Friday, 23 February 2018

Give me a sign-al

Now this is another one of those projects that has been left wanting to be finished for far too long. So the solution is simple: finish the bloody thing!

This is a Heritage Scale Models VR Home signal which has been given a lick of paint for return to its owner. I’d like to say I built these but alas I didn’t. The stories I have read and heard about the fidelity in putting one together is probably enough to put me off trying anytime soon anyway. The owner has been pretty patient and that might have something to do with the layout it ‘could’ be seen on in the near future. Detailing that layout here might be a bridge too far at this point (some might work that one out) but it might be covered in a future post.

Anyway here is the signal all dressed up apart from some coloured ‘glass’ in the spectacles.

 I also have another one of these for myself which also needs to be painted. But since I don't have a layout to plant it on yet I'm not in any rush to bother with it yet.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

When the wrong kit becomes the right one

Some time ago I purchased a Broad Gauge Bodies V wagon kit with the intention of making a PH power van so I could run my A-class on my N-set prototypical (as most VR modellers know the A-class were not fitted with Head End Power so they required a PH van in the consist to provide this power). As it turned out, I had the wrong kit for this project:

Photo from Norm Bray's Flickr site:
The version I have is one with a central door of the earlier pattern. As you can see in the above photo, the PH vans have two doors and they are of the B van type. What a bugger!
So the kit got put away until I happened to flick through one of my volumes of the Brief History Books produced a couple of years ago and came across another van which I had intentions of modelling one day:

 One of my photos taken on a visit to Maldon
This is a VZVA van (originally coded HD for departmental traffic). Two of these vans were put into service to transport chemicals for the Weedex Train and given roads numbers 247-248. Of these wagons 247 has ended up as part of the Victorian Goldfields Railway collection (hence why I wanted to model it). So the kit I bought by 'mistake' turned out to be the correct one to model this very van!

It is still early days with getting this one together. The biggest challenge is the curved roof. BGB provide some corrugated card and some thin metal sheet. Basically you have to shape the metal to the correct profile and then stick the card over the top of it. This takes time and cannot be rushed as you end up with a dodgy roof otherwise.
I should point out that the first attempt did not go all that well after gluing it down and I had to do some trimming (superglue has a nasty habit of grabbing before you are ready....and not grabbing quick enough when you are) but I did salvage it. The next time you see this project it should have progressed to a stage where it can be painted.

Now I just need to get the correct kit to build that PH!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Comparing Bricks…hold the mortar

A couple of posts ago I compared two VR B-class models from different manufacturers and their differences. Will this post will be doing the same thing with another pair of models of a different locomotive.

The G-class Co-Co diesel locomotive was first introduced in 1984, a year after the Victorian Railways changed to V/line. The first order for G-class was for 5 locomotives, which ended up being fulfilled by using locomotives originally allocated to be built for Australian National as the BL-class. These 5 locomotives, G511-G515, paved the way for further builds. The balance of G-class, G516-G543, was built in two batches. They were used on heavy freight workings and the occasional passenger service, in particular the Sydney-Melbourne express on standard gauge after the demise of the Southern Aurora and Spirit of Progress in 1986. A number of the G-class are still around today working with private operators.

In model form the G-class has been produced by a few different companies over the years. Broad Gauge Models commissioned Samhongsa to produce the first such model in 1986. Dual Gauge Products also produced body kits for the second and third batch Gs. In this post I’m covering the two RTR plastic models produced thus far to date.

The model in the V/line orange and grey livery was produced by Powerline as early as 1989. It represents G521 which is from the second batch of Gs. The model in the ‘what if’ blue and gold livery was produced by Austrains in 2014 and represents a first series G and the long standing joke in the model fraternity that the first G was ‘accidentally’ painted in blue and gold after construction finished at the Clyde Rosewater plant in South Australia. Thus it also carries the now infamous number G220 that has been portrayed on repaints of Powerline G-class by a couple of modellers over the years.

The differences in these models (putting aside liveries and which batch they represent) is many, just like it was with the two B-class models. The Powerline model uses the ring-field motor like the Lima B-class and this motor was offered in the most recent re-release of this same model in the early 2000s. Powerline in both instances offered the model with a single powered bogie or both bogies powered (dual motor). One change in the 2000 re-release was to provide a circuit board for the electrics. However it did not incorporate a DCC plug. The model pictured pre-dates the re-release so it has simple wiring. The Austrains model features all the things you expect of a model produced in recent years including a 5-pole skew-wound motor with flywheels driving the wheels through driveshafts and gear towers as well as a modern circuitboard with a 8-pin DCC plug and the lights provided by LEDs.
Anyway I’ve waffled on again too much, here are some pictures of the pair together:   

I will be doing another comparison of another ‘then and now’ model in a future post.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Another long winded job completed

This is a project that has taken a while to get around to finishing. Happily I can now say that it is finished.

These two Steam Era Models Z vans have been in the works for at least a year. They are a bit different from the previous one I built for myself as they represent the ZD type which had buffers and dual couplings. This required the use of longer shank couplers on the models so they can still be coupled to other buffered stock without buffer-lock becoming a problem. Finding suitable decals to code them as ZDs was also a small problem but after raiding the decal box I found something suitable (even if slightly too big).

Because this blog was in hiatus when I started building them, here is a couple of photos prior to painting:

And here they are painted, decalled and with the couplers fitted:

For those with a sharp eye you will note that one van (470ZD) has the standard flip-top axleboxes while 19ZD features split-pan axleboxes (which is why the bottom running boards are a bit higher). They are now ready for the patient client who can run them with the 4 W cars I did for them earlier as a complete set.

The next likely job will be finishing the 3 M cattle wagons which will clear my backlog of jobs a little bit.

Friday, 18 August 2017

What a load of Phosphate...again

Well things happened a lot quicker than I expected and the model is now ready for the road:

One thing I will have to remember for the next kit I build from Railmotor Models is that the decals are a bit of a pain. The large VR logos started coming apart when I tried sliding them off the backing paper. The smaller decals I didn't have a problem with.

The next planned job is to finish some Z vans for a client.

Friday, 11 August 2017

What a load of Phosphate!

Between 1974-78 the Victorian Railways introduced a series of hopper wagons of the same basic construction but featured different discharge doors and 5 featured closed roofs. The JPF wagon was a class of 10 built to carry phosphate (hence the ‘P’ in the code). The other types were JAF (Soda Ash), JBF (Briquettes), JCX (Cement), JDX (Dolomite) JSF (Sand), and JQF (Quarry). They received 4-letter coding in 1979.
This kit is from the Railmotor Models range. It was a prize won at the Morwell Exhibition back in June (and I’ll take this opportunity to thank the person who passed the kit on to me as they did not want it). This kit was going to sit in the stockpile of other kits awaiting assembly but having completed the HZB wagon (as seen a couple of posts back) I decided to bring it forward in the que as I had most of the bits I needed on hand already. About the only extra items I needed was a pair of Steam Era Models XSC Silver Spring bogies. Assembly has taken about a week, usually done at night when there is stuff all on the TV worth watching. It was just going to be the basic wagon with shunter’s steps and a handrail fitted at each end. But when I researched the prototype and found a couple of good pictures plus a diagram on Mark Bau’s Victorian Railways website, I decided it was worth adding a bit more detail. So it has the handrails at the top of the ladder, some piping that appears on the handbrake side along the discharge chutes as well as the rods for the door slides, extra steps on the sides and ends and the linkage for the grade control. Kadee #158 couplers are fitted as well:

The model will have the usual test run at the local model railway club, then prepared for painting which might take a week or two depending on weather and time available.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Two B...or not Two B

Well I'm not quite ready to post a picture or two of the next build project. But I thought I would cover something else in the motive power department:
 This Lima B-class came into my workshop to have a pilot re-attached plus a bit of a service. At some stage it has been converted from the old 'dunny seat' couplers to Kadees while using the original Lima pilot. The Lima B-class was first introduced onto the market in the early 1990s following the success of the Lima S-class (not the NSW 44-class repaint version by the way). Until this model came along it was common for modellers to buy two S-class and use the Bulldog cab off one to stick on the other end (after chopping the...errr...'B' end off first). So what became of the leftover bits? Well some made a...errr... 'B' unit by sticking the remaining rear end chopped off onto the other body. Unfortunately I don't have a photo to show this but it was a good way to use the leftover parts.

So in this post I thought I would do a quick comparison of the Lima B-class against the newer Auscision model which came out in 2009:
Now there is no question that the Auscision model is more detailed and has a superior mechanism to the ringfield motor used on the Lima model. It also caters for the DCC market by having a 8-pin plug to fit a plug-and-play decoder (though this may change to the 21-pin arrangement going by what Auscision have done with the recent re-run of the A-class). Anyway enough of the sales pitch, here is some pretty pictures of the pair together:

As happy as I am with my Auscision model (except for the grills coming off as it is from the very first batch made) I would make room for the Lima one in my fleet to show off where the hobby was 25 years ago compared to the offering today. Another comparison could be made with the brass B-class models produced by Alco Models in the 1980s and the one produced by Precision Scale Models in 1992. One day maybe.....