Monday, May 15, 2017

The Eighth day of new layout construction.

Hi All

Here is some picture of the new layout post day eight and a half.

So I have stared soldering the ladder track points and setting out the tracks for the layout.



Laid out the tracks for the fiddle yard, this is just temporary.



All the boards have the clips installed, thus the entire layout is joined together.



The first of the bridge pylons have been made from Tasmainan Oak.
So for those of you who like a challenge, here are all the letters for the name of the new layout, see what you can come up with, thanks to Helen for getting the letters 😎

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Seventh day of new layout construction

So good progress is continuing, end of day seven.

Legs for the display boards are complete, 10 in total, cut down from previous legs,  you can see the depth required in this shot, vs the fiddle yard.  I made a guide from 6mm MDF so that I could get the curve right, for the mainline!

Fiddle yard boards have been wired.

The same boards are now complete with two layers of 30mm foam and a top of 6mm MDF, Helen gave me a hand with this.

The first fiddle yard board in place, ready for track laying.

The backdrops have been painted.

So at the end of day seven, we have all the boards built.  All the fiddle yard boards wired and complete.  All the legs complete.  Thus about at the half way point.  I reckon, I might have a chance of finishing this Layout in 14 working days......Maybe I should rest?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Moving to the Country.

With alot of things happening (not Barcoola related).  We made a decision to move to the country, it was alot of work and false starts, but we finally found a block of land that would suit the new blended family.
This also brings with it a clean slate and the chance to have a custom built house, the concept at this time will be that the back of the house will be double story to take advantage of the "views".  (It's true , blokes don't understand "views").
The lower level will be dedicated "entertainment" area, not to be shut off from the rest of the house, it should include a workshop, storage area, amenities etc and dedicated train room.  No shed in the backyard!   This means that it will become an integral part of our and our friends lives.

Bill, might think we are stalking him (he made the same decision), but we aren't, honest mate!

The house plans are only at the concept stage at this time.
Lots to do, and it should be a great journey.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Fifth Day of New Layout Progress.

This day was half used up in packing up, Alice Springs, Glen gave me a hand before nicking off for another golf expedition.

Items progressed, include:
Back drops from 6mm MDF cut to size.

3mm bases for the fiddle yard board cut to size.

Three scenery boards have their 3mm bases installed.

I made up a drill template which should make building of blanking ends alot simpler and more precise, and it works a treat!
Here are some pictures, as evidence of progress.

A gaggle of boards in various stages of completion.

Here is the underside of board #3 
The top side of board #3 back drop has been fitted and T nuts have been located for the ends and sides.

The cutting board all ready to go.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The fourth Day of New Layout progress

This was a little stunted, as I had more than one thing to accomplish.
However I managed to complete the frames for boards 10 and 11, thus now all complete.
I had to run down to Bunnings for some more 3mm and 6mm MDF, and 12mm ply.
However my Local Bunning store is fairly lousy in maintaining stock in certain items, and getting them ordered in, Well, I have to be honest that almost never works.

So I got on to the Ipad and did some searching, and as luck would have it, I found a mob in SA willing to supply the amount I needed, and had them in stock.
When they arrived on the front door on Saturday, three days after I ordered them, I was most impressed.

Check out, https://elraco.com.au/index.php/tee-nuts-c-24_102_108

And case catches https://elraco.com.au/product_info.php/case-catch-70x40mm-nickel-plated-p-7611



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Third day new layout progress

Hi All
I have made the executive decision to build a new fiddle yard for the new layout, this will be generic.  Also be able to fit into the current train room.  More work but worth it in the long run.
Two boards to go and we are done.  Note that the boards will be squared up with the attachment of the 3mm MDF base.  So don't sweat it!

The lads at DCC concepts have come to the party with the track, should be able to make my deadline.




All ahead full!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The first day of Easter new layout progress

Hi All

So, with a bit of luck, I managed to get all of Easter off.
Which means that I had time to start on some new boards.
First things first, Two 2.4 by 1.2 sheets of 12mm ply have been reduced to kit form.

This is the results of the afternoons work.


Lengths of ply all cut to size.


The 3mm MDF bases are all cut up.


Here is a roughly of the plan, the keen eye will figure it out.


enjoy Scott

Second day of Easter new layout progress.

So day Two, I was down to Bunnings first thing, and got a proper drop saw, to get all the corner blocks .  So I managed to knock out all the blocks and fiddle with some of the more intricate items.

Never the less, in eight hours five boards have been knocked up.


Here is all five boards positioned on the decking while the glue dries.


This is the corne board needed to be deep for the height of the cutting.


This is the deepest board, 350mm deep, and will need to be just 30mm higher than the other boards, this is so that it can clear the bar area.


The slit in the side is for the other side board to slot into.


The two low boards are still 60mm thick, easy done!

No bad for eight hours work!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SDS Models NTHF VTGX and PTLY Gas tankers review - the Barcoola Review

Hi All

SDS have released the VTGX, NTHF and the PTLY Gas Tanker.

These tank wagons are perfect for the AN modeler and the GWA modeler alike.  LPG is railed from Whyalla, to all points on the standard gauge system, including Alice Springs, Broken Hill, Kalgoorlie and even Pimba.
Even witnessed two AFTrans tankers being picked up at Pimba by the “bomber”.
The tankers are available in a two pack and single pack form, check out the link.
I purchased the 1990s pack with Boral gas, 1980s pack with an Aftrans tanker, a single pack Aftrans tanker, and a single pack  Origin PTLY.  All of these wagons are perfect for Alice Springs and Barcoola, in both the AN and GWA era.

The models come packed in their usual robust cardboard box with appropriate plastic inserts.
Out of the box I noticed that the wheel sides are blackened and of low 88 profile, nice touch!
Another fantastic feature is the all the stirrup steps, and side rail supports etc are made of what I assume is Delrin type plastic, so they spring back when pressure is applied, Brilliant!
Out of the box they roll easily and are well weighted, they are fitted with scale size couplers.
The detail around the top of the tank is will executed, and has the “spindly” took.
The detail is era specific Boral Gas has the additional vents etc.
Underfloor detail looks all there, definitely busy, Ill leave it to Glen to count out the chain links!
Comparing the quality of their previous ATBL model, the build quality of these tankers is noticeably higher, and everything fits exactly where is should be, no wavy handrails, etched detail sits in where it should and does not look like an “add on”.
First word of warning is I found some of the brake shoe assemblies sprang off in initial handling, I was not too fussed about this, seems a bit of over the top detail, Auscision stock is no different.  Just to let you know to be aware!
I guess the first caveat for this review is there is no doubt that these wagons have gone through multiple overhauls and repaints so what is correct for one wagon might not be correct for another etc.  It really comes down to which wagon SDS chose to replicate and when.  Otherwise this could become a detail tick off nightmare.

Aftrans VTGX
I didn’t have a clear shot of these wagons, but Norm Bray came to the rescue, check out his Flicker feed.
SDS chose to model VTGX 008.
So here goes, against the image on hand against the model,


       on all models they are missing the shunters step and handrails at one end of the wagon, however if you purchased their ATBLs you can take the steps and handrails of these and add them to their Gas tankers!  Very sneaky marketing if you ask me.




comparing the two shots below:

  • The VTGX 008 data box seems a little low
  • the liquefied Gas lettering, needs to be a little more centred.
  • The 80Kmh symbol needs to be about half way into the Orange band.




The Aftrans lettering is spot on for VTGX 008, I have to hand it to SDS, even with the various different fonts on these wagons the positioning an size is spot on!



The AFT symbol should be positioned a little more towards the centre of the tanker.
The handrails from the handbrake onto the tank should be half painted orange.
The poison warning symbol should be red.





Boral Gas NTHF 6404 S

Glen and myself caught up with NTHF 6404 S at Whyalla in 1995.



the red LPG lettering should be closer to the centre of the tank.
The Chemical warning symbol and the 80Kmh symbol needs to be forward of the bolster not aft.



The BORAL GAS lettering seems a little anorexic, needs to be a little thicker to be healthier.
The handrails under the GA of GAS, should also be painted black.


The NTHF 6404 S lettering should be closer to the bolster.




Origin Energy PTLY 6417
Once again Glen and myself caught up with PTLY 6417 a Spencer Junction yard on 13th of June 2011.
First of note is the model is missing the reflective striping.



The Origin Energy lettering and PTLY 6417-F lettering, is spot on.
For some reason there is a Pacific national stickers on the frame stand outs.




The ladder should be black, and the handbrake should be positioned more to the centre of the wagon, and needs a red band around the frame edge.




The Chemical board is spot on.








In summary.

SDS has raised the bar with thoughtful application and design of the handrails, and making them more resistant to damage.  In operation, this is fantastic, a great step forward!

Details are there, All up to SDS usual standard, there are some location issues with the lettering and symbols.

Some of the end lettering seems just a tiny bit out of kilter, hard to tell.


There is also some bending at the ends of the wagon, again hard to tell.

The weight is appropriate and black wheelsets are a great touch.

The verdict.

I am more than happy with the VTGX NTHF and PTLYs so now you can piff your Athearn 62ft tankers!!

This model was sorely needed, and will be right at home on Alice Springs and Barcoola.  As a prototype it spans the ages, NSW steam right through to ultra modern, and suitable right across the country.

Its also worth noting that this wagon enables all modelers to look at a LPG transfer facility, cooling points would be a great modeling challenge.

And, Yes, I have already ordered a couple more!

SDS Models are clearly passionate about their attention to detail, and cant wait for their next model the AOQX! Onya SDS Models.