Thursday, 27 May 2021

Nothing to see here

Yes it has been very quite on South Coast Rail for a while with no new work to show off. That doesn't mean I haven't been in the shed of late.

After a dose of recent rain some which found its way onto the shed floor that had leaked through the lower wall. I have a pile of carpet tiles stacked waiting the time to put into place but I have to make sure that there is complete waterproofing before that happens. The floor has progressed from a plain concrete floor to a gloss grey painted finish. I think I will call in a plumber to get the outside sealed.

In another few days it will be June halfway through the year and still the bridge awaits. Its hard to drag yourself back to do more work on it especially when the next work to be done will be underneath and not normally visible. It seems easier to go into the room and pick a job that will give immediate visual results.

I have taken a few shots of the layout which have been posted on Facebook but repeated here.


That's my lot of photos for this posting but today was our groups day out for a layout visit, a chat, a drink and a barbie over at Phils. His layout would qualify for a finished layout and I believe it is in the queue for an AMRM article, lets hope soon.

A very photogenic layout and a fitting tribute to his lifetime in model railways. So here are some more photos for you to enjoy.


So hope you enjoy these few photos, that all for now.

Sunday, 28 March 2021


Okay, the bridge is still on the agenda, but when you go into the shed, the location of Pambula is visible. It is looking a lot better now there is a backscene in place. In the last post I started to fill in the gap between the backdrop and baseboard but hadn't reached the corner. So I spent a few hours and sorted the corner out. There is an awkward corner here that the backscene bends around so I was trying to disguise it with some scenery.

The corner at Pambula

As in the last blog I got some more yellow foam cut up and sceniced up to the corner. I cut up larger pieces so that they could be randomly glued together on the corner. This allows the backscene to go behind the rocks and the focus becomes towards the rocks at the front.

First section of foam is cut and glued into place

First lot of weathering

As usual when you find something that works, stick to it. I have been using a sample pot colour called 'Harold' and acrylic that can be watered down to suit. And with the base colour being yellow, you can vary the intensity of the top coat and it takes on a sandstone effect. Once this has dried then I dry brush on other light highlights and then some black oxide can be brushed on the give an aged look in certain spots.
The corner is vanishing

16A poses with the re Ford pickup. The backscene is blending in nicely

The greenery ties it all together

The big rocks appear

The corner scene went fairly quickly as it was only a small area. When you start off with the yellow foam you start wondering how it will come out, but after the colouring is done and you start adding the greenery it all starts looking good. As can be seen in the above photo, don't worry about trying the fit the foam together tightly to eliminate the cracks as these can be all filled with greenery. A variety of brands were used and the peel and stick grasses were placed in front of the cracks on the baseboard to hide them.

The big rocks are all "Haroled' up

More greenery arrives

And a few tall trees and bushes

Nearly done

There still needs a bit more done to this section, but I am pleased with how it has turned out so far, the corner almost disappears!

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Grinding away

It seems like I am settling down to a blog each month or at least it shows 4 weeks since the last post. I don't suppose that's too bad a looking at some others bloggers. Many blogs start off well but the number of posts soon dry up and then no more. We all have our reasons for this and my layout workload certainly fluctuates over the year.

Truly understanding why people make micro layouts it gives them the satisfaction of saying that they may have built three layouts this year, meanwhile I am slogging away at my monster and wondering if I will ever finish it. But then layouts are never finished are they? Call me greedy or stupid I really love the size of my layout and all of those unfinished section have been stared at and I know how they will be finished off (one day).

Looking at some file photos of my Thomson River bridge , I find it hard to believe I have been at it for over two years now, so I am determined that after our running day this coming week it will become a priority.

Another priority that was completed was the liftout section was completed. Initially it was to be a lift out section, then I thought how easy it would be to just hinge it upwards out of the way. Many, many times I have mentioned on posts that I was not blessed with carpentry skills, so the chances of this working were very slim. Couple this with the great amount of rain that Sydney has been having lately (no bushfires thank goodness) and the thriving humidity I am hoping that it will all line up and no swelling. The HO layout had a swing in gate and after varying weather the tracks wouldn't line up perfectly. I painted the underneath of the swing section to minimise any swelling, so time will tell.

I had some hinges to try and after putting them directly on both sections i.e. the layout and liftup section, when I tried to lift it up it failed. I was later told the the hinges need to be slightly elevated on some three ply to allow the rails to clear each other. I tried this later today and it worked. So from now on there will be no need to limbo under the board. We are all getting to   old to do that anyway.

A while ago I ordered some of the excellent backdrops from Brunel Hobbies in Melbourne. Luckily my backdrop was around 22cm high which matched the height of the printed backdrops. These were installed at Pambula and as this station was on a corner the backdrop needed to curl around on one corner. The first two sheets went on with no hassles, the vinyl they are printed on is great to work with, just peel the backing off and stick. The third sheet had to be trimmed as the backscene tapers downwards around the corner.

Backscene in place at Pambula

 As can be seen in the above photo the backscene didn't completely meet the baseboard. I was able to fill in the gap with a section of the dense yellow foam (Knauf board) and with some hacking and a bit of paint it works out well as a good transition section between the vertical and horizontal. I will put a larger piece at the corner to take the eye away from the sharp angle ( for another day).

I was also in receipt this weekend of a batch of wagons That a good friend James Black had assembled for me. I don't have the skills to do this work so it was outsourced. The fleet has nearly doubled and finally the livestock will be able to have a ride somewhere in the NM's. When assembled into a long train in Eden yard the NQR's look impressive. He fitted three NQR's with impressive tarps for some variety. It is hoped in the future I will make some timber loads for them.

Two freights cross at Pambula

8A gets ready to depart Eden

Two dogs checking out the wagons

10 NQR's waiting for a loco, on their way to pick up a load of spuds

Arrival of an NM now means livestock can be transported
More next month