Thursday, 6 July 2017


Spent some good hours last night re-reading John H. Ahern's  fabulous and very informative 1950s Book - 'Miniature Building Construction'. At this stage of pre-planning for my OO Hornby Layout I have thought of four choices when it comes to obtaining the Buildings that I will eventually need.
Firstly, I could Scratch Model everything from raw materials such as cardboard and timber etc and save myself a good deal of funds and provide myself with hours upon hours of great activity.
Secondly, I could choose to obtain the excellent Card Model Kits by 'SUPERQUICK' and/or 'METCALF'....decisions, decisions - these kits go together well and are indeed very affordable.
Thirdly, I could pay a handsome sum for Ready-Made HORNBY Buildings - such as those belonging to the 'Skaledale' Range....nothing wrong with this- however these types of models do come at rather high prices.
Fourthly, I could choose a combination of Scratch Built, Card Model Kits and Ready Made.

In the past I have done a fair bit of Scratch Modelled Buildings - and re-reading John H. Ahern's book has indeed inspired me that I should give the time honored methods a go and see what I can come up with in the way of usable Buildings for my Layout.


Last night I managed to spend some pleasurable and entertaining  hours going through my old copies of RAILWAY MODELLER- which I might add: I treat like GOLD!

An article in the July 1967 edition by Dave Howsam- all about his Exhibition layout - PORTHLEVEN certainly stuck a chord with me about how to successfully go about building a 'Branch' type layout. A most impressive GWR model - which was chosen as Railway Modeller 'Railway of the month'. Porthleven is certainly worth referring too as I go about planning my own layout.

 Today I traveled to Mittagong NSW and brought home the PECO Setrack OO Planbook. I shall go about using tracing paper and pencil to mark out my SETRACK layout - using the plans in the PECO book as a guide for the exact track pieces I shall require.

I also purchased a Wiring Booklet - which will help me with the Basics for the layout.


At this stage ( three days into my Project) ...I am thinking about a Layout which will be ANALOG ... all PECO Code 100 Setrack, with all PECO Insulfog Points and some Sectional gaps.....a little undecided on building either a Branch Line or a Through Station as the main theme of the layout. Though I'd certainly like to include a Continuous Run. I should spend a good deal of time planning out the Layout entirely - several times - with several alternatives to help finalize a Design.

Until Latter.


  1. I'll be interested in seeing you layout plan , Mine as a child was of course a simple circular one , Tony

    1. Tony,
      I'm a fair way from the planning stage- though have some rough ideas upon what the layout will look like. Certainly I do have a good idea about what the model overall will feature. Cheers. KEV.

  2. A train layout certainly provides an opportunity for much enjoyable planning, dreaming and building.

    Given the quality of your models I think scratch building is the place to start. Lots of hours of entertainment for you there and a layout you can be even more proud of at the end.

    1. Ross,
      Yes- scratch building may be the way to go. However, finding good building plans that are suitable is a bit of a problem...I will keep looking though. Ready-made IS however very tempting as certainly to-days products are excellent quality. Cheers. KEV.

  3. You have quite a bit of reading there as you prepare and decide upon what your layout will be. Will you be creating a fixed setup or does it need to be packed away?

    1. Peter,
      I have a sizable shed in which to build a permanent Layout. At present I have a bench-table some 5'6" x 13' which would do- however I may choose to build the layout smaller than the current table size. Cheers. KEV.

  4. The trouble is, with looking through old Railway Modellers (and mine go back to 1955) for a particular article, is that you can get so easily sidetracked reading the other stuff. Regarding buildings, have you looked at the 'Scalescenes' website? You can buy downloads and they come easily adapted, with multi-options on walls etc sometimes. Good luck with the planning.

    1. Joppy,
      Thanks for the tip on 'Scalescenes'- I will have a look at the website for sure. Yes, older copies of Railway Modeller certainly are inspiring- and true it is hard not to be sidetracked. I'm of the opinion now where I've spent a life-time being distracted - now I am fully focused on what I really need to do- with OO scale Hornby. Cheers. KEV.