Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Just a few photos

There hasn't been too much happening at Philip's Creek over the past few weeks with most of my available time being directed to non railway work. However, I thought I would post some recent photos to show a few more details around the layout.

CPH at Mount Windeatt Station

CPH 16 is a Lloyd's kit purchased about 8 years ago but recently withdrawn from service for a while. It has not been running very well despite several attempts to improve the reliability of the pickups. I think I will be investigating an alternate chassis and motor.

The sawmill at Mount Windeatt

Yes I know I need to do some extra work on the ropes

The area shown in this photo used to the original site for the coal mine until I was able to extend the layout by 1200mm.  It has now become a siding combined with the location for a coaling stage and water tank. The coal mine in its new location is the grey blurred shape in the distance at the top right of the photo.

6018 about to take on water

6018 is a DJH kit. When I fitted the dcc decoders to it a few months ago, I took the opportunity to link the front and rear motors electrically. This means that the pickups on both  sections provide power for the two motors. I can never separate the locomotive now but hopefully that won't be necessary. To date, this change has worked very well.

And finally a photo that is not usually found on a model railway blog. Meet Godzilla Kitty aka Sasha, my daughter's cat. She has often decided that the railway provided a nice place to sleep and I can't figure out a way to dissuade her that doesn't cause major domestic friction. However, over the past few weeks with the significant number of thunderstorms, she has excelled herself and at least one MHG has found its way to the floor, twice!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Next Phase

Now that things are settling down, I am starting to plan the next expansion of layout. The main motivation for this is to provide a destination for some of the wheat trains that pass through Philip’s Creek. With some 14 BWH/FWH, 3 WHX and 10 RU’s, there are enough wagons to form two block wheat trains of a reasonable length, at least for the early 1970s. My intention is that at least one of these block wheat trains should travel to a destination on the layout rather than pass through it as they do now.
My first challenge is to get my mind around how to present two separate elements, coal mining and wheat, that did not normally exist in close proximity to each other in the general area that I am modelling, somewhere on the Main North a bit beyond of Muswellbrook. From my limited research, I understand that the last coal mines are not too far north of Muswellbrook but wheat storage facilities do not occur until Willow Tree and beyond. That means there is a considerable distance between the two industries that must somehow be replicated in HO scale and unfortunately, the garage is not that big. As I see it, the only solution is to create a new scene, separated from the other part of the layout by a visual barrier.

The current staging area representing locations
 north of Philip's Creek that will be relocated

At this time, I am leaning towards leaving the barrier that now exists between the staging area and layout proper, relocate the staging area and construct the new scene adjoining the other modules. Conceptually, this is shown in the plan below. Potentially, I could also build the new scene to adjoin the existing staging area but with the space available, this means that I would need to create a branch line terminus and I don’t want to do that at this point in time.

I would like to get this section started at some time this year but there are a number of obstacles that will need to be cleared first as you can see from the photo along the proposed along the proposed alignment.  Unfortunately, there are other jobs, unrelated to the railway construction that will need to be completed to ensure that I don’t cop too much flak before I can contemplate the initial relocations.
So now, it’s just a matter of finding the time.
Meanwhile behind the pub...

"Please God, just one, pleeeease!"

Monday, 6 February 2012

Twisted Trees

Most of the trees on Philip's Creek have been created in part by using twisted wire coated with Liquid Nails and then painted. I used to feel that the twisted wire was a bit obvious and not a true representation of the way a tree grows - but no longer.

This tree was photographed last weekend in a carpark opposite Hornsby RSL. Unfortunately, although you can see some twisting in the bark, it is not as pronounced as it was a few weeks ago when I first noticed it. Still, from now on, it's my prototype tree.