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Introduction-layout design principles
My layout is set in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales but a far more efficient Blue Mountains than the one we have to travel over on our Westerly journeys from Sydney. No such inefficiency as a Zig Zag railway was ever necessary as my Dargan is accessed by spiro tunnel from the heights. The line then runs through the rural valley of Hartley Grange with a small stop at Hartley Minor before another spiro tunnel leads out to the Western plains of NSW. Luckily it passes by the coal mining centre of Glen Davis and therefore avoided the construction of a branch line through rugged territory to service that location. Had it been constructed it would possibly have been called Dargan’s Deviation.
 
The recent completion of the standard gauge line from Broken Hill to Port Augusta in South Australia could well see an increase in traffic over the western line. The line is already busy with coal, wheat and mixed goods services as well as regular passenger operations. There is still a lot of steam to be seen but diesels are being introduced. A passenger service , reportedly to be named the Indian Pacific, will launch next year in 1972 and will operate all the way from Sydney to Perth, passing through Dargan on the way.
 
Background- me
Growing up 9 miles South of Melbourne, we used to live just 100 yards from the railway line serving the Mornington Peninsula. This line catered for both electric suburban trains to Frankston and rural trains to the Peninsula. I was always fascinated by the activity on this line, both stream and electric so naturally was a frequent lineside visitor. A nice time in history when children could wander about freely without fear of coming to grief. I know I was aged seven at that time because of the nine week train strike in the latter part of 1950. My dear father had to cycle the nine miles each way to the City during that period. Perhaps it was his perverse sense of humour that I was given a wind up metal train set for Christmas that year. That started the rot.
 
In the following years I discovered the new world of electric model railways and after long badgering of parents, a scholastic target was achieved which resulted in the arrival of a Triang train set of two diesels and three passenger carriages. These were added to progressively but always packed away in a suitcase designated for this purpose as there was no room for a permanent location. I blinked one day and found myself with one lovely wife, three lovely children and still no room for a model railway. Finally a career move to Adelaide and the acquisition of a 45 square piece of Adelaide sandstone allowed for the allocation of bedroom five to a study and the first layout. This was a simple 2400 x 1200 board as the objective was then and remained so for a few years, a place just to operate my trains. It was also the transition to Peco trackwork and Australian outline models via Lima. All to be interrupted by another career move, this time to Sydney and increased to four lovely children.
 
The Shed
 
Much discussion within the family over a number of years finally saw a home for the board. The former garage, now the Shed, was allocated for this purpose. It measures seven metres square and  contains bathroom and the proverbial kitchen sink. The layout (no longer the board) runs down the left side and was recently extended to form an “L” at the rear with just enough room for the E. To the right is all my wood turning equipment which is connected to an extraction system to cope with any dust. Lighting duct runs the full length of the layout. The curtain behind it covers storage for some of the rolling stock.




 
 Operation
 
Initially DC it has been converted to NCE DCC using two remote control and one fixed units. There is a dedicated laptop running Decoder Pro. All locomotives have been equipped with sound decoders. The main bus is connected to all individual track and turnout segments to achieve consistently smooth operation. There are four ECB protected segments. All turnouts are operated from the central control panel. The turnout switch motors also operate the signalling system. All buildings have lighting. For the statistically minded, there are 74 metres of track, 33 turnouts, three double slips, two diamond crossings and one powered turntable. The most useful piece of rolling stock in the collection is the track cleaning car.
 The Layout-West
 Since we have moved to a layout rather than just the board, as has my interest expanded to structures and scenery so a number of structures have been included. While I try to be true to the location and era, if I see an item that I like, then in it goes. So you will see that the western end includes a cattle yard and a freight transit shed based on Werris Creek. Flour millers Mungo Scott from inner Sydney have also constructed some silos to house their reserve stock. It is also the general freight marshalling area for Hartley Grange. The signal box is based on Ultimo while the water tank is based on that still to be seen at Hornsby. I like to model my own trees so old electrical cable is never discarded. 
 






  The Layout-Centre West
 
The morning service to Bathurst with 3830 in charge is pausing at Hartley Grange for servicing after the climb up from Sydney, while 3508 and 3531 with a full complement of empty FWH wheat wagons in tow await 3830’s departure. Both up and down lines pass each other in this part of the layout so it can look quite busy at times. The small halt at Hartley Minor is seen in the background as are 4102 and 4107 with a load of S truck coalies. 4102 is looking quite smart  as it has been fitted with roof top radiators to solve cooling problems. That proved to be a fruitless exercise.
 


 
 
The Layout-Centre East
 
Point to point railmotor services are provided between Dargan, Hartley Grange, Hartley Minor and Glen Davis. The larger 621/721 twin car unit covers the peak period and has already returned to Dargan. Here single car 401 is ready to look after the quieter times. 6040 with a load of LCH coal hoppers is about to leave for Sydney’s White Bay power station.
 




 
The Layout-East
 The roundhouse is based on Valley Heights in the Blue Mountains but resized to suit available space. It presently houses some of the streamliners, these relatively new machines being the pride of the NSWGR. The passenger carriage workshop is a model of the one standing in the park east of the (now closed) Newcastle station. The walls had been removed for better public access and although I could get the measurements, could not identify the wall detail. One day we went for a walk up to Fort Scratchley which overlooks Newcastle Harbour. Lo and behold in the foyer was a photograph of the carriage workshop so I was able to complete the model with full authenticity.
 
 




 
The Layout-Glen Davis
 I just had to have Glen Davis as although it is now just a few overgrown remnanats of decaying ankle deep brickwork, It along with Newnes, Clarence and the branch line of Dargan’s deviation are a significant part of the history of the Blue Mountains. The structures are yet to be weathered and are of course much smaller than the originals. Here is shown 3130 on shunting duties while 6020 stands patiently awaiting the call to action.
 



 
 
The Layout-Dargan
The only thing that seems to be missing is Dargan but Dargan is a tale for another day. In the meantime there is also much static grass to be installed and I have also found Gormo’s video on small signs so the stations can now be named.
 
Happy Modelling
 
Richard
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sol
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Very nice Richard. Have you got a track plan?

Captain pugwash
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Really nice layout well built

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It could have well been called Evolution as that is how it occurred between the various locations. Nothing but my trusty Tracksettas to guide me. The design and construct approach on the run is very appropriate as that is how Dargan's Deviation came into being.

Cheers

Richard

Kimbo
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Great looking layout Richard :thumbup: Some very nice scenic scenes and some great looking rolling stock.My favourite would have to be the nice red one...:thumbs: a picture or three would be lovely please.Kim

Ron
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Great looking layout Richard, it looks very 'Australian' and true to its origins. Well done :thumbs:

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Looking really good Richard and interesting background :thumbup:


Ed

Gary
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Fantastic start to your layout thread Richard. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

Nice piece of history on how the layout evolved over time and also your interests in railways in general. Looks like the layout can become quite busy during a running session, especially if shunting is included in the equation !

The signal box based on Ultimo, was that created from the plans that were in the AMRM many, many years ago ??

I remember building Tumulla Bank and Loftus signal box's from the pages of AMRM !

Looking forward to the next installment... ;)

Cheers, Gary.

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Very impressive Richard the range of industries i.e. cattle, mines, mill, carriage works is spot on for pla ... running sessions :thumbup::thumbup:

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Hi Garry

Yes it was but the staircase is still to be completed. I guess I am halfway there as that is a bit fiddly particularly with the fading eyesight.

Running sessions can be a bit hectic hence my introduction of the remote control sets with the hard wired version reserved for the shunting operations. I did not mention the refuges in that the layout has four, two of which can accommodate up to 35 BCH wagons so I can have a lot of variety. I still make the odd mistake of thinking DC rather than DCC and have the occasional Garratt running up the rear of a stationary passenger set. Not so often now.

Cheers

Richard

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Hi Richard great read and photos of the evolution of your model railway
As others have said Looks like some interesting operating sessions could be run.
Looking forward to further instalments
Thanks for sharing.http://www.click

gormo
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Good one Richard,

You have taken a great approach to the layout. Model what you like and use items from different locations......anything that looks right and takes your fancy.......Rule 1 is definitely in force.

You`ve got plenty to keep your mind busy there especially with running sessions. I have been known to put one train up the rear end of the other on occasion. The penalty of complexity but it does help keep us on the ball.

Looking forward to more installments.

Cheers

Gormo

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Hi Folks

A very nostalgic moment.

I have been searching through my stored stuff looking for some old track when I came across the original Triang train set I refer to earlier. Here she is. Will now be put on permanent static display.



Gary
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Nice pair of grand old girls there Richard, and the coaches as well. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs: I bet they still run as good as they did many moons ago. I have completely stripped these motors down and built them back up again and they ran beautifully.

Cheers, Gary.

gormo
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Lookin` good Richard,

A friend of mine reckons he has something similar from childhood. I am yet to see them though???

They`ll look good in the background on your railway. Will they run on your track or are the flanges too big.???

http://www.click:tophat:Gormo

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Unfortunately the flanges are way too big and I do not want to attempt any modifications. I have plenty of other rolling stock and hence permanent static display. Yep, they still run. We are looking at circa 1955, nine years older than the E.

Cheers' Richard

gormo
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Ah????

So it`s a 64.....nice...:thumbsup:

I`ve got a 69 MGB....nearly the same colour......not quite as refined as a Jag....but fun.

http://www.platform1mrc.com/view_topic.php?id=1279&forum_id=55

http://www.click:tophat:Gormo


Last edited on 26 Oct 2017 11:20 by gormo

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Good to see you have an excellent taste in the colour of classic sports cars. There are only two colours, red and...the rest.Thought you might like to see some photos of my old girl. This is just as she arrived home after restoration:




And this is what gets her moving:

 

gormo
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Ah Yes Richard,

I concur on all your reasoning.

Your Jag is a little beauty......very tasty.....:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

http://www.click:tophat:Gormo

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:thumbs: thanks for posting them up Richard, she looks very nice. How often do you get to put the “pedal to the metal “
Kim

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When the weather is ok (no rain to protect the wire wheels) I try most Saturdays with a few colleagues. It is fairly easy these days as with historic registration, you can now use those vehicles on 50 days of the year plus club events and servicing needs. I occasionally get flashing headlights from oncoming vehicles. Sometimes they are the constabulary.

During the restoration I saw an episode of Top Gear where a restored E Type beat a much later model Aston Martin. At the close they revealed that the E had been given special suspension treatment but it still looked original. I ordered the parts from the UK that evening and they are in mine. Even the fake grease nipples look good. The pedal has been put down around both Eastern Creek and Bathurst. It is exhilarating but no longer on my list of permitted activities.

Cheers

Richard

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Well,

First of all ...... The layout ........ Phenomenal. How long has that taken ? So much to view and the detail is great. Your landscaping is fantastic as well.

Your introduction is a nice build up to how it all came about and echo's so many other people's explaining how the eventual startup is inter tangled with " family life " :avatar: We get there eventually.

A couple of shots in dimmer lighting with your layout lights on would be nice to see. :thumbs:

The Jag. :worship: I'll bet that turns a few heads. You should catch up with Gormo and his MG and have a bit of a classic car rally. Fantastic thread. Keep it coming as I'm sure there will be a few following this.

Thanks for sharing this with us. This is what it's all about.:thumbs:

Cheers

Toto

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Thanks Toto

In fact I will be catching up with Gormo hopefully next week.

Dimmer lighting does look nice. I have a homemade LED strip Light integrated with the overhead lighting duct and it simulates moonlight. Very relaxing in the evening providing you do not lose sight of the running roster.

As to time taken to get thus far, well everything is evolutionary but I guess we could say that the last five years has seen more devotion to its establishment. Still a long way to go but I do appreciate the interest and comments from members.

I have well and truly enjoyed the weathering expertise given by more experienced and talented members. I think I have been able to achieve satisfactory results to date and look forward to both the continuing development of Dargan, the comments from our members and hopefully sometimes I might be able to help others.

Cheers to all

Richard


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Hi Richard,
i'm more than sure that you are qualified to help others. the quality of your work speaks volumes. :thumbs: keep up the great work Kind Sir.
cheers
toto

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There`s always a long way to go for all of us Richard,

It`s a lifetime hobby.....that`s the beauty of it. If it`s ever finished most of just start another one....:mutley2:

http://www.click:tophat:Gormo

Toto
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Hi Richard,

Congratulations on Picture Of The Week. A terrific layout to adorn our pages. I think you will have a few followers on this thread somehow.

Very well done. :thumbs:

Cheers Toto :tophat:

paul_l
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Congrats on Pic of the week, a busy looking layout with plenty of interest.

Paul

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Beautiful car Richard. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

As a former member of the HSRCA, old cars, racing and road are a passion of mine. So tell me, did you drive Bathurst or the Creek in anger...??

Cheers, Gary.

ps..., the layout is great and conrats on PotW. :thumbs:

gormo
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Congrats on pic of the week Richard,

Well done......:thumbs:

http://www.click:tophat:Gormo

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Thanks Folks

Very much appreciated.

As to the racing tracks:

Eastern creek...very much in anger

Bathurst.....tried a bit of anger but then we were interrupted by people driving in the wrong direction.

Cheers

Richard

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Very nice - I love the transit shed. Is that home made?Dave

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Love your work on this layout. I have a similar idea, getting stuff in because I like it, rule No1 is the key here.
I love the landscape up here between Mt Colah and Berowra, when the line just snakes along the ridge. I also really love the area between Mt Vic and Lithgow, which includes Bell and obviously Dargan (must be a theme of ridges here) which I have surveyed quite a lot of.
Also other things like the Hornsby signal box.
I have lots of ideas like you for my layout, involving a number of ideas condensed into much smaller, more manageable space, the ridge line run, the Thornleigh Malt Works, the river etc.
There are lots of 'purists' who would want these all as they are supposed to be, but there has be a level of practicality and therefore creativity, which you have captured well. Having lived in Newie for a while I appreciate your work on the car sheds in the park.
It's really inspiring to see people living my dream!
I might have to wait a little longer on the classic car dream though. The astute observer of my posts will notice a 30+ year old Toyota in the background a lot, still my first car, a one day, modern classic, but is it a classic unless it drips oil on the garage floor??

Cheers
Tony

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I scratch build a lot of my stuff simply because that is the only way to get the end product but I am always on the lookout for things that suit from the great range of laser cut models available on today's market. The Werris Creek transit shed is one such kit but like most things of a commercial nature, kit bashed slightly to better suit the location on my layout.

Cheers and happy modelling

Richard

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Thanks Tony. Appreciate your comments and that regardless of what a purist approach to a layout may be (and don,t get me wrong, they are beautiful) like you I have too many nice things to include in my scene so as I said earlier provided it suits the era, if I like it,  then in it goes.

Our drive car is a Toyota Corolla, the third we have enjoyed over these many years. They do not wear out you just need a fresh face every so often.

Happy modelling

Richard

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Toyota fans here.
The daily car is the Corolla too, the "classic" is the Corona, and the work car is the Hi-Lux.
Cheers
Tony

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Love your work Richard , something to aspire too. Tezza.:thumbs:

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Thanks Tezza

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GLEN DAVIS GETS A LEVEL CROSSING

Even though the car park was there, no road access as I could not decide how best to put in the level crossing. The thought of mucking around with plaster was npt appealing and nothing else came to mind until I saw one of Kathy Millatt's videos on tarmack. So I hold of some 3mm craft foam as she suggested, tried it out and it worked like a charm. So on with the installation:


Demolition work completed




Civil engineering completed (plaster!)



Level crossing using the foam installed


Davoetype
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For some reason I could not post the final shot.

Here it is all completed


Davoetype
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Again the down arrows, enter, etc would not work so another separate post.

The crossing signals are connected to the flasher control unit and works fine. I will be installng track sensors to activate the control unit and they will be on both the up and down lines. A bit tricky but I am told it works ok. Right now enough modelling as the Sun Pricess awaits me at White Bay terminal for a few weeks cruising somewhere North.

Cheers and happy modelling

Richard


SMR CHRIS
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Nice walk through of adding the crossing.
A nice result and it fits the scene just right

Enjoy your cruise hopefully lots of Sunshine for you.

Re photos you may find down sizing the image will allow it to go on I did a test when the the host migration first went on line and the standard iPad or phone image that would previously upload now bounces you but if down sized it posts OK

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Thanks Chris

I had downsized them thanks to Gormo's tuition video and you will see that the first three went ok but it went AWOL after that. Computers I guess.

Cheers

Richard

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Hi Folks

Time to get on with some serious changes

DARGAN THE EXTENSION

While the present layout has plenty of interesting track work and scope for train operations, it could not cope with my expanding interest in scenery and structures so I needed more space. Plenty of room in the shed but it would involve a major reorganisation of bench and machinery locations particularly as all equipment is ducted to a central dust extraction system. The bullet has been bitten (or chewed over at length?) and after a fair bit of effort, all equipment has been relocated, new ducts installed and suitable space allocated to the new extension.





That is not E Type oil on the floor, merely where she dribbles in the expectation of her next outing.

As part of the extension I wanted to achieve more storage for rolling stock so a new cabinet has been constructed to go under the extension. One side is shown above. Here is what it contains.









The structure is made from Tassie Oak so it is quite sturdy and presentable.

So now on with the extension. This is the connection point to the existing layout. The plan calls for the twin mainlines to run around the new city of Dargan but with a concentration on buildings and scenery rather than more complicated track work. The extension will add some 30 metres of track to the existing 73 metres.



Here is the first addition



Note I have kept one track intact so I can continue to play trains.

This is where the extension is heading. I have not filled in the centre section for ease of access during construction and wiring.






And this is just about the extent of things.




Should be an interesting outcome but at least it will keep me off the streets.

Hppy modelling


Richard

Toto
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Wow, a great addition. Plenty of operating access so no issues there. I like the storage solution for your stock. It would be too cold and damp over here to get away with that but it would be ideal rather than being kept in boxes. It will severely reduce the potential damage due to handling.

Keep your updates coming.

Cheers

Toto

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I love the idea of "The City of Dargan", as anyone who has even been there it is a funny concept, one coffee shop and not much else last time we were up there if I remember correctly.
Cheers
Tony

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Thanks Toto

A long way to go but most enjoyable. I have done a bit more and will keep all posted on progress. The cabinet is in addition to some 24 metres of storage track shelving that sits just behind the overhead ducted lighting but I wanted something better for the locos and unit trains. Naturally I will have to extend the overhead ducted lighting to the new extension but that is just another project

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

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Yes Tony

If the Mountains were designed properly then Dargan would have been one of the the main centres but along with Harley Grange, Little Hartley and Glen Davis, it is my concept of a different Blue Mountains. Certainly scope to do them as I want.

Cheers

Richard

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Wow, what a great expansion taking place. Looking forward to the ongoing build. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

Cheers, Gary.

ps, enjoy the cruise... ;)

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Thanks Garry...and congratulations on the Golden Goat Award.

Cheers

Richard

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Hi Folks

A few either hot or rainy days which prevented much outside gardening  gave me a bit of time to devote to more rewarding efforts. So I just had to get on with the track work regardless of the incomplete state of the timber work. A few aches and pains later achieved the main integration between the old and the new:




At that point I just had to keep going so the final track extension has been completed including the installation of the DCC bus and connection to each segment of new track:



The timber work still needs much attention but wow...now I can run trains over a very satisfying length of track. Next on the schedule will be completion of the enclosing timber work and track ballasting. More rain is promised so I am expecting to see major achievements.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

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Hi Richard you have made great progress on the extensions.

Is the extension purely a scenic part of the railway or are there any plans for a second station or a siding or two etc to add some operational aspect to the extension.
Trains will certainly look good winding there way round the layout:thumbs:

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Hi Chris

Yes Dargan is an integral part of the operational characteristics of the expanded layout.

As I outlined earlier in my thread, the existing layout comprised  the main station at Hartley Grange, a halt station at Hartley Minor looking after the grain silos, etc, the Mining operation at Glen Davis and the home suburb of Dargan which was yet to be built. Dargan will be serviced by point to point rail motor services from Hartley Grange (via single unit RM 401 in the off peak and twin unit RM 621/721 in peak periods) and is also on the same main Western line as the others so naturally will require a main line station.

This provides the necessary rationale for Dargan to house all the scenics, commercial and residential buildings as well as a fully operational part of the layout with a small siding and dock station for the RMs. For the detail you will all have to wait as although the embryo is developed, the detail has not.

Cheers and happy modelling

Richard

PS

I am particularly happy with RM 401 as shown in my initial post. It is a very early Stephen Johnson  kit which was always lacking in the finer detail. I finally found an ancient piece of film/video that showed 401 on its final run up to the now closed line to Dorrigo and was able to complete the detail of the under floor braking, fuel tanks, etc and above roof cooling systems. Luckily the film also included sound so I was able to use a sound decoder from 601/701 to replicate 401 including the alternative horn sounds used for either rural or suburban use.

 

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Wow Richard,

That`s a big increase in the length of run you have there.

God bless the rain.........it allows us to model without a guilty conscience .....:mutley2::mutley2::mutley2::mutley2:

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A little more progress and one that I was looking forward to...the completion of ballasting. I have also tidied up the timber work so that it now resembles the perimeter of the final product.




With ballasting on the done list, now time for the construction of Dargan's station. The twin platform is designed to take full main line sets and there is also the incorporation of the dock platform to cater for the point to point rasil motor services.station




While I was hot on the timber work, I also progressed with the back scene enclosure for that fateful day when I actually get some back scenes in place.  I also took the opportunity to rework the mine area so I could run the back scene ply around the brick work.





Yes...also did the sky blue painting so now I can get on with some serious scenery. But first I just had to run a train or two. This is 6040 and 6020 (4.8.8.4/ 4.8.8.4  Beyer Garratts) hauling 35 BCH bogie coal trucks. They are both DCC sound locos and make for an impressive run by at eye level.

Before the scenery I need to provide a small siding near the rail motor dock to provide for the local sheep farmers and trades.

Back to the shed!

Cheers and happy modelling

Richard

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Looking good so far Richard. I bet you are glad that the ballasting has been completed !

Cheers, Gary.

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You bet....my aches and pains have subsided but the memory lingers on. Its all just plain fun from here on in.

Cheers

Richard

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You`re really cracking on at a pace there Richard.

Nice to see the back scene there protecting the jag from runaway trains....:mutley2::mutley2::mutley2::mutley2:

Keep up the good work...:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

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Looks awesome, I wish I had as much room to play in :mutley2:. I love those Garratts, what an incredible engine!

Pete.  

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Looking really good :thumbs::thumbs:

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Yes Pete

The Garratts were an amazingly powerful beast and yet among  the first to be retired when the hugely successful 44 class diesels were introduced.

The working conditions on the 60's (I am told by those who did it) were quite horrendous, the noise, heat and vibration being the worst. You will see that my 6040 has been fitted with extended sound pipes which run just in front of the leading wheels. These pipes could then pick up the sound of track detonators and transmit that explosion to the crew via a metal megaphone in the cab who otherwise would have been quite oblivious to the noise of the detonator above that of the loco. Not a good result otherwise  for the track workers down the line.

This background was related to me by a good aquaintance of mine who allowed me to accompany him on the footplate while he was in charge of 3801 from Central to Picton. All he said then was "Brother, this is luxury compared to the 60's"

Cheers

Richard

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Hi Folks

Amazing what you can achieve when you are having fun. Certainly time to get on with the scenery so away I went.

Much cooler in the Shed than Sydney's unusually early Summer but of course, everyone says it is normal and that I just did not remember last year. I sure did remember last year and do not recall 43 degrees C this early in December. The upside of course is that you do not have to wait long for plaster based products to dry. So here is the first major division between the old and new extension which represent the portals of the spiro tunnels separating the High level Dargan and lower level Hartleys.

I use octagonal aviary wire for the structure of my scenery as it very pliable and easy to mould to requirements. You need to use a large number of supports of different heights but this is not a problem when you have access to a band saw two metres away.





Note the first infill to the base board as I no longer need that area for access. i have also provided some basic station amenities for the long suffering locals who up until now have had to wait in the weather. I will discuss the various station buildings adopted by the NSWGR in  later post as they appear in Dargan and other related stations on the layout.

The patrons also do not need to risk their lives crossing the tracks as the authorities have decided in their wisdom to provide over bridge pedestrian access. 

(In truth I have had this pedestrian bridge waiting in the wings for a good while. Constructing the staircases was a nightmare)



I cover the aviary wire with coarse brown paper (comes in 250 mm wide rolls), mist spray then paint with two coats of ballast strength PVA. I then paint with three coats of BASE 45. I have long given up using straight plaster products as you do not get time to create before things get too hard to work or adjust.



The rise over the Spiro tunnel portals shows the result after application of the BASE 45 whereas the front section is what it looks like before.

I still get to run trains around the layout and already I am seeing a glimmer of what it could look like with seven or eight trains running concurrently.

As to how I can keep control those trains, even at yard speed settings on my NCE is another matter entirely.


Cheers

and happy modelling.

Richard 




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...and the Blue Mountains grow ! Looking good Richard. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

I used to use the el-cheapo chux clothe dipped in a thin plaster solution and apply over styrofoam for a base. To create rock surfaces, I would paint on a thicker mix of plaster and when 3/4 set, carve strata into the face. Where I wanted rock out crops, I would build up some heavier plaster and carve into shape, followed by a scrapping with a wire brush and a kitchen knife.

Here is an example of my work on my son's old layout 'Jacks Corner'...



Cheers, Gary.

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I use the styrofoam for smaller and lower areas like the perimeter of the extension but find it hopeless to mould (and messy) for bigger areas where I use the wire method. The beauty of BASE 45 is that you can play with it and mould like plaster but you have those 45 minutes to work it. After the 45 minutes, bang, it is rock hard and can be sanded and sealed.

Cheers

Richard

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Big mistake on the last progress update....forgot to mention that lovely wife had completed and installed the black skirt around the extension to match the existing. Easily the most impressive and professional part of the extension so far.






Thanks a million darl.

(I think I am forgiven?)

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

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Did you promise Mrs Etype a new kitchen for Christmas...?? :avatar::avatar:

The curtain look great. :thumbs::thumbs:

Cheers, Gary.

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I think I am doing all of the cooking for the Christmas feast.

cheers

 Richard

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That's a pretty good compromise in my opinion. :thumbs:

Cheers, Gary.

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Hi Folks

A bit more progress as there is every reason to stay in the shed. In Sydney it  is either 40 degrees C or 20 degrees and raining. The garden is in reasonable shape so some enjoyable modelling in the shed is far more attractive.

I have completed the base coat 45 application to the first of the scenery, notably the area of the layout where new meets old. This is a great product which sets (in 45 minutes) and can then be painted, sanded or whatever. Certainly speeds up the process compared to straight plaster.

To accommodate the new extension I had to demolish the small foothill adjoining the Glen Davis mine and this has now been replaced with the base of the mountain. The car park also incorporates a level crossing which is fitted with flashing lights. A set of operating boom gates is on order to complete that segment as well as a sound card for the warning bells. The portal to the right is the return access from the Dargan extension.




While I could have made one large mountain scene between the existing and new components, I recently visited the old disused station at Helensburg South of Sydney. This was on the original single line track and has long been superced by the existing twin track main line, The old station sits between two tunnels andthe location is quite picturesque so I incorporated my version which provides a glimpse of daylight for the passengers between hte two large spiro tunnels. The spot is of course referred to as "The Gap"



Here is c closer view






This view shows the scenery between the two parts of the layout.



And this is the other side.



Installation of static grass is well under way although there is still a lot to do. Then I will turn my attention to trees.

Somehow I do not think that the forthcoming festivities will allow much scope to retire to the shed so therefore I will just sit back and enjoy things with our still growing family.

Merry Christmas to all and a safe and happy new Year

Cheers
and happy modelling

Richard



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Progressing at a pace there Richard and it’s looking good.
You could also say it’s part of the Tunnels climbing the mountains as there are some short gaps between some of those :thumbs:
The tunnel works well in that area as a scenic break

Like the 421 as well you have to love a Streamliner, Auscision?? I’ve got a colourful candy one #42106. Picked up at a bargain price as it didn’t run, it was only missing the dummy 21 bridge plug DCC decoder fitted and it’s a perfect runner.:thumbup:

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Hi Chris

Yes it is an Auscision (421060 and I also have 42101. As class leader, 42101 is not weathered nor are any of my other class leaders. They work reasonably well together as a consist but I still get that occasional (Dark Art!!) dcc consist problem when the locos decide not to like each other. Lost the decoder in 42106 a few weeks ago when apparently a minor component fried itself for no logical reason?

To improve consisting I am presently looking at the speed matching device I see on Youtube which is a USA item. Looks to be a very good solution but how to get hold of it s a different matter. I will post a news item if I can get hold of it and if it works as well as it seems to.

Cheers

Richard

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The measurement device is Accutrack by Model Railroad Technologies so if anyone knows where I can source this unit (other than USA with its horrendous postage costs) that would be appreciated. In the meantime I will get on with static grassing....or is that stati grazing?

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

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Great!

I have sourced the Accutek and at a reasonable delivery cost to OZ. Really looking forward to this as it will allow me to DCC speed match every locomotive in the fleet rather than just those of identical manufacture and decoder.

I will follow this through as a separate topic.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

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Fantastic looking layout. Just finished reading this whole post. One thing we have in common, is the fact I am currently living on the Mornington Peninsula. The Stony point line is the branch line that I am going to loosely base my layout on.

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Being an ex Melburnian (Frankston) , I am very familiar with the Stony Point line.

Wow, what a wonderful opportunity you have to model a very expansive and quite historical era of the Victorian railways including a range of rail motors, streamliners, K class steamer heritage runs and so forth.You can also include the heavy freighters serving the steel works from Hastings.

Even though I am committed to NSWGR, I have to admit that there is nothing more appealing than a beautiful blue and gold B Class streamliner (Sir Harold Clapp as a preference) rolling gently through the vales of the Peninsula.

Best of enjoyment as you develop your layout and I look forward to your further posts with very much interest and appreciation.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard


 

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The engine room

Since our tribe have decided to make their own ways in life, we have been able to convert bedroom # 2 into a guest room for our interstate visitors (note Interstate Not local inebriates)
bedroom # 3 into Lovely Wife's sewing and art room and bedroom # 4 into my indoor retreat. Lets face it, the shed can be a bit cold in winter and certainly a bit hot in summer. With electricity cost rising so rapidly in NSW, air conditioning of the shed is not an option.

So here is what  the engine room looks like:




Note the PFM 1 on the PC screen.

Over the years,  I have made a variety of structures that took my fancy, both in kit form and scratch built. The hope was that one day I would be able to create a layout that could accommodate most if not all of them. Dargan is that solution.

We are looking at a place where old and much smaller dwellings were the norm such as the coal mining towns of Maitland and Cessnock in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney. Small 20 foot frontages were the norm as were terrace dwellings closer to the town centre. This is a closer view of what I have on the go at the moment. The terraces look pristine but will be weathered down to show failure of cement rendering (acknowledgement to Kathy Millatt) and therefore fit the bill.





So the real issue with Dargan is not the placement of structure but the actual layout and civil design. Still love my buildings and here is a closer view



I love the "extra pair of hands" modelling assist both for structures and even holding things in place for soldering. An easy assist for bushes on the side of tunnel portals until the glue dries. Cheap as chips also,

The era of Dargan is conducive to the inclusion of many historical buildings. I like that.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

PS I just noted the inclusion of a glass of fairly acceptable red on my desk. Oh well, such is life!








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great thread ...... keep it coming. ehhh ..... that includes the red wine . :avatar::thumbs:

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Thanks Toto

You can count on the red wine supply chain being a continuing feature.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

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Great spot for modelling Richard. You certainly have a lot on the go at the moment on that desk... :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

Do I spot an 80 Class, 3 x K wagons (with barrels) and a NGAX bogie grain wagon ?? ;)

Cheers, Gary.

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Yes Gary. Right on all things other than the loce which is a 44 suffering from the horrible split gear syndrome. Would love to be able to fix them. Yes right on the rest. Just need a bit more weathering on the Ks. The NGAX is one of those weathering projects that needs a bit of attention but I am sure I will get it right at some stage. They are a great model.

The terraces are going to look a good part of the era on the layout but I am still experimenting with the final colours. Have had three shots already and still not right. Thats OK as eventually I will get the sanction of Lovely Wife on their appearance instead of "its not quite right dear" or "is it a bit too dark?". Better to have an in house evaluator than get it wrong?

Hopefully the weather in Sydney will get below 40 so the shed can become a little more appealing. In these temperatures, taking the old E out for a run is not an option.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard



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Hi Folks

Well I have managed to achieve a bit more progress so now the foothill slope down into Dargan has been completed and static grass installation well under way.



Yes the white guide post do have silver and red reflectors installed.



This is the mountain road access into Dargan and is not really recommended for the faint hearted. The bridge is strong enough but care needs to be taken by the inexperienced driver when turning off the bridge onto the unsealed road.








Some more shrubbery has been added to the North West portal.



The main road access into Dargan, however, has been completed and while flashing lights have been installed, we still await the arrival of the boom gates and warning bells sound card.



Next steps should see the expansion of station and commercial facilities at the new sidings. The local farmers have long awaited the ability to move livestock via rail and cannot get this service soon enough. I will try my best to meet their requirements.

Cheers for now
and happy modelling

Richard

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Better let the lead foot in the XR/XT/XY Falcon to slow down !! :eek: They were quick in a straight line, but cornering was slightly compromised !! :lol:

I have seen that Bob's Hobbies has the 44 Class axles still for sale at $3.50 per axle... I might grab myself a few sets, just in case... :whatever:

https://www.bobshobbies.com.au/Trainorama-44-Class-Replacement-AxelWheels

Cheers, Gary.

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I understand they also fit the 49 class but I cannot be sure. Have a few spares just in case but still need to know how to fit the darn things to my twp 44s in need,

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

PS with split axle gears, the list so far is two 44s, one 49, one AR Kits 45 and one Auscision 422.

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Meant to mention that the Falcon did not make it around the corner and ended up on the track!Cheers

Richard

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Great bit of scenery Richard :thumbup:


Ed

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Looking good, makes me want to visit the Blue Mountains :thumbsup:

Phil

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Hi Richard,
That just inspired me to run my Trainorama 44 round my track, just to keep it exercised a bit. I understand they can be quite difficult to do, haven't done mine, but I do have a full set of spare axles. But the summary from what I gather is that anyone who is a real modeller as opposed to a 'plonker' should be ok. Anyone who owns an E-type of course would understand!
Surprised to hear about some other of your models, my 45 seems rock solid, and the fanboys for your 422 wouldn't want to hear about problems from that company's products :scratch chin: (there I go, i could be shot down in flames:mutley2:
Love your scenery work as usual, is that Lantana? maybe you could put in a sign to warn the driver of their impending doom!
Cheers
Tony:mrgreen::mrgreen:

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Thanks Folks

Not supposed to look like lantana but I guess a little bit of invasive species is not new to OZ.  It is a bit tough when you hear of modellers that have barely run their 44s and yet suffer from the problem. Must be an age thing rather than heavy usage. Mine have all had very limited use. My 422 could well be one of a kind but still it is there. I wonder if any of us ever have all locos running properly at the one time? Part of the challenge I guess

Cheers

and happy modelling regardless of the odd problem

Richard

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Great looking scenery Richard, sometimes static grass is a little bright but you've got the mix just right.

Cheer's, Pete.

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Thanks Pete

And I have managed to avoid any electric shock accidents this time around.

Cheers
and happy modelling

Richard

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That scenery is coming along very nicely Richard,

What a transformation and you are working quickly.......:thumbs:

http://www.click:tophat:Gormo

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Thanks Gormo

I have to admit that the continuing conversations with our members and discussing their progress does keep the interest on the boil.

Was out in the shed last night and having great fun with a night time running. Big problem was that the Dargan extension does not have the overhead ducted lighting that the existing layout has which makes the scene so much fun at night. Yep, out to Bunnings first thing and acquired the timber, MDF, hooks, screws, chain, etc to rectify matters. All timber has since been sawn to shape and made ready for installation tomorrow!

Breaking news from Lovely Wife...no way trains tomorrow as we are going down to daughter's beach house for a few days AM tomorrow!!!

All good things come to those modellers who wait.

I see from other postings that Toto was a virtue of patience but that the gave up and cancelled his order. Most of us do not have that luxury.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard


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Just back from daughter's beach house where the temperature was 23 degrees but it is 43 degrees in Sydney. Lighting will still have to wait.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

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Richard,
The heat might not be all wasted modelling time however, could be worth checking the new sections of track for thermal expansion in this heat. I learnt this the hard way.
Just about to hit 44 degrees in Berowra now.
Cheers
Tony

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Tony

You are right with the expansion problem. Did not cop it today but have had it before. Thank goodness for my narrow profile air cut off saw. Fixes the issue and in winter provides an authentic wheel clip as the carriage wheels go over the slots.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

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Hmm I might miss out on 5 months running per year but I am not sure I'd enjoy 43 degrees! Dave

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Yes, Sydney was a scorcher today. My train room was 34*C in there, so I walked back out ! Western Sydney reached a maximum of 47.3*C... :oops:

Cheers, Gary.

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As Britain's worst newspaper (all of them) would say - "Phew what a scorcher!"

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Just been hearing about the temperatures in Australia on the radio, hope everyone is keeping cool and no buckling of the rails!  

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They reckoned on our local news that Western Sydney was the hottest place on the planet yesterday....47.3 c as Gary said.

Mind you I found London, this year, at 34 c even more unbearable due to the high humidity. Sounds stupid I know, but there you are.........a good percentage of Australia has a dry heat which makes a big difference. That said though.......it would be crazy to be outdoors yesterday in 47.3.....it`s quite dangerous, especially for the elderly and those with medical conditions etc.

Sorry Richard........I`m hijacking your thread here.????

http://www.click:tophat:Gormo

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Not at all Gormo..It all adds up to the historical environment and the trials and tribulations during the development of Dargan. I actually got some of the lighting duct assembled early this morning but now the humidity has taken its toll and I have retired for the day.

Cheers
and happy modelling

Richard

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Hi Folks

Well somewhere between the heat and the humidity, I have managed to get stage two of the display lighting in place.  In the cool of the evening a few days ago when I decided to have a quiet running session just to myself, it was just not good enough for the Dargan extension to be in to be in total darkness so I just had to press on. Now this was not an easy install as the lighting ducts are quite heavy. Installing them also a real test of my diminishing stamina. Woke this morning with very, very testing muscles. BUT it is in:







The combined ducted display holds 18 dichotics rated at 20 watts each. There is a dimmer system to give me mood lighting as required. This pic is taken with full settings. On the existing layout I also have an LED track light of 130 white LEDS which I laboriously put together on timber track beside the lighting duct rwo years ago. Supposed to simulate moon lighting which it does quite effectively. Will not be provided to the Dargan extension. One of thos enhancements that seemed like a good idea at the time. Must have been in the dead of winter when I had nothing else to do?

And here is the first grand switch on from this evening:



View towards the west:




I do wish there was a photo god who could show me how to put a 7 m x 5 m layout into proper perspective.

This will not be a problem for much longer as a very good acquaintance of mine has said to me quite clearly "Stand aside Richard and let the Professionals have a go" He says something about video and Youtube and all these other strange things I do not want to experiment with.

Is that yet another glass of very acceptable red in the foreground of Pic three? I must be far more vigilant in the future lest we in OZ gain some form of totally unwarranted reputation?

Time to  retire as the temperature has now reduced to a very acceptable 23.


Cheers

and very happy modelling

Richard

AND I am going to love boring you with DCC speed matching on a new thread!!!

Dr Tony
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Very impressive work with the lighting rig there Richard. Been playing a bit with these small halogens myself as they can simulate sunlight rather well, especially with regard to the sharp edge of shadows. You've also got some very good looking floor "house lighting" above, can never have enough light when working!
Your posts with the glass of red can be a little like "where's Wally?", but I'll have to give up, I can't find it.
Don't worry about our reputation, think they deal with brandy over the other side.
Temperature is going to be high again today, so I'm back on a boat, not modelling for me!
Cheers
Tony

Last edited on 12 Jan 2018 20:27 by Dr Tony

Vinylelpea
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Glad to see you've seen the light. 🤓

Phil

Gary
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Looking good Richard. I do like the last pic with the layout lit up in the dark. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

Cheers, Gary.

ianvolvo46
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Lighting? ... I just see tinto ... in a glass ... the best sort of tinto ... in fact the only sort of tinto ... oh got it now ... the lights above the tinto ... very smart and modern

Ian vt :faint:

Davoetype
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Yes guys

Do not have the front open very often (need to keep the dust out) but on these summer evenings late at nigh tit is pleasant to have a quiet running session with the cool evening breeze.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

Davoetype
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Hi Folks

I think we all very much appreciated the recent spell of temperate weather in Sydney and the chance to do some sustained modelling. The local farmers of the Dargan district have long been agitating for decent transport arrangements and at long last sheep handling facilities have commenced operations. Here is the first outrbound shipment:



With a closer view:






Freight handling facilities have also been provided although on a limited scale compared to the much more extensive infrastructure already available at the two nearby Hartleys:







and a general view of the new additions:



All in all it is a very busy day at Dargan with the local rail motor ready to go as soon as 6040 has cleared the main with its line of coalies and the wheat bound for the west resumes its journey to Wellington.

Seems like more very hot weather is about to strike so that will be all that can be achieved in the short term.

Next steps are to complete the detail of Dargan station including some decent accommodation for the Station Master of this very prestigious posting.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard



Gary
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The scene looks good Richard. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

Is the stock race a laser cut kit ??

Cheers, Gary.

Ron
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Looking good Richard, I like the cattle loading ramps! :thumbup:

ianvolvo46
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Really like that Richard :tophat::tophat:

Ian vt

Vinylelpea
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Love it, you'ver really captured that iconic Australia scene. I swear I saw those sheep move.

Phil

Reidy
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Hi Richard,

Just doing some catching up. Nice to see a good local layout in progress. Thanks for sharing.

Re the Trainorama split gears. I have 6 locomotives from this company. Luckily I have only come across one in this group with the split gears. I have purchased new gears from a gentlemen on eBay who assured me its an easy fix. I have a guide saved somewhere on my computer that I can share which might help with the axle replacements.

Reidy

Davoetype
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Hi Guys and many thanks for your comments.

The fencing and ramps are just my scratch build attempts. A bit of time involved but on those hot days, the air conditioned study does have its benefits. For most things, I just use craft scale timbers readily available from your local hobby shop and having cut to size, hold each rail in place with the tip of an Xacto blade (gently) while the super glue sets to a hold situation.

Thanks also to Reidy and I would really appreciate some info on how to replace those annoying gears. I have the new replacements but not the know how.

I cannot emphasize too much the impact that the development of this latest posting has had on the advice from our members. There are too many to be specific but you all know who you are. But the gentle weathering of the freight yard cyclone wire fence, the timber shading added to the timber fencing, shading of the sheep down from pure white to that greyish colour seen in the paddocks, the sheep dog in the loading yard and of course, weathering of the rolling stock which was my first major achievement based on the input from many members. 

So thanks guys and I hope to continue to improve. One thing I do no mind now is that if I am not satisfied then demolish and have another go. Why not...it is only a bit of time?

Cheers
and happy modelling

Richard

PS there is a comatose and inebriated worker just near the fence. Should he stay there?

 

Gary
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I think a model is much more rewarding if you create it yourself, so 'nice work' on the stock race and fences. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

Do you cut your scale timbers with a knife or do you have a chopper ?? I own a NWSL Chopper which helps immensely when cutting several pieces of the same length.

https://www.amazon.com/Northwest-Short-Line-The-Chopper/dp/B000YDIMZS  or the Mk2 version of the Chopper...

https://www.amazon.com/Northwest-Short-Line-Chopper-II/dp/B004P3SRI0

Cheers, Gary.

ed
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Davoetype wrote:

PS there is a comatose and inebriated worker just near the fence. Should he stay there?

 


Face down like that, looks more like a case for the constabulary :lol:


Ed

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Thanks Gary

I use a knife and laboriously cut each piece to size. The chopper is certainly going to speed things up.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

Toto
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Fantastic scenes. Good job of the ramps in particular. :thumbs:

Davoetype
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Thanks Toto

It will be even quicker in the future with Gary's chopper.

Cheers

and happy modelling

Richard

Dr Tony
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Nice job of the wood post and rail, my next challenge, hopefully a chopper is coming my way. Love the door half ajar on the shed.
Hope the guy face down hasn't been imbibing in too much decent red wine:thumbs:
Cheers
Tony




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