Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
And so to the model. I looked at the coaching stock on both the Talyllyn and Ffestiniog railways along with what runs on the Puffing Billy here in Australia and came up with a basic design. The maths worked out quite neatly on 4 compartments for seating and, following UK practice, this was decided to be for Third Class stock. To get First Class (I won’t go into why second class wasn’t around for decades here – if you are keen, you can easily find out the history) I made the compartments a bit bigger – however I wasn’t able to get 3 in neatly but this wasn’t a problem as I needed to put a guard in somewhere and so the Firsts ended up having two compartments and a guard’s area with provision for luggage and mail. The idea being a normal service train would be three Third Class coaches and a Brake First – the logic being each First compartment held 8 passengers in a 2 a side configuration and the Third compartment would have 6 passengers in a 3+3. Each First Brake would then have 8 passengers and each Third would have 24 – a train would then have 80 passengers assuming a full load which in the world of Narrow Gauge would be extremely unlikely, even on a market day during high summer!
|All Third and Roof as supplied from Shapeways|
Painted, footboard added and transfers on. Just needing to be glazed - and weathered.
I still haven't touched the white roofs!.
|Number 1 "Amity" and three of the four coaches pulling into the restored station on Celyn Glanfa|
The numbers are from when I sent the pictures to someone to explain the issues.
1 is the Mk 1 - to long and not sitting square.
The Mk 2 print - much better in length but still not sitting properly.
With a bit of filing it probably could be made to fit. The issue is above the cylinders.
|The final print - this is the print which appears in all its glory in the photo above.|
|No 1 "Amity" - I really should work out a way to disguise the motor!|
|An early photo of what became No 4 "Nigel" on the unfinished Celyn Glanfa|
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Sorry to those of you who have been looking for a post over the last couple of weeks – it has been that time of the school term when marking and the resulting reporting take over for a a little while and not much railway work happens owing to paying work being the priority.
All hasn’t been lost however with this lovely addition to the Australian locomotive fleet arriving direct from the manufacturer (after purchase I hasten to add – it isn’t a freebie for review – it’s mine!) via the Neb Noswal Express a couple of weeks ago.
It is one of “those” locos – interesting, been around for years – in this case, the prototype for mine was the first mainline diesel electric for the Victorian Railways and delivered to same way back in 1952. Having been selected for a rebuild and new engine back in the 1980s the frames and bogies are still going strong, now as A60 rather than B60.
For those who are unfamiliar with the prototype may I suggest a visit here or a bit of a trawl around the internet.
Because mine is direct from Phil, I got a few hand me down bits and pieces – the collection of transfers for example didn’t include all the ones I need as there had been some with misprints – as we have been mates for over ten years and I don’t mind. I’ll get the missing 3 in due course (all for number boards – somewhere along the lines the printer only put in one of each number on the first print, despite there needing to be 4), so mine isn’t exactly a representative example of the production run. Having said that, the model itself is and rather than worrying about reviewing the bits I added (nameplates, side number plates etc.) I’ll deal with just the model.
Running wise, it was very smooth straight out of the box. It is supposed to be a match for the other Gopher Models (at this stage I’ve a pair of 48s, a pair of 44s, a pair of S and a GM12 to compare it with) and while it doesn’t quite match yet, I am sure with running in it will be much closer – at this stage B60 is about 1 inch slower around my layout, St Alban’s Abbey and this is a 5m x 1.1m oval so quite lengthy than the S class and 44s which will be running together. As B60 won’t be needing to run with anything I am not too worried but my 44s work very nicely together (post on them to come) and once I have chipped them for DCC operation, I expect the consisting on the Brisbane Limited model I hope to build up will be spot on.
The model itself is finished in the later version of the Victorian Railways Blue and Gold scheme first made famous on the Spirit of Progress streamliner and is associated S Class 4-6-2 Pacifics prior to World War II. In this case, the difference to its original livery is the yellow at the top of the doors – a practice which disappeared sometime in the 1960s I believe. I haven’t been able to find out exactly when B60 got its doors so treated. Those who want an earlier B will have to be delicate with a paint brush. I believe the Blue matches the Steam Era paint VR Diesel Blue but how close the factory in China got it, I can’t say.
As far as printing goes most of the pad printing is very crisp. I found some bleed points on the side of the body near the grills, but since I don’t ever remember seeing one clean here, weathering to suit the normal late 70s early 80s grime from my childhood will solve this problem. To be honest it isn’t noticeable at normal distances and it was only with the benefit of my modelling glasses and deliberately looking for “faults” that I could find it. Everything else is what we are coming to expect from Phil and his Gopher stable – just a shame Ixion didn’t take off for the British Modeller but that is another story!
At this stage the B is only available in VR Blue/Gold and a special livery done for a Streamliners weekend in Goulburn. Phil has a number of unpainted models, one of which has been done for Ben in the VicRail Tangerine T-Cup livery from the early 1980s. It looks as vile as I remember but Phil has done a nice job in the painting of it. I understand if demand is sufficient to warrant a second run, the V/Line scheme which replaced the Blue & Gold and Tangerine liveries. Even later liveries, such as SSR and WCR will probably remain special paints jobs by Phil but since the SSR 44 was done as RTR the B may manage to be done for those looking for the set.
If you’d like one – or one of the other Australian RTR diesels Phil has done – go to www.badgerbits.com.au and follow the links. I’ve not been paid for this review. Phil doesn’t even know I’ve done it.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
We had our third get together for 2018 last Saturday with 7 members in attendance. I didn’t get around to taking photos which is a shame as David G had brought along quite a lot of his stud of locos for a running session, many of which he has had weathered professionally. A quite impressive collection.
We welcomed back Anthony from his three year posting to Sydney with the Army – he swapped in for Ben who the Army saw fit to post to Puckapunyal at the end of last year. Anthony showed us some of the building progress he has made for his North Wales line. Hopefully we will get organised enough for a visit once he is fully back operational.
David H had brought his DCC programing set up and sorted my NCE controller which was playing up – turned out it was the cable rather than the controller. A bit of playing around with DCC locos resulted.
Discussions on Hollie’s and my new layout were fruitful – I’d put some Kato track one to see if the geometry was workable and it seems it will be ok. I’m hopeful that we shall have significant progress by next month – fortunately I’ve two weeks holidays coming up straight after Easter so the signs are good, management permitting.
As always, if you are around South East Queensland on the Second Saturday you are more than welcome to come along and join us. Just drop me a line.
Friday, February 23, 2018
Once upon a time – or perhaps “A long time ago…” is a better start! – I regaled readers with the tale of my sorting one of these here. As it turned out, I never did get around to sorting the transfers and what not for the 2015 modelling competition and with the 2017 running late and being held in a couple of weeks, I thought I had better do something about it – if for no other reason than to provide a second or third place.
So what’s changed? Well I got some transfers for the Parcels service to put on it, put the handrails in (Spirit Design out here has a nifty tool for handrails – unfortunately the owner of said nifty tool has now moved 1000kms south so I might have to get my own), glazed it with Krystal Klear and weathered it all over.
Depending on the lighting and the angle you can still see the print lines but all in all I am quite pleased with it – just have to sort a DCC chip for it and get around to building the 1975-1982 themed layout for it to run on. But another UFO FO’d so that’s a result.
Friday, February 9, 2018
Long term readers will possibly remember back in 2016 I was given a shunting puzzle layout by one of our on again, off again LAG members (currently heading back on again which is a bonus!) and my daughter, keen as a bean to return to the Toowoomba show after her debut as an operator in 2015 was given nominal ownership and as a result it was christened Hollie Wharf.
It has been to two Toowoomba shows – 2016 and 2017 – and may go again this year depending on whether or not the planned replacement “Celyn Glanfa” is ready in time (you can look up the Welsh if your keen – and if you are Welsh and don’t like Google Translator's answer, please get in touch with a better one!) although there is the complication that the magic smoke seems to have escaped somewhere late on the last day of the show last year (which is one of the many reasons I am glad Ken is back into British N for a bit as he has offered to trouble shoot his home made circuitry).
Now, being a wharf Hollie and I both felt it was important to have a vessel or two to have at the dockside. Again, long term readers may remember (and you can certainly hunt back to 2016) that there was some detailing bits done with my Aldi 3D printer. One of these bits was to make a start on converting an Ertl push along Bulstrode the Barge from the Thomas the Tank Engine collection into something more like a costal steamer.
I have fortunately obtained a second one from the Bay of E for not a lot and, this time, have managed to remember to take more pictures of the process. The modification is by no means complete but I thought a Part I would be useful – if for no other reason than to make me get a move on so Part II gets done!
Below is what I started with. It comes apart easily by removing a few screws from underneath
The component bits. I chucked the wheelhouse as it is over scale. I also chucked the bit with the wheels in it as being no use to any plans I have nor could I see how it would be useful in the future. Hope I don’t regret that.
Having dismantled everything the hull section looks like this. Not particularly useful if you want a waterline model but I have a bench sander and, having fitted it with a worn fine grade belt, I took it down to the waterline pretty quickly and easily.
The deck insert was next – before on the left, after on the right.
I removed the bollards (dunno what else you’d call them) from the bow and stern, cut a hole where the cargo hold is and trimmed down the lugs which had secured it all together.
So I now have a hull ready for building onto. At this stage, this vessel, tentatively named Ruby, is going to be a sister vessel to the one we already have, the Amity. Both carrying coal around the coast from wherever Hollie Wharf is.
Now to sort out the 3D printer and find the print files for the new bollards!
Friday, February 2, 2018
Last week I wrote about the two DJM mermaids I received from Hatton’s and indicated they’d be joining the UFO pile to be back liveried into black from Civil Engineer’s Dutch. Well as it happens, I got onto it much sooner than I thought particularly when I found that removing the bodies for painting wasn’t that much of a hassle – a few minutes careful prising with a steel ruler and voila.
The now removed bodies were spray rattle can black and left to dry for a day or so before transfers from the Model Master range which used to be available from the N Gauge Society (sheet 2633 which has options for Dogfish, Catfish and the Mermaids. I used to to redo some Railhaul (I think) liveried Dogfish back to black years ago – I hope I can get some more as I have 11 Catfish etches to build).
So after about 5 minutes of dismantling, 5 of shaking the spray can then pointing and shooting, a day of waiting and an hour putting 10 transfers per wagon on, I have what I wanted – two black Mermaids to join the Grampus, Dogfish and Shark on the engineers possession train.
Friday, January 26, 2018
Saturday, January 20, 2018
One of the LAG members dabbles a bit in USA outline. My original trainset, given to me at birth, is also American and I have, from time to time, dabbled a bit myself. The collection isn’t particularly big and, owing to not knowing very much about the US at the time, the Roads which I had locos and stock for were more purchased on the basis of either it was cheap or I liked the look of it. When I finally sat down a couple of years ago to consider what to do with it all, I found I had bits and pieces from 5 roads, three of which were orphans – or very tenuously connected to the others.
It was about this time that David mentioned he was going to do is own shortline and was essentially running his railroad as a hook and pull operation from the nearest Class 1 down a branch. I had a bit of a read around the internet and found this was a pretty common method of playing trains in the US and figured it would enable me to justify most of what I had – all I had to do was assume the Class 3 Road I was operating had purchased the random locos from the Class 1 which had purchased them from the manufacturer. This would enable a PRR K4 Pacific for instance to be running over next to a GN F7.
A bit more thinking and I decided to upgrade to a Class 2 Road as this enabled me to have more miles and more money, justifying repainting the eclectic collection and so the Empire Railroad was born.
All this back story is necessary I suppose to explain how I came to getting some decal paper and making my own transfers. I needed to do something to make my own railroad livery!
I got my paper from eBay and an Australian supplier. Heaps out there and much of a muchness for price. I got a single clear A4 sheet to practice with. As I can’t print white, any white lettering needs to go on a white paint swatch. Similarly, I have found that unless I print in black, and at photo quality, I have to put colours onto a white background as they appear washed out. It is still a trial and error process.
I have however had a couple of successes. The Empire Railroad has three 2-8-0 steamers (Bachmann ex-Missouri Pacific) and these have had Empire put on the tender and 1977, 1980 and 1983 applied to the cab sides for the road numbers. Because I did these myself, I wasn’t limited to what Fox or anyone else did for fonts and so they were done in BANK GOTHIC Lt with a bit of manipulation on spacing and so forth. These were printed by firstly printing the desired shape and size on plain paper then cutting enough transfer paper from the sheet to cover, sticking it over with scotch tape and reprinting. I painted a white square on the tender and slide the transfer on. Once dry I painted around the transfer with matte black. The same approach went on the cab side but this was a bit more lumpy with detail – US locos aren’t as neat and tidy as UK – and so I had to use microsol to get the transfer to lie flat. One of the six number squares mucked up – must get around to sorting that.
I also did three Microtrains cabooses – two started life as BN Green (so post 1970 which was much later than I decided on – I’ve decided 1950s for steam to still be hanging on in parts but broadly diesels hold sway) and one in PRR brown. They were painted rattle can red from Bunnings – and then suitably adorned with the Empire logo and number 501, 502 and 503. As these were black it was very simple.
Finally, I mentioned last week I’d have a photo of the Simple Green for those who want to find it and give it a go – as I mentioned I got mine from Bunnings in Australia so I don’t know if it is available overseas but if I had a dollar for every time I’d been told to use Johnson’s Klear…. Turns out Simple Green is made in NZ so chances are they export it further than the West Island eh bro?