Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lets do the time warp again....

From DB's "there's a prototype for everything department":

The Rocky Horror Picture Show receives far too much airtime on this Blog.

But be that as it may, you might have seen this picture of a UK wagon that quietly passed away on train 230 at Fielding earlier in the week (stolen from the NZ Locos Yahoo group who probably stole it from someone else).

A similar sight greeted me when I put my nose up onto the yard containing my wagon stash a few weeks ago.

? I thought they were supposed to be container 'flat' wagons?

None of my other cast resin UK/PKs exhibit this quirk, but I suppose it could have been summer's heat or humidity or badly mixed resin that never really set. Perhaps it went deep sea diving when I wasn't looking and surfaced too quickly. One of our Chemistry Wizards may have some thoughts. The Star Wars prequels sucked. The last one only partially. What's up with the weather?

Where was I... Fairly early on I started encapsulating brass rod into the castings by laying it into the mold during the pour, but it looks like this one escaped that process for some reason. This might push me to revisit a cast brass UK...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Plastic Fantastic - The Batch Built ZH part 2

DB verbosely concludes:

Day 2 of the ZH mini-saga involved sticking on the other three doors and finishing up. As you might have noticed from last time (pic 2 in the previous ZH edition), rather than fold the supplied two door etchings per wagon (one for each end) right over the top, I elected to cut each in (almost) half to make 4 seperate doors, discarding the central bit that represents the roof beam.

This was for many reasons - firstly, this kit is in 'beta' mode and this was my first attempt at it, secondly, I doubted my ability to make all the folds perfectly all the way around the wagon (to match the crosswise formers they would be glued onto) , and thirdly I'm sure by the time I finished applying plastic cement to all those formers and surfaces that need to be glued, most of it would have set already.

To ease the door folding process, it is important that they be carefully scored along the supplied lines, which is tricky without going through the thin material or scoring folds so thin that they split when folded - ask for a spare and use a blunt knife! The score line intervals must also match between the various doors (there is some judgement required here as the lines are fairly thick) to get a pair of doors that match in their complex profile for each side. However if you do all this and then fold it up a little more tightly than needed, everything slots into place like magic and the whole door-attaching exercise ends up being less stressful than expected.

If you go this 4-door route, you then have to rebuild the top roof beam (the discarded middle section of the door etch) out of plastic strip, but as long as you remove any protrusions on top of the crosswise formers, you'll have a nice straight line along the top of the main lengthwise bulkhead to base this on, something I didn't have with the ZG and thus things went a bit wavy on that one.

As it turns out, I have ended up with a nice model, the only glitch being a tiny bit of glue melt right in the middle of one of the doors where it is attached to its inside former (on the other side!). Nothing a little weathering can't hide.

Finishing touches included the roof beam as mentioned, a tiny .020x.040 rail across the bottom of the doors that is painted blue here, the grey 'ears' on top of the ends (I suppose these are roof stoppers?), fixing up the melted outer underfloor trusses (the middle ones can't really be seen) and a quickly bent bit of overscale wire stuck on each end as a nasty representation of the door opening mechanism.

You could really go to town on the ends if you wanted, with handrails, the upper vents, footsteps, and the rest of the door opening mech. I splashed some of my Southern Blue (which has dried up (arrrgh!) on the ends and unders, and gull grey on the main roof beam and ears. I didn't paint the white styrene doors at all.
So with some weathering and decaling yet to be applied, it's taken about 8 hours (moving quickly) to construct and paint an impressive model of an impressive prototype, but it seemed a pretty scary build. I say seemed, because most of my fears were unfounded, however I did take those shortcuts with the roof that probably made life easier despite being less elegant than the indended design. The doors are also quite thin, so they seem a bit translucent when backlit, and if one of them decides to unglue itself and pop free of its formers, particularly the centre formers, I will probably be bundled up and moved to a different mental institution.

To finish: I also have an ongoing niggling niggle about these laser-cut wagons. Certainly other than RP-ing one of these ZHs, which would be an expensive exercise, you would struggle to get such a crisp looking end-product any other way.

But, I also wonder if one of these was assembled up and tweaked a little that it couldn't form the master for a one-piece casting (or worst case a middle and 2 ends) and then you could churn them out by the bucketload. I wanted three or four ZHs (including the Coca Cola one of course!), but at 8 hours a pop, I'm not so sure any more. Still, the next one might be faster. Glad I'm not modeling pulpliner trains that's for sure.

For those keen to take a plunge in the shark pool, register your expression of interest through Am-Fet via this blog. You'll also want to pick up the Oct 2000 NZ Model Railway Journal (Heisler bush lokey on the cover) which has a superb spread with some great detail pics of these wagons and there are a few colour broadsides toward the back of the Sept 1996 Railfan as well that show the various paint schemes (Standard railcar on the cover.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


After quite a few months of having the modules set up on the floor to work on, my back has been telling me lately that its not really happy with this continuing state of affairs. However the solution was in the garage.

I purchased these legs for a collapsible table several years ago. All I had to do was get a couple of 6' long bits of 4 by 1, and spend 10 minutes with some screws. While somewhat precarious it seems to work fine.

With my new workbench set up, it was time to start connecting up the track between the first 2 modules. I have started with the seaward side of the station as its the easiest bit to do. I worked out the position of this part of the track work with reference to the scissors crossover, and then stuck it down with double sided sellotape. I then laid the rails up to the end of the modules and made sure that they matched the rails on the other side of the join. This was then fixed by soldering to a brass bar as before. It still has to be glued into position, and I might use another method to exactly align the rails.

It looks OK, I don't think that there is much of a hump across the join, and its getting that wee bit closer to getting this stage of the project completed. I'm just starting to wonder if I should have built something a bit smaller. (still, there would be no challenge in that, would there!)

Oh, and while my back is a bit better, I seem to have problems with my legs now. Might have to invest in a decent stool...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Plastic Fantastic - The Batch Built ZH part 1

DB Says:

After a recent visit to Am_Fet's top secret lasering facility somewhere in the depths of Petone, I ordered a few ZHs and started building one today. Some of the lasering is a little 'hot' in places, with some melting around the underframe trusses and the ends. Still, nothing a little plastic rod here and there can't fix.

As detailed much earlier in the ZG article, as long as you scrawk out the laser cuts to remove any raised melty bits along cuts (and especially the cutouts where parts slot together), things go together really nicely.

Look at that superb door detail...
And as you can see in the pic below, I started to make a few DB mods (should have thought of these before I started assembling the thing, but hey...

First up, if you want to apply bogies or couplers (and given that it's a railway wagon, why not) you may want to cut holes in the lengthwise bulkhead so you can screw in a bogie from underneath without running foul of it. For MT couplers you'll also need to remove most of the headstocks. I'm using bogie mounted ones as we will see in a moment.
As a safety feature, I put some extra bracing and gluing surfaces for the doors to glue to because they are thin and I had a feeling I wasn't going to be successful in folding them up and attaching them in one piece per the design. They also provide a backing for the door grab cutouts.

Per the below pic, I also made up some DB bogie bolsters of plastic rod (about .080x.100 inch stuff from memory, chamfered for wheel clearance and drilled with a hole), attached the bogies, and put in some weight. My bogies are outboard a little more than the prototype so I could use the couplers-as-attached. I figure you won't really see the bogies anyway as the doors hang so far down, and I'd rather have bulletproof running over prototype rivet-counting anyday. The weight is the rolled-up dental x-ray lead that I'm sure you're sick of me harping on about. Also note how I cut the ends off the center pair of underframe trusses so they won't foul the bogies. I'll fix up the laser-melted truss bits last, as if I did them now I'd just break them.
As as you can see, it's coming along nicely (and you can see why I made the 'screw holes' in the bulkhead below....!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just Back in Cell Phone Range....

Am_Fet writes:

I thought I had better check in and show that I havent had a nasty accident (or even worse)...I'm feeling quite guilty seeing DruffMan with his loyal sidekick Bondyn (The Boy Wonder) keeping the blog ticking over.

So this is what I've been working on (And no, its not the control panel for his Paekak layout):

This is the new "Auckland" desk in Train Control, which will be the heart of the new room controlling the entire Auckland Metro area. Over the next 6-9 months, 3 more desks will take over the roles of the current Britomart, Otahuhu and Papakura boxes.

So, what are you actually looking at here? Going across the left, the first two screens on the top have screen shots of the soon to be delivered WestCAD system, put there as a gag but I didnt have the heart to take them fact, I even moved them around once or twice. The two screens below them were repeaters for the Britomart box showing Britomart down as far as Newmarket and Tamaki, but Tim (in a starring role here) took them off...The next four screens are the CTC screens for the Central, Northern and ECMT areas. Then carrying along the top you have the Radio PC (Showing 5 acknowledged conversations in yellow and vigilance alarm in blue), followed by the Track Warrant PC (mostly for the North Auckland line at this time on a Saturday). The bottom 2 screens are the work PC, with OMS (the GUI front end for Amicus) on the left and the phone software on the right.

All the screens are 22", but the middle 5 will be replaced (much to our chagrin) by 24" screens once the new signaling system arrives. As an interesting aside, on a desk this size it actually works better to "dumb down" the resolution on the bigger screens so they can be read from a distance at a glance....I think I left most of them running at the good old 1024 x 768.

Sorry, realising I'm babbling a bit, so heres another pic showing the Britomart Screens on top before Tim started reorganising things...

Theres been a lot of interested people wandering through during the day (seeing as most people were in for derailments, slips, or both)....and apart from some unhelpful comments from a senior manager ("Call that a panel, Lad? Back in my day we had panels taking up entire rooms...had to take pack lunch to walk from one end t'other...") reaction has been positive.

Now to fix the bugs (that sounds like its Sundays job...)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday morning

Well, its a loverly day here at Chateau dandruff, so I suspect that the lady of the house will have me out in the garden. I suppose I could attempt to hide in 'Der room' but I suspect I would not get much modeling done hiding in the closet.

And has anyone else had problems getting on to the site in the last day or so? I keep getting a 'server timed out' error.

Friday, September 24, 2010

AO8: Reflecting on.... windows

DB finally gets back to the workbench:

Just before setting sail for NZ a month ago, some grey and blue paint was slapped onto two AO carriage castings in a feeble attempt to make visible progress while I pondered a window conundrum.

The big-windows in the big big-window cars are made by the Hogwarts Glass Department. They are smokily transparent when you stare right through them; often they look black (especially if viewed from an angle); and sometimes they look like mirrors if they are reflecting something bright, like the sky, or the eye of a Newt.
A commenter on this blog suggested using mirror-tinted boy-racer window film which sounded like a good idea to me, but my schedule and that of the local purveyor of Rice Rocket Enhancements never seemed to match up.

Without this vital ingredient, I began experimenting with some clear plastic washed with varying coats of Rhys's magic Tamiya Smoke (which is a clever mix of 'clear' and 'dark grey'). I found 2 coats looked pretty decent and the slight vertical unevenness of the brushed coating makes it look a little less perfect and not dissimilar to the inevitable vertical streaks of weathering on the real thing (although it looks a little less subtle in these pictures). FYI the paint is applied on the inside of the window so it's nice and smooth on the outside when viewed from an angle, except for some panel separation lines applied on the outside with a thin-tipped permanent marker to complete the look.Now to put something behind my 'glass' since I have a solid casting. I held it up against the white resin of the coaches (too bright), I tried black paint (too dark) and various shades of smoke and grey (meh...). Hmmmm.

The very next day, I happened to flag down a passing art supplies shop and found some thick shiny silvered craft paper that could do the trick. Its almost like a mirror, but not as perfect in its reflection. A strip of this is visible in the window slot on the 56 foot car pic above and with glass in place below.

Noice. From an angle the thing looks dark and shiny, and when viewed from more side-on it has a subtle reflection. I think this low-tech (but also low-effort, low-risk and high-speed) experiment looks pretty decent and am almost at the 'commitment' stage of gluing it in place...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Care package

Also in the care package I received from our resident globe trotter last week were some models of interest.

A Clyde Da from what appears to be an early Etch cetera test etch, as it has a few differences to the pair that I have assembled. Most noticeable is the width of the handrails, and also the rain gutters on the cab roof. Mr Bond had started to model Clyde Da 345 as it appeared at the end of its working life, but the project stalled last millenia on his workbench. Not sure how I will go about completing it, and it may get full side skirts fitted as well to backdate it to the 60's. Or maybe I can knock it into a phase 3 Da, which might be a better bet.

A blast from the past. One of the first batch of Uk's that I built in the early 1990's while domiciled in Dunedin. the underframe was 2mm plasticard. The twist locks were just plastic squares with a saw cut through them. The Containers were cast resin from a John Rappard mold. The signs are hand painted. I'm not quite sure why I have been re-awarded this model, so I'll have to hang onto it for a few years before I can pass it back.

(And beginners please note; we all had to start somewhere, and we got to our current skill leve by a lot of trial and mostly eror.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trackmaking XVIII

Those still awake and following this series will have noticed that I have yet to sort out the track joins between baseboards. previously I had used PC board, but I didn't think this was going to cut it. I decided on brass strip held down by araldite as I figured that this would not move.
The only remaining problem was sourcing some brass bar 1mm by 2mm. North yard couldn't help, nor could the ubiquitous KS stand. however they did have some 1/16" square tube which I figured might do the job.

Wrong. it was too thick.
However all was not lost, I just set the hammer on it which solved the problem nicely, as well as letting out some pent up aggression (I don't play sport any more).

I also added in some PCB sleepers behind it just to add to the stiffening.

And before you ask, yes, I will be cutting electrical breaks in it, just after it has been glued down.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Photo archive

Todays post is something that I had come across quite a while ago, but Its been re-pointed out to me (and its been up on the NZ120 site as well)

A collection of pictures mostly from the 70's but with a few more modern ones. Of interest to us here at Chateau Dandruff is the large album from Studholme which was the closet the railway got to our home town (well, while we were there anyway)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The weekend

Well, its been a busy weekend here at Chateau Dandruff.

First up, I had a fellow modeler drop by looking for some help assembling some Trackgang kit sets. He was trying to assemble a Cb with solder, and was hoping I could help him with some problems that he was getting himself to. Now somehow I've managed to acquire a reputation for actually knowing what I'm doing somehow, but I just tend to make it up as I go along (don't tell anyone). In this case the prognosis was relatively simple, I managed to use some low melt solder to fill in the holes. I then suggested that he use glue for assembly. OK, I know solder is supposed to be the be all and end all for kit assembly and you shouldn't use anything else less you get excommunicated from the brethren. The reality is that some of us just don't have the right tools or mentality for the job. Personally I'm quite happy using glue. if I get it wrong, I just get a knife into the offending seem, open it up and start again. I don't have to worry about burning my fingers.

The afternoon was spent tracking a short in a friends layout. Fortunately this was found in the second section of track that we checked, so the rest of the afternoon was spent at the modeling desk chatting. One thing we did come up with was the possibility of having a day for local modelers to get together and learn some different skills. I've been tapped on figure painting and might look at doing a short seminar on resin casting. The day finished with me at my workbench continueing the assembly of some more J shep wagons (appart from the strapping)

Mr Trackgang is currently trying to set up an NZ120 modelers meet in Christchurch on the weekend of the second of October. I'd attempt to do something similar here, but unfortunately the number of local NZ120 modelers is such that we could hold the meeting in a phone box.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How not to do it

I've heard stories of modelers struggling to assemble their Trackgang Dx and Df kits without bending any of the whitemetal bits. It appears that you may not be on your own with this problem.

Notice how the modeler has made the mistake of bending the body sides to match the footplate, rather than the other way round. This is a simple error often made by the inexperienced.

(I must get Mr Bond to reserect his modelers notes slideshow for a more modern audience. Oh, and cheers to Drew for this)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Breaking news

I'ts just been unofficially announced on the NZ railchat group that the Christchurch train show on the 2nd/3rd of October has been canceled. Some layouts have been damaged and others just have a bit more on their plates rather than playing trains. Theres rumours that there may be a show in the middle of next year.

Again its all unofficial, but the source is well known and respected in the wider railfan community, and I have no reason at this point to doubt his word.

I'm at home so I must be wrong

I arrived home last night (first time on the bike to work in 6 months, and boy did it hurt) to a small box on the doorstep. Inside were a collection of interesting items which I'll go through in the next week or so. The one that related to yesterdays blog post was an Atlas Sd mech from 2000, with a motor in it.

OK, so out with the measuring stick, and guess what, its a completely different size to the older (c.1990) motors. The dimensions for this motor (which I'm guessing is the same size as the 540100 slow speed motor) are 26.5mm long by 9mm wide by 13.5 mm high. The flywheels are smaller at 9mm wide by 7mm long, and the overall length is 42mm (with flywheels).

UPDATE. Talking with Steve this afternoon, and checking again tonight the motor body length is indeed 23.6mm. No idea where I got 26mm and I'll blame it on the Pinot.

And Steve has kindly sent in some pictures showing a few different aspects of the motors.

On the left is a slow speed Atlas motor for non DCC ready split frame drives (motor contacts the split frame chassis directly, the one on the right is for DCC ready drives (contacts the Light/DCC board).

On the left is the motor with the step back inside the flywheel to fit in the plastic hex nut drive (most 4 axle locos, old 6 axle locos), on the right is the same motor with a different flywheel to fit in the plastic joint for the drive train (most new 6 axle locos). If you look closely you can see that the plastic part is cracked and will just leave the loco sitting on the rack making noises without doing much else. This is apparently a problem with the new Atlas 6 axle locos.

On the left is the Atlas slow speed motor , on the right the Kato WARP I motor. Note that the Kato flywheels are noticeably bigger which leads to an overall better drive performance (so Steve says), but at the expense of a scale width hood on their N scale models.

More info as it comes to hand.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On motors

In the comments section a couple of days ago I mentioned the Atlas slow speed motor. The main problem is that theres no data on the damn things, apart from 'well, they are slower than the normal ones (which could mean anything up to warp factor 4 I guess), and 'they are grey'. However, in the course of fitting DCC chips to my da's a couple of weeks ago, I did have the presence of mind to actually measure the motor up.Now, while its not the same locomotive, I'm reasonably sure that the motor dimensions are pretty close to being the same.

The main body is 23.5mm long. The width is 9mm and the height is 13.5mm. The stepped down bit at one end is 9mm high, and the distance over the brush holders is 13mm. The flywheels are 10mm in diameter and 7mm long. There is a step back inside the flywheel to fit in the plastic hex nut for the drive train that is about 4mm deep. As the length over the flywheels is 43mm, an estimate of the shaft sticking out if a flywheel is removed is about 6mm.

Hunting around the site, theres several different versions that I can't tell the differences between. The std slow speed motor is pt No 498100 and is $23.75 USD.

The motor of the SD-7 pt No 540100 is $24.00. However the GP30 motor pt No 470000 is only $22.
'Oh, its the other way round...'

The flywheels can also be purchased separately as pt No 9450150 for only $2.25 USD.

Comparing the pictures, I'm sure that there are minor differences, but I can't see any major dimensional differences. However, I have been known to be wrong before, and I'm in the place where I usually am (ie at home).

If anyone else could add to the dimension knowledge that would be very handy.
As I've said, they would be idea for small S scale locos as well.

Monday, September 13, 2010

For sale

DB has spare these containers: 3x HLC mk3, 2x HCCs, 1x HLC mk3 ( in effect a highside HCC), 4x 10 foot side openers (these are about a mm too wide, they they don't look awful) . All 8$ per item plus postage.
All castings from molds as featured in this blog (filed under 'wagons' on the left hand side here) and in reasonable condition - i.e. good enough for me to use but I have enough already. Most/all air bubbles have been filled for you.
Contact purchases-at-kiwibonds-dot-com within the next few days if you want these.
Well, great excitment here at Chateau Dandruff as the 10 year old computer at my desk was replaced by a sparkly new black dust attracting machine (it even seems to have managed some cat hairs, though we have not had a cat in 3 years). Now comes the joyish task of transfering all the accumulated rubbish betwee operating systems. This may take a while (especially the E-mail addresses). On the flip side, I made sure that there was enough Ram and a graphics card, so it shoudl be able to run some CAD programs.

My only real concern is how many debit brownie points this has cost with the lady of the house, and what I'm going to be asked to do for them at a later date....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hutt in a Box revisited

DB, in this picture-laden post thanks Amateur Metaller: with his and KiwiRail's help, we were able to visit Hutt Shops last week in the hope of bringing you some pictures that I couldn't in the previous edition of this topic.

So, without further ado, here is the main assembly hall, with wagon bogies in the foreground, loco bogies being overhauled behind that and locos at the far distance:

Off to the left, out of shot, there are sections for wheels, fabrication (new cabs, sandboxes, fuel tanks) etc. Outside this building, DC4939 takes a stroll off the traverser in her new MAXX livery: Ably assisted by the gorgeous wee Drewry TR (although I'm not sure which of the locos was doing the assisting here):

Back inside, the finishing touches were being put on DX5333 before she returns down south:
Lads in their Shed:
Everywhere you went, it was clear that the guys take a real pride in their work. As the DXB program comes to a close and the Chinese DLs begin to arrive, I wonder what is next for Hutt. Obviously it is the loco rebuilding place, and I guess the rest of the DFTs will cycle through for overhauls and the Brightstar treatment.

And you thought wiring up DCC decoders was tough...

A few MD scoops:

After some new paint, derailment-repaired DQ 6347 will shortly blast out of the Battlestar Galactica launch tubes and back into service:

It will be interesting to see what happens to the numerically small DQ class after the DLs arrive too. Maybe they'll be sold off to join their brothers in Tasmania. Here's another surprise,the singular DAR loco, 517, has made it inside for some work: EF 30186 arrives at Hutt, joining 30065, which is already in one of the big halls:A very smart new livery for the Ganz's

Ew time

Well, about time I got back to this. I have been looking at this sorry pile of bits for a while now, but trying to sort out just how I was going to put it all together was a bit of a struggle.

When I last thought about this, the plan was to use the 2 end frames as the gear towers, and attach them to some sort of frame. Just what sort was evading my brain cell as it wandered round its vast prison.

A couple of nights ago while burning my fingers (well, making track, but they tend to go hand in hand) I suddenly thought that I could build a frame out of plasticard. So, a few measurements and out with the knife.
I cut the plastic to size, then made a cutout for the bogie to fit through, with the plan of attaching the gear tower to the plastic somehow.

I had to trim down the bogie sideframes to get everything to fit, and then cut out a bit more to clear the pickups . Still, it wasn't doing it for me.

Then , I remembered that back in the dark ages when I had been looking at drive systems all the drawings had been with an overhead frame. Duhhhh said my brain cell.
This seemed like a far easier set up. First up I checked to see if I could solder onto the split frame. With Phosphoric acid as the flux the answer is yes, but man does the frame metal get hot fast, and stay hot for a while. A quick search of the bits box revealed that I didn't have any brass bar, so I soldered 2 bits of 1.5mm square brass together and then cut them to length. I then set them up in a couple of clamps in the correct orientation, and then applied heat. To my pleasant surprise it all worked. Putting everything back together I got something looking like this.

How will it all hold together? Well, I'll just ask Mr Woods nicely for some bits of thick PCB board (A long 15mm wide strip will do nicely please; the check is in the mail), and use this as the spacers between the 2 brass bars. All the pivots will be on this, and the motor will sit on the center bogie, as I had originally planned. This project now looks more promising, and will definitely go back onto the front burner (or into the pile of projects that can be looked at).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kiwibonds field report

DB says: Here are some 1:1 piccies from today (or yesterday by the time this hits the blog).

First up: shunting, who does that anymore...

Here a pair of weather-worn DXs at Stillwater shuffling around coal wagons that are being loaded from the bank behind me. Fascinating station in its prime (we must do a segment on it one day) that is still an interesting subject.

Earlier, the westbound train was almost two hours late due to earthquake-related speed restrictions.

Ugly bridge piers - this used to be quite a nice scene:

Finally, here's a nice shelf scene for the coasters near the Arnold dam:

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Active or in-

Well, since there seems to be very little interest in my tracklaying feats, time for a question or 2.

How many of you out there are working on building a layout (be it small, medium or large).
How many of you are assembling kits?
And how many of you are armchairmodeling at the moment, having purchased some kits but wondering where to go to next?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Trackmaking pt XVII

Just another wee step last night. I just have to do the Air rail siding and thats the track for the second module done (well, it still has to have the throwbars done and be gaped and all, but that just takes time)

After this I no longer feel phased by any trackwork configuration.

In other news, The NZ120 group has been thrown open so that anyone can have a look at stuff. What is currently unclear is if anone can post. This could attract a variety of nutters looking for new people to torment, and we already have a full set of nutters there already.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I've been working on the railroad - work trains

DB thinks:

That work trains are an interesting thing to shuffle around the model landscape from time to time.
Way back in the bad old days, Rhys cast up some really nice resin Yc tops and we both built about 5 of these up on Peco chassis as seen in the above shot taken on Otaki to Cass. I still reckon they look good.

Trackgang makes a nice Yc and a 30 foot van that was converted into a plough van by ECMT in the early days of this blog. Cranes and crew carriages could also be added to the consist.

Another good looking work train item that covers the period from late steam to today is the YD side tipping wagon. Walthers in the US came out with an N scale Diffco side dump car last year, and this is the same company that made the NZ wagons. They differ slightly in detail to the NZ items, but its nothing a galloping horse would notice, and due to the US one being longer than ours, they might scale out pretty close for length in NZ120.

It looks a bit like a model, but this is a work train from Tuesday with four YDs up near Avoca on the Midland line:

Monday, September 06, 2010

Trackmaking pt XVI

Well, having thrashed the garden within an inch of my life (we research types just are not cut out for wielding spades and such, but the lady of the house does persist), I have also managed to spend some time at the workbench on rest breaks.

Now, I really was intending to get on with the Ew (honest Steve, I really was) but the creative juices are just not flowing in that direction at the moment. Then there was the lure of another challenge.

The most difficult bit of the whole layout is the scissors crossover in terms of trackmaking. I have done all the other pointwork for the second module, and so I have had to bite the bullet and make a start.

First up is laying out the track centers and sleepers. I could possibly have used less of the long ones, but I had no idea where I was going to need them, so just put the lot in just in case.

And, after waving the soldering iron round a bit (of and cutting and filing) I've got too....

The center crossover works, though things do bump round a bit. The blades, check rails and throwbars still have to go on, but I can at least do those with some chance of success.

I just hope my Ka's will run through it OK!