Monday, 13 June 2011

Bowen Creek at the Thornleigh exhibition.

Andrew Campbell and Ian Millard's Bowen Creek was exhibited at the Thornleigh exhibition over the June long weekend. It looks fantastic and runs very well. I photographed it on Friday evening for a future article for AMRM. Here is one of the images.

On Sunday I also took some video with my old digital camera (it is much better for video than my 'work' camera). It's up on Youtube already!

It is a wonderful layout, it captures that '1970s' look to perfection, and it is well worth a long look!

Friday, 10 June 2011

From the vaults-4: Diesel era on Lambing Flat.

I've always tried to keep a consistent era on Lambing Flat, though I haven't always succeeded! Ostensibly, the layout is set in the mid-1950s, but with my excursions into pre-WW2 models and the fabulous r-t-r early diesel era models that have come onto the market over the last couple of years, LF's timeframe has 'stretched' a little.

However, while rollingstock can be taken on and off the layout to suit a particular timeframe, the fixed infrastructure can't, and so it is the buildings and other infrastructure that really sets the timeframe of a layout, rather than the rollingstock. Luckily for my preferred eras, NSWGR branchline infrastructure didn't change all that much from the early years of the 20th century till the mid-1970s, so I can 'stretch' my timeframe a little without having to call in the Detail Police and arrest myself!

About the latest I can go with levels of traffic I prefer to run is about 1974, when the 'fuel crisis' of the time gave the Department an excuse to cut most branchline passenger services. Once the passenger services went, the rot really set in, with the beginning of wholesale demolition of buildings and progressive reduction in services till, by the late 1980s, just about everything had gone; freight, stock and all, with the only thing left on most branchlines being bulk wheat. Even that went in most places eventually, leaving very little of the former extensive NSW branchline network intact by the 2000s.

So here is another photo 'from the vaults' (this one was taken on 30 December 2005, before the layout went DCC), showing Trainorama 4429 arriving at Lambing Flat, circa 1970-72, with the remnants of the Mail. (Click through for a bigger view.)
The train, as was typical of the period, has an MLV (Rails North epoxy kit) for parcels, and FS and BS (modified Trax) for the sitting passengers, then an EHO (see EHO1473, or is it 1469? earlier in this blog) for the guard and more parcels, then an ACM (Rails North epoxy kit) for the few remaining sleeping car passengers, with a CR (Workshop 5 epoxy kit) bringing up the rear with the through passengers to Murringo (the car will be detached and added to the Murringo Mixed after the 44 class has run around. The 48 class hauled Murringo Mixed will then enter the platform once the Mail has departed for Cowra). The yard is very quiet, a few S trucks at the goods shed in No.1 siding, while a K truck is being loaded with wool in the back road. The old D truck, of no use now that there is no steam locomotive ash to distribute as ballast along the pioneer line to Murringo, will soon disappear from the scene, probably sent to Junee to be burnt.

This was the how things looked at the very end of the NSWGR era. With the advent of the PTC and then the SRA, the passenger service will be cut back severely, then replaced with a road coach, the general goods and stock traffic will be abandoned and all that will be left will be bulk wheat and the occasional enthusiast tour... 

Monday, 6 June 2011

The 'work' camera has been repaired...

The post below on the 'fun and games' that happened on the way to the Hobson's Bay exhibition came about due to my damaging my 'work' camera (the one I use to take photographs for AMRM). For the News section of the June and the Gallery and News sections of the August issue, which I am working on now, I had to revert to my 'old' camera. Luckily it was a pretty good camera and the images are still of acceptable quality (though I can tell the difference!), but with extremely good timing (the Thornleigh exhibition is next weekend), the 'work' camera arrived back from the repairer on Saturday.

Of course, I had to check it and re-set it to my preferred settings for model photography, plus the settings had to be checked. Ideally, the 'test' shots would have been of something I had recently photographed with the 'old' camera, so as to get a direct comparison. The logical model to use would have been 5303, which appears in a recent post, but 5303 is still at 'Geoff's Hospital' in Victoria, so I grabbed the next best thing...
This is my Mansfield brass model of 5184, as she appeared while allocated to Lithgow during the late 1950s - early 1960s. The locomotive has been given some extra detail (headlight glass and crew) as well as a front coupler. The tender is not the one that came with the loco (that tender is currently behind 5262), it is, in fact, a superdetailled FSM whitemetal kit, dating from the late 1970s. Older modellers may remember the FSM range of whitemetal kits, they were 'state of the art' in the late '70s and could be made up into quite a nice model, as can be seen from the tender above and 5303, further down the page. The range consisted of the 53 and 55 Standard Goods locos, 24 and 25 class Moguls and a 35 class 4-6-0. I have a 55 class kit tucked away, and had a 24 class running for a while in the early 1980s (it has been sitting in the showcase for about 20 years, about 75% of the way through an 'overhaul'). I wonder how many of them are still running...

Anyway, getting back to the subject of this post, it appears that the 'work' camera has been restored to full health!