothly with the new section.

HO scale mountain

I added a lot of rock outcroppings here below the HO scale mountain.

HO scale mountain

Here is the west end completed. The logging operation’s water tower can be seen in the background.

model railroad cabin

Looking “east”. Cold storage and oil distribution platform. M.O.W. crane car to the right.

HO scal oil container

Oil distribution tank farm in the foreground.

4-6-0 passenger train

Most of the buildings in place. 4-6-0 passenger train checking all clearances. (For the last time!!!)

4-6-0 passenger train

4-6-0 passenger train

There will be more as I progress.

Enjoying the hobby!


A huge thanks to Joseph for sharing his HO scale mountain build. It’s just fantastic to see your layouts emerge from nothing more than a table and come to life.

There are lots of ‘mountain’ step by steps on the blog – here are a few more few you:

Model train mountain scenery.

Model train foam mountain.

John’s HO mountains.

Glyn’s mountain layout.

All of the above examples (and there are lots more) show in spades that there isn’t ‘one correct way’ for a HO scale mountain build, or any scale come to that.

Every part of this hobby can be attacked in a different way – what feels right for one person, may not be right for you. Just enjoy it!

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.

28 Responses to HO scale mountain – Joseph’s

  1. Bob Godi says:

    Dave, when you redo your layout do you reuse track or put down new? If you reuse how do you clean it?

  2. Keith Miller says:

    Thanks to Jo for taking the time and trouble to photograph various stages – very helpful. Your back drop is quite tall – gives a very realistic feeling to the photos.
    Dave, as usual, gives us a series of useful tips – it is these little snags that crop up that can cause grief, so Dave’s solutions are very helpful. Thanks for posting so many videos: keep them coming!
    Dustyk UK

  3. Great work Joe! Detail, lighting, landscaping, everything is really well done.

  4. Robert Brady says:

    Dave me boy As always great show! BUT Wait! where did you purchase the backdrop especially the countryside one? I need a river with a woody mountain in back ground.
    Thanks in advance
    Robert B

  5. Jerry Suits says:

    Your landscaping and layout look fantastic!

    Great attention to detail and it is very realistic!


  6. Bob says:

    are the cardboard strips strong enough to support the weight of wet plaster mix or whatever medium he is using without something underneath?

  7. Dave’s videos are always wonderful.
    I do appreciate his rebuilt layout even more than its predecessor.
    As to track… Hornby does not seem to exist on my side of the pond —
    That said, I do prefer Peco to our domestic products.
    John in CA

  8. Chuck Ainsworth says:

    Really enjoy your layout and work progress – One question where did you get or how did you make your stone walls? I need to make or purchase some. I also have a problem with one particular car going over two joined switches – it will get derailed every time and no other cars or engines have a problem in that area. I use Bachman snap-fit e-z track.

  9. Chuck says:

    Very realistic Joe, really like the “rain” in your background and the tire tracks in the dirt at the tank farm… Very Realistic in deed!

  10. David Schaffner says:

    Love so much about what you have did, I don’t know where to start. Like the tunnel and the trestle, and the mood of your layout. It looks vintage mining and has a rustic feel to your oil tanks and the way you layed out your town. Great job in planning and adding touches that make it seem as if its been around awhile. A tip of the hat and Bravo’!

  11. Jim MacLean says:

    Coming along very nicely Joseph. And Dave, well, you da man, Dave! You ARE da man! Always a WOW to see your work. Jim from CB.

  12. David Gill says:

    I don’t understand why everyone hides so much of their layout in tunnels and mountains.

  13. Don Jennings says:

    Joe Good job on covering the track BEFORE doing the ballasting Don

  14. Malcolm Hodgson says:


    Great looking layout and detail. Really like the virga from the cumulo nimbus in the background! With an eye to detail may I make one observation? The oil farm is floating slightly off the ground, it would just finish it off nicely if you bury the bottom of each tank/ building into the ground so they look more like fixtures.


    I wasn’t sure about the new layout initially, however, watching this video I really think that this is a major improvement from the last one. It appears to have much more space and sits together a lot better. You have put in so much work in such a short time. My hat is off to you! Do hope the arthritis isn’t getting you down too much.

    Regards to you both and two great efforts

    North Wales

  15. Hemi says:

    Man is THAT ‘a Lookin’ GOOD!!!! Keep up the great work!

  16. Graeme Waters says:

    Hi Dave, Ive been watching your videos for years and you have taught me lots so thank you. There’s one feature of your layout I especially like…the rock wall fences. Where did you get them? I have looked everywhere but haven’t found anything at all similar.

    Thanks again for all of your videos and very helpful tips and ideas.

    best regards, Graeme,

    Bendigo Australia

  17. Thank you all re my layout ..Dangerous Dave`s ..to answer a few , I do use some of the old track , just clean it with a light wire brush after pushing the old ballast out, the backscenes I Have are from Gaugemaster , a lot of dealers sell them , 3 for approx £8 , they are very good , and of course the larger dealers do ship abroad …the stone walling is from javis , again a lot of dealers sell these ..approx £1.60 per piece …Thanks again for comments ..the Arthritis ..well it’s something we have to bear ….Dangerous Dave

  18. Robert Brady says:

    Thanks for answering questions Dave!

  19. Stephen D Gispanski says:

    Hello Joe, your layout is looking really good. From the painting on your back ground to the trusses and the mountains look great. In your 2nd picture, is that what help you design your mountains?? Looks like the demolition man left a stick of dynamite close by the rails. Lol your layout like I said, looks great. Keep on railing.
    SDG St.Petersburg Fl.

  20. Jim AZ says:

    Nicely done, Joe. You’ve captured some truly realistic scenes. I like the dirt roads with the tire tracks. And the backdrop is quite remarkable and fits the scenery with a most realistic view. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  21. Steve says:

    In answer to Chuck, as you only have a problem with 1 of your cars it implies that there is something amiss with that item. Check that the wheel back-to-back measurement (i.e. the distance between the inside faces of each pair of wheels) is within the tolerances for your scale. Or maybe a wheel is actually damaged e.g. chipped or distorted flange or something.

    You can buy back-to-back gauges or use a Vernier as described in a post I sent to Al recently but hasn’t appeared yet (hint hint, Al 🙂 )

  22. Bob Carlson says:

    Joe that 4-6-0 looks more like a 4-6-2 to me. Sorry to be picky.
    Bob C from CA

  23. THOMAS says:

    nice to see the layout … BUT ,,, do the trains ever run ?

  24. Rob McCrain says:

    Joe, I love the verga painted on the backdrop, it is very “out west.” What a great and thoughtful layout. There are many excellent features.
    Rob McCrain

  25. Will in NM says:

    More great photos Joe! I especially like your thunderhead cloud with the falling rain that never reaches the ground. Definitely matches our New Mexico weather.
    My only suggestion for it would be to darken the lower edge of the cloud a little. That’s the way most of the thunderclouds look in my opinion.

  26. robert dale tiemann says:

    very cool. i have also covered the rails when i put the terrain in.

  27. Don says:

    a good use of old cardboard boxes being turned into mountains & countryside. awesome work.

  28. Daniel says:


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