What Project Can I Build for You?
My name is Steve, and I build small, portable train layouts as one of my hobbies, and I can build one for you. However, since this isn't my day job, I'm only able to spend a few hours per week on layout building projects. Consequently, even a small four square foot layout can sometimes take a few months to complete. Additionally, I usually have a backlog of projects that I'm working on. So, it can be a year or more before I can potentially complete or even start a project for you. However, often I work on multiple projects at the same time, and so sometimes I can work on a project for you in parallel with some other ongoing projects. The bottom line is to send me an email and I'll give you the best estimate I can.
What can I build?
I can build a small layout in any scale, or even a diorama or other scene that doesn't involve trains at all (such as for a gaming setup or a display). As I mention below, the delivery cost of large items is very high, and once you get to about 2x3 feet the shipping cost will run a few hundred dollars.
Check out the "Layouts" tab of the website for examples of my work. With the exception of the 5x10 foot HO scale layout and the 1x6 foot HO scale switching layout, all of them were either built as directed by a client or were built and either sold on eBay or donated to school fundraisers.
What is the cost and how is it delivered?
The cost to build a small layout or diorama can vary considerably. Typically, the material cost will run $75-150 per square foot, depending on the type of scene. An urban scene will cost much more than one with simple scenery. Many projects will be a mix of both. Labor and shipping will be extra. However, since I don't do these projects for a living at this time, I don't charge much for labor, usually just a flat fee on top of the material cost. Since I post videos of all my layout projects on YouTube and make additional revenue from YouTube, the labor fee will generally be less than the material fee. Since I will give you a price for a project upfront, the labor fee is usually just to cover any potential extra expenses that will arise.
The cost to ship a layout is high, and that can often influence the size of a project. A 2'x3' N scale layout can actually cost a few hundred dollars to ship via UPS or FedEx since the size and weight of the final exterior box (with layers of packing material) will often be an extra foot in all directions. Even a 1-foot diameter micro layout can cost $50 to ship. Since the shipping cost is so high, I don't usually build anything larger than 2x3 feet. For a layout larger than that I would deliver it myself, and the delivery fee would be the total travel cost from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Do you offer design services?
While I can help design a layout that I'm building, I don't presently offer layout design as a service by itself given the time constraints I have with existing projects, work, and family.