HO Layout – Ron’s

I have two layouts for you in today’s missive: Ron’s HO layout, and below that, the suitcase layout!

“I completed this layout this past holiday season.

It is a 4X8 HO layout built and planned for expansion. I built this with the idea of selling it as my joy is in the building and seeing the finished product.

It is foam over a wood frame and very light weight. The scenery is all hard shell plastercloth, with both molded and sculped rock and features made from light weight Hydrocal.

It is entirely painted and covered with landscaping materials.

All builings were built,kitbashed and aged. Some are scratch built, such as the lumber yard,covered bridge,etc. As soon as this sells I will start the expansion or a new design.

This is wired so that it can be used as DC or DCC Quite easily.


HO layout scale 4x8 camp fire

HO layout scale 4x8 logging timber

4x8 HO layout house

HO scale 4x8 farmyard

HO layout bridges mountains

HO layout scale 4x8 timber yard

HO scale 4x8 oval track

Hope enjoyed Ron’s HO layout as much a I did, now on to CW:

“Hi Alastair,

Attached are pics of my “Train in a suitcase”. I have now sold it, but I am still working on another, larger layout for both analog and digital operation. Hopefully I will soon be able to send you some more pictures of my current venture.














Big thanks to Ron for sharing his HO layout. I do enjoy the 4×8 HO train layouts.

One last thing – there’s a glue question on the forum. Can anyone help?

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you poke boredom in the eye, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

40 Responses to HO Layout – Ron’s

  1. Kenton says:

    That is awesome!

  2. Jim says:

    In Ron’s second picture, the curve does not seem to be right. It looks like the rails are forced into the curve. CW; suitcase layout is awesome, but that is a big suitcase.

  3. jim morris says:

    Awesome, great job.

  4. James says:

    A lot of hard work and attention to detail has gone into your layout. Far more than these clumsy old fingers of mine could ever hope to achieve…..well done.

    I am presently doing an O gauge layout very amateurish and certainly not the standard for this site but it is giving me an enormous amount of pleasure and I would encourage anyone who has a few hours a week to interact with model trains as it does provide satisfaction. Mine is an L shaped 12 x 8 foot layout with nothing but Lionel track and locos all diesel. As I say certainly not for the experts of this site but in my later years of life I have been re-introduced to a worthwhile hobby.

    Back to your layout In a suitcase though….I am amazed at the work involved and would like to congratulate you on a job well done….lovely to see it.

    James from the UK.

  5. Bob says:

    How can I reach “Ron”? And where is he located?

  6. John Meehan says:

    Wow! That rocks! Well done!

  7. Tony says:

    Everything I’ve seen in the past few weeks has added to my “out-of-the-box” almost whimsical concept of a dream layout!

  8. Brent 'Hooligan' Polson says:

    It would be awesome if a person would build viewing windows into the suitcase. Then you could see the layout at track/street level and have instant darkness to simulate night time with all the lights on.

    Very nice layout. I’ve always thought of a traditional suitcase, but I like the upgraded use for luggage as demonstrated here.

    Well done!

  9. Alex says:

    Can’t wait to see your progress on your Lionel 12 x 8 foot L-shaped layout.

  10. Alex says:

    The photos show hours and hours of attention to detail that are remarkable. This must be more difficult than building a ship in a bottle. It makes one wonder what you could do inside one of the old steamer trunks. You would probably have at least a helix or two in O Gauge.

  11. Dennisnelson says:

    Is the 00 gauge still for sale and if so how much and can it be broken down with plans or photo to rebuild

    I have a 00 gauge built but want to re build and this is the onesie of Ali have seen

    But it has to otero the southwest

    Thank you

  12. John wisnieski says:


  13. Jon B says:

    Ron, so much detail. Love the flowering trees, the detail in the garden, the campfire. Just beautiful work. Thank you for sharing this amazing layout with us.

  14. Joe says:

    Very nice work Gentlemen!

  15. Thomas says:

    Pictures tell a thousand words…. Nice modeling, but use more lighting and a lower F-stop (4 or less) to get better depth of vision with your camera. Keep up the work and photos coming.

  16. Don says:

    Absolutely outstanding. First prize in my book.
    Don in Ok

  17. Richard A Sommery-Gade says:

    Sorry for my dense brain, but what gage is this wonderful suitcase layout done in ?

  18. Bedros Anserian says:

    One word – Amazing.
    Bedros, LA

  19. Ray Suckling says:

    Love the layout Ron, the attention to detail is great on an 8×4 layout. Would be interested in seeing the track plan if that is possible. Ray……..

  20. Steve Roberts says:

    Two different, but very good efforts. The suitcase is amazing, have been used to coffee tables, but not this. Steve R UK

  21. david howarth says:

    Looks Good Ron , well planned layout , and I just love that suitcase layout ..Dave

  22. Howie weiss says:

    I would love to know what scale, the layout is. Z , N , HO
    Great work

  23. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great to see2 different concepts on trains a lot of detail in both. would love to see more.

  24. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    Very nice and I like the deep canyon areas….I thought I was small with N…lol…I think I’d go blind building the suitcase size….Mike

  25. Mark Piznik says:

    Beautiful workmanship! NJ Mark

  26. Paul DeGrey says:

    Hi Ron
    Your work is amazing. I like your 4 x 8 very much. Could you send Alastair a track plan he can publish here. I would love to see what you did.

  27. Billy Mills says:

    anybody got any tips on how to make Plasticville buildings look less plastic?

  28. Don Hansen says:

    I love your layout, it is great work.
    Is your little saw mill a kit or did you build it your self? I saw a model of a saw mill in a train shop but it has been sold and nobody knows the name of the model

  29. Ted Rothstein says:

    great looking piece of model railroad art.

  30. Rich says:

    To Richard A Sommery-Gade, I read your question as to scale and want to reply, with a very straight face: G scale of course! LOL

  31. bruce betters says:

    both were very nice but that n scale is awesome! the detail is some of the best ive ever seen. and to top it off its self contained in one of the koolest cases, im just blown away. thanks for the pics.

  32. Dennis SMith says:

    Ron’s layout great with much effort put into the details in every facet of it. I would like to know the scale of the layout. It was not mentioned in the article. Thanks,
    Bethany Village Model Railroad Club in PA, USA>

  33. Erick says:

    Pretty Neat.!!!!

  34. Ken of Lakewood Shores says:

    Two very awesome layouts. I assume the suitcase layout is in Z scale. Love to see more examples. Carry on!!!!

  35. All pictures force you to study them. Super scenes – great detail.

  36. TJK says:

    Hey Billy Mills, I have left over plastiville parts nothing complete, maybe a roof, a wall of windows, etc. I have incorporated some of those pieces into scratch built buildings. I have taken different earth tones and greys and just randomly brushed those parts to blend. Not too much paint on the brush, almost dry and just blot different surfaces…..takes the molded plastic look away and becomes more life like. Give it a try.

  37. David Ryder says:

    If possible , I would really like to see a track plan for Ron’s 4×8 layout.
    Thank you.
    Dave in Maryland

  38. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice train in a box, sort of. i have a small set in a coffee table. very good job.

  39. Tony Weisbecker says:

    That could be me in that first picture sitting on the log to the right . Ha . Very nice layout my friend .

  40. Christine says:


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