Tim Horn baseboard kit provides a head start.

Wrapped in many layers of clothing and with flasks full of hot tea, I've been braving the cold of my garage to begin work on a compact 'O' gauge layout - my first real foray into 7mm scale. Aided by a wonderful 4ft x 3ft laser-cut plywood baseboard kit from Tim Horn, progress has been relatively swift. I've crafted the legs and traverser fiddleyard myself, the latter providing an interesting challenge and another first for yours truly. The sliding, hidden tracks will certainly help in maximising the scenic area and providing plenty of potential operating potential.

The layout is to feature Heljan's new modular diesel depot kit as the focal point, although I'm thinking of adapting it to form a wagon works rather than a loco shed, not least as 'O' gauge wagons are a lot cheaper than locomotives! Furthermore, I enjoy shunting wagons around aimlessly - it can be very therapeutic.

While I've always fancied having a proper go at 'O' gauge modelling, I'm already thinking how much I could cram into the same amount of space if working in 'N' or 'OO', so I wonder if the larger scale bug will bite me for good. Or will it be a fleeting dalliance?

Read more about this project in the next issue of Model Rail magazine (MR246), on sale this week, with details of the traverser appearing in MR247, out on 12 April.

The Tim Horn laser-cut baseboard kit was a joy to assemble and creates a very sturdy, yet lightweight, structure.


  1. At the risk of social media- huge LIKE. I'm pondering O despite a huge OO collection and will be following this with great interest. Good luck and good modelling, George.

    1. Thanks Duncan. Hoping to get a bit more work done on the layout now that the snow has cleared up.

  2. Hello George, I have all your books and lots of O Gauge engines and wagons, but no layout. I hope your layout build will kick start me into building a small layout to learn from. Best wishes.


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