Last night I spotted something called a Mini Express Train Set at Big Lots for $1.99. It consists of a roughly N gauge locomotive and caboose (poorly matched, size-wise), a 10-inch loop of track, and four figures that tower over the train but just happen to be perfect for O scale. The detail on the figures isn't great, but if you need some cheap figures, it's worth seeking out. I first heard of this about six months ago but last night was the first time I saw them at one of my local stores. Incidentally, stores like Big Lots and dollar stores are a good place to get cheap stuff for the layout. I see bags of figures whose size ranges anywhere from 1:32 on down to nearly HO scale, priced cheap. Soldiers are the most common, but you can often find policemen, fire fighters, construction workers, and cowboys and Indians (I see cowboy wannabes in St. Louis all the time, so you can probably paint up a cowboy or two for virtually any layout, even if you're doing modern era). If nothing else, cheap figures in your scale or close to it can be good conversion fodder, even if you have no need for the types of figures portrayed.