Sunday 23 April 2017

The making of a gully

Some more work this week has seen formwork installed to allow the deep walls of the gully that will be in the background behind the curved trestle bridge. I am still getting my mind around the fact that this is being built in O scale and everything will be essentially bigger than when the last gully was constructed in HO. Does this mean I will build it quicker?
Back in 2000 the first HO gully began

The completed HO gully. Two Main lines and a branch crossed the gully here.

After studying this corner module, I have worked out that I will need to complete most of the scenery before I move onto the next module. I will need to fix a backboard on two sides while it is out from the wall. Also because this module will contain the curved trestle it will certainly be easier to complete the scenery first. So this will slow down the work on the Broadwater module. Although the Eden baseboards have had a little scenery work done on them, I have not tackled any rockwork as yet.
Layers of foam added to the base to form the walls

Thinking ahead to when one day the layout will need to be removed from the shed, I thought of using some foam to form the  walls of the gully to lighten the load. I had a few thick sheets of the white foam on hand but not enough. I remember that a lot of modellers use a high density foam which is the yellow foam in the above photo. I found out that the Bunnings store at Dural had a supply, so my wife and I went for a drive out to this rural area to pick up two sheets.
The caption says its good to go
The manufacturer even lists "train bases" on the label so I knew I had got the right one. There was no intention to use it as a base at this stage but to cut it up to make the walls of the gully. Easy to cut with a pruning saw I soon had the bits I required stacked up on the board.

Looks a mess at the moment.
This foam is not as easy to work with as the white foam and was taking much more cutting to get it shaped how I wanted it. Well old habits die hard as they say and I then reverted back to my old method of using chicken/bird wire to form the contours that I wanted. It was a lot easier than trying to shape the foam. The grey block in the photo is a piece of florist foam that I will use later in construction.
This photo shows the extent of the trestle module.
The trestle will sit on a 30" radius curve, had I made it larger then it would have made this module larger and reduced the size of  the Broadwater module. I think it will work out okay.
The module starting to take shape.
The above photo shows the module taking shape. It is almost looking like a skeleton, you see the bones first then wonder what the completed person will look like when the skin is attached. One thing I wanted to include is a series of waterfalls cutting through the centre of the boards. It will have about three drops. To disguise the creek coming from the wall I will put the beginning around behind a hill.
I have been collecting many waterfall images from the internet recently to help put together the final scene. I will also put a walking track around the final scene.
Route of the creek
You can see that any scrap timber I have has been used. One of the last bits of the HO baseboard will live on supporting a waterfall. I have made a decision to use plaster for the walls of the gully as opposed to using the 'soft rock' technique. I know it would save weight in the long run, but it would be another learning curve and I have already used plaster on the previous layout.
I put some newspaper against the chicken wire so I can visualise what it may look like. This module will have to remain out from the wall initially so I can do the start of the creek as I won't be able to reach backwards to do it if it was placed against the wall. The good thing is that I can practice there as most of it won't be seen.
8A tries out the 'bridge'
The last photo shows NA 8A on the roadbed for the eventual trestle. I am looking forward to starting on the scenery on this module but know it will take some time to do it properly. As I see this as my last layout at this stage I want to get it right.

Ian Lindsay Website Update.
Another new item added to the On30 Puffing Billy range for Ian Lindsay is the VR rivetted cast iron water tanks (650 gallons). To quote the web site:
"These were often used in group of 4 or more as overhead loco water tanks on timber stands, as at Walhalla and Hillside. Also, the Weed Spray Train had two mounted on an NQR."
A photo of three of these tanks used for poison is shown on page 13 of the book "Focus on the Beech Forest Line Part two"

New cast iron water tank
Further details can be found here: Ian Lindsay Models

Friday 14 April 2017

Forced into a corner

Well I was notified during the week by one of the narrow gauge drivers that they needed more baseboards and track to be made and laid. Fair call  I said to them, so I started on the next corner baseboard.
I wasn't looking forward to doing this section as it had some tricky (for me that is) carpentry. We already know carpentry is not my strong point, so I spent quite a few hours just sitting on a stool and staring into the corner. Glad the  wife didn't stick her head through the door, she would have seen me and thought I had been sent to the naughty corner. No dear just, just some heavy thinking.
The corner baseboard has to be done to enable trains to finally achieve getting into the next station, so that I will be able to run around the train and come back to Eden again. It will also form a crossing loop in the overall scheme. I have also decided to rename this place from Greigs Flat to Broadwater. Originally I just looked at the Google maps, worked out my start station and the finish station and picked out the number of planned stations, then just matched them up with local names. To me the name Greigs Flat didn't do it for me. Similar to "my tyres flat" was likened to "Greigs Flat". This name also suggests that the landscape around here is "flat". This location will be flanked by a trestle bridge on one side and my version of the Thomson River bridge on the exiting side of Broadwater. The track has shifted slightly east towards Pambula Lake. Isn't it great to be able to run your own railway? Just a few clicks of the mouse and the new route is done. No Acts of Parliament, no petitions, no dirty deals done by politicians, it just happens. As Mel Brooks once said "Its good to be the King!"
New railway route via Broadwater.
Also to be noted on the above diagram, the line to Candelo will branch off from Bega rather than from Wolumla. This is due to another track plan change that will be explained when the track gets to the other end of the shed.
The little guys stirred me into action during the week and I have started on the framework for the corner baseboard. I managed to build most of the board near its intended destination, on the floor. It got a little cramped but I suffered with the cramped conditions, rather than take some time off and move a few things. I am like that.
Sydney turned on a beautiful Autumn day today, so I took the corner out into the fading sun for a few shots. I am still trying to get my head around the scale changes from HO to O scale. Everything is bigger I must convince myself.

This corner baseboard has the Monbulk trestle on the Puffing Billy railway for inspiration. I am using a 30" radius curve, mainly because its the only track gauge I can find at the moment. It looks OK.
After sitting back onto my stool for a bit longer and staring into the "box" I still haven't come up with a final scenery makeover for this corner. I know that O scale trees are way bigger than HO ones so I don't know how many will fit into this corner. I will come up with something between now and the next blog entry.
Location of road under trestle similar to that of Monbulk trestle.
This trestle will also be similar to that at Monbulk in that a road will pass under one end. I am not sure at this stage if it will be just a dirt road or paved. In the above photo I have used some ply to form the track base and part of the trestle. There will be seven intermediate piers between the ends. I would love to flood this valley with tree ferns but I haven't seen any model tree ferns that come any where near the real thing. They are a complicated item to make but they would look nice done properly.
Rear view of corner baseboard. 

The above photo shows the trestle from the rear that will be eventually up against the wall, so photos won't be obtainable when the rear section is in place and scenery done. Having taken these few outside photos, it was then time to return this section to the layout inside.
The engine crew are now happy, they can see progress.

The boards are temporarily together for now.
Taking the board back inside the shed I moved a few things around and clamped up the new board to the existing baseboard. (i.e. the one the crew were doing their whinging on in the first photo)
The bridge roadbed was placed up on a temporary stick to finally give an idea on how this corner section will pan out. This corner section will be supported by the baseboards on either side of it, plus a set of legs in the far corner.
The inspiration for this trestle is in the photo above.
It was ironic and not planned that there was a photo of G42 on the Monbulk trestle on the wall above. If the finished product looks half as good as this I will be happy.
The left hand corner will lead onto Broadwater station.
So things have been moving along this week on the layout. The weather is thankfully becoming a little cooler and the humidity is a lot less so work down there is becoming a pleasure.
As I write this the Narrow Gauge Convention is underway down at Geelong, Victoria. I almost got there but missed out. I don't know where the next one will be but I hope I might make that one. I'm looking forward to the reports and photos and a possible write up in the "Narrow Gauge Down Under" magazine.
Keep tracking in the mean time!!

Friday 7 April 2017

Ian Lindsay website

Well, good news the Ian Lindsay website has been updated recently in April. This site is particularly of interest to me as without his offerings of the O scale Victorian narrow gauge wagons available I may never have taken up the challenge. Coupled with the release of the Haskell NA the combination of the two suppliers should allow anyone to model this style of model railway.
The site is improved with the addition of many images now to allow a visual of the product. Of particular interest is the new section of enhancement parts to upgrade the Haskell NA and also the recently released NQR wagons. There is also two photos of the stunning end result of Alan Rockett's NA that he has superdetailed. Some of the Ian Lindsay parts were used in the rebuild.
Finally I will be able to get bags of potatoes to put in the back of the ute, delivering them for loading into a NQR. There are also other new products such as narrow gauge buffer stops that have never been previously advertised.
I believe that Ian Storrie will be attending the Narrow Gauge Convention over Easter at Geelong. Its good to see him back making hard to find items especially for O scale in 1:48. I believe this is the scale that the USA modellers also use so there are many items that may be of interest to them as well.
The link is here: Ian Lindsay Models

An Inspiring website

There are many facets to model railways. Most people have a main interest usually the one that they are most comfortable doing. This can include carpentry, electrical work, kit building, tracklaying, operation and of course scenery work. If I was to pick my favourite of the above listings then it would have to be the scenery side of things. This item to me has a visual end result that brings a railway to life. 
Recent work at our house had the plumber tell me that they were the least appreciated group of tradies because all of the work was usually hidden. He said the painters and tilers were the most appreciated as their end product was visual.
This is my feeling towards doing scenery. Carpentry and electrical work although important is generally all hidden. This is why I didn't have to be a high achiever in woodwork at school. I must have known one day all my crook work would be hidden.
To anyone that has seen the work of the Red Stag On30 team, Geoff Knott and friends will know the high standards that can be reached. This layout impressed me so much that I was glad I was able to actually say to Geoff at an exhibition that his scenery work was the most impressive I had seen in my over 40 years of modelling. He modestly accepted my praise.
The advent of the internet has allowed the world to share the hobby on line with just a few clicks of the mouse. Most blogs have followers i.e. people who are interested in what you are doing and are happy to declare their interest as a follower. One day looking at the background of some of the followers, I came across this particular site called: Trainscape 
For some reason Jose Manuel Gomez was following my site. I am glad he did. Now I am following his site as he has done some magnificent scenery work. Now amongst some of the blogs that he follows I came across another site: Drawn From Life
Image by Marcel Ackle from his blog " Drawn From Life"

 Where the key element in Red Stag was the scenery, the Drawn From Life author Marcel Ackle has made model buildings that look like real life photos. It is some of the most brilliant modelling work I have seen. The timber work even has the moss growing on it. Words cannot describe the workmanship, you have to look for your self. And he has kindly provided some tutorials listed down the left hand side of the blog. He sets a standard that most people can never attain but it is always a goal that we can aim for never the less. Although the site is in German (I think that's what it is) there is a translation option available. 
Have a look through his blog it is truly amazing modelling!!!