Friday, November 18, 2011

Room construction

Over the last couple of weekends I have done a little more to the train room. Once all the wall frames were finished I was able to install the 100mm Purlin Rafters followed by the topspan battens. These are on the exterior part of the room. The fascia and Gutter was then installed on the ends of these rafters.  A little help from friend Graham made life easy for this job.  The rain last Saturday held up the roof install till the following Monday. The roof was screwed down Monday without a problem. Insulation under the roof sheets of course. I also plan to further insulate the roof above the plaster sheeting.

Completed wall frame less roof rafters.
                We had some time free after the roof install so we mocked up some bench work to see what heights I will have for the two levels. This will also help in locating power outlets for the top level. I will have these installed just under the top bench work. The photos below show the bottom level at 1100mm from the ground and top level at 1650mm. I originally had the top level down 50mm at 1600 but found the extra 50mm between levels was worth lifting the top. I also needed to consider a work bench under the lower level. This sort of dictated the lower level height. There will be a 100mm valence for the top level. This then leaves a lower level opening of 450mm. I found this to be pretty good for me as the top level would give an eye level view when standing flat of the ground. I also made up a step at 160mm high that will be in front of each of the yards or were any shunting movements take place. This will also help to stop leaning on the layout as they will be set back far enough to be uncomfortable to lean on the lower level.

Here I am standing on flat ground

Now standing on the 160mm operating step.
This what it should look like for those who don't want to look at me!
 The following weekend we installed the windows and ran the sarking around the outside of the walls. The rain during the last week caused the bricks to be unloaded next door at father in laws. They could not forklift them across the wet lawn. We spend the remainder of the day wheelbarrowing all 2500 bricks across the back yard next to the walls. If the rain holds out the brickies will start first thing Monday.

Windows Installed. You can see the rafters and battens in this shot as well.

Bricks ready for laying.

You can see the entry door under the veranda and at the base of the stairs.

That’s all for now

Thursday, November 3, 2011

No posting can only mean one thing, way too busy. Yes it’s been quite hectic here with the new little family member needing constant attention. I have however been able to fit some time in for modelling.
For the past four months or so I have been working on fitting sound to 5 brass locos for a fellow modeller. These were a Classic 19 class (Baldwin tender), Trax 30 class (with P class tender), Bergs 30 Class (6 wheel tender), Trax 12 class and Mansfield 17 class. As you might have guessed these are all small locos and quite a challenge to fit the sound in. Both the 19 and Trax 30 needed full paint jobs.
I begun by completely stripping both the 19 and 30 and removing the clear lacquer in a thinners bath.  Both the locos where then prepared for sound installs by drilling required holes for sound holes (below the speakers), wire loom holes and marker light holes. Both the 30 and 19 have working markers. I then etched primed all the components with self etch black. The other 3 locos are also stripped down and prepared in the same way except for the paint removal process.
All five locos are then fitted with cam chuff mechanisms. I have been using the Soundtraxx Cam Kits. These work really well if installed properly and sound spot on. Four chuff's per revolution. I super glue these to the back of the right side driving wheel. Next I prepared all the bases for the phosphor bronze pickups. I make these from small pieces of PC board tie strips. These are then Glues in appropriate positions on the underside of the Locos and tenders so as 10 thou Phosphor bronze can be run to the wheel flange. I also prepare any Light boards as well. I use these mainly for fire box flicker. I managed to fit firebox flicker inside the fire hole door. Great affect for night running. These are made by filing a groove down the middle of a short PCB tie strip, then filing one of the tracks in half. The 1k surface mound resistor sits on top of the cut in the track. At one end I solder a small surface mound LED. One with a yellow glow works well......or use some Tamiya clear Orange painted on the LED. All the bases and light boards are set aside.

Underside of tender showing holes for speaker sound.

Cam chuff disk fitted to driving wheel (this is on a P class from a different job, but you get the idea)

I next mounted the decoders and fitted the speakers. All locos bar the Trax 30T have had TSU 750 Tsunami Decoders fitted. (D&RGW K class). The 30 T was able to have the 1000 Series. Due to space constraints all the decoders where fitted under the coal load leaving all available room in the tender for the speaker. Believe it or not I was able to fit High Bass speakers to all the Locos. Some slight filing to the sides of the speakers allows them to fit snug between the sides of the tender body. Styrene sheet was used to seal off the speaker creating an air tight speaker enclosure. I used the New 20 mm High bass speakers in all the small ones and the Trax 30T was fitted with 23mm High Bass.

Speaker box in the P class tender

Tsunami decoder mounted in the top of the tender under the coal load

I next installed all the Lighting. I fitted markers to a few of them. I found that 0.5mm fibre optics works best. I drilled a hole through the front of the marker light then directly behind into the smoke box. I then held the tip of the iron just shy of the Optic wire until the optic was bent at 90 degrees. I carefully removed the whole Maker light from the loco and inserted the optic through the Marker. The other end was then inserted through the hole into the smoke box soldering the Marker back into position. I was able to remove the smoke box door and attach LED’s to the ends of the Optic wire. Once all was in and working I trimmed the excess from the front of the marker and Bulb the end using the Soldering iron.
Next was the tedious part of wiring in the decoder and installing all the pickup shoes and Phosphor pickups. After test running, the two Locos where Numbered and weathered. I added tarps to two of the locos. This not only looks the part but provides a dark environment to enhance the glow from the firebox flicker. Here is a rough video of them running on the Exhibition Layout and a few more photos below. The customer was very happy.

20mm high bass speaker squeezed into the tiny 12 class tender. Note the styrene speaker box sides.

Underside of loco showing pickup shoes etc.

Here is the micro decoder fitted in the top of the 12 class tender.

I have added a styrene cover to protect the decoder from the 'wet' coal load.
Here are some of the completed locos.

After a painful 12 months I have finally started on the train room. This is the final stage to the house renovations. Order where to finish the rest of the house first......Probably a good thing. We were planned to start first week In November but Builder Charles Rang last Friday and wanted to start early. An early start Saturday saw the three external frames erected along with a couple of the frames under the house. Unfortunately, Due to council restrictions I have to fit windows to the outside wall. I am however going to cover these in when I start the layout. The entrance will be at the bottom of the stairs through a sliding cavity door. The roof has been ordered for the external section of the room and will hopefully have this early next week. The brickies have been booked for 21st November. We want to have it all locked up before Xmas. I can almost see the trains running.

Keep you posted.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New toy Arrives

Tuesday at 11:22 my new Toy arrived. No not a new loco! My wife Trudy gave birth to our 2nd child Cooper James. After just a 45 minute labour Cooper just could not wait to come out.....And play trains with dad. Both Trudy and Baby Cooper are well and should be home at the end of the week. This means I will be on baby sitting duties for a few days so no modelling time. Looks like Cooper might need a Garratt for a welcome home present!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

AndIan Models Update

Hello All,

I would firstly like to say thank you to all of you that has supported the release of our first kit by purchasing one of the LWW wagons and to those who have taken an interest in our future releases.

Our first kit, The LWW Well Wagon, had shocked both myself and co partner Andrew with its 1st run sell out after just 2 days of announcement. I am happy to say that we now have a second run of the LWW kits ready for sale. Again, we only have done a limited run of 60 kits. The price of the LWW has stayed the same as the first release at $80 per kit posted to anywhere in Australia. They can be purchased direct from us at AndIan Models . I also have them on EBay under the model toy trains section

We have also made arrangements with both Joe at Casula Hobbies, and Warren at Gwydir Valley Models to have limited stock available through their shops. We will try and continue to have this model available by producing future runs, though these runs will only be commenced after all stock has been exhausted.

The Turret tender project has made a significant step forward. One of the biggest issues we faced with the tender is the manufacturing and/or availability of the detailing components for the tender. It was suggested at first that we would need to have new masters made. The bogies were also an issue as the very unique 2TM bogie is not available. We did however find that an American ‘Kegel’ bogie used under a K4 Pacific is identical and was available from Bachmann or Bowser as spare parts. The Bachmann bogie was passable but the width was a concern and as they were also made in delrin limiting modification.
There have been a couple early brass models imported years back both by Bergs and Classic. As we have quite a good repour with Joe we asked him if we could possibly use the castings from his Classic tender. If you are unfamiliar with the classic brass models, I can tell you that they are regarded as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of brass and are very well detailed. Joe agreed to Loan me a tender to see if the details were appropriate, of course they were, and allowed me to strip the tender of its castings so we could have them reproduced. This also means that our tender will have brass bogies (from the classic tender) and as we speak the details have been sent back to Joe, as he will be having them cast by his own caster. Big thanks to Joe. We have made some alterations to the drawing for etched body to suit the castings. Final alterations will be made after the castings are complete, then we can proceed with having the etches done.

We have also received the sample etches of our Two and Three lever lever frames. These are based on the standard NSWGR design. Along with these are some compensators, cranks, Roding chairs and pulleys. Unfortunately, there were a few cock ups with the drawing of the two lever frame. Also some of the Roding chairs and pulley wheels, once reduced from the full sized CAD drawings, are just too fine and will also need alteration. We have sent a few of these to both Ian Millard and Andrew Campbell (Bowen Creek) for their opinions. As you are probably aware Ian had produced these in his IR models range and are used on Bowen Creek. We thought it would be a good idea to have both these exceptional modellers look at these and give us their opinions as to what can be improved. The completed three lever frame and Roding details below are what is to be expected.

Andrew has also been playing around with another 3D printing model that will be included in our Range. The model is a BLV Louvre van. Built around the turn of the century, the wagon is 36’ long and features three opening doors along the side. The wagon sits atop a queen post steel underframe with arch bar bogies. We have had an initial sample produced, witch I have displayed on our Exhibition Layout at the last couple shows, to trial yet another prototyping manufacturer. The below photo is of BLV 15593 Preserved at the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum. We had a visit last weekend to double check a few measurements before the drawing can be finalised. It will then be sent to be printed. Upon return, we will have the master reproduce in urethane and made available to you all. Very exciting. The BLV will most likely take over the Tender and lever frame projects making this our second model available. This may also determine the fate of the SL/NZLA project as the trialling of the printing quality for the BLV is a sort of trial for the SL/NZLA.

Plans are also in the pipeline for a NSWGR four wheel water Gin. We have been kindly donated a beautiful plan and several photographs of the Water gin from Phil Collins. We have also measured and photographed the Water Gin at the Dorrigo Museum. Lucky for me the Water gin at Dorrigo is the actual one used on the Merriwa branch, L391. Our initial idea is to have a detailed etched brass underframe with cast urethane tank along with etched ladder and brass detail castings. Should be very nice indeed and a must for any model railway.

Water Gin L553 from Phil Colins collection

There are a couple other dreamt about models we would like to produce. SFX and SBX passenger cars and possibly a bitumen tank wagon. All of which are quite some time away.

If you wish to be added to our growing email list for future updates please send us an email.



Saturday, July 9, 2011

More changes

I’ve had the FS/BS cars sitting on the test track above my work bench since our return from the Toowoomba Exhibition and have been dissatisfied with the finish of the roofs and several other issues. The plain plastic look, even after weathering, just did not have any character. I had built an Ian Lindsay LHG some time back and had a go at replicating the malthoid roof coverings of these early cars with great success. When I first started the mods to the S cars I did not want the hassle of changing all the roofs as I knew it would be a huge job. It did get the better of me in the end. Here is what I did.

I started by removing all the roof vents. These levered out with side cutters. I stored them in a takeaway food container till required. I lightly sanded all the roofs so as when I glue the Malthoid material on it would adhere nicely. I used Lipton Tea bags for the malthoid. A Lipton tea bag can be carefully opened out to a rectangular sheet. I trimmed one of the long sides up then measured and cut two strips 11'9" wide. I then cut these into 3' wide strips. I needed a couple for the canopy ends a bit wider so cut these and set them all aside. I worked out were the end sheet would start by sitting side by side a silver roof car (with the navy dressing ends) with the grey roof car and transferred the position where the navy dressing colour finished, to the grey roof car and drew a pencil line right over the roof using a piece of styrene to keep it square. This happened to end up just a mick hair short of the centre rivet above the end door. I first lightly and evenly coated the end canopies with PVA then working from one side, and lined up with the pencil line, laid the sheet over the roof. I worked the sheet down over the end canopy with my finger allowing the sheet to double up where necessary. Now, one at a time, I glued and stuck the 3' wide strips over and along the roof lapping each sheet by a half a millimetre each time. I used the rivets on the side of the car as a guide to keep them square to the roof. Once I finished each car, I gave the roof a coat of 50/50 PVA and water to remove any fuzz from the tea bags.

I trimmed any excess overlapping the sides with a super sharp scalpel; re fitted all the roof vents, and then prepared to repaint the roofs. For the grey roof cars (I kept them all the same) I first brush painted the entire roof with Tamiya German Grey. Once this had dried I randomly selected some sheets and painted these with Floquil Weathered black. The sheets originally had a tar based sealer where the laps where. This oozed out here and there. To replicate this I used a sharpened Derwent watercolour pencil (black) quickly dipped in Windex to soften and carefully drew a few black lines over the roof were each of the laps were.

I now worked on the silver roof cars. These I painted with Tamiya Flat aluminium. Again I used the pencil trick for the oozing tar. I blended all this in with a light weathering of Engine black with the air brush. I recon they look much better now.

The gooroo (James McInerney) mentioned the lack of lining around the doors. I was not keen on doing this as I had only had a go on an old Lima 38 for a friend, and only had a Tank and Tube pen as well and was unsure of the results. I did a couple trial runs on a scrap of styrene with excellent results so I jumped right in the deep end and gave it a go. Wow......I found this quite easy. I recon it may be a little wide but they look better than having none at all.

I also decided to move the end handrails to the ends of the cars, where they should be. I started by removing all the handrails with a knife blade then transferred the holes to the ends of the corner posts. I then removed the rivet detail from above and below the old holes then filled these with putty. After a light sanding, I touched up the posts with Indian Red Paint. Once these are re weathered the modifications are hardly noticeable.

The below photo shows the Lining on the doors and the modified and painted end handrail/lamp brackets along with the finished roofs of each of the cars.

I stuffed about too and added a conductor leaning from a centre door. This turned out to be a bit of a mission as both the plastic floor and metal lighting strips needed to be removed as they were both above the correct floor level. I then had to re wire the strips together for the lighting. I cut the door out by drilling a heap of no.80 holes around the door together with a sharp knife to remove the final bits holding the door. Filed it up a bit and touched up with some Indian red paint. A few passengers were added as well. I bought 200 off EBay for $30. Some of the ‘Fat Bums’ needed weight loss surgery so as they would fit in the first class seats! I am happy with the end results.

I have also started an Ian Lindsay EHO. This should look the part trailing along behind.
I suppose next will be bogie chains and close coupling the cars!

Till then

See ya.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

More on the FS/BS

I was reading another blog posting the other day that read " Its been a month since my last post" and I thought to myself what a slacker. As I read through his posting I noticed on his favorite blog list 'Ian Phemisters Muswellbrook Blog' 1 Month ago!  Gee now whose the slacker now! Well I have been pretty busy rebuilding my old garage. Just about finished the house stuff and soon to start on the railway room. Thought I better get in and post something up and make up for lost time.

I love the excitement and anticipation of waiting for new models to turn up in the post. A week or so ago I received my long awaited FS/BS coaches. These are very nice cars out of the box but still needed work to bring them up to scratch for both Muswellbrook and for running on our Exhibition Layout. As usual I have left this job to the last minute as I want to take these to the Toowoomba Exhibition to run on the layout next weekend. I also had a few locos to finish off (decoder installs and weathering) along with a trial weathering of LCH's. Below is what I did to my Coaches.

There was a discussion on Ray Pilgrim's Bylong Blog regarding the small springs for the power pickup for the lighting. Some of the cars had crushed springs. These can be replaced with KD coupler springs. All of mine were OK. I did find however that they did not roll freely. Investigation found that all the brake shoe details were rubbing on the wheel treads. No matter how many times I unwound the brake spider they would not loosen off! I gently removed the brake shoe casting from the bogie and proceeded to cut the brake arm just behind the brake shoe, then removed a millimeter from each end of the arms. I then glued the two halves back together using styrene angle for bracing. Make sure that the angle goes to the inside of the arm once back in the bogie. Once the glue had completely dried I reinserted them back into the bogie. To further aid in the free running of the car I applied a small amount of graphite powder to the axle boxes. They were then reinstalled back onto the car. aaaarrrrr much better! 6 cars still not good enough for one Austrains 36!

Body details.
I had consulted the Aus railway gooroo James McInerney regarding the colour of the interiors for these period cars (more on this later). He also mentioned that the lamp brackets were in the lower position. Not prototypical for these earlier colour schemes. Reference from the coaching stock book shows the brackets just above the top buff lining. The lamp brackets are etched brass and can easily be removed with long nose pliers. New holes were drilled and the brackets inserted into the new holes. I filled the old holes with Tamiya putty and touched up the grey putty with Indian Red paint. Once weathered the repair can hardly be seen. I also noticed in the photos that the end hand rails are on the end of the car rather than the side like the model. This seemed a fair bit of work so I agreed to be happy with how they are.

The gaudy interior plastic colour looks terrible. The body is very easily removed by gently pulling the chassis down away from the body. I then removed the two screws holding the light board in, then a further three screws for the seating . I also removed the weight strips, light switch with light board attached and set aside. This now allows me to paint and weather the chassis and bogie's. With the seating section in hand I carefully removed the two wall sections from the sides of each of the compartments. Now we can paint the seats.
James explained that the interior of the BS First class coaches had light coloured varnished timber walls with dark green seat cushions, while the FS Second class cars had varnished walls with maroon seats. I chose a colour close enough for the walls, Tamiya Desert Yellow XF-59. I air brushed the panels above the seats and all the centre wall sections with the desert yellow along with the removed walls. Once dried I made up universal masks from large heat shrink for the panels above the seats. All the green seats were painted, Tamiya J.A. Green XF-13. Then all the maroon seats. For the maroon I mixed both Tamiya red X-7 and Flat Blue XF-9. All the compartment sides can now be re glued back to the seat casting.
I found a photo that showed some of the blinds lowered over the windows. Now is a great time to do this. I started by painting a sheet of printing paper randomly with Model Master Sand and Floquil Earth mixing the two together to create an uneven colour. Both these were slightly thinned with general purpose thinners. Once dried I cut off 8mm wide strips, then cut these into 10mm long squares. The window sections can be removed by carefully running a scalpel blade between the body and the widow plastic. The small squares were then glued with PVA at the top of each window randomly selecting some that were to be lowered. Some half way, some all the way, some a quarter way down......or up!. I even glued blinds on for the ones right up leaving a small section visible at the top of the window to show the blind is there. Once the glue had completely dried I trimmed off the excess with a sharp scalpel. These are now ready to be installed back into the car.

While the widows are out, it is a great time to weather the car. I gave the entire body a light wash with my black Oil colour and Micro sol mix. While these were drying, I gave the bogie's and wheels a hit with black etch. I covered the pickup springs with short pieces of heat shrink to protect them from paint. All the chassis sides and bogie's are then lightly air brushed with Floquil Rust. While this is still soft I quickly moved around the rust colour with a turps wet paintbrush and allowed it to dry. It is a great affect for light rust. All the bogie's and underframe's are then lightly misted with weathered black to tie it all together.
When the wash on the body sections are dry I sealed them so that they can be handled. I temporarily married up the bodies with chassis and lightly misted the lower sections of the cars with Floquil grime to simulate dust. The roofs were also given a spray with weathered black and a bit of Engine Black for weathering. I did want to simulate the malthoid roof sections but am still unsure how to do this without removing the roof vents......Any ideas? Again the cars are given a coat of flat finish to seal it off.
The window glass can now be put back into the car along with reassembling all the interior bits onto the chassis. I have ordered 250 seated people from china that will be perfect, however they have not turned up yet. They will have to run empty at Toowoomba.

Finishing off. 
Now that all the cars are back together (that didn't take long) I touched up a few details. I splashed about a bit of gloss black wet with isopropil to simulate oil from the axle boxes. White for the brake spiders and release levers and a bit of gold for the door knobs. I will have a go at lining the doors at some stage when I get brave. The end result looks great. I'm sure the 100 odd passenger will agree.

I mentioned earlier that I done a trial on weathering a couple Eureka LCH's. Muswellbrook will need a heap of these. I was shown this technique by Dean Bradley at the New England convention. He used Derwent tinted charcoal pencils to weather a timber body louver van. I started by applying the same weathering to the chassis section (I removed the coal bunker) in the same way as the FS/BS cars above. The coal bunker was then lightly sprayed with Floquil Concrete as a base colour. Not heavy enough to cover the lettering. I brushed the metal brace details and bits with Floquil Rust. The bunker was then 'coloured in' with the Peat TC18 charcoal pencil. This was then brushed in with a stiff brush. I added in the same way a couple other colours for variation, Natural TC20 and Burnt Earth TC19. I then used a small amount of black pastel powders for a bit of extra colour. Both cars then sealed with flat finish. Next time I might 'Rust Up' the chassis a bit more but overall I am happy with the result.

That's all for now.