Rob’s twilight train layout

Rob’s been in touch again. He’s been inspired by your comments and put together a new video.

It’s a bit dark – but that’s twilight for you!

“Dear Alastair,

I got such a rousing response to the postings in your modeling letter, that I have been working with renewed enthusiasm to make progress on my layout.

It seemed like a few people were interested in the way I created my color palette.

I have a camera on order and after I get a chance to try it out for a while, I thought I would tape a “how to” or explanation of what I am doing.

The response was overwhelming and all the kind and thoughtful comments were very encouraging.

The other day after a long session of working on the layout, I noticed the light was perfect for a little session of twilight video.

The next day after I took the video, I checked to see what I had in my crummy old camera. I was inspired! I decided that the footage could make a really fun (for modelers and me) video.

I plan to do two sort of how to vids in the future.

One will we about color mixing and my color palette and the other will about building a low hill I have planned. I want to get to those as soon as I can.

In the meantime, I hope you have fun watching this video as much as I had fun making it.

Thank you for publishing my pictures and other videos.


Latest ‘ebay cheat sheet’ is here.

I do so love this hobby! Please keep ’em coming.



49 Responses to Rob’s twilight train layout

  1. mark says:

    Very .ice and relaxing good sounds thanks . Mark

  2. nice one Rob , got the lighting effect very good

  3. Arnie Steiner says:

    Nice job Rob. With better lighting (and your new camera) I’m sure the same video would great!


  4. Paul Wilson says:

    great effects, great movement and a great layout I loved the way you filmed this in low light too.
    well done I really did enjoy this and have recommended it to my dad, funny thing is I think he saw it first….
    Great mate looking forward to more sound and vision from you
    Paul Wilson

  5. craig says:

    I’m impressed, every thing looked very realistic. Great job!

  6. Rob Billing says:

    Hi the sound effects are great but the visuals are not all i could see were moving lights. for this sort of thing you really need to have a tad more light for the effect to come trough even if it is supposed to be twilight.

  7. Dick Chapple Sr says:

    I like the way you captured a peaceful night time. The lighting I think may be a matter of taste. Personally I thought the light was about right for real life. The pass train with no lights on in the cars along side the shore looks correct to me. and at the station, a quiet toot from the train, a little clickety clack and I thought I heard a dog bark. cool!! For me you captured a serene evening just thw way I’d like it. Very inspiring.
    Thank you for displaying your efforts.

  8. Peter Jones says:

    Great to see Rob keep it going like to see more

  9. Ron says:

    Hmmm. MIght have been really nice except light was too dark for video playback and had too much dead space bewteen train movements. Sound effects were great though. Barking dog was a nice touch.

  10. Scott Anderson says:

    Scenery looks great! Lighting is perfect.
    I love trains at dusk/night!

  11. Tom says:

    I loved all the sounds … the lighting … but especially the trains.
    Video was outstanding.
    Good luck Rob on future endeveors.
    Keep posting. We are ready for more.

    Thanks Al for sharing.



  12. don sullivan says:

    very nice

  13. Great job. looks and feels real.

  14. THOMAS says:


  15. Anthony says:

    Looks so good it has helped me to reason why lights in Coaches look good. Great Work

  16. Steveo D says:

    Fantastic job Rob

    Good use of the sound effects,

    don’t we just love this hobby !!!

  17. Ian says:

    the sound affects the quiet station reminded me of the nights coming home from school after night studies keep them coming so great to see.

  18. Rob McCrain says:

    I worried about the low light. Whether it works or not depends on the monitor displaying it. I have a relatively new and bright monitor and I checked it on an Android Pad and another computer and it looked good. I do know from personal experience that monitors lose their fine contrast over time. Oh well, if I do one again, maybe my new camera will be better.

  19. Cyril says:

    interesting comments, but I enjoyed the video

  20. paul starr says:

    Good realistic lighting,great job

  21. Roland Burch says:

    So relaxing, I almost fell asleep. Great job.

  22. Chuck S says:

    I am constantly amazed at the creativity and skill of those in this hobby.

    Thank you, Al, for continuing to post these inspiring videos and pictures

  23. George Ross says:

    Outstanding Video. LIKED THE LIGHTING EFFECT.

  24. Steve Rowe says:

    Well done Rob!

  25. Peter says:

    Normally, for me at least, watching some videos of model trains going by is like watching paint dry! BUT NOT this time. Simple believable scenarios. Very well done Rob. I look forward to you next creation.

  26. Methuselah says:

    Great show, Rob! And I loved the barking dog – that made the twilight scene come real!!

  27. John says:

    Loving it Rob!!!!! So glad all the comments have renewed your enthusiasm mate!

    John E. UK

  28. Ben says:

    Very nice. The lighting is soft and “quiet”, but still beautifully visible here in the States. Thank you for sharing.

  29. That was so realistic, I was waiting to see people step off the train and then others step on. GREAT!

  30. Bumper says:

    Rob, very nice, at least you tried to pass along your thoughts and talent from your hobby. You did a very well. Would be nice to hear encourgment from other hobbiest. Each person is a artist in what they build and display. Many express how you should of done your lay out and lighting. Don’t see any of there lay outs using a camera. You mentioned it was a old camera and a new one was on the way. Pat on the back Rob.


  31. ROBIN says:


  32. Edward says:

    The “LIT UP”passenger cars are a very nice touch ot realism!!! REALLY NICE!!!

  33. Louie says:

    Very nice and fun to see a different lighting perspective.

  34. andy says:

    Very nice. the lights and sound seem to work nicely, would been nice to see a little more of the railway

  35. Harold says:

    Great job! I just loved the interior lights of the coach cars. It really adds an extra dimension to the experience.

  36. Art Bearden says:

    Loved the movie, the light was right for me, it is nice to see a train running at night with it lights running and people standing around the stations and or the streets, your one on this movie by the water was great and the sound to go with it.
    Thank you for taking the time to do this movie for us to watch.

  37. Minnesota Dan says:

    Verey nice effects, sound and light…even to the barking dog.

    Just wondering about rails across the great pond, are “caboose cars” still in effect, or do you have “FREDs” or an End of Train Device (lighted)?
    Thanks for sharing all the good stuff, Al.

  38. Brian Rockey says:

    Excellent Rob. It’s interesting to see how our hobby is evolving with the huge improvements in phone cameras, video technology and of course the Internet and social media enabling us to share our efforts so easily.
    Keep the videos coming.
    Brian Rockey
    GWR – Grandpa’s Wonderful Railway
    N Gauge Society/Journal

  39. peter a pearson says:

    loved it keep up the good work

  40. U says:

    Too dark can not see a thing

  41. William says:

    Great job, Rob! Twilight was a nice video with a very different look as opposed to the ambient or room lighting of the others.
    It seems that lights on the back of trains is missing however.

  42. Paul says:

    Brilliant. Loved the sound.

  43. George Moffatt says:

    Lighting was perfect. After all, the definition of “night” includes “darkness.” Very realistic.
    And I loved the few occupants of one passenger car who had their overhead lights on while others slept.

  44. Ray D. says:

    Great video, but you need eotd (fred)

  45. Steve Digby says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Your video is very well produced. I like the low light and the way only the passenger train stopped at the station.You have created a beautiful layout.

  46. Paul says:

    I loved your video! Trying to capture low light situations on video is difficult. We are used to the low lighting effects of major motion pictures and folks do not understand how difficult it is to do. “Hollywood” uses very expensive cameras (film or video) and tons of lighting equipment to create low lights effects. If you would go to a “set” and observe the process, you would be amazed at how much actual light is used to create low light scenes. Actual film does a better job than video – just because of the way film captures light vs. the way a sensor does. B & W film creates the best effect in my mind – think Hitchcock. So Rob, I liked what you did and look forward to future posts.

  47. Charles Maxim says:

    I for one, really enjoyed the video. Great job.

  48. Ted says:

    Very nice and relaxing

  49. Arthur William Boorer says:

    That cool

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