And then there was three.

Taking advantage of the warm weather and the non arrival of some bits I am waiting for to continue the OO scenic layout.

I had three 4′ x 15″ laser cut baseboards, I also had three small fiddle yards in kit form. The fiddle yards (sector plates) were made up and attached to the already made baseboards. I have experimented with the lengths of the fiddle yard sector plates by adding extra pieces onto the original kit item supplied.

This is not the first time I have used this method to make small layouts, and an earlier post shows how I did the conversions.

Two of the three layouts still have options to have another ‘bolt on’ baseboard added so that the scenic area could be doubled. One has had backboards added already and will remain this size.

The baseboards are from Grainge and Hodder.

The Fiddle Yards are from Norfolk Heathworks.

I have no real quick plans for these layouts except to say, one will be OO, one will be HO and one will be O gauge.  I hope to start at least one layout during the Autumn.






Bensen is a HO gauge American layout based in 1995-97. It was originally built as a commission for Ian Delgado. It is based on the edge of a desert and is in Arizona. As well a general freight yard there is also a cement factory, this receives coal and gypsum and despatches cement. Most locomotives are BNSF, but some pre merger branding is still evident. A small locomotive fuelling and exam point is provided. After exhibiting Bensen for four years, Ian sold the layout to Mike Stannard, my sons’ father in law. Mike then exhibited the layout for a further three years. When Mike retired he sold Bensen to a museum on the Isle of Man. I can only assume it is still available to view.

I must admit that when I started this project I had no idea that I was going to need to model a desert! Again research and experimenting would play a big part. One fact was that rusting was less likely due to lack of rain, so weathering of track and surrounding areas would be nearly non existent. After visiting builders merchants and other establishments we settled on ‘Childrens Play Sand’ . A slightly different method of fixing was required, I ‘painted’ on neat PVA then sprinkled with the sand, to build up certain areas I repeated the  process. I used ‘sandpaper’ to shape a few areas – dirty job!! Another product we used was ‘Chinchilla Dust’, available from your local pet shop. Woodland Scenic Talus was used for rocks.

We used ‘knuckle’ couplings throughout, but we did have problems with coupling different manufacturers together, in reflection, I think it would have been better to stick to one make, probably ‘Kadee’. We also had problems with magnet placement, firstly we disguised them so well under the track, that we had to put ‘markers’ where they were. These were track workers, signs and lineside boxes. We also had one magnet on a ‘very’ slight curve, this was problematical, and not recommended.