Site seeing – February 13 – The Clamp it edition

Despite what you might be thinking (for those of us old enough to remember this television show) this is not about the family made rich through an accident during hunting for dinner. This post is about creative solutions shared on one of my favourite sites when building to a hard right angle. So despite wanting to tell you a story about a man named Jed it’s time to launch into today’s site seeing adventure.

Site 1: Model Railroad Hobbyist – Clamps for assembling structures

I have thought for some time about buying a right-clamp for assisting building my structures. Especially so since I do a lot of scratchbuilding. When I saw this pop up on my email feed from MRH I just had to share some of the ideas here.

My favourite one (since I have most of these available now) is this creative use of Lego:

Image courtesy of MRH Forums

Head on over to the post and see some of the other great ideas presented there. I have to say though that this one really ticked all the boxes for me.

Posted in Information, Modelling, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Tools, Web | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Site seeing – February 11 – The load of scrap edition

Update and explanation

There has been  a shortage of posts on Andrew’s Trains during February, due to a couple of factors. First and most importantly my eldest is moving to another city and beginning at University. Mum and I have put in a lot of work to get her ready for the transition during January and so far in February. This has included multiple trips back and forth looking for accommodation, signing of leases, paying rent, bond and the government related tasks that need to be done to get your adult life underway. The second reason in my output has been extreme heat events we’ve suffered in regional Victoria over the last couple of weeks. Most homes in town don’t have air conditioning. Ballarat’s climate (being nearly 1500 feet above sea level with usually low humidity) means that apart from a few days each year we don’t need it. However, when the air temperature gets over 35 degrees Celsius (this week over the 40 degree Celsius mark) there is simply nowhere to hide from the heat. February is Victoria’s hottest month and the most dangerous. Enough of all of that for now – on to the modelling.

Site 1: The Design Build Op Blog – Scrap Steel Loads

Image courtesy of designbuildop.hansmanns.org

Mike Weiss, one of the Wheeling Freight Terminal crew members has a very clever method of creating scrap steel loads for gondolas. His approach takes on industry standards, rather than the usual articles in model railroad magazines about making scrap steel loads. Often these articles don’t provide an easy way to remove the loads without a wire loop or hidden magnet. In this article Mike addresses both issues. There is a lot of great information on the blog beyond this post. Take the time to look around. Very well worth the effort.

Posted in Gondola, Loads, Modelling, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Weathering, Web | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 Corio Model Railway Club show report (28-29 January)

The city of Geelong (of which Corio is a suburb) is just over 90 kilometres away from home, that’s around an hours travelling time each way in the car. I may be getting fussy in my old age. I find myself considering the costs of getting to and entering shows versus the enjoyment gained as a criteria for attendance. The Corio Club’s show is still one of the best large non-metropolitan Melbourne shows going, although I find that my fascination with the ‘BIG’ exhibition layouts diminishing, and the desire to find and watch small layouts is growing rapidly. Don’t mistake that I am only interested in small layouts. What I want to see at exhibitions are more layouts by individuals, for individuals. That is people who’ve built a layout, who can show others how to build a layout for themselves. The large club layouts are fantastic to me but I know that they are beyond my personal reach, and I am sure that when the punters who come through the door so full of enthusiasm get home, take a long hard look at the price of trains, track, baseboard, effort, blah, blah, and blah are left with a hollow feeling. That is the feeling of not being able to achieve. I’m hoping to reverse that trend with my own small layouts this year. More on those for later posts; during the meanwhilst let’s on to the exhibition report.

Exhibition report

The 44th MR Exhibition was very well attended. So well attended in fact that it was very warm inside the location and packed to the gills. Moving around was difficult to achieve, photography even more so. The site this year was larger than in previous years, moving from Geelong West out to Belmont, near Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus. It appeared easy to get to by public transport and by car. Well supported by the local and national vendors including Broad Gauge Models, Outback Model Company, SDS Models, Kerroby Models, Train World Pty Ltd, Road and Rail Hobbies, and many more. This year there did seem to be more vendors than exhibitors though. I understand that you need vendor support, yet I felt crowded in by vendors and struggled to see enough layouts.

One brighter note was the layout bought by, and showcasing the models of, Phoenix Models and Hobbies. Not only the best layout at the show (small of course), even though it was not listed in the program. I was impressed by the central idea which dovetails nicely with other layout ideas I’ve been working on for some time. Now let’s get into the images.

Image Galleries

There were several layouts of note. Some I’ve shown on the blog before, others new.

Yendys

The first is Yendys from the ACT Model Society. A large layout imagining a section of the leafy outskirts of the Sydney are. As a Sydney boy born and bred it reminds me most of the main western line between Stanmore and Ashfield. It could just as well be the Bankstown line between Sydenham and Hurlstone Park. If you’ve ever spent any time in Sydney’s inner city by the railway you can smell the brake dust and diesel fumes the moment you see this layout.

Alexandra

This HO scale layout displays the area around Alexandra in Melbourne’s north-east as it was in 1947, prior to the closure of the timber tramway. The track plan is the original Victorian Railways (VR) track plan. Buildings are scratchbuilt from photos with the Broad Gauge (5’3″) VR line coming in from the left side of the layout and the narrow gauge tramway coming in from the right. Each has its own fiddle yard. You can read more about the tramway by visiting the museum’s website. If you look closely you’ll see on the model the green Kelly & Lewis 0-6-0DM of 1935 in the images.

Phoenix Models and Hobby display layout

This layout was the standout of all layouts at the show. Yet it was not in the Exhibitors program. I hope they’ll bring it to many more shows in the future. There’ll be more on this layout and it’s features in another post soon.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope that you enjoyed the layout tours. This is not all of them mind you but the standout ones I wanted to share.

 

Posted in About, Exhibition, Layouts, Reports | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Site seeing – January 30 – The PowerPoint and PDF edition

Edward Traxler is someone I’ve read about for a while. Only recently did I visit his website. Where I found today’s interesting set of resources.

Site 1: Edward Traxler’s The Deep River Railroad – PDFs and PPTs page

It’s just what the name says folks. A few really good clinic presentations and PDF files for building all sorts of interesting things. Plans for loading ramps, piers, and links to other resources for the interested.

Site 2 – as for site 1 – Building cardstock models the modern way

Also on Edwards site is a great tutorial on building using cardstock (thicker grades of paper). Both a PDF and PPT file are available for download and there is an overview on the page in the link above also.

Posted in Downloads, Information, Layouts, Modelling, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Web | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Site seeing – January 27 – The ‘times they are a changing’ edition

I received an email from Shawn Branstetter earlier this week announcing that his site http://shortlinemodelers.com/ would be closing down very shortly. I was, to say the least devastated. Shawn’s site is a treasure trove of useful articles and ideas.

I contacted Shawn for comment and post it here in its entirety: “Unfortunately it is true Andrew. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with the content however, the Facebook page will remain active. Whiteriver Productions has expressed interest in hosting the content and I don’t want the name to go away I just don’t have time to be a developer, writer, very poor editor and illustrator by myself and find time to build. It’s just too much. Somehow I will make sure all content is available to everyone. As soon as I figure that out, I’ll let you know.”

Site 1: Get it before it is gone – Shortline Modelers

Go see it and grab anything you can now. Not sure how long this will remain available or where it may move to. Check out his cement modelling articles – they are outstanding.

Site 2: Shortline Modelers on Facebook

Head on over to the Facebook page and follow him there if you have a Facebook account. This will keep you in touch with Shawn for the future.

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

Site update – January 21 – No you don’t need an optometrist visit

In my last post the photos that I uploaded seemed to behave poorly once uploaded through WP.

An overall view of the module

An overall view of the module

I’ve reworked them all in Paint.NET and uploaded a new set.

I’ve just checked the newer versions and these appear to be better. Sorry for any inconvenience, or for any unnecessary trips to the optometrist.

Andrew

Posted in Site Updates, This Site, Web | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Site seeing – January 18 – the ‘Perfect Storm’ but in a good way edition

I’ve had an idea for a small layout, running around the mouse wheel that I use for a brain, for a while now. What kicked the idea off was a 2013 plan published in the Model Railroader for the Glendale Freight House that Union Pacific built there during what I ‘believe’ was the early 1950s. Bruce Petty has already built a layout based on the real location and using the UP freight house in Glendale. Let’s take a look at that first to see where we start from.

Site 1: The Union Pacific freight station drawings

Step one of this plan is to get a copy of the plans. They are available for logged in users on the MR site by clicking the link above.

Modellers in HO scale will need to enlarge the drawing substantially (which is doable at a local copy store)to be able to build directly off the drawing.

Big thanks to my next site owner for the idea about doing that. He uses the protective sleeves (clear plastic ones) to build on.

The model once completed using liquid polystyrene cement does not stick to these plastic sleeves and Bruce simply lifts the completed side of the model off the sleeve. Plan protected, model free, what’s not to like about that? I just wish I’d thought of that all these many years later. I did mention that I have a mouse driving the wheel that powers the mental machinery, right?

Site 2: Bruce Petty’s LA River Railroads site

Bruce’s website is a trove of information on the railroads of LA. His layout looks fantastic too. Of most interest to me was his article on the Glendale freight house build which you access from the link above. Well worth reading the entire page and taking in the method of building it. Clever, clever man!

This building rests on his Glendale module. When speaking to him via email earlier this week he told me: “… the modules for my layout are 18 inches wide and 5 feet long. If I ever move the layout goes with me easily taken down. All structures
and small detail parts come off the layout. On the Glendale module only the loading dock stays as it is concrete. No big deal to take this module down off the shelf brackets, it’s the end of the UP Glendale Branch.

Essentially the layout is an Inglenook (and exactly as the original). Bruce says that just like the original “… it gets switching crews from Southern Pacific and Union pacific. It’s a fun module to switch on and I can take it to shows.” What more do you need?

In the next post I’ll be taking a look at how I’d like to model this location as a stand alone layout. I’ll be taking a slightly different tack to Bruce’s excellent representation. I’ve been thinking about using an interesting technique to cover off the gaping hole in the wall exit to the fiddle yard that ought to work perfectly for this design; and all in 8 feet.

Additional resources:

Bruce has kindly provided me with images of the layout module. My thanks to Bruce for his kindness in being so willing in talking to a stranger and being willing to take photos of his layout especially for me to share with you.

All included images above are copyright of the creator and author: Bruce Petty. Used with permission on Andrew’s Trains.

Posted in HO Scale, Inglenook, Layout Design, Operations, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Small, Switching, This Site, Web | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Site seeing January 16 – The Bart Van Doorn edition

Back in very late December 2015 I showcased Bart’s then pretty new O (1/48th) scale layout – 33rd Street. It’s been just over 12 months and he’s been making improvements the entire time. And they’re very, very good improvements.

That was then:

DSCN4104

This is now:

33 Street yard at night fall

Image 1: Bart’s eye candy

See what I mean?

Site 1: Bart’s flickr stream

Click over to Bart’s flickr site and get acquainted with his work. Some really good stuff here for the model builder, especially those of us bitten by the O scale bug to see what can be achieved in a relatively small space.

In addition since I last visited his site he’s extended the track plan somewhat giving himself more room to play in. Enjoy and keep a watch on his stream. He updates his images fairly regularly.

Site 2: Bart’s YouTube page has updates too

This is just one of his posted videos. There are more available after the jump -just click the YouTube logo to go to Bart’s YT page.

Take a look around and enjoy. It’s a great idea for a layout in any scale. Looking forward to giving his street light a go.

Posted in 1:48 (US O Scale 1/4"), Layout Design, Layouts, Medium, Modelling, O Scale, Operations, Scales, Scenery, Switching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Site seeing – January 15 – the too dirty may not be dirty enough edition

In the past I’ve seen a lot of weathering done that I said was too heavy, unrealistic. Something that you’d never see in the wild. Today I reviewed one of Adrian Nicholls photos on his photostream on flickr.

Dirty Diesel Season. 66 301 at Kingmoor TMD.Image courtesy Adrian Nicholls – via flickr

I take it all back. Adrian says on the site: “66 301 catches the late afternoon sunshine at Carlisle Kingmoor TMD after its 21 hour diagram on train 3J11 the North West RHTT circuit, (17.15 to 14.05). The loco has just been fuelled and is waiting while the water jetter generator and rear loco (66 427) are dealt with. It will then do the whole circuit again hence the accumulation of filth on the locomotive as there is little depot down time on this circuit for cleaning. Never a very pleasant time of the year to deal with locos in such a condition as what every you touch is covered in filth off the track and a drivers railway uniform can soon resemble a fitters overalls if you are not careful.

I guess you really have to model from the prototype. I would never have thought of making a locomotive this filthy. But there you have it.

Posted in Modelling, Site seeing, Site Updates, Sites of interest, Weathering, Web | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The year that was, the year coming

A very big thank you to all of you this year for reading and taking part at Andrew’s Trains. I’ve not been able to achieve all of my goals for the site, however I’m pleased to have achieved what I have. There’s only me at the other end of the keyboard, no production team, no writers, designers or PR people swilling champagne (thankfully). Just me.

I’ve already prioritised projects for 2017. Among them are:

  • A smaller HO scale layout (for use inside the house and on the Australian exhibition circuit
  • A re-purposing of the 3 4′ x 2′ boards in the garage to an O scale layout specifically for exhibition (and the occasional playing session at home when the weather is nice, and
  • Completion of all the outstanding model building articles

None of these are in any specific order, they are on my hit list.

It’s been a good year

It’s been a good year for me on Andrew’s Trains. I’ve managed to more than double visitor numbers and page views. And that is very pleasing. While the year’s final numbers are not in, just yet, I’ve already reached my personal goals for this site in 2016 calendar year.

What I’d like to focus on during 2017

I have some woodworking projects to complete this year. I need to finish the design of my exhibition saw-horse stands and make a couple of test units to prove the concept. Then there’ll be more wood working for the book shelves in the house where the new HO scale layout will live inside the house (where it’s warm, and nice during Ballarat winters). And from where I can run my fun sessions with the family when we feel the mood take us.

Track laying in O scale will be the next thing to learn. It’s something that I’ve wanted to learn for a very long time. Now I’m finally brave enough to give this a go.

Finally, all the best to you for the year ahead. I hope that you have an enjoyable, fulfilling and worthwhile year. I’m aiming to live the hell out of 2017. See you their next year.

Posted in Layouts | 2 Comments