Category Archives: Uncategorized

Well, I’m still here..!

Hi all,

Apologies for the lack of posts since April 2022. Here’s a brief catch up.

Bogie Ballast Plough

I completed the assembly and detailing of the Stephen Johnson Models bogie ballast plough kit.

I got it to the point where it received a primer undercoat, but that got stripped off again as I wasn’t happy with the finish. It’s currently still sitting on the workbench.

UP Staging Yard extension – Part 2

Work commenced on removing the existing turnouts at the other end of the Up staging yard to accommodate some new 3-way turnouts to complete the lengthening of these yards.

All the turnouts were removed and the PCB sleepers and rail salvaged. Two new 3-way turnouts were built.

New source of XPS foam for scenery

Ever since Bunnings ceased stocking the Knauf XPS foam sheets, I had spent time trying to source a replacement. I contacted a few suppliers but most wanted exorbitant shipping costs to Port Macquarie. I eventually found a building supply company near Canberra that could ship unlimited sheets to me for only $85. So an order of 25 sheets (2400 x 600 x 30mm) was placed just prior to Christmas. The cost per sheet came to $28, and as these were double the size of the old Knauf ones, they ended up being about $4 more expensive. I can live with that. Having replenished my stock of foam, I can now resume scenery work between Doughboy Hollow and Ardglen.

Spline prep at Ardglen for future turnout controls

One of my goals for this year is to continue tracklaying through Ardglen and onto Pangela. For this to proceed, some cutting of the spline at the turnout locations was necessary.

The locations in the main area of Ardglen were quite straightforward. This involved removing a section of spline with a router down to a depth of approximately 6mm to accommodate a piece of ply. Once this was glued in position, the remaining spline underneath the ply was cut away. Extra supports either side of the cut-out are also installed where required.

However, the turnout leading from the loop extension into the ballast sidings required a bit more thinking of how to get the router in there, considering I had already laid track on the mainline.

So a plan was devised to support the router over the mainline track using some old melamine shelving that I had. This did the job well.

New motive power arrives

In the last week, Auscision Models delivered their ALCo 44 class locomotives. I had pre-ordered four of these Mark I type. Another superb model. Looking forward to weathering these beasts.

As I mentioned above, I hope to complete a lot of work on the layout this year. One of the first jobs is to complete the ceiling panel and backscene prep over Ardglen for the sky blue paint. Then I want to get back into some scenery foam installation around Ardglen and where the tunnel will start. Once a few of the turnouts for Ardglen are complete, I can also commence tracklaying through Ardglen, through the future tunnel and onto Pangela.

That’s it for this update.


Transfer of posts from Facebook complete

Apologies to all my email subscribers for the barrage of posts over the last few days.

Normal posting will resume now!

2016 First Quarter Update …

Hi all,

It’s been a while since my last post.

Over the next few days, I will post in quick succession to bring you up to date on recent happenings.


A Brief Update …

Hi all,

Just a quick update on things since the last post.

All point blades and Cobalt motors have been installed in the UP yard.

For a change of scenery, I have started some wiring of the UP yard as well.  This includes cutting gaps for future detection sections, running bus wires and connecting droppers from the rail.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to complete the point blades, motors and wiring in the DOWN yard.

Cheers for now.

Some Proto-87 info added …

Hi all,

I have just added a new page to the main blog menu, titled “About Proto-87”.

It is some information that I had on my Aus Proto87 Supplies website, and since it will cease to exist by the end of the month, I thought I had better replicate the info here.


Ready for action …

Hi all,

Well, the workbench is finally up with networked PC and 2nd phone all connected. I can now start unpacking some modelling stuff that’s remained in boxes since the move. This will inspire me to start back on some modelling, as I need to start detailing some more wagons before our next showing of Bowen Creek.

On the new painted wall above the bench, I only thought the other day, that I might try and mount some of my various railway paraphernalia that I have accumulated over the years. They consist of various cast iron signs and other stuff. We’ll see.



Painting done …

Hi all,

Today the second coat of paint went on the walls in the modelling bench area. Tomorrow, I’ll erect the work bench and get all that finalised. I think the light colour will help with lighting levels in this area, as in the future, directly opposite the bench will be layout benchwork, so it could end up being a rather dark area if the walls were a dark colour. There was no need for a “sky blue” colour here, as there will not be any layout above the workbench.

I am close to also completing the trackplan design, as I have realised that I couldn’t have a grade either side of Ardglen, so Kankool and Ardglen will now have to be at the same level, but on opposite sides of the room. All will be revealed soon!



There is movement in the train room …

Hi all,

Again, it’s been quite a while since my last post, but things are beginning to happen in the train room.

Over the last few months, I have been redesigning the layout to fit in the new layout room in the new house. It has been rather frustrating at times due to the fact I have had problems with trying to fit the layout into a multi deck design, but due to there being a rising and falling grade either side of Ardglen, there have been issues with clearances between decks and I am still at a point where the design is not working. I am up to Version 7 of the design at the moment, but I think I am pretty close to getting it right.

I am also hoping to open up another small area under the house to add to the main room. Click here for a drawing showing the current room plan. This involves quite a lot of work with dirt to be excavated, two brick piers to be removed and the existing timber bearer replaced with a steel beam. Click here for a second drawing showing the proposed future addition. There will also be drainage issues to deal with, but my builder says it’s all possible, but I need to get a structural engineer to look at the job.

So, this has been put on hold for the time being until the layout design is finalised, as I want to make sure if I open up this space that it will be of benefit and not just a waste of time and money.

A few days ago I started work on an area that will become the modelling bench and second computer station. I was able to salvage a bench I had in the previous house. So, I have done all the cabling for power and data, and today I put the first coat of paint on some of the brick walls. Hopefully the second coat will go on tomorrow, then attach the bench to the wall and terminate the power and data cables.


Liverpool Range scenes …

Hi all,

I thought I would share some scenes of the Liverpool Range area that I intend to model. The overall aim of the layout is to reproduce certain scenes and specific trains within a set time period. Even though I enjoy running the trains, my aim is to re-create a prototype scene from a photograph in model form.

As mentioned previously, the layout will be set in a period from April 1979 to March 1983. I have picked out twenty two specific trains in specific locations on specific days.

Below are three of these scenes. All these images reproduced with kind permission from Train Hobby Publications and the photographer.

4860+4482 with Up freight, Ardglen, March 1983Photo by Geoff Campbell

4823+44208+4435+4811 with Up coal, Ardglen, May 1981Photo by Geoff Campbell

4517 with Up ballast, Ardglen, May 1981Photo by Geoff Campbell

Minor update to trackplan …

Hi all,

The first trackplan that I had posted a link to in my original post, showed an initial design for the entry into the storage yards. Because these are located beneath the main layout, approximately 150mm, this design produced too steep a grade.

So, I relocated the entry further back around the curve, which gave a longer distance to the start of the yard throats. This produced a 2.8% grade, which equates to about a 1 in 35 grade. This still may be too steep, so I may have to shorten the length of the storage tracks.

Anyway, here is the amended trackplan.



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