Monday, 15 October 2018

A Bit of Protection

I've been asked to show my layout at the Hornsby Heights Bushland Fair on Saturday.

There will be a couple of layouts but the main idea is raising money for a public school.

To get ready for the first outing, I've installed some perspex.

I'm hoping that it will protect some of the details from transit and little fingers. If it does a good job, I might leave it attached.

Until next time.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Time For a Beer Part 2

Maybe, the layout isn't finished.

The blokes at The Tower Ale House have been thirsty for a while.

But now they've had a couple.

The people eating fish and chips have something too.

These bottles come from Walthers Scenemaster Beverage Crates & Bottles pack. They are tiny.

They are really hard to place and it took a while to get them in the right spot. I may have lost one or two as I went. However they are a nice tiny little detail to bring the layout to life.

I picked this up from a hobbyshop in Ronks, Pensylvania. I've already talked about buying little kits or people as souvenirs and this is another example of that.

Ronks is an amazing place for rail enthusiasts.

We stayed at the Red Caboose Motel in a caboose.

This was right next door to the Strasburg Railroad.

This is a short line which still uses steam power for freight services. While we were there one morning we saw the loco shunting its train of grain hoppers for its trip to Paradise where the railroad has an interchange siding with the Norfolk and Southern.

The photo was hurriedly taken as my phone was in our room and it was taken through a diner window on my wife's phone.

Right next to the Red Caboose Motel is the National Toy Train Museum.

However, walk into town and you come to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

It's a fantastic museum and well worth a visit. It is also right across the road from the Strasburg Railroad station.

Here you can hop on a train for the short return trip to Paradise. On the way there is a stop for a corn maze. It wasn't open when we were there.

Keep going down the road and you come to a group of shops. Here you'll find the ChooChoo Barn, a large O scale layout. You'll need to go around it a couple of times to see all of the details.

Next door from that you'll find the Strasburg Train Shop - where I purchased the Beverage Crates and Bottles.

After a top railway themed day, we walked back to our accomodation and a locally brewed Red Caboose Ale.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

A New Arrival

IDR Models 70 Class arrived in the mail today. Mine is fitted with a TCS DP5-KA and a KA3. It won't make it around the really tight curves unfortunately so it won't see much use at Billabong Marina. However, there are a couple other places on the 'extension' where it can be put to good use. These bits don't have scenery though.

The loco ran smoothly and quietly as it pottered about the Peco Set Track points and then went for a spin around the layout and the extension. It's a good little unit.

Until next time.

Saturday, 18 August 2018


Is a layout ever finished?

Ask any railway modeller and the answer is, "No."

There will always be something to add, a new kit or bit of rolling stock. I could add to my fleet of boats. I might need to repurpose an industry.

After gluing down a few people and little bits here and there, I stood back this afternoon and thought that my work here is done.

I have to say that it has been a whole lot of fun building the layout and writing the blog. Thanks to all who followed and made comments. I'll still be posting here when something happens on the layout.

What next?

I have a couple of things to finish off - such as a station building for a club layout. However, it's time to start on the rest of the layout. The blog for the rest of the layout can be found here: Why not check it out? The content is about 18 months old at the moment but something new should be added in the next couple of days. In the meantime, have a look at the old posts to find the back story.

Until next time.

Monday, 13 August 2018


Last Tuesday, I had a fun day out with a mate. We had a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railway, west of Denver in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It's a short narrow gauge line which winds its way from Georgetown to Silver Plume only a couple of miles away but there is a fair rise in elevation. Silver Plume is 2790 m above sea level. That is an extra half a kilometre on top of Mt Kosciuszko.

Our train was hauled by loco 111 seen below running around it's train at Georgetown. We had travelled over the bridge in the background on the way down.

On our way back to Denver, we stopped off at Golden to visit the Colorado Railroad Museum. Downstairs in the main building is a model railroad by the Denver HO Model Railroad Club. 

Our final stop was Caboose Hobbies, not too far out of the way back to Denver. It was a nice way to end the day. While I was there, I considered buying a couple of items as a way of a souvenir of the trip. Something which I could stick on my layout to remind me of a good day out on the other side of the world.

I admit that I seriously considered a Bachmann Climax with DCC already fitted. If I had a guarantee that it could handle 9 inch curves I probably would have bought it.

Instead I settled on some Woodland Scenics people. HO scale people smuggling takes up less space than a locomotive and is a lot cheaper.

After checking out the different possibilities, I found a small scene of a boy holding up a fish walking to his proud mum, with his dad walking behind him after tying up the boat. I knew a good spot at the marina for this scene. Here it is.

I had to move a couple of other figures around to fit them in but that was a fairly painless task.

I reckon that these souvenirs are a little more fun than trinkets which take up space on a bench next to your telly. Now all I need to do is to find a spot for my Amish carpenters from Pennsylvania.

Until next time.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

The Story of the Pink Pig

Lindsay was a member of our model railway club years ago. He was an architectural model maker and ran a workshop on constructing models with styrene. I have to say that from one afternoon, I learned a lot from him. He was a great bloke to have around and he was pretty supportive of other modellers. 

He had built a narrow gauge layout for our club's annual exhibition and it was designed in such a way that it could fit at an angle into his Toyota Camry, with some good padding around the sides. As our club's exhibition had spotter questions for kids to find stuff on layouts, Lindsay decided to hide a pig under a goods platform on his layout, he'd even asked his daughter for advice. His spotter question was, "Where is the pink pig?"

You can probably work out from the past tense used above, things don't end well for Lindsay. He came home from work one afternoon feeling tired and had a sit down on the couch. He nodded off and never woke up.

At his funeral, his story of the pink pig was told. Lindsay was working on his layout in the garage of his house. He had just placed the pink pig into position and called out to his daughter in the house urgently. Thinking something was horribly wrong she raced out to help, expecting the worst. Lindsay was looking at his layout and asked if she thought the pink pig was too hard to find. Words were had but it was agreed that the pig could be seen.

That year, all of the club members displaying layouts put a pink pig on their layout, along with the spotter question to match.

Over the years I've displayed a number of layouts at our club's exhibitions and all of them have had a pink pig on them somewhere. It's just a small thing to remember an old mate. It just seemed right to put a pig on this layout as well. If you see him in some of the photos in future posts, you'll know why he is there.

Until next time.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Up Rode the Squatter

A couple of days of painting and more gluing and the squatter is mounted on his thoroughbred.

I know, he is a bit close to the fence but I haven't much room to work with. He needs to be here to sneak up on the jolly swagman waiting for his billy to boil.

The slightly out of focus beige blob is the swagman's tuckerbag stuffed with a jumbuck.

...and from an earlier post, troopers one, two, three.