More from Tony


I have had some requests for more information and pictures. So here they are.

The sedum I use is autumn joy. After it blooms the stems turn woody. They have to be cut back each year in the late fall.

After I cut them I spray them flat clear enamal.

Then I dip in a mix of white glue and water and then toss them in woodland scenics course turf. I use dark and medium green.

I keep a large container mixed up and I just add an entire container of one of the shades when it starts to get low. This causes the collor of the conapy to vary for each tree.

I place the trees on the layout when they are wet this allows some of the foliage to fall around the base and create undergrowth.

After they have dried for a couple of hours I spray them with a heavy coating of the cheapest hairspray I can find. The dollar store has plenty!

I also keep an eye out all summer for sedum.

If you stop by someones house and ask them they typicaly will let you cut for them and hull it away.

Thanks again,


(images are clickable)

Hi Al

I have used many of the tips in your newsletters.

Just thought I would give something back.

I have a top tip for you to create hedging on the 00 railway layout. It’s my idea and not copied from anywhere else.

I did a lot of experimenting and came up with this:

If you take some polystyrene packing about ¾ inch thick and cut it into ¼ inch or less strips, this will form the basis of the hedge.

Using the finest artists brush and some Humbrol paint thinners, or Cellulose thinners, or as a last resort nail varnish remover

Carefully, with not too much thinners, just touch both sides of the upper edges of the styrene at ¼ inch intervals along its length, you will see the top dissolve irregularly.

When it is dry, cover one side of the strip with PVA and sprinkle it with brown grass, do the same on the other side and leave to dry.

Cover the irregular top with PVA, pushing it into the holes with the brush tip and sprinkle two shades of green grass at intervals along its length.

You will now have a hedge at little cost and much more realistic than the bought stuff.

I suppose if you substitute ballast for grass you can achieve a stone wall effect also, using this method.

I use wood working glue to fix it down and on curves I hold it in place with dressmaking pins, until set overnight.

You can disguise the joints in situ using the same method.


And if you’ve ever wondered what Dangerous Dave’s fantastic layout looks like at dusk, well, now you can see:

Still getting comments on the ‘ebay cheat sheet. Big thanks for those – glad it’s working for you.

That’s it for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming. Just hit reply to any of my mails if you have something you’d like to share.

And if today is the day your day dreams become a reality, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



40 Responses to More from Tony

  1. Brian Messenger says:

    Hi Tony, if that is “N” scale, then the bridge is incredible. Your trees are the best that I have ever seen in a long time. Well done. – Brian

  2. Brian says:

    Question for Dave
    Seeing the Blue Pullman all lit up shows the lack of lighting in the other passenger train. Has he thoughts on lighting those carriages and if so how it can be done?

  3. Michael Ankerson says:

    Great, Dave…

    Great Great Great…

  4. Paco Gayon says:

    A dream come trhrough

  5. Martin says:

    Just a tip for anyone botanically minded, the sedum is a low ground cover type plant. Another plant that is excellent for making HO/OO trees is one called Spiraea x bumalda ‘Anthony Waterer’. Treated in the same method as described for Sedum. In the UK the Spiraea is much easier to source.

  6. Albert weir says:

    Hi dave
    Did i just read that your going to build another after this one dont you dare my heart cant stand the excitement . love the night shots superb this one is your best yet .

  7. Albert weir says:

    hi Tony
    this is looking wonderful you put a lot of effort into it well done

  8. Ron From KY says:

    Great. Just great. I really like the slow moving lumber train and the moderate speed of the passenger trains. More realistic than just racing around the track like those heavy – noisy three rail systems (eg Lionel).

  9. longovince says:

    As usual great work

  10. Gary D says:

    Great looking trees Tony and I like your trestle.

    Dave, you must work on your layout around the clock. Looks great. It seems to take me forever to just do a section of mine. Like the lights and sounds you have on it. I’d like to see a track plan of what you have. Thanks for the tip on the 3 volt power for building lights, etc.. Great job!

  11. Peter the Mackem Jones says:

    Tony, I am in awe of your bridge fantastic.

    Dave what can I say that has not already been said, a truly marvelous layout once again I thank you for sharing and giving so much inspiration.

    Peter the Mackem

  12. Hank Vonk says:

    Great layout. How much room are you taking up. I’m ready to tear my old layout down and have opened up some more room in my attic for something bigger.

  13. Gordon s from AUS says:


    Fantastic Effort , Great Work


  14. IAN says:

    the tips on the trees is great they really do look good. the bridge is unbelieveable. very nice lighting on the layout Dave love the timber train.

  15. paul Otway says:

    Tony it looks so awesome!

  16. John Parkin says:

    I like the forest, well done Tony

  17. Hi Dave Great job on your layout. I can see you put a lot of work in to it. Looks so good at night. Best.

  18. Dave Fairfull says:

    Tony, Steve & Dave Thank you for the many hours of fun during one of the longest winters, this should shorten it up a bit.

  19. Greg Barker says:

    I look forward to seeing your layouts and hearing you talk about it as much as I enjoy the characters on my favorite TV show. When I don’t see one of your posts, I go to my file and look at a past post. If I ever get to England I would love to meet you and see your amazing layout in person. Thanks for all the posts. I never get tired of them.

    And thank you Alastair for your great email newsletter. I read and watch every one.

  20. chris says:

    Awesome bridge, many thanks for the tree making tips. I also use Buddlia flowers for making trees with. Collect them just after the flowers have finished, dry them and again use scatter material on them .
    Many thanks for the tips and awesome layouts to view. Keep up the good work

  21. THOMAS says:


  22. Vin P says:

    just love the sound of that green diesel 1X46.
    Your layout is a great inspiration for all us modellers out there.

  23. Rod Mackay says:

    Lovely bit of bridgework, really does look like it would take the weight of a logging run, very well done.

    Vin P, the code you see on the front of many UK trains, such as that 1X46, does not identify the loco but is the headcode for the train it is working at the time, the characters are on roller blinds to be easily changed for each duty worked. The code was to help signalmen and other staff identify the route and destination of the train. The first number gives the class (1 is for an express passenger service) the letter usually the destination or region (although X was usually for an exceptional load) and the last two numbers are for the particular train on that route of the day, for instance, the last local from Cardiff to Barry at night is 2Y91 – 2 for stopping passenger, Y for Barry, 91 for that schedule. The codes are still used but no longer shown on the trains as we now just look at the computer to see where they all are!


  24. Christine says:


  25. Really enjoy looking at all the tips on this site. I’m like everybody else who reads them and watches the updates on Dave’s layout, my eyes are almost popping out on stalks at the detail.
    If I could do half of this, I’d be really ‘chuffed to bits’

  26. John Reynolds says:

    A question….
    There is a lot of magnificent talent here….
    Many great ideas and fantastic modeling…
    Does anyone have any ideas on how to model “Russian Thistle” aka tumbleweeds and/or Scotch Broom — Both grow very wild in the area I am attempting to model… “Oak Savannah” Southern California.

  27. jim morris says:

    great job

  28. MICHAEL GLASS says:

    loooooove your bridge.

  29. Ed says:

    Sounds great Steve. Can you furnish any photos of process or at least a shot of completed hedge? Thanks for the tip.

  30. Warren Ferguson says:

    Dave, it’s none of my business, I know, but I can only wonder if you have an idea how much you’ve invested in your railroad(s)? Or, do you prefer not to think about it? She who must be obeyed is easier on you, than my keeper is on me. Mine takes care of lots of things, but my railroad planning is not one of them. Warren, AL, USA

  31. Tom Sawyer says:

    Question for D. I like your layout and films of it. One question, why don’t you stop your passenger trains at the stations sometimes. I am sure you have off and on passengers for them at times?

  32. Stephen D Gispanski says:

    Tony, outstanding job you did on your trees and your Bridge trestle. Like to see the layout, like I said before, ” Outstanding”. Steve, great name lol, I am going to try that out, thanks for the heads up on the rocks also. Dave, Dave Dave, very nice job on the new layout, I have not even started yet, no I take that back, I have started on a water tank made out of an Folgers Coffee container and balsa wood. It is for an lional O gauge. I still have to make room in my man cave and start making sectional table for my 10 X 10 room. I am making a sectional table around the room for the O gauge. On the same table but under the O gauge, l am going to fit an HO gauge. I have had both gauges since l was an we little lad.
    Thanks to everyone with there input.
    SDG St.Petersburg Fl.
    P.S. picture and film when I make more room on my phone. It’s a start!!

  33. Hi Dave, You’re new layout looks fantastic, all done in record time I might add. One of the comments mentions that you don’t have lights in one of the rakes, my offer still stands, send them to me and I’ll put them in FOC.
    Happy and a Healthy New Year to you and Debbs,

  34. Bob Cassidy says:

    Great bridge and the rest looks really good too. Lot of work on that bridge

  35. LÉO Noury says:

    Hi Tony, you have the patiente of a saint.

    Curious to know how it took to make bridge? And one tree?.
    Great job, love it.
    For Dave, it is continuous pleasure to see your videos.

    Québec, Canada

  36. Old Ben says:

    Dave can you tell us how many hours it took to rebuild your layout? It seems like
    it took no time at all. You are amazing.. Ps. love all the lights. Beautiful

  37. Paul says:

    The bridge reminds me of the movie”Bridge over the river Kuai( (spelling) .The bridges are very similar.

  38. It would be nice if you folks would start by telling us what gauge your layout is.

  39. Mr Ron says:

    Great ground level camera shots.

  40. william j plmer says:


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