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Sunday, 22 December 2019


I trust all readers have a safe and happy Christmas and are not affected by the terrible fires many are experiencing.

Work has resumed on Camden although progress is slow. I am currently working on the handrails of the road component on the Nepean River bridge which have proved difficult to install and finish off quickly. I am hoping by Santa's arrival they will be finished and the bridge finally installed on the piers. Work also continues on an intermediate module between the bridge and milk factory that has allowed better space utilisation within the layout room and hope to post some pictures before the year is out.

Other distractions include building a number of British N gauge structures for a fictitious GWR branchline, which will share the train room with Camden.

Cheers until next time

Friday, 27 September 2019

The  Jacobite
no would be train spotters job in the UK would be complete without seeing the mighty "Hogwarts Express"
The Jacobite crosses the Glenfinnan viaduct Scotland UK, hundreds of tourists visit this site several times a day.

Monday, 23 September 2019

A change is as good as a holiday.

The Camden railway is on hold at present with work due to resume shortly. The bird book is completed, printed and now chasing someone to publish it.

In the meantime I have taken the opportunity to visit a few railways elsewhere - a few shots below for interest. The UK has an amazing amount of preserved steam and diesel that tend to run almost every day.

I also used the opportunity to grab an N gauge Great Western loco and some wagons for another railway project in the future. Hopefully some Camden news with the next post 

A GWR HST crosses I K Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash
West Somerset Railway
Launceston Steam Railway
Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway at Dungeness UK

Monday, 29 July 2019

Brief Progress Report - lots of little things.



The ASM waits for 3034 to inch forward towards the buffer before switching the points to the loop
Over the last 14 months I have been photographing birds in two specific regions with the aim of publishing a book. This has delayed progress with the railway, however progress continues slowly.  Key areas include work on the buildings on Argyle St/Camden Valley Way - finishing them off and blending into the landscape. Artwork for decals is in preparation to complete the buildings. This layout has a lot of fencing and I refer you to Jims blog for his view on this subject. Paling fences have been completed behind the goods shed and a split rail fence from the end of the platform to the buffers. This can be just seen in the photo above behind the overgrown strip of land between the yard and Elizabeth St. Stink pipes for toilets have been added and signs for the various station rooms will be part of the decal work.

More detail is being added to the backdrop. Point levers of various styles, catchpoint indicators are being installed as per above photo using many of the Uneek products. A little realigning of the baseboard modules and addition of a small curved module between the river and terminus modules has provided more efficient space utilisation, such as wider aisles and yet to be confirmed longer yard for Narellan.

I am seeking information or photos of the sawmill that was at the end of the stock siding and appreciate any info readers might  be willing to share.

Until the next time I will continue to split my time between the railway and the bird book
 (a sample photo below of an Azure Kingfisher Kisses lagoon Bega). Happy modelling



Sunday, 2 June 2019


Surrounding the Station Part 2


Construction is well underway of 5 buildings on Argyle Street opposite the goods yard and milk factory, the side of the Esso service station can be seen on the extreme left, moving right is the workshop behind the Atlantic Service station building, the adjoining service station building, house which became an Atlantic Fuel office and to the right Art Deco Clinton's Holden building

There has been steady progress since the last blog in between travelling parts of NSW and Victoria. There are a lot of buildings in a reasonably small space and some selective compression has been required while trying to keep the buildings in proportion. Realistically all the buildings need to be further back from the edge of the road, however this would have meant shortening each building even further. 

There were many changes to the Atlantic service station and house over time. The verandah on the house was originally open and closed in possibly in the early 1950s.  Later the exposed brick was painted  based on available photos maybe around 1960 or a little earlier. The combined buildings moved from the Atlantic Petroleum Company to Camden Tyre Service Centre again possibly late 1950s or around 1960. During the Atlantic servo days there was a COR bowser along with 2 Atlantic bowsers, under an awning yet to be constructed.

The ground slopes width and lengthways which has been a challenge to get the buildings to sit correctly and blend into the landscape, as always a work in progress. I am currently working on signage for the various buildings, some these will be home made decals particularly for the Clintons building, other signage will be printed on photo paper and cut to suit. The Camden Historical Society and library have again been invaluable sources of reference. The Clintons Holden building is still in existence although significantly modified and is deemed as historically important.

In between modelling, my wife and I have been travelling going to the Canowindra Balloon festival, checking out the painted silos at Grenfell, Weethalle and revisiting the silos between Yarrawonga and Benalla. We also did a trip to the Victorian high country. Its always a great opportunity to see what remains of various railway lines and infrastructure below a few shots from these trips.

5367 in Cowra roundhouse

 
Silos and grain shed Canowindra




Canowindra station and water tank, generally in good condition

Weethalle station and signal box has been well maintained



Monday, 22 April 2019

overall view of the backdrop around the station area 
Trust you all had a safe and happy easter, work progresses each day and its finally starting to look like a layout. Work continues on other buildings on this section of the backdrop and finishing off loose ends around the station.


3034 hauls 2  x BMTs and an MLV to the milk siding while 3013 waits in the loop

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Surrounding the station part 1 - 2 Dimensional Modelling.


A shot of Camden in 1939 source unknown, image via Anthony Veness
This has been a major reference source for the Camden terminus

The Station Masters house - a plan is available from Greg Edwards Data Sheets.

Image reproduced by kind permission of Camden Historical Society


A backdrop can create additional realism to a layout. It sets a boundary that forces the eye to look at the things in front of it and tends to block distractions around the train room. They can add a sense of depth and perspective.

With current digital cameras and many phones it is easy enough to take panoramic shots of the landscape  stitch them together and banner print the scene yourself or through many photo or print shops.

The Camden railway closed 57 years ago and many of the structures have gone or changed, not to mention changes in vegetation so the above method of creating a backdrop was not an option.

I had delusions of painting the backdrop but my painting skills won't cut it. The Camden station was on the eastern end of the township and streets ran parallel to the platform on both sides of the yard.Edward St was on the milk factory side and Elizabeth St on the town side with a small street aptly named Station street leading to the rear of the station. There are a number of Edwardian style houses along Elizabeth St many probably built by the same builder - as the styles and sizes appear identical other than materials and some mirror reversed. There was also the Paramount Picture Theatre now a tyre outlet that dominated the skyline to the south of the station. Behind the station running towards the buffer stops was a long unpainted timber building which was a motor repair shop, glimpses can be seen in the photo below courtesy the Weston Langford Collection


Camden Last Train about to depart 2029 2010 and 2016 at rear photo taken by Weston Langford link to his remarkable collection  appears on my links list - note the houses along the line and the motor workshop to the front right

Google Maps and Google Earth are invaluable references for researching buildings and between these sites and some of the Real Estate sites I was able to get pictures of many of the houses that backed onto the line as well as along Elizabeth St. The Camden Library and Camden Historical Society have an excellent online photo collection that include photos of the Station Masters house and the Paramount Picture Theatre. 

After estimating the sizes of the buildings on the far side of Elizabeth St, I drew them up in CAD then coloured them in, reduced the size by 10% and printed on heavy matt paper. These were then cut out and glued to the backdrop in the appropriate location. Where there were trees I painted these with acrylic paints.


drawing the house in CAD

A photo of one of the Edwardian homes in Elizabeth St


The buildings immediately adjoining the line were built in low relief, some only 1mm thick others up to about 6 mm thick. Typically built on laminated balsa glued so the grain on each layer was at 90 degrees to the grain of the previous layer to minimise warping. I used combinations of Metcalfe brick paper, some home printed materials, strips of styrene, thick paper, HO scale corrugated Iron (Bergs product)  and Grandtline windows and doors on some models. Shading and weathering was done with water soluble pencils and acrylic paints. These were then glued to the backdrop or in the case of the motor repair shop this was bolted with small machine bolts to the backdrop to prevent it being damaged during backdrop removal or installation. Between the railway yard and these buildings are paling fences, trees and shrubs and in some backyards garages and sheds. The backyards will get additional detail such as patios, clothes lines maybe even some veggie patches, chook pens  - time will tell.


The buildings in the immediate vicinity of the station which partly obscures the Edwardian house with yellow gable area and part of the motor repair shop. The Paramount theatre was quite a significant building

While still a work in progress, with a few more houses to draw and make, I am happy with the effect. When I have completed all the houses along the back of the rail yard I will add more photos.

Part 2 of this title will cover what I call "Clintons corner" with

  •  the Art Deco Holden dealer building
  •  the former Atlantic service station which along with the house beside it which became the Dunlop Tyre shop
  •  the Esso service station. 


These models are all very much 3D although part of the house and Clintons could also be partially low relief. The other landmark  that really stuck out when looking south through the goods shed was the tall Chimney from Thompson's mill. 

Happy modelling till next time

Sunday, 7 April 2019

What ran there ?

The railway photographers going back seven decades have done an amazing job on capturing trains and operations - the focus (no pun intended) was for the most part on the loco or train consist . The infrastructure was not as well covered however many of the photos had stations or sheds etc in the background which as a modeller have been invaluable to me in building this layout.

There are many superb books covering the railway operations around Australia, my main source of reference has been Byways of Steam volume 21 and Pansy the Camden tram edited by Ian Dunn and Robert Merchant. Brian Rowlings DVD on the Camden Line, the Weston Langford photo collection and many of Ron Prestons works have also provided a lot of detail.

David Cooke in his book railmotors and XPTs on page 30 in the chapter on the CPH says " Other areas served by these vehicles include the former Camden branch ..."

I have not been able to find any documentary proof of CPH operations to Camden, although a couple of railway history buffs suggested they ran during the second world war. I would be very keen to hear from anyone who can shed some light on any CPH operations to Camden - in the meantime I have taken some photos of railmotor 26 visiting Camden.

Railmotor No 26 departs Camden.

Railmotor 26 and trailer at Camden - note work has started on the backdrop the subject of the next blog


Thursday, 28 March 2019

Some more progress
An update on Thursdays picture now with added crane


I installed the yard crane today - its a 5 ton Peter Borman kit (beautiful kit great castings and etchings). Camden only had a 3 ton crane which is slightly different to this, however no commercial kits are currently available of the smaller crane. I struggle with etch brass kits think, they are way too fiddly for me and there are  number of small re soldering jobs required on this build.



Above a photo kindly supplied by Anthony Veness, photographer unknown of the original Camden crane

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Inch by Inch


3034 shunts a CW and two S trucks into the stock siding. A KKG sits in the loop beside the loading bank.

The stockyards are now completed. The corner and gate posts were made from 4mm dowel and the intermediate posts from 10" x 6" North Eastern timber. Rails are 6" x 2". Some Grandtline bolts were strategically added and I am still debating whether to put more in on the intermediate posts - a question of effort to reward - some simulated bolts using a 4H pencil and some rust coloured paint may be an easier option.

There are 2 sliding gates on the cattle race that work and 6 hinged gates around the stockyards that also work, the hinges are small eye bolts and L section piece of brass wire drilled into the posts. The wood was painted Tamiya flat black, followed by a coat of Tamiya XF-54 dark grey, then drybrused with artists acrylic white ( which is a lot thicker than Tamiya). I was a big fan of ravens oil and methylated spirit however this fades over time and if you have any drops of glue on your woodwork, the stain will not be absorbed. The rust was Model master acrylic rust.

Overall am happy with the end result so onto the next project  - the yard crane.

Cheers for now


Another view of the completed stockyards. I have been avoiding painting the backdrop behind the station however its probably time to give it a go.

3034 has dropped off its wagons and heads back towards the main line


Saturday, 16 March 2019

Brief Progress Report

A solitary CW has been left in the stock siding


Have taken a break from the railway for quite a few weeks to finish off a major landscaping project in the yard. One of my other interests is bird photography and I have spent some time around our local wetlands photographing lots of nesting birds and their new offspring.

There are many unfinished projects around the Camden yard and am slowly finishing these off. The stockyards presented another challenge, Camden had a very small stockyard, opposite the cattle sale yards in Edward Street. There appears to be little in way of photographic references with the exception of a couple of shots from the Weston Langford collection that shows some very dilapidated cattle races on a small platform. It is difficult to tell if there were elevated races for sheep or pigs. 

The Macarthur district was famous for its sheep and I would be surprised if there wasn't an elevated race at some point. I also recollect a photo of 20 class mixed with a GSV in the consist which might support this. Appreciate any feedback from fellow modellers who may have some insight into the stockyards.

For now I have built a cattle race based on the Greg Edwards Data sheet. This will be blended into the layout and additional fencing installed. The length of loading platform was scaled from a State Rail archives (not sure what they are called now) drawing dated 1936 and again the platform length suggests there may have been additional loading races. The fencing around the yard will allow the addition of an elevated stock race if further information comes to hand.

Cheers for now





Thursday, 10 January 2019

A couple of shots of the road approach span, 10 x 14 ft timber openings will be installed in front of this over the next week or so - The bus is 1/76 scale, a tad big although a beautiful model - yet to have passengers installed and placed in the foreground away from 1/87 scale vehicles. The eastern abutment has been simplified for ease of construction




Wednesday, 9 January 2019



3034 crosses the Nepean River with a down mixed

Happy New Year
a short update - work continues on the Nepean River road and rail bridge and approaches. This is by the far biggest project on the layout significantly more components than the coal loader and milk depot. There are over 3000 individual pieces in the parts that have gone into making the bridge. The road approach span is completed and water has been poured into the river bed. I used two lots of Woodlands Scenics deep water pour - probably should have been three - main advantage over fibreglass resin is it doesn't smell or produce any significant heat. Woodlands produce a good range of tints and riverbed colours.

I will post more detailed photos when the rail trestle is in place - a colour shot below of the above scene. The road approach span handrails can be seen to the left of the CCA.

I trust 2019 will be productive and enjoyable modelling year for all