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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Layout concept


Due to family, work and upcoming Christmas commitments, model building has had to be suspended for the time being, I hope to be able to get some time to finish kits off late-January.....I'm still collecting bits and pieces as well as detailing parts in the meantime.

For those unaware, Ian Lindsay Models has retired.

A big thank you to Ian Storrie for producing these kits over so many years, please enjoy your retirement Ian!

Back to the layout.....

I've planned to fit this into a 'standard' 6m x 7m shed and will be designed to be point to point operation (if circumstances change and a larger shed comes into the equation, the plan gets adjusted!)

Doing the occasional bit of train crew work up at Thirlmere over the years has developed my interest in building a layout for prototypical operation of trains, rather than going round-and-round (that's what the Marklin is for).

I intend to use DCC, but with manual point control - McKenzie ground frames would be nice, but at approx $50 per lever.......

I'm setting the layout it in the 1946-1954 period.

Why?  I like the Venetian Red & Russet colour scheme and I certainly don't have the skills to do the fully lined version justice.  It also allows me to run varnished 12 wheelers and other suitable cars.

I enjoy  being able to have correct consists and formations for this period - (blame The Detail Police ;-).

Mind you, I'll be interested to see Austrains' 81 class when it comes out and I have a very soft spot for 42's in 'as delivered' condition then there's Aucisions 46/86 and IDR's  85 class to consider..............

My railway, my rules and it's there for my enjoyment.

Part of the inspiration of the track plan is from this great article and plan by Rodney Barrington in Branchline Modeller #4:


Images are reproduced with the kind permission of Branchline Modeller Publications, many thanks to Stephen Ottaway for his permission to reproduce these.

Plans by Rodney Barrington

From this,the final version(s) of the track plan will evolve taking into account size constraints of the shed and my desire to incorporate a regional feel rather than just concentrating on the specifics of the Tumut, Kunama and Tumbarumba lines.

Let's consider this track plan for the genesis of the main station "Murrum":

Tom Pall Collection
I know Tumut has been modelled in 1 exhibition layout (Tumut Branch Line) and at least 1 home layout, but the aim of Murrum is not about a dead scale accurate recreation, rather to invoke the spirit of these places..

Let's look at the features Tumut yard has (only the engine, carriage shed, coal stage and flour mill are gone):

  • Turntable (50' C.I.)
  • Flour mill
  • Butter factory (I could even substitute this for a Freezing works)
  • Manual coal stage
  • Single road engine shed
  • Carriage shed (long gone, but the foundation are still there)
  • Goods shed
  • Loading bank
  • Footwarmer plant
All the essential stuff for a branch line terminus!

I like the SJM and Rail Central Pc kits, so I may yet do the station buildings as concrete construction, leaving the engine, carriage and goods shed as timber/iron items.  There may also be a Pc Barracks as well in the future

That's all for now.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A quick update


I spent a nice week at Nimmitabel with the family recently and had the joy of a couple of hours worth of snow there in mid October!

I went for a ride on the CMR (please support groups such as this they do a great job in conserving what's left of the lines, if they and others weren't doing this, all we would have is memories and photos...)

Here's a shot of CPH6 on the Down between Bunyan and Cooma on the Wednesday.

Love that Monaro scenery - pity I missed the last train to Bombala in 1985 with 3102T and 3026T!

Modelling wise, I've almost finished the AndIan models LWW after having @#$d up soldering some of the laminations, these having to be removed and resoldered.

Apologies in advance to Andrew Lee and Ian Phemister when I post some pics (soon) - my brutal soldering skills do not do their magnificent kit justice - it's as rough as it gets, despite my best efforts.

Lessons learnt::

  1. Go for a simple etched kit if your soldering skills are rusty
  2. Take your time - like anything, effort in = end result!
I'm finishing off the marvellous B wagon kit from IDR Castings, it just needs the door bangs formed, coupler release bars fitted and it's ready for painting - Sergent couplers have already been fitted.  

As with all my rolling stock fitted with spoked wheels, RP25/88's are fitted as an interim measure until the correct P87 spoked wheels surface...........

Pictures coming soon of the B as well!

That's all for now.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

What's in the workshops....


Like a lot of modellers, I've got a lot of projects on the go at once, most of them are 1/2 finished.

Perhaps it's a generational thing (Gen X).

Most of these are 'basic' assembled, but need detailing such as handrails etc., etc.  All of them are waiting on the mythical 8-spoke wheels and suitable drawgear - hook or autos.

Anyone out there worked out a way to do transition links (D link and 2 links either both long or long/short) and fit them to Kadee 'scale' couplers or (preferably) Sergent couplers?

In the case of the CPH it's a question of disc wheel Stanton Drive or somehow adapt a P87 spoked wheel to it - just to be different CPH/CTH's had a 9-spoke 33" wheelset.....prototypical accuracy has its limits!

In the works

  • GT van (ILM)
  • HS (ILM)
  • TE (Sydney Hobbies)
  • LWW (AndIan Models)
  • BLV (Andian Models)
  • RU x 8 (TrainO & ILM superdetailing kits)
  • CPH +CTH (Casula)
  • TBC (L&C/Casula)
  • TFX (L&C/Casula)
Plus other carriage and wagon projects not started that I'm slowly getting the bits together for.

That's all for now, hopefully some pics of the LWW soon.


Saturday, 28 July 2012

"Murrum" - what it's all about


"Murrum" is the planned P87 layout that I'm working towards building 'one day' (sound familliar?).  

I'm taking small steps first with getting my eye back into modelling and kitbashing rollingstock and fitting P87 wheels to them (I'm still waiting for those elusive P87 10.5mm 8-spoke wheels).

The next step will be a test track doubling as a photo track, similar concept to the one by Roy Elder in the latest edition of AMRM.  

From there it will be a series of dioramas which will be incorporated into the layout proper.  The track plan is yet to be finalised.

The inspiration for Murrum  comes from a variety of sources:
  1. The name Murrum is derived from the Murrumbidgee River, which originates in the western foothills of the Great Divide as well as in the ACT
  2. The Riverina Highlands branch lines of Tumut, Kunama and Tumbarumba (Murrum to have the 'look and feel' of those lines and regions and not being an exact replica - I just don't have the room!!!)
  3. The writings of the Late Ronald George Preston; 'Tender into Tank' (and 'Standards in Steam the 30 Class to a lesser extent) had a profound effect on me with his description of these lines
  4. A few visits to these lines over the last 20 years appreciating what once was and the beautiful scenery of these regions - for our Victorian cousins, think Cudgewa line scenery wise and you'll understand the appeal
  5. A 1977 school excursion to Canberra and the Snowy (standard Primary School fare- Parliament House and the Snowy Scheme) which came back through South Gundagai and the Prince Albert Bridge - the Sheahan Bridge was still being constructed at the time; I saw the rail viaduct, no trains but I remember cattle being droved onto the bridge and then down onto the floodplain - what a smell!
These regions hold a special place in my heart.  

I would strongly advise anyone travelling to the Gundagai area to visit and photograph both viaducts, the road one has had all pedestrian access banned and the next flood will take it out, the rail viaduct is OK, but yet again it's 'demolition by neglect' as so often is the case outside the 'Sandstone Curtain'..........

That's all for now.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

In the beginning


Welcome to my blog!

A bit of background on my HO interests before the explanation of what Murrum is.  Being a kid of European parents growing up into the '70s, we had in the larger clan a bit of a tradition when it came to the train set the boys would get; it was always Marklin.

My Cousins and my Brother were given Marklin (all of them are 10+ years older than me), but for some strange reason, dad gave me Lima HO; a 38 class amongst other things including some OO carriages.

Go figure.

In the 60's Marklin was pretty expensive (still is, but the average price of a NSW RTR HO carriage being over $100 is making premium European brands such as Roco and Brawa seem like value for money nowdays....).

Anyway, in the intervening years the Marklin was put away, the baseboard and track my brother started building in the early 70's was forgotten about and deteriorated.  About 9 years ago he gave me his Marklin as well as the layout, which today is very treasured as well as some I had inherited from my late Uncle and some other Marklin I had picked up.

In the last 9 years, I've been building a new layout of about 3m x 2m, this is my family's heritage.  As I explained to 'er Indoors, the Marklin is 'playing trains' the 'other stuff' is scale modelling.  The Marklin project is ongoing and might feature in a future post.

The interest in NSWGR?  Blame the Model Railway Exhibition at Asquith Boys High in September(?) 1974, Locofonic Recordings "The Last Run...?" and the RTM Steam Extravaganza at Enfield, October Long Weekend, 1974.

Enough said.

(well maybe more in a future post)

I started to model NSW HO in the 80's, modifying Lima TAM's and progressed to 2 x DJH 50classes in the early 90's.  I finished 1 (saturated) and 1/2 started a superheated version.  Because of my high level of involvement at Thirlmere from 1984 through to 2002, these locos were neglected, parts lost and NSW HO was on the backburner.

These 2 x D50's have now been stripped down to the frames and I'm waiting on some replacement parts from Al at AR Kits.  The replacement of the Romford wheels with  P87 wheels is another question entirely..........

Fast forward to late 2010.

The interest in NSW HO was rekindled from a combination of things, particularly with how much the RTR product had improved (TrainO 44's and wagons etc).

I can't explain how or why the interest in P87 came about, but having seen P4 equivalents in Model Railway Journal and seeing blogs such as the inspirational Bowen Creek (and finally seeing it in the flesh at Thornleigh last year) confirmed my decision as correct.

A quantum leap from NEM340 standards to P87!

That's all for now.