Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

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. 

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 
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
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

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Since 1939

Its been a while since I last posted my update. Life and family has taken time out from modelling. Behind the scenes I have working on a number of projects on my layout however only one was able to be completed to a stage to be presented on this blog.

First Building on Trafalgar St
To give more realism to the main road on Wardell was to add some buildings. It is notable that almost all of the buildings along Trafalgar St are still standing there today from the 1950s.  This provides me with the advantage that the field trips provide a useful resource to be able to model the buildings. The first building that was decided to be modeled was the McCallum  and Sintered office building. 
The McCallum building has been its offices in Petersham since 19391. A photo by Noel Reed shown in a previous blog  was used as a basis for building the prototype. 
Above: Completed model of McCallum and Sintered Alloy Offices, excuse the poor photoshopping of the backdrop. 

Modelling Steps
I Kitbashed  two street level overhead door and two shop front shop facades for the ground floor and four 1st storey rectangular window facades to make the front of the building.. These were painted in appropriate period colours and weathered. 

I believe that advertising and signs really provide the look for the period of the buildings. As there is no commercially avaliable decals for the signs were made using clear decal paper and my HP inkjet printer. I used the period photo as previously mentioned as the basis for the knowing what words were written on the building. However due to the fact that the photo was not clear I had to use some modelling licence.
Above: Printed decal signs for McCallum building with other signs also printed on the same A4 sheet.

Above: Decals applied using decal solution and then clear coated
Completed model
For added detail I decided to include an interior of the 1st floor offices which is not shown. As you can see from the photo I took back in 2012 although the colour of the building has changed the structure is still intact. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Hurry on down to Hartee's where the burgers are barbecued!

Growing up in the Canterbury-Bankstown area in the early 1970s, I remember the ads on the TV for "Hartee's", the new burger joint where the catch jingle was "Hurry on down to Hartee's, where the burgers are barbecued" sang by a cowboy. I always thought the burgers tasted better than the latest food chain McDonalds. But they just disappeared overnight and my local Hartees restaurant on Canterbury road, Canterbury was no longer there and was soon replaced by McDonalds.

It has only been the result of the internet that I have finally found the fate of Hartees but more of that later.

I decided to rekindle my youth and model the Hartees that I remembered in the early 1970s.

Above: Finished model of the Hartee;s restaurant

Basis of restaurant
I purchased a Fast Food Restaurant cardboard from Kingsway in the UK which I asked the supplier to reduce to kit from 00 gauge to HO scale. I started to build the kit as per instructions but found the kit a little large and it needed to reduce the kit by a quarter. 

Above: Original size walls of the Kingsway model

Above:cut to size to represent Hartees
Building Roof
I attempted to use the stock roof that was included in the Kingsway kit but it did not represent the roof for Hartees so a custom built roof made of cardboard and paper mache was used.

Retaurant Signage
Restaurant signage examples were sourced from the internet. As Hartees was based on the American Hardees who part owned the Australian operation with Kelloggs, I was able to find some colour Hardees photos as Australian sourced photos were in black and white. I used word to mock up the signs and then pasted them on styrene.

The most useful source that I found on the internet was from flickr which had a black and white ad from "The Leader"newspaper advertising the grand opening of the Hartees store in Kogarah 

Hardees as they were in the US in the 1970s and still going strong

The Final Fate
For those of you who wanted to know a whatever happened to Hartees or like me was too young to be able to know about the news at the time the blog the Past Lives of the Near Future has some interesting reading on Hartee's.

 If Hartee's continued today it will probably be Hungry Jacks however instead of having barbecued hamburgers we are getting "The burgers are better at Hungry Jacks.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Torn between choices

As the new year of 2017 commences everyone has anticipation of new things to look forward to. I wanted to commence something new to spur some enthusiasm again into completing my layout. 

Torn - Choice of two different approaches
I was torn between either completing a full double track around the room to enable continuous running of trains or starting the 1970s scenery section of the layout. 
In the end, I half completed the full double track which ended when I ran out of flexitrack around the fiddle yard area and lost momentum  so ended up starting to commence the 1970s section again. 

New 1970s section
I have yet to name this section of the layout but it will have scenery items that will bring back memories of my childhood living in Belmore and travelling along Canterbury road during the early 1970s. 

The section measures 1800 mm long x 600mm wide. 

Track layout
This will consist of double track with Peco code 75 with a oil siding in the corner of the section. Track had been laid in previous months so what was needed was to paint and weather the track and ballast the sleepers.

I found a supplier in Blacktown, Austech that supplies extruded polystyrene which is denser than the normal polystyrene. I bought a couple of sheets a  few years ago. This will be used for the embankments where the track will be raised about street level. No more gaps are used to cover holes where there were joins between the polystyrene.

Above: Start of the embankment section of the 1970s layout

Rail and sleeper weathering and ballasting

I applied rust acrylic paint along the rails and nail heads with a light grey paint for the sleepers to remove the black plastic look.  This is where you can spend time weathering and detailing the track that can make a difference between a toy train and realism. I will probably need to do some more dry brushing with different shades of greys and browns to get the right look. 

I used Chucks Ballast - Martin's Creek fine on my previous layout and also on Wardell section of the layout. This is also used in this section applied on with a plastic spoon and a mixture of PVA glue with water and dishingwashing liquid applied to the ballast using an eye-dropper.

Above: Oil distribution section of the 1970s layout. with ballasting of sleepers commenced. 

I originally had the backdrop board already screwed on to the baseboard but found I needed to remove it to correct the underpass road that would represent the Arnotts rail bridge at North Strathfield. This made the layout detailing more accessible so I could access the back of the layout. I will probably won't reinstall it until after I have completed the scenery

Still alot to do
There is still alot to do with the scenery in the meantime I have been also been building some of the structures for this section. If I could complete the scenery in 6 months that would be fantastic.

Lets see.