Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Christmas 2019

Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for 2020. Hope to get more work done on Wardell 1950s section of the layout. Here is a typical Aussie scene. It Looks like dad got a new Aussie Charger for Christmas.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Wanna be Startin Something

The Final Section
At the beginning of this year, my objective was to commence and aim to complete the last section of the layout in the foreseeable future This section measures 2446mm by 300mm and will build on the 1950s inner west of Sydney theme with both commercial and industrial setting. 

I have chosen the area around Crago Flour mill at Newtown as the basis and using my modelling licence to also include a milk distribution site although the closest would have been in Ultimo. 

The Track Plan

The aim of the track plan was to have the ability to have some industry with some sidings but not overcrowd the layout with track section so that scenery such as buildings and structures would balance the effect. 
Above is the planned track plan what is not shown is the planned tram lines which will consist of a double tram track running at the front of the layout representing King Street or Old Canterbury road. 

Period buildings and shop fronts will also be included to set the scene. 

Building the scenery 
I used dense extruded polystyrene used as building materials that I purchased in large sheets as a way of building the terrain and the railway cutting. This was cut into shapes and then Total Joint Finish was used to cover the joins. Further work on the scenery will be completed when the track is laid and tested.

Laying track
Peco Code 70 track was glued down with white glue onto painted cork road bed. As shown on the track diagram a large right hand turnout and 2 left hand curved turnouts will be used for the siding area. All turnouts will be electrofrog, motorised and connected to frog juicer. As in my previous post the frog juicers worked excellently to ensure smooth running.

Above: Track view looking towards the "Enmore Road Road bridge"
I was fortunate enough to be able to do a short field trip of the Newtown area. I was able to squeeze my camera through a gap in the fence to take some shots of the railway line I am modelling to get idea of the terrain to model.  

Above:  A view of the Enmore Road/King St road bridge

Above: View looking towards Petersham and Crago  Flour Mill

Thursday, 4 July 2019

A Trip to the Country

Over the June NSW long weekend ,I had the opportunity to visit my Uncle in the Central Tablelands. It was great time to visit and reminisce some of my childhood places I use to go with my family in the country and also to catch up with extended family.  
Like anything my mind is constantly working on how I can get the next project done. What I had in  mind was the first building on my Newtown section of the layout, the grain silos of Crago Flour Mill.
Whilst travelling around the country I did get to view a few silos. 

Above: The large silos at Molong,, Central West NSW
 The basis for the model
The grain silos is a large imposing structure and as I only wanted to represent this as part of a larger section of the layout I aimed to build a low relief version. A search on the internet found a cardboard 4 cell concrete silo kit on Ebay sourced from a South Australian producer , BAM. This would provide a cost effective way to model the Crago Silos.

Above: Contents of the kit, it required the modeler to source their own  "Concrete Cells"
Outside assistance
During my visit at my Uncle's and knowing him being a "Man of the land" both resourceful and handy I asked him if he knew where I could source some PVC pipe from the local hardware store.  
He responded in saving that he had some PVC pipe and will also cut it too. 
Upon my return to my home after the long weekend I spray painted the silos in a plain white colour. 
However, it was only when I starting constructing the corrugated roof and conveyor belt that I had not cut it short enough and I required further trimming and sanding in order to complete the model.
Above: spray painting of the PVC pipe, concrete silos
 Completed model
 I completed the model as per instructions however, to achieve the illusion of silos of the Crago Flour,I changed the arrangement of the 4 cell to a 3 x 3 cell and only included one side of the 3 cell.silo . I cut the original roof in half so I could use it to extend the roof to cover the third concrete cell. Below is the completed silo kit in the desired location on my layout.

I still have to build the actual Mill which lies adjacent to the silos. This will be the next project

Friday, 31 May 2019

It's a Stage I am going through

Its been a while since my last post, although I have been busy with the layout my output has been slower with family commitments etc. The diagnosis of a torn ligament resulting in a frozen shoulder has also not helped which has made it sore and difficult to do under the layout wiring and hard to reach places. Its also means I am not getting any younger and have aimed to want to complete this layout as soon as I can. 
I have already started completing the last section of 1950s layout but I leave that for another blog update.

Staging Yard
To complete the circuit around the train room there is a section of the layout that is near the bay window.
I decided that this area will be the staging area and storing area being the longest area where the track will be straight and will allow up to 4 sets of trains to be stored.

Below is a trackplan of this section

Protection from Sunlight
As this area will be near the window and potentially sunlight I decided to build a cover from 3mm ply and pine planks as well as opening where to allow the cover not to foul up the track

Views of Staging area
Below are various photos of the completed staging area with a Trainorama 49 Class and freight load behind.As yet i am undecided if and when I will scenic this are and prefer to put my efforts in completing the last section of the layout.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Juicing the Frog

Powering the Frog
I had heard all this talk about powering the frog and it wasn't until I started to retest the West Wardell section of the layout that at the points the locomotives would sometimes just stopped. 
An Internet search found these Frog Juicers from Tam Valley Depot I bought a pair of Dual Frog Juicers to power my four points on this section of the layout. One of the key reasons for using them as that I still wanted to hand-throw the points and still have power in the frog. . 
Whilst I had thought they were fairly expensive, I found them easy to install and faultless in design in ensuring no short occurs when using DCC electrofrog points. 
Above: Unopened Dual Frog Juicer

Road testing the Frog Juicer 

Here is a video of the test loco going through the points

Bottom view of Frog Juicer 

View of the frog juicer in action with the lights changing.


Monday, 21 January 2019

Buy a Chrysler Valiant. For All the Right Reasons

Recap of the Valiant Cars
Following on my previous post in June 2018 in getting some 3D prints of Chrysler Valiants, I finally made a model of my local Chrysler Dealership which was Boyded Chrysler Lakemba. It was situated on 804 Canterbury road. The building is still there but the dealership is long gone.

Above: My complete version of Boyded Chrysler on my layout.
Building the Model
Walthers has a Car Dealership Kit called the Wayne Bros. Ford Dealership and I used this as the basis for the Chrysler Dealership. Like all Walthers kits the footprint is far too large for my layout so I did not include the rear workshop building and used styrene to add the missing rear wall. 
Above:Unopened kit of the Wayne Bros. Ford Dealership Kit by Walthers

Above: Commencement of the build as per the kit 
Change to Australianise the kit
I decided to detail the interior with period advertising, furniture and available scale model Chrysler cars.
I also change the Ford emblem, add streamers across the car yard and replaced the Ford signage with a custom built a Chrysler/Dodge/Valiant signage both based on vintage photos available on the internet.

Above: Pictured left to right : Road Ragers Chrysler Valiant VH, Road Ragers Valiant VG Pacer,  Reel Rides Plymouth Fury convertible 1967 GTX , Masterpiece Plymouth Fury 1968 aka Dodge Phoenix and  Ricko Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Adding further realism
To give the finishing touches, I included period sale advertising on the windows of the showroom with the "Hey Charger" and sticker price. Car salesmen and customers were added and their clothes were painted in 1970s brown colours. 

To coincide with the street lighting, I used 2 x Faller white light interior lights for the interior of the showroom and also added LED to the signage and used LED Street lamps purchased from EBAY.

Final Remarks
Whilst the slogan to flog Valiant sedans and wagons with "For all the Right Reasons"did not appear to work and they were never as popular as the Kingswood or Falcons,  what did sell well for Chrysler Australia was the masculine image car, the Valiant Charger. With its catchy slogan  "Hey Charger"1 , the unbelievable can happen to you it kept Chrysler sales buoyant throughout the 1970s. 

Above: Evening Shot

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Blast into Coles New World

I saw a  model of the first Coles New World Supermarket located in the Melbourne suburbs at an exhibition of retailing at the State library of Victoria in Melbourne a couple about a decade ago. 
Supermarkets were starting to take hold in the late 1950s and by the 1960s they were sprouted in many suburbs in Australia.  The space race and the first landing of the moon in the late 1960s encouraged Coles to include the rocket ship on the front of the supermarkets with the New World Supermarket theme. 

I wanted to include one of these supermarket on my layout. 

Here is a photo of the Geelong Coles sourced from http://han
Researching a suitable model
I search the internet to find a suitable model that could be used to represent the mid-century architecture of the Coles supermarket and found a possible use of the Santa Fe Station by Walthers for a kitbash to use in the required space on my layout. I used most of the window sections of the kit.

Above: Modern brick Santa Fe Station from Walthers Cornerstone Part # 933-4064
 Sourcing parts
Apart from the the main supermarket building, I also used the Faller shop interior fitting set to give the model some interior features. 

I made my own signs and decals including period grocery prices from Supermarket ads from the early 1970s as this is the period when the layout is set. 

By far the hardest part to source was the 3D lettering on the front of the Coles Building. I used Times Roman Font and was able to make a coloured decal sign but wanted it to be 3D lasercut. I found a supplier on Ebay that could produce this at a height of 20mm high but found that this was too large to fit the words across the building.

I contacted two local suppliers and found that modelsnmore could do it and I received the laser cut lettering in a week. I am pleased with their work and highly recommend them. Below is the finished painted signage .

 Completed Model
 I added a backdrop, period figurines, period cars to the carpark as well as a fence, Below is the completed model I have yet to include the space rocket which I had sourced but misplaced it