Monday, 5 July 2021

 The Best Laid Plans

These buildings have been made using up to 10 layers of paper on the new backdrop. The fences are Northeastern timber and the Telegraph pole has been cut in half then glued into position

The Camden Railway project has been pretty dormant for many months with plenty of other distractions, building another shed, rebuilding old motorbikes amongst other things.

I have started acquiring a few VR items to build a small Victorian line inspired by the Cudgewa Branch this will go under the existing layout.

I have had an interest in British N scale and Victorian HO and now adding another two railway systems into the train room.

Since starting the new wall attached backdrop and connecting all the modules up the aisle way between Camden milk factory, and the back of the curve towards Kenny Hill is now way too narrow. I was working with 30 inch radius curves (762mm) and to create sufficient clearance I have to reduce the radius and overall width of the curved module out of Narellan. The maximum width I can have is 1600mm and providing some clearance on the backdrop side of the track I opted for a radius of 675mm. I set up a test track at this radius and have run the 70 class and 30 over this with no problem - the 20 class has yet to be tested and I won't commit to structural work until testing the 20.

a test curve of the new radius was made and various engines tested to ensure they ran OK in both directions - note the high tech controller circa 1960s.

I was also unhappy with the construction of the curved module basically short sections of L girder that would be held firmly with plywood front and backing pieces. 

The original curved module leaving Narellan

The new module will be a sheet of 12mm ply cut to shape with edge and cross supports as well as ply front and rear edge boards.

I have made up some clamp on wheels that has made moving the modules a lot easier

Trying to fit in an N guage and VR layout has also added some complexities - the main section of the VR layout will run below the Nepean River Module which gives a length of around 3 metres to build a small station and yard. To do this the legs will need to be removed from the Nepean River Module which will  be supported by the upstream and downstream modules as well as three x 380mm long metal brackets attached to the wall. I am keen to have a spindly trestle on a curve coming into the VR scene the shots below coming from the Weston Langford Collection

Boggy Creek Bridge Mile 228.75 Cudgewa Line Up Goods with AREA Cars attached T 413 - 30/12/1977 Weston Langford

Trestle 222M 09Ch Cudgewa line Down Goods K 184 1/2/1965 Weston Langford

I have also been spending time scanning all my old slides and negatives mainly family and trains a few pics below from this project

42218 hauls up South Coast Daylight approaching Bombo 1988

4483 pulling possibly the last North Mail between Woolbrook and Walcha Road 

Newcastle carriage sheds circa 1982

SMR 25 at Richmond Vale Museum circa mid 1980s

No shortage of projects over the coming months stay safe enjoy your modelling

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

One step forward two steps back

 This shot was previously posted on the Campbelltown to Camden Railway Facebook page.
The photo was inspired by a picture taken by Peter Neve in Pansy the Camden Tram page 59.


      I did post this shot on the Campbelltown to Camden Railway Facebook page. The photo
was inspired by a picture from NSW Railway Archives in Byways of Steam 21page 63.


Its been quite some time since the last update. Over that period my wife and I have spent some time gardening and working on landscape projects getting the property in better shape since the drought and fires. We have had an incredibly wet spring including local flooding however everything is green and growing.

We took some time out going to Lightning Ridge and visiting a number of painted silos including Barbara, Merriwa and Dunedoo. It was an also an opportunity to see what is left of former NSWGR infrastructure and I was pleasantly surprised to what still remains at many locations. The silo art trails in NSW and Victoria are worth seeing, to date Weethallee has to be one of the best IMHO.

Merriwa Silo

   We high tailed out of Lightning Ridge due to impending storms and stopped at Burren Junction. A
 SSR ballast train pulled in while we were there. Severe storms and hail later followed.

The Boorowa truss bridge is in poor shape.

I have been unhappy with many aspects of the layout backdrop and decided to rip it off and start again. There were several areas of concern, inconsistent textures, raised joining strips, hairs and blemishes on the surface, way too vibrant, inconsistent sky tones.

The new backdrop is slightly lower than the previous and will be a continuous from the Camden terminus around to the end of Narellan yard. I have built frames around the walls to mount the sheets of ply which are butt joined and filled. It can still be dismantled however there will be minor damage along the some of the joins which would need repatching and painting if the layout were to be moved. This has worked out well, I can now pull a module away from the backdrop to work on it (after disconnecting from up and downstream modules). This was very difficult previously as each backdrop bolted to the appropriate module and there was an assembly sequence.

 I am painting the backdrop in lengths up to about 3 metres at a time and have mixed several jars of colour to paint a reasonably subtle mountain range in the background. I won't be putting too much detail in for now ( need to improve my painting skills considerably) however there will be a lot of undergrowth and trees along the Nepean River, Nepean house behind the Camden buffers and some close by undulating hills from Elderslie to Narellan.

There will be break in the backdrop at the end of Narellan yard where the track does a 180 degree loop back then runs parallel to the Narellan yard. This will allow the access to the Narellan to Kenny Hill and fiddle yard modules.

A couple of shots showing the backdrop frame construction progress

Construction has gone quite well and reasonably quickly but as they say the devil is in the detail. I will still make 2 dimensional models from paper and card to represent houses and buildings in the vicinity of the line. Again colours will be more subdued and as the colour palette is quite limited in my CAD package will do the buildings slightly differently to last time. 

Many years ago there was an excellent exhibition layout in the Newcastle area called SMR that had many unique and innovative features in its day, one was 2D trees essentially a painted trunk and branches on clear acetate with woodland foam glued around the tree structure. It was very effective and I will try a variation of this. 

There is a right angle bend here, a piece of quad has been set flush
 in the corner which reduces that very abrupt transition between the two sheets

1mm thick galvanised brackets are used to mount the frame
to the plywood walls

I am using the opportunity of the modules being away from the backdrop to slowly finish off the little things from Camden through to the start of Narellan. This has put the project back in terms of time but I think there will be a much better end result. The fixed backdrop also allows the opportunity to add an enclosed pelmet and better lighting. For now I won't be adding pelmets - its more time and expense and I am keen to get back on track and finish things and one day operate a railway.

Cheers for now