Sounds corny? I have had few people on my layout over the years basically because they are hard to paint. Enter eBay… a vendor had 100 figures for under five bucks. They are 1/100th scale which close to HO scale, and they work out just fine. I’d always thought that the regular HO figures were a bit big in some cases and after a few quick measurements, my old HO people were all six footers and over! They worked out well enough that I have ordered more of them.
Anyway- these were already painted and I dusted them with black chalk to bring up the details and kill the shine. They are not front line figures, but are great for areas that are arms-length. Here is the first blast of people: