Sunday, 22 December 2013

Tanker Wagons at Christmas

In my last post for 2012, I anticipated the arrival of two long standing orders in 2013, the Trainorama 48 class and the SDS tanker wagons to add to the rolling stock that passes through Philip's Creek. Well at least one was achieved with the arrival of the SDS tanker wagons a few days ago.

I had ordered the 1960s version and, straight out of the box, they look great. However, it was time to consider weathering. Photos that I have consulted seem to indicate a wide range of weathering options but most seem to show an underlying rust hue. I sought to represent this with a light coat of Humbrol Rust Wash. This was followed with a black soot colour sprayed downwards concentrating on the upper part of each wagon. I may have overdone this a bit. Each wagon was then sprayed with a matt finish.

To finish, I added some additional rust on the chassis and substructure using pastels together with a dilute greasy black wash on and around each dome. Even though it has a gloss finish, much of the grease sheen has been lost in the overall black of the upper part of each tank. The effect doesn't come through on any of the photos I took and is only just visible when looking carefully. While I could add some extra wash around the domes, I think I will leave it for a while until I can get trains rolling again to see how they appear as part of a larger consist.

As 2013 draws to a close, I would like to thank those who have offered comments and advice throughout the year, and to take this opportunity  wish all those who read this post, as well as your "near and dear ones", a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2014.

cheers Phil

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Moving Forward, at last!

Finally, Philip’s Creek is starting to expand again, the first time in about eight years.  My most recent post in early November provided a few photos of the new modules to be inserted between the existing layout and the Muswellbrook staging yard. Since that time, very little additional work has been achieved until a few days ago. This was primarily due to a three week holiday in New Zealand but, as usual, other issues have also conspired to impede a reasonable rate of progress.
This extension is the first phase of a more ambitious plan that will provide a slightly longer run for the mainline as well as the start of a new branchline. The branchline, inspired by the Merriwa line will eventually run as an upper level over most of the existing layout. I say inspired rather than modelled because it will pick up characteristics of the line while not seeking to reproduce elements of the line in miniature. I anticipate that it will be a rural terminus with livestock and wheat generating most of the traffic. I will also probably use the Merriwa station layout as a guide. However, that is all in the future, and the more immediate challenge is to complete the mainline extension and restore operations.

The following photo sequence shows the progress over the past few days.

The first photo shows the new module in location and, at least this time, I remembered to add a backdrop before I went too far.
The second shows the preparation of the track bed.My technique is probably different to many as I glue the track bed to the styrofoam subgrade. To get a track bed of the necessary thickness, I have cut two cork floor tile strips each 50mm wide and glued them together. To curve the track bed, I have made a series of transverse cuts, each about 35mm in length. This provides enough flexibility to create a minimum 600mm radius curve.

Each section is then held in place with nails and bricks until the glue cures (the brick train).

The section of track bed almost ready to lay track. Previously, I would have started to lay track at this point but this time, I have decided to paint the track bed with a grey paint.

Hopefully, I can get some track down before Christmas.