Wednesday 16 January 2019

Going Loco

Ash pit at Eden
Welcome to 2019 already on its way at a fast gallop. Time for more updates, the first for the year.
It gets hard when I go into the shed to tackle the next project. So many things to do. At the moment I am concentrating on getting most of the scenery done on the two Eden boards.
One area I thought that would benefit from a makeover is around the loco area. I have already completed the track up to where the coal loading platform will be and the ash pit has been constructed.
The area where a loco shed is to go into has at the moment a lot of bare baseboard. I thought that if I conentrate on at least getting the base of the engine shed made then when it is in position then the ground around it can be finished off. I am not planning at this stage to actually complete the shed until later.
One thing I find hard is getting plans that suit what I am trying to model. I was lucky to obtain a plan of the loco shed at Colac in Victoria. It is unusual in that the roof line is curved. As my layout is based in NSW I plan to have a pitched roof with the top vents. 
Current track to be removed for construction looking towards Eden station.

Styrene base cut for size. NA 8 trying it out.

The loco shed will only fit one loco mainly because the space I have to fit it in is restricted. There is minimal clearance in the above photo on the right hand side. I have satisfied myself that all my locos will be able to get past the shed although close. This is one of the aspects of narrow gauge modelling that I like.
The white point rodding in the above photo was one of the first things that was installed and that meant everything else had to fit around it. So the only position for the shed had point rodding in the way and when the hole for the pit was being dug out Mr Murphy turned up and there was a cross supporting timber in the way. Not a lot but enough to be a nuisance.
A hole lot better now
Unavoidable was all the dust from the jig saw that was spread around the whole hole area. Use of the vacuum cleaner inevitably sees many of the 'weeds' disappear 'up the tube'.
Basic floor and pit walls are completed
 I find working with styrene a bit easier than working with wood. You just need to score and then snap, so if I can do it anyone can. Construction was made with materials on hand and only the rail support beams were made using timber.
Rail supports and cross timbers in place.
 The pit is made from the plan and also doing what worked on the day. One thing I needed to incorporate was a drain at the bottom of the pit. Digging in my 'scrap draw' I found a piece of channel that I maybe bought 30 years or so ago. I knew it would come in handy one day.
Floor is in position with supports.
I came across a photo of a loco shed that had a brick floor and as I had a sheet of styrene sheeting I used this on the bottom of the pit. I was surprised with myself at how well the construction was going. I was doing some of this work today when we were sweltering in near 40c temperature.
8A is back to try out the pit
 In the above photo the white square blue tacked to the end of a NQR is a styrene clearance gauge representing the widest and highest known locos that will travel over SCR. It also works as a clearance car for scenery that gets too close to the tracks. I found that out the hard way recently when the shay decided to get entangled in some scenery. In real life this wouldn't be a problem, but half an hour later in the model world, the gears were free from the trackside scenery.
Will that be bricks all round?
I decided to complete the floor with the brick sheet. Not sure if any or many were actually done this way but it looked okay. The shed is certainly small only taking one NA with any others overlaying at Eden will have to stay on outside roads.
What a difference a spray makes!
Progress was bettter than I had expected so once I had all the floor and pit components in place I was ready to get the spray into action. I might as well make full use of the hot day and go and spray outside. With the heat of the day it was only a short while and the shed floor was then put into its final resting place. This meant when it is glued down then the bare patches around the shed can be finished off. There is plenty of weathering yet to happen around the shed both inside and out. I will possibly have the top of the shed removable at least until I get the track in position and dirtied and greased up. I have greased up some track at the passenger platform using Tamiya Smoke colour which gives a good shiny/greasy finish.
Looks like 8A has settled into its new home
This project took a few hours to complete but I think was the easier part of doing the shed. Now to source some windows and work out how to construct the sides and roof.