Thursday 16 November 2023

Another blog entry

One of the things about getting into a regular pattern of updating and posting your blogs  is that if the pattern gets out of whack, people start wondering if you are still here. I received a call today from a friend at Junee who commented on the lack of recent entries. The only reason is that I haven't done much to report. I can go into the shed to get a tool for a project, look around the layout and see plenty of things to do but are not taking up the challenge. Most of us have ups and downs in modelling and go through lapses where other things in life take over.

A lot of the blogs all start well with new projects but soon fizzle out. Just check out how long some blogs have gone for since updating.

But one thing that hasn't stopped is our group get togethers every couple of months where we talk trains, drink, eat and maybe watch a video or so. This week was another visit to the North Meadows layout and always great to see. It is probably 99% complete, with the owner stating that there is no room to hold anymore items but he actually installed two extra storage roads to hold more stock recently obtained.

So just to refresh here are a couple of shots taken on the day:

 But there are a few shots I have taken recently of the layout so I will post them here. I will try and squeeze in one last blog for the year.


Sunday 24 September 2023

Action at Broadwater

Even though it has been slow, work has continued on at Broadwater. Some time ago I installed a Brunel Hobbies 3D printed water tank and I was happy with how it turned out. It is a simple kit with the water tower as one part and the supporting legs the second part. It was completed but the underneath hadn't been sceniced. A few weeds and grasses were added and quickly improved the look. A pathway was made leading up to the platform and on the path under the water tank I brushed some gloss Mod Podge onto the pathway to represent spilt water from the tank.


The water tank sits between the station and another temporary shed that will be replaced with a scratch built NSW style gangers shed. That should fill in the area between the station and the level crossing.

One thing missing from the rear of this baseboard at the moment is a backscene board. This will block out the ridges on the roller door that appear in current photos and need to be photoshopped out.

Broadwater is the first crossing station trains come to after departing Eden. The design is a familiar VR narrow gauge design with a main line, a loop and a dual ended goods siding. There is also another siding off the goods loop and a private siding that will require some shunting to get the wagons in out out.

 When designing this station it would have been easy to just run the track parallel to the baseboard edge but that is one thing I have tried to avoid on all stations on SCR. The curved lines look so much better than the straight track.

So far things have gone according to the 'plan'. Quite a while ago I assembled an Ian Lindsay model narrow gauge goods shed. It has been sitting on the ground for too long so I decided to build a platform for it to sit on. I probably cheated somewhat in its construction missing a few beams etc. Anyway the final product looks the part and because it sits low any missing bits are not readily noticeable. After gluing it all together it was sprayed with Tamiya light grey primer which after some weathering to tone down the grey turned out Okay. The shed sitting on the platform hides most of the planks.

All of the surfaces of the styrene were also scraped with a razor saw to simulate some grain, that is one of the down sides of using styrene instead of strip timber. The end result usually comes out okay.

 I am not sure of what the size of the platform should have been but as this layout is all freelance anything goes, as long as it looks  all right. One thing noticeable in the above photo is the gap between the wagon and the edge of the platform. Ideally this gap should have been smaller, that would have worked for the goods wagons but when I checked the clearances with an NA loco, the cylinders protruded way out so this is where the clearance spot will be. This gap is viewed from an angle where the gap is not that visible. Surprisingly a shay and climax loco I checked had better clearances.

 To try out the platform I had farmer Joe back his truck up and unload some potatoes and set up a photo shoot. The potato bags are an excellent product from  Stephen Johnson Models. They are available in both horizontal and vertical shapes. I painted the bags with some Tamiya Desert yellow and then weathered over with some diluted Tamiya Khaki  drab. An excellent product, even the bag seams and potato shapes inside the bag are visible.

To finish off around the platform some grasses, weeds and white flowers were positioned. That is the basics done but there is always the opportunity to revisit the scene and add more.

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Bits and Pieces

 No major projects have been worked on since the last post, possibly because it is cold in the shed. With no pot belly stove and electricity prices sky high. If I go down there too early you must dress like an Eskimo which rather restricts movement with the gloves. As the day progresses, and with sun up you can feel it getting a little warmer. No it is not really that bad, and with only another few weeks of winter and spring approaching it will be more conducive to work days. We have been blessed with a few mid twenty degree days. Up the afternoon end of the shed is a metal roller door where you can feel the suns heat radiating on the inside of the shed. I like to call this natures heater but it is still not enough or early enough to be of any use in heating.

So the concentration is on the right hand side of the layout as you go in the door. As probably explained the 'right hand' side is made up of modules that can be readily evacuated when the need arises and being on the 'Stairway to Heaven' (or is it the Highway to Hell?) I want to see at least one section finished.

Layout building is made up of many elements, all enjoyable and while there is a certain order in construction the finishing of a layout is flexible. Of course the baseboards need to be made and then the track can be laid. Once it is wired up the the scenery work can take place, that's basically how it goes.

Another part in the layouts progress is coming back to a scene and adding the extra detail bits that finish a scene. One of the things I have been doing around the layout is adding signs and notice boards, these are what we expect in real life and rightly so should be included. The plus side is that it gives scenes some completeness.

 A simple warning sign 'Beware of Trains' would be expected in real life and so is recreated to this scene. It only required a piece of stripwood for the post, some styrene for the sign and a computer generated sign readily stuck on. The whole sign was hit with a diluted Tamiya khaki drab colour to weather it up.

 Another sign is a level crossing warning which was made with some styrene glued to a timber post and painted in accordance with the standards. This is the approach 'X' is white and the rear is painted black. A simple quick sign that adds to a scene.

 Again in similar fashion the larger warning signs for road traffic are made with styrene arms fitted to a timber post.

Speed signs are also set out around the layout where speeds need to be indicated, the one in the above photo shows a speed limit of 10 miles per hour over the Thomson River bridge.

So apart from making some signs I have started work on the station building for Broadwater. The building is an Ian Lindsay station, purchased a while ago luckily when they were still being made. It is fairly straight forward and I will do a future post on it when completed.

Another thing I wanted to try out is to take some photos of the bridge and try to replicate sunrise/ early morning with it just getting light. I needed to use my 35mm camera for these shots for time exposure. I used some multi colour lights I got from Aldi some time ago and after many discarded shots some of the better ones are shown below.

 I'll finish off with a selection of other photos taken around the layout and include a few with the late afternoon sun shining into the shed.


That's all till next time


Saturday 24 June 2023

Still here

 Firstly, I haven't passed on even though it has been three months since the last blog update. The main reason is because not much has been happening around the layout.

Winter time is no excuse not to go to the shed as by the time I am ready to get there the day has warmed up and mid to late afternoon can be comfortable. I have no heater there, only a small window air-con that only pumps out cool air in the summer.

Being winter the northern sun hangs low and in the later afternoon if I open the roller door the sun for a brief moment will shine onto the front of the layout. But you have to be quick as within a half hour the sun is gone off the layout.

Many excellent photos are taken in the full sun rather than under artificial lights. So recently I went and took advantage of the big bright light when it shone on part of the bridge. Not low enough to see the whole bridge but enough to grab a few shots. The results are below, next blog I hope to have more to show.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

About time

I was down the shed the other day and had a need to proceed around to what I call the 'dark side' of the room. I call it that because that is the end of the shed that I don't normally work on. To explain the shed used to hold the former HO 'South Coast Rail' which terminated around the end of 2015. The shed is on the large size being around 14 metres long. It happily contained the HO layout but when the narrow gauge came along, in theory it would be easier to fill as I was modelling in O scale. This was eventually accomplished and now the track fills the shed. But I am concentrating on one end that contains the bridge and the terminus of Eden.

So with a large shed I found that there id plenty of room underneath to hide what I shall call junk, most of us have some. I say most but not all, there are real tidy modellers who I reckon verge on the edge of OCD and there is not a thing out of place. This where I would like to be but have never reached that stage yet. Examples of neat freaks would be the new AusModelco hobby shop at Thornleigh, a pleasure to be in. Then there is a modeller Al Judy who runs the Facebook site On30 Railroading. His layout and workbench are classic examples of neatness. He also posted a picture outside his home where all the boxes he was taking to a model exhibition were neatly stacked and even when they were in the back of the wagon every box was perfectly in line. My friend Jim Harris who has a blog 'Camden Railway' also fits into this category. I don't know what he thinks of my mess when he visits.

One of the most important items you can have is the thing called time and it runs out faster when you get older. So what happens when I go into the shed I see all the things that I should be cleaning and sorting out. SO why spend good time looking for a file when if it was sorted once then it would be easier to find them doh. But the urge to actually get in and do some scenery or construction is stronger than the need to get in and do the cleaning and sorting (every time).

One thing I have had on hand for some time now, must be around three years is a pile of second hand carpet tiles designed to make it all look better in there on the floor. Construction of the layout has been slower than expected and what happens is now if I have some scrap form a worksite it goes straight onto the floor. And maybe worse I don't always sweep it up that day, preferring to finally get sick of it and do something. I also figured it is easier to sweep than to crank up the vacuum cleaner. And I was also lucky that last year with all the rain, at one time water came into the shed and laid on the floor. Not doing much damage but then I thought I was lucky I didn't have the floor tiles down. An unintentional bacon saver.

Well finally getting back to the first paragraph around the far corner of the room, right under the town of Wolumla I had a maybe fourth hand bookshelf, brown timber grain bookshelf that was maybe in a house forty or more years ago. Well I am not sure what had happened but the top shelf had collapsed, down onto the next shelf, taking that one and ended up spewing all the junk over the floor.

Junk city
As can be seen in the photo there is a bit of everything. I have calculated it would have been there around twenty years, not a bad effort for lasting that long anyway. I wasn't sad as I never liked that colour which was in vogue some time ago. When I looked amongst the pile on the floor I had some good luck as I found things that I hadn't been able to find (read I am unorganised). There was a tin of Humbrol green gloss paint. I haven't had the time to open the lid to see if it is still OK or needs a trip to the bin, so I have put it with the other thirty or so similar tins that with one day receive a shake of the hand and listen to see if there is any liquid rattling around in there. I have made an executive decision, no liquid rattle, out it goes. I also found a small square I had been looking for recently. It sat on the floor looking miserable covered in rust and twenty minutes later after a good rub up with the sandpaper it got transferred to a safer and know position in the shed closer to where it can be found. Stuffed if I know how it got there in the first place. The top shelf also became an orphanage for stanley knives, box cutters or what eve you want to call them. So I must have found around ten of them, complete with their blades. I have so many blades now I can loose that 'I have to press harder' with the knife feeling. So the daggy ones have been binned and the good ones have progressed around the corner to some new ex kitchen draws where they will see out the rest of their life. There were about ten screwdrivers of all persuasions binned, I figured out I can only use one at a time why do I need that many for?. Why do we collect so many nut and bolts, nails, screws etc. Most of them have gone into the 'Nail and Screw' draw for another day for sorting. (I bet it doesn't happen)

I went so successful that my bin was overflowing. It will all go out this week in the garbo collection, just hoping there is plenty of grunt in the lifting mechanism. The timber shelf were a right off and now preside at the front of the shed awaiting June when the local council cleanup will move them on for me. Now with the shelves gone I found that the floor was not painted under them, but you wouldn't have known that. The bottom shelf was starting to corrode as maybe the water had got in that far last year.

All in all a good few hours worth of cleaning up, most gone to garbage and the items worth keeping gone to some other place in the room. It all begs of the saying 'Out of sight, out of mind' Now I must start on the rest of the shed, and get rid of that old VHS player, TV, radio that doesn't work, wow I am on a roll.

There have been other sections on the layout I have been working on so I will put up a selection of other shots around the layout, most of them are in favourite spots that may be familiar to the reader. Until next time..............