Saturday 14 January 2017

Reasearch and Development

Freelance modellers have it made. It basically means anything goes or do what you like.  Design your own rolling stock and locomotives and your own colour scheme, road names etc and you won't be wrong.
Then there is the rest of us that need a guiding hand in following a prototype. But there is also a mixture option built in. You can faithfully follow a prototype such as the NSW railway system but have it set in an imaginary location. This was the option I took up on my former HO South Coast Rail layout. It had real place names but had my interpretation of how that location would look. But no one could tell me that I had Bega station laid out wrong!.
Then there are the sticklers who need to model a location exactly as it was. I can only admire these people, who go to extraordinary means to achieve their goal.
Changing scales for me to On30 and more particularly the Victorian narrow gauge made me need to go out and chase up as many publications as possible in order to have that important 'reference' material. Currently I have purchased twenty four books so far devoted to the VR narrow gauge. These are invaluable to be able to provide information as to how it was done.
Most of the VR lines finished around the late fifties and even though they started at the beginning of the last century there seems to be a big gap in the middle for information.
We have books devoted to the building of lines such as "Steam on the Lens" Volume 2 that was dedicated to the building of the Moe to Walhalla line. It is a goldmine of information. Then there is the other end of the story when it was inevitable that these lines were to be closed in the late fifties and then photographers flocked to these lines to capture was was left at the time. We are lucky they did.
Remembering to my time back in the 60's colour film was very expensive, black and white being the norm for photos. It was a fairly simple process to develop the black and white films yourself as long as you took the precautions of not letting any light get to the undeveloped film or it would be ruined.
How lucky we are now with the digital age of photography that gives us instant results.
Your were either considered lucky or rich if you had coloured film and even more so if you could afford coloured movie film. I remember my first Bolex 8mm movie camera where you would run one side through the camera and half way turn it over and finish it off. Around just over four minutes per film reel didn't make for instant or long viewing times. Added then the film had to be posted to Kodak in Melbourne for developing. A week later we would watch the results.
I came into possession some time ago of some coloured movie film that I thought should be shared with viewers. The quality is very poor and it is silent film but the subject is priceless. The film covered NA7 locomotive coaling at Upper Ferntree Gully then moving to its train for a run up to Belgrave. Reading some of my 'research books' I was able to deduce that this film must have been taken around 1956 or earlier well over sixty years ago. 7A had it buffer beams and handrails along the water tanks painted in red mid 1956 according to the Hobby Publications book on the 'NA's"
Any way enjoy the film, also to be noted the use of child labour on the coal stage and for shunting!!. 


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  2. think its Sunday 23rd February 1958 - Last narrow gauge train hauled by 7A operates between UPPER FERNTREE GULLY and BELGRAVE. 5000 passengers travel.
    7 NA in Black liver ( today its in Canadian red ) Brake van 3NC which is currently awaiting restoration at Puffing Billy

  3. Bob, Bob, you sneak one in everytime! Luv it. Moe to Walhalla line. It is a goldmine of information. You de man. (bow, bow) LOL
    Thanks for that one. PC