New Video of Thompson River Canyon

     Just up loaded a compilation of stills during the construction of Thompson River Canyon a display layout built by Vic and myself back in the late 90's into early 2000's. The layout was first shown at the National N Scale Convention held in Victoria in 2003. We did not have time to construct the light boxes for the convention however we managed to get them completed for several exhibitions held here in Melbourne and one in South Australia. It was on display at the AMRA exhibition held in the Box Hill swimming complex, the Sandown Model Railway Exhibition and the AMRA exhibition held at the Caulfield Racecourse.
    The layout was featured in N Scale Railroading Magazine and a Canadian Model RR mag.
    There is a small amount of added video taken after the layout was purchased by Barry.

   We had a great time building this layout and a lot of fun when we had the privilege of being able to show it to the public. Many memorable moment were created with friends along its journey.
  There were several videos taken by others whilst the layout was on display.
Have fun modeling.


Lockdown has been productive.

Quite a lot done since lock-down.

     Lock down has been really bad for a lot of folk however when you have been retired for almost 19 years, getting old with a damn good hobby it is not really a concern. I am sorry that we have not been able to get together with the Friday group for 10 weeks or more however it has not stopped me from cracking on with assembling kits and doing scenery for my Monarch Branch in preparation for their next visit.
    Once the main kit ( the Campbell Models Silver Spur Mine) was assembled I attacked a few Main Street Model buildings purchased from Peter S. Once these were done I then went into the train room over many days working on the scenery where the mine was be positioned along with the powder shed and other scratch built pieces.
   These are progress shots as of two days ago.

    The two buildings below will be placed in Poncha Junction as more work needs to be done in this town.

     That's for this post so see you soon.


So much to do

Keeping busy.

     Boy how time flies when you are having fun. So much time has flown by whilst being self isolating here in Melbourne.
     I have not been sitting here idly watching time go by however I have been working on the Campbell Kit of the Silver Spur Mine that I purchased from a fellow HOn3 modeller in the states. This kit was produced around the early 70's and you could smell the air when the box of sticks was opened. This is a cardboard kit with corrugated aluminum siding for the roof and walls that is glued to the cardboard once cut from the sheets.
    Having used aluminum like this in the past I am not a big fan as I find it difficult to cut, paint to stick to it and hard to have it sit nicely on the roof of previous buildings where I have used it.
    So I have used a paper product from a small shop in S.A. that is really easy to use and paint. And as a bonus it adheres nicely to any surface.

   This is a series of in progress shots I took during weeks of build

All siding attached and painted to walls and roof.


      There are several more buildings that have been completed and not shown.
 Now I need to get to and work the foam for scenery so this mine will fit the space I am planning for it.

So until the next post, thanks for stopping by.



Wow over a month since the last post.

Lots of scenery completed

     Its hard to believe that it is over a month since my last entry to this blog however I have been working very hard on the Monarch Branch scenery wise in all that time.
    Our Friday round robin group came yesterday and it was for this reason that I wanted to put in a lot of effort to get much more scenery done staring from the end of Gunnison yard to as far along the layout towards the rear wall as possible since we gathered here the last time in January.
    This meant painting my backdrop, roughing in the foam for my scenery, applying rock mold castings and laying on all the plaster gauze for the scenery base. A coat of plaster on top of the cloth and then I was ready to do all the colouring.
    I used the same paint base as used in Cimarron as I found this to be a good overall effect. The standard India Ink and Alcohol wash was applied to all the rocks, allowed to dry, then a wash of ground colour was applied to them. Further colours were applied to the rocks to bring out their details.
   I had completed the buildings for this area so ground cover was applied and after being allowed to dry overnight the buildings were added.
   The following images cover most of the process.



    I am very happy the way this area has turned out thus far. Still lots to be done however.
We had a good day yesterday operations wise so it was good to get this work completed and the area cleaned up ready for the day.
Thanks always for coming by.


Additional work at Cimarron.

Cimarron is almost done.

     After several weeks of steady work the town of Cimarron is almost complete. Bill gave me some Sage bush trees and after spending a good couple of hours on each one they were ready to plant in there new home.
     I also made all of the telegraph poles using 4mm rod purchased from the local 2 dollar (now 3 dollar) shop. These gave me enough to make 3 scale length poles out of each piece. Cross beams where made from material on hand and I then found some very small green glass beads to use as insulators.
     Then the stock yard was scratch built using some left over strip wood and drawings from the Narrow Gauge Gazette. I also built the coal dump following a drawing I had seen.
 Below are images of how Cimarron looks as of today.

  That's it for today.
So until the next post thanks for stopping by.


Lots more done

Moving along nicely

     Lots on new stuff on the Monarch Branch over the past few weeks. The weather has been all over the shop here in Melbourne when its in the mid 20C's its okay to work in the garage however this past week has been horrible in the 40C on a few days and really bad bush fires in almost every state of Australia. Hundreds of thousands of Hectares burned of bush and almost 1000 homes destroyed. The really sad part is that several people have died in these terrible fires.
    That said I have made steady progress so here are a few images to keep up to date.

Backdrop painting completed and scenery started at Cimarron.

   I added an additional track for the coal loading on the left so it did not foul the stock yard. This is  my first effort at using static grass at Cimarron. I am very happy with the look it gives to the scenery by adding height.

The water tank pump house is scratch built.
  More has been done however I will leave that for the next post.
I hope you all have a Happy New Year in 2020.


Video of new Garratt on Puffing Billy R

     Had the opportunity to catch the new Garratt on its inaugural run as it was the lead with G42 as they headed to Menzies Creek on the 18th December. It has taken 25 years since the first thoughts of purchasing this Loco from South Africa to this moment. Of the 25 years it took 15 years to fully rebuild and re-gauge from 2 ft to 2ft 6 inch. It looked fabulous as it crossed the trestle just out from Belgrave and sitting in the hot sun 37C on Wednesday. It so happens that this day marked the Puffing Billy Railways 119th birthday.
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by.
Have a Merry Christmas.