Site Update – the I have a bench finally edition

It has been more than 20 years since I last had a dedicated modelling room, and the spaces within which, to continuously model. It is nice to be able to leave out projects that I am working on, and not have to worry about little hands and my wife getting grumpy at me because of the mess I leave about. I’m not complaining mind. Just saying that it is nice to be able to leave out projects that I’m not quite finished with and come back to them hours, days or even weeks later without the guilt of being in another’s way.

I was lucky in finding a solid glass top desk in a local thrift store (on the cheap mind). Nice thick glass (perfectly flat and great to use when scratchbuilding) with plenty of space to build and keep the projects on (see the image on the left).

And there are several projects that I need to advance and get to completion. Among them are the following Australian outline kit building projects:

  1. GY Grain wagons from the SEM kit as outlined here in 2015

I’ve actually got about 12 of these to complete, and I’ve learned along the way with the kits that while it would be nice to include everything I originally planned, unless you build them from scratch you have to compromise. These will eventually belong to an Aussie outline small layout for exhibition. More on that later – as I need to buy some motive power (A Y class loco, or two, or three, and a T Class too if I can get my bookkeeper to authorise the purchase).

Then there are the following US outline projects:

  1. O Scale GP38-2 rebuilds (more on that here)
  2. HO Scale SW1500 rebuilds (more to come on that in another post soon)
  3. Completion of a bunch of HO scale car repaints, upgrades and so on

There are several other types of non-rail modelling projects that I’d like to finish too, including Robby the Robot, a series of BSG (Battlestar Galactica) projects, a couple of Star Trek projects and tanks, submarines, and a couple of dioramas for these said projects too.

That’s it for now on this update. There’ll be more information and write-ups coming on these projects as I get them moving again. I still have some parts to order for the O scale project, where as I’ve all the parts needed now for the SW1500s.

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Posted in 1:48 (US O Scale 1/4"), diesel, GP38-2, HO Scale, Information, Modelling, Motive Power, O Scale, Scales, steam | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Site seeing – Saturday morning video watching edition

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to post. A range of reasons you’re all familiar with – work, tiredness, time pressure and the needs for others among them. And then that this is at the moment a hobby and not my primary income source (sigh).

While taking a little time out for myself in the early morning (before the sun came up on a very chilly day in Ballarat) I rediscovered the video produced by the folks over at Model Railroader on model railroad operations. Hosted by the late (and greatly lamented Andy Sperandeo) this video is a great introduction to operations, without all the paperwork, and other stuff that can hamper your entry into the realm.

I hope you enjoy, and it is great to share with you Andy’s wit and personality. I miss being able to chat with him as I did every now and then online about operations and the finer points he knew from a lifetime of modelling. Have a great weekend.

Posted in HO Scale, Layout Design, Liked off site, Modelling, Operations, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Switching, video, Web, Youtube | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Site seeing – the oil soaked track edition – April 15

Mike Cougill over at OST Publications is an inspiration when it comes to modelling track. His work is in O scale sure, his techniques however can be used in any scale to spruce up, or in this case make a mess of, otherwise perfectly good track.

His recent post about modelling oil soaked track is a point in case. Simple, presented in a straightforward style and always willing to experiment Mike’s technique provides a great result.

Image courtesy of Mike Cougill

Mike’s site is full of great articles and ideas. Very well worth the time taken to visit.

Posted in 1:48 (US O Scale 1/4"), Acrylics, Modelling, O Scale, Paints & Painting, Powders, Proto 48, Scenery, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Weathering, Web | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Site Seeing – the I’ve got a model room edition – April 1

I’ve been without a modelling space, a dedicated out of the line of fire, not on the kitchen table, leave all your stuff out, style space since the late 80s. A recent move has seen us in a larger space with two spare rooms and a space for our library.

Over my 2 week break from work I’ve gone through my boxes, trying to find all of my collected modelling tools, and I have for the most part succeeded. I’m still missing some critical stuff like my Chopper 2 and Duplicutter along with my set of beading tools that I use to cut a range of river heads. There in a box somewhere but for the life of me I cannot find the blessed thing. Same goes for the NWSL products. I know they’re there, I just cannot say quite where that is for now.

I’ve emptied my mobile toolkits (large and small fishing tackle boxes, and carry totes) to get all of my tools and bits out of the dark and onto the table – making the space look like a the remains of a tornado. So no photos yet – I do have some pride. However, in the short space of time I’ve managed to part complete three little rebuilds from Athearn BB kits, which is more modelling that I have been able to complete in quite a while.

There is a bit of work to get the room into shape. I have a list of honey-dos among them is to build bookcases for our library room. I will add to that list as I need some in my modelling room. These will serve their obvious purpose as well as a base for the switching layout that will be permanently setup in there. More on that in a couple of weeks when I find a tape measure to measure up the room and begin to design something that fits inside the house, and not in the soon to be very cold garage.

I managed to pick up a glass top work desk for $35 Aussie from a local thrift shop (similar to the image on the left). A couple of twists to tighten screws and the judicious use of my allen keys to tighten everything up and the thing is as good as new. The glass top will aid in making scratchbuilt items too.

It has been fun working with my Waldron punch sets and the Historex Hex punch sets and I have to restock all of my depleted punched out bolt heads, and circle plates (great for diesel detailing) from the different grades of styrene.

I’ll post some photos over the next week or two as I get things sorted out. All the best.

 

 

Posted in Home, Information, Modelling, Site seeing, Site Updates, This Site, Updates | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Site update – Operations pages updated

I’ve completed a complete rewrite of the introduction page to the operations section. In addition I’ve added another page to the ops section to improve the information flow. I wrote the original in September 2014 stating that it would be a living document, and so it has proved.

You can read the updated intro page here. That page then refers you to the new 101 – Ops Intro page which has more information on the subject moved on from the first page. I’ve updated several of the other pages also. There is still more work to do to make a better complete article. I’ll continue working on this section during January and February 2018. More information once I complete the new sections.

I don’t expect that you will agree with me on every point in this article series on Operations. For me it is about creating the conversation, and getting people to talk and think about the subject. I hope that you will use it as a jumping off point from which to refine your own vision of what model railroad operations means for you.

Make sure to comment and share your ideas with me. I love hearing what you have to say.

Posted in Layout Design, Operations, Site seeing, Site Updates, This Site, Web | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Site update – Tram pictures update – A2 Class edition

I’ve updated the Melbourne A2 class page with additional photos of the Southbank assigned units.

I’ll continue to update photos as I find or take them.

Posted in About, Site seeing, Site Updates, Sites of interest, This Site, Tramways, Web | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Site update – Tram pictures update – A1 Class edition

I’ve finished uploading and documenting all of my recent Melbourne A1 class tram photos. You can see the page here: https://wp.me/P47pPY-hi

All the photos are of Southbank trams (with some exceptions where I’ve not driven them). There are some Glenhuntly A1 class trams that I’ve not managed to get photos of – yet.

Keep coming back as I’ll be updating photos as I can get them. And I have a bunch that I’ve yet to get on the website. They’ll continue to come up as I can get the time to upload and write them up.

 

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Site Seeing – January 1 – The new Everard Junction version

Everard Junction was a great finished model railway filling the loft of Richard Warren’s home in the UK (his YouTube channel can be watched here). However, he was unhappy with several key elements to the underlying baseboard design and issues with the loft space itself  that were causing running issues due to temperature and moisture. So he took what I consider to be a brave step and decided to start again from scratch.

With the loft area now completely reworked, insulated and ready to go, the work to build the new Everard Junction (Mark II?) is underway. As I write there are four videos in the current build series with more to come. With much detail each shows what ideas and issues Richard is solving as he builds the new layout. Richard’s baseboard design shows the very serious thought he has put into the new build. A couple of his ideas will make it into my next baseboard design, specifically allowing a removable backscene within the body of the baseboard.

Click the videos below to being watching, and if you find them interesting head over to the YouTube channel and like and subscribe. There’ll be more content about the build shortly and Richard is very good at presenting his ideas and showing his working method. Now onto the videos.

Videos

New Layout Build – Baseboards

Layout Update – November 2017

New Layout Build – Backscenes

New Layout Build – Fiddle Yard

There are a heap of videos on his channel that should be watched for their ideas and his modelling is outstanding. Enjoy Richard’s work; I do.

Posted in Information, Large, Layout Design, Layouts, Modelling, OO Scale (4mm:Foot), Scenery, Site seeing, Web, YouTube | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Merry Christmas for 2017

Hi all;

Just wanted to say a quick Merry Christmas to you all. It’s been a busy year at work. So the sharing here has been light on. I wanted to wish you all the best for the Christmas season, and the best for 2018. Be safe, be happy, keep modelling and operating your layouts and keep coming back when you can.

Merry Christmas 2017 from Andrew Martin

Posted in About, Christmas, Publishing, This Site | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – August 7 – Master class: Operating Session

A recent post on the Model Railroad Hobbyist site by Tim Garland and the associated video (see below) shows the realism and enjoyment that can be achieved by operators with little cost beyond the time to set up and the time to operate.

What I enjoyed most out of this operating session video was the way that both Tim (who works as an Engineer for NS) and Tom Klimoski (the layout owner) work together as a team to get the ‘work’ done in a professional way, without hassle, in a small layout space, all the time working the layout to get the switching work done. Better was the way that you cannot see the engineer (Tom in this case) only the conductor on the ground working the cars into place.

Watch the video below and share your thoughts here or on Facebook.

At the Recent Ballarat Model Railway show (June 2017) I managed to catch up with a long time railway mate and his layout. When I saw this video I forwarded it onto Neil as a teaching tool to help him get operations going on his own layout. I think that what Tom Klimoski has recorded is the gold standard for small layout operations. It shows how (and I’m guessing on time) over a shorter operating session two people can work and have a lot of fun switching. Maximising the usefulness of a small layout by following the rules as set out, and by opening and closing gates, calling out the moves, and so on makes such a difference. I hope that you enjoy the video as much as I did.

Additionally there is a great post by Tim going on over at the MRH site about this video. Click the link at the top of the post for more. Lots of really good stuff in that post for the operator as well.

Posted in HO Scale, Layout Design, Layouts, Operations, Scales, Small, Switching | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment