Site seeing: August 31 – Winter is going (at least down here)

Winter is over, although where we live in Ballarat at 420m (1370 feet) above sea level, you’d be hard pressed to tell that change of season has arrived. Our mornings are still cold, the winds are still lazy (they go through and not around you), and the weather is not shiny or happy. However, my seasonal allergies have kicked in, and the Wattle has been in full bloom for about 3 weeks now. I’m sniffling, my eyes are streaming and I look like I’ve gone five rounds with the late, great Muhammad Ali. My allergies and the weather are not the reason for today’s end of Winter post…

Site 1: Croft on the ScaleFour society’s website

Built as a shunting puzzle (Inglenook) and based loosely upon the real Croft goods (Darlington, NER, not Leicestershire LNWR), Croft is a magnificent example of simple effective display and operation. The image below courtesy of RMWeb and Steve Taylor.

I could go on at length about this layout, or I can let you soak up the atmosphere of this image and then follow the ScaleFour link above.

Site 2: RMWeb’s Croft Gallery

Go, look, mind blown.

Hope that this gets your creative juices flowing. Looking forward to the Southern Spring.


Site seeing: August 29 – trouble reaching

I’m putting out a call for help to all of you today.

I’m having the biggest issue when trying to get to the Tichy Trains website. I’m wondering if others may be having similar issues. I keep getting connection errors and I’m wondering whether others outside of the continental USA may be seeing the same errors?

Here are the errors (occurring across all browsers)

This site can’t be reached. The connection was reset.
Try: Checking the connection - Checking the proxy and the firewall

Just so you know I am in Australia and am not blocking or otherwise filtering content out through my firewall. I used to be able to reach the site. It is only recently that I’ve had issues reaching the site.

I’m wondering if anyone else has found this issue and found a solution for it.

Site seeing – August 28 – 1980 Frisco S Scale layout “Cheltenham”

Tom and I have been out of contact for some time but recently reconnected on the Railway Modellers surprising best friend – “Facebook”. I’ve known Tom Potthast since my early days in Austin, Texas, since around late 1997 or early 1998, when I met him at King’s Hobby. Tom has been an S scale modeller since before I met him and pitched hard for me to choose that scale. Originally from St Louis he lives in Virginia. As I’ve noted in the title of the post he’s working on a 1980 era Frisco S scale layout. He’s not advised of a website or other online location so I’ll be posting and sharing photos of his layout here.

Site 1: Information on Tom’s layout “Cheltenham”


Tom told me that Cheltenham was a commuter stop, within the city limits of St Louis. The structure in the image above survived into the 1980s. The area Tom’s modeling is located between Hampton Ave. and Kingshighway. It is just a short piece of the railroad yet has plenty of switching potential.

St Louis Terminal - Zone 3 - Cheltenham Area

There is no official track plan. It was planned out using a full size mock-up before final construction began using a PDF of the area as a guide. I’ve added a section of that track diagram to show the area he’s modelling above.

Tom says that “… one day when I get my two-car-garage-like space it will include Lindenwood yard and a great deal of interchange with other roads such as the N&W (Wabash) TRRA, Manufactures Railway (Anheuser Busch), BN and Mopac.”

Site 2: Some of Tom’s S scale weathered cars

What inspired Tom to write me was the Martin Wellberg’s German Gmhs 53 weathered wagon. He supplied a few photos for me to share and promised more in the near future. RPCX 227 is the first photo showing a car that is lightly weathered.


Below is a car from the same series RPCX #101-#240. Built by Evans USRE (Blue Island, IL) in Lot 1169A of Nov 1973. Stenciled: Return to PC Sharonville, OH. These were eventually to become a part of the CNW fleet (series 540300-540436 cars) after Purina gave up the RPCX reporting mark in 1989. Image below courtesy of Steve Vincent and Railcar Photos.

The second photo shows Tom’s CO 2206. A covered hopper in CO series 2300-2374 built by General American Transportation Co. during Aug-63. I could not find a prototype photo of this car.


The next photo shows DRGW 15045 a 3-bay rib-sided covered hopper in the DRGW series 15000-15149 built by Pullman-Standard, Lot 8923, in 64.


I found a close match in DRGW 15006 in the same series on the Railcar Photos website. This photo is by Kent Charles.

Finally I’ve got a slightly wider shot showing two more covered hoppers and some of the layout and scenery.


Thanks to Tom for allowing me to post his photos. Looking forward to seeing more of the layout and rolling stock and locomotives Tom. Thanks for sharing.

Site seeing – August 26 – Weathered and downright dirty

If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time, or know me personally, you’ll know that I don’t like clean things (my personal hygiene excepted). Every model I touch ends up weathered to one degree or another. And so onto todays sites of interest.

Site 1: Dirty stuff by Martin Wellberg – A German Gmhs 53 Boxcar in scale 1 (1:32nd scale)

This is part 1 of Martin’s so far 3 part treatise on weathering this large railcar. Wait till you see the photos. That’s all I’m saying on the matter.

Site 2: This is part 2 of the weathering of said German boxcar

In part 2 there is a little more of what Martin has been up to. Drool people, just drool.

Site 3: Part 3 from above

More train eye candy as Martin gets on with the weathering on the Gmhs 53 boxcar.

Site 4: Freerails Forum posts by Martin on other large-scale rail subjects

You should not need to be a member to view the posts. Definitely to post or reply though. Lots more pictures in what is now a 6 page post by Martin and those of us following him. Not to be missed.

Here’s a taste of the work Martin is creating:

I hope you enjoy Martin’s work.

Site Seeing – August 23 – Wetterau Food Services

August is the month where year 12 high school focuses on getting elder children ready to complete their schooling and head off to life or to University. This month we’ve toured possible University campuses to see what is on offer and where she can look on planning to attend next year.

Last weekend was an out-of-town visit (120km away) next weekend there’s another University visit on (only 3km away this time). All too soon she’ll be moving out and living on Campus (but don’t tell her that). Finally I’ll get my half of the train room! Anyhow – on to today’s sites of interest.

Site 1:  Wetterau Food Services

Tom Conboy’s layout’s shown in all it’s glory on the Model Railroad Hobbyist site. Tom writes on the first page: “The Wetterau Food Services Micro Layout was completed in February of 2016.  Layout planning and construction began in 2014.  I am enjoying operations on the layout, and wanted to share the steps I followed in building this micro layout here on MRH.   I  have learned quite a bit in building it, and hope you will find it informative.”

Head over and take a look through his shared build log. It is very interesting and a great looking layout. What’s not to like – a 70 tonner runs through it.

Site 2: Tom’s Model Railroad Scrapbook

This is the second of Tom’s sites where he’s shared the building of the layout.

Site 3: The Micro Model Railroad Cartel

The third site providing more information on the build of the layout in nine parts.

All great sites full of information for those interested in building a small layout and for those interested building a layout using Fome-Cor.

Modelling diversions – and why they are needed

Image courtesy of:

It’s been some time since I modelled anything other than railways or railway related stuff. A couple of years ago at the local scale modelling club’s Annual Show (full disclosure I am a board member there) I purchased a cheap and cheerful 1:48 scale F-111E for very little money from one of the club members who was looking to offload it.

It has been a frustrating, and yet a strangely enjoyable process to go through building an aircraft for the first time in over 30 years. That it happens to be in the same scale as my 0 scale railway endeavours doesn’t hurt.

Work on this has been one of the reasons why I’ve been so quiet here on the HVL and Andrew’s Trains. I got into a bit of a rut and realised that I needed a break away from modelling and making trains for a bit; the joy of modelling went stale.

If you’d like to follow along with that build process and all the frustrations and pitfalls I’ve met along the way head on over to my other modelling site for the build process and what I hope will be a unique model at the end of the Boneyard Build.

Here’s what I’m aiming for as a model and diorama (although not sure about the paint scheme yet).

Image courtesy of

There’s a lot of weathering on these aircraft that I’ve noticed as I researched. And that I am really looking forward to.

Atlas TrainMan releases O scale 20′ ISO Containers

As of August 5, 2016 Atlas TrainMan are shipping 20′ ISO shipping containers in 0 scale (1:48) in four paint schemes. The containers are sold as a two pack for $24.95 US. Each container livery has eight numbers (four packs of two containers); theoretically that is 32 containers available with individual numbers. Reality may depend on your location and stocks available to non-US residents.

The details from the Atlas site are as follows:

  • Scale length, width and height
  • Prototypical paint schemes & lettering
  • Non-opening doors
  • 20’ based on corrugated design with logo panels
  • Accurate painting and lettering for steel 20-foot containers
  • Two containers will fit end-to-end in the Atlas O Gunderson Twin Stack cars.
  • Eight road numbers are available per road name. Each item number is a 2-pack, with two road numbers. Four 2-packs per case

You can visit the Atlas page by clicking this link.