Sam’s super layout

“I can’t believe how much time my layout takes – I love experimenting with different techniques – keep them coming please!.

The Old B12 rusty loco was just an old bodyshell minus the front door – I glue gunned 3 wheels onto the body and applied rust effects (The Vallejo Rust and Chipping effects is a great set – comes with instructions and actually quick to apply with a brush and sponge)

Apologies for the Jurassic park going on in the background – my son does like to put some life into my layout!!!!


Vandals!!!!! A burnt out BR mail van – really easy – just attacked it with Dremell, stuck all the bits in the bottom with poly cement, liberally added some matt black paint and a few rust spots. The couplings were removed for realism (I actually used these to repair an old loco!). Took a couple of hours.


The rail carrier is the chassis of an old Lima coach with lengths of the old steel Hornby track – nicely rusted after leaving them in the garden for a couple of days – and held on with jewellery chain – rusted with the afore mentioned paint set.


I’m still analogue!!! but have isolation rails to allow several loco’s to ‘park’ in sidings.

If anyone spots the slightly strange road way, it’s actually an old Minic Roadways set from my late father. Scale OO. I have a rail crossing so we can set two trains going and race, trying to beat the trains to the crossing.


Home made pallets from thin veneer, sliced and glued – I measured a real pallet and divided by 76. Not sure if it’s worth the effort as they’re very fiddly to make!!!



“Hi Al. To add interest to a still water pond you can add small lines of plaster to the pond bottom, then paint the bottom green and finish off with clear resin or Woodland Scenics water. I added the BN red engine to better highlight the reflection. Now if I can just get control of those pesky HO scale mosquitos…… 😉 Mark”

Burlington 145 on Thunder Mt.

A big thanks to Mark and Sam.

Sam proves you should really never throw anything away – and I love how he’s given his layout so much character.

Mark’s pic is stunning – as always. And a superb tip too.

That’s all today folks – please do keep ’em coming.

And if you want to get going on your layout, the Beginner’s GUide is here.



PS Looking for the latest ebay cheat sheet? It’s here.

25 Responses to Sam’s super layout

  1. Les Coultas says:

    Super detailed layout. I like the idea with the rusting locomotive and the burnt out carriage. Good work.

  2. Guy says:

    Great work,,,and yes the pallets were worth your time,,fantastic

  3. Tony says:

    The dinosours are a great touch! I have o gauge cows and fence on my ho layout because my five year old thinks the empty space in the intermodal yard should be used for farming. Gotta keep t I ose kids involved! They add a lot of fun to the effort.

  4. Lynn says:

    I am preparing to begin my Northwest logging railroad. These are great ideas and I love the track car.

  5. Paul says:

    Sam, I still have items from Tri-ang Minic Roadways, bought in the 1960s. I had to look twice to make sure I saw that in your pictures. If only they had DCC back in those days! Great photos and a great layout you have there!

  6. Pete Evangel says:

    I like the idea of not throwing out stuff. Just went to a swap meet with dad and bought a real rough looking gondola. He wanted the trucks and couplers, not the body. Told him dont toss out the body, we’re going to make some kind of distressed looking pile of junk out of it. Cost $5 (U.S.). Heck, new trucks are $10 each! (He works in “O-27” scale, since he’s 86 it’s hard to use smaller). I like the burned out mail car!! That’s giving me some ideas. -Pete, Calif.

  7. Mark StJohn-jones says:

    that’s what makes the layout sooo realistic
    good jobs fellas
    keep it runnin!!

  8. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great detail like the carriage effect. the rusty loco looks like its getting reborn.nice effect on the loco shed.nice hint on the pond what a great effect.

  9. paul Otway says:

    I like it Sam. All you need is 2 workers with a gas scrap torch cutting up the old loco.

    Paul Otway

  10. Luv your imagination and will to work with what you have readily available. Your tips will be utilized as I too have kept too much stuff [the wife says]. Thx for sharing all the tricks of the layout modelling trade. Good Luck………..Harold Jr. GPTx,USA

  11. Bob Townsend says:

    Brilliant. Its obvious that you’re not only learning from experimenting but also having fun. Yes, railways do take time, but its fun! Keep going. BobT

  12. Donald Lango says:

    very nice, I wish i could do scenery like that

  13. Jim says:

    Nice. Mark, terrific detail with that water scene. And Sam, some unique effects with rolling stock. Great modeling to you both.

    Jim AZ

  14. CaryvButer says:

    Two very posts Al, great looking layout and the pond/Burlington diesel pic was Awesome
    Cary B

  15. Ray Suckling says:

    Love the ripple effect, will have to try it on a creek I am doing.

  16. Rob McCrain says:

    Great layout Sam with some very interesting details. Mark your still water is spot on and I love that red Burlington GP 30 too. Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  17. Good to see the Minic Roadway – has the Lledo bus been converted to run on it, or is it just sat on the road?

  18. Erick says:

    Good workmanship; I going to have to do some that to my layout too. I like the track car and burnout car.

  19. Sam Miller says:

    From Sam to Sam….
    Fantastic work, I wish I had your layout!
    All the best,

  20. Nice original ideas.

  21. Dave Karper says:

    Sam, those pallets are fantastic. Only thing not quite right is that pallets are made with wood that has a dirty look before they’re even assembled.

  22. Andrew Aves says:

    Hi Sam,
    Did Dell Boy crash by the loco shed or is he offering a deal on the rusty loco?
    Andrew in Oz

  23. mike tate says:

    I love the water in the pond, nice work. The ripples look real!!!!!!!!!! KUDOS

  24. Great layout Sam, FYI The Last photo was not BN red it is the CB&Q RR (Burlington Route) Chinese Red.

  25. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice. i have seen the railroad track on a car before, nice.

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