Photo backdrops for model trains – Steve’s

Steve’s been in touch with some pics on photo backdrops for model trains:



I can not remember how I came across you, and all the wonderful people who model and take their time to post pictures.

Lets see, I started this all by dating a girl who had a young boy. It was about a month and 1/2 before Xmas. I thought to myself, when I was his age, I loved my Lionel/ Tyco train sets. So I went out and bought him a set.

Turn’s out the relationship went south, forgot about the set until I bought my house. In my backyard is a big shed, and that is where it all started years ago. I live in S Cal.

My Mother is a Brit. So I love to see all the European lay outs its just the best. You taking all of your time is THE BEST!! Thanks Again!

I really do thank you because I do get a lot of information from all the major modeler’s (DAVE) And all the rest. Just blow’s me away how great they are!

So here are a couple shot’s of my work still in progress. Its just a layout I did not try and model anything. This is my 1st layout. I am sure it will change.

I run HO and 6 Trains. I will try and post more Pic’s in the future.

Thank You again…. Al


Photo backdrops for model trains

model railroad tunnel

Photo backdrops for model trains

locomotive and track

Photo backdrops for model trains

What I loved about Steve’s story is how he started. So many folk just ‘fall’ in to making a layout through one reason or another – and that’s fine by me.

But most of all – it’s all about just getting started.

A big thanks to Steve for sharing his photo backdrops for model trains.

Hate to bore you, but if you’re still sitting on the side lines, this will get you started, just like Steve.

Please do keep ’em coming.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

45 Responses to Photo backdrops for model trains – Steve’s

  1. Hbar says:

    Looks very fresh and we’ll done.

  2. Brian Heap says:

    Thats really nice. Wow, what a shed. How big is the layout? Most of us would kill for your shed alone. Very nice Steve.

  3. david howarth says:

    Looks like you built yourself a nice layout there Steve , look forward to seeing more of it …Dave (Dangerous Dave )

  4. Dave DeCarlo says:

    First layout? We’re glad to have you. From what we see you are already advanced. Keep up the great work, we’re looking for more.

  5. Bob Cassidy says:

    Hi Al
    i am just started a large HO railroad. It is in a room over a garage. The railroad will be on the outside wall of a room that is 36×20 feet in size. i expect it will be years before it is even close to being complete. There are no pictures at this time.
    Best Regards
    Bob Cassidy

  6. Herman says:

    Nice to see some HO scale layouts – Would be really great if you can sometime post more pics to show off the actual full layout !

  7. Richard Wilson says:

    Great looking layout and would kill for a shed like that it looks enormous.


  8. Ray says:

    Very nice layout, Steve. Looking for the next addition and maybe a video

  9. Peter Jones says:

    For your first layout Steve you have done a great job, very well done. Peter “The Mackem” in Sunderland, England

  10. paul Otway says:

    Nice Layout, Steve, shame the relationship went sore. Plenty of nice girls around.

  11. Arnie Steiner says:

    Nice job Steve. Finding a reason and taking the first step is all you need to start your journey into model railroading. Now that you’ve gotten your great beginnings and a wonderful layout is evolving, keep on going. You’ll find that a layout lives for years and additions, changes, enhancements, etc. are part to the process. So enjoy all of it.
    By the way, I see you’ve discovered photo backdrops from Dusquene Lithograph marketed as Realistic Backgrounds. Nicely incorporated with your lower relief building flats.


  12. MArk says:

    It looks great. I’m into Santa Fe as well. That was all I saw as a kid growing up in Texas.

  13. For your first lay out, you did a great job. I enjoyed all that I saw. Keep up the good work. Good health to you.

  14. Ron says:

    Love your posts. Just bought your book offer and am looking forward to reading it. Wondered if Steve could post something showing his entire layout so I could get an overall feeling for it. A drawing of the layout would even work.

  15. Mike RICHARDSON says:

    Steve, what a super layout. It is hard to believe this is your first layout. You did a great job of designing and building it.

  16. Jim says:

    Nice. You’re off to a great start. And yeah, would love to have that space for running long trains.

    Jim AZ

  17. Billy Mills says:

    Not long ago some one suggested using the ridged area of metal cans as corrugated metal.

    My question is: How does one get the curve/bend/ out of the metal?

    Any ideas out there?

  18. Mike Foster says:

    Steve, your Mum would have been proud if you had model Brit Rail, preferable Southern 🙂
    What you done is fantastic, brilliant. I am just in the final planning stage and hope to start framing in April, I did P4 back in the 70’s but not touched it since we moved some 30yrs ago, now retired its my time. If anyone has tips on wiring led (3v) never had them in the 70’s look a lot of fun.

  19. Daniel Hamilos says:

    Very nice layout. Clean and colorful. The background photos on the wall add a lot. I look forward to seeing more.

  20. Lester Cramer says:

    very cool nice set up’ any one interested in buying some HO train stuff Have 4×8 set up and everything else. Over 2000$ invested Asking 1100$ Will deliver within 50 miles of my home.

  21. Jim Saccento says:

    Nice job. You’re lucky to have such a space in basement-liss Cali.

  22. tom bray says:

    WOW !!! what a great start for a first timer…too old for me anymore. to start…did a 3 X 4 N scale a while back & gave it away….my dad bought me an original A C GILBERT HO set with the 4 -6 -4 Hudson loco and cast freight cars….gave that away too…if I only knew then …oh well..

  23. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Nice looking layout. Envy that large space. Love the long runs and the fisherman.

  24. Ted Rothstein says:

    super nice look

  25. layout has a super nice look

  26. DJfromNJ says:

    Congrats on your layout and getting started. Also, my envious thought on having a shed (equates to S-P-A-C-E). Can’t wait to see your updates. Good luck!

  27. Michael Brookman says:

    Inspiring! I’ve been dreaming since the 1970s and haven’t done much. Probably have enough kit to build several railroads. Maybe, 2021 is the year? Thanks for the pics!

  28. Macbear says:

    Glad that you took an opportunity and have make something worthwhile of it. I’m on my first real layout, and find posts such as yours inspirational. Thankyou.

  29. Mike Balog says:

    For Arnie: Regarding “Dusquene Lithograph”, I googled it and Could locate those photos suitable for model railroad backgrounds. Do you have the URL for where you bought them?
    AND for Steve: (1.) Great Layout, Glad you have a Large Shed to locate it in. (2.) Could you post the Track Plan, so we can figure 0ut how you managed to get the train from the yard to the highest level of your layout? Did you use a Helex, or just went around the room several times building up to the next elevation. (3.) Wondered if you could tell us, about that Elevated RR Crossing Shanty that is close to a Tunnel? Humm? ~ From N.H. U.S.A…. Mike.

  30. Robert D. Bouskill says:

    I love Steve’s story. Model railroading really is all about love. I’ve posted some videos but no one watches them. Here is one but the sound does not work. The railroad isn’t all about being big, all you really need is a track to run your engines on. For me it has been years of pleasure.

  31. William Plastow says:

    Where do you get the background from.

  32. Richard says:

    Off to a great start. Looking good.

  33. John Floyd says:

    If that is your first layout ,you are hired, great job, thanks for the video I enjoyed it very much!!

  34. heh heh heh the urban scene tall buildings w tracks…….doesn’t fit…..street cars would be more appropriate for the area…..never the less good job and much work and planning is evident

  35. Will in NM says:

    Well Steve, that’s what I get for reading my emails backwards, You’ve done a really nice job for your first model railroad. I love the photo backdrops and the multilevel trackage. I see you’re using Kato HO Unitrack. I started out with Atlas code 100 snap track, then discovered Atlas code 83 Tru-Track that I thought was great until I tried some Kato Unitrack. I just watched a video at the Fifer Hobby Supply website on how to make Kato Unitrack into flex track. It’s not a flexible as regular flex track but it maintains the Kato Unitrack roadbed profile and connectors. Keep up the good work and send us more photos (and a video if you can manage it.)

  36. Tim Smolinski says:

    Steve! You captured the true essence of model railroading! Salute! Simple, nice scenery (I’m gonna bet you are somehow technically oriented) but you convey the notion that even if the trains aren’t running, that “something” is occurring on the layout! Bravo!

  37. Erick says:

    Look Kool I am going to make look mine something like that.

  38. Hello,
    If dis is yor first layout WOII great performers and beautiful layout thanks for scharring.
    HC Treintje Herman from Belgium.

  39. That’s a first layout? Good lord that is a great job!

  40. Mr. Ron from So Mississippi says:

    My first layout was in 1950. I had an attic that measured about 32×16 feet. That was a time when girls absorbed all my interests, so trains took a back seat. It wasn’t until 2019 that trains again took the spotlight. I’m really starting from the bottom up and don’t rely on my earlier experiences with trains. I do remember the Tru scale roadbed with milled ties that I had to spike rail down to. Too bad that roadbed is no longer made. My present layout is Marklin based in a 10×11 foot space. A lot smaller, but I know at my age (87), that is all I can deal with. Lacking the energy of other modelers, I read about on this site, I am moving along at a snail’s pace to build my empire. I don’t know if I will ever get to finish it, but at least it keeps me occupied so I don’t dwell on aging and all that goes with it. I feel for those who don’t have an interest in anything other than work. Life is short but having a great hobby like model railroading can extend life. There are many activities that people participate in but can get dis-interested in over time, but model railroading is not one of them. I am never bored watching railroad videos or reading these railroad sites. Of course, I have other interests that fortify trains such as metal and wood working. I love music, so I have music playing all day. I wake up every morning with music and go to bed with music. Food is another interest, and I am a pretty good cook.

  41. Mr. Ron from So Mississippi says:

    Sorry! I forget to comment on Steve’s layout. He has made a good start and has a lot of space I wish I had. I would like to make a small comment His photos are taken too close, so they are not very sharp. The depth of field is too short, step back a foot or two.

  42. Bob Muhme in Michigan and Arizona, both N scale says:

    Steve, looks like a great layout! Great flats along the backdrop. And many of the photos are taken low as if standing at that spot not up high like a drone. Looks very realistic!

  43. Alabama Mike says:

    Steve, you did a great job for your first time. I your pictures and your comments on how you got started. Keep up the great work.

  44. Don says:

    the tunnels & pines look so real, well done

  45. Stephen Hill says:

    Great first layout , awesome narrative , hopefully someone purchased the lad a train . I’m supposing now you’ve got the bug .. never going to be finished , I don’t think in the history of model railroading that one is absolutely completely finished … each day brings a new idea or addition , have fun . It’s the best indoor air conditioned hobby .

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