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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ballast siding photos

Well just a small update as I was lucky enough to find the photos for the cutting and shaping work done with the foam insulation board.

The Masonite facia is in place now and the profile is cut to represent the hills and gullies I want in the scene. Large sheets are cut and glued and then weighted down. I use an acrylic based no more nails as it dries quick and does not eat the foam. I cut the foam with a large bread knife and a hacksaw blade.

The carving and filing are underway. This is a very very messy job with static electricity causing the foam shaving (little balls) to go everywhere and stick to you and everything else.
I went to Bunnings and brought a cheap shop vacuum and it worked a treat. 

When the cutting is finished I then used a panel beaters bog filler file to carve the hills and gullies. By far this is the worst as it creates an almost powder like material the goes everywhere but at least the shop vac picks it up.

The above shot shows the cutting that the ballast is cut from, is starting to take shape. I will then cover it with paper towel dipped in watered down white glue.

Until next time , Happy Modelling.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Kit Bashing

An area in the hobby I really enjoy is taking an American kit and trying to make it look Australian.

My recent project has been the Walthers Golden Valley Canning kit as shown below.

I commenced construction like any other kit by removing the flash from the parts I intended to use.

Prior to attaching the windows, doors and frames I airbrushed them with Tamiya acrylic Buff XF-57 to give the kit a different look to the others.

Prior to assembling the walls, which are a nice scale looking brick, they were brush painted in a light grey / white mix of the same brand of paint and while the paint is still wet, I then wipe it off . This leaves the paint in the grooves of the brickwork or more commonly known as mortar lines. I liked the colour of the bricks so when all the walls were done I then painted the columns a concrete colour Tamiya XF-19.

I forgot to take a picture of the walls during painting. After the walls had dried I then installed the frames, doors, windows and glass work.
I then assembled the walls as per the instructions.
The kit comes with a loading dock for trucks and one for the railway however I wanted the railway one to be the full length of the building. After attaching the truck loading dock, again as per the instructions I used Evergreen Styrene to construct a dock / platform. I used styrene similar in size to the other one already so as both would not look out of place.

I used the standard construction method of turning the deck upside down and then glued the joists down first and then the bearer. Once this was dry I then glued the assembled dock / platform to the side of the assembled kit. The posts were then cut and added to support the bearer.

In the above photo you can see I have had to extend the corrugated awning over the platform and the extra I needed is actually also in the kit as a spare, just needs to be cut to length bonus!!!

I now followed the instructions and attached the awnings, simple. By extending the awning you are 1 awning bracket short and as my layout is operated at eye level, I thought I should scratch build one as there should be four for the truck bay and 5 for the railway.
I used Evergreen Styrene of the same size as the existing brackets, using one of the others as a template and then glued it in the middle of the other 4. You could skip this as the 4 brackets that come in the kit will hold up the awning with no problems at all.

The photo above now just needs the roof, facia, barge and gutter along with a few other bits and pieces.

Now the roof that comes with the kit is the standard Board and Batten style (I think that is what you call it)  that seemed to be popular with a lot of the Walthers kits but sadly nothing like "Down Under".

I buy the large sheets of Evergreen Metal Siding item no. 14525 which comes in a sheet 610mm by 305mm and is great for cutting large roof areas as it reduces waste.

I then use the roof that comes in the kit as a template and mark out two roof halves, cut and then glue them on top as per the kit instructions.

I then add the ridge cap and the barge boards  followed by the facia and then the gutter. I use 10 thou Styrene for all bar a length of rod to simulate the ridge cap. the gutter is some angle styrene and then the barge is trimmed flush with the gutter.

I then painted the corrugated iron roof with  the Sky Grey XF-19 quickly with a 10mm wide flat brush ensuring that the white can slightly be seen in places, which gives a nice aged roof look.
I then paint the barge, facia and gutter the Buff colour I used on the windows and doors.

In this low shot you can see the nice awning bracket detail. I need to add the down pipes that come with the kit and then blend the building into the scene. Tuffs of grass around the posts and rubbish will make the scene.

While I take great joy in these projects they are a break from layout construction for when it gets too hot or cold in your train room. I hope you enjoyed my journey and get something out of it.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Progress has been happening.

Well it has been a long time between posts.

I am currently on holidays and thought it a good time to read some blogs and catch up and also reflect on my progress. I have really enjoyed every ones progress so much that it has given me the push to start updating my blog. Well at least try anyway.
I have been busy and have captured the progress, however I have just been uploading my results through Facebook.
In hindsight it was a lot quicker but I needed a more progressive approach that is easier to follow. I still struggle with blogger but prefer the ability to scroll through previous posts, adding to the inspiration.

November was my trip to the Armidale Convention and like usual had a blast, this convention is a fantastic way over a relaxed couple of days to catch up with like minded people and see what everyone has been up to. I can't speak highly enough of this type of interaction and as so have only missed one in all the years the convention has been run.

Anyway back to Wattle Flat and the reason you are reading this.....

Having finally sorted out the issues with the ballast siding it was time to commence scenery formwork.

Like the other parts of the layout my preferred option is to carve polystyrene foam as it is lightweight, easy to obtain and is easy to carve to suit the gullies and ridges I wanted. The down side is the mess and lots of it.

Well I am unable to insert pictures in this space for some reason.

Anyway with the mess cleaned up I am ready to move on to the next phase.

Hopefully the photos will come soon. Until next time............

Sunday, January 18, 2015


A Very Happy New Year to all.

Today was so hot that l spent it in the air conditioned train room and seeking some much needed inspiration from following bloggers.
It does not take long for the time to get away and "time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time".

My last post spoke of the operation session and l am pleased to say there have been more and more are planned.
In order for the sessions to have commenced, l had to sort out the dilemma with the ballast siding and with the help of Rowan from Glenn Innes and others mentioned earlier l finally settled on the present design and am happy to say it has been well received.

The track to the right of picture is the main line and then the empty road is the receiving road for the empty ballast wagons and then the loading road.
There is a siding in front of the loader that is for receiving various loading associated with operating a quarry.

Over the last few months l have not acheived much, hence the need for inspiration.

Just a quick update.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

4 years and 4 months

On the 3rd of May I had the pleasure of inviting experts in there chosen field to come and partake in the first official operating session on Wattle Flat.

I commenced construction in January 2010 and hence it is fitting to celebrate "4 years and 4 months" with a blog update.(It has taken me a month fighting with blogger to finally post this.)

The Brisbane Model Railway exhibition was held on the same weekend so the invitation for drinks and a sausage sizzle was to commence from 17.00hrs to allow everyone time to arrive after the show.

Cheers, the first official session

There was plenty of food and drinks all round and as it turned out a rather cool evening, we quickly retired to the train room and the details and trains were assigned.

I have liked the idea of a two man crew concept as it allows for one to concentrate on the throttle and driving the train and the other carrying the X2010 and preforming the shunting. The crew can then bounce ideas of each other as to how there going to perform each shunt and of course change positions on the return trip if they choose.

As I mentioned in a post from last year, I have gone away from the car card idea in favour of a modified, for my purpose, form X2010 just like the NSWGR used. I would like to thank Ray and Colin for there input and making available the type of paperwork they use. Thankyou also to Shelton and Geoff for there input.

My version is taken from the original and I just remove the bits that aren't needed in the model form.

X2010 form for train 15

The form has listed on it all the info needed for the operators along with instructions to help them.

During and after the session it was pointed out that I need to add more information in the instructions portion of the form. Point taken.

As there were 6 of us I let the fellas team up themselves, which meant Craig was stuck with me or as it turned out on his own!! Well done as he had the unfinished paperwork and had to rely on my instructions to make up his return train. I hadn't planned on getting that far through the session

Craig has the role of driver and shunter as he works No109 Goods

This job (109) arrives from Sydney (hidden staging) and shunts the various sidings at North Gulgong.

While Craig was busy with 109, Brendan and Geoff  had there hands full with No.19 . This job from western destinations via Dubbo and arrives at Goolma where it needs to reverse and then make its way to the Mill at Gollan. The first job is shunting the meat works at Goolma.

Geoff and Brendan shunt the meat works siding at Goolma

If you are a bit lost here, let us stop for a minute and take a quick history lesson.

In my version of events, North Gulgong was constructed to prevent the need for major bridge construction over the Cudgegong River when the line was built to Maryvale. After leaving the main the line makes its way to Mebul Rd ballast siding and then on to Goolma.
Goolma is a junction station where the line either heads through No.5 tunnel to Spicers Creek and on to Maryvale and Dubbo (hidden staging) or continues through the modelled portion of the layout and onto Wattle Flat.
The photo above showing the track heading to the top of the picture is staging for Maryvale Dubbo.

Geoff and Brendan shunt the mill

No. 19 has reached the end of its journey, arriving at Milling Bros sidings. Here the remainder of the train will be shunted into the various roads and exchanged for loading or empties.
Milling Bros is a private siding and the loco is not allowed within the confines of the complex so the crew will need to think about how they place their wagons to ensure they are in the right spot. The return loading and empties form No.20 .

Paul and Greg shunt Wattle Flat

No. 15 arrives at Wattle Flat with loading for the fertilizer, co-op, fuel, goods shed and loading bank.
The grain siding also needs to be cleared and empties replaced.

The session ran for just over 1 and half  hours and only 3 trains were run and at times there was only the sound of locos running while the crews thought about there next move.

As mentioned the feed back was inspirational, with plenty of laughs, great company  and the culmination of a 30 year dream has finally been realised.

To the fellas that attended, I thankyou and look forward to the next one in June.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Always good to get another opinion.......

Evening all, my previous post was as a result of getting some excellent feedback. Many thanks Shelton.

After having constructed all the formwork for the branch and feeling pretty happy with myself I commenced laying track. I too had concerns with the curving nature of the alignment so stopped work and moved onto (hence the subject of my previous post) something else while I pondered fate.

original plan without the piece of ply clamped in position

The plan was to have some hills and valleys, in which the branch deviates from the mainline through, before reaching the ballast siding and then onto the openess and remainder of the branch.

I tend to think things through for far to long which can cause periods of inactivity or I will just move onto something else.

The weather has been great of late with pleasant days and I rather enjoy being outside than in. I am currently adding an extension on the side of the shed. This 3.6m by 12m extension will give me somewhere to park the horse float, trailers and tractor but more importantly will shelter the side of the trainroom from the afternoon sun, but I digress, sorry Bill.

With this shift in layout construction times to evenings and the roadbed alignment drama I moved onto planning the station area. This is where the branchline junctions from the main. Originally this was to be a "beyond the basment" part of the layout but with further investigation it would lead to another operational aspect.

The concept now for those just tunning in is that trains come from staging into the station and then shunt the various sidings and others are made up and then take the branch, others might commence there journey and then return.

There was no point making one up in my head and I thought it would be easier to modify the prototype for my location. Below are so planning ideas.

I use paper templates and place various items around to get a feel, then leave it for a while.

Although the benchwork appears quite narrow there is enough room to allow for easy acess to rollingstock.
The results are in!!!! 

As can be seen the end result is different to the planning. Even as we speak the double slip has been removed.

Every section of track has a length of wire soldered to it and the bus, a tedious job but one that will pay off in years to come.
I only strip the bus wire and wrap the dropper around it then solder

I have had the chance to test all the trackwork in dc mode and am happy with my results. The Procab was next tested while this area of trackwork was still isolated and it too preformed well.

All the trackwork is now in place including the staging. There is now only about 3 metres of track that needs to be laid.

Ahhh why stop there, it will be a while before I get a chance to fight with Blogger again.

Yes, I came to the conclusion that there were too many curves and decided to straighten them out.

The end result with the old roadbed still inplace but track to the new alignment. The turnout leads to the ballast siding.

The golden spike ceremony is only days away. All the branch will be laid with only a few sidings to complete as customers sign up there agreements.

I can feel a few beers and a sausage sizzle coming on!!!!!!

Until next time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Generating the reasons for movement

I have been giving a lot of thought to how I plan to generate the consists of trains that arrive from staging to the main station area and are then shunted to the various industries or "made up" marshalled into a branchline train and then go about there journey.
 X2010 that travelled with the train to its destination

Having shunted trains myself 13 odd years ago to various lists and made up trains and completed X2010 forms, it is easy to make up a train that "someone else " has already generated.

 shunters receive this fax requesting wagons

We would then use lists complied by the last shift to collect the empty and in some cases reloaded wagons to form the train, in this case BW4.

shunters made lists to be done and also where wagons were in their yard

Trains that arrived were then shunted out using the details on the X2010.

computer generated X2010 and marked up ready to shunt the consist

The requirement of the X2010 seems to have changed little over time from the research I have done.
memo sent to operational staff

The above forms are from various time frames and taken from my huge collection of actual paperwork that was used in day to day train running operations.
As you can see there is plenty of paperwork in those 4 pages to generate traffic flow. It will be fairly simple to make the first list but will then become harder and harder to create variety. Or will it!!!!!

My question is, I am interested to find out what systems those of you with an operational layout use to generate train lists but also shunting lists (switch lists). I am not interested in car cards like I referred to a few blogs ago, although cards are placed on wagons for the number taker, I think I will just go with a X2010.

Anyway enough of my ramblings, your thoughts please.