Friday, 27 October 2017

The Achievale Layout Concept

I've had a few comments and emails on various forums I have shared my proposed track plan on.
The idea of a late mulitdeck layout has always appealed to me. Long runs between towns and lots of scenery. I went as far as numerous 3 level designs trying to fit the whole Yacolt line in.

Time for a reality check. I'm a single layout builder in a country town with limited man hours. How long will it take to produce scenery for 180' of layout. That's a lot of trees!

The achievable layout concept is nothing new to a lot of modelers but something to keep in mind when we design and build layouts. Plan for something that wont overwhelm you and you may get to an acceptable level of completion before distraction kicks in.

Trevor Marshal over on his 1:64 scale Port Rowan blog talks about the concept in detail and goes as far as providing several track plans.

I intend to apply this concept but keep the options open for future expansion of the line.

Take a top down approach building Yacolt and the logging area first before moving on. I hope that this approach will enable me to iron out the bugs, develop standards for wiring, control ect so they can be applied to the following stages.
This will also enable me to have an layout that I can hold operating sessions before moving to the next stage.
Lets see how this plays out over the next year or so.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Wordless Wednesday #4

I know its Thursday down here in Australia but better late then never.

Kit Bashed Wheel Works Truck

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

On the Bench #1 A Depot for Yacolt

Last week I purchased A Depot kit for Yacolt. I don't have any Specific prototype images of a depot yet and I felt like building a kit (its been a while). The kit is American Model Builders Up Standard 24' x 64' Depot . I plan to use this as a stand in until I do more research and find something more suitable.

So far I'm impressed that the kit is all tab and slot and fits with minimal fuss. A little different from my usual SWSM and FSM style. Next up i need to determine if I do internal detailing or just prep it for a later date.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Sawmill Project

I origionaly decided to build a mill after seeing one by Australian Modeler Laurie Green.

Although my mill now doesn't resemble my source of inspiration his mill and plans formed the base for the size of my model. This was a few years ago now and about 6 months ago I made a start and made a bulk order of of strip wood.

The past few nights I have had some inspiration to work on my sawmill project. after our local show where i had the opportunity to meet a few people who have inspired me over the years.  Nice of the narrow gauge crowd to make the trip to Tasmania last weekend!

I'm still well away from finishing this project but the diorama base and mill floor is well under way.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Detail Castings

I have been working on some detail castings for various dioramas. A selection below of my Ho castings made from my own masters using old watch gears and other bits and pieces.

These castings are made with 2 part resin cast in silicone rubber molds. Now that they are undercoated it is time to do some painting.

Two old boiler parts made from brass or styrene tube with rivet decals added before making the molds. The brickwork on the furnace is cast in hydrocal and hand carved. 

The stricture in this image is based on Sierra West Scale Models Railroad camp that I am attempting to scratch build my own version.

Another image from the other end of the building with some of my castings laid out pondering their location and building a scene.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Distance Schedule

The above image is the 22nd Sub distance schedule showing the section of the line I intend to model. It incorporates just over 20 miles of the branch line with 6 Localities. 

The lower deck will include Homan through to Battle Ground and hopefully I can fit the location of Lucia as it was a big transfer area of cut logs to flat cars. 

After Lucia the line crosses the South Fork of Lewis River and enters the Tunnel. I'm attempting to fit this section into a helix. 

After the helix trains will run to Yacolt that spans a 20' wall and forms the main destination on the layout. In terms of operations it will be the point passenger service ends and originates from. Log trains to be transported by NP will be made up here as well and provide the destination to supply the logging world beyond.

DC or DCC a question to ponder.

I recently asked this question on MRH forums to see how many out there are still operating and building DC layouts.

My layout plan is a simple one at that and I don't see a real need for block occupancy detection, computer control and signaling. in saying that I still want a layout that is fun and reliable to operate.

At the moment my attempts at DCC installs and operation leave much to be desired. I wonder if that is because I have spent years in wiring designs for power systems and find this kind of thing a chore. Lets be honest I hate programing things!

The reality is I own a DCC system but have always run and operated on DC layouts. My own shelf layouts and clubs I was previously a member of and to be honest they were reliable. This brings me to the decision to base my layout on DC with future DCC operation to follow.

My thoughts are a well wired and planned DC layout with all block control, individual track isolation switches and frog polarity will form a reliable base for future DCC operation.

My other main driver for DC operation is my desire to not have to re-motor and convert brass locomotives to DCC just yet. I have to many projects on the go at the moment and adding to the list of possible un finish projects doesn't seem like a good idea.