Saturday, February 26, 2011

WAGR Sn Scale Model Train Run Night

Just uploaded this file of the run night. I took my X and an assortment of wagons for a "load test" around Swan View. It pulled the train with ease. The shunting tractor seen running around is a wonderful scratch built model by LE.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

AQL 288

Buffet car AQL 288 was rebuilt for The Albany Progress in 1961 from a AQS second class sleeping car which was originally built in 1904. The modification involved practically stripping the complete interior of sleeping compartments and adding a kitchen/buffet, lounge and open saloon as well as resheeting the external walls and replacing the original windows with spring balanced Young windows.

Buffet Side of Coach

The model is one that had many contributors and was essentially a group effort.
The sides were laser cut in styrene by Brunel Models of which the artwork (Auto CAD drawing) was supplied from Rob Clark, the roof and floor patterns were by Brian Norris and cast by Railwest Models, the bogie sideframe patterns were made by Bill Gray and also cast by Railwest Models, end gates by Perter Higgins and the decals were by Rob Clark (Westland Models).

The master touch of Lynton Englund put it all together and made a magnificent model.

Corridor Side of Coach

The result belies that old saying that a horse designed by a committee can often turn out to be a camel.

Now to build the other three original Albany Progress coaches to compliment this one.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Desirable Weight for Wagons and Coaches

For optimum running qualities, it is desirable to have a relatively consistent weight for wagons and coaches, based on their length. 

For many years, the NMRA in the US has published a standard for wagon weights, which for HO is 1oz + 0.5oz per inch.

One approach for Sn3½ would be to adopt the NMRA standard "as is".  There is nothing wrong with this approach although some people feel that the NMRA standard is a little on the heavy side and it is sometimes difficult to achieve the recommended weight.

I generally use Metric measurements, so I initially converted the NMRA HO standard to metric, which worked out to:

28 g + 0.55 g per mm.

By rounding the numbers down slightly, e.g. to:

25 g + 0.5 g per mm 

the result is a simple formula which is about 10% under NMRA.

  1. GH 4-wheel wagon which is 86 mm long.  The "rounded" formula gives 68 g compared to 75 g based on the NMRA formula.
  2. VF bogie wagon which is 172 mm long.  The "rounded" formula gives 111 g compared to 123 g based on the NMRA formula.

Grass "Tufts" in WA Summer Colours

I have just received some grass "tufts" made by the German company Silflor/miniNatur.  I selected some colour shades from the wide range available to see if they would useful for my layout which is in perpetual summertime. I am pleased with the results, as the colours range from faded green to a dead straw colour.

  • The tuft on the left is from the 727-24S pack "Long Tufts, Late Fall".
  • The next one and the one on the far right are from the 727-35S pack "Golden Grass Prairies Tufts, Tall" (1:45+ scale).
  • The third and fourth tufts from the left are from the 737-24S pack "Calcareous Tufts Late Fall".

Unlike some other tuft products, each pack contain a range of sizes so they don't look too uniform.  The colours within each pack are uniform but tufts from the different packs can be used to get some variation.  The Calcareous Tufts (meaning from a limestone-type landscape) are the most realistic as the colour is darker at the base of the tufts and lighter near the ends of the strands.

Each pack contains a thin plastic sheet approx. 50 mm x 300 mm with the tufts packed fairly closely, so you get well over 100 tufts per pack.  Installation on the layout is simply a matter of picking up each tuft from the packing sheet with tweezers, and applying a small blob of PVA or similar glue to hold it in place.

I bought mine online from Irresistible Force which is a War Games shop in Queensland.  I chose this shop because they sold small packs (with the "S" suffix) which I thought would be economical to try, as they are $8.95 per pack, and they had the colours in stock which I wanted.  Other hobby shops in Australia and US have full size packs of the same product.

Another Australian supplier is Modellers Warehouse which has full size packs for around $30. The full size packs contain approx. 420 mm x 150 mm, approx. 4 times the size of the small pack, so the price per "tuft" is similar.  The full size packs have the same item number without the "S" suffix.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WAGR BA Horsebox

Around 1903 the WAGR built six BA class horseboxes (BA 1000-10005). They were commonly used to cart horses to race meetings around the country. Although they were probably never all used together in the one train, they had a rather uneventful life and had the advantage of also carrying up to six strappers or jockeys.

This model is a Railwest Kit. It is easy to construct and the fine detail of the doors and ends makes this little kit on of my favourites. I used Raileys paint, NSW Tuscan Red, to try and replicate the early paint scheme of indian red that the fleet may have been painted in at some stage.

I also added some internal detail, such as benches and people. I used a 3mm Yellow LED with pickups in the bogies to illuminate the inside so that you can "see" the people in the compartment as the train rolls past.