Model Railroad Based On The Old West Era

Thanks to Chris Myers of Sana Angelo (Republic of Texas) for sharing these photos of his amazingly well detailed model railroad.

Here is what Chris had to say about his model train layout…

It’s true, there’s no train here yet…but there is a train (Engine, Tender, & Caboose as of now) in my den.  This is step 5 (?) “Town With Lights.”

This is “Concho River City” (San Angelo 1878) as it was developing during the “Old West Era.”

25/28mm figures correspond to S Scale – from many companies – hand painted.

The train is On30.

Many buildings are scratch build (The Butcher Shop is mine and I had to make the “beef” myself) some are kits, and some are Hawthorne Village Collection with added lights.

Have fun looking!

Back Alley 01

People are what make Concho River City REAL. In “Back Alley” we see children playing, but adults lost in thought.

Concho Street 01

“Concho Street” is Main Street with a stage coach loading, Mexican men talking on the right, Mexican woman and girl on the left. The adobe and bath house are scratch built. Lots of small groups here with lots going on.


Butcher 01

“Butcher Shop” is mine. What do you think of the clouds?


Hotel Menu 01

“Hotel Menu” shows a young woman just trying to make a living. She’s standing in front of the Hotel with horses to her left and her boss looking on from the door. It took three days to make the menu board legible. There’s a piano player and singer farther left.


Lanterns 01

“Lanterns” shows my wire, bead, and rice light lanterns on OK Corral and Sheriff’s Office. That’s me on the horse tipping my hat to my wife in front of our house. Birds are flying…


Second Street 01

“Second Street” is residential with goats, boarding house, drunks and farmers. The boarding house is entirely my own.


South Concho View 01

“South Concho” shows all the chaos of a business district. Dry goods are piled on docks which come out into the street. This stopped street racing (with horses) and made it easier to load goods onto wagons. Sporting women are out bathing on top of the hotel. Law Enforcement is out in force and the gunsmith looks worried. The well is the center of town.


Bar Maid 01


Thanks to Chris for sharing these great photos, they will give many people ideas and inspiration.

Please comment below and tell Chris what you think!

Do you have photos or tips you would like to share? Please send them to modeltrainsforbeginners (@)


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30 Responses to “Model Railroad Based On The Old West Era”

  1. Larry Gibson says:

    An amazing town. It will be interesting to see how you incorporate a train and the station. This shows you do not have to build a fully opperational layout efore doing the scenry. Keep up the great work.

  2. Bob says:

    This is outstanding. Your work is excellent. Your scratchbuilding detail is very good. I envy your abilities. Thanks for the pics.

  3. Richard says:

    I am at track laying level however I found the pictures an insperation for my next step! Although I will model a different era and local there were many good ideas

  4. alan cockerton says:

    i also have a weston syle layout in N gauge
    see “wild west layout with trains”, on E BAy.
    hope to sell in next few days

    or i have all the pictures that i could send

    • Den says:

      Send me some pics. I would like to see what you have done in N scale.


  5. Billy Jack says:

    I don’t see any rrtracks.

  6. Mike says:

    Very Cool layout. Well done.

  7. dave says:


  8. Carl says:

    Very nice. The people make it and you did a great job on the buildings. Thanks for shareing .

  9. Shaun says:

    Very very impressed with the creativity and quality of your efforts. An inspiration and aspiration indeed. Don’t let small grandchildren too near until they reach the age of discretion, (do we ever!!). My grandchildren still very young, so I have put railway system on hold until my 2 sons’ new business has got going. We have developed and manufacture a new type of Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) called C-fury.
    But I enjoy all the information I get from Dan and the other contributors. Many thanks to you all.

  10. DCS says:

    Nicely done! But . . . where’s the train?

  11. Wayne W Wiley says:

    These pictures are just great.

  12. Will Farr says:

    Very nice job Chris. Easy to see you put a lot of time and work into this.


  13. Draken4639 says:

    Very,Very,nice job.Everyone must be suprised!!!

  14. Gordon says:

    It’s when you see work like this that you get inspired again. Wonderful, congrats.

  15. Doug says:

    Great job on this. Wonderful ideas for a section with the Lincoln Log set,,,,

  16. ROBBIE says:

    i wish you had some trains on it as i liked your idear

  17. daveeh says:

    Very nice “old west” scene. The RR will really bring life to the layout. What’s with all the little islands the figures and structures are on?

  18. david j howarth says:


  19. cuzin says:

    Very well done. As others said “where are the tracks”.
    I would also like to see the bases of the figures hidden so they don’t look like they are standing on little islands. Keep up the good work.

  20. Dave says:

    Very nice and imaginative work. My only suggestion is – get rid of the bases on the people, animals, and buildings. They really detract from an otherwise great diorama.

  21. Rich says:

    Great job Chris! I have two suggeatioins that you might find helpful. To achieve a greater sense of realism you can do one or both os the following. Spread enoough “dirt” on the layout so that it covers the line created where the bases of the figures sit on the layout. If you lose those seems you will create a visual that does not stop the eye at the bases and the entire layout will seem more kenitic. You can also use a ban saw to remove the bases and tacky glue or hot glue the figures in place and then you will need fare less additional ground cover. I would caution that you do not attempt to remove the bases unless you are very competent and comfortable using a ban saw. Be well

  22. Steven says:

    Hi a very good diorama and I think your railtrack will go well with it. Are you planning on a single track as seen in most Western films on the outskirts of the town and suitable desert sceans to iether side with a possible mountain range in wither the distance or even just on the ouskirts of the town aswell. I do not know your age but the one thing you could adjust is toeither remove the bases from the figures and buidings or plant them so that they are at ground level instead of on top. This one thing would vastly improve your diarama and bring it into the more professional range. Good Luck.

  23. bkny60 says:

    this is so cool,Wow….where is the iron horse!lol

  24. greg says:

    Looks great. I’m developing a western town with trains and am having hard time finding ‘western’ figures. will keep looking though. Am very impressed with your layout and work.

  25. John says:

    Great Dioramas , wonderful buildings and authentic arrangement of people, very realistic;except for the bases to the figures, remove these and I could start to think its real life.

  26. Al says:

    My wife and I are building an O scale layout….. You have given us some great Ideas!
    Thanks for sharing !

  27. Rob says:

    Engine or no you have done an excellent job. Loved the way you described the bathing women.

  28. james says:

    what an awsome piece of work!! very realalistic. as for the clouds,well,they look like 4th of July banners. otherwise,just GREAT!! wish i was livin’ there. no hard feelins’ keep up the good work!! hope to see when the railroad comes to town.

  29. GERoach says:

    Chris your layout looks very nice. The buildings are great. Hiding or removing the bases from everything and making everything look like it is all on the same level is just a suggestion from me (have been looking at to many other layouts he sends) So keep up the great work. You also might post on how u made the sides of beef and the menu for us beginners with not much imagination to think of things like that.

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