Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Bomen Station –construction part 4

In times of severe flooding, the NSW Railways ran a shuttle train across the Murrumbidgee River between Wagga and Bomen on a fairly intensive schedule.  This was an important service, allowing schoolkids, and workers to be able to access either side of the river for school, work, or in my case sightseeing.  The cost was $2 economy for a round trip.  4836 had lost its bicentennial writing, but not the livery.  There were 3 FS coaches if my memory hasn't failed me   With the opening of the Olympic Highway high level bridge in the mid 1990s, there was no longer a need for the  flood train.  Although it will still form part of my future operation, just too good an opportunity to have a commuter special to liven up the session.

As I had previously made a cardboard mockup for the roof, I felt confident that I could cut out the  corrugated styrene using the same measurements.  The styrene I used was only recently acquired from “All Aboard” at Mittagong, as it came in a fairly large sheet, 30cm x 80 cm – the width of 30cm is just wide enough to cover the full width of the station roof, without needing to join.  Fairly expensive, so I didn’t want to muck it up.

The triangle sections cut from the main roof, make up the parts for the end roof sections 

I also cut some roof trusses from 0.040 thou styrene.   To cut a long story short, there were some adjustments and chamfering to get the roof assembled to it would fit the roof without falling over the edges, or leaving too much of a gap.  All of the trusses have been reinforced.

Checking the roof for size.  Thankfully, it fitted

An evergreen strip 0.010 x 0.100 for the fascia board was painted, and fitted to the edge of the eves.  The guttering was next.

Chimneys.  I studied my photographs, and drew up a rough diagram showing the size and height – based on counting bricks.  Using the discarded brick styrene from the window and door cutout, I fabricated  a set of chimneys.  Each chimney has 24 pieces of plastic, each piece cut and shaped to size – not a task for the impatient.
Waiting room chimney, with sketch.  Note the stretcher bond brick pattern - don't look too closely, as my chimney model used the wall offcuts, which were not stretcher bond.  The thickness of the Slaters brick styrene sheet is very close to the half brick difference in the prototype's stepped design - and I think I have captured this look nicely.

Holes were carefully cut into the roof, and the chimneys dry fitted. 

Once completed, the chimneys were then brush painted in the brick colour.  I also painted the roof corrugated iron "tamiya aluminium"  

The doors and window openings on the station were all cut and shaped by hand, and unfortunately, variations happened with things that should have been identical.  This meant some bespoke work – particularly on the doors with the crownlights. 

I cut all the "woodwork" from paper, which I painted then fitted to a thick piece of CD case clear plastic with PVA white glue.  This will then be attached to the inside of the station, and only the slightest hit of the brown around the crownlights will show.  Whilst this is a cheat, from a distance hard to tell it is not a high quality plastic part.   
The first one took around 2 hours, but I had settled on a technique, and the others were faster.  By the time I got to the simple windows, I had the time down to  around 10 minutes each

Some weathering on the roof, and chimneys, dry fit the roof to the building, and time to beat the weather, to catch some last minute sunlight for picture taking. 

Well that is it for now.  The guttering, plumbing, and lead flashing will have to wait.  And I have not yet given up on fitting an interior, or lighting.  The next structure for the station should be the Lamp room/gents toilet – followed by the signal box that disappeared after 1983. 

I hope you managed to get to the Rosehill Gardens exhibition last weekend - it was a good one.  I was lucky enough to share a car on Monday for the long day trip from Junee.  The bonus was that I also acquired some more models for the layout, including the elevated water tank from Mechanical Branch Models, which I need for Borambola  And it was also good to catch up with the traders who make this great hobby great.

The layouts were most inspirational too - if you didn't get to the exhibition, do yourself a favour, and , check it out on youtube. 

Stay warm.  

Monday, 4 June 2018

Bomen Station –construction part 3

A modern view from Bomen station looking north - compare this with the picture on my last post. There have been a lot of changes with the signalling, and track arrangement.  But even this picture has some details that can be useful for the 1970s - the lineside poles for instance.

Finishing off the walls required firstly painting the concrete platform, then attaching the lower “barge board” and window sills, which you need to pre paint.  Don’t do this the other way around, as you are almost guaranteed to get the paint where you don’t want it.

Finishing the walls on the rear veranda

Front awning support posts.
Front awning support posts.  

"Tree" of diagonal bracing above each front awning support posts.  The ceiling looks worse for wear

The support post against the wall.  Only 2 of these posts (one at each end) are used.  Note the tap position, compared to the tap position at the other end.

These posts are possibly the most exacting  part of the entire station build.  Not only do they have to be the right height, they also need to be installed perfectly perpendicular, and at equal platform spacing.  Any variation is going to be very obvious to the eye.  And to make matters more awkward, the posts have decoration that needs to be applied before installation.    I thought about all this for some time, and decided on construction as a sub-assembly, and finish it prior to adding to the station building

The real posts are 6” square in cross section.  The closest size in the evergreen strip is 0.080 x 0.080 square, which is slightly bigger than scale.
8 awning support posts were cut in the chopper to the same length, and 2 posts for attachment to the wall slightly smaller, as these will not extend through the platform .  Then I made a jig to assist in the next stages

The first bit of decoration is the collar, just below the angle beams.  I attached a collar made of small styrene strips, cut on a chopper.  To get a bevelled edge, I then used a sanding disk in my cordless dremel, running at the slowest speed as possible.   Clean up with a knife

My jig made from wood scrap.  Note that the ends of the post have been whittled away to a circular cross section shape. This was to allow me to drill holes in the platform, to hold the posts firmly at this vulnerable area.

The cross braces are cut from a 0.060 thou square styrene strip, as these are smaller on the prototype than the main support post.  Each of these was made with 45 degree cuts with the NWSL chopper. 

Holes drilled in the platform from below, where the marking out will not show   Place the posts into the holes, but don’t glue yet.  A top piece of square styrene was cut to length, and  glued  to the top of the 2 end posts, then braced with 0.060 thou square styrene and allowed to dry.  Then continue with the intermediate posts, one at a time, ensuring all posts are  perpendicular, and square.
After carefully removing the posts, apply additional 45 degree braces to all the intermediate posts, and then fit the rear connection beam so the front is perpendicular to the platform

Painting is a lot easier when not attached to the model

I fitted the ceiling to the posts, before finally permanently attaching the awning to the front of the station building.  The white showing on the rear edge the styrene sheet is for ease of glueing.

Finally, the whole sub- assembly can be permanently added to the station.  I glued some scrap 0.080 square styrene onto the inside walls, and the ceiling sheet for strength.

The back veranda posts followed much the same method, although the posts here lacked the decoration, and were relatively easy.

To finish this stage of the build,  I completed the eves, and then reinforced and thickened using some 0.040 x 0.188 styrene strip.  I also tried my hand at powder weathering in the areas that will not be handled further – in the hope that the powder would accumulate in the brick mortar lines.  This has only been moderately successful.

Station front

Side view. I must point out an error - the collar decoration on all the posts is slightly lower than it should have been, which meant all the angle brackets extend further away from the post than they really should. Whilst this is too late to fix, the angle bracket in this view is not 45 degrees, as a 45 degree bracket would take up too much of the beam, and thus look wrong.  See my prototype picture earlier to see what is should look like 

Station rear

Next stage is the roof, chimneys, guttering, and the windows and doors. 

Hope this is inspiring others to have a go at building that unique model.  Happy modelling

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Bomen Station –construction part 2

S65 passes Bomen in the 1980s

The next stage in the construction was to dress the windows and doorways.  Resist the temptation to assemble, until this has occurred.    As my windows and doors are not available commercially, the following pictures show the process.

Ladies platform side doorway on south eastern side. As cut out

Archway filed into the doorway.  I used a half round bastard file

Brickwork carved away above the door with a chisel knife blade. Be very careful with this step

New brickwork pattern scribed into the corbels.  I know this new brickwork should be flush with the surrounding brickwork, but it is extremely hard to tell

Some styrene strips added to "bulk out" the brickwork, as the slaters brick sheet is quite thin.  The one at the top was filed to the same arch shape as the brickwork.  The  thickened brick edges were painted to add depth

More styrene added, to form the woodwork.  The woodwork for the crownlights was cut to size from 20 x 30 thou. strip

One down – 18 to go.......

I used evergreen styrene for all the framing.  A month ago, I purchased almost every size of  evergreen styrene strip from “The Railcar”, and having the exact sizes on hand makes the work go quickly. Whilst it is possible to hand cut sizes from larger sheets, life is too short. 
Now came the fun part – assembly, where good preparation pays off.   The base of the station was cut from a 40 thou thick  sheet, and the walls added slowly, checking with squares.  Reinforcing with 80 thou size square strip on the corners.  The station also slopes away at the rear, so I had to bolster the front platform with yet more styrene strips.  Virtually no gap in the side joins, which only needed a quick light sanding to finish.

All 8 wall sections, and the base, prior to assembly

Back of the station after assembly.  Note the way the brickwork extends below the station base

Front of the station.  The extended station base is to accomodate the platform roof posts. Unlike most of the NSW stations, the roof extends over to the platform, rather than finishes at the station wall, with a separate awning to keep the sun and rain off the passengers.    I am also toying with the idea of an interior, although getting information, and pictures is not an easy task. If anyone has any pictures, I would be grateful to know of them

Brick painting
I tried a new technique (for me) in getting the brick colour.  I headed off to the Wagga Wagga  Bunnings store, and found a colour card that I thought was  really close to the brick colour at Bomen station.   Then I asked if a 250ml sample pot be made for me.  The colour selected was Taubmans “Rusty Rail” – which seems quite appropriate for a railway station.
Back home, I mixed up a 10ml with some thinner (I had run out of Tamiya thinner, so used Simply Glues Y6b thinner instead), and sprayed using a badger 200 airbrush.  I was very pleased that the paint sprayed nicely.    At around $6.00 for 250ml of paint – a BARGAIN for a hobby task.  I hope the paint will stay viable for a while yet – the Bomen station lamp room/gentlemans toilet is a future build.
What did surprise me is how close the Slaters brickwork colour was to the “Rusty Rails” colour.  Under artificial light the slaters brick looked too pink, and even Rusty Rails, which looked right at Bunnings, is a bit bright compared to pictures showing the whole station.  Conclusion - Colours are fairly subjective on a model, so don’t get too hung up about it.

After letting the paint “set” for 24 hours, I got out my small paint brush, and carefully repainted all the trimming in Floquil Antique white – which is a good match for the off-white colour of the station.  This is one of the drawbacks of attaching all your windows and doors prior to the painting – although I am not sure I could have done it any other way, as there is unfortunately a bit of variation in my handcut door and window openings.   
Not quite finished the base yet. The lower concrete “barge board”, and window sills are to be applied;  then add the mortar lines, and the windows and doors.   

rear of station, with cardboard mockup roof.  

Station front - again with cardboard roof.  I might have to change my viewing perspective to see if the roof line matches the picture below

The real Bomen station - hopefully my model will look close to this when finished

Before stating on the posts, awnings, and roof, I thought I would check out the cardboard roof made earlier, on my station.  This is the last time for any changes before starting to cut out more styrene.
In the meantime, I am trying to get some details on the station interior.  Having an open door, and people will add some life to the station when completed.   I have also made a start on the awning supports posts, but you will all have to wait a little longer for this bit.

Happy modelling

Monday, 21 May 2018

Bomen Station –construction part 1

The Bomen station was originally built by Charles Hardy of Wagga, as part of the establishment of the terminus of the Main south line into North Wagga Wagga.  Charles was the owner of a steam powered brickworks in Wagga Wagga, and he also built the Station masters residence, the engine-shed, and other infrastructure.

S66 passes Bomen in June 1980.  44209 with a RUB set. Note the staff exchange stand, and hoop

Station front a few years ago.

Station rear

According to notes I found at the Junee Roundhouse museum, the plans Charles used were his own
This is a round-a-bout way of saying that it was unlikely that a model kit would ever be offered of this station. 

After I drew up the Bomen Station plans, I worked on other projects whilst sourcing the styrene parts I would need. 

Front and back views, with an marginally incorrect pitch on the roof.  I drew the plans to 1:100, and then enlarged them to 1:87 on a photocopier.

End views shows the fall of the ground away from the platform level. This fact has meant that my walls will have to extend below the platform, which slightly complicates the model build 

The first step was to make up a mockup out of cardboard.  This was mainly to test the roof profile, as my plans were not as accurate as they should have been.  Making a cardboard building is a useful exercise, for it also gets me thinking about the project, and tests out a possible construction sequence.   A better grade of cardboard would have been better than the cereal packet card I used,  and perhaps glueing on a copy of my plans front and side elevations would have given a nicer visual result

Cardboard mockup, showing the rear of the station building.  Took about an hour to construct.  Making a mockup is a fast and cheap way to populate your layout with structures, before replacing them with something better when time permits

The brickwork I found is not that close to the modified English bond that is on the prototype.  The brick styrene used is flemish bond, a sheet from the Slaters range.   Whilst this is a British company, and one would expect the brickwork to be OO scale and large for HO, in reality, the brick size was actually about right for the HO scale Bomen station.  But, all jokes aside, it should work OK, as only the best nit picker will know......

SE corner of the station, showing the english bond brickwork

Cutting out the windows and doors is a task that took me over 2 weeks, whilst other priorities took hold.  I have kept the cutouts for possible use for the chimneys.  I have only one sheet of the slaters brickwork, and the Bomen station toilet and lamp room building is another that has to be made, so being frugal with the material is important. 
The wall edges were then sanded to a 45 degree angle, which should minimise the gap when the wall sections are glued together.  As with everything, resist the temptation to rush to assemble, until all the preparation is done.
All 8 wall panels cut to size, and windows and door openings started.  I goofed with one of the windows on one wall, and my fix is currently quite obvious. Unfortunately, I didn't have more styrene to cut a new wall, but once puttied, rescribed, and painted the join might not be as visible.
All of the windows, and many of the doors will have an arched corbel cap, and a distinctive brick pattern.  This work is best done whilst the wall sections are “flat”.  Then will come the fiddly task of fabricating the windows, and doors.  This will be the subject of the next blog post on the station construction.

Detail of the brickwork pattern above the doors, and windows

Part of my delay in starting the build of Bomen, was that I am continuing to tidy up the back half of the garage, in preparation for the construction of the future train room.   As a bonus,  I found my January –March 1989 copies of the ARHS Bulletin.  Rod S, over in Wagga mentioned to me about an article written by R Scrymgeour concerning the Tumbarumba branch Line, and in the 29 years since publication, I had forgotten its existence.  The article complemented the information and photographs I already had.    I have now placed  all the pages from the article into an A4 display book for easy reference.    There is a reason why old magazines get kept. 

Rails North PC1 station, similar to the station at Rosewood and Glenroy.  If I use this model, I will have to update it, with new paint, downpipes, and water tank

The future Humula Road single lane overbridge. I built this model in the 1980s to the plans that I drew of the roadbridge  on the Canberra branch line, just to the west of Queanbeyan station (bridge replaced in the 1990s). I built that bridge for a large 10 x 5 metre exhibition layout in the 1980s, that incorporated 2 railway scenes. The layout was an island, with viewing on all 4 sides.  One side and end had Molongo Gorge, to Queanbeyan, the other side and end Yass Junction to Yass town. Unfortunately, the layout was vandalised in storage, and it only made a few appearances.  There were some pictures of the layout in better days published in AMRM.

I also  rediscovered a few of my models constructed in the 1980s for an earlier home layout.  Two of these have a chance to be reused.  The station is a “Rails North” resin kit, being the standard NSW PC1 design – used on the Tumbarumba line beyond Humula.  The light blue is roughly the same colour as I remember of Rosewood station.  Whilst I do not have space for a full Rosewood station, I might be able to fit in a token platform between Humula and Tumbarumba.  The other model is a model of the bridge over the railway line in the ACT just west of Queanbeyan station.  I discovered a picture of a similar bridge carrying the Humula Road over the Tumbarumba line near Rosewood.    

Until next time.  Stay warm, and build a model or two.