Saturday, January 23, 2016

A revamped Z13, Longest EHO project ever and Most of a house


I hope everybody is well. After a nice three week break over Christmas, I am now back at work and loving every moment - umm not.

It's not all doom and gloom though. Last weekend I took a trip to the Auscision shop. Not a bad shop, it's very nicely presented and has a lot of models on display.

While on the subject of shops I have to make mention of the outstanding service provided by Hobbyland.

These guys really know how to treat customers. I am looking forward to the release of their X200 rail tractors. Should be a good model.

On the sound front, my XPT file is now being distributed by Mike Walters at DCC Sound. I have been contemplating building a Paxman Valenta engine XPT project version also. This would cover XPT power cars up until Paxman VP185 engines were fitted during the 2000's. There is really only one place to now record a Paxman Valenta engine in a working locomotive that I am aware of. This place exists in the UK and the locomotive is the prototype HST power car 41001 which has been restored to operational status. There are a couple of obvious problems with recording 41001. One is that it's on the other side of the world and the other is that although it has a Paxman Valenta engine, the exhaust system is probably very different to that fitted to XPTs.

The first problem is probably the easiest to solve. I have a contact in the UK that may be able to help with quality recordings. I could also just go on a holiday!

The second problem is where my dilemma really lies. According to documents on the XPT, the power car exhaust systems were modified (attenuated) from those fitted to the HSTs. For model train engine sounds, I believe that the locomotive should be recorded from the outside, not engine noise specifically but the noise produced by the exhaust. If you have watched any HST videos you may have noticed that they have a very predominant turbo whine. I have read the term 'scream' to describe the sound of Valenta equipped HSTs. After talking to a few people and watching early videos of XPTs running, I don't think the turbo noise is apparent from the outside. The XPT most certainly didn't seem to scream along. This brings me to the point of decision. Do I bother building a Valenta project where I will have to mostly edit the turbo scream out or just use my VP185 engine recordings? Both are technically incorrect for a pre-2000's XPT. Just because 41001 has a Vallenta engine does not mean that it sounds anything like the Aussie XPT on delivery. I asked my Uncle the other day (as he lives on the main southern line) if he could recall any sound differences in XPTs over the years. For him, he thinks they sound the same powering up the bank into Moss Vale,

I would love to hear some other opinions. I can most certainly build a pre-2002 project however it may not be worth the time and effort.

Still on sound, I have revamped my Z13 project. I have cleaned up whistle transitions and added a few new features such as a function operated brake. I have included a video to show these recent changes. Sounds such as random compressor, injector, coal shovelling and safety valve are automatically played at random intervals. Some of these can be heard in the video while others did not play during filming.

Modelling - My EHO project continues. I have finished the basic underframe which includes a method for sprung buffers. I need to build some battery boxes and then add all the underfloor detail components. Still some work to go.

House - Our house is only a couple of months away from being finished, fingers crossed. Modelling will really take a back seat once we move in as I have about 100 years of landscaping work to do. Operation line my layout room will commence in the next month or so. This should create a nice area for the building of track work. Let’s see hey!

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Until next time,



  1. Linton, I've really enjoyed listening to your work on the sound files, and this one on the 13 class has held my interest mainly because I have one to build. When I'm closer to finishing this project I will contact you for advice and maybe a copy of your file, it is most impressive. All the best for the new year/home/modelling room fit out.