Saturday, 15 January 2011

EHO1473, or is it 1469?

One of the disadvantages of having an end-to-end layout is that the rollingstock gets a fair amount of handling in the fiddle yards, so inevitably there is the occasional mishap and something gets damaged. Footboards on passenger cars are particularly vulnerable and this proved to be the case with my EHO as the years of handling (it was completed in October 1990) had resulted in the separation of some of the footboard brackets from the solebar of the carriage. Two of them had, in fact, disappeared. It found its way to 'workshops' (the modelling bench) and was soon back in service after some minor repairs.

This EHO was constructed by using the sides from the urethane kit of a mansard roofed EHO put out by Main West Models in the early 1980s (the kit was reviewed in AMRM Issue 123, December 1983). I'm not terribly good at building kits the way the manufacturers intended ;o) and this one was no exception, as rather than build yet another mansard roofed EHO, I decided to construct it as a low semi-elliptical roofed van, from Contract 5/10 of 13 vehicles, numbered from 1466 to 1478, which were delivered between November 1910 and May 1911. The sides were the only part of the kit I used. I scratchbuilt a new chassis, ends and roof. The chassis and ends were mainly styrene, with timber and brass detailling parts, while the roof was carved from balsa and covered with tissue to represent canvas.

Now to the reason for the title of this piece!

One of the advantages of an end-to-end layout is that only one side of a vehicle is visible when the model is present on the layout. When I started building Lambing Flat back in 1983 I soon worked out that I could have twice the number of passenger vehicles for half the effort by giving them different identities on each side. It also meant that I could not only give them different numbers on each side, but I could also paint them in different colour schemes! Just about all my (appropriate) passenger rolling stock is painted Tuscan and russet on one side and post 1954 Indian red on the other! This EHO is no different, while both sides are painted Tuscan red, 1469 has the top buff line and lining out around the guard's door, (I have since discovered that it probably should be lined out around the luggage doors as well) as was common in the early 1950s. EHO1473, on the other hand, has no lining at all, as became common in the late 1950s.

The '1469' side, Tuscan red with the lining out style used (officially) from 1946.

 The '1473' side, with the plain red scheme, with no lining at all, used from the late 1950s.

So, while this dear old relic of a bygone age is not up to the standard of the ILM high semi-elliptical roofed EHO kit (after all, the masters for that one were constructed by the Great Guru of Lindfield, Mike McCormac, by way of practice for his own 'dogbox' range, which, hopefully, will be released before we all die of old age... ;o) it has served Lambing Flat well for over 20 years and will remain a useful member of the fleet for many years to come, even if I do get around to finishing my ILM EHO!

Removable Wagon Loads

One of the things I have attempted to model with Lambing Flat is the prototypical movement of traffic across the layout. A major part of achieving this particular illusion is the provision of loads in the wagons as they move through the visible part of the layout. However, I have never liked having permanently loaded wagons, as this restricts what can be modelled, trafficwise.
Back in the '80s I came up with a design for removable loads, which greatly improved the 'illusion' of the vehicles on the layout actually moving goods.
The basic design consists of a timber base designed to fit in a wagon, with a suitable load glued on the top. Uncovered loads, such as coal, were fairly straightforward, a small piece of foam, left over from scenery building, was carved to shape, painted black, then small pieces of coal glued onto the top surface.
Not so simple were tarpaulins! On the NSW railways up till the early 1980s, tarpaulin covered open wagons dominated ordinary goods trains. The tarpaulins were constructed to standard dimensions (the vast majority measuring 24' x 16') at the NSWGR's tarpaulin factory at the southern end of Enfield yard (the building was still there the last time I looked last new year's eve!) They were made from bleached canvas and when new, were almost white. However, they soon weathered to an almost infinite variety of dirty brown/greys.
I model removable tarpaulins by starting with my standard timber base, then constructing a 'former' from card, if I am modelling the very common version with the tarp supported by two 'A frames' (to give the tarps a 'slope' so they would shed water) or a suitable 'construction' of timber offcuts if I am modelling a high load, such as wool or wheat bags. A standard sized tarpaulin is then made from ordinary printer paper. To get the tarpaulin 'look' I first fold it up, the unfold it and crumple it with my fingers. I then stretch it over the former and glue down with PVA glue, making sure that enough space is left to clear the sides of the wagon! Once it is dry I paint the tarp with Tamiya XF-2 Flat White and then attach a few lengths of a suitable brown thread to the sides to represent the tie-down ropes. Once that is all dry I weather the tarp with washes of various browns and greys untill I get the shade I want.
I also use a variety of other loads, some of which are illustrated below.

The undersides of some of the loads available for use on Lambing Flat, showing the basic construction of a timber base with either a bulk load, such as coal, or a tarpaulin streched across the top.

A pair of removable loads on two S trucks. The load on the left represents a nondescript load of crates while the load on the right represents a load of bagged wheat, correctly covered by two overlapped standard NSWGR 'traffic' tarpaulins.

A rake of S trucks with tarpaulins stretched over the standard A frames much used in the steam and early diesel era.

An S truck and an original wooden BD wagon loaded with bags of wheat, properly covered with overlapped tarpaulins.

S, U and K wagons loaded with coal.

A collection of miscellaneous loads. The D truck on the left has a load of Loco ash, made from sprinkling a mixture of plaster dust and black powder colour over a former of foam. The next D truck has a load of sacks, which, if I remember correctly, are UK made from cast plaster and though designed for 4mm scale British wagons, fit perfectly into a D wagon. The plaster was painted with a wash of acrylic paint. The steel S truck has a timber load made by Duha in Europe and imported by etrains in WA. The last D wagon has another British cast plaster load, representing bagged wheat.

Representative of the other types of loads that can be modelled is this cast whitemetal Fordson tractor (don't ask my what it is, I think I bought it from Keith Hudson's Modeller's World about 30 years ago!) loaded on an E wagon. The steel S has a tarp stretched across the wagon, but without the A frames.

Hopefully, these notes will provide some ideas that can be used to provide removable loads suitable for your purposes!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A pretty picture...

Just to get things started, here is a photo I took the other day of my first Trainorama 32 class preparing to depart Lambing Flat on a goods train (I have another, but is not yet fitted with a DCC chip).
The locomotive has been slightly modified by filling the gap at the bottom of the chimney and painting the running gear and front step black. It has been fitted with the 'scale' wheel diameter leading bogie and a Tsunami (D&RGW K class) sound chip that has been 'tuned' to both act and sound more like a NSWGR 32 class (It runs beautifully, btw). I will get around to weathering it eventually.

My new blog

First the closure of Geocities removed part of the old Lambing Flat site and then cia changed its accounts and did for most of the rest of it, so I have finally got around to starting a blog. Hopefully some of the things on the old site will return as I learn more about what can be done with this site.

In the meantime I'll post links to the photos on my Fotopic site:
Lambing Flat at Fotopic

and the videos on my Youtube site: Lambing Flat on Youtube 

and some remnants of the old Lambing Flat site that are still 'out there':

Archival Recording No.2 Stockinbingal's NSWGR 36' G2 type goods shed

The 'Rurr Valley Reporter':

September 2004

June/July 2004

May 2004

February 2004

January 2004

Don't expect too much to start with, but I'll try to get some more up as time goes by.