How my railroad interests moved from the Pacific Northwest to Southern New South Wales .....with a stop over in Southern California

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finally - Some Progress!!!!

Hot's July in Texas.

Time to get motivated for anything that keeps you in air conditioned 

So, that means time to stop procrastinating on starting the scenery.

A couple of months ago, in an unusual spurt of energy, I tried out 
the hydrocal soaked paper towels over screen on a curve leaving 
Willow Tree.   I was very displeased with the result.   So this time 
I'm trying Sculptamold  (a cellulose based modeling compound similar 
to papier mache)

I spent an hour in the big box home improvement store trying to 
choose a brown latex paint color that i thought would be a good base 
for the soil in the area I'm modeling.  You can mix watered down paint 
with the Scuptamold to avoid white areas, should the top layer get 

Here is the test area before sculptamold (the white area on the curve 
is the plaster-soaked towel experiment):

I added very little support under the screen, so it took 4 separate 
applications over a 1 week period, letting each one set for a couple 
of days to build up strength.  

The results were much more acceptable.  A little on the coarse side, 
but a little sanding should smooth everything out.  My choice of 
brown for earth color ended up being a little lighter than I was 
hoping....but I guess it's better to be too light than too dark.  
Painting during later scenery stages can darken it up.

The brown doesn't really photograph too well....
but here are the results:

Guess I better stock up on the Sculptamold...
summer has a long way to go!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Arrivals

I was roused from a cold medicine induced daze this afternoon by the doorbell (and the dogs).  It was mail delivery lady with a parcel bearing an Australian postal label.   A long ago ordered and greatly anticipated wagon order from Auscision had finally come.

12xNDFF ballast wagons and 4xCQBY container wagons.  Once again....they are outstanding models.

I spent a few hours this evening installing 60 feet more fascia to the upper level, and when I finished around 0300....decided to unpack the new arrivals for some pics:

Southern Short Haul B61 exits Ardglen Tunnel

Brake van substituting for needed ballast plow passing Ardglen crossing loop

12xNDFF placed on Ardglen quarry sidings

Someday I'll learn how to photoshop in a background like Blair...for now, we'll all just have to imagine.

With these arrivals, all the Aussie rolling stock I ordered 2 years ago, has arrived...with the exception of the Trainorama Southern Shorthaul GM22 which is apparently still a year away.

Time to start shopping again!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's a Winter Wonderland! Texas???!!!

The TV weather forecasters had been predicting our second "winter weather event" of the year for a couple of days.  One to three inches of snow or mixed snow and rain.  

It started snowing around 0400 on Thursday. By the time Emily was ready to go to work around 7, it was still coming down, and we decided I since I was on days off,  that we could go out for breakfast and I could drop her off and pick her up in the evening when she finished.  

By the time we were done eating, it was looking a bit worse so she decided just to stop by work, get her laptop and work from home.   Good decision.

Here is the main street of our subdivision about 5 hours after the snow started:

By afternoon, there was so much snow that Emily got the car stuck in our driveway trying to leave.  45 minutes later, the car was safely tucked back into the garage, where it would remain for another 24 hours.

It snowed for 18 hours and dropped around 14" at our house, and set all time snowfall records for the area.  I spent 3 hours shoveling the sidewalks and driveway Thursday afternoon,  only to have 4 more inches fall overnight.

Luckily, in spite of the "quality" of Texas home construction....the roof stayed up and didn't leak.  Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for the Texas Live Oak trees.  We lost some good portions of many of the trees around the property.  Something for me to work on when the snow melts away.  The trees on the right in this photo suffered pretty significant damage.

Blog required Model Railway content:  I installed 13 more Blue Point turnout throws this past week.

Oh.....and we're sick of being in the "frozen North" week we're heading south to Mexico (the real one) and spend a few days on the beach!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Photo Overview of the Railway

Procrastination.   Unfortunately one of my strong traits.   

I finally got a little clean up done in the layout room, not perfect as the  photos will show...but good enough to allow me to present the current state of affairs in my little corner of New South Wales.  

The main locations are labeled.  Hopefully, that will aid in locating the scenes on the track plans in the last post.  The last time I attempted...trains would run the entire length of the railway....I'm sure a bit of track cleaning would be in order to duplicate that feat.

First up, a little prototype comparison:
Willow Tree as viewed from Merriwaw Road.  Willow Tree will be a main focal point on the Rwy, as it is the first thing viewed when entering the room.  Also will be a main operational point as this is where I will be adding bankers to all the Pacific National bulk commodity trains.

The remainder of the shots will show most areas of the room.  

Notice the grade leaving Willow Tree in the background curving up to Kankool (behind the camera to the right).  I didn't want to give up the space for a helix, so the grade to the upper level will require bankers.  A non-prototypical  issue that had to be overlooked when this was modeling Southern California.

This photo of the Maitland staging yard shows how the tracks run into the cabinets over Emily's desk in the office portion of the room.  The remodeling of the office was a good trade-off to secure air rights over the desk that allowed for the "Million Dollar Staging yard" 

Last night's premier operating night at Blair's railroad has once again inspired me to get busy.  I have 20 more Blue Point point throws to install, and finish laying track and installing the turntable at Werris Creek loco depot.  

Then,time to think about scenery....

Oh No...I feel more procrastination in my future!

I'll need to keep looking at the photos of Ray's Bylong layout for inspiration