Buicks on the train set

Discussion in 'The Hobby Lobby' started by sean Buick 76, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Some progress on Shane and Sean's father and son Train set:

    hen I was a child my father and I built this 4x8 HO setup, and I enjoyed it a lot!!! I spent hours and hours playing with it! I grew up and the train set sat still, till recently when my dad hauled it across the country to me and my son! Dad had to cut the 4x8 to get it here, hence the boards on the underside.

    I set it up quickly and filmed this video, so this is the "before" shot and you will see my updates each week!!!

    I love this hobby because there is no right or wrong, as long as you enjoy it.


    Shane age 1.5 year old loves to watch it go round and round, but he is far too little to let him touch it yet.

    Here are some pics of the progress I have made in the past few weeks since I started:




    Got started on the car junkyard, will do a dirt ground treatment and setup gravel roads around the layout. The pavement is almost done, just needs another coat of paint and need to fine tune the rail crossing a bit.




    The drag strip is setup and looks good:




    I still have some buildings I need to assemble, many of the buildings I placed on here for the pics will not be used in the final layout. I just wanted to put some buildings on and check out how it looks so far.

    Thanks for looking I am having fun with this project and Shane loves watching the trains go around and around and smiles each time they come out of the mountain!





  2. Mopar

    Mopar Well-Known Member

    Nice pics. My grandkids are bugging me to pull out my old trains. They just don't understand I can't just pull it out and put it away like their toys.
  3. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Where's da' steam! (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Sean, Mopar, and V-8 Buick fans of miniature iron horses, . . .

    Thanks for sharing. I hope to get back to work on my own layout. Plenty of work to do on it, but alas, plenty of other things I need to take care of first! [​IMG]

    [​IMG] . . . Well now, . . . I wouldn't say that! [​IMG] . . . I can see a missing item that you should correct in a hurry! . . . Where's da' steam!! . . . [​IMG]

    Seriously best of luck with this! Let me offer you two constructive suggestions. The power pack you have on the layout is one of those inexpensive ones that commonly come with Christmas trains sets. I haven't looked in ages, but even the least expensive of the dedicated power packs like MRC sells will give you much better control of your trains and reduce stalling because of dirty track.

    Should you reach the point of wanting to expand your railroad empire with additional models, take a look at some of the machined connectors to accurately align one module to the next. My model railroad layout consists of 3 modules and I cobbled together an alignment scheme based mostly on the N-Trak modules. It is really stupid that nobody came up with a precise way to align modules until now. Now that it does exist, definitely take advantage of it when you decide to expand your empire! You can find information on both products in any model railroad magazine like Model Railroader.

    Thanks again for sharing!

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  4. cstanley-gs

    cstanley-gs Silver Mist

    Very new to this hobby .. (great another one :Dou:)
    But in N scale.
    My son got a starter set for Christmas
    My plan is to make a 3'x5' platform for him and the typical tunnel/bridge etc.

    Right now its all in my head though

    I love the drag strip on your lay out, I think my son would like that too
  5. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Thanks for the interest guys!
  6. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    There are RailCAD programs to save on mistakes . . . (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Curtis, Sean, and V-8 Buick fans of steel rails . . . . .

    [​IMG] . . . N scale!! That's - SO - small block!!! . . . [​IMG]

    Oh, . . [​IMG] . . no offense Sean! . . . . . . [​IMG]

    Seriously, how old is your son? N scale is mighty small. If he isn't old enough he might get frustrated. I find getting putting HO locomotives and cars on the track enough of a challenge.

    This may be too far ahead for your, but there are some "CAD" programs intended especially for model railroaders that aren't too expensive and include complete templates of track and so on. Since I'm a Mac guy I use RailModeller:


    I know there are better products for PC. It doesn't sound like something worth having until you . . . start trying one concept, then another, then another. . . . . It is a whole lot easier to make mistakes on the computer than on a plywood sheet! I went through quite a few designs before putting any track on the layout and then I changed my mind! [​IMG] Thanks to RallModeller, I was able to recover from my mistakes with much less pain.

    Yeah, but how about making it work with a slot car setup! . . . . :3gears:

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  7. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Risky to rely upon SWMBO . . . . (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Bob and V-8 Buick fans of iron rails . . . .

    I was an old Lionel guy and even for model trains bigger is better. If you like steam locomotives you really want them to be as big as possible to see all the complex machinery at work . . .

    Oooh, that's a dangerous move to risk your model railroad empire on . . . . . SWMBO :shock:

    I'm not sure that hoping for divine intervention will work out for you either. As outrageous as it sounds, with all the things that were brought to the baby Jesus, nobody thought to bring him a model train set! . . . . :Dou: I guess that explains why Jesus has to come back! :laugh:

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  8. nekkidhillbilly

    nekkidhillbilly post whore

    I found a correct resin ho scale slot car body for buicks on ebay. that I am converting into rail models. the hotwheels are 1:64 bigger scale. ho is 1:87. Im a sucker for perfect scale.
  9. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Dear nekkidhillbilly and V-8 Buick HO scale enthusiasts,

    Golly, I didn't even know there were HO scale slot cars! I thought this was something that would have be fashioned by hand. However, a search on Google came up with this website dedicated to HO Scale slot cars:


    I couldn't use this sort of thing on my model railroad layout, but it is good to know!

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  10. nekkidhillbilly

    nekkidhillbilly post whore

    I just buy the bodies and fit wheels under them to make static models.
  11. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    March Model Railroader magazine worth a read (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear V-8 Buick fans of miniature iron horses,

    The March 2016 issue of Model Railroader magazine features 4 compact model railroad layouts plus 4 track plans that fit on a 4' x 8' plywood sheet. This is a particular good collection of material for someone starting out in model railroading and doesn't have a lot of space. Here is a preview of the issue:


    In addition, there is an article on designing a sectional layout that can be dismantled in case you need to move it. For reasons I don't understand, model railroading in the United States has been slow to adapt to the changing realities of modern life. Sure, an empty basement is a perfect place for a model railroad, but they are increasingly rare. At the same time, people now move and if you built a layout, you'll want it to move with you. If you want some more practical ideas on layouts for today's world, this is an unusually helpful magazine issue to look through.

    Cheers, Edouard
  12. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Yes I agree the perfect scale is better.... I just have So many hotwheels cars I like to use them and they roll better than the 1:87 cars and way less money to buy....

    I have a bunch of the RIGHT scale cars too:

  13. LouV

    LouV Silver Level contributor

  14. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Still missin' something! (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Sean, Lou, and V-8 Buick nuts of roads and rails,

    Actually, you can take advantage of the larger size of the Hot Wheels cars and make your layout look more realistic. The idea is "forced perspective" and the scheme is to have the larger objects in front and the smaller objects farther away to create an illusion of distance. Of course what should be in front is your Buicks! [​IMG]

    [​IMG] . . . Yeah but so far you haven't shown us a single Buick . . . wagon! . . . . [​IMG]

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  15. bhambulldog

    bhambulldog 1955 76-RoadmasterRiviera

    That's really cool !!
    Dad built an HO RR on a 4x8 for my brothers and me.
    We had great fun !! Ours did'nt have a tunnel or trestle though , Very Nice !
  16. BuickSpecial41

    BuickSpecial41 Well-Known Member

    Wow this is really cool. I love the drag strip and the junkyard. Here in town, our local museum has a model train museum upstairs. It is really intricate with oil refineries and shipping docks and cities. It covers a huge area with different size trains. You'd probably love it. About 30 mins away from us is a full train museum made from a very old train station and they have a dedicated building for their model train museum. There are push button controls for the kids that will shut off the lights and show twinkling stars over the train set and cities. It's really awesome. I like how you incorporated your own custom billboards and signs. Really cool man.
  17. BuickSpecial41

    BuickSpecial41 Well-Known Member

    Oh man I just noticed the little mechanic dude and the jack at the hotrod shop. That is freakin awesome!
  18. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    I just noticed this thread! Cool!

    I've been a model railroader for most of my life, in fact, this is the only time when I don't have a layout running!

    I've got a ton of 1:87 cars, a lot of 50-51 Buicks. Of course I'm always hoping that someone will make more, but so far I haven't seen anything new in the Walthers catalog yet.

    Sean, you're right about the hobby in that it doesn't matter if it's "right"; my next layout is going to feature a North American side (CN and Western Canada late 60s early 70s) and a European side, (Germany, 1945-1970). The idea is to showcase how totally different they are, and there will be a border between the two and some shared track. The Canadian stuff I have is early diesel, and the German stuff I've got is mostly steam. Once I put decoders in them, all of my 1960s vintage Marklin stuff will run on DC so the whole works should be compatible. It ought to be cool. And yes, I'll go modern and it will be digital with decoders and the like, I'm not about to burn up the house with those old style power-packs.

    Now I'll have to see if I can dig up some old pictures...
  19. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Thanks for the interest guys, I love the hobby and Shane has a ton of fun with it too!
  20. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    There are tricks to make it "mor' bettr'" (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Marc, Sean, and V-8 Buick fans of miniature internal and external combustion motive power!

    [​IMG] . . . So?!? What are you waiting for? . . . [​IMG]

    Yes this is true. A layout is a sort of fantasy world and you are free to make what you desire of it and change your mind if your original goal doesn't work out. My current layout started out as an intended model of logging camp for a railroad that actually operated in the woods near Yosemite. However, the more I tried to achieve this, the harder it turned out to be. It was too much work to make a reasonably authentic model and more I read about logging life - the more I didn't like it. Why model something that involved a lot of human suffering? So I changed my mind and decided to model a "what if" tourist railroad and museum based on the same lumber company and railroad. By making the change I made the modeling much easier. Instead of having to model the actual buildings I could imagine that logging equipment from other parts of the country might have been purchased and moved to my fictitious tourist line. That way I had a much more interesting collection of models that were - much easier to build!

    At the same time, don't shun what hard core model railroaders are up to. I definitely recommend a subscription to Model Railroader or equivalent. It is fun to see what other people do with model railroads and there are some real tricks that make your model railroad look nicer and easier to build and maintain. As the old saying goes: "Learn from others!, because you really don't want to have to make all the mistakes by yourself!"

    I also went with DCC and even on a very small layout it is extremely desirable. Most layouts can operate more than one locomotive and DCC makes that practical. DCC also brings a new level of realism. Simply having the lights switch as they should when moving forward or reverse really adds to feel that this a real locomotive at work. I also installed DCC motors to control the turnouts as well. So from the throttle you can control the train and which track it is taking.

    Sadly, DCC is another significant expense and the early systems like the one I have are anything but intuitive. However, model railroad is definitely in the digital age. The National Model Railroad Association just issued a new set of standards to allow for networking a layout to deliver commands directly to accessories instead of relying on the track to deliver the signal. Apparently, some layouts are so complex that the track wasn't reliable enough if there are enough devices communicating with the throttle. So things are definitely evolving!

    Keep that train of thought! [​IMG]

    Cheers, Edouard :beer

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