Friday, 28 September 2012

Another Rubbery Decision???


Well... another "Brain Explosion" has taken place here over the last few days.  Ever since a layout was planned, i had struggled to decide on a location & an era for the proposed empire.  The location issue was eventually resolved when i decided to just freelance & not concern myself too much with the question of modelling a true representation of a certain location & just concentrate on the elements that hold my fascination & attempt to blend them into a feasible layout that would test my skills & hold my operational interest for many years to come.  The initial trackplans basically looked like bowls of spaghetti that just filled the available area with little thought to operations & any real prospect that i would ever be able to come close to a reasonable layout completion in my life time. While i have modified the trackplan many times  the current more sensible plan is still a fluid thing & as i slowly progress i can see changes occurring just as they do on the prototype.

Era was another thing altogether.  I am sure i am not alone in finding all  NSWGR eras have some features that attract interest & to single out a 5 or 10 year period to model is severely limiting with all the goodies on the market nowadays.  While i am tolerant of mixed era layouts.... The thought of an NR dragging a rake of S & K trucks around is just not for me... So what era???

I guess the transition period would have to be the most interesting for me.  Certainly this does limit the use of diesel locomotives to 1st & early 2nd generation units....but if the truth be known i knew that i would gravitate to that period at some time or another... & so it was that during a stocktake of rollingstock & locos, i realised that i now had a substantial collection that spanned many eras & now was the time to thin out the fleet & consolidate to that era.  This process will also have other benefits....but not limited to:

1) Hopefully discourage impulse buys ( Yeah i know...sounds like a croc!!!)

2) Free up funds to purchase within specified era

3) Include latter period steam... Now that they are arriving with sound etc...

4) Minimise what will have to be detailed & weathered

5) Allow better selection & placement of lineside items & buildings

6) More time for the layout??? Hopefully

7) Give my brain a rest...

So with the decision made i have wasted little time in grabbing the camera & ebaying the first lot of items that do not fit into my chosen era & thought i would dedicate a couple of piccies of  some of the so far  "retired" rollingstock.

While i love the jumbo...A bufferless FreightRail Blue unit will not cut the mustard.  I guess i could send it to the paint shop....but i think i will wait for it to be re-released some day & buy up on Tuscan units....maybe???
It is DCC & Loksound  sound fitted....but if it was staying i think i would convert to Tsunami...
Farewell old friend... 

At the other end of the time scale is a KA Camden Tram Car....Sadly... long out of service by transtion time...
Can someone tell me who produced these kits???

4701 in candy is a no no.....I still have the DCC 4714 in candy ( the one supposedly with DCC & Sound )
I will sort 4714 out & i guess it will go to the scrappers as well...

 Talk Soon...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

What To Do With Those Old Wagons ?...


With the absolute plethora of brilliant RTR models available now & in the pipeline is it any wonder that the average modeller now has to deal with the cupboards full of finished & not so finished kits. I refer to them as UFOs..."Unfinished Objects"

It was with the above thoughts in mind that i surveyed the 30 or so stock wagons that have been stored awaiting the time when they would have a place on the layout. Even though the bulk of the models have been adequately detailed & in most cases weathered etc... they certainly do not have that certain X factor that is available off the shelf today.  Ebaying them in order to finance the purchase of replacements would only serve to rub salt into the wound when one looks at the amount of time & effort taken in construction & the meagre prices that would be achieved.  I think at the end of the day i will in most cases just accept what i have & not be lured into doubling the fleet for the sake of it.

So now i have settled that mental dilemma...what to do with all of those kits still waiting patiently in their respective poly bags & faded header cards...

Since i moved to Goulburn over 10 years ago i have been amazed at the uses i have seen for redundant railway stock both from a commercial & private sense.  I feel certain that this would be the case in any town that is close to the railway.

I know that the use of such features to create cameo scenes in the modelling world is not new... but thought it timely to post a few shots of what can be gleaned around here.

There are other more obscure examples such as the MLE with concrete deck that allows golfers easy accesss across a creek to the 8th Green & 9th Tee at Goulburn Golf Club & a now marooned louvre van used as freight storage inside the Goulburn Freight shed &  when time permits i will post shots of these.

BCW put to good use as a tac room & stable.....still shows signs of teal blue paint.... 

Another angle...

A couple of the GLX family being used as day stables at the local pony club....
I am assuming that the furthest from camera was maybe a NLBX as there are added plates visible on upper diagonal ends of the wagon sides....Either way both are fitted with X code boards denoting bogie exchange.

According to a member of the pony club...the wagons were aquired sometime around 1995...

As an aside.... there was another NLBX complete with Banana Boards & signage still very visible in rotten row in Goulburn Yard up until a few years ago...not sure if it was preserved or gas axed ?   

Another View...

Have a great week...

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Timber Openings-1... Layout-0


Been a while... Not much to report on the layout front apart from finding out that a 47 class i bought on ebay earlier this year & advertised as DCC not DCC fitted at all... Bugger.   Don't you just hate that!!!   I placed the loco on the test track, it hummed a bit & then the readout on the NCE handpiece displayed the message  " YOU ARE AN IDIOT"

In fairness if it had been fitted with a decoder it would still need to be changed over to a sound unit & that does pose the question....What Tsunami decoder & sound files suit the 47???....Any input welcome..

On other things... the "real" side of the business has been experiencing a prolonged bout of feverish activity which, while welcome, has made time available to spend on the kit preparation minimal & the layout non existent.  I promised myself that 7 day working weeks would cease when i turned 50....That was a croc.

On the kit front....

With the little time available i have been making steady progress on the coal stage instructions...which is really the only hurdle to overcome before release takes place.  Packaging & box labelling have been completed & all component designs have been finalised.   

The Cream Shed progress is also getting a bit of attention & when i find a steady supply of corrugated card for the roof this kit should be ready to fly. 

While on the subject of corrugated card. The unwillingness for the local suppliers to play ball & when one looks at the extortionate retail price per sheet ... I have engaged an engineering firm & have supplied working drawings with a view to manufacturing a machine to enable us to roll our own corrugated card.  This unit will also come in handy for other projects that continually spin around in my head.   I will update on progress.

The Paling Fence project needs a little refinement & when time permits these issues will be finalised & another addition should see the light of day.

Elevated Water Tank timber base kit is coming along also & i will do a dedicated post to this project soon.

It is interesting how as each kit is released... there is then the responsibility of keeping up stocks & this is all part of the learning curve i guess..... I will devote a day in the next week to replenish stocks of most existing kits.

With everything else going on I came across some drawings the other day titled " Timber Openings" these drawings grabbed my attention & even though i have manufactured components for bridges etc many times... I have never checked drawings of these "culvert fillers" to ensure that all was to exact prototype.  Now armed with these drawings i spent a bit of time this afternoon modifying my drawings to reflect reality.  I have only got as far as the wing abutments so far & burnt out a couple of these to check component fit etc... I would guess that a pair of these wings, a couple of intermediate bents & all decking components would make a nice kit that could be produced & single bents & extra decking could be offered for those with a larger opening ( culvert that is!! ).... Anyway i have included some shots of progress so far & will as time permits continue with further component design.

Well i would love to be adding more on the layout front....but i guess that's life...As always comments, advice & abuse welcome...

Progress so far...

Raw components below & finished wings above with piles & capping added


Bit of a close up...


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Apology Due & An Update...


While all was ready to list the Station Facing kits on Ebay last weekend, Murphy struck & the plans went awry.

Anyway i can confirm they are now listed & available on "That Site"....And my apologies for jumping the gun in the last post..

For anyone requiring a longer facing...please contact direct & we will try & solve any dilemmas re length ( Facings That Is! )

While preparing the Ebay listing i figured i should attempt some better shots & following some photographic advice from Ray Pilgrim I feel i am improving a little.

While on the subject of Ray... I was gobsmacked to read his latest Bylong post & the words of encouragement offered by him in regard to our products.   I did not expect the review given..... I offer my humblest thanks to him & to others who have taken the time to make contact & offer same. 

Following his post...I would ask Ray to enlarge ( via the Bylong blog ) on the use of pastels as a weathering medium especially for timber as the use of liquids does take some time to master & any alternatives & methods would be valuable.

Anyway,  as much as our growing range is but a minute bit of the aussie model supply landscape, the feedback good or bad allows us to shape the future of things to come.

The release of the Station Facing Kit now finalises the re-release of our range from a few years ago & clears the decks to commence releases of "new" kits.  We here are looking forward to that milestone. ( Or is that millstone??? )

BTW.... No progress on the layout this week... Things don't look any better this week either...I will stay positive!!!

Anyway....i have included the shots included in the ebay listing

Original Facing...Before Installation Of Our Facing Kit

And After Installation...