Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Mock up

Below are photos of the mock up I did last weekend. The whole layout currently sits at about 1200mm high. Once I get some timber to put between the drawers it will be another 100mm higher. The track level will be another 100mm higher still to allow for some landscaping.

As mentioned last post, the G2 Goods shed will be a G1B. The Pc3 station will be a Pc2.

The gantry crane above needs to be disassembled and built again. I tried to build it a number of years ago when I still putting together plastic kits. As you can see, it didn't turn out so well.

There's a fair bit of space between the cement siding and the backboard, but it should all look 'right' once the cement facility goes in there. Picture the one at Tamworth. The plan is to look something like that.

I'm quite happy with how it all looks so far. The two months mucking around with the plans on AnyRail was time well spent! I'm reluctantly looking forward to putting the trains away again and taking the whole ensemble back to the garage to start the next phase.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

New layout plan

Below is the plan of the new layout.

It's *groan* another remote, passing-loop-with-goods-siding station. Sure, it's been done before. In fact, many many many times before. With some detailing and nice scenery you can have a standout model. If you've seen Bullenbung Creek for example, it's minimalist, done well.

This layout will have a Pc2 station, G1B goods shed, small precast concrete signal box, cattle siding (off to the right) and cement siding (off to the left). I've decided on the smaller station building and goods shed so as not to dominate the scene and give the impression of a greater space. It will be DCC and laid with Code 70 rail. It was originally going to be code 83 but I still think this is too heavy for a branch or secondary line. Still tossing up whether to have code 55 in the sidings. I really can't be bothered changing out all of my wheelsets for finer than the current off-the-shelf stuff, so it will probably be Code 70 all the way.

As for location, somewhere in the NSW Central West, probably more towards the south-west, but I'm not wedded to a particular depot. I mainly want to run wheat trains and general goods, along with a mail train connection and a railmotor. Most trains will cross each other at the station as I have imagineered a turnout for a branch line "offstage" to the left of this photo. The trains will pass through the layout to a fiddle yard parallel via return loops.

For me, this layout needs to encompass improvements on all of the mistakes I made in the previous layout. The first problem was portability and survivability. I need to move every few years with works and despite my best intentions, my previous layout wasn't portable. Seeing the steel-and-foam designs used in Bolivia and Bowen Creek, I think this is the way to go. Light and durable. So I knocked up the following two frames in about a day with some help:

The frames are 25mm SHS, aligned at the top and bottom of the front pieces by 20mm SHS, and held together by a bolt in the top of the frame and at the rear. Each frame is 1300 x 600 x 475 (L x H x W). 475mm allows for a modelled area of 450mm wide. I carried both upstairs by myself quite comfortably, so the weight theory works!

At the rear of the frames the two horizontal pieces at the top and bottom are locating slightly in from the edges so that I can attach the backboard to them. The baseboard will be minimal in coverage to save on weight and only feature under the areas with track. The rest of the layout will be carved from foam. 

I wanted to cut and attach the plywood ends and backboard today as well as cutting the template for the baseboard, but it's been raining and it's mighty humid outside this weekend. Best to wait for a drier day so as to minimise warping I reckon.

Next post I'll put up some photos of the mock-up to give an idea of what I'm aiming to achieve.

Happy Modelling!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

New blog intro

I've been following a number of modelling and NSWGR blogs for a few years now and have really enjoyed seeing the way other modellers do things. More often than not it's a little extra bit of info that you don't get in the magazines due to space limitations and the need to appeal to a large audience.

This blog will focus on my chosen era - NSWR in the mid-to-late 1970s - and my efforts to model that era. James McInerney's thought piece in the Issue #276 (June 2009) probably sums a lot of what I like about the period; "Short, colourful trains." In NSW, the 70's meant steam-era operating practices, short trains made up of modern, bogie wagons next to the old four-wheelers, guards vans, three-letter coding, and a number of different styles of diesel locos as the authorities tried to plug an unexpected gap in motive power with the withdrawal of the steamers.

Not yet being able to afford (or negotiate) the space or time to build an empire, the 70s allows me to realistically model a small space in a small location, and justify a fairly decent amount of traffic. I grew up after the 70s, so I'm using a lot of content from books and online to create the right atmosphere.

For me, this hobby is about continuously trying to do better than your last effort. With that in mind, I'm happy to share more info on anything you see posted and welcome constructive criticism.

Lastly, I hate blogs that don't have photos. Here's one that sums up what I like about the 1970s on NSW rails:

4917 tows a short goods down the grade from Carlwood to Tarana on the Oberon line on 24th May 1979. (Bob Winch photo, sourced from the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway website)

Happy modelling!