Saturday, 1 October 2016

You can Shay that again

When I made the choice to go to narrow gauge, the choice was made easy when Haskell had made the NA Puffing Billy type locomotives. They have just recently followed that up with the common NQR open wagon that was the most prolific in number of VR narrow gauge wagons.
To me modelling the VR narrow gauge is like modelling a smaller version of the full size railways. Narrow gauge modelling encompasses a huge range of styles, sizes and almost anything goes.
Having said that there is one type of narrow gauge locomotive that is almost ugly and unique. That loco is the shay type. I'm not sure in what order the shays sisters were built but the climax and heisler type locomotives were certainly out of the box thinking in design. Their major use was in the logging and mining fields, their design adapted to get the job done.
In building up my fleet of locomotives I have put a few must haves on the list. The top one is a G type garratt of which two were built for the VR narrow gauge. A ready to run one would be nice and although limited brass ones were built, I think now a ready to run model would make me hear those famous words from the Castle "tell him he's dreaming."
Another model is the Climax and Shay. Bachmann have made both models in On30 and luckily last week a Bachmann Shay weathered and sound equipped turned up on Ebay. I started bidding on it and had a limit which was reached within the last minute of the sale. Sorry to the other guy if you are reading this.
No. 8 brings its first log train into Eden
It has certainly been weathered and finished off far better than I could have achieved. This fact alone gives me more layout building time when the job is already done. It also has a driver who looks happy (all the time actually) The timber load might need replacing with something more authentic than trying to burn plastic. The loco turned up and guess what number it was? Yes number 8. Of all the millions of numbers out there in the world now I have a double up with 8A the one off unique NA loco with the straight stack. I'll have to work out something with the numbers. This loco is intended to be able to work the logging branch down to the main line where it will hand over to another loco. More planned operation.
No. 8 holds up traffic over the goods yard level crossing
I suppose the benefit of  being a slow runner is that it takes a while to get to where ever its going. Well that's loco number 4 for the moment. I have some diesel body kits to assemble one day in the future. And to make matters worse we will loose an hour tonight when clocks are put forward for daylight saving.
Another benefit in starting out again is the chance to strip out everything in the shed and refresh things. The walls and roof have been repainted up one end with the usual blue sky paint colour. It certainly made a great improvement over what was there. Fifteen years is too long between paint jobs. So it was looking pretty smick, but missing something to break the "sky".
During my recent August visit to the Puffing Billy railway, I made sure I went into the shop at Belgrave to try and buy anything that would be suitable for the walls of the shed. I was beyond the Thomas the Tank posters but bought the only suitable poster that being a shot of a train on Monbulk trestle with two vintage cars in the foreground. It was purchased for $5 and rolled up to hopefully survive the plane trip back to Sydney. It seemed to be OK.
The Puffing Billy poster safely posted up on the wall
It would look very bare up on the wall alone, but I was lucky to be sent from photos from Alf Batchelder that he had taken on Puffing Billy. I emailed Alf re getting high res copies so I could blow them up and frame them onto the wall of honour. He kindly agreed and sent me some great photos of which I selected four. I had Office Works enlarge them to A3 at a reasonable under $2 each cost onto thicker type paper. These were then put into frames and now run down one side of the shed. It's starting to look good. I still have the opposite wall to decorate yet - plenty of time.
The narrow gauge wall in honour of Puffing Billy
 Its great to be able to theme up walls and your layout area with what you are modelling. I'm just not sure where I'll put all that NSWGR memorabilia now.

1 comment:

  1. The photos look good on the wall Bob. Decorating the area surrounding your model railway is one way of making your model train room seem like it is a part of something bigger. I can almost imagine Emerald Station standing just on the other side of the door!