Jim Six Layout Update

Jim Six sent a few images of his layout progress recently and gave permission to share them on the blog. Jim has been rebuilding his HO scale layout that reflects northern Indiana towns. He had grown dissatisfied with the layout that was featured in the 2010 Model Railroad Planning and has decided to focus on one main town. What follows are some notes and photos from Jim. Enjoy.

Health issues a few years ago caused me to lose interest in our hobby and I dropped out. Two years passed before I returned to the layout room. Those were tough times. I thank Ray Breyer and Tom Johnson for encouraging my interests along and returning to the hobby.

Early in 2016, I got a bug in my ear to backdate to 1928. I joined a Pre-Depression Era modeler discussion group and discovered my rolling stock fleet would need many alterations, or wholesale changes. I had no idea the 1920s would be such a challenge to model. After a few months of questions and discussion, I decided to rethink my modeling efforts and focus on an era set in the very late 1930s. Most of my freight car fleet as well as many vehicles would fit well in the late 1930s.

I’ll be retiring soon and must rationalize the layout with what I already have. About 80% of my current freight car fleet can be used for this new layout. The new plan is to build a simplified plan and operate New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad trains, but not at the same time. I want to maximize the chance of completing the layout in a few short years.

Of course, finding modeling time is still a problem. I work a full time job plus teach programs at a couple of local colleges. Winter break and a week away from work have allowed some progress!

A recent weekend session went well until I ran out of materials! Installed a new elevator and almost finished scenery for the yard. These last few photos were taken after that work wrapped up.

Much of the foreground scenery in this image used Scenic Express “grass mats”, while scenery in the background is static grasses. In between is a mix of both. While not done yet you get a good idea of what it will look like.

A favorite locomotive is the New York Central Mikado Trix produced several years ago. Ray Breyer coached me in redetailing it to represent NYC 1853. I have yet to renumber it and I am contemplating a change to the tender lettering, as it should reflect an earlier NYC presentation. I’ll mull that decision for a bit and enjoy this fine model on the layout.

We thank Jim Six for sharing his layout notes and photos. We look forward to future updates!

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8 thoughts on “Jim Six Layout Update

  1. Hi Jim,
    So glad to see you have returned to modeling. Glad you settled on an era and the layout
    is looking really good. Welcome home my friend.

    Tom Kidd

  2. Hi Jim,
    I always enjoyed your writing and modeling over the years and great to see you’re back at it. I’ve been out for almost three years with medical issues too; cataracts and rotator cuff surgery. I can see HO Scale retainer valves once again and almost throw a baseball with some speed and distance ( no I’m no Tommy John) and I’m am building a new layout. Like you laying out for three years had me re-evaluating what I wanted to do resulting in a much simpler and “attainable” layout this time. Life experience and evolving Editing skills!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Don Spiro
    Tucson AZ.

  3. Thanks for sharing the update and especially the photos! I particularly like the backdrop treatment – very doable for what I have planned. Thanks again!

    Chris Adams
    Modeling the New Haven Railroad’s Connecticut Valley Lines c. Autumn 1947 (or 1948, or ’49)

  4. Hi Jim,
    Living the cardiac journey myself since Jan 3, 2017. Totally empathize with you.
    Wonderful to hear that you are back in the game. Terrific start and, if you are able, would love to see progress photos/plan. Your modeling always provides inspiration/motivation.
    Now working on scaling back my 3 level Ma & Pa monster to something achievable.
    Art Kuperstein
    M&PRR c.1949
    Langhorne, Pa
    Ma & Pa RR Website-

  5. Jim,
    I’m glad to see that a committed modeler can ‘quit’ the hobby, then after a period of time can successfully return.
    Ken Kessler

  6. Jim,
    Thanks for sharing photos of your beautiful layout, It would be nice if you could in your next update include a track plan. I really like the look of the grass mat and static grass. That NYC 2-8-2 is a good looking engine
    George Toman

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