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

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).