Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Spin-off the 70s

The Blog gets Spun-off
I have been writing this blog since February 2014 and although I have completed over half the layout there is still over a third of the 1950s section of the layout that is to be built with sections complete at different stages. 

On the other hand, I have almost completed all of the 1970s section of the layout, named West Wardell, As a result, I have decided to remove the posts relating to the 1970s and copy them to a separate blog. 

Any future updates relating to the 1970s will be updated in the blog below. 

Post relating to the Inner West and the 1950s section will continue to be posted in the original blog

Thanks for reading and following the blog. Hope you will also visit the new blog too. 

Friday, 1 May 2020

Remembering the "Trolleys"

Now for something different
Whilst I enjoy modelling trains, cars, buses and trams you can always get tempted to model something different if it comes your way. This was the case a couple of years ago when I was at the Sydney Model Railway Exhibition at Liverpool in October 2016. At the Peter Boorman Workshop Stand there were a couple resin models of Sydney Trolley buses for sale and I had never seen them before. 
Above: Finished and ready for service - Trolley buses meet at Trafalgar St and Crystal St on the Wardell Layout assuming that Trolley buses could operate alongside trams. 

Above: Photo of both models purchased: Left is the Q Type double decker whilst on the right is the AEC 66T

Historical Context 
Sydney had two trolleybus lines. A line from Town Hall Sydney to Potts Point which ran from 1934 to 1948 and a Kogarah Service Line that replaced the steam tramway that ran from Kogarah railway station to San Souci and Sandringham. This service ran from 1937 to 19591
The period location location of Wardell being in the Inner West of Sydney never operated Trolleybuses so I will use my modelling licence to place them in an appropriate position on my layout. 

The build commences
The resin models were vary basic with no underframe, wheels and the bodies were not hollowed out.
It required a lot more work than anticipated and overall it took a couple of weeks.
The Steps can be seen in the photos below:
Above: Hollowing out windows and doors. 

Above: Building the seat interior of both upper and lower decks by modifying interior passenger car seats so these can fit. 
Above: Building the chassis and choosing wheels using a Kibri truck spare parts kit which I purchased from the bring and buy stalls at one of the Model Railway shows. 
Above: These Corgi British Trolleybuses are the donors for the Trolleywires I hope to offload these minus the trolleywires. 

Above: Prototype painting using the paints I had for my Sydney Tram and bus fleet.
Driver, front chassis and lower interior being tested. 
Finished Product
The Trolleybuses look the part next to the other PTC fleet. I am happy with the result after the models had been left untouched with only part of the models being hollowed out.

1. Jones, D, (2000), Australian Trolley Buses, City Tramway Publications

Sunday, 5 April 2020

From Hiatus to Isolation - the work recommences.

The World has changed
Its been over 3 months since I did any work on the layout or any modelling activities. Family overseas holidays, the start of school and family commitments as well as kids activities halted any time spent on doing any modelling. However, the last 2 weeks we have seen a shift in the world we live in and now live under a "New Norm". The Coronavirus pandemic which has spread throughout the world has meant alot of changes in our daily lives. 
  • Working from Home is now the norm
  • The government is encouraging everyone to stay at home except where it is essential:Exercise, work, getting supplies such as food and medical supplies or going to the doctor
  • All events and activities are cancelled -Gatherings of more than 2 people is prohibited. 
  • Zoom "get together" are becoming the norm. 

Time to spend on simpler things
This has given myself a chance to do things around the home such doing a big clean out and doing a stocktake of my kits and models that I have collected over the years. To start with I thought I 'll start with building some model kits. 

The kit chosen
I chose to build the two Trident resin Canadian Pattern Trucks, I had purchased whilst living in Switzerland and are now out of  production are over 10 years old. One kit is a machinery truck and the other is a general purpose vehicle. The kits are made of resin and have brass etched parts. 

Above: Kits before build
Kit Build
The kits are made of resin and have brass etched parts. It took a number of days to complete the build after letting the paint dry between stages. The resin parts especially around the cabin were very fragile whilst trying to remove the flash. I didn't have an Humbrol Olive Drab Number 66 as recommended by the instructions for Army Green instead I had some brown and green generic art paint and mix this up . 

I built the kits as described by the instructions and photo on the box I was going to convert one into a rural fire brigade truck which were used during the 1950s . I then  cut out the fine etch-brass detailed parts and glued them into places after painting them.

Above: Completed models

Prototype and use on layout
The CWT military trucks were called Chevy or Ford Blitz and found many uses after the military did not use them. To accompany the TE Wagon with Centurion tank produced by SDS,  I decided to also include the pair of Chevy Blitzs as a wagon load. My inspiration was the photo.

 Moving Military vehicles Ryde 1942 Source: Gallery's record NSW

Above is completed Blitz load  with detailing of rope to secure the loads.
Depending on how long the government restricts movement I have plenty of model kits and work to do on the layout that will keep me busy if I have to Stay at home and Stay Safe.

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.