Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Valiant by Shapeways

Modelling the 1970s requires 1970s model Aussie cars.
 One of the difficulties of modelling the early 1970s section of my layout is the lack of 1970s Australian cars. Weico which are now no longer produced manufactured a Holden Kingswood HQ sedan, one tonner, ute and Monaro in white metal. Road Ragers have also just started to produce some of the muscle cars of the 1970s including the Valiant Charger RT, Ford Falcon GTO, Ford Falcon Coupe Cobra however, most of these are not family cars such as sedans and station wagons that were on numerous on the streets of Sydney. 

After discussing with a friend I decided I might as well get the model make up myself .
I decided on the Valiant VH Sedan.
Above: finished Shapeway Valiant models made into a Valiant VH Regal and Valiant VH Regal 770
 The underdog , the Wog Chariot
One brand which I had a stigma whilst I was growing up in the 1970s was the Chrysler Valiant. It was referred to as "Wog Chariot" or "Greek Mercedes" because wit as perceived to have a following by Australians of Italian or Greek descent. 
If you were a true Australian, you had a Ford or a Holden. We had a Holden Kingswood and were proud of it. However, now an Adult I remember the Chrysler dealership near my house in Belmore and wanted to have Valiant VHs for my layout and on for my car carriers.


If you don't find it make it yourself
So I either had to wait until a manufacturer makes Valiants I wanted or substitute some of the other American prototype cars to simulate the valiants. After chatting to a friend who was able to get some a locomotive made in 3D printing by using a 3D software drawer in India, I decided to seek this option.

Sourcing photos
Although I found photos on the internet of the Valiant VH, I needed good straight side, rear and front photos. I joined a Chrysler Valiant appreciation group on Facebook to seek an owner who would share their to take photos of these views of the car.

Above: Valiant VH Pacer one of the many variants of the Valiant VH when released

3D file to Shapeways production
With the aid of my friend who sent the photos to a 3D drawer in
India he was able to prepare a file that I would be able to upload to a 3D printer to produce. I checked out Shapways created a shop to get it produced but also share it so others could buy it

Link to page on Shapew
http://shpws.me/Q9i6


I initially bought 6 cars one made from Frosted Ultra Details and the other of Transparent material.
Here are photos of the 6 cars in various stage of painting and finishing.
Conclusion
After seeing the 3D model the only thing I didnt like about it was the wheels and tires. I cut most of these off the model in order to use aftermarket wheels from Busch and Wiking etc.
I hope to be able to get other car models made such as the Valiant VH Station Wagon and Chrysler by Chrysler CH Hardtop just need to find owners who will provide photos.


Saturday, 28 April 2018

Fifty years of Finger lickin' good

Today 27th April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary that KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) opened its first store in Australia in Guildford Sydney's western suburbs. I was only just over a year old and wouldn't remember it. However, I had fond memories of going to KFC as a young child in the early 1970s and always wanted to have a KFC outlet on my layout.

My KFC diorama as a tribute to 50 years in Australia today

Opening of Guildford store - Source: https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/04/26/14/00/kfc-australia-50-years-anniversary
Childhood memories
Most times we would visit  KFC on a Sunday or Saturday late afternoon as we lived during the weekdays at Bondi Beach where my parents had a restaurant and then go back to our family home at Belmore over the weekend. There was no M5 motorway in the early 1970s so my dad would drive to Bondi via Homer St Earlwood, where we would ask if we could go there to pick up KFC and we would eat in our light blue Holden Kingswood station wagon as there were no tables and chairs  back then. 
My favourite  menu item was the snack box with potato and gravy as well as the coleslaw. I remember they also had roasted BBQ chicken but we were never fans and enjoyed the original KFC with 11 herbs and spices a time before the hot and spicy. 

Modelling my memories
If you go around most train shows you will bound to see the Life Like KFC kit built on a layout. Whilst the kit is great as the first version of the KFC store and is still widely available, the one thing I did not like was the carpark and footprint which did not resemble anything in Australia.


Above: Opened kit ready for building and kit bashing.
Modifications
Instead of building the kit as is I had reduce the size of the back kitchen in order to fit in the space I had on my layout.
I also added both interior and external LED lights. The carpark was enlarged to what I remembered it at Earlwood and I also made the bucket rotate. 
The rotating bucket is a source of trial and error and I have installed one motor but the rpm appears to fast. I have tried to slow it down with resistors but it did not help. I have ordered a 3rpm motor so hopefully that would look more realistic. 

Above is the finished model with all lights lite next a competing fast food outlet that never last. 


50 years on KFC is not the same as I remembered it the servings are smaller.  I still like the mashed potato and gravy and the coleslaw but feel disappointed after having it. I just have to yearn for those good old times. For those wanting to live the past here are some old KFC commercials on You Tube
 First Australia KFC TV AD
Mid 1970s KFC ad

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Groundhog day - revisiting the lighting

It is has been over a year since the lights have been working on the layout and it  was only finally finished yesterday evening. Below is the finished lighting with the added detail of a newspaper stand and added detail of figures.


Back to the wiring
Last year, I had a friend who electronics inclined view my layout and looked at the electrical wiring of the lights etc. I have a mixture of LEDS and bulb lighting installed , But both were supplied by AC power using a Tyco transformer I had lying around. 
However, he advised that the LEDS should be powered by DC and not AC. Using AC will reduce the life of the LEDS and they will flicker. He suggested purchasing a AC-DC rectifier which was about a dollar from Ebay. 

Above: Ebay rectifier.
He also tested the LEDS for voltage and suggested that the LEDS should be wired in two in series with a maximum of 10 LEDS per recifier. I had 25 LEDS on the Petersham (Wardell Section) of the layout. 

As I had to pull up platform and footbridge I decided to improve the wiring placement as well and include a newspaper stand.
Morning News
Before the internet commuters use to purchase the morning and afternoon newspaper. In Sydney we have the afternoon paper The Sun. I remember my mum, purchasing it. As I had set my station in the 1950s a newspaper stand would be appropriate. As I did not have a lot of space on the footbridge I needed a very narrow breath kiosk.
I found a Metcalfe OO/HO laser cardboard kit in Hobbyco in Sydney CBD as the basis of the newspaper stand.

Above: Metcalfe 00/H0 Platform Kiosk
Learning from previous mistakes I decided to test the wiring prior to installation on the layout. Below is the footbridge and ticket office.



After many months of wiring testing and installing three rectifiers which hold 24 lights between them the layout, the layout is now looking good for night operation.




Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Arts and Crafts

In high school, we had a subject in Year 7, Art and Craft it was never that interesting until the last semester were were able to do model making. At the time I was into military WWII model making in 1/72 scale and built a Matchbox Wellington bomber flying over an airfield.  Whilst I have ditched the military modelling, I continue to enjoy is railway modelling .

One of the interesting aspects of railway modelling is researching the topic and  its history. I wanted to model an Australian residential building that was part of the Sydney landscape that included a bay window. 

Search
I had been searching for ho buildings with bay windows but only found the IHC Homes of Yesterday and Today series to be the only one that may still be available. These kits are based on the Painted Ladies Cottages in San Francisco with the clapperboard look and narrow width. I did not find these kits available easily. 
Above:  IHC ho house kit 

And Find
Two years ago at the Epping Model Railway show in Sydney in the secondhand stand, I had found one of these buildings built up.  Since then it has been lying on my shelf until recently. 
I wanted to add an apartment on my layout that would be able to feature the front of this kit. 
Above: Start of the cut up the sides, rear and roof were scrapped.
A discussion with a friend as well as reference books being lent provided me with ideas for the building. 
I stumbled upon the architectural style Federation Arts and Crafts Federation Arts and Crafts
By cutting up the front and extending it's width made it a more grandeur building. I also added a high pitched roof and a circular window feature.


Above: Building prior to painting, Roof tiles are made from Noch self adhesive rubberised tiless that I purchased years ago whilst I was living in Switzerland.

Apartment  - Federation Arts and Crafts style
Below is the completed Apartment next to the Art Deco apartment. Both which are on Trafalgar St Wardell.



Friday, 9 February 2018

Sharpening my skills

My third building that I modeled along Trafalgar St, is another small business which is located at number 311. This previously housed the offices of Annandale Saw Works. An internet search has revealed that they were established in 1950 and had their office their even a a couple of years ago with contemporary paintwork of the building then the brickwork of the 1950s. According to the internet it has since moved to Villawood in Sydney's West. Today the offices have seen better days and houses a printing office

Completed Model

Above: Completed model based on photo as 1950s photo per my previous blog The little tram that could

The completed model was built using the Hardware Store Smalltown USA kit and various DPM modular wall system kits

Steps to build
I chose the Smalltown USA Hardware store as the basis of the facade of 311 Trafalgar st because it had three large windows for the first floor. 

So based on this front facade I cut the ground floor level off and then used various DPM modular wall sections to make up the ground floor consisting of a street level large door opening and a semi-circle door entrance as well as modifying the shop front sash window. 
Below is the start of the building facade, a bit rough that at least it provides the basis for the front of the building. 

Painting and weathering. 
I used a cream tone house paint that I had as the basis for the mortar and then used various shades of brown to represent the brickwork. Based of the photo I tried to used less dark coloured brown. basis as the foundation of the mortar 
Bases
Decals 
As stated previously, signage really assists in setting the scene for the model as well as assisting in setting the time period with period fonts and period businesses. I could not read the wording on the original photo per previous blog post as to what was written before and after the words of "Annandale Saw Works"so I used my modellers licence and included the year it was established and a 1950s phone number using 2 alpha characters and 4 digits LU-2346. The decals were homemade using the Testor decal kit and my  inkjet printer.

As it stands today
The building still stands but has seen better days with graffiti on most of the building. This was taken in 2012. 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Welcome to Trafalgar Court

One of the charming architectural styles of the inner suburbs of Sydney is the Art Deco style apartments such as those built between 1930s and 1940s. I have loved the old style features so much that I have lived in these style apartments in different times of my life and wanted to have a model this type of building on my layout.

Final Touches
This is the finished model placed with brick fencing and lawn I will also add lighting too. The car in the foreground is a kit bash car to represent a 1948 Ford Anglia Tourer






The search begins 
Having trawled through the internet looking for apartment buildings, most of them were either the European style buildings or New York style apartments. There was none commercially available that had a Art Deco appearance with curved frontal facade until I searched Shapeways and found and ordered the NSW small modern signal box https://www.shapeways.com/product/NSW-modern-brick-signal-box-small
.
Colour and Apartment Name
I painted the building a red brown brick colour with a touch of orange and also decided to give it a name since most apartments at that time were given a name to give some prestige. My apartment has Court in it so I decided to use Court and Trafalgar represents the road that it is on, so it is called Trafalgar Court. I tested a number of fonts on the computer to get an Art Deco type font. 
Above: Testing Art Deco font style




Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas 2017


Thanks for all the followers on the blog during the year and happy modelling for 2018. I hope to be able to finish off the work on my 1970s section of my layout in 2018