More scratch builds from Rolly

Rolly’s been in touch again – have a look at his video (his first post is here).

“Here is another building I made. I have found that any model that has any movement tends to be quite expensive, yet it adds so much to a layout. I have made a few different ones very inexpensively. I sympathize with a lot of your viewers on fixed incomes and wanting to enjoy the hobby as I come from a modest background as well.

This model was made with balsa strips bought from Micheals ( hobby store) and found items from the dumpster. The back wall was a cut down base of a tape deck?( not sure as I tore apart various pieces of electronic gear that I forget what came from where). The gears are from a discarded printer, and the capacitors from same. The window is 1/4″ screen, again found.

The building itself is a workshop or mine building, that adds both noise and movement, hope you enjoy.


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Still going strong!

“Hi Alistair ,

Been back from OZ for about 3 week’s now so have had a bit of free time before Christmas to have a go at something in the Fat Controller’s room!

I’m building a ‘Z’ gauge layout if you remember in a spare bedroom (kindly donated by Mrs wife).

Before our trip I was experimenting with ways of pining down the track…. sleeper pins are very small as you can imagine and getting them central in a sleeper is almost impossible!…. so I’ve made a couple of little fixtures to help.

They are stock aluminium bar in width and height, just cut to length that I’ve machined 3 holes in each… fixture No1 has a central hole of 1.3mm, this is for drilling the hole for the brass fixing screw,

The 2 holes each side of it have small pins that fit perfectly between 2 sleepers thus keeping the fixture in the correct position….. once the pilot hole has been drilled in the baseboard fixture No1 is replaced by fixture No2 which has pins in the same place as fixture No1 but with a central hole of 4mm… this is exactly the same size as the screw head allowing the screw to position itself perfect into the pilot hole…. small screwdriver and the job’s done!

Hope this all makes sense, it seems complicated but it does work.

Hopefully the pics will be in order.

Hope you all have a very merry Christmas & a happy new year.







A huge thanks to Rolland and Keith.

Keith has been keeping us updated on his layout from the very start so it’s good to hear from him – can’t wait to see the next update.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide, because it’s never too late start.

That’s all this time folks, please do keep ’em coming.



9 Responses to More scratch builds from Rolly

  1. Pete " The Mackem" Jones says:

    Nice model Rolland I like the running parts it adds to the realism, the model could easily be a lumber mill, nice one.


  2. Robert Shuman says:

    crazy idea I haven’t tried yet. Here in the US many large institutions are moving from analogue projection to digital projection. Sadly they don’t all recycle, so if you can find a old analogue projector, rig it upside down (if it has that option) run the proper cable and see what happens. It may take some trial and error and it may not even work! But it could open some possibilities.

  3. James Maitland says:

    I am happy to see I am not the only one using “scraps” with my trains. I have O and Standard gauge so copper pipe, plastic pipe etc work everywhere.

  4. Ken C says:

    Way cool, cheap building!

  5. Hap Cummings says:

    Nice! Shows what can be done with a little imagination.

  6. I had to stop for about 3 months because of health reasons. But, I back at it again. I really missed my hobby. However, I kept up with the news letter, even ran some information you offered off so I wouldn’t lose them. As I’m back with my trains, I’m applying people’s help ideas. Don’t for get I’m new at this. Keep up your great work.
    Charles Wasielewski

  7. Rolland says:

    Curious now as to what an upside down projector will accomplish, would love to know.

  8. Kenneth W. Hall Jr says:

    Awesome building. Sure wish I had the time and talent to be so creative.

  9. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great ideas thanks for sharing.

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