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

Sunday, 20 December 2015

South Australian Silo Verticals

After a reminder about posting drawings for South Australian concrete vertical silos: its time! These structures are spaced about every forty miles along from Tailem Bend to the Victorian border ( about the distance a horse and cart could travel in a day, from farm to station/silo; before the days when farmers had trucks or contracted freight companies to haul their grain).
There are two basic types, the twin vertical: similar to the Victorian silos, and a four cell plus design, that is, the smallest, like at Keith, is a four cell, or South Australian Bulk Handling added extra twin cell to increase capacity. Same design, just more cells. (The silos at Roseworthy are different).

Sorry, slightly off center, but the edge of the scan is the edge of the cell,
The height of the cell from ground to top is 325mm, the total height is 464mm and the cells are 110mm in diameter (same as PVC piping).
Bunnings sell PVC pipe by the meter, and if you are careful you can get a near straight cut. At least one end will be square cut. My model is not (will post photos soon). I found it was easier to screw to pipes together with some self drilling screws, top and bottoms, but make a wooden block to hold them in shape.

Coonalpyn has ten cells, plus two steel bins.

Tintinara has 8 celss.


Drawings for two cell silos. (I have left these a larger file size).

PS If anyone is modelling QR, they have silos that almost the same design as the SA ones. The first link is for Dalby, and the second, Wandoan.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Norfolk Pine crafting

Horsham Station is dominated by a large Norfolk Pine tree at the eastern end of the station, in a garden area. Having searched the model tree world, nothing came close, so began the saga of producing the tree.
I started with a pine dowel trunk, originally carved for an S scale pine tree, so this a cut to an approximate size and further carved. Next come the branches. A quick study of prototype trees showed they have branches coming out from the trunk with a few smaller branches at the ends, on which the 'leaves' are formed. These were made from twisted wire, and lots of them!
Thin wires being twisted for branches.

Branches being added.
These were then planted into the trunk, after a many a hole was drilled. Next step, was to cover all the branches with No More Gaps. The trunk and branches were then brush painted with a matt brown paint, then very lighting over sprayed with silver.

Tree covered in No More Gaps
Tree in place, in the garden, also been modeled.

The adding of the 'leaves' was the next problem. The tree stayed leaf less for some time, as the leaves are thick needle like, only on the top of the end of the branches. Finally I decided to spray glue the outer parts of the branches, then use static fibers for the leaves. This worked quite well, but I thought I had stuffed it, when the whole tree turned green. Luck had it, most of them were excess and a good blow removed them. I think I will need to add another layer of longer green fibers. to bulk up its appearance. Does not quite look like the real thing, but it is getting there: really, I just want a model tree that looks like a Norfolk Pine. One thing I had not realised was that the real tree is actually a twin: that is, it has two trunks from about a third of the way up.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

CGAY to AHAY grain hoppers

On the 23 September 2015, all the Chicago Freight Car CGAY grain hoppers were transferred in ownership to G&W. They are to recoded to AHAY. These wagons have been used by G&W, on lease since they were built in 2001, and have operated in many South Australia, but also through into Victoria. (81 of these M100 series units were built. There is also the CGDY, M92 series hoppers: 42 built; with a lower handling capacity, operating in the eastern states.).
Nine of these wagons were also built for Freight Australia in 2001, coded VHKY 1151-59.

More information: http://www.anicassociates.com/files/maxis_brochure.pdf

Hopper recoded AHAY 900Y. CF markings removed, but remains in original livery.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Ontrack 80 class

Ontrack models have announced that their next locomotive will be the NSW class 80. This loco is already available from Austrains, but it was their first RTR locomotive and the tooling must be close to 20 years old, and does not have any of the detail that is expected today. Generally I am not into the NSW locos, but as the 80's ran into Horsham during the 2012-13 period, so I might be interested in a QUBE and Greentrains livery.

According to information available, all the design work has been complete and tooling has commenced. 13 liveries, over five different car bodies. (Both QUBE and Greentrains livery is on their list, so it is highly likely that two will join the Horsham layout fleet).

Monday, 14 September 2015

Its a class 22 time

On a recent Facebook comment, Auscision, indicated the possibility of a ARG/G&W class 22, in a second run of their 422 class locomotives. These have always been slotted for the second run, as I have asked several times over the years. In fact, the first engineering sample received from the factory, was a class 22: well the first four rebuilds anyway. These four locomotives (all named) were built for the Alice to Darwin line construction, and are all the same. Any 22 class from then on, have not had the same rebuild, and in fact, none of them are the same, all having slight differences.

Auscision Artwork.
Any models will be probably, be the first four only; but this does not mean they have not ventured out. Usually, they are used on shuttle trains around Adelaide.

Auscision engineering sample.

2202 Katherine at Port Adelaide.

2212 and a mate, head up towards Mount Barker Junction, on a light engine movement.

Usual position for a class 22 (2210 at the rear): that is making up motive power on grain working.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Caulfield Exhibition Report 2015

Once again the AMRA exhibition has been attended on August 22. Many fine layouts. First, we get to the nitty gritty. Auscision had the recent arrival of the GT46C- Ace, in various liveries. On display in the cabinet, were painted samples of (Bendigo Models second run) of the flat top T class, XTP, X class and 421 class models, GT46C- Ace's and samples of their upcoming SQKF/NKQX steel flat wagons, the NODY opens and various variations and the for ever coming RMX. (Which will be available as four packs, unlike previously reported).

RMX with rectangular holes.
RMX with oval holes.
RKLY coil steel wagon without boxes
RKLY with boxes.

When will we see the C43/44aci? Next year. They have been delayed: mainly because Auscision have just released three diesels close together, and want to give the market a bit of a rest. The NR developement is progressing, and there will be more diesels to come, as there is always a place for models which have been produced in the past, to be produced in more detail!
Overland cars. There was a maybe, but passenger cars are very expensive to produce, as a lot of different tooling is required. Highly likely a second run of the E cars next year. Also, there will a rerun of VHGF grain hoppers, to include SSR livery, as SSR have just purchased ten wagons from Pacific National.
Ontrack models had samples of the Victorian Sprinter railcar, due possibly by the end of the year.

SDS models had production samples of the JCW 80' flat wagon, due early November.  Also it is likely that we will see the VR and ANR versions. The QMX wagon is in development; this wagon will be released along with a re-run of the FQX, as they share many components. More container liveries, with curtain sided/tautliner 40' containers on the cards.
Southern Railmodels have painted samples of their L class and sceond run of the V/Locity railcars.

L calss in ATN livery. Almost tempted?
Other maufactureres, Austrains and Eureka, had nothing new. The only other models, was Haskells coming early L class, and of course, Trainworld/Railmotor's SCT (still no painted sample - suppose to be coming soon).
Haskell' s L class.
The layouts.
Town and Country, a mix of Victorian early suburban and country trains, with some very nice town buildings.
Maryborough, with its beautiful station building and steam era trains.
Wallan, Victorian Railways in the mid to late 1960's
A Town Like Alice, Australian National Railways, from the Barcoola team. The engine shed looking towards the freight sidings and container/trailer terminal.
Electric Car Sheds, from NSW. A representation of suburban electric train maintenance shed from Sydney.
Jackson Creek, and On30" Victoria narrow gauge layout


Sunday, 2 August 2015

CRT class 73 out for a run.

Not so long ago, Wimmera Container line purchased CRT 7334 as a yard shunter. It soon fell into disrepair and was parked (dumped) on the old oil siding, where it actually still remains. In the model world, this little loco is still in use, and sometimes gets an outing on the main line.

A rail fan has a surprise, with a quick photo through the trees, as CRT 7334 passes over the river bridge. This loco belongs to my son, Craig, who took the photo.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Vineyard to fill a corner.

I had a corner that was bare, so what to do with it. I have always wanted to model a vineyard, so a Seppeltsfield Great Western is on the Adelaide to Melbourne main line, I decided to reproduce a small section of there vineyard. The main line actually cuts right through the property, with the main winery on the western side of the track, and a large area of vines on the eastern side, from track to the highway. At the Melbourne end, the track swings around a curve, across a road crossing (Garden Gully Road) and into bushland. This is the end I decide to reproduce.
The vines came from JTT models and some I picked up a the Adelaide exhibition, from MP scenery (which are actually the same company, but there is a difference in the vines each 'company' produces).
The MP scenery vines are in the foreground, JTT at the rear, with a bit of extra foliage added. (Still want to add some fine loose leaves).
Next, there is also a line of trees running along the track. By chance, a visit to Orient Express Model Railway shop, there were some hand made gum trees on the second hand shelf, of about the right size. These were acquired, and with of extra paint, fitted the bill.

The trees in temporary place. The track still has to be relaid. I removed the foam and laid a cork track bed. The landscape under the trees is canite, filed to shape. On the other side, is foam board, just recently added: still to receive plaster bandage covering.
Still more scenic materials to add especially static grasses, and a bit more work on the trees, more vines, plus the track needs ballast, and a road crossing to add, which is just out of view on the right.

The trees have been removed fora while. The foam is now covered in plaster bandage, just awaiting for it to harden. More vines have also been added, but do not show in this photo.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Slight changes to blog

Well it had to happen one day. My Compaq laptop died yesterday, and along with it Windows 7 and Microsoft picture manger in my older office version, which I used to compress all the photos that have appeared in the posts. Picture manger is not in Office 2013 so I will have to seek out an alternative.
Also at the moment, all my photos are stored on a hard drive I can not access till a Sata enclosure arrives, and I can access all those files again. (Sayes something for backing on an external hard drive).
So what is a Sata enclosure some might say. It is a little box with a plug, that you can plug in the hard drive from dead computers, and has a USB plug at the other end, so you can have access to your files again.

Other than that, I have been working on platform lighting for Horsham station. All the lights have come off ebay, costing around a dollar each: a great saving from store purchased ones. The old platform lights are globes, the newer ones around the building are LEDS. Sorry no photos yet.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

More Maersk reefers

I have managed to obtain a pack of Atlas HO scale Maersk Sealand reefers from the USA. I had initially no intention of purchasing any more, other than the four I obtained from C-Rail a while back. But one evening during late summer, my mate Tony wished to go house viewing over Balhannah way, and just by chance a PN Patrick train passed. Now not seeing very many Maersk reefers on the Adelaide to Melbourne corridor, this train was almost solidly loaded with Maersk Sealand reefers!
So, I checked the website of the Canadian shop that I use, and they had the Atlas Maersk Sealand in stock, which was lucky, as they are sold out almost everywhere else.

Now, I think this is correct. The factory that these come from have two set of dies. One is used by C-Rail, the other by Atlas. If this is wrong, I sure Arran from C-Rail will correct.


At 2:40 Pacific National traveling Western Victoria with Maersk reefers.

Monday, 15 June 2015


At the recent Adelaide Model Railway show, I purchased a Strath Models kit of the AN AQEY twin pack container wagon. These were modified in 1988, by converting to ABEX louvre vans to twin pack container wagons. The first were converted from VEX wagons (built 1966 by Commonwealth Engineering in WA), with the remaining units from LEX/ALEX wagons (built 1967 by Commonwealth Engineering in Qld). The twin pack has a length over headstocks of 26.7m. (This figure becomes important). Each deck is able to carry a 40' plus container.

The kit looked straight forward, even after the warning from fellow modellers, who had tackled Strath Kits before. I cleaned by the excess 'flash' and added the few detail parts. Then, on referring to some photos, I soon noticed that each deck was too short! A search on the ARTC website for rolling stock info, come up with with a length of 27.6m over pull points, which made the model 17mm too short in scale.
Shows one modified and one un-modified unit.
The error seemed to be at the cut out opening end of the wagon, so I cut at where the 3D printed coupling mount was, and added a 9mm section, built up of plastic card, all supa-glued in position.
It was then all clean up of the filler and paint the primer. I also used a half inch screw for the centre bogie (drilled straight through), as the shorter screw supplied would not bite the 3D print to hold.
Unit in primer grey, awaiting final livery.
The above photo shows how the wagon looks when loaded with a 40' container.

Above, is a RQEY loaded with a 40' container, clearly showing the gap a the end of the deck, which if you built the kit as was, the 40' container sit on the whole deck with no gap.
More photos: unloaded from Malleeroute flickr site.

And another loaded shot from Wagonfreaks blog.