Richards’ 8x8ft model railroad layout

Rich (Old Taz) has been in touch with his 8×8 model railroad.

“Hi Al

My lay out started as a 4X8 foot 1-inch blue board and has groin to 5X8 foot with a 3X8 foot Extension at one end. I like depth so there’s a lot of up and down.

The layout is called Whisky run.

It was called Tinkers Ville when Tommy Tinker started the coal mine. Tom put his hole hart in that Mine and made a go of it.

All Tom did was work, He never married. It was just tom the mine, the town.

And Petty his cat. When Tom died, they bearded him and Petty in one of the abended shafts.

He left the mine to the town. I like the late 40s and early 50s you’re going to be able to tell.

Prohibition hit and the town saw dollars. Thay put two stills hidden in the mine, they were making more on Whisky then on coal. They come from all over. (where are you going? whisky run).

Right after prohibitionn the Governor come to town and gave the town it’s new name Whisky Run.

I’ve had those two tables in every position you could imagine and finely came up with this one.

The 4X9 is on wheels and can be moved so I can work on the backdrop. Theirs a slide device on both

That way they will match each time. There is a train or engine at both the coal mine and the sawmill hat will be on its our self-reversing track.

There are three cam fires on the two on the rim and one on the river.

O yes Whisky Run has over 25 miles of the fine’s trout fishing in the north west. (Whisky Run)

A lot of the buildings are held in place with magnets so I can remove them and work on them on the Work beach. At first, I was using two magnets. (expensive) Now one or two. Using a heavily threaded wood screw epoxied to the center of a washer about the same size as the magnet that way you can raise or lower the platform and remove it to be worked on.

I started being every switch I could get my hands on. Rong thing to do not all worked that well or didn’t work at all. The springs didn’t hold or they would open after you went through two times.

Looked at a lot of switch motors. I decided to make my oun to my specks.

Tell the next time some wear in Montana.


HO bridge 8x8 model railroad

HO scale freight 8x8 model railroad

8x8 model railroad

model railway 8x8

8x8 model railroad coalmine

8x8 model railroad HO scale

model train track plan

My word – what a layout.

Over all the years of posting these layout, the ones that sick out for me, are the ones that have a theme.

Fantastic narrative and fantastic pics.

A huge thanks to Dick for sharing this.

That’s all for today folks. Please do keep ’em coming.

And don;t forget, the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to stop dreaming and start doing.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

62 Responses to Richards’ 8x8ft model railroad layout

  1. paul says:

    Really is a great layout Richard and excellent detailing …thanks for sending the pictures for us all to look at it .

  2. Tom Novotny says:

    Great photos unbelievable detail, lot of work hard work has been done on this layout congratulations.

  3. John Woods says:

    Great layout, but what scale?

  4. Stephen Dempster says:

    Great layout OLDTAZ and loved the back story. What scale and how did you do the water in the river. Excellent photos, cheers for sharing, Stephen D

  5. Bob Richards says:

    Fantastic Richard. The scenery detail and the well thought out theme are astounding. I actually placed myself as one of the campers and could see myself going down the river and enjoying nature.

  6. Don says:

    Is this N scale. HO scale or something else?

  7. Bob Horn says:

    Terrific detail of the cars pushed down into the river to keep the river bank from washing away and eroding the RR bed. Great. Most people have never seen that.

  8. J. Bird says:

    Wow…a work of art.

  9. Paul D says:

    Impressive. The amount of work to create something with such detail is evident. Would love to see towns mine picture in daylight.

  10. Ron Jamieson says:

    Terrific storyline, in the best tradition of Mark Twain (best read ‘allowed’).
    I’d love to see a follow-up on the switch machine design.

  11. Bill Holt says:

    Oh My Hat !! What a AWESOME layout. Good Job Richard.

  12. Great layout enjoyed it

  13. Sid Pratt says:


  14. Al Allison says:

    The log unloaded at the sawmill interests me as I have a HO Scale logging layout. How did it work? Great details and scenery!

  15. Norman Rosen says:

    Your attention to detail is superb.

  16. Mark Houck says:

    Awesome detail! Thank for sharing

  17. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    Yahoo! Way to go big R. Hey everyone Dick is my buddy who lives just 2 blocks away from me. His layout is also N scale. His layout detail work is truly incredible.
    His lighting is very realistic also. Can’t say enough about Dick’s work. Very inspiring.
    Dick Chapple Sr Hardin Montana USA

  18. Bob Rolfe says:

    Fantastic layout with great detail and great pictures. Love the cars in the river, have seen that done when I was kid. However I do wish people would state the scale they are using and maybe spell check and proof read.

  19. Ben Olson says:

    Richard, this is an amazing layout. The details you put into it, along with sharing the story behind the mine is great. In particular, I liked the night-time lighted scenes and the campfire scene. Very nice work! Thanks for sharing the pictures!


    I don’t know what scale it is, but it is absolutely magnificent! How did you make the water and get the fishermen in hip deep? The scenery is so good I don’t care that all the freight cars are brand new without any scratches or wear on them. Thank you for sharing!!

  21. Randy Geisick says:

    Richard, I loved the backstory, especially the way you used the words and spelling that might have been used by a “back country miner” in those days. Reminiscent of Mark Twain, as someone mentioned earlier. You must have had a heck of time, overriding the spell checker! The river is awesome, looks real. What are your tricks to make the water “move”? Love the idea of attaching the buildings with magnets. I know you didn’t mention the scale, but looking at the end view photo you posted, it is quite obvious that you are working with “N”.

    Kimberly ID

  22. Linda Howell says:

    Excellent job. Loved the story and your execution is great. It doesn’t really matter what scale it is. The details are very well done. I didn’t understand the old cars along the river bank but it looks really cool. After reading the explanation in the comments it made sense.
    We must remember that these are individual layouts created by individual people. Not everyone has the same vision but surely we can appreciate the efforts and passion that’s put into each one. Look close and I’m sure you can pick up at least one new idea from each layout.
    Well done.
    Linda, Pennsylvania USA

  23. Dave D says:

    Great detailed layout and great story. It appears to be N scale? Like to see how you made the magnet hold down screws and show us your turnout motors please.
    Dave in Oregon

  24. Chris Warr says:

    WOW, awesome detail, really enjoyed looking at this layout

  25. Scott J says:

    This awakened several memories for me; first, as a prohibition era model, an old work friend who is actually an authentic Hatfield descendant, was full of stories of his father brewing moonshine in the “hollers” of eastern Kentucky. Second, inspired by the boaters on the creek, was my memory of an almost identical scene when I participated in the Bicycle Tour Colorado (BTC), when one of the seven days took us between Telluride and Naturita. I’ve my own N scale layout in progress on an 8 x 4 table, which I plan to double in size into an L-shape…”basement only,” says the wife! I have fun with my diesel locos with sound making a racket whilst she’s trying to watch the telly–Hah! (I’ve got to find some way to get even for my banishment!)

    Cracking job, Richard! I only hope my final iteration will approach your level of artistic talent..

  26. Tom W says:

    This is the most lifelike layout I have ever seen!

  27. Mike Matejka says:

    Well done – I like the open framed buildings so one can see the details — great scenery and a fun backstory.

  28. Chris Sylvester says:

    Great job!!!! Nice detail on the log mill !!!

  29. Robert Brady says:

    What happened to my comment? What if it rains??

  30. Bob , ny says:

    Would love to see a sketch of trackage. I can’t see what happens to the line that appears to enter a mountain near the center. Great modeling!!

  31. Absolutely love this layout including the water features and the night time lighting!
    Can you explain how you did the campfire? It is awesome.

  32. That’s very nice. I hope I can get mine to look that good. So far I just have a 4×8 but expanding quick.

  33. Dhammika OBEYESEKARA, Sri Lankan says:

    Superb art & Design. Unbelievable…….

  34. Mike Jarnagin says:

    Considering the size of the board and the detail, could that possibly be “Z” Scale? An “N” gauge would seem too large.

  35. Joe Gennari says:


  36. Ken loomes says:

    Liked the way you have used the old cars in the river bank as flod protection , just like the used to be used for .

  37. Kevin says:

    Been on the sidelines for many years because I never had the space, now I do but I just don’t have the time. I enjoy the craftsmanship and the pride of the layouts! Makes me want to build something great, artful intelligence at its best. I appreciate the sharing and look forward to starting my own railroad again. I want to get my old AHM engines a chance to tow a bunch of cars around in a well lit scenic environment again, it’s been 40 years in the making but I’m ready to return. I’m so glad I found this site, brings out the kid in me again. Thank you all!

  38. Amazing work. Just because we are older doesn’t mean we can’t do great things. I’m 67 and doing my thing with some of the trains going back to the 50s with new editions added.

  39. It clearly states it’s “N” scale.

    Your attention to detail is fantastic. Great job.

  40. don kadunc says:

    Very nice. Using magnets is great. You can get packages of little high powered magnets very cheep off Ebay.

  41. Jim AZ says:

    Nicely done. Appreciate the fine details. The campfire scene is neat. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  42. Thanks Dick!!! Wonderful narrative & Outstandning layout. The many layers & details really make this layout stand out. Lot’s of stuff going on there…so fun to look at each section and see the detals. My hat’s off to a real craftsman and artist.
    Vashon Is., Washington

  43. Jim Vragel says:

    I absolutely love the stream and campfire.,Great job! How did you get the campfire so realistic?

  44. Geoff says:


  45. Cary B says:

    Hello, Richard
    Beautifully done layout indeed. The track layout and scenery very impressive.
    I’m really liking the aisles on both sides for access.
    Bravo, Cary B

  46. Mr. Ron from S. Mississippi says:

    I would expect this detail in HO, but not in N scale. Richard must be a watchmaker by trade.

  47. C.H. Specht says:

    Quick note on Lighting:
    I have discovered that most LEDs have a “beam” effect when lit. You see just a spot of light where they are aimed.
    Try coating them with a clear matte finish, or a quick dunk in liquid plastic cement to give them a frosted finish. Much more diffused light like a real light bulb.
    Sanding off the lens end also works but you have to be very careful not to hit the tiny wires inside. Even a cheapskate like me won’t try to repair one!

  48. Steve says:

    Lots of people asking about scale – in Al’s email with the link to the post it said HO. And the person who complained about lack of spell-check clearly didn’t “get it”!

  49. George Zaky says:

    Old Taz
    From an old Brooklyner- “Nice Woik”.
    What a hoot! Loved every moment.
    How bout a movie a dem trainz runnin round dem trax. Dont remember but did you use DDC? Keep it comin.

  50. John Birch says:

    Superb detail. Fantastic river scene. I’d love to see you do a step-by-step ‘how-to’. Personally, I think that any negative comments above are unnecessary and unfair as there is so much good work to focus on and celebrate.

  51. robert dale tiemann says:

    really nice layout, thanks for your post.

  52. Rich B. says:

    I actually can’t see anything I don’t like here. Even the narrative is perfect addition to the RR. More old cars than anybody knows in flooded out quarries, river abysses and just plain abandoned down old logging trails (antique tractor out back at my house, sheave setup for log sawing?).

    Story is as if somebody that lived there/then was recalling from past. More needed on Prohibition days as relayed to a historian half century later lol. And then knowing Old Taz personally… priceless.

    Another Rich, regarding

  53. Brian Olson says:

    You had me at Whiskey!

  54. Stephen Hill says:

    Fantastic layout , wonderful narrative , easy to see why Richard is a hall of fame modeler . Absolutey amazing work . That is really keen . I am in awe .

  55. John Birch says:

    Excellent! Filled with details and the water feature is superb.

  56. Terry Miller says:

    Nice layout and the story line spelling is an example of the American education system failure.

  57. Don says:

    love the canoes on the river, the logging mill & the way it’s lite up at night & just the whole set up, excellent

  58. WES says:


  59. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome layout and pictures. Great job !!!!

  60. Norman Rosen says:

    Thank you for submitting large in-focus pictures! Beautiful layout.

  61. J.B. Featherbedder says:

    Whether a person incorrectly spells, fat-fingers or is adding intended “color” to the narrative, to be otherwise would have reduced the story and delayed the telling by months or years. I hope the criticism disappears and humanity returns to this roaring valley of enterprise! Non- issue resolved yet?

  62. Brent Smith says:

    WOW, Absolutely stunning display Richard, actually INSPIRATIONAL

    Just getting into this hobby, have not started other than buying some HO rolling stock. but reading lots. Thinking ,Planning, Hoping, I love your work i find as a newbie some displays seem to be unaware of when to stop adding buildings and it no longer looks like a rail road. I love your work. your river work is truly remarkable to me. i am sorry some folks complain about your spelling and one that your cars were not weathered, You done good in my book !

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