Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Random 48 Class

Merry Christmas everyone! Thought I would squeeze in a final blog update for the year.

I have been concentrating on the layout over the past couple of months. I am on 3 weeks leave at the moment and hope to have all the timber work complete and sealed by the end. Looking forward to laying some track.

On my bench are a few models. The 34 and 57 have not really progressed. Both models are running again but need weathering and final touches applied.

Randomly I decided to line and number a bergs brass 48 class the other day. It took me three attempts to find good quality decals for the 48. The final decals chosen still do not have the correct whisker shape. I really hate decals. I am just no good at applying them. It is a real toss up as to which is easier; masking for paint or applying decals and having them stick to everything other than where they should be.

It has been fun weathering the little model. The picture below shows it before final clear coat. Hopefully the clear will tone down the dusty powder a little. Its funny you can't notice the dust as much in real life.

I am going to mod the mech by adding more pickups. I think I have a method that will be quite easy. Just two 10 ba taped holes and a tiny piece of thinned PCB. After modifying it will be painted and weathered to match the rest of the model.

Anyway that's enough. No body wants to read this garbage on Christmas. Thanks to the 61 people that somehow find this interesting. Your comments and help have been much appreciated.

All the best for the holiday season,


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Another Christmas Approaches - Nothing Much Has Changed

Howdy Everyone,

I know it’s been a while between blog posts; however I am still alive and kicking. I have not been doing much in regards to the social side of the hobby, however did venture up to Liverpool for what I thought was a great exhibition. It was good to catch up with many people and was great to swap some money for a bag of model train stuff.

Contrary to what my missus believes, the layout is progressing. Danielle thinks all I do is head out to the shed, scratch my head, look at a few things and potter around. She has got it completely wrong! I head out, start one job, get distracted by another play with the dogs, imagine the layout at Liverpool one day then scratch my head. As this build has already taken me around three years (how embarrassing) I should really have a bald spot in the back of my head by now.

Below are a few pics. Sorry if they look a little like the pictures in my last post, boring I know. I now have six mtrs of the overall ten mtrs lit and basically complete - apart from the viaduct module which needs a little more back scene work. Once the timber work is finished I will estapol the whole thing and paint the basic blue sky.

Rolling stock wise I have been painting and modifying a DJH 35 class and a first run Bergs 57. Although not very common on southern lines during the fifties, I just had to finish painting the 35. I didn’t build this loco as it was a hand me down. So far I stripped the body and tender and have applied its first coat of paint. I have now gloss clear coated the model making it ready for decals and enamel washes.

The 57 was bought from a fellow club member. There was something odd looking about the loco but just couldn’t pick it. Comparing it to some photos one day I noticed the model had no brake shoes or rigging. This 57 has already been fitted with a can motor and had a back plate fitted so a lot of the work was done. I have since drilled the funnel out (not a fun task), added a pipe behind the funnel (not sure what it was for?), added brake rigging, added lubrication lines, primed the body along with chassis and have added extra electrical pick-ups. The lubrication lines where horrible to add. I built them using four lengths of 0.15mm bronze wire. They were soldered together once threaded along the side of the engine.  The brake rigging was constructed from DJH 57 class bits. Big thanks to Al Cutmore (AR Kits) for supplying me with kit spare parts. They are attached to the chassis with 16BA screws. This is about as small as I think I could go when it comes to tapping and cutting screws to length. The tapping hole size for 16BA is 0.6mm so once I had tapped all eight threads into the brass tubing, I was ecstatic to still have the tap in one piece!
Here is picture if the 57 class body, more to come once finished.

Well that about all for now. Hopefully my next post will include a few pictures of the layout with track re-laid.
Thanks for looking,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Turned Back Time and Have Seen The Light

What a weekend - the weather has been great and I devoted both days to model railways. I was up at 0445 on Saturday morning ready for the drive up to Epping for the Early Days convention. This was my first Early Days convention and overall I thought it was pretty good. While I do not model the period I still found some of lectures and models very interesting. One such lecture focussed on colour schemes utilised by the NSW railways between 1855 - 1955. For me, the colour scheme information discussed was the most definitive to date. It was good to see evidence rather than relying on someones recollections. I can't remember the presenters name but he has to be thanked for putting so much effort into the subject.
While at the convention I noticed that the average age of attendees must have been around 100. I am obviously exaggerating (just a little ha ha) but within a few decades a lot of the Early Day modelling knowledge will be gone. These conventions provide an avenue to pass information on but how far through younger generations will this information propagate?
Another somewhat depressing piece of information I learnt, fairly early on in the day was that I would not be ordering any RH cement hoppers. It seems old bugger kits are a little hard to come by. Back to building my own RHs I guess.
All in all it was a great day. It was good to catch up with a few guys particularly Rob (Picton Blog) and Oscar (the most insane modeller I have ever met!)
Today was spent in the shed. I have almost fully completed one module! Although all five modules are built, it has taken me a long time to put the finishing touches on them.

Wish I owned Irwin shares!

Incorporating the LED lighting has been holding me up. I didn’t want to rely on the 3M sticky backing to secure the strips and have been trying to come up with a simple, light and adjustable method of fixing. I have heard others have had success with the stick on method but in my experience 3M stand for 3 months - 3 months of stickiness. The method I have come up with for securing the strips was to mount them in grooves cut with a 3/8 dovetail router bit. This has worked fairly well so far with the strips simply sliding in place. As the LEDs are quite directional (120 degrees) and no light is emitted behind I have been a little hesitant in trying to build a reflector. Would love to hear from others in regards to this.
I decided to run two rows of lights - 240 LEDS per module. One strip is warm white and the other pure white. During my testing I found if only pure white was used it seemed to create a clinical look and in some cases the weathering applied to rolling stock was no longer visible.
I have included a few pictures; let me know what you think. So far I am happy with it. I guess the real test will be how the scenery looks under it.
I have used hinges so adjustment is possible

Classic 2510 Shunts the, for now, single road yard in Picton

Mini Models MLV with a few extras. I have some new weathering products turning up next week. I think the MLV will end being the guinea pig.
Thanks for looking,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Building a Dogbox

No I am not in trouble, no dog house for me! I thought I may have been as I bought a bergs 57 class  on Friday night. It’s funny because the timing could not have been any better! This weekend Danielle's parents met my parents for the first time. Probably about time as we have been together for almost seven years. I think the long awaited meeting worked a treat, overshadowing the latest purchase! Apart from receiving an ear bashing over marriage, I have had no "how much was it, what do I get now, you already have one" discussions. May have to plan another meeting - real soon ha ha!!!
The 57 is currently pulled apart and I am hoping Al from AR Kits can help me out with a few spare parts. I will leave the 57 project for another post though.
Not much has happened on the layout this weekend. The weather was no good and one of my mates borrowed most of my clamps. I seem to be always buying clamps however never seem to have enough! For anyone interested, Bunnings have four packs of Irwin clamps for $29.00.
Basic Bogie Frame 

Completed bogie side frames ready to be attached.

Side frames added. No comes all the finer detail parts. Can't wait!

This afternoon I sat down and started one of my Michael McCormac LFX cars. Seven hours later a have two basic bogie frames completed. These kits, so far are amazing. I don't think I have enjoyed putting a model together quite this much for a long time! I know it sounds crazy but Mike has actually made these things fit together! The instructions provided are first class and unlike building some other kits you really do have to follow them! Above are a few photos of the afternoon’s achievements. Wouldn't it be nice if the MMM range expanded to cover R cars, RUB cars, HCX, CX, BX, CHO and a few twelve wheelers, hint hint. I know it's wishful, most likely completely unlikely however I am always the optimist ha ha.
Now to start planning the next distraction. A round boiler 36 is really needed ha ha.
Take care,

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cross Trading


This post will be a short one and will not include pictures! I can't believe it either! With today marking the introduction of the carbon tax, I will be writing all future posts on the IPad as the laptop uses too much power! Just doing my bit. As I sit here in the dark, freezing my tits off now is probably a good time to learn how to upload pictures onto this thing! All jokes aside it will be interesting to see how Australian industry copes. While on the railways I heard rumors of companies importing clinker rather than using their own kilns. From someone that really has no idea about this stuff I just hope it doesn't completely kill Australia's dwindling manufacturing capability.

Well on a more sensible note I have cleaned my modelling bench. After an interesting discussion with Mike McCormac the other day I have decided to start one of my LFXs. Hopefully, after finishing the dogbox I will not come to the realisation that my current fleet of models and future buys are crap. Unfortunately I need locomotives to haul my LFXs along with other pieces of rollingstock that are not LFXs when modelling the NSWGRs.

Over the past few months I have been working along side a scale modeller mate. Calum has started a blog ( although mostly aircraft related is well worth a look. In my opinion scale modellers are the weathering experts.

On Friday afternoon I had a visitor. Jon, a fellow IMRA member, who now has a blog( in to take a look at Picton. It's good to have another opinion as sometimes you get lost in your own ideas. Thanks for driving all the way down Jon. Your welcome anytime, just bring some working clothes next time ha ha.

Well that's about it. Time to watch my two hour ration of television. Holly crap I just saw a Cadbury chocolate steam train in a tv add. Can anything beat that? Doubt it! Ha ha.

Catch ya later, Linton

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Do Not Drive a Car Named KITT

Last Saturday I attended the Epping exhibition. I really enjoy the Epping show, it has a good vibe and this year I thought the layouts were of a high quality. Boorowa’s scenery really caught my eye. I feel there’s been a trend of late for layouts to be closer to eye level, something I have been aiming towards.  Boorawa however was at a more conventional level which I feel enhanced its deep undulating scenery. The bridge work was also excellent. Arakoola, with its size and beautiful detail entices a change in scale. If you see a whole lot of 1950s NSW rolling stock on EBay you will probably guess the content of my next blog entry. Seriously though this is something I want to do in the future. I have for some time wanted to model Summit Tank in 7mm scale, maybe one day.

I met quite a few people on Saturday. With Aussie model railways having such a large web presence, it’s quite interesting to put faces to names. I am not sure what people expect when they meet me but I am not David Hasselhoff. I really should change my profile picture ha ha! While on the subject – just because I wear a hooded jumper doesn’t mean I am a hoodlum. Yes I do live close to East Nowra (West Greenwell Point for the snooty) but this doesn’t mean I am going to walk off with your display in my pocket.
Thank you very much to Ian Phemister and Andrew Lee for producing a very nice BLV kit. I hope they sold well. I was once again reminded that I have not made a start on either of my LFX kits. I promise I will have one finished for Epping next year Michael. While chatting to Michael I met a man that would have to be one of the most insane modellers I have ever come across. I had seen Oscar Deluca’s work on a couple of internet sites however after seeing his true scale wheels in the flesh it has changed my perspective on railway modelling. I do not possess the skills or the will to do what Oscar does however I think his no compromise outlook on track and wheel modelling is the only alternative to the norm. Scale modellers, scale real life objects however railway modellers live with compromise. I understand the reasons why this compromise is necessary but at the same time seeing what is possible incites progress. Thanks Oscar for your insight into madness.

 I have now finished three of my Austrains CWs. Still many more to do and with the upcoming sheep wagon arrival I may have to buy a bulk bottle of Indian ink.

I have been progressing with Picton over the past few months. There is nothing like an exhibition to renew your enthusiasm. The new base boards for the station area are coming along. I have eight metres of the layout standing with one more module to build. The track should be back down in a few weeks and the plan adjusted slightly so as to make it more accurate.

That’s it for now. Another weekend over and a new week of hell begins. Lucky for model railways I guess! The requirement for money to spend on trains makes going to work tolerable.  

Catch you all later,


Sunday, May 27, 2012

CWs - Down and Dirty

Lately I have been fiddling around with my new Austrains CWs, trying to replicate there in service appearance. After having a look over James McInerney's Lambing Flat Blog. I was blown away by the weathering effort applied to his model of 1948 CW 27785. I gave James a call, hoping to extract a few secrets. I quickly learnt that there are no secrets and the process is described in AMRM August 07 by James himself. After having a read I armed myself with a paint brush and went crazy. Below are a few pictures. I will have get the airbrush out and spray the under frames, then weather with similar methods. Once the model is back together I will brown the whole thing up a little, probably with powders? Not sure yet?
Side One

Side One

The other side

The other side again

While on the under frames I think I may remove two of the gussets along the side. After looking at photos it does seem as if there are only suppose to be three. Would love to get some feedback on this.

Oh well had better get back to these little Moo Movers. They are going to take quite a while to finish.

Thanks for coming,


Friday, May 18, 2012

CWs - Getting Used To Baked Beans

I love Fridays! After finishing work at 1230 this afternoon I was greeted by a package on the front door step. I noticed Austrains stamped on the front and was a little unsure about its contents. Inside was my order of CWs. I have not seen any news regarding their arrival so was a little surprised.
What great little models! These four wheelers are beautiful little reproductions. They have been fitted with fine wheels, are weighted nicely (something I have not measured) and are detailed enough not to require too much fiddling.

I am looking forward to see guys like Justin Moy have a crack at these and hopefully pass the results to weathering plebs like myself.

I am now really looking forward to the upcoming Sheep Wagons, not so much to the declining bank balance however ha ha! Does anybody have a few recipes to jazz up baked beans?



Sunday, May 13, 2012

Maybe I Have A Problem?

Howdy Everyone,

Over the past month, layout construction has most certainly taken a huge step backwards - I have actually started again! Well not entirely true has I am re-using a lot of the previous layouts parts including alloy trestles, track base, lighting pelmets and base board adjusting pieces. The problem that I faced was in the integration of the aluminium curved back scene supports and timber baseboard framing.  As I have a little OCD, I was becoming frustrated with the alignment of the back scene and pelmet. The layout was just becoming a little too complex in construction particularly in regards to the turntable module where the back scene has a different profile. I ended up making the decision to run with a tried and tested portable diorama construction method as explained by the late Rodney James (AJRM) and used by many since. One reason why I avoided this method in the first place was that I didn’t want to cut the 25 profile boards required. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to cut them out after all as I found a local joinery that operates a CNC router. After completing my drawings I emailed them off to the CNC operator, ordered the ply and in a couple of days I had 25 perfectly cut profile boards, too easy!
The three variations. The profiles with holes are the centre sections, cut from 12mm Ext Ply. The end sections are cut from 15mm Ext Ply. The profiles with the rectangular slots are used to mate with the adjusting pieces. 

Over the last few weeks I have been busy gluing and screwing all these parts together. So far it looks great and I am not that far off from being in the same position I was with the old baseboards. It has given me an opportunity to fix a few inaccuracies particularly with the up yard track layout. I have posted a few photos and in two to three weeks I should have the full ten metres standing.

On another note I have been meaning to repost pictures of my colour adjusted PSM 38. I don’t believe the original photos in an earlier post showed an accurate colour. Here are a couple more, taken outside with max f stop and good natural lighting.  

Take care,


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Easter


It's been a while since I stepped up to the keyboard and updated this cyberspace soapbox we all call blogger. Not much has really happened apart from almost completing the Austrains FS BS coaches, gluing a TAM back together, trying to finish the layout back scene and also changing my career - again.
The FS BS project is almost complete, well one pack anyway. I still have not pre-dated the end handrails/lamp iron brackets yet. To be honest this is the part I am holding off on. I keep telling myself who cares if they are not in the right spot! They are there! Well the sensible approach most of the time gets overpowered by my annoying rivet counting side. I am afraid this situation will be no different. Now to mix some paint to the right shade, hopefully.

Ready for paint

The seat colour may be a little to maroon. I was going to add a brown wash but once the body is added you can hardly see the seating.

Will had a little weathering to the body once the hand rails are soughted.

The working diaphragms really do work! After a test run on "Waterfall" I am very happy with there operation and will use this method for future projects.

The short shank scale head Kadee has been positioned back towards the bogie so as to close couple the diaphragms. To do this I removed the original threaded spiggot along with the rear two upright coupler lid retainers. The hole for the screw is then elongated towards the bogie and a Kadee coupler box lid trimmed at the back and added. With the round mounting lugs of the Kadee coupler lid pushed up against the front two original coupler lid retainers it provides perfect spacing for the working diaphragms operation. I was not happy with the coach floor sinking into the body so I added a styrene cross brace in the end of each body section. The floor now sits on this styrene brace and allows the 10BA screw holding the coupler to also hold the floor in properly. No more floors dropping out or sinking into the body.

The TAM cars have barely progressed. I decided to mill the crown lights out further, so they would sit proud of the main window. All was going so well. Writing down all the measurements on my white board beside the mill I set off and started the second side. Dialling up the required depth I began to mill the crown light. I can now let you in on some useless information, unless of course you’re milling Lima TAM windows. The sides are not the same thickness! I learnt this as I watched one crown light completely disappear. I have since fixed the missing crown light by making a new styrene frame and gluing it in place.
Still to be cleaned up but you can see the extra milling of the crown lights.

TAM glued back together. Now to make some underframes and fix up the roof.

I have had the last few days at home and I have been trying to finish the layouts curved back scene. I seem to spend a lot of time in the shed but I cannot see much progress. Hopefully one day it will come together.

My real life has been turned on its head again with another career change taking place. For the past 14 months I have been learning to drive freight trains with PN. It was something I had wanted to do for many years and I was most fortunate in being based out of Moss Vale. I still could not tell you much about modern railways or locomotive classes however I found it most enjoyable. On the job I have met many genuine, interesting people ranging from Cootamundra to West Narrabri. Every day was an eye opener particularly heading down the mountain, travelling south to Coota and obviously driving a 3000 ton wheat train through Picton. 

I am back in the Aviation Industry, riding a desk, providing my previous Navy squadron avionics engineering support. I am looking forward to my new role but will always remember the feeling of trying to control 6000 horsepower attached to a loaded wheat train on the Main South.
On my last day I decided to take my first train picture. Heading down the mountain line and while put away in Mt Murrays Loop I took this picture of our export wheat train at around 6.30 in the morning. Lead Loco 8179 looks impressive washed in the red light emitting from the starter.

3922 Mt Murray Loop 31Mar2012

Thanks and have a great Easter break,

Friday, March 2, 2012

One step at a time

After a little discussion on Railpage in regards to driving turntables with stepper motors, I decided to sift through my box of junk and come up with half a solution. I only do things by halves, that's what my missus says anyway. The stepper motor controller is programmed using the PC and once the commands are downloaded onto the controllers EEPROM it runs independently. So far, to make the turntable rotate 180 degrees and back takes around 25 commands. Using 2279 steps to rotate through the 180 degrees means it has a fidelity of around 0.08 degrees per step. I have included a video with this post and you may notice that on the bridges return trip it actually runs back past the track and then forward into position. This has been done to take up any slack in the mechanism. I still want to add a calibrating move when power is applied.

Here is the video of my half built sellers 60ft turntable. The stepper makes some weird noises due to its pulsed type drive. I will try and soft mount the motor in the future but even now is a lot quieter than a gear reduced conventional motor. Every thing is sought of held together with blue tack but all stayed together for this demo.

There is some scope for this set up to be used with multi track turntable setups. Obviously it just becomes a lot more complicated programming all the different moves.

FS BS Cars

Work still continues on the Austrains FS BS cars. I have installed the super capacitor onto the lighting PCB simply by drilling two small holes, sticking the cap through and then soldering the zener onto the other side. This holds it all together. I still have to add the wires connecting it all to the output of the bridge rectifier. The super capacitor sits very neatly up in the ceiling of the door way area.

I have added a little extra detail to the under floors and the coupler position has been fixed resulting in the working diaphragms, well working!


No progress. It’s been too wet and I am still waiting on more PVC sheeting for the back scenes.

That’s it for now,