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Monday, 7 September 2015

Change of standards


It's been a long time since the last post!

I've finally finished removing the woodgrain off the CW's and will start soon on the GSV's.

A lot of hard thought and a lot of soul searching has happened over the last 6 or so months re Murrum as a P87 layout; the inability to find a suitable 8-spoke wheel centre as well as the steam loco driver question has lead me to the following sad, inevitable decision.

I've made the decision to abandon the quest for P87 standards.  

Yes, I'd love to do it, but it's too early and too soon in Australia, especially with the steam loco driver issue.

I also don't have the time, funds and equipment (and skills!) to justify the R&D and tooling at my end, as well as having the pressures of a young family.

I'm keeping the P87 track gauges and day!

This was probably the clincher:

If Ian and Andrew couldn't make it work with RTR diesels with their considerable modelling skills and dedication, then I as a mediocre modeller had no chance.

I have downloaded Templot to learn how to draw track, I will use this in conjunction with 3rd plan-it which will be used for general track planning and layout visualisation.  The fair dinkum/hardcore trackbuilding bit will be done onto Templot printout.

I'm inspired by Linton's excellent work in Templot on Stonequarry Creek.

Interoperability for visitor rollingstock is assured using 00-SF track standards, it's a social hobby too, it's no fun having a lonely hobby.

The Trackwork manual will be the next essential purchase!

Anyway, another update coming up not in the too distant future on rollingstock and other projects.

That's all for now,


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

(No so) Old and New


Still going with the bloody woodgrain removal.

An unintended consequence of carving off the woodgrain on the first GSV has been the loss of the tensioning rod ends where they stick out of the van ends - I'll have to fabricate some new ones out of styrene rod.

I also have modified the roofs on the GSV's to be post '48 configuration per the AMRM article:

Little progress on the WFV,

I'm eagerly awaiting some 0.008" / 0.2mm Phosphor Bronze wire from MRRC (closest size to 5/8" grab irons), this wire will also replace the 0.4mm wire used on my rollingstock.

Now for the "Old and New".

'Old' being the existing ILM Bogie Rest van and BWF, 'New' being the superb 'G' bogie from SDS Models.

While the ILM 'G' bogie is still a beautiful bit of casting, the SDS version is beautifully detailed including brake rigging and the end frame that joins the bogie sides. I'm pragmatic in these things, the ILM G's have been kept in the 'one day' box.

I also bought a pair to go under the ILM SHG, clearances will dictate whether I use them or the ones originally supplied.

The BWF is just the floor and deck sitting loose on the bogies - 'proof of concept' as it were.  They need straightening as there is a slight bow in the castings.

That's all for now!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

It goes against the grain..


As noted on other blogs, the greatest disappointment with the Austrains GSV and CW is the weird woodgrain finish.

No stockwagon in service would have ever been allowed to run in that condition.

Whoever advised Austrains (and Eureka) on that woodgrain really needs to seriously re-evaluate their research.

SDS got it right with their BCW, so why the difference??

I've done an experiment with a CW and GSW to remove that @#$%^&ing woodgrain (if you are asking why then you really don't get it), I've used a #11 blade, a curved edge blade and a narrow chisel blade with encouraging results, this is being smoothed off with a fibreglass brush.

It's extremely tedious (12 x wagons to go) but at this stage so worth it.  I've tried this method rather than the miniblaster method to see if:

(a) it was practical
b) the fine bolt head detail could be preserved.

On both counts so far yes.

The pics below show the experiment so far, please note I haven't finished the scraping.

That's all for now!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Projects on the go


In this week's earlier post I mentioned that I was trying to finish existing kits before I started new ones (got a lot in that tub to build!).

Here are a few that are getting there, my intention is to have them paint ready, irrespective of what the current P87 wheel situation is.

I've cut the axlebox W-irons and grade control brackets off, fitted an ILM 'Heavy" spring set plus the ILM compo underframe kit, there was a lot of scraping to get it to fit, but so worth it.

Casula brass air hose plus coupler end pocket casting and coupler release brackets and grade  control brackets from the ILM RU detailing sheet.  

Brake rigging and shoes etc are still to be fitted.  The IDR combined brake cylinder casting is beautiful, I've since bought quite a few to eventually go under my K and RU's


This has had the P87 33" spoke wheels from The Model Design Studio fitted.  The Wheel centres are 25/88's, not 25/64's, so you can see the wheel centre hanging slightly out the back of the tyre, but that is the acceptable compromise.  

I'm not paying EUR 26.60 for a pair of wheels, no matter how good they are!

The handrails will be replaced with much finer wire, currently the supplied 0.4mm wire is fitted.

Austrains CV, PV and LV

The supplied Cammell buffers on the CV and PV have been lopped off as they are a scale 3" too long and replaced with the exquisite cast brass ones (complete with mounting plate) from AndIan Models.

The LV has been backdated with Turton Buffers - one of the joys of plug-in components.  I had a heap of plug-in Turtons from the Steel S Cammell conversions (never throw things out - you'll need them), so both 20' LV's have had them fitted, they will have the drawhook brakets and drawhooks fitted later.  Lampirons to be fitted to the sides as well as lashing rings.

The CV in the last photo is a legacy of the backdating the 18' LV  article in the latest AMRM.  The underside of the buffer beam squared off and Turtons fitted, holes are yet to be filled.  I may yet just make new buffer beams when I can work out the positioning of the hooks, it may just be easier that way.


Just a nice model, AM models number plate fitted to the chassis and Casula hoses. I may yet fit a shorter shank Sergent as it seems to stick out too far.

IDR 18' LV

Rob from Picton pointed out a while ago that the LV was missing lampirons on the side, so I added some from AR Kits.  The only thing still missing is lashing rings as well as backdating it to hook drawgear per the AMRM article.


Construction of this was held up waiting on the correct 3'6" 8- spoke wheels.  Unable to find any P87 versions, I've fitted P4 versions from Ultrascale (that was a 6 month wait - you can see I'm patient) .  Back to backs will need to be adjusted and if the correct P87's ever surface, they will be substituted.  As is, this will probably sit in a siding, rarely to move!


Absolutely bloody brilliant.  The LLV has had NWSL P87 discs fitted - to be converted to 4-hole versions later.  The TRC still has to have the wheels changed.  If you can't tell the difference between the wheels, then P87 is not for you.

Austrains "Ultimate S"

Beautiful detail, but as mentioned in the earlier post, build quality is crap.  1 x S has a warped body and at least another has gaps in the corner - looking at the Tumut and Burrowa Blogs, it's not an isolated example. 

The Sergent coupler just makes the model as far as I am concerned.

Having said in the earlier post that Murrum is on hold, track planning and acquiring kits & RTP is still happening, just the physical building side may not happen for a long time.

That's all for now.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Nothing much happening, still alive.


Moving house and job concerns have curtailed work on Murrum for the time being; currently it's the long process of finishing existing kits off before starting new ones....novel concept, that.

I've bought the OTM TRC and LLV's which are VERY nice, especially with Sergent couplers fitted.

Austrains S trucks have been purchased, beautifully detailed, but the build quality leaves a lot to be desired.

Should have been shipped as a decorated, CKD kit.

Here are some shots of a couple of projects:

IDR 18' LV - now to be backdated per AMRM article:

Superdetailed with Casula Brass hoses, AndIan Models Cammell buffers and AR Kits lamp irons.

TrainOrama Steel S:

Superdetailed with Casula Brass hoses and AndIan Models Cammell buffers.

The hunt for a suitable P87 8-spoke 36" wheel continues.  

I've fitted the 33" version from The Model Design Studio to a GT van and it looks a treat!  

Many thanks to Nigel at TMDS for having the Leap of Faith to produce these!!

That's all for now!

Monday, 25 February 2013

An update


Little has happened on the modelling front except for the addition of  ICV, SRC and GSV packs.

I've also gotten hold of a Lloyds AC kit, this has already had the AR 2AA's replaced with ILM 2AA's and the spokes replaced with .944" NWSL disc wheels (correct for postwar period that Murrum is set in).

Other than that, it's accumulating various detailing bits and pieces.

I just saw this on Youtube - some of the inspirational modelling of Oscar Deluca in S3.5 (Scale 3.5) the true dead scale wheel and track standard for NSWGR HO.


That's all for now.



Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Layout concept


Due to family, work and upcoming Christmas commitments, model building has had to be suspended for the time being, I hope to be able to get some time to finish kits off late-January.....I'm still collecting bits and pieces as well as detailing parts in the meantime.

For those unaware, Ian Lindsay Models has retired.

A big thank you to Ian Storrie for producing these kits over so many years, please enjoy your retirement Ian!

Back to the layout.....

I've planned to fit this into a 'standard' 6m x 7m shed and will be designed to be point to point operation (if circumstances change and a larger shed comes into the equation, the plan gets adjusted!)

Doing the occasional bit of train crew work up at Thirlmere over the years has developed my interest in building a layout for prototypical operation of trains, rather than going round-and-round (that's what the Marklin is for).

I intend to use DCC, but with manual point control - McKenzie ground frames would be nice, but at approx $50 per lever.......

I'm setting the layout it in the 1946-1954 period.

Why?  I like the Venetian Red & Russet colour scheme and I certainly don't have the skills to do the fully lined version justice.  It also allows me to run varnished 12 wheelers and other suitable cars.

I enjoy  being able to have correct consists and formations for this period - (blame The Detail Police ;-).

Mind you, I'll be interested to see Austrains' 81 class when it comes out and I have a very soft spot for 42's in 'as delivered' condition then there's Aucisions 46/86 and IDR's  85 class to consider..............

My railway, my rules and it's there for my enjoyment.

Part of the inspiration of the track plan is from this great article and plan by Rodney Barrington in Branchline Modeller #4:


Images are reproduced with the kind permission of Branchline Modeller Publications, many thanks to Stephen Ottaway for his permission to reproduce these.

Plans by Rodney Barrington

From this,the final version(s) of the track plan will evolve taking into account size constraints of the shed and my desire to incorporate a regional feel rather than just concentrating on the specifics of the Tumut, Kunama and Tumbarumba lines.

Let's consider this track plan for the genesis of the main station "Murrum":

Tom Pall Collection
I know Tumut has been modelled in 1 exhibition layout (Tumut Branch Line) and at least 1 home layout, but the aim of Murrum is not about a dead scale accurate recreation, rather to invoke the spirit of these places..

Let's look at the features Tumut yard has (only the engine, carriage shed, coal stage and flour mill are gone):

  • Turntable (50' C.I.)
  • Flour mill
  • Butter factory (I could even substitute this for a Freezing works)
  • Manual coal stage
  • Single road engine shed
  • Carriage shed (long gone, but the foundation are still there)
  • Goods shed
  • Loading bank
  • Footwarmer plant
All the essential stuff for a branch line terminus!

I like the SJM and Rail Central Pc kits, so I may yet do the station buildings as concrete construction, leaving the engine, carriage and goods shed as timber/iron items.  There may also be a Pc Barracks as well in the future

That's all for now.