Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hi Gang.

There has been some time between posts, but I am back and motivated. This year (2017) in August  there will be another Branchline Forum at Coffs Harbour, and the theme for this Forum is "Building a Layout", covering;
How to Plan, Build and Scenic a NSW Layout, And I thought, what a perfect time to show a couple of the main modules for Peak Hill (yes I know it has only been 150 years in the making --- slight exaggeration, but the intent is there.) The modules I am talking about are modules 5 and 6 which are the ones with most of the point work, and the grain shed and bulk shed which are being redesigned and drawn to suit new materials and new methods such and 3D, laser cutting and more challenging etching methods, and results.

I have managed to produce some very nice etched Nickle Silver Frogs in code 70 for Ian Millard, and some equally nice frogs in code 55 for Andrew Campbell, and I thought that I then try some code 83 frogs, but not in just number 6 , but a whole range starting at Number 6 through Number 7, 8 1/4, 9 and even 10 1/2 for this layout. The main crossover is a couple of  number 10 1/2 by 77 foot leads with 20 ft x 6 1/4 in switch. The point into the Grain Siding is a number 9 with a much smaller lead but the same 20 ft  rather than 16 ft 6" switch. The loop is a 77 ft lead number 8/14 x 20 ft switch.

These points take up a tremendous amount of real estate, but they will look fantastic with all the point rodding and detail that will be included.

The frog etches arrived the other day and I realised that I had made a small error to all but the number 6 frogs, so a re-run is necessary and they should be available in a couple of weeks. Both for sale as well as for the layout.

There have also been some changes to the original concept of the curved backdrop as there were elements of that that were too difficult to resolve, so I am now going with a light weight module method using 4 mm ply and 90 mm pine sections with a foam base and the odd riser, supporting the road bed.

The following photos will give a good indication of the module construction that I have used.

The panels, glued and drilled ready for screwing. These panels make up an 1800 mm x 600 mm module, and there are 7 of this sized module with smaller modules on both ends. The fiddle yard will consist of longer and narrower modules located to the rear of the main modules with a large backdrop between the front and rear of the layout.

The module with all the panels in there locations ready for the screwing and gluing.

The panels with descriptions of the parts.

The external corner note that the screw holes are offset so as not to interfere with each other. 

The internal corner joint. The screws go through the ply and into the centre of the pine, and are glued for extra strength.

To strengthen the top of the corner joint, small sections of pine can be glued and screwed into position, 50 mm polystyrene foam is used to fill the modules with risers used to support the track bed through the foam. I am looking at using a spline method of track bed similar to Ian Millard's Liverpool Range layout. He uses 25 mm sections of Masonite sandwiched with ply to build up the track bed, a cork layer fits on top of the spline and sleepers and rail on top of the cork.

The modules are joined using 3 x 5/16" "T Nuts" with home made wing nutted bolts made from 5/16" Booker rod. There will be 2 x 12 mm alignment dowels, which I have sourced  from Station Road Baseboards in the UK . These dowels are easy to use and are reasonably cheap compared to the Aluminium dowels available elsewhere. The module alignment will be done when the road bed and track are fitted.  

Next I will have the 2 modules together with the form inserts, and be looking at the track plan and point design.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hi Gang

Long time, no post, but that is about to be rectified. Tim and myself are just starting to build the base boards for a new layout that will incorporate all that has happened in the past, including Peak Hill.  So the "Old Peak Hill Layout" will be no longer. Instead, we are building a layout in the round that will incorporate Peak Hill, and other silos in it.  The layout will be known as "Strictly Silos", and as the name suggest, it will be strictly silos.
Strictly Silos the layout, incorporating Some of the more prominent silos.
As a modular layout, it will be built to be able to travel in a trailer and be bolted together at an exhibition. The modules are based on Trevor Hodges layout "Morpeth". The modules are built from 25 mm x 1.5 mm aluminium angle screwed to 90 mm x 19 mm pine drill with 50 mm holes, to lighten the weight and to also allow wiring to easily pass through the layout. The layout, will never be the same at any exhibition, and by building extra modules, and changing them, new silos and location can be placed into the layout,
Simply put, it is a group of dioramas with silos on them, depicting  NSW scenes (roughly).

3D drawing of the layout showing the method of construction.

The layout height will be about 1250 mm about the floor, it will not be incorporating a curved backdrop, mainly due the height of the silos,  they are bloody huge, especially Merriwa and Molong. But a pelmet system will be built to include lighting.

The first module base has been built, and some decent photos will be soon posted. More information as it comes to hand.

The modules are extremely light weight and fairly rigid..

Monday, November 8, 2010

Photos of Trip Home

Hi Gang

Just a few photos of a couple of the silos that I came across on the return home for the New England

Attunga S027 ----- front view from road

Attunga S027 ---- from rail side showing small office next to scale

Attunga S027 ---- front view, uncluttered

Manilla S041 ------ detail on front of silo

Manilla S041 ------- front lower half of silo

Manilla S041 -------- front from road

Warral S024 --------- from approach road between s041 and D150 storage

Warral S024 ---------viewed from road

Warral S024 -------- note large hopper bin from D150

Duri S024 -------- from approach road

Duri S024 --------- viewed from general store on roadway

Duri S024 -------- viewed from roadway

Breeza S033 ------- conveyor building from original S008 to extension.

Breeza S033 --------- open conveyor from original structure to extension.

Breeza S033 (S008 silo on steroids) Silo has covered open conveyor.

Nea S027 -------- with D150 to the right.

Nea S027 -------- very busy silo front.

Nea S027 -------- view from Curlewis end.

Curlewis S027 ----------- view from Nea end.

Curlewis S027 -------- with very busy front section of building.

Curlewis S027 -----------from rear of silo looking at wagon shed.

Gunnadah S041 ---------- roof detail

Gunnadah S041 --------- viewed from road.

Gunnadah S041 -------- viewed from road crossing at end of yard.

I have a few photos that can be used for obtaining measurements and I might do a small article on this on this blog, so keep an eye out for that.

Catch you later

2010 New England Convention

Hi gang, just a post on the 2010 New England Convention 6th and 7th Novermber 2010 at the Armidale Bowling Club.

This was a 2 day convention, which was fabulous, The topic list was as follows:
* DCC Control and Decoder Pro --------- Gerry Hopkins
* Scratch Building in Styrene ------------ John Brown
* Rail Tanks Cars in NSW --------------- Howard Armstrong
* Modelling Oil Depots ------------------ Peter Street
* Lights, Sounds, Action----------------- Laurie McLean
* Weathering with a heavy hand -------- Dean Bradley
* Fettlers Transportation --------------- Stephen Ottaway
* DCC Friendley Loco's and turnouts --- Gerry Hopkins
* Layout Planning Forum Think Tank -- Gary Ible & Warren Herbert
* Poplar Trees by The Roadside -------- Jim Pullen
* Turnouts the Fast Tracks Way -------- Len Durkin
* Kitbashing Bogie Sheep Vans ---------- Rhett Herbert
* Bowen Creek in Proto 87 -------------- Ian Millard & Andrew Campbell
* Soldering ----------------------------- Peter Boorman

The venue was terrific and the atmosphere was very relaxed, there was 4 tables where modellers were encouraged to bring and display models they were had finished or were working on. This was FULL of all sorts of models, and it was great to see so many of the attendees bringing something to show and tell. Other tables were located around the auditorium where clinics and conversations were occurring on a continual basis, as well as trade stands where attendees could be relieved of there hard earned. Bowen Creek (Ian Millard and Andrew Campbell) and and couple of Exetor modules (Warren Herbert and Rohan Furgusson) were also on display for the viewing pleasure of the throng of interested modellers. Lunch , and morning tea provided a moment to catch up and chat with other modelers not seen for many years. (in some cases)

There were also many ladies at the convention and they were catered for by the organisers arranging an Armidale Tour on both days. On the Saturday afternoon, many of the throng were whisked off to some of the layouts in Armidale. This was also enjoyed by those who took advantage of this generous offer, and from all reports, the feedback was fantastic.

It was great to catch up with many modellers who I had not seen in many years and to meet and network with those who I met on the day.

The talks were given in a couple of smaller rooms off the hall way into the auditorium, and were always full, with those giving of there time being very generous by offering 2 and in some case 3 talks, but again it was relaxed and comfortable.

An observation from my part ------- it is very easy to listen too and learn from people who are confident in there subject matter, but even better when those presenting have an obvious passion for what they do, and and a love for the topic.

Bring on the next New England Convention or Model Railway Exhibition, I can't wait.

Thanks Warren, and the rest of the organising committee from the New England Model Railway Club for a magnificent weekend, and also thanks for the great times from those modellers who attended. Lets do it again in 3 weeks when I am on another long weekend off.

Catch you later.
The Yearly Update.

Hi Folks, it is time that I updated my blog, after all it has only been a little over 12 months, (can't do it too frequently, people tend to expect regular updates, and gee I'd hate to disappoint them).

I just returned from a wonderful weekend at Armidale, with the New England Model Railway Clubs' 2010 New England Convention, and from my perspective, it was a fantastic success. The topic list was great, the friendship was marvelous, the atmosphere was relaxing, and the venue was superb. (Armidale Bowling Club Auditorium). (More on the Convention in another Blog Posting-----------------------SOON-----------------------No really!!!!!!)

As well as all of the above, I also got a little way-laid on the return trip on Monday, the idea was to go straight back to Tamworth and down to Warrel and Duri for photos with my S024 mates, (who BTW have not gone anywhere). It didn't work out that way did it? With my trusty TOM TOM within easy, yet probably dangerous reach, my fuel tank full of LPG, I made the mistake of pressing a button to find how far it was to Gunnadah, well it appeared to be too far away, but I thought that maybe Appleby may be close enough, so my first stop was Appleby, where to my amazement nothing existed (it had been a while since I was up this way) so onto Gidley, again, Gidley came and went with out so much as a corrugated iron water tank, but my trusty TOM TOM said this is were it is, was, could be, WAS NOT. So with a quick prayer, it was on to Attunga, which luckily just appeared out of nowhere. Wasn't I a happy chappy, finally a silo that had not been raised!!!!

I did the photo thing and then decided to see how far it would be to find a few more of the old structures. (You can see where this is going can't you?) Well getting the RPM up , the speedo spinning and the ever alert optic nerve poised (always looking out for the boys in blue), I proceeded to Manilla (No, not that one BRAD) where a casual Grain Corp worker and his side kick were preparing the S041 for a new load of good old fashion wheat. They started by running the drainage pumps to remove the water from the silo base (gallons and gallons of water, BTW the country looks fabulous) We had the mandatory chat, and I learnt that both Gidley and Appleby had been blown up, (why wasn't I told, did anyone get the footage of that). Checked out the Bo67 Shed, and found out that it is now owned by a local engineering company.
Not content with just these 2 silos, I thought that I might push on to Gunnadah, but alas it still appeared to be too far away. So back to Warral and Duri and another chat to the General Store owner at Duri after another photo session. Did you know that she and her family have been there for 28 years and that she came from Sydney and loves the place.

So from Duri I was expecting to go straight home to Picton, well it didn't happen exactly that way, after driving through Currabubula, a sign grabbed my attention---- Breeza----, so back to TOM (by this stage we were on first name basis) and only 30 odd kilometers on a dirt road, sounds like fun. Suddenly out of the blue, Breeza appears, actually Breeza looked like an S008 silo on steroids. Breeza came and went, with many, many photos being snapped, some great detail shots, (some are soon to go on ARDP) that will allow some of my plans to come to fruition much quicker than would have happened.

Well that wasn't good enough, was it? Nea, Curlewis and finally Gunnadah (which BTW was too far away, previously) came under the camera. You certainly know that your interests have changed when you would rather take photos of the silos rather than the hoppers, but, that is the way it goes. So after lunch, off I went and returned to the task at hand (going home).

I finally reached Picton on Monday night at 7:30 PM, I was originally expecting to arrive home at 12:15 pm. I was glad I did the unexpected photo trip, as I have built up my photo list to include a few more silos, and this is a good thing. I would still like to see the video of the raising of the 2 silos at Appleby and Gidley.

Catch you all later.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just an update

Hi gang

Just thought that I would keep you informed of what is happening. I am doing some serious work on developing new silo kits, including a rehash of the 3 at Peak Hill.

From a generic stand point, the S016 , S024 and S027 silos will be done as kits, as will the Metcalf silos (I need to work out the correct configuration, as they vary in the number of bins at each location) I will be doing a model of Molong Silo (S068) and this may become a kit depending on the work required.

As from the 1st November 2009 I will no longer be making complete silos as I would rather, spend time doing the buildings and layout that I want for me, sounds selfish, I know, but you get like that, in you mid 50's. All existing orders will be honoured, but no more jobs will be taken on ( Sorry if this affects you).

Peak Hill grain facilities.
Firstly the Grain Shed, a massive 280 feet long , reduced from 40 feet to accommodate the B079 bulkhead terminal. The shed is just an extension of the 100 foot kit that I have already done, so basically 3 kits together. However there is much more work to be done to it than the basic kit, as it is clad internally and has extra timbers inside the rail section supporting the corrugated aluminium. It will be a bloody good challenge, and like all challenges that I face, it will be beaten.

The second silo is the B079 Bulkhead terminal. Some of you who went to the Modelling the Railways of NSW Conventions at Petersham in the 1980's may remember the B079 which had a solid piece of copper as a garner bin on the front of the silo, slowly falling forward whilst I was giving a talk on the subject of module construction. It is being redesigned in 1.5mm acrylic and will be as solid as a rock, with no chance of the same thing happening again. There will also be castings that will come from my need for detail clarity.

The S068 Metcalf Silo will be redesigned, and I am hoping to find a plastic pipe that will be closer to the prototype, without cutting, lashing and gluing. No luck yet, but the challenge is out there. The silo will be acrylic and much neater, squarer, and closer to prototype. Looking forward to getting this project completed, should look fantastic.

I will also be making acrylic turnout jigs the suit the no. 10.5 and no. 11 turnouts that the layout has, depending on how successful these are , will depend on weather I make them for the small size turnouts in HO. (ie, nor 6 and 8 turnouts). There is probably more to discuss but that should do for now. Catch you all soon with more info and some photos of the work as it progresses.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

6 Pofiles per Sheet

Hi Gang

I just thought that I would share this with you. To minimise the cost and to maximise the sheet, you can cut 6 profiles form a 2400  mm x 1200 mm sheet. This can be done with a jigsaw as there is a minimum 20mm gap between the profiles.
There will be more coming shortly, including acrylic track and point gauges in HO, mainly for the number 10 and 11 points, but they will also be available for number 6 and 8 points.

Happy Modelling