Dimboola station. This great photo was taken by my son Craig

Friday, 19 December 2014

Warley 2014 Exhibition UK report

While away, I took the opportunity to plan holiday itinerary to take in visiting the Warley Model Railway Exhibition at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. This is the largest in the UK, scheduled in November. We stayed in Birmingham city, and caught the train to the exhibition centre, about twelve minutes away by rail: cost about five dollars each way.
On arriving, one leaves the platform and enters the exhibition building. Also on that weekend, was a huge motorbike exhibition, Comic-com UK, and a Christmas fair.
On entering the exhibition you encountered a mass of trade stands. which also extended down the sides, with the layouts massed together from about half way, and dividing some of the trade areas on one side. This also included an area of how-to and instructional/demonstration displays.
The trade stands had everything one would want, especially away from the manufacturer stands, and general model shop stands. like squires Tools, which had every sort of model paint, plastic card, tool, scenic item one would want, and there were several of these. (There were guys going around with lists of things they wanted, crossing them off when they found each item).
It's past 10 o'clock, six windows open for tickets.
Displays, ranged from T gauge right through to 12" to the foot. Yes there were two small steam locomotives on display, plus some carriages. The main mix was N, HO, OO and O gauges, with some live steam model in there as well.
Keightley and Worth Valley's ex NCB Haydock built 0-6-0 Bellerphon.
Tallyllyn Narrow gauge; Fletcher Jenning built  'Tallylln' 1864.
Australian N gauge, Victoria layout Dawes Creek. (Very green scenery, set in spring). Had a good chat to the owners, there main difficulty in modelling Australian in the UK, is obtaining models. Postage out of Australia is not good (like most places), and Her Majesty's customs also like their share.

Victorian Horse drawn bus.
What are these guys looking at? They stood there for more than ten minutes. This layout was packed, could not get any closer. When I did manage to push around the corner, what were they looking at: nothing. There was not a model train in sight!

Modern traction depot.
Demonstration stand area.
O scale layout, early stage of construction. There were several O scale layout of this size.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Track diagram No 1

Finally, I have a track diagram to post. I have quite a few of these drawings, but when you want to scan them, can you find them all: no.

This shows the left hand corner, or the Melbourne end of Horsham yard. In real life, this end is as long as the station yard area, but has to be bent around in curves; then directed behind one of the garage supports, to run single line again. The station building is marked, and has to fit right up against a wall support, which slightly means that the goods shed has to be out of position, opposite it.
This area is 110cm wide.

The points are Electrofrog,  PECO code 75, medium radius in the yard, and code 83 (number 6's) coming off the main line, which is code 83 wooden sleeper flex track. The yard is also code 75.
Also shown, is the curve for the track on the lower deck, which is actually single line, and not double, as drawn. This heads into a three yard silo yard on the left, which extends out from the 51cm. The main concern with this section, is that, the main line run right along the edge of the board! Might need a safety barrier, as this area has yet to be run at speed, only used for shunting as the track at each end does not connect to anything. Yet.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Layout work weekend

A fine weekend brought about some work on one of my corner modules. The reason for this was, that the weekend before, this was the position where one my X class locomotives took a tumble. The new scenic area in the above photo use to be open. The lad had placed a sheet of paper over the track, the plan for his basket ball ring. Unknown to me, I was testing the new wiring under DCC power, and the lead loco, a X class ran up, onto the unseen piece of paper, and landed on the floor. Luckily, apart from some cracks in the cab, the only other thing was the drive train came apart. A quick dis-assemble, and all the bits were clicked back together.
The left hand side is plaster bandage over flywire, while the right, I tried card board lattice with Chux wipe cloth, hot glued into place, then plaster bandage. I then cover the area with Woodland Scenic fine earth scatter, then a sprinkle of burnt grass over the top. After this, 2mm long static grass was applied.

I also started work on the next section, adding in both upper and lower levels, where, hopefully in the future, the up and down spiral tracks return to the main modules.

Powerline's VHGF

Powerline released recently a second run of the third series VHGF grain hoppers. The following numbers are available.

PD-100A-222 GJF-222 VR
PD-101A-303 VHGY-303 VR
PD-102A-316 VHGY-316 VG
PD-103A-332 VHGF-332X VG
PD-106A-302 VHGF-302H VF
PD-107A-323 VHGF-323J VF-ABB
PD-108A-259 VHGF-259 VF-CUB

I added both the Australian Barley Board and the Malting Barley for Carlton & United livery units to my collection. Below; not being politically correct; here are the sides hidden from view in the shops because of their association with the alcohol industry.
The standard of these models is the same as the previous run. The printing is sharp and the orange band is correct, as it was not V/Line orange. The only problem is the quality of the wheels which area bit chunky.
The other problem, is that the metal walkways seem to have had some rough handling on assembly, with sections been pushed down. These can be straightened by carefully pushing from beneath with a thin flat object. I had a privilege to select my two units, obtaining two with minimal damage to the walkways.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Caulfield Report 2014

Another year, and the ARMA Caulfield exhibition has been and gone. I am going to be different, and start with the news.
Firstly, Auscision confirmed that they are going to produce a 48 class. Why? when Powerline have a 48 and Trainorama are producing one. Well, the report was that, Powerline have produced only a couple of liveries, and will take years to go through the rest, and the Trainorama one: quote 'is not quite right'. Pressing the point about an 830, the reply from Pete was 'bloody South Australians' and it will need to be looked at to see if it is financially viable, as tooling changes cost up to $5000 for each modification. Announced on Facebook, that the 830 class is been produced.
Other than the 48 class, also expect the Victorian C class, G/BL/81 class: basically anything that Sothern Shorthaul Railroad has, will be produced; and a super detailed NR is on the go. (It was interesting to learn, that when Austrains produced the C class: their second model, it was a slow in sales. Auscision are hoping that the more modern liveries will be more sort after). Also the 442 class, plus series 2 and 3 X class.
As for wagons, the CIMC C-35 92 tonne grain hopper is past CAD stage, producing ATN/PN XGAY, AWB WGSY, SSR's new wagon, plus, new wagons for Freightliner, G&W and I think for QUBE.

Photo: Chris from WF
Plus, for Victorian modellers, the VHHF grain hopper is on the go.

PS The RMX container wagon is still in development, and should be due 2015.

I also had a lengthy discussion with SDS. To come on the intermodal side are the RQTY and RRTY wagons, based on the FQX but with the skeletal deck and 70ton ride control bogies. After the JCW/NQTW/RQJW will be the Victorian and South Australian versions. This is because, the only part in all these wagons that needs replacing is the deck.
Also, under consideration, from suggestion of yours truly, is the NQAY/RQAY NSW skeletal wagon, if it they can use components from the OCY.
Austrains released their Victorian C brake van, which I heard has problems. The doors are too wide and the underfloor detail is mirrored? They also had the recently released 81/BL/G locos.

SouthernRail Models had their V/locity rail cars on display, and look good. It has only one motor over the two or three car set, and uses a 21 pin DCC plug.
Bendigo Rail Models P class samples.
Another P class sample.
EDI GT46C-ACe Locomotive Painted samples.
SDS Models JCW, showing underneath.
SouthernRail's V/locity. Two of a three car set.
To the layouts.
Maryborough. The station building was shown a couple of years ago, now on a layout.
Melbourne tram: Victoria Road
NSW Waterfall.
N gauge Japanese.
Anthony's Room shunting layout for a small space.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

More corner rebuild

For the past couple of weekends, I have been in the shed rebuilding the other corner (a drop in section),that is at the garage door. This is part of the re-organizing for the level change loops, yet to be built, but in the design stage.

I took apart the structure, keeping the top track intact. When the new base was built, the top track was repositioned. Even though I reused a lot of the original timbers, including the same length along the front, the top turned out to be about 10cm longer than the new base. So had to trim some off.

The bottom track curve run was then estimated using my rough compass. Yet, there was change to come, as it was decided to swap some of the lower track to the fixed wall frame work. things became interesting, as the levels had changed since it was built, and required correcting. With that work undertaken, the frame work, now lined up, it was just correcting the height of the top track, so it, also lined up.
Next, was to cut the track base for the lower level. Not as easy as done, as it has to provide for the curve, around and angular structure. A couple of miss hits, but we got there in the end, with more ply offcuts than would have really liked.
With the evening temperature dropping, it was time to stop. Still work to undertake, wire up and test.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

QRNational/Aurizon rolling stock

Have been working on a few items of rolling stock for a QRNational consist. I started work on a set of CQWY well wagons quite a while ago, and decided it was time to head towards completing them. To start with, two BGM RKIY well wagon kits. These provide the base structure, but a CQWY has a slightly different shape on the sides, and different cross bars in the well. Download the data sheet from CFCLA. The drawing is a bit small, but gives the impression of what is needed.


Here is a new one outside the workshops at Islington.
Note the change of location of the CF logo.

This is what we started with.
This is what we ended up with.
The colour, as reproduced is actually much darker than the picture illustrates. (It is a real dark blue). I used Tamiya TS15, as recommended on the The paint guide for modellers of Australian Railways. The model was given a good coat of Steam Era Models etch grey undercoat, as all the whitish clear plastic needs to be covered. Probably a coat of white undercoat would have been better.  Still time to change colour, as there are no decals available for a CQWY. (Decided at this stage to keep the colour as is).
Nearly finished, just decals required? Also, soon will have a 6000 class up front.
(May a manufacturer pick up this wagon sometime, as there are a lot of them been hauled around by Aurizon a the moment).
The other wagon that I have had sitting around, is a QQAY. This is a Wuiske model. It started out as a BZEY, which comes without bogies, and is cheaper than their QQAY kit. The BZEY is the narrow gauge code for the wagon, before been converted to standard gauge.
This is a white metal kit, and I added the extra parts (the large air tank and code boards), and left off the steps. I used Auscision ride control bogies on this wagon. Still to be undercoated and painted light grey.
The wagon, being 60' in length, means you can just load three 20' containers. Though, usually, photos show a 20' at each end or a 48' reefer in the middle.
QRNational PM service heading towards Mt Barker Junction.
QRNational MP service having come through the south line heading towards Port Adelaide.
Just about all my QQAY photos show a loading like this.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

More Layout repairs.

The trouble with building a layout in a garage is that, unfortunately you have share the space with cars. At the moment, in the double space, there is only room for one car, as a table tennis table takes the remaining space. It also means that I have to removable sections.
One corner has a drop in section, the other corner has been hinged. It is this one that required to be repaired. At this time, I decided to rebuild the section, away from the L girder construction to a more traditional baseboard frame.
My first attempt was to use 5mm ply separated by 19mm blocks, to reduce weight, but this turned out to no rigid enough, and the tracks would not line up once the clamps were released that were holding the section in place while I was adding the upper level.
I returned to the 70x19mm pine lengths, but drilled holes to reduce the weight. This time, it all lined up, and actually provided a more stable base than it was before. I still have to change over the hinges to probably a piano hinge, for more strength.
The non track area at the end of the lower level is to be filled with some Fleishmann Profi track, as it is probably the strongest set track on the market, and should with stand the odd knock when the modules are all assembled and disassembled. (This has been a problem in the past, with even track soldered to circuit board, been ripped out on one occasion).
Next stage is to undertake some adjustments to the top level and place some MDF as a back screen on the lower level. From then on, it is to build a spiral crossover, as the two levels have to join, to provide the continuous run. This also has to be removable, and to be stored somewhere, when not in use.
The other corner section, also needs attention, as it is too heavy when been lifted in and out of position.

One week later, and I have installed the piano, or continuous hinge. Re-wired again and tested once more.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Railmotor/Trainworld SCT Locomotive

After years of talking about producing SCT Logistics GT46C-Ace, SCT locomotive, photos have finally been posted to prove that it is on the way.

Photo: Trainworld-Australian Facebook.
And complete engineering samples.

Photos: Trainworld-Australian Facebook.
Still a way to go. The etchs are still a bit course, the running board is not straight, the hand rail is a bit flimsy, and the bogie sideframes are a bit rough!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Adelaide exhibition 2014

It's that time of the year again, with the Adelaide model rail exhibition on. The big news for South Australian modellers was the release of Orient Express's M vans, with liveries from early dark grey to AN green. The dark grey vans also come with buffers (as all new Webb stock had buffers), and these will match perfectly if buffers are added to the original OB opens, as care has been taken to make sure the buffer beams are all the same height.
A few new layouts this year, plus some old ones. SARMA had their first outing of Strathburn, based on Strathalbyn (which was also represented in N gauge).

Bridgewater was back, more complete that last year. The only problem with this layout, is that the top cover construction is too low and us taller people have to bend to see to the back scene. (Also, my CFS son says that the CFS Dennis RS237 pumper at the road crossing needs to be re-assigned to the Mt Barker brigade, as it went to Morphett Vale in 2010. In fact it was imported in 2005).

Some of their weathered AHGX grain hoppers, with some interesting artwork on their sides.

Eskbank, a NSW HO scale layout set around 1899.

The station yard of Lower Downe, a OO scale UK based layout.

N gauge England, at Kirbyvale. I hope I have the right one, as there were two UK based N gauge layouts side by side.
And something different, Fort Apache; a US themed, old American 'wild west' N gauge layout. The only thing missing from the small township was the saloon!