Friday 28 July 2017

Spending a penny

The next structure at Ladysmith is the C2 toilet block, plus lamp room.  In the small booklet, "Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba Railway - why it was built" (by Tumba Rail 2016), has a picture of the Ladysmith station building, with a C2 toilet block just visible in the background.   Unfortunately, I do not know when this structure was demolished, but the book does state that the Forest Hill station, and toilet block lasted to at least 1975 - which postdates my nominal 1970 date.  I am assuming that the Ladysmith block lasted beyond 1970

When Tumba Rail took over the lease of Ladysmith, they constructed a look-a-like C2 toilet block, but modified the lamp room.

Greg Edwards Data Sheets has plans of the both the C1, C2, and C2 + lamp room structures, and I used these sheets to cut out the shapes from 20 thou styrene sheet.

The curve on the roof was a challenge.  After getting one curve sort of close, I used that as the template for the others.  

For the lamp room, I needed a window, and I discovered a very close match with a  Grandt Line window in my surplus window parts bin.  After scratching the Ladies windows on the Ladysmith station building, I was looking for shortcut.

The vents for the gents area were constructed from thin styrene strip.

Basic shape glued together.  I had reinforced some of the wall joints with scrap styrene blocks.  I had entertained the thought that I would fit a full interior, but sanity prevailed.

Some basic painting of the interior   I had fitted the eves, and vents too

Whilst I am covering the sides in corrugated iron (Brunel Models corrugated Iron fabrication jig allows strange shapes to be made), the exterior details also got some paint.  Some  roof beams are also installed - I felt that the roof may have been a bit weak without them.  I am trying to match the colours on the Ladysmith station.

The roof was made from a flat sheet of 20 thou styrene, which I scribed about every 1mm.  The scribing actually causes the sheet to distort naturally, forming  a curve, which I used to good advantage

The roof goes on, and I set aside for a day to fully harden.  After that I made up the curved valence, and the curved roofing sheets in a similar fashion to the water tanks of Ladysmith.   These were glued to the roof. .   Dullcoat to kill the shine, some paper edges for the sides, and glazing for the window

Build time took about a week.  The finished result is a bit rough, and the curve valence of the roof is marginally thicker than it should be. However, it looks the part, and apart from the lack of downpipes (I am looking for photographs showing this), it is time to move to the next structure.

Happy modelling

Thursday 20 July 2017

Ladysmith Station Building (2)

Fitting the front station awnings was the next task for the station building.  The supports were fitted more or less in the locations on Greg Edwards A4 station plan.  Important to make sure that they are aligned so as to not have any gaps underneath the awning.

I tend to use track cleaning rubbers for purposes they were never intended, like weights, and props for photography

Once the awning is installed, facia boards cut and positioned, the chimneys were assembled, and fitted.  I painted the roof  with Floquil "Bright Silver"

And my experiment with having part of the roof removable was successful.  The next challenge was the water tanks, guttering and downpipes.  The kit provides nothing, so I was on my own  My pictures taken in the early 1980s show one water tank, with "shelter", and one end without a tank

 The guttering was interesting.  I had some styrene 1.5mm "U" channel, which I butchered to make an "L" channel.  Painted with "Roof Brown".  After some false starts, I was able to get the guttering to adhere to the facia board using microscale metal foil adhesive, and then reinforce the joint with 2 part 5 minute epoxy.  The guttering  has proved  strong enough with the handling.for the next stages.

I made up a water tank, and platform, using the Greg Edwards plan.  I loosely positioned this to the end of the station, to assist me in the location of the downpipes

The downpipes (or spouting) had some interesting bends, and is quite awkward.  I use solder to act as a template, whilst I fit, cut and bend to shape.

When I was happy with the shape, I transferred it to some brass rod, of approximately the right diameter.  I secured the brass to the building with very fine wire, twisted to create a "pin" and fitted into a hole drilled in the wall.  Repeat for the other end, and then paint

Complete assembly of the stands, and water tanks.  The tanks are made up of a long aluminium corrugated iron made using Brunel's tool.  You will find it curves gently.  Once a roll has been made, it can be tightened without creasing, and the extra thickness adds to the strength.  Cut a lid, and glue.  The angled boards are made from thin card, scribed, and cut.  White glue and stripwood.  Yes, it is very fiddly

It certainly looks the part when attached.  Note the Ladies toilet window - if I had left the window in the original kit location, this pleasing result would have been impossible..  Repeat for the other end, and fit the corrugated iron "lid"

I have started wioth some fine detailing.  The Ladysmith station building sign was made by printing a sign, and attaching it to a styrene backing.  However, there is still much ro be done.  The tanks need some taps, the "Ladies", "Waiting room", and "Staionmaster" signs to me made, the chimney pots, and the Ladies Toilet vent for the roof.  And weathering.  The piers underneath the astation will have to wait until the platform is made

Should I have not bought the kit, and just reverted  to scratchbuilding the lot?  Maybe.  Having to rectify kit errors was a significant time waster, and some compromises with the roof pitch, and station master door I am just going to have to live with.  But, the kit is solid, and as I hope I have shown, can be super detailed.    Anyway, no time to ponder, there are more structures awaiting.

Happy modelling.  Rob

Monday 10 July 2017

Ladysmith Station Building (1)

Ladysmith station was the 2nd station on the Tumbarumba Branch, after leaving Wagga.  The railways considered the station reasonably important, as it was built to their A4 design.  After trains stopped running in the late 1980s, the station's future was uncertain, but the lease was taken over by the Tumba Railway group, and the station is now looking very nice.   In May, 2017 the station turned 100

 As expected, the 2017 condition is slightly different from the 1970 era that I want to model.  My pictures taken in 1980, as well as the picture in the Train Hobby book "NSW Branchlines Volume 2 show a similar heritage scheme to the one today, although the mustard colour today is darker than the foremetioned pictures.  The 1970 colour might have been closer to the white of the station at Tarcutta?  However, I cannot find a 1970 picture, so I am proceeding with the heritage scheme.

I thought I would buy a laser cut kit of the NSW A4 station kit from Model Train buildings
I had hoped that a kit would be a simple way forward, as well as giving me a clue on enlarging and modifying their Tenterfield Statiun kit, to fit the Wagga station

The kit was ordered, and arrived promptly.  The package included a number of laser cut sheets, instructions, and 4 Grandt Line windows, plus glazing.  The instructions were fairly rudimentary, so access to Greg Edwards Data sheet is pretty useful.  Oh, and I also had taken a lot of detail pictures of Ladysmith

The instructions recommend painting prior to assembly.  I used the following paints
Floquil Depot Buff for the walls,  Floquil, Rail Brown for the floor, , and Floquil Roof Brown for the trim.  I know that Floquil is no longer available, but it is important to NOT use a water based paint, unless one has sealed the wood.  Floquil being a lacquer was brushed straight on

The fit of the parts is excellent.  I used white glue.  The above picture was taken AFTER I discovered discrepencies with the Kit, vs the Data sheet.  My photos of Ladysmith showed it closer to the A4 design.

Whilst I decided to live with the roof pitch, and door location to the stationmasters office, the windows to the Ladies Powder room, and Lavatory were very wrong - wrong size, wrong shape, and wrong position, so needed rectification.  Fixing these took a lot longer than I had hoped  There were some other problems too, but no others involved surgery

Before the roof goes on, it was necessary to fit the seats in the waiting room.  The kits seats are nowhere as neat as the real ones (above), but for an interior detail, it is OK.

The main roof consists of 4 beams, and 6 corrugated iron wooden sheets.  The rear sheets have been fitted and glued.  I plan to leave the other sloping sheets and two beams removable, for later super detailing of the interior.

It may be silly to fit awnings on the rear of the station, as my layout will have the station visible only from the platform face, but the awnings are a necessary detail, which I needed to have.

The kit supplies NOTHING, which is a shame, as the awning brackets would have been an ideal task for the laser cutter.

There are 4 windows.  Assembly sequence is from right to left
- drill holes for the brackets, and fit stripwood (I used Northeastern 3" square stripwood) in `the holes to approximate the awning design
- Cut and fit support wood between the earlier stripwood
- Fit window, after painting, and glazing (the glazing supplied in the kit is laser cut, exactly right - a very nice touch, which beggars the question why the awnings are omitted?)
- Fit corrugated iron.  I made mine using Brunel Hobbies HO corrugated iron maker jig, and some disposable aluminium tray material, that came from Coles underneath some yummy treats.  The tool works extremely well, and is recommended

Well that is it for now.  I have a distraction with track laying on Pete's Hobby Railway, (a real 610mm gauge) so part 2 of Ladysmith may be a few more days away.

Cheers. Rob

 Built to the NSWGR A4