Saturday, December 26, 2015

Last Post for the Year

Postings for this year (and the last for that matter) have been a bit on the slim side. I can't believe its been 2 years of making, painting and laying track but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Top deck is done with a big chunk of the lower deck laid and all the track made and ready to be laid. Rest assured, work has been progressing with the results looking like this.

Picton Yard Sydney end

Picton Yard

More of the same

I've even been able to do some non-track related modelling. Well I guess it really is related as I've been building  the 60ft ash pit that was on the down main near the Engine Shed. I have to build this before I can lay the track for the down main.

60ft Ash Pit

I'm tossing up whether I put a baffle plate half way along as I've seen photo's of ash pits on mainlines and some appear to have this baffle plate installed. Anyway, still a bit to go with the pit as I'll have to install some NBW castings to represent the rail fasteners once I attach the rail as well as some heavy weathering and putting in some ash remnants.

So that's it for this year, hopefully next will be more timely and have wider subject matter post wise than the last 2.

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and I hope your New Year is a prosperous and successful one.

See you all in the New Year.


Sunday, July 19, 2015


I was able to get on the power tools recently so I finished the lift out section for the bottom deck. I'm not going to show you the first attempt as that would show how useless I am but the second attempt was much better and now just needs some paint to finish it off.

Nice and lite too

While the tools were out, I finished off the last pieces of ply for the station yard of Picton in preparation for the track to be laid. I still have to fix the ply to the bench work but that will be the last thing I do as I prefer to mount the points and then fix the point motors off the bench. I laid the points out to start getting a feel of how it will look.

Picton goods day

I was going to start wiring the top deck but then realised that if I did this and wired the helix, it would make things difficult when laying the track for the bottom deck storage yards. So I dismantled the helix temporarily while I lay the track for the storage yard.

Storage Yard....Goulburn or Sydney?

A little while back, I went down to Thirlmere to meet up with Standard Goods Fan and take some measurements of one of the archbar bogies that is used as a  workshop bogie. Eventually, I want to make a master and cast some for my various wagons (E, BBW etc) that will need these bogies which are unavailable commercially. I'll let you know when you can place your orders, hehe.

One of many photos

Archbar Detail

Standard Goods Fan was a great host and took me on a tour of the workshops and showed me what remains of the H dump truck.

Not much left I'm afraid

There's little left but you can see the main components like the tilting mechanism and other metal components. When you see what some preservation groups have done with wagon restorations, you realise that the H truck can be brought back from the brink, it just takes money, people and time.

And lastly, you can't go to the museum without a ride on a steam train and a visit to the footplate.

The Driver's View


That's it for now.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Time for an Update

My time flies when you're having fun!!! Its been 10 months since the last update and a fair bit has happened in that time. While building and detailing the points for the bottom deck, I noticed how the much better they looked than the ones on the top deck. I'd gone to the trouble of fixing rail brace chairs and the difference was quite apparent. Next thing I knew, I'd pulled up the points on the top deck followed by the rest of the track. Pure insanity I know. But the thing was that this meant I could add the extra detail and also paint the track easily. Anyway, It's all done now and it won't be going anywhere again. Trust me! I've ordered the power bus wire, connectors  and circuit breakers for each division (there are 4) on the top deck from DCC Concepts. I didn't realise how expensive the bus wire was. I did some price comparisons and DCC Concepts were on par with all the others so an order was placed and hopefully, it will be delivered this week and then the wiring can commence. Exciting times indeed!!

Hill Top, Sydney End

Hill Top, Albury End

Thirlmere, Sydney End

Thirlmere, Albury End

I've done a lot of thinking about the track. I wondered if it was worth the effort given the amount of time I've spent on it. Model Railways is one of those hobbies where you are constantly learning new skills and techniques and that's certainly been true with the track laying so from that angle its been worth it. But the time its taken, compared to what it would of taken with commercial track, is the big question. In the end, I'll never know if I've wasted too much time on it or not but I believe if I'm putting so much effort in to detailing my engines and carriages, then the same amount of effort should be spent on the track. Anyway, it's too late now!!

All the points bar 2 have been completed and these will be done when I lay the track through Picton station itself.

Single Slip

Single Slip Junction

Point Detail

Hand Laid vs Commercial

I've include a photo above of a kit built set of points from Proto87 and one of my points. There's about 30 of these and they will be used in the staging yards. These points kits are basically plastic sleeper base to which you add a soldered frog from an etched fret with machined point blades as well as the track. They look better than commercial offerings but I think there's no comparison with the hand laid version.

Anyway, I'll be doing the wiring soon for the top deck and will be moving onto the bottom deck straight after that. Not long now I hope!!