Rob’s 4×8 O gauge layout update

“Hi Al, Bob from New York here.

I have not posted anything in a while but I have been busy working on my layout so I thought a update was appropriate. Winter in the Northeast does allow for a lot of indoor activities. I have been enjoying all of the posts and have incorporated some of our fellow modelers’ tips and tricks.

I model O gauge on a small board (4X8), which is a challenge but I am making it work. I have done some printed scenery as well as some scratch built work. The cliff was carved from 2″ blue foam boards, glued together and cut to shape. Here are a few photos of my latest progress.



“I worked on my layout for a year and was almost done with this project, but had to move and lost my room for the train. My layout and trains are now in storage.


I know what Stephen means – I think more than half the battle is getting a space of your own, so you can get going.

That’s all this time folks. And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to roll your sleaves up and make it happen.

Keep ’em coming.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here

27 Responses to Rob’s 4×8 O gauge layout update

  1. Rob says:

    I appreciate the sentiment exactly.
    I moved from a big loft to a single garage to a small spare room to half a small spare room to a table top layout in a small spare room.
    Everything on hold pending a move to who knows where and what modeeling space.

  2. Bob Vysinka says:

    I would have liked to see the layout as a whole. I’m intrigued about a 4×8 layout in O gauge with a multiple level. Even if it is not finished a photo of the 4×8 and a diagram of the track plan. Looks outstanding so far. THANKS

  3. Steve Fetzer says:

    I used the same 2 in. insulating foam as a base for my 8 x 8 over folding leg tables. This foam board works well glued to form risers for elevated sections and contours even with the O scale size. One has to use imagination in place of realism, but it seems to work. I like your attempt in a smaller layout foundation. Good stuff, Bob.

  4. Marklin Ed says:

    Sorry to hear about your layout end. Hope you find some room to get it together again… Been there.

  5. Sal Fazio says:

    Wow Rob, fitting an O scale on a 4X8 space is impressive.
    Love the cliff face, and other features you incorporated into the layout
    From one New Yorker to another, bravo.

  6. James Maitland says:

    Nicely done. Sorry to hear it is in storage. Maybe you could hang it from the ceiling. Your B&O Chessie engine is modeled after out GP-38 we painted at the B & O RR Museum.


  7. Joseph says:

    Excellent article. I would like to see more S and O scale articles , for this is what I run on a 16 x 20 foot layout in a special add on room. Thanks

  8. Joseph Sessa says:

    I agree on seeing the whole display at once if possible. I to like another post have been squeezed down to over time. It got so bad I had to transition from “G” scale to “O” to “HO” and now considering my “N” I hope I am not relinquished to “Z” but if so I really like the Peter Ropke suitcase sets!

  9. John Reynolds says:

    Very excellent scenery…
    The cliffs are very impressive…
    Note, For those with reasonable woodworking skills…
    Setting a layout to fold into a sideboard or fold up like a “Murphy Bed” are two solutions to the problem of “not enough space”
    John Reynolds

  10. Robert Shuman says:

    Well done! Space is especially tough for O gauge! It’s nice to see good scenic on a O gauge setup. Some O gaugers I know are reluctant to make the plunge. Good job!!

  11. Dienzel Dennis says:

    Great, Great work
    In a Small, Small Space.
    Love your details. I also do
    “O” gauge and I love your attention
    to details. Dienzel D. from Daytona Beach.

  12. David R. McClelland says:

    Hi Rob. Yes, I also know the feeling exactly! Over the years I have started three layouts only to be torn down because of a move. Now I am retired and I am going to use all that “stuff ” I have accumulated from the past on my last layout. My plans are to stay put until they carry me out and let some one else tear down this layout. Keep working on the space issue and hopefully you can come up with a way for more room. Conductor Dave.

  13. Keith Carey says:

    Nice work. Really. I like the crossing on the curve. And, the neat freight station. The pond is magnificent. I would like to consider a 3-cardtable layout for my Pastor’s office to display. Do you have any overhead pictures of the entire 4×8? Any chance of slicing it into two 4x4s?


  14. Jim says:

    I agree. Limited space is always an issue. Do like the retaining walls. Wondering how they were made.

  15. Linda says:

    It’s great to see another O gauge layout as that’s what we have. Wonderful use of a small space. Like the cliffs, great detail.

  16. Chuck Halbach says:

    I had to move and l had to leave my huge HO layout behind. This was something I never anticipated the layout which my Dad and I worked on for about 12 year’s became a memorial of my Dad. The layout kept growing to the point where it became part of the house. I completely understand what you are experiencing. I would love to have another layout but my electrician has passed away and my Dad was amazing at making tree’s and coloring rocks that looked real. I could never duplicate that layout. But you sure do have a lot of action going on in such a small area. Good luck getting the room for your layout.

  17. George says:

    I know the feeling of having to fight for some space in the place your paying fore
    and have to work so hard fore !
    I hope you can keep the fight going till you get what you need for the village you want to build and deserve ! I had to fight with the wife just to have the space fore
    the 4’X6′ to build an N scale village for my grandson and it will end up in some other place after I have used up about half of my track and buildings along with
    some of my best locos and rolling stock but it is worth it to give him a hobby that can last the rest of his life ! By the way keep up the great work guys .
    Be well and stay safe !

  18. Mike Griner says:

    Hi! After tearing my (on door) N Guage down and moving, the last move decided me to make the next layout portable! So I found a suitable coffee table with a mirror top and large enclosed space. I figured the mirroring could be scraped off
    or a. New glass could be fashioned.
    This was several years ago. The layout is finished tracks etc, and I’m trying to get the courage to start making a mess with plaster etc. The table has a narrow base so there is an area around the top that surrounds a valley below.
    I have enjoyed experiencing some of your peoples stuff! Thx. Mike

  19. William davison says:


  20. Kenneth Seegert says:

    Very nice, keeps me interested I have 2 4/8 sheets with O gauge and was wondering how to put it together on seprate sheets.
    Good job.

  21. Paul Munoz says:

    I too would like to see a picture of the full layout. I am using a 4′ x 8′ layout for O gauge and looking for some creative ideas (my creativity is somewhat lacking!).

    Thanks. Paul (Also in the Northeast)

  22. Stephen D Gispanski says:

    I know what you mean Stephen. I have been holding off on everything because of moveing. It has been like that for the pass18 years for me. Finding room was most of the 9yrs and then we started moving. Fixing up broken homes then it was time to move on to other home. I have an 0 gauge and HO gauge, and now we are fixing to move again. In the pass 6 yrs we have move 3 times. I am praying that this will be our last time, got to make the wife happy, lol . Stephen from Tampa Florida signing out.

  23. J. M. Pearce says:

    I always enjoy O gauge layouts. Often I need to see them for creative ideas. Keep on posting you O Gaugers!!

  24. Yours is the first O scale layout that does not look like a collection of old toys. Thank you for sharing your layout with us as it looks fantastic.

  25. Arthur Bearden says:

    Is your “O” scale the same I remember from the mid 50’s as “027” gauge.
    Thanks Art
    From Florida

  26. Tony Lloyd says:

    Hello, my interest was HOm but it was in a shed outside, very chilly in winter. I like the Z layouts of peter ropke and following the recent death of my wife I need to climb out of my black hole and get a project. The problem in the UK there doesn’t appear to be a supplier for tose type of aluminium cases as used by Peter Ropke. Can anyone help with a supplier please.
    Best wishes Tony lloyd

  27. Gregory Williams says:

    Hi Rob , I Know exactly what you have been going though my last layout took me 4x years to build and when I had finish it than I found out I had to move I could not beleave it
    Greg from Australia .

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