Sunday, May 17, 2020

Model Inspiration from Photographs

The idea of using photos as inspiration for modelling is not something new. If it be a photo of a prototype that you like, loco, location, or building design, it's worth being in your collection.
For me, I try to find photos in the time period I model, so that clues as to how to create the scene may be revealed.
This photo is not a location pick, but it does show something that took my eye.
 The photo is of Cockle Creek Station, located on the Main North, unfortunately all of these buildings are long gone. The reasons for keeping a copy of this photo are actually many, now that I started listing them, in no particular order:
1. The proximity of the bush to the rear of the Station, on both sides of the line.
2. The detail of the roofline on the end of the Station building.
3. The fencing around the end of the platforms, and location of gas lights.
4. The wheel ruts from wagons, and other assorted horse drawn vehicles.
For sure I've missed a few, but these are the ones that stood out to me. The back scene is quite different to many, as normally the open space is what we view with a distant horizon. I plan to paint part of the area behind the Station, as close to this idea as possible. The baseboards on this part of the layout will add to the depth in an area only about 300mm deep.

Tenterfield Station in 1907, the photo shows a very clear area beside the main building. The simple fence that separates the land from the local area. The awaiting horses and wagons are a scene well worth replicating to set your layout to a particular time period. I think for me, the means of transport is one of the main things I will be relying on when there are no trains in the scene.

This photo is a real favourite of mine, for many reasons. The E class loco looks so clear, the detail in the photo is outstanding, even down to the open spectacle windows in the cab. I especially like the surface of the metal as it appears on the front of the loco, it certainly isn't smooth. Also worth noting is the shiny nature of the finish of the boiler, compared to the saddle tanks. Then there are the gentlemen in the photo, the style of dress, the pride they show in being photographed beside their pride and joy. Looking around the locomotive there isn't any signs of a sleeper, even though it looks to be an earthen ballast, it certainly is up to the rails.
Behind all this is the tree line of very typical eucalypts. Love it! The Sedum that people use to construct trees, would be perfect to re create this scene.

 This next photo is of a goods loading area in Pennant Hills, I believe . The wooden boxes for the transport of goods is so different to what we see today. Everything is manual, many hands to make light work. The louvre vans behind are all open ready to receive the goods also. For me the actual recreation of this scene is on my list of 'must do's'. I've a jig hidden away to re create the boxes using basswood. It's simple, but monotonous work, and you would need so many to create something even close to this.
What do you think about when you look at this photo?
How about the lack of iron on the roof. What about the two coloured posts? The width of the weatherboard on the building beside, and its lower roof line. The missing picket on the fence. The dress of the men, the high waisted pants, the waistcoats, the way they wear their hats, no two are the same.

The photos I have in my collection are more of the same you see above. They inspire me to try to do better. They give me something to aim for. They remind me of a time when life was hard, probably smelly, but definitely quieter, more focused, and raw. Through my modelling I'd like to try to capture something of this time. I hope for those of you who don't have any photos, that you may see the value in doing some collecting as well. By all means share one of your favourites with me in the comments.

Have a great week,
hug your family, 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Twins, Part 3

This week there's been a bit going on, and only a short time available for modelling. The benefit of a modelling bench that you can leave a project in progress is a real advantage, and it's allowed some progress on the twins. Heres a progress shot of the four walls being glued together, and the advantage of having multiple squares can be clearly seen.

So why all the squares? Well theres one on each end that is up against the upright walls, and also up against the underside of the eaves. Then on the left there is a square on the inside of the upright wall to keep the walls at ninety degrees to each other. One last one that is against the floor that keeps the wall inline with the floor.
I would love to hear if you have a trick for squaring up walls to each other. I seem to take ages in this part of the build,whilst others would turn out a dozen buildings in one weekend.

The walls are all together, the centre wall is slightly off centre, that way the floor and the internal wall will slip inside and be aligned. The reason for this is so that I can detail and paint the interior more easily.

The roof is a bit of a process, however the above photo shows how I begin. The two sides of the gable are measured and cut as one piece with a shallow cut dividing the two. A snap of them in one direction, then align them on top of the roofline. Then I cut and place a piece of styrene rod in the cut, apply the glue to hold them all together, and in alignment. I've done this a few times and I do find it excellent for stabilising  the roofline at the correct angle ready for adding more detail.

The two gables are sitting and drying, as well as the two verandah floors for each end of the building. The floors will attach to the floor of the building and have all the verandah posts attached. That way when the floor is slipped inside the building the posts will fit inside the verandah roof.

 I do enjoy working with styrene, and recently I purchased a bottle of the tamiya thin cement, and it's been great to work with, and has a handy brush attached to the lid.

Lets all hope for some time to get some modelling done this week.

Have a great week,

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Twins, part 2

This has been an enjoyable return to the world of cutting, sanding, and glueing styrene. The windows are all setup in the sides. So now it's time to work on the vents in the top of the gables. These aren't particularly difficult, but I do think that you need to follow a process so that you are happy with the result. My apologies to those who find this simplistic.
 The vent in the gable I've tried to match using clapboard siding, as close as I could find compared to the plan. The trick is to cut out all the gable 'vents' from the one piece of clapboard, and glue surrounds in the same order as my fancy diagram. This then means you can hold the vents against a square and use tweezers to manoeuvre the small bits of styrene. If you have a styrene chopper, then use it to ensure the pieces are the same size as each other and the two upright sides.
 Once you've glued 1 and 2 in place let them cure a bit and then on with 3 and 4. Let that dry completely before you trim them up.
 It's hard to see but there is a mark at the top of the louvers, to make sure you don't install them upside down.
 What's the glossy black thing for? I hear you say, well its black perspex that I use for gluing styrene on as it doesn't bond to the styrene when gluing. However it's a bugger to get a photo without the workbench LEDs getting in the shot.
The four vents are close to being the same size, however they won't be, just expect it, I know I do. So that I don't frustrate the life out of myself, just number an opening to a vent. That way you are trying to fit one vent to one hole, not picking up a different one each time and having to reshape a hole that will quickly become too large. You end up with a side with lots of lines and numbers, but isopropol will fix it easy!

I don't know about you, but I've found a little extra time out at the modelling bench of late. It has certainly helped keep me sane. The vents were done over two nights, during the week. A simple part that shows up really well when completed.

A quick update today, there has been some real progress on the modules with the back scene board frames being completed, so a new post shouldn't be too far away.

Enjoy the rest of the week,
modelling time is the key to happiness!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Twins, part 1

There has been many different ways of communicating to each other over the years here in Australia.  Well before the telephone we had the telegraph. Since 1858, in NSW, the telegraph line linked us together, often bringing together post, telegraph, and money order to the one location. At Bulli, that was the case. The standard design for this office was doubled at Bulli, building them back to back, with a what seemed like a shared wall in the centre. I'd love a photo of the interior of this building, but unfortunately I've not been successful in sourcing one.
The building itself is not really very complex. I've sourced some novelty siding that appears the correct spacing, so out with the hobby knife and away we go! It feels like ages since I had a building project to work on, and so far it's been good. The matching of available windows from the Grandt line or Titchy group, to the scaled plan appeared a little difficult. I found two that were a good fit on the Grandt line site, however the postage was enormous, compared to the packs actual price. I continued the search through the stash, and found some that would be a fair enough fit, even though they were a twelve pane window, some careful trimming would see that fixed. 
I've been cutting out enough walls to build a double office for my layout, and an extra one, not sure why, maybe in case I bugger up something on the first, then I'll have some spares.

The photo just illustrates where I got to yesterday, and once I had a little bit of time today, I've completed the second wall cut out.
The side with the double gable and the two single windows in each, is the trackside view of the building. The side with two windowsill each gable is the public side of the building. This side also has window awnings over each, something that will be fun to model because of the gentle curve in them.
The plan I have for the building is interesting as it does not have a front elevation plan. This makes it a bit difficult to replicate the front doors, they were a pair that opened inward, that much I can see from the floor plan. It does not help me with the height of the door, or whether there was any venting above it? So a little Modellers licence here. I will be modelling the doors opened as the interior I have a good plan for, with benches and the like all marked, along with good detail of the fireplace, so we shall see. In my head I have the scene populated with people, and sourcing figures at a reasonable cost/quality is proving challenging.

I'll finish there for now. Enjoy the new week,
stay safe,

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Ballasted deck bridge for HH

Just over the boarder near Tenterfield there are some great examples of ballasted deck bridges. The area has been a favourite of mine for many years now. The Sunnyside bridge, and many other features along the line make it an enjoyable drive. Even after many trips there are still bridges and sidings to explore. The need to do this sooner, rather than some of the bridges have begun to be removed. There are a few that are off the main road, and these ones are the ones I'm chasing. Another time for sure.

The bridge is to be on the left hand module, hopefully with a scene similar to the one caught in these photos. I've still to confirm the placement of the trackwork, and that will effect the placement of the bridge. For now I'm working on the scenery boards for each of the three main modules. This combined with the trackwork, for me, is a little fluid, and I guess that's why I like modelling a made up location, based on a real location. I'm sure the purists out there have issue with this, however as I only model small layouts I need to be more flexible. A home layout is not on the horizon for a while, and that's already planned, with a set location.
During a few of my visits to this location I have many measurements of timber sizes and spacing, but you know, I still think I've missed a few. So when I need a break from the bench work it will be out with the basswood and bolt detail for sure!

This last photo will hopefully be the scene I'm trying to replicate on the layout. There are other photos I have of the distant horizon, however I'm not sure I will be replicating the same in paint. The back scene painting should probably be the next thing I do as a distraction from track work. I'm a firm believer in having a few different projects on the go that you can cycle through.
That should be it from me till I actually have some progress to post, some photographic evidence of some modelling.
enjoy your week, only a few days to go!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Post Easter Post

Hi Everyone!
Recently, I don't know about you, but I've had a little free time at home. It's turned out to be a good thing, we've stayed safe, remembered how to cook and entertain ourselves, and most importantly there's been some modelling time in the garage!

It has been a case of something old appearing new again, namely a weekly post on the railway blog. Let's see how I go, after all this is the first.

There has been a bit of thinking time, time to re assess, time to rethink what I thoought was a good idea, and the best bit? Progress!

Here's a couple of photos to show the front three modules up on their legs. The diagonal in the second photo is to support the two separate leg frames, so that they are free standing. The idea behind this being that the layout can be set up by one person, however I hopefully won't need to do that. The bolts goes through the timber and lock into a t-nut in the rear of the diagonal. 

I've been working on the track plan to confirm that the plan was actually going to work, on the ply, as it were. So far so good. The centre module is mostly the goods area and  small town scene. The spacing between tracks, the curves, and working with the point geometry has been time consuming. I'm pretty sure that all will be well, nothing is glued down yet so it should be ok.
I went on to work on the centre module today, adding the front and rear scenery boards. If you look at the centre front, it's very low, the 'hollow', and at the rear on the left is the high point of the layout. It always feels a little more easy to see what you're creating when these go on I think.

That's all for this weekend, I'm hoping for some more time out there soon, next up is the backscenes, and their painting. The fun part, or at least the start. With starting this part of the layout at least I get to make use of the endless cloud photos I've been taking.

Enjoy your week, stay safe,
Get out there and enjoy your hobby!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Tinkering with Ideas and Plans

Hi All,
It's been a busy time, and I have to post a huge thank you to the ARHS NSW branch, and in particular  Mr James Dalton, for the endless help he has been in collating information from an inquiry interstate.
Thank you James! He was able to supply me with information at a very quick rate, subject searches he provided at the resource centre and then communicated them to me in another state. The cost of receiving the information is very modest, considering all that is involved in getting it to me.

So thanks to James, I can move forward in my planning for HH. More to come on what I'm thinking of doing, but first some topography discussion. I've adjusted the layout of the terrain to have the hill at the front of the layout, offset to the left so that the yard area on the right has enough room. The bridge to be completed for the LHS is still a bit up in the air. I absolutely would like a bridge, just what design to be used is still not decided. It really is about just what I think I can achieve in a model, and how happy I will be at its completion.

The bridge is about available scale space and how much it would be to achieve in scale form. Then there's my limititations in building skills, as far as one that will be stable enough to transport around 
as part of a show layout.
I am however, happier with the layout of the left hand module with the hill moved over, and a greater focus on the scenery.
The yard on the right is going to be loosely located on Bulli in NSW. The thing that attracted me to this location is a few photos that I came across on line of the Post & Telegraph office. This one is actually two buildings built back to back. The why this was done has had me contact the local local history group, unfortunately without a response yet.
The scene around the office and Station building really lends itself to being recreated in HO.


The ARHS has some fantastic resources, and for Bulli they had plans of the Station buildings, the Post &Telegraph offices, the Goods warehouse, and photos to support. The scans digitally available are just brilliant, so clear and they've printed up just fine for me to use to construct models of them.

On the go next is construction of the baseboards, to see if my initial design is going to work, and be easy enough to handle. The list then extends to the back scenes that will be made up as calico screens that can be added on at setup. Lots to do, I've gotta say it is great to beginning a new project!
Have a great week!