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|
|No. 8 holds up traffic over the goods yard level crossing|
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|
|The narrow gauge wall in honour of Puffing Billy|