Category Archives: Australia

Australian specific O scale category of modelling articles (Broad and Narrow Gauge)

Site Seeing – April 11 – Small O scale layouts 6

Whether you model the US, UK, Australian, Canadian, South American or European scene one thing that O scale requires is imagination. As much as I would like to have a very large garden and shed layout, the reality is that is not going to happen due to constraints with money and time. I have not enough of either and so the scope of what I model has to be within my reach, simple to achieve and quick to build and ready to a credible level of detail and where possible use what I have to hand. On to today’s site of interest.

Site 1: Pick Purse Halt O scale in 9′ by 2′  by Richard and Sue Andrews

When space is tight using imagination allows you to find and define the layout’s place within the wider railway network; Pick Purse Halt does this admirably. Let’s take a look at the track plan first and see why.

Pick Purse Halt’s track plan

On first look, there’s not much to the track plan. One turnout and a couple of sidings. The layout portrays a small passenger halt along a GWR Country branch. So we’re set in time during the 1930s with steam railmotors and Auto Coaches on passenger work and pannier tanks working the freight trains. Let’s assume though that the line did not close during the 1960s and the Beeching cuts; where would that take us?

Single car DMUs such as RDCs, Gloucester RC&W Class 122 Bubble Cars, Tokyo abounds with types, as does Europe and I think you may now get the idea. All we’ve talked about though is the passenger service on the through line. There is also the short freight passing by and reversing into the sidings. Or coming in direct from stage left; this is where the operational potential of the layout really comes into its own.

The freight area can be worked differently in many ways both visually and conceptually:

  • As described in the plan for UK mid-1930s
  • As a factory dock during the 1950s through the 1970s and 1980s
  • As a simple team track arrangement for literally any time you like
  • As a small transload point with a Y and a platform for unloading two rail cars by pallet truck and forklift

As a small layout Pick Purse Halt punches way above its weight. So much to be done with the design and the scenic treatment depending on the era and location you model. Your choice could come down to using what you have on hand to set the location.

With controlled lines of sight, and the feeling of the rest of the railway just beyond the board, this could well prove to be the best idea of the month.

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Site Seeing – April 7 – Small O scale layouts 4

Ian Futers’ layouts seem to get around more than the builder himself. Probably because he manages to build great small layouts with plenty of operating potential that remain popular year after year.

Site 1: Glen Bogle

Ian Atkinson and Chris Towers’ of Broadford Model Railway Club own the layout presently. The layout, built originally in basic form by Ian Futers, is in the process of being enhanced by the present owners. A Scottish 1950-1970s era layout with a station, goods facilities and just four turnouts comprises two 4′ 6″ scenic boards and a 4′ 6″ fiddle yard with a three road traverser board.

Operation of the line is in the late steam early diesel period. Coal, Timber and fish traffic somehow still survive along with a mediocre passenger service.

Glen Bogle - as designed by Ian Futers
Glen Bogle – as designed by Ian Futers

You can gather further information on this layout from the club’s website as a PDF download.

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Heads Up!

April is now and forever more deemed to be the ‘O scale’ small layout month.

Overall layout - outstanding

Throughout April I’ll be posting layout plans, and information, on small and achievable layouts that have already been built in O scale, or that could be up-sized from the smaller scales to fit in a maximum visible space of 8 feet x 2 feet (2400 x 600 mm).

The only requirement is that it must be based on the recognised scales of:

  • 1:43.5 (UK & Australian Standard gauge)
  • 1:45 (European)
  • 1:48 (US & Australian Broad gauge)

So this includes 0n30, Metre gauge, standard, broad, and anything else that you can imagine. Traction can be steam, diesel and, or electric. If you have an industrial track plan or layout that is small in nature I’d be really interested in seeing more information or links to your website especially.

I’ll still be posting the usual informative and layout focused information as normal, this is simply something special I’ve wanted to do for some time.

If you have any ideas or layouts that you’d like to share during April drop me a line through the comment field and I’ll work with you to get that information into a post!

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Site seeing – February 14 – with a difference

Site seeing with a difference this St Valentines Day. The family headed for the ocean today to Geelong Victoria. While we were down that way I took the opportunity to visit K & L Model Railways Hobbies & Model Construction Supplies of 81 Ryrie St, Geelong VIC 3220.

All I have to say is – what a surprise. The shop is small, but what it lacks in floor space it more than makes up for in stock. They have a great range of O scale parts, kits and so on.

Had a chat to the owner to the owner this morning and I’ll be back there again once I have a bit more disposable income.

With K & L’s assistance I’ll be building a rake of O scale (7mm:Foot) NSWGR 4 wheel RU Grain wagons (see a photo here: Offsite Photo).

These cars have been on my build list for some times but not being able to find a local source of Brass ‘W’ irons and sprung axle blocks has meant that I’ve had to hold off on the build.

With K & L’s owner assuring me that he can get me everything I need the RU planning process can begin. I expect to build the first body out of styrene, then I’ll cast the remaining bodies before tackling the chassis out of brass section. This will make mounting and securing the ‘W’ irons much easier.

All the best on a lovely ‘cool’ summer Saturday in Ballarat.