Thursday, April 22, 2021

          March 2021 ASn modeller Magazine

The latest edition of the ASnM magazine was delivered to our letter boxes on the week beginning Monday 5 April 2021 by Australia Post. This is a national, commercial quality, not-for-profit magazine which is published by volunteers four times per year for the very reasonable price of $8 per issue  including delivery.  The latest edition has maintained the high standard of previous issues and includes two new segments on models currently being produced and/or running on layouts.

The Magazine has been distributed for the past 25 years and relies on articles written by enthusiastic S scale modellers and covers the railways of Australia. The content includes articles and photographs of  models of locomotives, wagons, vans and passenger coaches, structures and layouts from the steam era of the twentieth century right through to the modern period. The Magazine is a great support to the serious modeller of the narrow and standard gauge railways of Australia. 

As you can see from the above cover page the four issues of each volume follow the Australian financial year of July 1 to June 30 and so it is intended to send out subscription applications after July 1 2021 for Volume 27. If you are keen to take up a subscription earlier you can send an email (address to be advised) and we will send you a detailed subscription application form for the ASnM magazine.

Friday, September 11, 2020

100th issue of ASnM Magazine

 It's with both excitement and sadness that I announce the 100th issue of ASnM has been sent to the publishers this week. 

Excited - it's an honor to be the editor of this milestone issue. 

Sad - it's my last, as mentioned by Stuart below. It's been a privilege to have been the editor for the past 3 1/2 years, and I wish John the very best as he takes over the reigns. 

This does allow time to get into building my new layout, and hopefully this blog will be full of updates of this exciting new venture. Watch this space!



Monday, August 31, 2020

S scale news update for 2020

 The AMRA WA Sn31/2 Modellers Special Interest Group have been meeting on-line for the past four months due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and will be meeting again on Monday 14 September at 7.15pm Western Australian time, via the internet. The normal updates and a bring and show will be held followed by the showing of slides of the Cunderdin layout. This layout was built by Railwest Models and friends in 1991/2 and is housed behind glass in the preserved AV-class dining car at the Cunderdin pumping station Museum. Graham Watson hopes to be showing a series of over 30 digital slides of the layout as it was built all those 28+ years ago. It should be a memorable night in more ways than one.

The other bad and good news is that Crispian Fitzhardinge is vacating the position of editor of the ASnM Magazine after three years and we all thank him for his terrific work in what is a labour of love. The good news is that John Maker who is President of AMRA WA will be taking over the editorship from January 2021.  We also hope those who those who subscribe to the magazine will continue to do so and those who haven't will do so in the future. It rally is a great little magazine.

Meanwhile, as very little material has been added to the Blog in the last eight months I thought a photo or two might be of interest to devotees of modelling the 3'6" railways of the WAGR, the CR and the MRWA in S scale. So here they are.

  • The first photo is of a crowded Medullup yard on my Canning River and Medullup railway. Most of the vehicles are scratch-built over the past 30 years using proprietary running gear while the goods shed is based on the one at Wongan Hills and the Station building is a scale replica of Mundijong station.  
  • The second photo is of an anonymous and pristine ADE Governor class railcar commissioned in 1937 by the WAGR, probably taken during WWII as the covered windows on the signal box may indicate. Thanks to Graham Watson who sourced this photo from the RHWA archives.
  • Finally there is a photo of four railcars recently scratch built to provide a 3-car ADG/AYE/ADG set and a 2-car ADX/ADA set.

Monday, November 11, 2019

S Scale modellers at Modelrail November 10 2019

Sunday, 10 November 2019, was the Annual Modelrail at the AMRA WA Club rooms.
Modelrail has been on the AMRA WA calendar since the early 1980s and provides the opportunity for members to show what we do in our hobby and for the public to enjoy the results of our interests. 

The S scale group was well represented among the 20+ other layouts, displays and modelling desks. Over 250 visitors had the opportunity to visit the club-rooms and see the club's 16-odd layouts in almost every scale imaginable and in operation The Day was ably coordinated once again by Trevor Burke and well supported by the AMRA WA membership.

The S scale special interest group had a nice information stand and display run by AMRA life member Graham Watson showing what we do and the resources we use to build our models, in particular, WA railways in S scale. Close by was the well presented Swan View layout operated by five of our S scale AMRA members; Noah, Gerard. Alex, Stuart and Ally.

There was a range of members' models and consists running during the day including railcars, steam and diesel locomotives, coaches, goods wagons and vans.

There was quite a lot of orange among the black, brown and green and cream liveries which the public enjoyed seeing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Concrete Sleeper Track

I have recently laid some track with concrete sleepers using materials I purchased a couple of years ago from C&L Finescale in the UK.

Although intended for 4mm OO scale modelling, the size and spacing of the C&L sleepers are pretty close to Sn3.5 scale.  The sleeper spacing (pitch) is 10 mm and, although I normally space timber sleepers at 12 mm, the closer distance doesn't look wrong.

I purchased ready made track which included Peco Code 75 rail.  As I prefer weathered rail, I replaced the rail with Micro Engineering Code 70 rail.  Code 83 would also fit as the base of the rail is the same as Code 70.

C&L also sell the concrete sleepers on their own, which would be the way to go if you want the look of weathered rail.  

So far, I have completed just under 2 metres of track with the concrete sleepers.  The first section was time consuming, as it is on a very tight curve (600 mm radius) and I wanted to make sure the curvature was even to avoid any tight spots.  For this section, I glued the sleepers, which come joined in groups of 8, to the MDF roadbed using PVA glue.  I 3D-printed a guide strip which fitted inside the simulated Pandrol clips, to maintain even curvature.  Even though I pre-bent the rail to the required radius, I was quite difficult to slide the rail into the sleepers and I found the maximum workable length was about 20 sleepers at a time.  So, I had to cut the rail into shorter lengths for this bit.

Once I got into the straight track, it became much easier.  One technique which worked was to slide both rails into one group of 8 sleepers, then clamp the completed end of the track section onto my workbench with a scrap of plywood on top of the rails.  Then, I could easily slide the remaining groups of sleepers onto the 2 rails.

At this stage, the straight track isn't glued down, but I intended to apply dabs of PVA glue every few sleepers to hold it in position until ballasting.

It is essential remove any burs from the rail ends before assembling the track.  Also, it is necessary to cut the small joining pieces between the sleepers on one side for curved track.  Unlike normal flexible track, there are no gaps in the sleeper moulding.

One slight annoyance is the tops of the sleepers have raised lettering moulded in which says "COSTAINS", which is a UK manufacturer of real concrete sleepers.  As my layout is close to eye level, the lettering is not obvious, but it could be filed or sanded off if necessary.

C&L Finescale also make timber sleepered track with suitable sleeper size and spacing.  However, it is only available with bullhead rail (not flatbottom) so it is not usable for WA modelling.

Friday, August 23, 2019

New Beginnings

Hey hey, I apologise for having to disappear for the last few days. My life took a sudden new direction with little notice. As such, it is with a heavy heart, that I must announce I will no longer be continuing with the regular Monthly update blog posts. You will still have Stuart's wonderfully written post meeting notes which now include a great array of photos for you to view. However, this opens me up to new and wonderful opportunities ahead as I move on to my next new big venture; Ally's DCC Workshop will be a hobby business specialising in basic DCC Education, Installation and Trouble Shooting. For those interested, you can find my details here as I update you on progress:

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank those who followed this blog and put up with my errors and inconsistencies over the last couple of years. I may continue to post here periodically but for now I wish you all happy modeling and good luck to all your future endeavours.

I sadly won't make this month's Running Night so for now I'd like to leave you with one final project that I have been working on over the last few weeks that you might enjoy.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

July Running Night 2019

Hey hey, as always another enjoyable running night was had by all in attendance. Some different trains that we haven't seen run on Swan View made appearances including a well built V class by Ross Green and an ADA, ADH set built by Stuart Mackay. I have made another video for you all to enjoy so hopefully it gives you the feel as if you were there. As always I welcome feed back so do not hesitate to message me on Facebook or email me.

Ross Green's Combined Modelers V class 1214 heads to Perth light engine from Swan View.
Stuart Mackay's X class Models MSA 492 hauls a short timber train down to Perth past Swan View.
Stuart Mackay's ADA and ADH set arrives at Swan View station with an extended suburban run from Perth. 
Stuart Mackay's ADA and ADH set arrives at Swan View station with an extended suburban run from Perth. 
Alison Kelly's unpainted Marbelup Models DA1571 (with ViTrains Mech) on a trial run to Swan View from Midland.