Peter’s layout update

“Wondering if you can post the progress of my O scale layout so far?

There will be an aisle behind this eventually with the back wall painted sky blue and the narrow gauge along the wall with mountains, trestles etc.

I made the control panel with led’s for the switches and painted most of the cars and built the buildings.Track work is mostly Micro engineering flex with reliable roco switches and four hand laid ones. This is standard 1/48.

Thank you,


(Pete’s last post is here.)

“Hi Al,

My work in Georgia, USA is done and I’m back home after 5 months, so It’s been awhile since I sent an update on my bridge module, my attempt at back-drop painting, and an update on what I think may be the final track plan.

The good news was that I was able to bring the module in from my wood-shop, but did have to remove a door (too darned close for comfort!), and when staged in place, I found all my measurements for the rest of the plan wayyyy off, so they went in the bin.

The backdrop was painted on ½” sheetrock, primed on both sides, and then painted a nearly white flat yellow. This gave me a cheap canvas to work on. Scenic painting was done in Acrylic artist paint, dries fast and water cleanup, base colors – black, white, brown and a few greens were bought in big jars, rest in smaller tubes. Backdrops are a challenge because stuff in the foreground casts shadows on the “mountains” supposedly 20 miles away! Anyway, moving lighting around gave me some shots that are not too bad.

Over the past months I have been buying various types of conifer trees off eBay vendors. This gave me a variety of detail and sizes. I think most came out pretty well, and I think the buying of some in “O” scale gave me some dramatic pines. A vendor or 2 will get repeat business. The details on the bridges are not quite done, I added the “tell-tails” and some stuff on the decks, missing ties and all filled in. still trying to figure out telephone and electric lines.

Most of the coal hoppers on the bridge have my ¼” foam with coal glued on it as coal loads, as I mentioned a few weeks ago in a reply to another method you posted, I make about 20 loads at a time.

I enjoy the scenery, and the art stuff, so, even though it may be quite awhile until I run trains, the hobby is still fun and rewarding.


Baltimore MD. USA”

A huge thank you to John (his last post is here). Just a stunning scene – absolutely love it!

And it just goes to show, you can work on your layout anytime you like, it doesn’t matter how many months off you take…

That’s all today, folks. Please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to join in on the fun.

Keep ’em coming.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet here – still going strong and bagging deals.

24 Responses to Peter’s layout update

  1. christine says:

    Very nice, a lot of work.

  2. Rod Mackay says:

    Very nice plan, nice balance between operations opportunities and being able to sit back and watch a train run when it suits you. Look forward to seeing the rest.

  3. mark Allen says:

    Stunning, need i say more?

  4. Addison M Williams Jr says:

    This is absolutely awesome, and I do not use that word lightly. The mechanical work itself was great, but the addition of the painting makes it a truly amazing scene. I am inspired! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Brian Lee says:

    So admire your painting talents, wish I could draw scenery like yours.

  6. Fred says:

    I just love that bridge and backscene ….pretty amazing…

    Fred of the Wilbury Line

  7. Bill Holt says:

    Awesome layout. Scenery is stunning.


    I think that you missed your calling. U should have been a PAINTER..
    LOOKS SOOoo real

    A multitude of viewers , HERE, envy your talents.


  9. Wayne Emmons says:

    Very nice

  10. Steven Joyce says:

    That backdrop is stunning. You should take it to a print shop and print up copies. I am sure you would be able to sell several of them. Heck I would probably pick one up. They are universal


  11. Frank says:

    All you can say is WOW..
    Great work. Enjoy in good health.
    Thanks for sharing

  12. Barry hespenhide says:

    One word Awesome.

  13. Rob McCrain says:

    Your painting skills are very good. This will be an exciting layout when you get further along. It never hurts to reach for the sky. In fact that is the best attitude. I am curious about the grid on your track plan. Does the grid mark yards or meters? Good luck and good modeling. Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  14. Juan C. Guerrero says:

    I really admire, what all your readers do with their layouts, I live in Colombia, my English is not good enough (my native languaje is Spanish), to express what I feel when I admire all what they do, and envie them.
    In Colombia (South America) there are almost no trains, but I am a fan of them.
    I am starting with my first layout, is going to be DC, and my budget is tight, as my time to spend on it, but I have all my life building plastic static models, ( Cars, planes and ships) and experience will help me, as your beginner’s guide do.
    Here in Colombia you can’t find almost nothing of hobbie trains in HO, so I have to Scratchbuild everything, that make my hobbie even harder.
    I will be sending my layout drawings, table, and some photos of my progress, and maybe you could put them on your page, if you think they worth the effort of an hobbie fan of this part of the world.

  15. Helmut Eppich says:

    Wow! Snazzy!

  16. Harry Little says:

    I liked the fact that you had your control board and layout scheme attached to the layout in the early stages. This might be a great idea for all of us to follow as it not only gives us direction in our building and track laying, but it can also provide inspiration to get the job done. Very impressive work so far!

  17. Rick says:

    Nice layout – I do have a question in reagrds to your bench work – with all that cross bracing, etc. how do you work underneath the table comfortably – ???

  18. John N Frye says:

    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe – the grid is actually in US feet. Wish I had the space to have it in meters!


  19. Rick Mallon (Houston Texas) says:

    Great layout. I am in the process of building the bench work om my layout and you have given me some ideas that will work for the area I have to work with.
    Please keep us updated, thanks again for sharing.

  20. Mike Richardson says:

    Hey John, I love the art work on your backgrounds and the layout that you have shown in pictures is truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  21. great stuff from both of you guys
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif

  22. Peter Theodore says:

    It’s high enough that I don’t have to get underneath, All switch machines have easy access from the front or back. I’m using the old Dynatrol system so all track is hot and engines are independent due to their separate receivers. Holes are drilled along all of the top cross pieces of 1 by 3 for heavy copper insulated two wires running underneath to tap in for power to the Dynatrol power base. The tortoise machines will take care of extending power to the frogs on the switches. I have several 12 volt power boxes to power the control panel, and all the lighting in buildings, street and yard lights that will be wired in series. I want to keep it simples for easy trouble shooting.

  23. Albert Luppo says:

    Excellent use of the minimal space you have available. Congratulations on completing this plan.

  24. Ian McDonald says:

    an amazing layout. the love of this hobby really shows. thanks for sharing.

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