Paul’s 4×8 HO layout

“​Hi Al,

I thought I would send you a movie clip of my 4×8 layout.

It has two separate rail systems running. The lower rail is DC while the upper rail is NCE DCC. I have a MTH Dash 9 running at the same time as a Mantua 2-6-6-2 Steamer.

I started building this setup on Dec 1, and finished as shown by April.

My wife is an artist and she helped with the colors, textures, and ideas. She also did the painting at the rear of the lower layout section. Currently I am setting up my basement for a larger layout.

I can’t believe that at 75 I would be starting on this endeavor, but I have been encouraged by your daily blog and seeing all that others have accomplished.

Thanks for all your help.

Sincerely, Paul, Northport, NY”

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

And Brian’s been in touch again to answer a few questions on his layout (his post is here):

“Hi Alastair

Thanks to all those who posted encouraging comments on my layout, very much appreciated.

Someone wanted a track plan, so I have attached that.

The video footage of the layout was taken on a Panasonic DMC-FZ38 camera (tripod mounted) and the videos downloaded to my AppleMac and imported to iMovie for editing and compiling. For the sounds I searched on YouTube for videos of the actual locomotives (or close to) and converted the video to an mp3 file using a free YouTube to mp3 converter (there are several on the Internet).

After converting the mp3 files they were downloaded to the AppleMac and dragged into iTunes. These files were then imported into the iMovie project from iTunes and edited as required. Job done. It was great fun having a go at this and I was quite pleased with the resulting video although the actual video is a little burnt out – it was a very sunny day when I filmed the videos.

Jim wanted information on where to get N gauge helicopters. There are no 1/148 helicopters to my knowledge and I did search the Internet for some time. However, 1/144 seems to be a readily available scale with aircraft manufacturers. The helicopter in the photo is a Royal Navy Sea King HAR ‘Ace of Clubs’ from a 1/144 kit by Sweet purchased from Hobbylink Japan. The Chinook that I have just finished is again 1/144 by ACE Corporation and also available from Hobbylink Japan. Reveal did manufacture a UK Chinook in 1/144 but you may have trouble sourcing it now.

Eric (Leeds) wanted to know my next project – Have started a two level OO layout in the loft. The top level is a simple single loop DC circuit with fiddle yard, and the bottom level is a double loop DCC circuit with various sidings yet to be laid out. I liked the idea of having sound actually in the locos (too many locos on my N gauge layout to convert to DCC) so I have bought a few Hornby/Bachmann DCC Sound locos which are excellent. I have also bought a Faller Car System starter set which on initial trials is pretty impressive. However, the loft is too hot to work in during the summer months (particularly in this heat wave we’re having) so work has been put on hold. I’ll send some pictures and a video soon of my progress.

Here’s a few of pictures of the Chinook over my N gauge layout.

Thanks again Alastair for a brilliant newsletter.

Kind Regards


HO track plan

(Images are clickable)

A big thanks to Paul and Brian.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming – and don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide, if you want to get going on your own layout.



8 Responses to Paul’s 4×8 HO layout

  1. Paul Wilkes says:

    I love the cotton wool steam great idea .

  2. Brad says:

    Sweet layout especially knowing its only a 4 x 8.Awesome job with getting alot into a small space but not over-culttering

  3. Brad says:

    WOW excellent use of space for a 4 x 8 .Lots of action without being to cluttered,great job.I am 62 and plan on a huge layout once I move to NC.Nice to see us old folks still playing with “toys” HAHA

  4. Minnesota Dan says:

    As a 72-year-old, mine is still a work in progress, and always enjoy the ideas that come from Al and his fellowship of railroad gentlemen. This layout from Paul has some neat ideas, spinning weathervane, nice lights and of course, a first that I have seen, the cotton wool steam. My Pacific will get a dose of that to be sure.

    MN Dan

  5. Paul Case says:

    Thanks for the nice comments. I just want to point out the fact that my wife made the little elephant that appears looking out from the last car on the steam train. Since it was a Barnum & Bailey elephant car we thought we should add Dumbo. Another thing has anyone spotted the dinosaurs that my grandsons surprised me with one day when I wasn’t home?

  6. Mal says:

    Great job Paul!!!!!



  7. mike richardson says:

    Paul, I really like your layout. Such a great idea of your upper and lower levels,
    By the way, I am 76 and still enjoy working on my layout.

  8. John Wright says:

    Hi, I’m just 70, have an old dude ranch but little time for research so I’m looking for for a 4×8 or 4×10 I can set up without to much research on wiring, etc. Your plans for the 4×8 could be very useful. I’m just not sure where your plans attachment is. I have plenty of rolling stock including conventional and DCC locos.


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