Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

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

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.