NY state (not the city lol)

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Hi everyone. My story is, I bought an Athern engine when I was around 14. My Dad, hounded me on what a waste of money it was and I fell out of the desire for railroading. Almost 40 years later, whilst cleaning up my garage, I happened across that old engine. Now that I have three kids, 7,8,9 years old. I though this would be a good time to see if they liked it and if I still did. Bought a cheap HO set off ebay. Kids were luke warm but I was exhilarated. Needless to say, I am building a 4'x12' layout, then quickly adding on two smaller layouts (4'x8' each). With bridges between them. I am an Electronic Field Engineer and the technology has move up nicely with the trains. I am not OCD about what I want to build. I like all the bells and whistles. I am not a stickler for details. Just want to have fun with this. The children are showing more interest. My oldest daughter likes molding rocks and painting them.
With all that in mind, anyone know a cheap source for plaster cloth. I am actually thinking about experimenting with loose mesh material and watered down wall plaster. I also found a cheap source for hobby foam. The company I work for throws out tons of it from packing material. I am also looking for an HO hobby shop anywhere near 12737 NY. :)o)
John S. Franco


Welcome aboard and hello. Glad that you found that spark to get back into the hobby and its great to hear that your kids are getting into it as well. Lots of friendly and knowledgable people here so I am sure all of us can chip in at some point to help out with any questions.
Thanks Charles. I am really getting into this. I think my first layout will be a freight yard with a passenger platform at one end.


I am still planning mine, but since I model in HO scale, I am planning a 8x10 with dual main lines, a passing siding and some industries for switching. May try to include a small 2 or 3 track yard and engine facility. I want to run a passenger train while running a local (switcher) for the industries. However I am also interested in HOn3 (narrow gauge) and plan on a small point to point switching style layout to get my feet wet in narrow gauge model railroading.
I just bit the bullet, glued down my 1" of foam on a 4' X 12'. I have 1 side rail in the front. The inner oval will have 4 side tracks to the inside to store cars. At one end the track splits for the turn. The outer track goes to an outside track on a 1.5 - 2 % grade up. The inner track stays at grade. Back at the other end the inner track goes into a tunnel and the outer continues to climb a high pass on the turn back to a 1% grade. The mountain track will continue up to a second 4X6 board at a higher level. I hope to have a two track bridge between the boards, maybe a waterfall or something. The second board will be a town with a mill of some kind. The first big board is the yard, some housing, a round house and turntable.

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