Saturday, November 19, 2016

Armidale Convention and a Shift in Time

Christine and I have just returned from our journey up to Armidale from southern Sydney.. We left on Thursday morning at 5:04 am. Why so early? Well, back in January Chris told me that she wanted a caravan so a month later it sat in our driveway. The early start was to try to clear Sydney before the peak hour really started to get going. We had a good trip up to Quirindi where we decided to stay overnight instead of pushing through to Armidale. All evening and throughout the night we heard the coal trains passing but mainly just the horn, the modern wagons are relatively quiet, boring though.

The next day we stopped in Werris Creek so that I could get a few photos of the supporting timbers under the sloping ends of the station awnings. I have taken photos of the station building several times over the years and it is amazing how many photos you can take and still not get every thing.

As we were walking to a coffee shop we ran into Ian Black and Chris Sim so we had an enjoyable couple of hours chatting over coffee and photographing the station. We went into the museum and were invited upstairs to see the HO layout based on Werris Creek that is being built. It is virtually finished but with the station buildings still to be made.

Later that afternoon we made it to Armidale and I went to the Friday night registration as Chris was very tired and elected to stay in the van. I managed to catch up with Dave and Maureen Heap and had an enjoyable meal with them in the Bowling Club Bistro.

The convention was very enjoyable and I had many chats with friends old and new. I won't name names as there are too many and I might miss someone.

Rohan Fergusson had his newest railway module there as a large diorama along with several models, an amazing very large bulk wheat model and a really nice Queensland style pub. Here is a link to Rohan's blog and the bulk wheat model.

Here is Rohan's layout module, photos taken at last years Coffs Harbour Convention.

And here is Rohan's pub model.

Also there was an On3 old town diorama and and N Scale diorama of Moffat Tunnel of the D&RGW railroad. Moffat Tunnel is a famous railroad and water tunnel that cuts through the Continental Divide in north-central Colorado USA.

There were some layout visits that I could have attended but I was too busy talking and 'missed the bus' so to speak. I particularly wanted to see the Great Northern Railway layout which was modelled on the GNR in the New England area.

One aspect of the convention is a sort of requirement to bring a model along but given the numbers attending and the models on display there were more than a few who didn't bring a model. That isn't a complaint just an observation. The models displayed were interesting but unfortunately I didn't think to take any photos of them. I displayed my latest Fettlers Cottage pilot model along with my working Fine Detail signal diorama, a Distant signal in WSF and the latest Fine Detail Distant signal in FUD as a comparison. I also displayed the part completed Werris Creek platform bracket starting signal.

Laurie McLean had his diorama with On3 working figures and animals all run with tiny geared motors and cams, amazing work. There were other clinics on DCC, JMRI Decoder Pro, servos and trestle building.  Wagon weathering with Ian Millard, point building with Andrew Campbell and of course the irrepressible Keiran Ryan was there showing and working on his 7mm products.

Commercials were represented by Warren Herbert's Gwyder Valley Models, Joe Callpari's Casula Hobbies, Peter Boorman's N Scale and HO etched brass kits and Keiran Ryan Models.

I managed to spend more on the weekend than I have in quite a few years.

I have been pondering all year about which version of the Casula Hobbies R Car Sets to get and finally came down to the Tuscan and Russet 5 car set. Now, by 1965 (my modelling year) the R Cars were in Indian Red with single yellow line, so what happened?

I have decided that I will have two eras, 1965 and perhaps 1955 - 1960. I have been working up to this for a while now and thought I may as well take the plunge as I liked the Tuscan and Russet so much.

The earlier era will allow me to run my two D57s in the right time period. D57s on the Sandy Hollow to Gulgong line you say? Yes, you see since I am modifying history I decided that the line was upgraded to allow heavy trains like W44 to avoid going over the Blue Mountains, into Sydney and out again to cross the Hawkesbury River and into Newcastle. the only trouble with W44 is that I don't have the appropriate wagons, oh well, one step at a time.

As part of this move, I have bought a Bergs brass C35 which may replace my two Austrains C35s that I have modified to fit the 1965 era. The difference between the two times is that by the mid-1960s the C35s had a section of valance removed above the crosshead, no doubt to simplify access for maintenance. My two Austrains C35s have had this section of valance removed and they have also been re-numbered to two locomotives running at the end of 1965 still with original tenders, numbers 3520 and 3532.

One of the highlights of the convention is the Saturday night dinner with an after dinner speaker. he speaker this time was supposed to be Tim Fisher but unfortunately he couldn't attend at the last minute as he was in Melbourne for Remembrance Day and got held up. Tim's replacement was Senator John Williams who acquitted himself well giving a talk about his childhood railway reminiscences and his several Anzac day trips to Hellfire Pass on the Thailand - Burma Railway.

For me the weekend was more about the social contact with other modellers than it was about the various sessions and I spent the whole weekend mostly just talking and spending. There were quite a few ladies present at the convention and a tour of the nearby Saumarez mansion was arranged on the Sunday and at least 15 of the ladies went along. Chris said it was just amazing as the mansion had been kept as it was in the Edwardian era by the last surviving family member. Rooms were even kept as they were when various family members passed away, so the mansion slowly became a museum. It was handed over by the more distant family members to the National Trust in 1985-86.

Christine and I will definitely be returning in two years time for the next Armidale convention and I encourage those who haven't yet attended to make sure you go as it is an enjoyable few days away, a sort of model railway holiday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NSWGR Fettlers Cottage HO Model for Cassilis

I have been working on a 3D print of a NSWGR Fettlers Cottage for some time for my Cassilis branchline terminus station. I have had the plan for this for several years and always liked it. After doing a pilot model and amending the 3D designs I am now ready to make it available on my Shapeways Signals Branch shop. It can be found in the HO Architectural and HO Infrastructure sections of my shop.

There are three parts of the cottage that need to be ordered to complete it, two in the White Strong and Flexible material and the finer detail parts in the Frosted Ultra Detail acrylic material.

Here is a rotatable and zoomable view of the 3D model.

    NSWGR Fettlers Cottage - 1933
    by RayP1949
    on Sketchfab

The model will be about AU$145 depending on the exchange rate. I have used every trick I can to reduce the print cost short of designing it as a multi-piece 'flat pack' which can take away some of the advantage of 3D printing.

The three parts that need to be ordered are:

  • The main body of the cottage in White Strong and Flexible (WSF).
  • The roof in White Strong and Flexible.
  • The details parts in Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) being the windows, doors, water tanks, sheet metal fireplace and the gutters.

The cottage has been modeled from NSWGR Standard Fettlers Cottage Plan S.T. 106 of 1933.

I have not been able to find any photos of these timber framed, weatherboard and fibrous cement sheeting ('Fibro') cottages so here are some images to show what I think the NSWGR 'Stone' colour scheme of the era and later into the 1960's could have been like. Of course in the early 1960's the NSWGR started to paint railway stations and associated buildings in the pastel colours.

I would be very interested in any photos of these cottages, particularly showing the colour scheme.

The only magazine article that I am aware of regarding the NSWGR 'Stone' colour scheme is in Branchline Modeller No.1 - 'STONE' COLOUR SCHEMES FOR NSWGR BUILDINGS by James McInerney.

Here are a couple of views of the HO pilot model. Do note that there have been some changes to this model. The doors are now in the FUD high resolution acrylic material and the corrugated iron in WSF on the verandah roofs and the walls of the bathroom at the rear have been modified to make the corrugations stand out better. The roof corrugations in the WSF are very good so the model orientation of the body of the cottage in the printer was obviously different from that of the roof.

The wall and verandah structure model part has supports for a floor and tabs/slots for the internal walls if the modeller wishes to add these. The floor would be .020" thick and the slots for the interior walls have been designed for 1mm thick (0.040") wall material.

I have not included downpipes from the gutters to the water tanks so that the tanks can be placed in different positions. The downpipes can be made from 1mm diameter plastic (Evergreen 211 1mm/0.040" Rod) or copper/brass wire.

Lastly, I was unable to get the small hole (for the downpipes) in the top of the water tanks to be printed as each time I uploaded my model to Shapeways it would assume that the hole needed to be fixed so the upload program closed it. If you wish to have the hole I have made a locating ring inside the top of the water tank (accessible from underneath) where you could drill through. I found it easier to use a drop of black paint on the end of a 3mm diameter piece of rod.

800 Gallon Water Tanks on Stands
I have also made available on my Shapeways Signals Branch shop the 800 gallon water tanks on stands. These come as two tanks on a sprue. This is to reduce the cost per tank as Shapeways has a base US$5 charge per item before any printing cost. Basically a single water tank would be much more expensive than the per each price when buying two on a sprue (one print item).

Corrugated Iron
Also available are sprues of corrugated iron sheets both flat and bullnose for verandahs in 10 foot lengths, 30 sheets of 8 corrugations and 30 sheets of 10 corrugations wide. These are in Frosted Ultra Detail acrylic material the only possible material. The price is relatively expensive and I am making very little on these. I have made them available as someone might want to use them, particularly the bullnose as it is very difficult to make with the usual model corrugated materials.