Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A COW of a job

I have been inspired to get in and get some more modelling details posted as i read some of the other Bloggs that I am following. As we will be taking the Exhibition layout to the Caulfield Train show in Victoria over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd August, i thought i should try and get some more rolling stock ready to take along to run in our Aussie session. Some time ago i bought a couple Bergs bogie cattle wagons. I wanted to detail these up a bit and produce two versions of the 1959 wagon. An inside Braced and an outside braced. There is a fantastic article in the Australian Journal Magazine number 9 on converting these kits. I had also collected allot of the bits required for the conversion but i soon found that i needed something extra i didn't have on hand.
New solebars are made for both wagons. These are made using 6'x6' evergreen styrene and various sized 10 thou styrene strip to make up the Body supports and anchor supports.

Here is the new solebar with body supports
The side panels are modified by removing the plastic horizontal bars and replacing them with finer brass wire. The original bracing for the outside braced version has to be removed from the sides. This i done carefully with a scalpel blade and razor saw.
Here is the outside brace side with new solebar, Brass horizontal bars installed and all traces of inside bracing removed. The outside braces are installed later.
The inside braced version is a lot easier. The top of the inside brace is modified by cutting a small section from the bar. A small piece of brace wire is glued in place to represent the turn buckle.

Here is the modified inside braced version. I have not added the solebar at this stage but have the brass wire turnbuckles glued in place.

Close up of the Turn buckle detail and brass wire horizontal bars

A new underframe is also made. As explained in the article, it has been made to be robust rather that accurately detailed. It is made in two halves. To top half is cut and filed from a piece of 60 thou styrene to form the sloping top. The bottom section is made up of various sized styrene to form the centre sill and bolsters etc. I made these as 'Masters' so i can cast them in Urethane for when i do others. I should have perhaps done the same for the solebars as these were a COW to make and very time consuming.

Top section of the underframe showing the sloping top. Cutouts are for the wheels to clear as the bogies sit low on the bolsters.

The lower section of the floor. Ready for casting.

That's all i have done so far. I am waiting for the flat brass bar for the outside bracing. I also need some more casting materials. While waiting for funding approval from the BOSS.......I started a slightly easier project. I got a couple of these Infront Models DOT tank cars last year at the Liverpool AMRA show. This is an out of the box model. I have yet to paint it.

Infront Models DOT

A few weeks back i got my 42 class from Toms. I already had the decoder for it so i didn't even test run it.....Off with the top to find out what speaker would fit as i prefer high bass speakers to the factory fitted ones. 4203 has now two 28mm high bass speakers with enclosures. I had to sacrifice the drivers cab door glass in order to fit them in but the result was worth it. A Tsunami EMD 567 doing the trick. The loco was then weathered using a wash of Water soluble oils and floquil from the air brush.

The 44 below is a club members. It too has had a Tsunami fitted and high bass speaker. Weathering technique the same as the 42.

The Finer Points

Below is a list of what specs i hope to incorporate when I build the layout. As i am fairly new to NSW modelling, I am able to purchase some of the up to date products available that are very highly detailed. Although i still want to be able to put a little extra effort into building and super detailing the older kits available, that is why i changed from US modelling. I hope to achieve as high a detail level as possible in both the layout and the loco's and rolling stock, Without going silly!
The future layout room is approximately 9 metres long, 6 metres wide (30' x 20'). I do not as yet have a completed track plan.....one of those to do jobs.
Basically it will be multi level. The mainline on the lower and the Merriwa branch on the top. Staging below the lower level.
  • Code 70 mainline, Probably Micro Engineering, with hand laid no7 Points to NSWGR standard. Warren at Gwydir Valley Models has specially arrange some Fastracks Jigs to this design.
  • All secondary track including branch line will be hand laid code 55 along with all point work and catch points.
  • Electronic turnout control using ANE smart switch servos and accessory decoders
  • 30" minimum radius
  • Gradients to be 1' in 40' max.
  • Easy DCC wireless control
  • All loco's to be sound equipped.

Mainline will run from staging under layout (Broadmeadow) up past the Muswellbrook no2 colliery, Past the loco 'Y', no1 colliery and loco depot, and into Muswellbrook yard. From Muswellbrook yard through the countryside to Willow Tree, Up the 1 in 40 and through the tunnels to Ardglen. It will then leave Ardglen into staging again (Werris Creek).

The branch will leave on the western end of Muswellbrook yard, as per the prototype, wind its way around a centre island and up on to the top level. Denman, Myambat, Sandy Hollow, Gungal and Merriwa surrounding the layout room. I hope to keep the track plans for the yards as close to the prototype as possible although there will no doubt be a bit of modellers licence involved.

The train room is still 12 to 18 months off as we have had a few dramas with Council requirements for the septic system and unfortunately i have to extend the house part first. I will post up some pics as we progress along. In the mean time I am able to prepare some of the loco's and rolling stock for the layout. These i can also use with the exhibition layouts NSW running session at the train shows. I will try and post up some progress pics as well for the projects i do weather it be for my layout or for others.