DCC 4×8 HO scale

Richard has been back in touch with more of his DCC 4×8 HO scale:

“Hello Alistair,

After you posted my 4 x 8 layout I realized I have more pictures.

Alas, the New Mexico Northern is no more. It was dismantled to make room for a 16 track recording studio.

I will rebuild it as a shelf layout and I am working on a track plan now.

It was patterned after the Reid Gap and Virginian featured in Model Railroader magazine.

All the locomotives and rolling stock have been saved. Some of the locos and rolling stock are sixty years old.

All rolling stock is either scratchbuilt or built from LaBelle, Central Valley or old Roundhouse kits. All Locomotives are DCC conversions, some of which are old Mantua kits from the 1960’s.

All of the structures were scratchbuilt, the only purchased items being most of the windows and doors.

I am sorry I am not much of a Photographer. My fortes are modelbuilding and music.



HO scale mine overhead view

4x8 DCC model railroad coal freight

HO scale overhead view

4x8 DCC HO scale steam engine mine

HO scale passenger carriage

HO scale mine town

DCC 4x8 HO scale tunnel water tower

HO scale loading platform

HO scale coal hopper

DCC 4x8 HO scale coal hopper

HO scale coal hopper

HO scale sidings

HO scale freight

HO scale trestle bridge

HO scale trestle bridge steam engine

model train control panel

HO scale trestle bridge with locomotive

I think Rich’s DCC 4×8 HO scale is another that needs to be added the HO scale train layouts.

Now on to Ken.

“I read with interest Paul’s post on adding a camera for a cab view.

I purchased a small camera on Ebay for A$10.50 (roughly 5.60 UK, or US$7.70) which seems to be a much simpler solution, recording directly to a micro sd card and having a built in battery. It also gave a relatively wide view of the track.

I attached it to a flat wagon with a bit of Blue Tac and pushed it ahead of the train.

The attached video was taken on the model railway at the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich Qld where I work as a volunteer.

I’ve attached a photo from the ad for the camera so you can see just how big, or small, it is.


camera for model train cab ride

A big thanks to Rich – I do love the 4×8 HO train layouts

Thanks to Ken too.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you start your own model train adventure, 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

30 Responses to DCC 4×8 HO scale

  1. SealionSteve says:

    Rich., sounds like when your studio is built it would be a great candidate for Al’s “My Other Hobby”! And Ken, that video camera looks like very good value. Amazing how tiny the technology has become now. Were the instructions easy to follow?

  2. Robert Brady says:

    Rich, why are all your trains so dusty ? Neglect or weathering ?
    it’s ok I’ve put my trains aside for awhile ,bored, I’ve done all i can do. I’m going to start all over again but in another room along the walls instead of a 10 x12.
    Need a 6 month break.
    The Critic

  3. Hi Ken. In my earlier post I neglected to say that I was in N gauge and trying to stay within the confines of the wagon. Your camera will hang over the sides a bit, but at 22mm wide it will still be just inside the Tomix track I’m using so I’ll give it a go. It looks like the camera has a much better field of view too. Thanks for sharing the details. Paul.

  4. Dwight in Toronto says:

    Hey, Robert Brady, I here ya! A few months ago I got bored with my 4 x 8 N scale endeavour … I too had done as much as I could. I also got fed up stretching over a four foot span, so I’m going to try a narrower, shelf approach this time around.

  5. alan burdick says:

    Hi Al, I’m new at this stuff and I just want to thank you all the stuff you put out there; it a great help to us who are just starting out. I don’t own a camera or a smart phone so I’m kinda out of it. I can’t show you but I have built the bench work and am now in the process of laying out track to see what will work. Total length is approximately 26 feet. one section is 4ft x 10ft; 2nd section is two 1ft x 8ft pieces connected by the 43 inch corner shelf in my dining room. I hope to be able to show you pictures soon.

    thanks for all you do, Al also.

  6. Ron says:

    Hi Ken, what is the name of your camera that was purchased on eBay. Thanks in advance for your response.


  7. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool !!!!!!!

  8. Rob McCrain says:

    What a nice layout Richard. Well done, lots of interest wherever you look.

  9. Hi Ron, I found one on eBay by searching for “Mini Hidden DVR Spy Camera HD 1080P Night vision Home Security Wireless Cam”.

    They vary in price and the cheapest I found was £8.99 with free postage.

  10. Dan Richards says:

    Richard, I’ve long been a fan of The Virginian and hope to start construction this fall. So i was thrilled to see your great version of it. I love the idea of moving it to the southwest, and the town next to the coal sidings is a nice addition.

    LayoutVision has another version of The Virginian at it’s website. It’s a corner dog-bone that captures all the Virginian’s feaures with a little longer main run.It might give you some ideas for your next Virginian.

    When HO 4X8 won’t fit | LayoutVision

    I’d love to hear any suggestions for building this fine little railroad.


  11. Robert Brady says:

    Dwight in Toronto Thumbs up! : )

  12. Quin Parker says:

    You mentioned “DCC conversions“ on your HO engines. I’m very interested in doing that conversion. How easy is that to do? Is there possibly a kit? Or maybe I can consult with someone?

  13. Its amazing how much you can get in a 4×8 space in HO!!!

  14. Peter MacGregor says:

    Hi Ken……I live just down the road from you on the fabulous Gold Coast, and I have been to the Ipswich Railway Museum a couple of times. That layout truly depicts the countryside in outback Queensland….dry and dusty and so uninteresting!!
    I’m a 4th generation Queenslander (ancestors arrived at South Brisbane from Germany in 1863) and love my Buco (Swiss) O Gauge 3rail trains.
    Hope to catch-up with you one day in the not-to-distant future.
    Peter (Buco Australia)

  15. Ken says:

    Ken here with the small video camera.
    Ron had asked for the name of the camera, but being sourced on Ebay and coming from China, there’s no brand, but, if you go to Ebay and search for “SQ11 mini DVR camera” you’ll find them.

  16. Dave Pickard says:

    I remember that project series of articles. The layout is very well done and insure the shelf layout will be, as well.

  17. Richard Chapple Sr says:

    Those are the cameras I am using on the California Zephyr Route N scale layout. The cameras sit on six axle depressed center flat car and clears all tunnels and truss bridges, mine being Kato bridges. They are 25mm cubes, just under a 1″ cube. Amazing, 45 minutes of sound and color at 30FPS. I hope to get a good video run to post here. It is fun to watch, and also exposes items that need attention to improve the layout, boy does it ever. Just know though that most of these are cheap knockoffs, the 6 night vision eyes around the lens are fake. I don’t need the night vision so not a big deal for me. These are not wifi capable. The instructions are really poor, but someone went through all the work to post decent instructions in good English. Not difficult to use at all though.

    And Ken, Bob Brady, and Dwight, I will be excited to see your new railroad plan ideas when you Shelf style is great. I have two areas that are 3′ deep and even that is a bit of a stretch for someone with shot back. 2′ is a nice comfortable depth to work with.

  18. Robert Rigter says:

    @ Ken.

    Your mini-camera video was the most realistic I have ever seen.

    The low angle view eliminated any real-world backgrounds and created a true realistic perspective with backgrounds blending perfectly with the travelling view of the scenery.

    This video could have been used in a real-world movie and no one would have known the difference. You could make money with this stuff in Hollywood.


  19. Jim Colletti says:

    In a word; WOW! OUTSTANDIND! (well, two words). I can only hope to achieve a talent level like that. Nice work.

  20. Jim Kennedy says:

    Great job. Would like to have seen some of the stills from closer up. I am currently trying to wrap my head around a layout of my own and am looking for all the examples of scenery I can get. I intend to scratch build everything except maybe the trains and track. I am wanting to work in “N” scale but I have some HO access too.

  21. Frank says:

    That is a cheap little camera, but it was good enough to make a cool video.

    Frank in Orlando

  22. Steve S says:

    Im curious. How do you convert old locomotives to DCC??

  23. Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    IMpressednthat suchb a cheap camera could do so well. Having read through the comments it has a limited lifetime but at that price looked great.

  24. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice work. lots of terrain, hard work.

  25. Louis Vandemerk says:

    @Robert Brady. It is set in New Mexico which is part desert, so I am assuming that those trains are weathered to look dusty.

  26. Delmar Servoss says:

    that was great i like that one ride whit the express

  27. George Zaky says:

    Just love the fact that old stuff was refitted or reworked with modern stuff & is running. Rolling stock from kits-fabulous. The layout is very interesting & well done and a shame its gone but I hope you keep us tuned in, blow by blow, on the new venture. Do include some techy stuff – we all learn from this.
    Thanks for the ride. great missive.
    Big Al
    Nice. Merci

  28. Steve Ruple says:

    Nice layout Richard, I’ll be looking forward to seeing how you make a shelf layout out of the layout.
    Ken, what is the model number of the camera that you purchased off of ebay ? I would like to know, thank you. Ken I see you mentioned the camera model number above, thank you !!!!!!

  29. Ross Johnston says:

    Thanks for your Cab view of your layout Ken. I thought it weas excellent. I always love cab view videos of layouts. Well done and thank you again. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, South Australia.

  30. Matt says:

    I was sad to hear of the demise of your New Mexico layout, until I saw this one. It’s even better! I’m gearing up to do some scenery on my new layout, and I’d like a desert/arid section. With what you did, it will give me something to work toward. I don’t want to copy things, but I will study your style, and proceed from there.

    Once again, Great Job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *