Monday, 1 May 2023

Borambola Goods Shed

 Borambola Goods Shed - modifying a kit

The Borambola goods shed is a NSW G2 design, built for the Wagga Wagga to Humula branch line opened in 1917.  The railway authorities had obviously assumed that Borambola would have a significant future, as they also constructed a large A4 station building, station master residence, as well as an elevated water tank.  History though tells that this optimism was unfounded.  The A4 station building was relocated to Uranquinty, and no growth occured, until the line "closed" in 1974.  

But, in a twist, the goods shed became a survivor, when all other buildings were removed.  Whilst it is no longer possible to access, as far as I can tell, the goods shed is still standing today

The goods shed in 1990 - photographer unknown.  This is the view from the railside - the track having been removed

My only visit to Borambola was in the early 1980s  At that time, I was not planning to model the line, so I only I took a few slide pictures of the general site.

My 1980s general site picture, looking north (towards Wagga).  Hidden in the shadows of the goods shed, the water tank can observed, glinting in the sun

Looking south in the 1980s  The large platform of the goods shed is difficult to determine

A few years ago, I received a few pictures showing the goods shed as it was in 1990.  Up to then, I had assumed (and hadn't recalled the difference from my visit)  that the shed was similar to Ladysmith, but the pictures showed a large timber platform, typical of the NSW G2 design.

The water tank had been removed, leaving the guttering

A 1991 view of the shed taken from Mates Gully road.  Note the lack of the water tank confirms the time line

Graeme Skeet took this picture after the line closed, showing the goods shed, water tank,  with the stark bare paddocks in the background.  (note the waiting room station behind the goods shed is not attached)  This will approximate the view from the aisles of my layout - An easy background to paint

The kit.

I bought two NSW G2 laser cut kits in 2017 from the Stuart Walker range, and constructed the ladysmith goods shed, leaving one for Borambola.  In the subsequent 6 years, I skills had improved to such a degree, that the idea of making a G2 shed from styrene was probably be just as fast as a kit, and wouldn't need to compromise.  And selling the kit would provide some funds.  But, I bought the kit to build, so I may as well build it.

(My earlier build of the Ladysmith goods shed can be found on this link.)

The Walker range of kits is aimed at the beginner to intermediate modeller, and assemble extremely well. But, there are deficiencies that with some tweaking, can be overcome


The unopened kit.  The colour image on the label shows the finished shed, and it is overly clumsy on the platform.  

The Borambola G2 shed did not have the annex, so I filled in the laser cut holes.

The biggest visual error in the laser cut, is that the board thickness is significantly thicker than scale.  So I rebated out a channel on the edge of the laser cut platforms, and attached "joists" from stripwood.  

Adding the main beams underneath, and painting the platform floquil "rail brown" give the illusion that all the platform boards are thin 

The kit has wooden corrugations sections that fit onto the heavier laser cut structure.  When installed, these have a corner gap, that will need to be filled with stripwood (kit doesn't supply_

Small blocks are fitted on the platform to secure the shed.  Note additional filled holes in the platform.  If I had used the platforms holes (as the kit is designed to do), the shed would end up too close to the rail side, and too much room on the roadside.  (check out the prototype pictures).  This problem is because the Borambola shed was built mirror image to the standard G2 design that the kit makes

The 5 main beams underneath the shed

Ridge capping is done with Styrene strip, and rod - similar to the method used on the Wagga Wagga station.  PVA glue holds this nicely.  

Some reverse clamps (made from pegs) to hold  the door jambs whist the glue goes off.  Note the tab construction of the walls of the shed 

On previous shed, I struggled to get all the piers exactly the same height.  Well, not this time.  With 30 piers to make, I cut a number of strips from 4.5mm thick balsa boards with the table saw acquired a few years back. 

Being Balsa, the NWSL blade easily cleaved the strips into a square profile. 

My idea was to wrap the piers in brick paper.  

Gluing each pier to the beams was fairly easy, provided one gets the alignment right.  Most of the piers will not be seen anyway 

Adding more stripwood to detail to the shed corners, brackets and roof gables.  All the piers were the same height, and the platform was firm, no gaps, and didn't rock.  Colours used on the shed are  Floquil paints - primer, old silver, reefer white, depot buff, and rail brown.  Not being water based, they brush easily, and don't lift the wood grain

Guttering from 1.5 mm styrene angle, and downpipes from styrene rod finished the build for now

Left the shed door slightly ajar.  This side won't be seen from my aisle

Roadside.  The shed door is only lightly tacked in place, and could be removed if I ever decide that a wanted to clutter the interior

The extensions for the water tank on the downpipes would add to the chance of breakage when handling, so not yet added.  The styrene downpipes are secured to the shed with white-glue.

The shed is now ready for detailing - as can be seen from the 1990 pictures.

Modellers Note.  I made a decision that my Tumbarumba branchline is well maintained, and modelling structures in a state of dis-repair is adding a degree of complexity that I don't need.  Maybe something for a modelling contest, but as I have a lot more structures to make, time to move onto the next one.  

For all of you heading to Rosehill exhibition this weekend; half your luck, too far for me, and please support the retailers who support the hobby.  I am hoping to get to Albury exhibition later this month

Until next time

Saturday, 15 April 2023

15th Narrow Gauge Convention

 Easter 2023 - 15th Australian Narrow Gauge convention

The 15th Australian Narrow Gauge convention was held over Easter at Noble Park North, a suburb of Melbourne.  The venue was Carwatha College, which has been used in the past for some conventions, most recently in 2013.

This convention was the first since 2019, with Covid getting in the way.

A railway convention is an excellent way to gain new ideas, see some excellent modelling, meet up with friends, exercise the wallet, and discuss products with traders without the distraction of the public at exhibitions

Convention Displays

Layouts, dioramas, and models were on display in the main hall

Richard Grinyer displayed a selection of dioramas in various scales.  Details abounded everywhere

Steve Postma displayed a selection on On30 Puffing Billy models.  Steve also did an excellent clinic on the approach to his modelling the Heyday of the VR narrow gauge
Max Burke displayed a selection of narrow gauge trains, including from the Burrinjuck line, as well as pictures of his large collection of vehicles

Display layouts

Eddington Quay by Ted Allan

Monbulk Creek by Martin Kaselis is in T scale - smaller than Z scale

Max Burke's quarry diorama

Pete Heininger displyed some micro layouts in HOn30


Apple Cove, by Peter Kendall

Port Franklin, by the Grampian Model Railway club.  This layout was for sale.

Kinmont, and Winch No. 3 by Dan Pickard, and David Price.   This layout was also the subject of a clinic.

Kinmont by Dan - recently featured in NGDU

Winch No.3 by David - innovative scenery extending outwards from the shadow boxes

David, with the fiddleyard, that folds up into an easily moved, car friendly size

The points by Rod Hutchinson

Trade stands  

These are companies that support the hobby, and it was good to discuss products, and ideas.

Argyle had a good display of live steam garden railway items, including their latest project, a VR Na live steam in 1:19 scale.  Very impressive

The full list..

Narrow Gauge Downunder, Scalemodel Co, Keiran Ryan, Brunnel Hobbies, Gwyder Valley, Broad Gauge Models, Arglye, and Light Railway research society.   

I probably spent too much on books from Light railway, but did find some detail items, and scratchbuilding supplies to help with my Wagga project.  And I was very impressed with the backscenes from Brunel Hobbies - and discussed the options with Mary for getting my bespoke backscene jpg's printed


Wide and varied - there were occassionly 3 clinics being run simultaneously, leaving difficulty deciding which clinic to attend.  Most of the clinics were documented in the excellent book produced by the convention committee, so I haven't really missed out.

Convention contest.

Just a selection of the contest models.  Each model represents a lot of time, for instance, the fishing boat diorama being a Melbourne covid lockdown project. 

One of the dioramas.  (note My amateur efforts with photoshop to remove most of the background clutter.)

Dan Pickard took out best of show with a log tramway diorama.  Voting in all categories was by public vote, and I understand that the choice of "best of show" had 16 different models, an indication of the quality of all models in the contest

Special category was the 10cm square dioramas

The smaller (blue) Darjeeling loco in the open wagon was built by the late Frank Kelly

Steam loco category. Special note the three Lego models (the Na, SAR 400, and West Coast wilderness loco)

Tassie loco was a 3D print done as a school project. Amazing.  Laurie Green took out the internal combustion category with his yellow critter

Home Layout visit 

Whilst not part of the convention, some modellers had opened up their home layouts for visits.  I was fortunate to attend Bill Blacks Sn3 layout, a layout I had previously seen only in magazines.  Below are just a small selection of pictures I took of this world class layout

Click on any image to enlarge.  Bill had this DCC/Sound loco slowly running unattended whilst he entertained modellers in his equally impressive crew lounge


Modelling NSW in HO is not my only model railway interest.  Attending railway conventions of all scales and prototypes is a great way to broaden one's knowledge.  

This blogpost is also dedicated to Brad Hinton, (Armchair Modeller Downunder), who due to an illness was unable to attend.  Get well soon Brad.

Until next time.