Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sawn timber traffic on Lambing Flat

Many years ago I purchased some Sydney Hobbies sawn timber loads, back when Sydney Hobbies was still owned by Geoff Kemmis (Geoff, where are you now? ;o). More recently I was given some of the newer Sydney Hobbies/Lit’le Trains timber load releases to review (coming soon!). Another link in the chain was the arrival of a Floquil Enamel Paint Markers Earth Tones three-pack (containing 81 Earth, 83 Mud and 86 Grime) also for a review (unfortunately, the review didn't get done as I couldn't find a suitable use for them - I tried them out on some wagons and was not impressed with the result.) These items all sat around independently until quite recently when I finally managed to allocate some time to the review of the timber loads. That was all very well, but how was I going to colour the loads to represent newly sawn timber? Then suddenly 'click', my subconscious brain combined the Floquil paint markers with the loads and I was away! (And I finally had a use for the paint markers!)

The Sydney Hobbies/Lit’le Trains loads are nicely cast in urethane and come in the usual Sydney Hobbies plastic bag with card header. There are two types of loads available, type one is represented by: SH 04 ‘S’ truck timber load and SH 30 ‘K’ truck timber load and are designed to be loaded according to NSWGR timber loading diagram No.1.

The second type [“K” truck load 24’ timber (N/Coast) and LT 19 “s” truck load 19’ timber (N/Coast)] is modelled on timber loaded according to NSWGR timber loading diagrams Nos 3 and 4.

However, if you aren't modelling the North Coast, they are equally useful for loading to diagram No.2.
The only difference is that the North Coast loads were secured with specially provided lashing chains while everywhere else used rope.

The type 1 loads were very quickly cleaned up and glued together with superglue, whereas the second type just needed cleaning up, then the fun began!

The second type, showing the stages from straight out of the bag (left) through the first coat of paint (centre - this is my first attempt, using a creamy yellow mixed up from Tamiya acrylics - I eventually just decided to use the Floquil Enamel Paint Marker No.83 Mud as the first coat and the 86 Grime as the finishing coat)  

The loads to diagram 1, showing the stages from 'straight out of the bag' (centre) through assembled (left) to first coat of paint (right).

Once the first coat had dried (usually about a day, as these are enamel paints) the top coat(s) were applied. I ended up applying about three layers of paint, as I wanted a smooth but subtly graduated finish as shown in the next photo.
Once all the paint was dry I added lashing ropes from brown thread pinched from my wife's sewing room (shhh, don't tell her! ;o) held in place with superglue where the knots are tied and then a coat of matt clear to secure them.

Here are both types of sawn timber lengths loaded into an S and K according to diagram 1.

I 'roped up' my North Coast loads to diagram 2, as Lambing Flat is definitely not on the North Coast! Here are a couple of them loaded into S and K trucks.
As the loads are removable, I ran the ropes down the outside of the loads and secured the ends to the undersides. Those with plenty of wagons could make permanent loads and secure the tie down ropes to the lashing rings on the sides of the vehicles as per the loading diagrams.

I'm quite pleased with them, but how to justify them at Lambing Flat? After all, the majority of timber traffic on the NSWGR in my time period travelled from the North Coast to Sydney, didn't it? Or so one could be led to believe from published photographs... While I have no memory of seeing wagons loaded with timber at Young when I was living there, logically there must have been timber traffic of some sort, as there had to be some way the local timber yards and hardware stores received supplies in those days before everything went by road... Since I was actively looking for them, I did manage to find the odd truck of timber in my collection of publications and other photographic sources, such as this image from 'Remember When', compiled by Derek Rogers and published by the ARHS (NSW) in 1994.
This photo by Noel Reed shows a load of sawn timber ready to depart Oberon in 1955.

So we have justification for timber traffic on Lambing Flat!

Here is 3610 resting in the loop with a goods train that includes trucks loaded with sawn timber...



  1. Nice but of work James, it would have made a good AMRM article ;-)

    Ray P

  2. (Parts of) it will, Ray! This version is too 'personal' for AMRM, and I wouldn't be able to fit in all the illustrations, but some of it will go into the review I'm preparing on the timber loads.

  3. Some one has already written some timber load articles for AMRM!!!

  4. Yes, indeed... way back in the Dark Ages a certain Craig Warton wrote 'Timber Loads', which appeared in glorious black and white in AMRM Issue 193 (August 1995)! An excellent article I must say... I wonder where the models featured are these days...

  5. Anyway you'll be too busy reviewing the PHG model...!

    This is a great and inspiring article James.

  6. I do not know what happened to either the BWF or the S wagon I built. I think they might be with RAG, but I am not certain of that either! It was rather satisfying to go to exhibitions after my spurt of articles and see wooden bodied S wagons and timber loads in wagons - a bit of a change from the coal and empty wagons that one usually sees at shows. I also saw a diagram for a wagon loaded with fence palings and was going to do an article called "palings into insignificance" but the stars never aligned properly. Such a terrible pun deserves to be used though!