Monday, July 30, 2012

Watheroo Engine Shed

Watheroo on the Midland Railway of WA

Watheroo is a small town and railway location on the Midland Railway line, 185 kms (123 miles) from Midland, or almost halfway between Midland and Walkaway. The MR was a privately owned railway before it was absorbed by the WAGR in 1964. 

In earlier days Watheroo station yard would have seen quite a lot of activity. Apart from the 300 ft platform and brick station buildings, the yard also boasted a coaling tower, water tank, turntable (later replaced with a triangle) and a loading ramp and crane. There was also a substantial wheat bin. The station and station buildings and engine shed, built in 1941, still stand in the railway yard. The Engine shed is used for storage and for unloading road vehicles while the station building currently serves as a tavern.
The engine shed, which was the second to have occupied the site is a distinctive and unique building in its design and construction. It incorporates the use of concrete pillars and purlins with an infill of clay brick. The present shed replaced a previous timber and iron building. As the engine shed is still standing and has been partly restored in recent years, it provides an excellent modelling opportunity.

The following photos show the prototype and the model of it.  The model is built in styrene card and balsa strip. The brick infill uses brick paper which covers the plastic card. The brick paper was downloaded from the paperbrick website.

MRWA loco C class, loco shed, coal stage, loco depot Watheroo 
Rail Heritage WA Collection P5744

Watheroo Engine Shed November 2011. Photo Graham Watson
Model of Watheroo Engine Shed in S scale.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Installing a sound decoder in a Railwest WAGR Y Class Locomotive

Since finishing my  WAGR Y class locomotive from Railwest Models, I thought I would upload some pictures showing the modifications I made to fit the motor, the motor mount and lead weight. Its also interesting how I was going to install the sound decoder, showing wiring and position of the speaker....

Hope this is of some help to those still in the construction stage.

The small video clip is the final product, with sound. Its a great little kit!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Models of Allen Howe

At the recent July 2012 meeting of the Sn3½ special interest group of the AMRA WA Branch, the scratch-built models of Allen Howe were shown to the members. Though he started modelling relatively later in his life, Allen is a very accomplished modeller of the WA 3’6” system in the period 1940-1972.

Aside from the many WAGR kits which he has assembled, Allen has built at least eight steam locomotives in brass. Allen has also built four suburban side-door coaches in styrene and brass.during the period 1990 through 2006, during his retirement and following a long career with the WAGR.  The locomotives include two Pm, two P class, 3 D class locos (a DD, DM and a D) and an Australian Standard Garrett locomotive. Allan is probably the first to successfully attempt and complete a scratch-built model of an ASG in S scale. It was a major achievement and not to be tackled by the inexperieced model builder. Allen's ASG ran smoothly and successfully at several AMRA Model Railway exhibitions before and after 2002. The locomotive had the power and traction to haul very long consists as the prototype was designed to do.

Allen's models show great attention to detail drawing on his long and vast experience as a tradesman at the Midland Workshops.  An article is planned for the Australian SN Modeller magazine in the near future but in the meantime, the following three photos of Allen’s models provide a taste of his modelling work.

Allen's Howe's ASG emerging from Swan View tunnel 2002

Four of Allen's suburban coaches on S Mackay's layout

A fine example of Allen's D class locomotive on Swan View - Bill Gray photo.

AYB Suburban Brake

In 1945 as part of the WAGR rehabilitation program after WW2, a new set of six suburban cars including 4 AY’s and two AYB’s (#456 – 457) were built. Another set was built in 1946 including 2 AYB’s (458 & 459) and 2 AY cars. The AYB’s were basically an AY with a guards compartment at one end. They were built on steel underframes with matchboard sides and entered service in a larch green, light green & cream livery and able to accommodate 64 passengers, ably supplementing the ageing fleet of sidedoor/dogbox style cars predominantly in use on the suburban network.
The First class section of a suburban train was always at the Fremantle end and so the AYB at that end of the train was considered to be First Class whilst the AYB at the other end was considered to be Second class, despite there being no difference between the AY and AYB cars internally.

In October 1951 the WAGR chose to introduce a new standard livery for carriage stock, replacing indian red and two tone green and cream schemes, with an "All Over" larch green. In 1952 AYB's 456 & 457 were outshopped in the new Green livery with 458 & 459 following in 1955, During 1956 another livery of White, Green and red stripe had been applied to the railcars, becoming the standard "Suburban" livery. In 1963 this livery was applied to AYB 459 with 456 & 457 repainted in 1966 & 1967. AYB 458 is thought to have retained Green till as late as 1970 by which time both 456 & 457 had been written off in 1969. Modernisation also took place during the 60's with some of the cars losing their matchboard sides, crown light windows and ornate panel work above the windows, these niceties being replaced with plywood panelling in various stages, which for modelling purposes, requires some research by the modeller.

 In 1970's, AYB's 458 & 459 continued into Westrail service with refurbishment and Orange and Blue stripe livery. 1986 saw another refurbishment and a Green and Cream livery which saw them through till January 1991 when they were replaced by electric railcars. These two cars made it to preservation, in use until recently on the Pemberton Tramway.
The above model of AYB 456 has been achieved by kitbashing a WestOzModels "AY" body kit. After some planning and consideration of how to go about it, I set about cutting away sections of the rear compartment area of the AY body sides. Retaining upper and lower panelling, the windows were cut away and the single Guards compartment window was replaced with a window from another scrap AY side. Armed with measurements from the prototype the sides were shortened and new Door and Corner Posts were installed to form the end of the car, followed by panels between the window and doors. A new End was produced along with Guards doors to suit the prototype and then panelling detail was made and applied. I estimate this took about 20 hrs to achieve.
With modifications made to the side walls and a new end made, these were glued down to a base for use as a pattern and then rubber poured over them to make a mould. Once the moulds were dry, the first castings were made. The results are shown here below. Assembly of the first AYB model then took place using a rolled styrene roof.
After application of handrails and underfloor detailing the carriage was sprayed - first with a "Holts" grey auto primer and then colours applied (Humbrol & Revell). When the body paint had dried, handrails were picked out in Yellow and Silver, decals were applied and the car was sealed with a spray of Wattyl Matt Estapol. Windows were then applied using "Microscale Crystal Clear". With the windows dry, the last job was to fit bars to the Guards Door windows and carefully paint them in Yellow.
The pictures here, show the prototype model for the AYB Suburban Brake Car “Body” kit which is now available from WestOz Models.  This AYB "Body" kit is produced in polyurethane and comes with a aluminum roof. All other parts are available from Railwest Models.
The AYB seen here above, is formed from patterns produced by B. Norris for the AY, with kitbashing to AYB form carried out by N. Blinco of WestOz Models.

Prototype information complied from “A History of WAGR Passengers Carriages” by A. May and B. Gray