Friday 30 June 2017

My Huge Workbench

At the moment I am working away at the layout trying to get to the first crossing loop so that I can at least go somewhere and come back again with a train.
There is a combination of projects going on at the moment that both require different tools and equipment to complete.
As there is no provision for operation at the moment I have found that the baseboard has become a convenient "workbench" for everything needed.
It has it minuses and pluses. Usually everything is in sight and a casual glance will find the required object. Trouble is when another object is sitting on top of what I am looking for valuable work time is lost looking for it. One day I spent ten minutes looking for the tape measure and then discovered it in my pocket. If only you could get back those "looking for object x minutes" and turn them into valuable modelling time.
I am not sure if it is a sign of a sloppy modeller having the stuff strewn over the baseboard top or not, or smart everything is in view?
Working recently on the trestle corner module, as it was opposite the Eden module, I have been placing containers of scenery material there within reach. Where it is resting hasn't been fully sceniced  as yet so nothing is getting damaged. I have a sort of workbench but it is not suited to track laying or other scenery work, so the work has to be done on site.
I guess as each section becomes sceniced  then that section will be cleared of junk and a no go zone for tools etc.
So until I move ahead with final scenic work, the baseboards will be open slather for collecting the railway construction junk that goes on it. I find as it is spread out it is easier to find. Why put it away one day and have to get it all out again the next day!! As they say 'horses for courses' Following are two supportive photos for the above statements.
There is a track under there some where?

There will be a train there someday

Monday 19 June 2017

Forward and Onwards

Well I have finally finished making the seven piers for the trestle. When you compare the original dowel to the end product there is a few hours work to be done. To make the piers I used a full sized paper template which was glued to some timber.  Then with the dowel in position I hammered in some nails to make a jig, nothing fancy but it worked. So after a lot of cutting, drilling, filing, painting and weathering they are ready for be placed into position. I have put the nut and bolt casting into position. I suppose in the overall scheme, they wouldn't be missed if they weren't there but they do improve the finished look. Each pier took over an hour to complete the painting and weathering.
So with the bridge slowly coming together I turned my attention to the road that goes under the trestle on the Eden end. I felt that the base I originally made was too low, so I used some foam to raise the road level closer to the bottom of the trestle.
Using cork for the road surface
I used some thin cork for the road surface. I made the road slightly curved which looks better than a straight road. Then end product while intended for O scale looks like it is only wide enough for a  single lane road. I guess I don't have enough room to place the 'Road Narrows' sign. The building of this corner section is like playing chess in that you have to think ahead and plan out the finishing of each section. It will be
easier to make the road and scenic under it before the bridge is put into place.
The road is in place
End supporting wall for trestle
The end supporting wall in the above photo was made out of some supporting timber and the horizontal boards were actually ice cream sticks cut in half and weathered. The donor ice creams were from Cyclones and Jelly Tops. (Although any other flavour will do) They were weathered with chalks.
Dirt at the side of the road added
After looking around the shed for a while I finally found my ice cream container with the dirt I use to represent the ground. It was placed beside the road and glued into place. Best thin it was free from the road side out the front.
Slowly the greenery is added.
Once some greenery is added the scene comes to life. At least most of the scenic materials on this particular board are foam of various types which will help with the end weight.
I am always on the lookout for scenic material and I often cruise around the "Two dollar shops" looking for suitable material. I recently came across the above item and on close inspection found that it was made up of individual 'plants' that I could maybe use.
I ended up buying a plant and although the price originally showed $16 I found when I got to the checkout that it must have been on special at half price so only paid $8. I always like a bargain. The plant will allow plenty of individual plants to be placed around the layout. The closest plant in real life would probably be the birds nest fern. As I am working in O scale now they seen suitable but I don't think they would readily work in HO scale.
Some of the plants in position around the waterfall
I have placed a few around the waterfall to see how they look and they seem to work OK. They give some variation in the scene and catch the eye readily.
Happy modelling for now!

Monday 5 June 2017

Trestle - ing onwards

Slow work over the last week has finally seen a few piers for the trestle assembled. I need to assemble the trestle so that I can build the scenery around the base of the piers.
It is certainly different building in a larger scale than HO previously, it seems solid. I have used 12mm dowel for the poles. It seems strange that when I was picking them out I was looking for the ones that were a bit rough. Bridge pylons are not smooth like the original dowel.
Lower portion of the trestle edging is put into place.
I had sourced some Mt Albert timber from "The Railcar" for this project, so far it looks like I will have enough for the project. The ply I used gives a solid base for the bridge and only needs the piers placed under it. The trestle will need seven intermediate piers of varying height. The trestle is based loosely on the Monbulk trestle on the Puffing Billy railway. By doing this I was able to use available prototype plans of the piers used on the narrow gauge railways in Victoria. But comparing the official Victorian plans there seems to be a slight difference to the way the Monbulk trestle has been constructed. It  will look the part in the end.
The trestle is based on official VR diagrams       

Waterproofing membrane added to bridge/track layer
I was able to add a waterproofing membrane between the side timbers. I don't think this was on the original bridge but must have been a later addition to the bridge to protect against timber rot.
The first pier starts to take shape
In studying photos of the trestle I think that superelevation has been built into the actual deck and the track laid straight onto it. I tried to replicate this on the model but trying to guarantee every pier would be exactly the same was always going to be hard. I have decided to lay the bridge flat and add some super to the track when it is laid. At the top of each pier a notch on each side has to be cut to take the cross timbers. I tried using a razor saw but it was too slow. I didn't have any other weaponry that I could use so while at the local hardware store I purchased a coping saw that had a fine blade and a few others blades for different uses. To say I wasn't coping with the coping saw would be an understatement. The results weren't pretty and hopefully will be mainly hidden under the top roadbed. I was re-assured by a friend who to his credit had made over two thousand dollhouses that because of the coping saws fine blade that they are not easy to control. I have taken that onboard for my excuse for poor workmanship.
The first trestle pier made
The first pier has been completed, glued up and ready for its first coat of paint. The horizontal timbers have been notched into the upright timbers but I became lazy and just glued the crossbraces onto the piers. I was after some O scale nut and bolt castings from "The Railcar" but they only had HO type but was told they would be OK. I still think I would rather some O scale ones that look more solid. Each pier was attacked with the cutting knife to roughen it up from the smooth original. Sometimes a bit too much came off but that bit can go to the back. The end product looks good.
The first layer of paint applied
The above photo shows the first layer of paint applied to the pier. I have read that the preferred staining material is to use Indian ink mixed with the isopryl alcohol. One local art shop had a big jar for around $14.00 so I thought I could try something else. I found a jar of a paint colour called "light hull grey" I applied it with some of the alcohol to dilute and it went on quite well. You can see how the piers have that rough look. Funny how in this hobby we try to make things look for the worse.
A bit of weathering added 
The above photo shows how some weathering brings the piers to life. I virtually used some Tamiya Khaki drab colour dry brushed on. Also can be seen the HO nut and bolt washers used that I think are a bit on the small side. I will try and source some O scale nut and bolt washers for the rest of the trestle.
Close up of weathering
The above photo shows the first pier nearly completed with just a bit more weathering to be done. I am happy how this has turned out, my first O scale one.
The first pier is tried out to see how it fits in.

The first two piers temporarily in position
So the first two piers have been made and now I must get on and finish off the next five. I must admit that with roller door on the shed up today taking in that warm winter sun and some music on the radio it was a good afternoon.
Keep modelling!