Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

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

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Christmas 2018

Happy Christmas to all the blog followers and all the best in 2019. Thanks for your support and 
remember to blast into Coles New World and get your Christmas hamper.

With the progress done this year the 1970s section  West Wardell (I have yet to confirm that this will be the name) has all the buildings completed with only minor scenery to finish. 

Hope to be back at Wardell in the 1950s in 2019. 

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Die Schweizer verbindung (The Swiss Connection)

For the love of Trams
October was a busy month, with our family having the opportunity to return to Basel, Switzerland for a holiday. We hadn't returned to Basel since 2014 so it brought back memories of riding on trams, travelling on the superb train system and visiting our local neighborhood. I lived in Basel for 6 years from 2006 and this is where my love for trams was born as I heard the trams every day and found it an efficient means of getting around. We use to live in the Gundeli and our nearest tram stop was Heiliggeistkirche where we caught the 15 or 16  number tram. My time in Basel inspired me to do a layout on the Sydney tram system although I was not born during the time of its operation. 
Above: Picture of our local tram stop . Photo taken taken back in December 2006.
One distinct feature of the visit was seeing and riding the Basel City trams new low floor Flexity trams replacing the ageing Duewag GT6 trams. As usual, a trip to Europe is not complete without a visit to the local model train store to obtain those hard to get items not available in Australia. It was sad to note that two of the stores I use to visit have been closed. One being the main one in Basel city centre.

Above: a picture of my spoils October 2018
 Parting notes
 Whilst we knew it was a holiday it was very sad and difficult to leave Switzerland with our precious time with our friends in Basel and using my German. It gave me inspiration that I hope to return to Europe one day on a more longer visit so that I can become fluent in German and also ride trains and visit model train shops along the way.  Bis spateer der Schweiz

Modelling Basel town
Although there are no plans to build a model of Basel town with its trams and central station I did have inspiration to find and purchase a Duewag GT6 Model on Ebay. This is not in Basel Stadt livery but is close enough in colour. This is a ""Vestiche" German livery made by Rivarossi.  As yet I have yet to find a tram for the Baselland Transport (BLT) yellow and red livery.

1. more information on the Basel city transport operator
2. more information on the Basel land transport operator

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Quarter acre block

Growing up in the suburbs of south western Sydney, I remember it was dotted with rows and rows of fibro houses. These were sitting on a quatter acre block representing the Australian dream. I wanted to model this but found many Australian model houses were based on country prototypes  and did represent the L shape floor plan fibro houses I remember.
Above: The completed fibro house in its natural setting in the western suburbs of Sydney

I bought a book a couple of years ago called Fibro Frontier this was fascinating reading of the humble fibro house. I also did a bit of research found various pictures of the quaint fibro houses. A company that was found making fibro houses was Vandyke brothers who had a factory in Punchbowl in the 1940s and 1950s. I was able to source a product brochure from the Caroline Simpson l.ibrary which also provided details of various variations of the L shape fibro for me to base a model.
Above: Vandyke Brothers Product Brochure extract

The model builds
After a search I only found one kit that would be suitable this was a cardboard kit found on Ebay.
The kit was easy to build with the garage the most enjoyable. I decided to reinforce the walls with balsa wood and foam board and substitute the cardboard tile roof with a plastic roof tiles from Kibri.
Once I built the model I was disappointed that the house was overscalled and appeared to be scaled as 1/76 OO gauge instead of 1/87.
Above: Kit open and ready to build

Scaling down
In order to scale it down i had to trim the floor and walls about one third. I also shrank the floorprint by about one third. Additional details such as porch, guttering and scenery were put in place to make the scene.

Below you can see the difference in scale of the garage against a Hanovale made 1/87 garage. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Serving Golden Service

One of the things I remember as a child are Australian brands that are no longer seen one of these is Golden Fleece. Golden Fleece was a brand of petrol with service station dotted along the major highways and small country towns. I always yearned to stop there to get food: a hamburger, fish and chips or a pie before the spread of the American Fast Food giants. 
I wanted to model this brand on my layout by including a Golden Fleece Oil siding. 

Starting point
Many of the oil sidings have now been decommissioned and demolished. However, whilst at the Canberra Railway Museum in Fyshwick a couple of years I noticed the old Shell Oil terminal whilst riding on the Diesel railcar. After the visit to the museum, I was able to locate the address where it was an took additional photos through the closed gates.

Above: Photo of the Shell terminal rail siding at Fyshwick (Taken 27 July 2014)
Modelling Options
I had a corner area of my layout that was going to be the site of the oil siding. I searched the internet for a number of options for a depot that would be suitable and found the Walthers Interstate Fuel and Oil Depot.  
Above: Kit opened and ready to build
Measuring the site
I made a number of changes to not only ensure that the kit could fit in the space but to Australianise it.  I made the depot building as a low relief and removed the roof to not look like a quonset hut. Various tries were made to determine how it could fit in the space. 

Above: Oil depot area to be modelled
The tanks were also painted and weathered to give it a used look and coloured white as in the prototype. 

Adding Scenery
The final touches to give it some realism was to make Golden Fleece decals for the tanks, adding a concrete slab, appropriate warning signage, adding trees and then used the LJ model factory fencing which are no longer produced. 
For the first time I purchased one of the Haskell Australian backdrops to give the area more depth. Although I did feel it gave a too much a rural feeling.

Another view of the oil siding with the low relief shed and appropriate Golden Fleece livery vehicles which were built separately.

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

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.
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:
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.
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