Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

Sunday, 1 February 2015

One year on.....

Time flies!
Its now been one year since I had have the new train room to build my dream layout. If this was a task that I had to complete at work with budgets and goals set I would have failed miserably in missing them. At the beginning of last year, I would have thought that by Christmas time, I would have some of the dream layout built and operating whilst chatting with friends over a beer around the layout.

The reality is that the first quarter of last year was cleaning out the room, six months was spent building the benchwork and the last quarter was spent doing trackwork and electricals for one module of the planned layout. Its been hard at times but I have honed my carpentry and electrical skills both of which are my least favourite activities in building a layout.

The fun begins
There is still alot of work to do. However, the good news is that in the last few weeks I have been able to commence the detailed scenery work for the Petersham module of the layout. I have starting to plan building some structures with the signal box and station which for me is the most enjoying part of hobby.

Ballasting (to non-trainheads adding rocks under the railway sleepers).
To simulate ballasting, I have used track pins to nail down the Peco code 70 flexitrack onto AMRI cork and then using diluted white glue to apply the model ballast with an eye dropper. I had previously used Chuck's Ballast Martins Creek fine on my previous layout and had 1/2 kilo left. So the easiest decision was to use the remaining supply I had the purchased another kilo and to complete the rest of the module.

I looked at other colours made by Chuck Ballast at the model store but I felt that the other colours were too brown. I am not sure what colour the ballast was used within the Sydney region and I have used my modellers licence to decide this colour rather than try to match the prototype.

Above: Start of the ballast work in the proposed Petersham goods yard area with the fibro signal box. I have kitbashed and added a brick foundation but still not happy with it as there is additional work required to make it look like the Petersham prototype.

Weathering the track and wooden sleepers
I thought I would try and glue the Ballast first before painting the side of the rails with rust colour  and then painting the wooden sleepers with enamel grey colours I had in my paint box (Humbrol sea grey 27) and then Humbrol 147 Light grey over it.
This worked as long as the ballast was not loose. In hindsight it is probably easier to weather the sleepers and rail first before ballasting.

It is intended that I then will use some of the Rustall blackwash and deadflat to give the wooden sleepers a stressed look.

Mid Year goals

Whilst I don't want to jinx myself in not being able to meet some goals I thought it would be good to at least set some goals to see if they could be achievable by mid this year and only limit this to the Petersham module.
* Complete Petersham station and platform, kitbash signal box, footbridge and Crystal street bridge.
* Add lighting to the above buildings
* Add Victorian Petersham station building in backdrop.
* Complete ground cover in goods yard.
* Start work on Trafalgar street and tramway.

Before and after shots 1 year later

Last year: Before new layout commenced. Old Bilby beach layout in background
Now: Same view of room with Petersham module complete with benchwork, trackwork and electrical work.