Monday, May 22, 2017

Planning a loco roster

While hunting for other things related to Cross creek I came across the Loco planning for Paekakriki.
Somewhere (from Fetler D'amatuer possibly)I had a list of the Steam locos alocated to Palmerston North in 1964, as no locos were allocated as such to Paekakariki. I was interested in having a mix of types, hence breaking it down to trainspotters differences (though why a K funnel is that diferent from a Ka funnel at 2' is beyond me). I would probably include a K as well for something different.

Of the more modern models, only the Ew is not available on Shapeways. I included a Tin hare as they were used for a short time after the closure of the Rimutaka incline. The D/Dm/D sets would have to come up with a mech of some sort.. And while you can buy the tops for the Ka and Ja's the under frames are a different matter (and shall we have a discussion on wheel sizes again?)

I then included a selection of passenger trains to model. Its possible to buy all of these.. Last up was a list of number plates to order from Coln Mcharg. having not seen an obituary anywhere I assume he is still alive.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Morning

Well, Just.

This morning after a bit of a fossick through the book shelves ( I must find some bindings for my collection of Railfans) I came across my collection of information for the Rimutaka incline.

No sign of a doodle for a complete layout (I'm sure that I did one) but there was a plan for Cross Creek.

The top plan was a test sketch, obviously I thought that the extra passing loop could be done away with. Not sure why I included a second crossover as this was in the days before I made my own track. on closer inspection I've brawn over the top and so I think that the intended orientation is as shown in the first plan. There's also no notes on size and I'm guessing that it would probably fit on 8' if some compromises on train length were to be accepted. depth would ideally be 2'6"to 3' to model the hill behind to get a sense of dwarfing the station.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Time to start things moving on the workbench again.
I've had a couple of Shapeways 3D prints for a long time now. The had a clean a while ago (several trips through the soncator at work in beakers of Pyroneg (a lab glassware detergent) which seems to have removed the oily support (I can't smell it anyway).

I then primed with Tamiya spray paints . Hull Red for the DF

Up close the vertical lines from the printing process are visible, and I'll have to carefully sand them out.
And a Grey for the Bedford bus.

This has odd unsmoothed areas above the wheel wells which will be challenging to get rid of.

Monday, May 08, 2017

I'm Baaaaacccck

So, what did I miss then?

Its been a while since I've been round. other projects (scale and gaming) have been attracting me, and I have felt that I didn't have much to contribute to the scale for the last year or so. Not being on facebook (by choice) means I'm out of much of the NZR modeling group, though I get some 2nd hand information (ie NZ48 would be the new thing if the finescalers would let other people play, and where have all the S scale kit makers gone?).

So to start up again with something railways related, on Sunday I biked the Rimutaka incline both ways on a $10 mountain bike off Trademe.

Starting at the Wairarapa end, the uphill goat track into Cross creek was a challenge and I was stuffed when we got to Cross creek.

Down hill
Up Hill
 From here it got worse up the 1 in 15. My blood pressure pills did me no favours (a dry hacking cough) and the bike was pushed most of the way. I did query my companions CPR skills at one point.

Towards the top the views get more spectacular.

Onto Summit and after some lunch and a rest I felt much better.
The collection of rusty rubbish at the top was interesting.

 This appears to be the remains of an S class single Fairlie.

No idea about what the 2 small boilers come from (bring on the anorak brigade..). I thought that the larger fireboxes might have been marine ones, but closer inspection revealed that they had identical fitting holes so are more likely to be original A or Ab boilers replaced after WW2 by re-boilering (takes anorak off again).

 The turntable and water tank base.

 Obligatory shot of the summit tunnel.

We then headed down the hill to Kaitoke. 4-5 km down the hill, my bike head tube (the bit that the front forks run through) started making rubbery squeaking noises. 3km further on I thought "maybe I should have a look". On being confronted with a ball race with holes where 1/2 the ball bearings used to be, I thought to myself "this probably isn't good". and the best place to find this is the furtherest point from the car...
Fortunately it wasn't terminal and it turned out that alterations I had made the previous day were a fault (and not the $10 spent on Trademe). Turning round I found that riding up a 1 in 40 hill is far easier than a 1 in 15 hill.
Back down the incline was also entertaining. The bike brakes were not up to much, so the descent was mostly focused on not allowing threbrakes to lock up, while pondering the best way to dismount a bike backwards if it headed off over the edge. I also involved me going far faster than was sensible with everything rattling o a dodgy cheap bike while laughing like an idiot. The trip down took10-15 minutes (and could have been quicker but for waiting to see that my more sensible slower friend was still on the track).

At the bottom, we paid a visit to the loco depot.
Engine shed back left and brake van pit front right
It was only left to ride the goat track back to the car park (with a 40 meter drop on one side with plenty of big rocks on the track) to finish up a 34km day. Padded bike shorts might look silly but are indeed gods gift to your ass.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Waihao Forks: Interlude

Am_Fet pulls out the "Prototype for Everything" file and recites:

One of my formative Model Train memories revolves around the many layouts that were built in KiwiBonds front room back when we werent old enough to know any better but before girls came along and changed all the rules.  Back in those days it seemed that the best train we could run was a long train of Hornby open 4 wheel wagons pulled by a cardboard DGr.  The load?  Why, coal of course!  To us, Coal was the raison d'tre of railways everywhere.  Everywhere you looked in books all you saw was long trains of black gold, and so thats what we modelled.

Everyone mellows with age however (except maybe Keith Richards) and the lure of Canterbury agrarian branch lines proved too much to resist.  Sure, it would be nice to have a few coal wagons floating about, but in rural South Canterbury?

Well oddly enough.....

Exhibit A, m'lud:  The Allanholme Coal Mine located on the table lands above Waihao Forks.  In discussions with the late and much missed Euan McQueen about this, he said the coal here was of the same type as that seen at several smaller mines all the way up the east coast of the island from Kaitangata to Shag Point and further up to Mt Somers.  However, as far as he was aware the coal was for local domestic use and was never railed out.

And then an article was found online from the Oamaru Mail from 1920 about a visit to the mine.  I wont reproduce the whole article here, but the highlights were:

- The Waimate Branch of the Sth Canterbury Development League visited to ascertain whether it was worth extending the rail line to the mine.
- Thanks to the amount of coal to be seen in the mine, it was agreed that an extension of the line would be of benefit to the community.
- "At present, Messers Meredith and Co keep a traction engine continually hauling to the Waihao Forks railway station...."
- Production was over 3300 tons per annum, much of which went as far away as Christchurch.

I can only guess that any extension would have branched of the branchline at McLeans Station and headed NW towards where the mine was located.

Modelling wise, it would make for a great scene at The Forks:  A Traction Engine with trailers in the goods yard with coal wagons awaiting loading.  Seeing as this was in the 1920's, it would be in the era when Waihao Downs still had a loco shed and staff and the main loco's on the branch were the Fa's.....not quite fitting in with what I'm aiming for, but definitely tempting if I feel the need to backdate the layout.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Waihao Forks: The Fill In

Am_Fet explains:

Another momentous occasion in the life of the layout this evening.  After a tour of most of the region, it is now safely domociled in the Top Secret Layout Building Facility in Stokes Valley where construction will continue over the coming months.

This evenings work session had our protagonists mostly standing around and discussing ways and means....before seizing the day and just leaping in anyway.  The plan was for the landscape to be built up from 5mm foamboard before being covered with putty to recreate the undulations of a normal landscape.  The plan is for the switches controlling the points to be contained within a small "box" that can be covered for photography or if the layout is not being shunted.

In this action photo, we can see your scribe hacking merrily at the foamcore with possibly the worlds sharpest (and dangerous) craft knife, while 0-4-4-0T starts drawing landforms for the hill at the left hand edge of the baseboard.  Also visible is the first test of the putty (applied by Cabbage, who also provided the photo).

Hopefully these layout building evenings will now become a bit more frequent as the weather warms up and working in someones garage isnt the imposition it was in mid winter.

My plan now for the next few days is to finally get back into some CAD work and get the stock yards and goods shed drawn using the guild drawings.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Waihao Forks....Saturday Update

Am_Fet writes in block capitals:

Well, the weekend plans for the major protagonists to get together at Cabbages top secret layout building facility on Friday night fell apart in spectacular fashion thanks to illness and family commitments.  Poor Cabbage, he had to go and spend time with the Marklin Club....

Anyway, here is the latest email from 0-4-4-0T with progress:

"We now have slow speed running on all parts of Waihao Forks.

The electrical interlocking doesn't successfully stop the engine if the points aren't set completely correctly - essentially because everything ran fine on insulfrog. But we have slow speed running through all areas.

Finer testing is beyond the quality of my engines to date. The Graham Farish 0-6-0 has a very long wheel base plus its motor doesn't run well at very slow speeds. The Microace 4-6-4 doesn't run well on the slightly rough code 40 track because its power pick-ups (on the first two driving axles and the last axle of the trailing truck) are only just good enough for very smooth heavier track."

I believe the meeting will be postponed until next week when hopefully we can start the landforms.  There is also talk of sub-contracting out the grass planting to another well known modeller.  I'm waiting for Cabbage to confirm.

In the meantime, I had better pickup my mouse and start designing the buildings and structures.

In closing, does anyone have any ideas for modelling stucco in the smaller scales?  Everything I read seems to be aimed at HO and bigger, ranging from sandpaper to talc or white pepper mixed with paint.

All answers on the back of a postcard please!