Sunday, 4 May 2014

Bergs Suburban Tulloch - Standard The Taronga Zoo Train

Like too many modellers at one time or another, I have lost momentum with the layout and this is due to too much time considering its potential cons, rather than just forging ahead and tackling them.
 I have decided that the track base centres, in relation to the layout width, are wrong. I aligned the track in the actual centre of the baseboards and it has left me too little room the create the landscape to the rear of the track and left too much room at the front than is needed!
With chainsaw in hand (probably really a fret saw) I will cut and reposition the whole plywood track base, hopefully sooner than later.

In the meantime I have continued preparing stock to run on the layout.

I recently tackled a project that I had wanted to do ever since Bergs released their Tulloch set, the NSW Zoo train 8 car set.
The set from the early 1990's made up of different makes of "red rattler"carriages all painted into a uniform set advertising Taronga Zoo with different animals represented on each car.
I had a folder of reference photos that were found on the net and elsewhere to help me design the artwork for HO scale when the time came.
I also decided some time back that I would only do 4 of the cars initially and maybe the other 4 at a later date.

The cars chosen, Zebra, Tiger, Turtle and Fish.

The photos I've seen show the set as running(or sitting) in the early 90's in at least 2 formations of the 8 car set. Basically, some cars appear to have been switched around during their stint on the rails. I did take pics of the set myself once when it was stabled in town(1992?) but don't remember its actual composition.

I wanted to do the Fish  and Turtle, which meant the Tiger as well as it always appeared with the previous 2 in photos.  The problem(with choice) was that some pics showed the 4th car as either the Giraffe OR the Zebra.
Others may remember why these cars where interchanged, but anyway, I decided to go with the Zebra as the 4th car as the Giraffe was too close in colour/design to the Tiger.

The artwork I designed  tries to mirror the same design found on the actual cars accurately, both sides and ends. The artwork was made using Coreldraw and laser cut out to use as a mask for the air brushing. Some bits were hand painted. The paints used were a mix of acrylics(citadel) via airbrush/brush and aerosol enamels(marabu).  The beclawat windows (nickel silver etches) on the Tiger and the Turtle are from EmuModels.


                                         The Zebra
                                          The Tiger
                                          The Turtle
and The Fish

To finish I just need to add the target plates, MU cables/sockets, horn and roof decals.

.........and did the set actually run to Cronulla, photos seem to confirm a yes, maybe somebody remembers?

I may do the other 4 Zoo cars sometime but will need more Tulloch cars first!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

StateRail/Railcorp Track vehicles

Work on the layout has stalled for a few weeks, but in the meantime I have been trying to finish a few of the track vehicles in my collection.
I have 8 track vehicles so far  but intend to build several more when time/info permits.

Of course, the flagships of Sydneys Railways are the electric mutiple units, but during trackwork and other (seemingly random)occasions, these hardworking beasts come out to play on the mainline.

The first time I noticed track vehicles was on my way to school back late 1980's, I still remember the first types I saw early one morning,  a tribe of 3 small yellow Plasser machines all with flood lights and beacons blazing .

I pondered back then.... what are they? what was their purpose, who controlled them?

I have since then hunt them down(for photos and info) like a big game hunter, sensing their presence, feeling their energy, sometimes catching a glimpse of them whilst driving in a car nearby the railway. I once tracked a herd of yellow machines all the way down the south coast(Thirroul) where I caught them making camp for the night.

They come in numerous breeds, the most well known here in NSW being the Plasser line of large/medium sized vehicles(Tampers,Profilers,Stabilisers, tracklayers..etc) which are usually yellow in colour and are used for the bulk of the trackwork, other rarer vehicles include,
overhead line/catenary maintaining vehicles(which can include Hi-Rail 4x4's/trucks), these are frequently orange in colour. These are lumbering creatures when spotted, but can be lurking in difficult to reach locations(between stations and under bridges)

There is a well known Plasser track evaluation vehicle which zips around the system periodically checking the track, its appearance is almost always unexpected and I usually have to be a "quick draw" for shots of this. It is a fast beast. It's colours have changed over time but it currently sports a white/dark blue combo.

Even rarer again is the rail grinders which appear, sometimes having migrated from other states, to graze on  NSW rails before moving on....

I have photographed most of them, but still hunt many others...always watching.....waiting

Some are available as HO kits from Kibri(now Veissmann), Bachmann make several US types which can be sometimes kitbashed over to Aussie types.. Bachmann also make a yellow Plasser tamper which comes motorised.

Anyway here is a few shots of some of my ones needing work..........
 Plasser Dynamic Track Stabiliser on the left,  which is a Kibri kit I have motorised. I am currently wiring in a DCC decoder and I have it running but just need to wire all the lighting effects.
 Overhead wiring speeder trolley, maker unknown(at this point). First spotted these a few years ago when the Cronulla line duplication was being started. For finalising work on new overhead wires I think. Unlikely to be motorised as it's too small(or is it?)
 Railcorp LandRover Hi-rail staff vehicle....built on a Bachmann chassis. I will likely add a DCC chip.
 And the Dynamic Track Tamper, Plasser type , kit by Kibri, again motorised and with DCC/lighting effects added/being added.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

V set "Intercity"

Another model that recently got decals was my modern interurban V set. I had been waiting for the Intercity decals for some time. It had to be done in white, so ALPS prints again. I will airbrush some satin clear over the decal to "blend" the decal backing film with the model.

This V set was built up from kits and I will make a dedicated post about it in the near future when it has the bogies,motors and pantographs attached.
I intend to put LED lighting in it, aswell as a DCC decoder. Connecting the LED wires through the 4 carriages is tricky but achievable.
There are current conducting couplers & mini plugs that can be used between the cars...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Sydney Opera House opening 1973 single deck set

Finally, some real modelling! (even if it isn't my own)
I have just finished adding decals to a Bergs Clyde set belonging to a fellow modeller. He bought the set  specially for me to apply the decals.

The pattern was carried by the real thing for a while back in 1973 to celebrate to opening of the Sydney Opera House. There were several designs applied to other sets aswell. Pictures of them are in the book Sydneys Electric Trains (John Beckhaus and Stephen Halgren)

I have actually designed 2 more of the other patterns but they have not been printed yet as I wanted to see how these ones went first. The patterns were designed in AutoCad and then printed on an ALPS printer.

Here's the shots...

I think they look very nice! 

The decals were like any other waterslide decal, easy to position and set. It probably took me about 2 hours to do the 4 car set.
Once I have printed and checked all of the designs, I will be offering them for sale to other modellers of NSW suburbans..

Monday, 1 October 2012

many pics* 2012 Liverpool AMRA Model Railway Exhibition

Went with my better half out to the AMRA Model Railway Exhibition at Liverpool today. We usually leave it until the Monday to go, hoping to beat the crowds. It was busy, but relatively easy to move around, and there was more to see!
The Australian Model Railway Association NSW were celebrating the 50th exhibition here in Sydney, so they had hired a large tent(like a long circus tent!) to complement the usual large sports hall used.

I may not have mentioned before, but apart from my modern electric multiple unit interests, I  have a keen interest for narrow gauge models and layouts.
The quality of NG modelling/modellers is well known, both here in Aust. and in Europe,US..etc and I find most are considerably skilled modellers in the areas of, scratchbuilding, painting/weathering, scenery, water effects..etc and border on being "3D landscape" artists
There had'nt been many/any at Liverpool for a few years, so I was hoping for some, and I wasnt let down.

I'll jump into the pics, there are a few, I am usually conservative with photographing, but not this time.

First is Bluetop Salvage Co., a narrow gauge mini layout. I had a strange sense when I saw this that I had seen it on the net and thought it originated from Europe/UK?? But no, it is the skilled work of local Kim Marsh.
I talked to him for quite a while, but forgot what scale he said it was, I think it was 0n30.

Next is several shots of Museum, a Sydney Electric Suburban layout I had seen before, but never could get close enough for photos.
If you have been to Museum station in Sydney, you can tell the layout represents it finely...I can almost smell single deck suburbans' brake dust...

Next is a few pics of Yendys, again Sydney Subrban based, which I had posted shots of from the Epping Exhibit. but took a few more..

 There were many people trying get nice photos but this guy seemed's James McInerney from Australian Model Railway Magazine getting shots of Yendys.

The next few are from layouts & stands,
 Australian houses and shops..


Mortdale Club 3-Rail O scale stand
When I first walked up to this stand, the man pictured gave me an exasperated look which amused me, he was working on fixing the mechanism/underside of an O scale railcar and I've "been there done that". Fixing fiddly working parts on models take much patience!

Victorian VR models

Sydney's Central Station
Architectural modelling styled N scale, very fine!



       Boggy Creek
        I think it was 1:20 scale, large Shays, short point to point with lots of fine detail and those valve gear are mesmerising!

And lastly, Smuggler's Cove, an incredible, finely detailed diorama/layout. I loitered here for some time and came back later and stood longer. I heard one guy standing transfixed nearby say "The trains are almost an after thought?" 
Judging by numerous comments by viewers, many people were stoked at the quality of the modelling.

I hammered one of the operators with as many questions as I could think of...he told me that it is the work of several builders, each capable. Almost all things were scratchbuilt apart from 1 of the boats, the figures and the window frames on the buildings.
I considered this diorama scale modelling at it's finest and was floored to see it in person. I hope to take some of this influence to my Cronulla layout. 
The scale was(I think) 0n30, although the operator told me they had used smaller things toward the back, including smaller gauge trains to give a forced perspective of depth!
These modellers have successfully merged scale modelling ideas with art composition/colour ideas, 
 Oh and I believe he said the subject is based on coastal Maine(US) ... enjoy.

The operator I spoke with.

                                     Foreground tram/train passing the waterfront..
smaller gauge train passing at the back