The latest from Rob

“Great info. Keep them coming!!

Here is my suggestion for Oil storage tanks.

Materials: pvc caps and couplings

I used different sizes (2, 3 and 4 inches) bought from the local building supply stores.

The logos were downloaded from the web and copied into a pdf file so they could be sized to the tank.

I printed the logos onto transparency sheets and used 3m spray adhesive to secure them.

I plan to add ladders and also seal the seam between the cap and coupler to conceal the joint.



“I have to say that this is the first model railroad for me in over 25 plus years and I’m working on a freelance of 17′ x 9′ on an N scale I have been doing track 1st and then landscape !

Not sure if this is the correct way but I have learning by mistakes !

And I have to laugh at myself for that , I will say all the post from everyone out there are a great help . And I love working on my layout even if I do it twice !

Thanks to all of you out there with your ex pert advice .



“Here’s my tip – get started. The journey always begins with a first step, so don’t be afraid. That’s the fun of learning.


“Hi Al,

Thanks for posting my Caravan park videos. It appears it was a mistake to put them in a playlist. Half the viewers never got on to the second video in the playlist. It was the better one of the two. In the future I will send single links.

By the way, I worked out how to cut out a passable 00 Scale umbrella tent from paper. I plan to demonstrate it in Part III.

All the best,




And if you did miss Rob’s second video, it’s here:

That’s it for today.

Keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day when you decide to join in on the fun, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

21 Responses to The latest from Rob

  1. Matt Jackson says:

    Very clever. I model in O scale, but the use of unconventional items for model railroad structures still holds. We used some commercial truck oil filters for oil tanks, drawer pull knobs for roof vents, and for a scratch-built “concrete” bridge, I used mouldings for sculpted columns and Wainscot cap for the top rail, with strips of plastic rain gutter screen (keeps leaves out of rain gutters) for the railings.

  2. vince longo says:

    Wow, great work and can’t wait to see progress on your N scale layout.
    I did something similar for the tanks. Bought end caps at Lowe’s in PVC white pipe that was in scale to HO and made one for my son’s platform, /Users/vincelongo/Desktop/IMG_59941.jpg

  3. verry cool
    and how easy to assemble…
    keep it runnin’

  4. Gene "Hat" Hatfield says:

    TP cores make great HO scale storage tanks. Paint & decal as needed

  5. Peter Jones says:

    Once again Rob another great tutorial / update on Farland Howe, like the tips on creating the road surface to give the tyre tracks created over time. A tremendous layout, thanks for sharing. Pete

  6. Ralph Berry says:

    Go for it Rob
    There is not much fun to be had in a model railway that has masses of scenery and no tracks to run on. The first try-out on mine required a clockwork loco as I hadn’t connected the power up.

  7. Gary D says:

    Nice frame work on your layout. Looks like it will be great when scenery is applied. Looking at it, one question I have is unless I’ve missed something, how are you going to be able to access derailments, cleaning track, etc..? By the picture it looks to large to be able to reach certain areas without a lift out or ways to get to a problem.

  8. Herb Ahrens says:

    Love the size, and am envious !! Wow, 17 by 9 is a wonderful size even in HO, but even better in N. Have not worked on model trains in 30 plus years, and am starting this spring on an N gauge layout on a 22″ by 45″ board (with some track already in place), so my challenge is two-fold; (1) to model in smaller size than I had been used to, and (2) to practice making the layout and scenery as realistic as possible. Wish you the best, Earl.

  9. Duncan Galbraith says:

    Small layouts can be great fun. Don’t try to build a complete coast to coast railway with everything from a church and farm and funfair etc on one board. Select a theme/industry/ idea and build on that. Some layouts get very crowded – fine if you’re modelling a city or town-scape but I’ve seen some fine layouts with just a simple country halt and a couple of sidings with lots of space around them, A good backdrop helps. I’ve taken a few good ideas off this website for backdrops.
    I’m waiting for the weather to clear to get busy on an outdoor layout. D/

  10. paul Otway says:

    nice work everyone.

  11. stephen clarke says:

    I’m trying to make large oil storage tanks can u get paper to cover large tins etc to make them look like oil tanks Ps oo scale

  12. Terry Plunkett says:

    All we need now is a printable tent like Al’s wonderful buildings. Maybe a printable sheet of various tent styles? Great work Rob!

  13. Kevin McArdle says:

    James, get the track and operation done first, and make sure there are no ‘ghosts’ in wiring or poor clearances, or derailing issues. Once that is done, the real fun part starts and that is scenery, buildings and industries for your layout. Looks like you have the right idea. Best of luck. Kevin

  14. don kadunc says:

    Great work Lou. I have done the same thing with 3 and 4 inch couplings. I use plastic sheet as tops. They are cheaper than caps at $1.25 and $1.50 each. The 4 inch couplings are actually 5 inch diameter. They are not as fancy as the $35 kits, but you can have a large storage facility for the price of one kit.

  15. Chris Sylvester says:

    Love the theme of the park looks like it’s back in 50s or 60s great job thanks for sharing!!!!!

  16. Robert Brady says:

    Rob,Don’t forget the picnic tables!,carry on.

  17. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Hi Rob I don’t think I would want to have any of the pitches close to the track. Even for the hardened railway enthusiast this would be a nightmare if trains run after say 8pm. or start very early in the morning. I suppose you could erect a sound barrier fence to help but again you have to be a fair distance from the fence for it to have any effect. Id like to cancel my provisional request for a booking next year.

  18. Erick says:

    neat layout!!!!!!!!! I am going to try that.

  19. Mr. Ron from So Mississippi says:

    Great work! I don’t think I would want to camp that close to railroad tracks, but I camped at a campground in California named Refugio beach that had the Southern Pacific running through the campground. Long freight trains going around a curve with the wheels squealing let you know where you were.

  20. Frank says:

    I like how your Railroad is about the people of Farland and not just the trains.

    The one thing I find to be a contradiction in model railroading is that people want to showcase the trains and the tracks. They have them out in the open, easy to see, but in reality, one might be lucky to catch a glimpse of a train or even see a short length of track.

    But again, I like your stories and reasoning for your designs. It’s like “The Walking Dead” is not so much about the zombies, but the people….. with plenty of zombies or trains and cars and signals to admire, to feed our imaginations and make our dreams come to life.

    Frank in Orlando

  21. Ed Horst says:

    Great video on Farland Howe layout.. jig for road wheels would be a great tutorial as well as tent & lawn chairs, just slow down on bending wire.. excellent camping/ caravan park location even if besides tracks.. possible lower renting for those campers..

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