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!!


  1. Well done with your hand laid track,it was definitely worth all the work put into it. I look forward to more progress.

  2. Hi Rob, Looking good.Have fun setting up you DCC. I have been designing my own DCC look alike using micro controllers and Visual Basic. Just another learning gained from model railroading. I just need a bigger train room. Cheers Geoff

  3. Thanks, Peter, for the encouragement, I hope to make more progress soon so hopefully it won't be quite as long till the next post.


  4. Hey Geoff, I thought I was crazy!! Only kidding, Kudo's for designing your own DCC system, my patience would be severely tried if I went down that path.

    And we always need a bigger train room ;-)


  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. The point works looks great. What colour did you use on the rail and how did you stain your sleepers Rob?

    Can't wait for more updates


    1. Thanks Linton. They've been a while coming that's for sure. I used Tamiya XF64 red brown for the rails but I might used some weathering powder to give some colour variance, just depends on how motivated I get. The stain for the sleepers is simply Tyre black thinned about 50/50 with water and then the sleepers soaked until they look right. The PCB sleepers are the problem. I've tried using weathering powders to get the colour close but the issue is the wood grain texture, I can't think of a way to replicate it so the powders may have to do.