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.


Time for another update

Quite a lot has been done

     Wow over a month has gone since the last update to this blog, time is moving along way to fast so it is about time I caught up a bit.
    The new peninsular is complete, track and turnouts installed and the two new control panels designed by John have been installed and wired in with help from both Johns. So trains can traverse the new section and it looks good. Then the fascia was added with help from Barry. We did it one Saturday, it took all day and boy now I know I'm getting a little older as I was well and truly bush whacked by days end.
    Backdrop painting for Cimarron is pretty much completed along with the first pass of a section of new scenic divider behind Cedar Creek.
    I have also been working on two scratch built buildings, one a bunk house that will sit just about opposite the Cimarron Station and the other a pump house that will provide water to the Cimarron water tank.
   Now that the tank pump house was going to be installed I needed a supply of water, so I have developed a removable section that sits in front of the circuit board housing for the house so if needed this can be lifted out to provide access.
   Scenery has well and truly started with plaster cloth and paper towel used for small mounds along with some neat foam material given to me by Bill.
   Okay enough writing here are some of the update images below.

This is the view as you enter the train room (garage)

And the duck-under with Cimarron on the left.
The bunk house under construction. I obtained plans from a very nice fellow on Facebook who is building a HOn3 based on Poncha Junction. How cool is that.

The pump house under construction.

     So that's about it for this update, with work being done almost every day now that the weather is warmer a lot more is planned over the coming weeks.
Thanks for your interest in this and all of my ventures in this great hobby.


Way behind

 Its been a while.
     It has been a while since my last post however I have not been standing still.
     I get together with 5 other like minded mates every Friday and 7 weeks ago it was my turn to host the Friday Group. Instead of running trains I asked the guys if they would be happy to help me make a bunch of Pine trees for the new layout. Of course we would was the reply so we set to and made close to 120 trees shaped and painted ready for foliage to be added later by me.
    Two friends came back on the following Saturday to help make more and this is where the next seven weeks got turned upside down. Whist making a cuppa these two came up with an idea to add a peninsular to the track plan in a manner I had never thought of. Come off the town of Cimarron and make sure that there would be enough room for me and Helen to get in and out of my car without hitting the layout and with ease.Wow what a great idea.
    My good lady and my "fun and finance" minister agreed to the plan so out came the masking tape to see if it would fit with the radius needed for my Blackstone K27's.
    Yep it will fit.
    Several days later with planning done the wood work commenced, ME track, turnouts and Tortoise motors ordered and we were underway.
    Here are a few in progress shots during construction.

The original re-moveable duck under has been replaced by this new design that is now fixed in place.
L Girder construction and sub-roadbed being completed

Supports for the MDF backdrops in place. Cedar Creek on the right and Montrose on the left.

Almost ready for track.
      This new addition adds two new towns from Cimarron and a much longer run. The first is Cedar Creek which will be just one passing siding and one industry, a Tie Treatment Plant. Next is the town of Montrose with two new industries, Graden floor mill and  Montrose Lumber Company before you head once again to Poncha Junction.
     As of today all track is down, all wiring completed and a test train has run. Today I started to paint all the cross-ties.
     More images to follow on the next blog.
Thank you to all who stop by for a look and to my good friends who are always willing to jump in and help. This way it becomes a team effort for without them I would not have reached this excting new goal.


Way behind on my Blog.

More buildings.
     Boy time flies when you are having fun. Cold a winter as we have had for a while so inside building is the best place if you want to stay warm.
     Looking through some Facebook sites I noticed a rather good looking mine. After searching around I was able to discover the name and who made a kit. It turns out it was made by Timberline back in the 1970's however as luck would have it I found an old kit on line and promptly had it added to their shopping cart. Boy was this an old kit, it still had 1970's air inside but it was exactly what I wanted.
    Here are some in-progress images.

Just testing out the fit.

     This mine is now complete however as the site where it is to be placed is under development it will be a while yet before its sitting in the layout.
     The next build that was started and is still under construction is another very old kit of the Burnt River Mine. This is of course in HO however I did build this same mine for my ON30 Lost Creek Layout a few years back. The instructions in this kit are not too good so a bit of license has been used in this build.
My ON30 version on the Lost Creek RR.
 A few in-progress shots below.

     Each piece of timber is pre-coloured using three colours of artists pens that is giving me close to the colour of timber used in Colorado. It is quite distinctive and quite different to what we see here in Australia.
     There has been more stuff completed however this will have to do for this update.
Thanks always for dropping by.