Monday, May 31, 2010


Yep, part 2 of making a point can wait, I have been busy and haven't put anymore thought into it. I have been playing around the layout room and because of the resent cool weather and rain decided to do some weathering of my own. So due to my new spray room being so accessible and easy, I attacked an On Track Models LLV.Didn't want to go to hard but what the hell. Apologies in advance I only snapped these photo's with a little instamatic, "must get serious about photography one of these days."

I also had to get in and weather wheels and bogies so I brushed them with some Floquil Rust and roof brown, then followed up with a black wash. Then finished up with some Aim Powders and am quite happy with the results. Did a similar thing with the LLV.

Other then that I put a coat of primer on the Infront Models DOT Tanker. It's ready for the final coat but will have to wait till I go to Epping on the long weekend to pick up the right colour paint. Ian and I will be there on the Saturday so If  you run into us stop for a chat.

I also played around with Austrains MLE. I need to do some more to this as I had had enough by now but It still looks ok. I will need to look for some loads although I was thinking of making some rolled up tarps.

Anyway thats what I've been upto and now looking forward to Epping, as a visitor this time.

At the end of the day I stopped at the level crossing on the Canowindra Road, climbed on the bonnet of the Challenger and snapped a photo of 4716 leaving Bowen Creek after its shunting duties.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Making a point...

Well now that basic trackwork is behind us, I guess we should look at building a turnout. There are numerous articles on the subject and everyone pretty well has their own ideas, so I will just describe the basics of what we did to build ours.

First thing that needed to be achieved was to build a frog. Not to many detailed P87 ones available particularly to NSW standards. First a copy of a number 6 point was used which Keiran Ryan had drawn up with correct sleeper spacing and alignment. Or use Greg Edwards data sheets. This was then white glued to a small sheet of ply and left to dry. Next some copper clad circuit board was fixed down and special shapes brass soldered as cross members. Now using the paper template as a guide the straight stock rail was soldered down. From here on track gauges are used in case there are any irregularities in the paper copy. Plus without correct guages that 0.58mm flangeway is a little hard on the eyes. Rather then me go into all the technical specification a down-loadable pdf is available here.  The frog which has been tested and all working nicely, is cut from the jig and nut and bolt detail added.

That was a fairly time consuming job but the best part is that now we have an assembled frog, ready to be sent to the caster so we have lots of little drop in number six frogs. We couldn't seem to locate anyone to cast these in nickel silver so we had them cast in brass and in silver by Apecs Investment Castings. The silver won out and were used. From memory I think it cost about $40 for the molding and then $6 for each casting.
To Be Continued...

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Trackwork is most likely the main reason why I got into Proto87. I have always believed that we spend too much time on loco's and rollingstock, then neglect the scene. Don't get me wrong, I like loco's and rollingstock but what's the point if the track looks like what I ran my old lima on when I was 7 years young.

I think you will agree that the photo in the last post is a big improvement on any manufactured point but for it to be accurate all the tolerances have to be accurate. To give you an idea, the flangeway scales to 0.58mm. Later I will do a post on making a P87 point but for now lets just do basic trackwork.

We ended up doing two different methods of hand laid track on Bowen Creek, both of which are totally acceptable. As I mentioned in an earlier post we used 3rd planit to do the track plan, the advantage of this is you can print it out to scale and glue the paper down on you road bed so all your sleeper spacing is marked out for you. So the first method is to lay a copper clad sleeper every sixth sleeper and then solder the rail to this. I liked this method, I found it to be forgiving and reasonably quick. The slow part is etching the copper away, pretty mind numbing. Especially seeing we etched all the copper other then where the rail would sit, leaving just a little play. The reason for this is you can gouge some grain into the fibre glass and it looks more like timber after painting. Then airbrush the rails, hand paint the copper sleepers and slip in the timber sleepers to complete. The timber sleepers are the sugerpine sleepers by Kappler (part No.KP00SL8-HO)and are available from Gwyder Valley Models. The Timber is stained with India Ink and is a mix between the white and black to give a nice light grey colour. The tip is to start with white and add a little bit of black, not the other way round. The other option is to use the Aim weathering products which are also very good. The rail is painted with a blend of Floquil paints. the blend was around 50/50 rail brown and rust. I say around because only god knows how accurate it was.
Can't tell you who turned up the roller gauge for us, he will kill me.

The other method is to lay all timber sleepers, already stained, glued with white glue and weighted over night. Paint the rail on the work bench, this was a bit of a pain and is why I preferred the first method. Next is to brush on the glue to the bottom of the rail, an even bigger pain. The glue is called Pliobond and is used in the building industry, pretty hard to locate in Australia but click here for an equivalent. It is heat activated, so after it is applied it sets as to not be very messy. Once you have the rail in place we applied a warm iron (still to hot to the touch) to the rail which causes the compound to run and once the iron is removed it cures. You can reheat it but I don't think it is advisable.

As I said both methods work very well and I grant you the end result is a major improvement on any commercial track.

Next is to apply some ballast, being a branch line it needs to be blended with ballast and dirt as branch lines don't use a lot of ballast anyway. Only thing was we decided that this was now to be a more secondary line so we used more white and black ballast then dirt. This is all from Chucks.

I guess in a nutshell what I am saying is take your time with your trackwork, It will serve you well into the future and if it looks like the real thing you will always be proud of it. Don't cut corners and if it's not right, hang the expense get it right, you won't be sorry for the sake of a few dollars. My home layout will be right and it will bring me years of pleasure without me saying, gee I wish I took more time with that. Bowen Creek was the test and I've learned alot, it's just the beginning and I hope you learn from it too. a little bit out there then, but you know what I'm gettin at. 

Thought I would leave you with this shot. Did a hell of a lot of work to that Traino 47, I will tell you about it one day. Cheers for now.