Gunnison Finally Complete (well almost)

 Was able to get most of the scenery done.

     Almost there, most of the scenery is now finished in the yard of Gunnison bar for completing the finishing touches to the water tower. This just needs the water spout added and then the whole assembly can finally be cemented in place.

    Barry very kindly donated the sanding facility and stock yard from his last layout and these two pieces fitted right in.

    Assembled and kit bashed several Walthers kits to represent the Conoco Fuel Distributor facility and made several trees for the back of the yard.

The images that follow show where the yard is at as of today.

This is an in process shot as lots more detail was added.

   Well that has me pretty well caught up with the progress on the Monarch Branch. I have started to add ground cover to Poncha Junction so until the next time, thanks for stopping by.



A new HOn3 layout in town

 Barry's new RGS HOn3 layout 

     Good friend and one of two close friends who are well into HOn3 has well and truly started his new layout based on the RGS.

     Due to Covid 19 lock-down here in Melbourne none of us have been able to catch up with his progress since the start of July this year. The last time we got to see his layout all of his track was down and trains were able to run. 

     Barry has graciously allowed me to post images of some of his work so here we go.

    All of the fascia is installed as to all of the control panels at each town.

    Scenery has been started with roughing in the terrain with plans for two scratch built trestles at the end of one of the peninsulas.


This is the site of Vance Junction

     Some background painting at the back of Vance Junction has been completed along with placement of buildings along with some trees and ground cover.

    There are a lot more images however these will be used in a video to be shot of the layout once we can all get out of lock-down.

    Thanks for stopping by.



Working in Gunnison

 Whilst in lock-down and Winter.

     It gets cold in my Garage where the Monarch Branch is housed however with the addition of carpet tiles some months ago that has helped. The gift of a high wattage fan heater has helped also so during winter and lock-down I thought I should try and get some more work started on the RR.

    First order of business was to fill in the gaps left where I had laid cork for the track in the yard. Big mistake, I should have just laid a full sheet which would have made that job redundant. Never the less using paper to get templates of what was needed the job didn't take that long at all.

    I decided to use several different grades and colours of ballast I had gathered for the yard trying not to make it look to even. White glue was spread and on went the ballast, track first then the bare ground.

   Using my air brush I then set about spraying various shades of AK Acrylic paints, Ash Grey, Sooty Black and Smoke Black over the ballast blending as I went.

   Once dry I then got out my trusty static grass applicator and proceeded to add various shades of dry grass around one side of the yard and a small amount near some tracks. Greener grass was added near the location of the water tank ( yet to be finished).

   More to be done like the addition of buildings for the Conoco Oil dealer, Stock yard and any others that I think will fit.

   Just a couple of pics to see the progress thus far.


K27 458 sitting over the scratch built ash pit.

     Well that's about it for this post. 

Thank you to every one old or new who has stopped by for a look it is very much appreciated.



Wheel and Tie car finished

 Finally completed

     I was finally able get the decals laid down that came with the Grandt Line kit and boy were they very fine and a little bit brittle after being locked away in the cardboard box for so many years.

    Those done I weathered the car with a very light wash of India ink & alcohol and once dry added the hand cart, a pallet of drums and some cross ties.

    The wheels and trucks were painted and now its ready to take its place on the Monarch Branch.

This is a cropped image ready to add to my car card sytem.

  I'm pretty happy with the way this has turned out so on to the next project.

Thanks again.



Assembling a Grant Line Wheel and Tie car

 Finally got back to it

      I started to assemble this car many many months ago however I became side tracked when I built my additional peninsular for the layout. We have had to go back into lock-down again here in Melbourne, it is very cold in the garage (train room) so I thought I should do something productive and get this thing finished whilst sitting inside where it is warm.

    So far so good, lots of grab irons to bend and fit some being more fiddly than others considering their position on the car.

   I weathered the decks well before I started to assemble the kit.

   This is where I am at with it at the moment. Decals are under way however as this is a very old kit they are very fragile and are breaking quite easily.





    I should be able to get the rest of the decals on today then give the car a spray of Dullcoat and some light weathering. The new cross ties sitting in the background will be added along with a few other details to help with the appearance but to give the car a bit more weight as the frame is all plastic.

Thanks for coming by.



I used my new Gimble today

 Part three Building the D&RGW Monarch Branch

    It was warm in the garage this morning so took advantage of it to do another short video on the Monarch Branch. This video starts at Montrose and goes to Poncha Junction. There is a town yet to be built between the end of Cimarron and Montrose and I am still deciding whether there will be an additional peninsular to be built off from this so hence the delay.

Here is the new video

Thanks to those who have subscribed to my You Tube stuff it is very much appreciated.



Catching up on scenery part 2

 Lots more done

    I was able to put a fair amount of time into my town of Montrose over the past month or so which brought the scenery almost to completion. Lots of various grades and colours of ballast, various colours and shades of ground cover including static grasses along with tufts and a few more trees. Lots of telegraph poles were constructed and planted along the right of way. I also repainted the plastic timber loads with the aim to get them to look more like cut timber.

    Here are a few images of the area.

     Next job work out what I want to do at the end of the peninsular.

Till another time.



Catching up on scenery

 Slowly getting more done

     After a rush to get more done on the Monarch Branch last month this month has started well with scenery work well underway in the town of Montrose.

     With a good supply of ground cover from various manufactures along with several lots of fine ballast in a variety of grades it was time to do some ballasting and get this town well under way.

     I needed to fill in all the gaps in the sub-roadbed cork then start with the ballasting.

     I used several brands and shades of ballast including cinders to endevour to get the look I was after. Once this had dried a gave it a light airbrush of AK Interactive Soot to blend the ballast in a bit. Varieties of old fashioned Woodland Scenics foam was applied with some of their Blended turf in some areas and static grasses from a range of manufactures in others.

    I already had a good supply of pine trees made many months ago when the guys were for a tree making day so next came production of Autumnal Aspens using Super Tree armatures and three shades of coloured fine foam.

The following images show where I am up to as of today.


      Montrose is coming along nicely however there is still lots to do on the Left.

As usual thanks for stopping by.



A new Video

 Barry Davies HOn3 Hidden Valley RR

     After only four years of construction Barry has decided to dismantle his Hidden Valley and build a new layout based on the RGS.

    So it was necessary to get my gear ready and go video his beautiful Hidden Valley RR before he started to rip into it. With thanks to John as the man in charge of the throttle we got the job done in quick time.

   So here is Barry layout filmed only two weeks ago.

 Thank you once again for stopping by.



A little bit of weathering

 I have been putting this job off for ages.

     Having five Blackstone steam locomotives four K27s and a recently swapped D&RGW C19 with Barry, some with factory weathering and others without I thought it was time to get my act together and get this job completed.

     During Covid we were restricted to not travel outside a 5 Kilometer radius from our homes so I placed an order with a local hobby shop for a range of new AK Interactive acrylic paints that they had just received. Smoke, Soot and a few others were delivered after about 10 days.

    I had previously copied several prototype loco images to get an idea of how I wanted to weather my lot.

    Here are a few images of my efforts with weathering and new coal loads in the four K27's.

461 also received a dog house.

I chose not to weather 462 as I want the green boiler to be seen.

     The C19 can wait a while as Barry had added a new coal load to it and it looks good as it stands at the moment.

That's it for this post.


Lots more done

 Boy how time flies

     Its kinda hard to believe that we are in the second week of March 2021 already. Due to Covid and several long lock-downs here in Victoria we were unable to have any body to our homes and in the last one only 5 visitors at a time and only once per day. This also meant our Friday group could not catch up as we have done for the past 12 years.

     Knowing that we could not get back together and the warm weather would soon be gone I set about trying to get a lot more scenery work completed on the layout as I could before the guys came around.

     These are just a few images of the scenery work with more to add over time.

So this is where it ended in mid February.

Thanks for coming by.


First one for the new year

     New Project.

    During Covid 19 lock down here in Melbourne is has been hard to obtain some modelling supplies to complete or start new projects for my Monarch Branch so things have been kinda quiet.

    Looking through a book loaned to me by Barry which covered the RGS I was surprised to read that the water tank at Tank Creek was not replaced with the Tank Car until 1966. What! I was planning to build the tank car version and in fact had previously kit bashed a tank car, painted and weathered it ready to fit once I had completed the scenery in the area it was planned for.

This is the unit, completed in December 2018 no less.

    Well that changed my plans big time. As I had no water tank kits to spare (one is almost ready for Gunnison) and they can be difficult to get from the states I thought I should scratch build one to fit my space already made and sceniced.

    Necessity is the mother of invention so I set about gathering some stiff brown paper with which to wrap around a sample paint pot that was almost the correct dimensions for the tank along with a pack of 2 x 10" timbers for the tank itself.

   I will let the following images tell the story of its construction.

Shingles were left over from a few kits.

Fortunately I had a Tichy Train Group Water spout handy.

   And here it is sitting in its spot waiting for additional scenery to be added. By having the scenery almost completed it has allowed me to copy the installation quite closely as the legs on the prototype where made to fit the location just like this.

Boy this new format they are using for Blogs is messing with my head, it used to be easy once.

Thanks for coming by, have a better year this year.