Passionfruit Creek

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Layouts' started by Robyn, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. Robyn

    Robyn Full Member

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    My first layout 'Greetham' had been to just over 100 model railway shows and it was getting tired, I knew that it would not be long before it would be relegated to memory and when the decision was finally made it seemed quite sad. I had been asked quite often when the next layout would be ready and silly me I made a commitment to have a new layout for the AMRA NSW show in September 2001. I had plenty of time as the show was some months away...well, as they say the best laid plans..I was down to 3 weeks before the show and I had no layout and no ideas, oh dear what to do. A funny thing happened on the way back to Brisbane and I crossed a tiny little creek that had the biggest name, Passionfruit Creek... damn, I thought what a stupid name for a tiny little creek. This name played on my mind and suddenly I had the idea that this would make a great name for a narrow gauge layout and by the time I arrived home I had a plan. Passionfruit Creek would be a tourist railway set in Victoria that would take you on a journey into history and that seems plausible.

    I spent a bit of time scribbling ideas on paper and decided that I would build four boxes each representing a different scene which were:
    1. The tourist railway centre where you jumped on the train and bought souvenirs, had a cuppa...you know the story.

    2. Echuca wharf and the paddlesteamers that run on the Murray River.

    3. The Victorian gold rush era showing different mining methods.

    4. The Dandenong ranges where timber was felled.
    All this seemed simple enough, but it had to happen in a couple of weeks as I had to get the layout to Sydney for the show. One thing I did fail to consider was the fact that I had no narrow gauge locos or rolling stock and I will elaborate further on this later. The boxes were 1200mm x 600mm x 600mm high and each was fitted with its own fluoro light. This photo shows me in my best attire busily building the boxes.

    Build_Pass_Ck.jpg

    This photo shows one of the completed boxes.

    Passionfruit Ck Box.jpg

    This concept was quite good as the boxes could sit on top of each other which made storing the layout quite easy.
     

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  2. Robyn

    Robyn Full Member

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    The next stage was to create the scenery in each module and these photos give an idea of how that was achieved. The majority of the scenery was built up using polystyrene and plaster bandage and when painted the scatter was then applied.

    This photo shows the basic work done on the paddlesteamer module. Please ignore my handbag and glasses sitting on the track.

    Passionfruit Ck Under Construction 6.jpg

    This shows the Tourist centre starting to take shape.

    Passionfruit Ck Under Construction7.jpg

    The gold rush module which is quite advanced including the rather hastily made buildings and an amazing poppet head built by my dear friend Bill.

    Passionfruit Ck Under Construction 3.jpg

    You can see that I have started painting the backscene and to ensure that the transition between each module was similar I used the same colours throughout.

    Finally this photo shows the paddlesteamer module slightly more advanced I have removed the Echuca wharf that Bill made so I could splash paint around and not damage it. The Murray river was made using a sheet of clear acrylic which I had painted on the back using a blended mix of colours to try and match the muddy colour it was then flipped over and I applied acrylic gel medium to create the ripple effect.

    Passionfruit Ck Under Construction 2.jpg
     
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  3. Robyn

    Robyn Full Member

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    My final instalment, rolling stock...well I managed to pick up a couple of Roco locos and spent a fair bit of my time at the show sitting at a desk behind the layout building wagons and a couple of locos. I have always believed that presentation is really important and because the layout was based in the 1800's I pulled out my sewing machine and made a lilac coloured 1800's dress and Bill wore a waistcoat fob watch and a cap reminiscent of the time. The funny thing was that people seemed more interested in taking photos of me in my dress than capturing shots of the layout. I think for two weeks of panicked work the layout didn't front up too bad and people liked it much more than I did. The Dandenong ranges module was quite popular and this was literally thrown together at the last moment using some branches from a tree that a neighbour was cutting down quickly sprayed with some cans of colour, a handful of leaves and some soil from the garden and we were loaded and on our way. I have to admit that I was quite surprised that the layout was highly commended by the judges and their comment was interesting but, hey I'll take that.
    HIGHLY COMMENDED 1 (Australian Layout)
    28. Passionfruit Creek (Robyn Taylor)
    Comments: Whilst perhaps not the most authentically-styled or elaborate layout, Passionfruit Creek nevertheless reflects great credit on its creator.

    You can see in the photos that to reduce the harshness of the roof of the boxes I placed some artificial plants and flowers which draped over the front and created the effect of looking through the foliage to the layout itself

    The layout was quite well received by the public and modellers but I never really thought it was that good, we exhibited it at a number of shows and eventually the layout was sold after a battle between a tourist information centre and a modeller...the modeller won. I have no idea of its current state but I had fun building it.

    Passionfruit Creek Tourist Centre.jpg

    Passionfruit Creek Paddlesteamers.jpg

    Passionfruit Creek Gold Rush.jpg

    Passionfruit Creek Dandenong.jpg
     
  4. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Wow Robyn, they look great in the final photos!
    The info panels look most professional, which gives it a different feel too

    I look forward to the next instalment :thumbs:
     
  5. Robyn

    Robyn Full Member

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    Thank you Andy, If I find any more photos I will put them up here but there isn't much more to say about this layout. It is quite funny that everyone loved it but I just could not get excited about it and therefore didn't take a lot of photos.
     
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  6. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Really excellent. I like the whole modular style. The builds are very impressive Robyn.

    Thanks for sharing these with us.

    Toto
     
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  7. Vinylelpea

    Vinylelpea Full Member

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    Excellent. What did Paul Kelly write, From little things, big things grow.
     
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  8. Gloria Aldridge

    Gloria Aldridge Full Member

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    Hi Robyn,
    What a lovely display, your photos are lovely showing all the detail of the time and effort you have put into it.I wish you good luck with it.
    My kindest regards,
    Gloria.
    Ps Please keep safe hun.
     
  9. Robyn

    Robyn Full Member

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    Thank you Gloria, you stay safe as well during these very trying times. Robyn
     
  10. Robyn

    Robyn Full Member

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    I have just found some photos of the climax loco I made for the layout. This was made while at the show using anything I could find including parts from a pen I pulled apart which supplied the chimney the dome and the little knobby thing on the front that I thought looked like a light. The body was fitted to a Model Power SD7 N scale chassis and certainly looked the part. The model sadly fell from the layout when it was bumped by an enthusiastic child, the mech was OK but these photos show some of the damage to the model which wasn't the end of the world although the child's parent could not be convinced that this was made from junk in around an hour. I often wonder if they still think it was a highly expensive model.

    climax-1.jpg

    climax-2.jpg

    climax-3.jpg
     
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  11. Robyn

    Robyn Full Member

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    Some slightly more close up shots of the layout showing some of the buildings which were all made in a night..thank goodness for Corel Draw, the Cobb and Co building proudly boasts its ability to supply tickets to all parts of the colony. The Government Assayer was there to assess your gold find and no doubt shave a little off the value for themselves. The warning sign on the building makes it quite clear that if you don't have a current miner's licence you would be slapped in irons and given a good thrashing, they were very tough in those days.


    Passionfruit Creek-2.jpg

    Some of the other buildings from the gold rush module include the Iron Mongers, M. Flashnprint Photographer, The Undertaker whose motto of "Utmost Discretion at all Times" is questionable considering the coffin leaning against the wall. The last one in this photo is I. Pullem and Faint the Dentists.

    PICT0165 (2).JPG

    In order to add another paddlesteamer to that module I created a freelance model that I named 'Louise' which is my middle name, it was quite funny when a patron at one of the shows exclaimed that they had gone for a trip on the paddlesteamer 'Louise' and praised me for modelling it so well, I didn't have the heart to tell them it was a made up design.

    Passionfruit Creek-1.jpg
     
  12. Gloria Aldridge

    Gloria Aldridge Full Member

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    Hi Robyn,
    Thank you will do,
    Regards,
    Gloria
     
  13. Gloria Aldridge

    Gloria Aldridge Full Member

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    Hi Robyn,
    Sorry to keep troubling you, you are one good lady modeller Your latest photos are brilliant well done. Wish my modelling skills were that good,My partner was very impressed with your work thank you for showing it to us all.
    Regards,
    Gloria
     
  14. Chatty

    Chatty Full Member

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