Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Dogbox and Templot Track


For the past month I have been cracking on with one of my Mike McCormac Models LFX kits. I have enjoyed building this kit. Things seem to fit together without too much adjusting or fiddling. I have to say that having the window recesses cast beautifully, ready for etched window frames is a real bonus, as I absolutely hate cleaning the flash out of windows. I don't know if its just me but I really struggle to file windows square. I still have a little to finish off on the bogies, need to bend up a few handrails, fix a few parts more permanently to the underframe, paint and add interior lighting. All in all this is why I like model railways. I do not complete many kits throughout the year but when one is nearing completion, it really is satisfying. I cant stop staring at the thing, the work gone into producing this kit is second to none. I just don't get the same satisfaction with RTR stuff.

While on the RTR subject, I completely think plonking down a RTR wagon has its place and some of the models these days are very good. I have found though that I do not have the same love for my RTR models as those that I have built. I recently dropped one of my Trainorama BWHs. Things fell off it everywhere. While I should probably care more, I don't have any real attachment to it apart from spending some money. All I have to do, like everyone one else in the world is give somebody some money and they will give me another one! If I dropped my modified Silvermaz NGTY or god help me, my LFX you would most likely hear me screaming from here.

Running in parallel with the LFX has been the TEMPLOT saga. I have finally printed the layout out onto a continuous 10m long piece of paper. While I was mainly concerned with having all the point work templates correctly drawn on the very large radius curve it has also provided reassurance that the whole thing will fit correctly. I have a second print which will be cut into point group sections and then the track built directly on top. I have this vision of sweeping point work, including the single slip flowing nicely around the curve. Actually getting to that point will be a very big challenge, I hope it does work! I have drawn the points and track as close as I know how to so as they replicate NSWGR 1950 practice. I have used my Greg Edwards track manual and translated that into the constraints of TEMPLOT. These constraints are not TEMPLOT induced, rather my inability to master the very powerful track drawing software properly. I could spend a life time drawing the thing trying to get it 100% correct, but for me its time to move forward with it. As I am modelling Picton during the Government owned days the old saying applies "good enough for Government work".

With the recent purchase of a Bergs, second run D58 Class I have been trying to build an accurate D57/58 class ESU V4 sound file. So far I have been using a three cylinder ESU file and modifying the various sounds. I still have a lot more work to do on the project as I want to use six separate exhaust noises rather than repeating just three. After looking closely at a D58 class recording with audio software, each beat is slightly different in amplitude and shows slight variations in noise. Some beats have secondary type sounds. While I am no expert in regards to this stuff it sure is interesting trying to come up with something that sounds right. More work to go. Hopefully I will have a 57 and 58 chuffing along in the near future.

Along with the D58 I acquired another PSM C38. This one does not really fit in with my modelling era as it portrays 3830 after its 1990 something restoration. While I know there are a few modifications which totally give this loco away, I really love the dark green and black smoke box colour scheme and will run it as an in service C38. Although 3830 first saw service in all over dark green, my modelling license will permit me to pretend that it received a black smoke box sometime between it's introduction and it being painted black. I have no photographic evidence to back this up but many of the others received black smoke boxes throughout their lives so why couldn't have 3830? I am sure somebody out there will tell me it didn't ha ha. I am still on the search for an all over dark green PSM 3830 along with green 3805. Maybe one day these rare models will show up.

Now that I have talked myself into that, I have decided to be less pedantic about this hobby. I am finding that I am spending too much time thinking about things rather than actually achieving much. I want to run some trains on my layout, not just think about doing it.

Thanks for reading, take care,



  1. Linton,
    Some time ago, I had a dark green mixed up by an Automotive Paint firm. I used it to paint my LIMA 38 after I did all the detailing on it. What a pity I can't send it to you in the mail. It is in a small 50ml tin. This is food for thought.

    1. Hi Jim,

      I don't suppose you can remember the actual paint code for the paint you had mixed? Does the automotive paint spray ok through an airbrush? I have never used automotive specific stuff. Interesting.


  2. G'day Linton.
    You have made great progress with the LFX. I still have to start mine.I look forward to seeing it further down the track as it nears completion. Peter

  3. G'day Peter,

    Hope your well. The MMM LFX is a great kit to put together, you will love it. They do take some time though but hey it's a hobby not a job.

    After I have been looking at the photos I took of mine there are a few little things that I need to fix. It's amazing what you can see through a camera lens!

    You layout is looking so good. Love reading you blog updates.


  4. Hi Linton,
    I've also made extensive use of automotive paints to paint most of my brass with, very happy with the outcome, sprayed fine, I used a badger single action airbrush and from memory I thinned the paint about 70 - 80% with GP thinners - mind you that was about 15-20 years back
    That LFX is looking good, can't wait to see it painted.
    Cheers Alex