Friday, May 30, 2008
And having charged the camera batteries its time for some more modeling shots.
I wasn't happy with the SD-7 sideframes so tried to do something more like a phase I Da. And before everyone says 'but that looks really good', It was crap before it was painted. And that's a big thing to get over. the local modeling press is on one hand to be commended for its adherence to showcasing the best of local modeling, but on the other hand, how many people does it put off actually sitting down at the bench. A notable recent exception would be Grant Fletcher's electrics ( its in the wrong scale but...). I first looked at the pictures and thought 'that's rough, and its not square..etc etc', but then realised that the man had actually got off his chuff and done something, and then written about it. I now look back at some of the things we did in the 90's and think 'my god that looked horrible' but when you stand back and look at the whole scene it works.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Possibly the largest collection of NZ120 locos on the planet. Pity its on long Island.
I've been preparing a list of locos I'd like for my Paekakariki layout, and frankly its getting quite long. A big plus with the location is that its on the way to the Hutt shops so virtually anything goes.
First up the steam locos. An inspection of the picture further down the blog shows at least 5 Ka's an Ab and a Da. 5 Ka's is probably a bit excessive, so maybe 2 will do. And a K for a wee bit of variety. Since I've brought the mechs already a J and Ja will make an appearance, and I suppose an Ab as well. so already up to 5 locos.
For Diesels several Da's are a given. I've already assembled a Phase 1, so a Phase 2 clyde Da and a Phase 3 are a good set. A Dg, Df and De would complete the set, and provide the EE balance vs GM
Electrics are a bit easier. A pair of Ed's ( since all the pictures I've seen are with 2 on the heavy trains over the hill). An Ew is also a necessity. Also 2 sets of D+Dm+D units, one clean, and the other not quite so clean.
A couple of railcars would complete the set, so a Standard and an 88 seater.
That's a fair list there. 14 loco's and 2 railcars plus the units. At least I don't have to build then all by the end of next week.
Next time, how the layout will operate.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Not much done modeling wise, but my second 4-8-2 appeared in the mail, having been sent to my landlords place in Wellington ( thanks to NZ post; at least it arrived). So a pair of Ja's are on the cards, as the small cylinders will preclude them from being Ka's I think. however this will then lead to the problem that if I use another 4-8-4 as a base for the K classes then the wheels will be larger and it will look a bit odd. Not sure how I'll get around this yet. maybe make everyone stand back 3'....
Also, if anyone reading this has an unfinished Etchcetera Da Kit they no longer have a desire for, drop me a line. The plans call for 3 Da's ( phase I, II and III)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
(Oddly enough also supplied by E.C.M.T., but costing a fair bit more. And using a flash helps no end for the pictures doesn't it)
So, the initial impressions are OK. the cylinders are not perfect, but not worth the hassle to move. the valve gear looks OK, and the trailing truck also seems proportionally right. so the next step is t source a heavy boiler for it ( brass or copper 1/2" pipe should do)
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
This bit will be the go section I guess. Whatever has inspired you to create a layout, how do you keep the project on track? I've found the best starting point is to research the locomotives and trains that fit this particular prototype in the period that you are interested in. Use a broad brush in case not everything goes according to plan and you change your mind. Are there kits available. what sort of skills are you going to need to develop to provide the rolling stock? And probably most importantly, is there already a local group that you can fit into to pick these skills up.
I guess the best method is to work from my own experience. Modeling as part of a large group with a particular location (Otago), I gained experience making models of main line diesels and freight trains (mostly with container trains). however I was captivated by pictures in the book 'the midland line' and in particular those around Cass. I then started working on models of trains that worked through this location in the late 80's, which lead to Dc loco's and rakes of Cb's and Lc's. This involved the learning of how to cast resin in silicon rubber moulds to save a lot of work. An important part of this process is making sure that everything runs well, which is often forgotten in the whole scratch building process. I would always choose running properties over scale fidelity. So in my case the Lc's were mounted on peco chassis ( reasonably cheap and with really large flanges), and the Cb;s on MDC bogies with microtrains wheels. Rapido couplers were used for the wagon rakes with microtrains couplers on the ends. the Dc's were built on atlas SD7 mechanisms. The resin cast tops went through several iterations ( the last of which sold reasonably well) but all did the job. So when I moved to Wellington in 1993, I had the beginnings of the collection of rolling stock for my next layout.
(sorry no pics tonight).
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Friday, May 02, 2008
The first picture is of the overall layout, just showing how big it really was. The clowns in the middle are (from L to R) yours truly, my now wife ( who must have just been passing through to actually see me that weekend) and my brother, plus another chap called Bob. behind me are Glenn Anthony, and Dean Whohra (well, it started with a w. I'll apologise for any dumb name mistakes now, but you should all get simpler names so that English scholars such as myself can spell them) in the middle of the Chch layout. I can't see any evidence of trains though. With such a large layout some trains put in large mileages often running for several hour's or so at a time. John Rappards Log train put in so many hours over a series of exhibitions that the metal wheelsets wore out the plastic bearings, and my Dx's wore the drives out in the end.
The second picture is of my brother and another Dunedin modeler called Garry Marshall (we think), looking for the next train. The station in from of them is a model of Wingatui, and in the foreground a model of a sawmill ( John was a carpenter and joiner by trade, and delighted in building these models which were just beautiful replica's of the real thing)
the next photo actually appeared in the Otago Daily Times ( just to show how low standards were at the time) and shows someone with a great crop of hair working on what he still regards as one of his finest single models. the building was built from the original plans held in the Hocken library ( this astounded me, as I spent 1/2 a day tracking them down, asked for them, and 10 minutes later I had the pages that Gordon Troop had poured over in front of me) the building was shortened to fit the site (not obviously). The tales of what was actually used in its construction were recounted in a journal from 1991 (sorry, no month I can't remember).
The dumbest thing that I did was putting in so much detail on the road side, when no one actually saw it. later we added a mirror so that this detail could actually be seen. I've been told that this model was recently rediscovered in the storage area at the Otago model engineers. I dread to think how it has suffered.
Here's what the punters did see. A good collection of trains. the 2 Dx's were from locally made zinc photo etches. the Ab and excursion train are from Chch I think. The rest of the wagons are mine and came from moulds that either myself or John made. the Za's and Zp's were my moulds, and the 20' insulated containers had resin ends ( from a mould of johns) and plasticard sides. the chassis of all the wagons were plastic
I hope the few readers that I have are enjoying my jaunt though the back blocks of some NZ120 history.
( and thanks to my brother for the scans of several of the pictures. for some odd reason they don't seem to want to expand on the blog, so you'll just have to save them and expand them yourselves)