Suggestions for HO layout kits?

I've been out of model railroading for about 25 years. I'm now getting back into it with the help of my 7-year-old son, who of course loves trains (He has a massive Thomas the train wooden set, and he got (when he was 1) one of his great grandfather's old HO set and my brother's old HO set). My wife's father collects N scale on the grand level.

I've assembled some of the HO tracks on a large sheet of plywood and he's able to run the equipment he has on it (He's shown to be very careful with his trains). I think it's now time to improve his system. We thought about pointing him to N scale because that is what his grandfather collects, but he already has a bunch of HO equipment, so I guess HO is the scale for him.

I am looking at buying a layout kit (probably one of those 4X8 feet one) that has all of the tracks, switches, scenery (mountains, tunnels, trees, etc.) so all we will have to do is to put it together (I can remember all of the time my brother and I took to build our HO layout from scratch, but then it was quite fun making our mountains and creating tunnels). I'm also considering buying a preexisting layout too, but figure my son would have more fun and enjoyment if he could be involved in the building of his railroad.

So I'm looking for suggestions and recommendations on kits (kinds of kits and best places for prices).

Thanks in advance for your help.

Rather B. Beachen

Reply to
Rather B. Beachen
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It's hard to beat the Woodland Scenics layout kits - there are track (atlas sectional) and building kits (DPM... GREAT buildings) for them as well.

I think the HO one is called "Scenic Ridge"...

The best part about them is low mess, and few really dangerous items for a supervised 7 year old. Foam roadbed and scenery, ;ow temp hot glue or water based glue and paints, cut the foam with a knife or hot wire foam cutter (Supervise, please, but not beyond a coordinated 7 year old)

However, don't dismiss N just because he already has some HO... My son has been running N scale since he was 4... and just think about how much more layout you can do in the same space in N!

Reply to
Joe Ellis

Believe it or not, back in the post-Christmas clearance sale I bought one of those Woodland Scenics layout kits - the Grand Valley. It was about 30% of list price so it was hard to resist. As long as I have been in the hobby, I have almost no scenery experience at all. The kit itself, while a complete layout (track pack is a separate item), is also kind of a sampler/infomercial for Woodland Scenics. I figured I'd build the thing, learn how to use the scenery products, and then give it away. But things changed in the following months, now I'm preparing to move, looking at starting on a new [large] layout at some point, and I haven't touched the Grand Valley. But it's still there once I get settled in, I will still build the thing just to get myself familiar with the process. I've been building rolling stock and locomotives for many years, but my layouts have always been some uncharted section of the Great Plywood Desert. So a little practice isn't going to hurt me before doing the big layout.

I don't know what the Grand Valley list price is, I think it's $395. I got mine for $150, and the track pack for $40 - just too hard to turn down. You may not find it that cheap but it's still a nice learning package at a modest price - whether you build the layout to keep, or just to practice.



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Reply to
Andy Harman

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