Monday 13 November 2023

Removing the tram tracks

One of the trickier tasks I faced with transforming the setting of my inner-Melbourne HO Scale shelf layout to the NSW North Coast, was removing the tram tracks that once ran down the middle of the Philden Street overpass. They were anchored down to the bare MDF board good and well using Super Glue, meaning they were always going to call for the road to be completely resurfaced. So long as I didn't damage the MDF board base of my road bridge in the process.

I removed one track at a time to first assess what the damage was going to be.

Using a pair of small long nosed pliers, I was able to wiggle the strips of rail using a little bit of force until they came free from the base of the road structure. Lifting them directly upwards as they pulled free limited the damage, but they did leave a deep indent in the surface of the road that needed to be filled with some wood putty and then sanded.

With the footpaths and bridge structure built in place, I needed to be super careful not to damage the bridge sides. Fortunately the Jetty Hotel and Haunted Bookstore structures were not yet anchored into place, so I could remove the buildings and see to all the messy work while the layout was still resting downstairs on the garage floor following its last exhibition outing at the Sunshine Coast in early September.

Once the patched-up tram track cavities were dry, I could sand them smooth using a small square of sandpaper and wipe the surface clean with a damp disposable cloth before trying to match the paint colour of the road surface.

I next painted some darker grey highlights over the patched-up strips of now removed rails using acrylics. As the road surface was originally brush painted using a stippling effect rather than long continual brush strokes, it was a whole lot easier to match the paint to the original colours I used on the overpass. A hodge-podge array of grey colours was achieved simply by mixing some black and white acrylics onto an artists palette, and then stippled over the top of the darker highlights I'd just used to paint over the now removed tram tracks.

I highlighted the old tram tracks using some darker paint before repainting the road surface.

The finished effect was made by stippling, (using a dab-dab dot painting method), rather than applying brush strokes.

Stippling a road surface is an easy way to blend worn tyre track highlights and achieve a patchy road surface, as opposed to painting an all-over single colour of grey. As you can see in the photo above, I was able to curve the worn tyre lines towards the bottom right of the scene. This is where the Haunted Bookstore will stand and will help the road appear to curve down and behind the structure when viewed from the front of the layout rather than just ending hard against a blue ocean backdrop.

This is just another example of what has been involved behind the scenes of revamping this layout over the course of 2023. Consider it a preview of what you can expect to find in my final Australian Philden Model Railway book, which will be available sometime next year.

If you like what you read, leave me a comment below. Or better still, click on the blue coffee cup to the right and buy me a coffee...

Friday 10 November 2023

Sacrificing length for functionality

For a small and simple layout such as this, it wasn't really necessary to draw a track plan on paper before I started constructing the layout. All I needed to do was draw the track plan directly onto the sheet of 596 mm x 1200 mm x 7 mm plywood, and mark where I was going to cut the board down to size.

As you can see above, the board will now be cut down to a size of 550 mm x 1150 mm.

After already writing about the reasons for my needing to keep this layout within the confines of 1st Radius curves, (see previous post here), I still had to decide how much of my twin IKEA Eket cabinets' length could be taken up by my small model railway. Although I had a total length of 1400 mm to play with, as it is going to sit beneath the staging shelf of my Philden Beach layout, there were a few key issues which led me to sacrifice the layout's length for some added functionality.
  1. I'd already promised my wife there would be room for a Grandbuby photo to go on display beside the layout.
  2. As you can see in the above photo, the throttle cable from the layout above it dangles down at around the 1150 mm mark, and I didn't want it getting in the way or damaging the corner scenery.
  3. Without leaving 250 mm of space clear, there would be nowhere to put anything down when operating either layouts without placing it directly across the staging tracks above it. Think of the 2nd DCC throttle whenever a friend calls around to run some trains, that cup of coffee or glass of wine your wife hands you when you've got the control throttle in your hand, or a set of operating cards.
  4. See point one again, because life's just so much better when you keep your spouse happy.

Once again, I marked a 40 mm buffer from the edge of the layout board to the outside sleepers of the track, and as promised, I traced around each sleeper profile so that you could see the track outline better in the photos.

As I'm using flextrack for the long straights at the front and back of the layout, I incorporated a slight wiggle over the 500 mm length before the line met with the next 1st Radius curve. It will provide some interesting modelling opportunities with things such as slate retaining walls and lineside fences, compared to simply leaving it as a straight line.

The compact layout leaves me with a final size of 550 mm x 1150 mm. It's the layout's width rather than length that is going to limit what I can do scenery wise, but it does leave me enough space to model a few village buildings to create my Christmas scene, which is the sole purpose of this layout build. I'll just work within the space I have available and be confident in the knowledge that the extra 250 mm of length I had just sacrificed wasn't going to make that much of a difference anyway.

The layout board will now get 50 mm trimmed from both the front and end closest to the decor plant.

As you can see, this isn't a layout for those dreaming of a room size empire! Also, this Christmas layout definitely won't be ready in time for Christmas this year! However, if time does permit between now and the end of the year, I can get to building the framework for the layout board now that I have the dimensions locked in place.

If you like what you read, leave me a comment below. Or better still, click on the blue coffee cup to the right and buy me a coffee...

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Keeping within 1st Radius

For some modellers the sight of a 600 mm x 1200 mm x 7 mm sheet of plywood isn't going to do much to excite the senses or go too far towards completing the benchwork in your walk around model railway plans. So when the sheet measured only 596 mm wide x 1208 mm long and I was already wondering how much I could trim the board down to and still keep within 1st Radius curves on my new OO9 layout, its fair to say that this series of posts isn't going to be about building a large model railway...

While my idea isn't to build the smallest layout possible, the space I have available to keep my little model railway on permanent display, is sitting atop a pair of IKEA 700 mm long x 350 mm deep x 800 mm tall EKET display cabinets. These inturn stand beneath the staging shelf portion of my HO Scale shelf layout. And the reason for me to construct this layout using OO9 Scale HOe 9 mm track, is to simply enjoy watching some trains running continual laps of the layout.

The success of any small layout utilizing a loop of track comes down to one thing... being able to accommodate the curvature within the width available. As you can see in the image to the right, to keep the OO9 layout sitting flush with the front of my HO Scale shelf layout, it would need to overhang from the rear of the IKEA display cabinets. With the framework of my shelf layout free-standing 10 mm off the wall behind it, that gave me an availble width of 550 mm to play with.

So, how much room do you really need for a 1st Radius, 228 mm curve in OO9 Scale?

Here is a 1st Radius curve centred between the minimum recommended layout width of 500 mm. (See pencil lines). This doesn't leave any room to accommodate the overhang from your longest carriage and would leave your models running right along the edge of the layout board.

Here is the same 1st Radius curve, only this time centred between a layout width of 550 mm, (see pencil lines). Note how this does accommodate the overhang from the longest carriage while still leaving a 30 mm buffer to the edge of the layout.

I outlined in my book Model Railway Trackside Tips the reasons why it is important to include a minimum 40 mm buffer from the outside of the track to edge of the layout. So being my first time modelling in OO9 Scale, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that the 9 mm HOe gauge track could actually yield a tighter radius (228 mm or 9" inch), than what I would recommend for today's N Scale 9 mm counterpart, (249 mm or 9 3/4" inch).

I find that incredible, given that I am able to model scenery and structures in OO 1:76 Scale, within the confines of what has traditionally been considered N 1:160 Scale track curvature.

The longest carriage that will see action on my OO9 layout, is a PECO 160 mm long Ffestiniog passenger coach. It is actually longer than my largest Double Fairlie steam locomotive. So a 40 mm buffer from the edge of the sleepers on the track to the edge of the layout, still provides a 30 mm gap as the passenger coach swings around the curve. I can live with that.

The next step was to draw the station scene and passing loop on a curve at one end of the layout.

While for this project I could have been happy to have just modelled a small oval of track running around a Christmas Village scene, I went as far as including a short passing loop as part of the station scene at one end of the layout. There are plenty of examples of these rail height island platforms on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, and it simply allows me to park a short train running in a clockwise direction and release a second train running in an anti-clockwise direction. The simple track plan calls only for a 1 x right hand PST405 set track turnout, 1 x left hand PST406 set track turnout, 2 x PST402 1st Radius Double Curve packs, (enough to make a full circle so that I can trace the track plan), while the missing sections will be modelled using 3 lengths of PSL400 Code 80 irregular flextrack.

The station building is the Bachmann Scenecraft Harbour Station Office and Gents building, which is one of three sections they released based on the Ffestiniog's Harbour Station at Porthmadog in Wales. I purchased the ready-made station building, the Ffestiniog passenger coach and both of my sound equipped locomotives along with a book directly online from the Festrail Shop at Harbour Station. It is my way of supporting a Welsh heritage railway from the other side of the world. All profits go towards the operation of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, and their service saw my parcel arrive in Australia within two weeks!

Once again, using the longest carriage I was able to pencil draw the platform clearances from both the centre of the passenger coach (for the inside clearance), and the end of the same coach (for the outside clearance).

With the curved platform, passing loop and station building positioned so that I had optimum viewing angles of the scene, I could then trace around the pencil lines with a fine tipped felt pen, and move onto playing with pencil sketches for the locations of houses, village lanes and rising hills. Not only will this make it easier to see the track plan in future blog posts, but I can use an eraser a thousand times for all my other sketchy ideas, without erasing any of my track plan.

There's no need to trace each sleeper with a felt-tip pen! I'm just doing this so that you can see the track outline better in my future blog posts.

And there you have it. You'll now be able to see my track configuration better across my next updates.

So there you have it. I'm up, up and away and now tasked with making this Christmas scene as interesting a story as possible, all while keeping within 1st Radius curves. 550 mm wide by.... umm, something long. I guess you'll have to tune in next time to find out.

If you like what you read, leave me a comment below. Or better still, click on the blue coffee cup to the right and buy me a coffee...

Over the coming weeks I'm going to start transferring some premium model railway pictures over onto that platform as a way of helping put myself through full-time study next year, (it's either that or starting an OnlyFans channel...) So I sure appreciate any support, be it through purchasing one of my books or browsing my eBay fundraiser. Until next time...

Thursday 2 November 2023

Narrowing my modelling projects

With so many half completed model railway projects either underway or accumulating in boxes in the wardrobe, last month I had one of those honesty sessions with myself where I asked; 'just where are you going to find the time to complete any of them?' As I'm now busy writing my final Philden Model Railway book, and preparing to return to full-time study next year, the solution turned out to be picking one project, and one project only to coexist beneath my Philden Beach HO shelf layout.

For the past 18 months, my tiny Queensland narrow gauge layout I'd dubbed Philden Creek had sat forlornly beneath my HO scale layout's staging yard gathering dust. Built in a rush early in 2022 prior to our relocating back to Brisbane, the 3 track Inglenook layout had contributed to my Model Railway Scenery Secrets book, but I'd just plain lost interest in finishing it.

It is now gone.

My newly cleared space for my next layout project, a OO9 Welsh Highlands layout.

That a small DC shunting layout based around some HO scale narrow gauge Australian rollingstock is gone, should come as no surprise given how much it's larger HO scale counterpart above it has evolved over the past 12 months. With Philden Beach accommodating a full staging yard, DCC sound operations, lighting and an interesting to operate goods yard, the 3 track Inglenook affair just couldn't compete for attention and interest. In fact, it was my wife who finally spoke up after counting a year pass by without any progress or interest from myself, asking if it could finally go downstairs in the garage or under the bed with a sheet put over it. The reason? She'd rather have the space to put some pictures of our Grandbaby on display in our loungeroom.

To her, the layout never made any sense. In her words... 'even when it's finished, it is just going to go up and back without being anywhere near as good as your Coffs Harbour one.' Fair point. Especially given that there was never likely to be an opportunity to expand it.

The compromise will see me construct a small oval shaped OO9 layout, and still leave room for a Grandbaby photo to stand alongside it.

The newly arrived items displayed in the recently cleared space give away what I am going to model, a OO9 scale layout based on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways in Wales. In a happy compromise, the two IKEA Eket cabinets that stand beneath my current HO shelf layout, are long enough to accommodate both a continous run, oval shaped OO9 layout using 1st radius curves, and a framed Grandbaby photo to stand alongside it. But change, like anything else these days, costs money.

Behind the scenes, over the past month I've been busy selling off all of my 12 mm gauge Queensland narrow gauge locomotives and rollingstock, as my little Philden Creek layout was consigned to the Philden Museum. Some of it, (along with the layout), went the way of a good friend who had been hinting at taking it off my hands for the past year. I then rounded up my American N Scale stuff, my Australian N Scale stuff and some British OO rollingstock I had been hoarding in case I would one day build this, that or the other, and listed them all on eBay. I even went as far as halving my HO Scale Australian roster on Philden Beach, knowing that I still had more than enough wagons to fill my staging shelf.

I love this little Harbour Station Gents & Office building based on the station at Porthmadog.

The sell-off was necessary not only to dive into my OO9 project, but also to cover the course outlay for myself to return to TAFE early next year, and still be able to finance and produce my final Philden Model Railway book which can now be expected sometime in 2024.

Not that there won't be a further book or two to follow, but at some point you financially have to direct your time and talent towards the areas that are most profitable. That for myself, now involves some further full-time study to broaden my creative ideas beyond the realm of model trains. Next year's study load will consume a lot of time. So I'm only planning to work on my Welsh Highlands layout at my own leisure as a welcome escape.

The station structure gives me a ready to place guide to model some slate walled scenery around.

As for the name, Bryn Nadolig? It's Welsh for Christmas Hill. In itself another indication of the setting for the layout; gripped in an early wintery dusting of snow. There will be another update to follow as soon as I have finished overhauling The Philden Model Railway Blog. Doing so will ensure it's future is happy and bright beyond the completion of the next book. So enjoy clicking around the blog to see everything that has changed. Until next week...

Monday 30 October 2023

The Jetty Hotel refit

It's time to catch-up on some of the improvements that have occurred since Philden Beach made it's exhibition debut back in September of this year. To complete my NSW North Coast setting, the square shell of a structure that sat atop the overpass looking out over the rail yard for the past two years, has finally been refitted as the historic Jetty Hotel.

With the Coffs Harbour Jetty such a noticeable feature of my layout's backdrop, there really wasn't a better choice of name to adorn the top of the Century-old sandstone and clapboard hotel.

The kit is a Walker Models laser cut timber kit of the Royal Hotel, a building that is seen on quite a number of Australian model railway layouts. However, I have a penchant for doing things differently, and along with asking Stuart to custom change the signage to say Jetty Hotel when I first started planning to build a NSW North Coast layout, I also set about altering the appearance somewhat, starting with opening up the window frames on the top balcony level to provide a better glimpse inside the structure.

Some years back, a chap wrote into a magazine that one of my previous layouts had been featured in, lamenting the drop in quality of modelling given that my structures had omitted the roof capping. Fair point I guess. However I just don't like the look of a folded strip of paper glued along the ridge peaks, nor using strip styrene which tends to look a bit out of scale.

So, given that I was working with the styrene roof sections supplied with the kit, I turned to a sneaky cheat trick that I have been using with great success, in that I simply filed the ridge caps smooth with a small hobby file prior to painting the roof.

Once painted, the lines on the corrugated styrene sheet look as though they disappear into the smoothly filed strip along the ridge peaks, and as far as I'm concerned looks more to scale as simulated ridge capping than using a thin strip of folded paper. I use a silver paint pen to highlight the ridge peaks prior to spray painting the roof with Rust-o-leum silver, as this adds a slight elevated layer of paint to the ridge that remains visible once painted. As you can see, the building is a background structure, and as such will remain away from view from the armchair judges.

The next step was to paint the .mdf board shell of the kit to resemble a rendered sandstone wall.

The roof was then painted, weathered in 50 shades of grey and grime, sealed with clear matte acrylic and set aside to dry while I painted and weathered the sandstone shell of the building. This is where I once again veered away from building the kit as supplied, given that it had parts to finish all four sides in weatherboard cladding. Instead, I masked and sprayed the building shell with Rust-o-leum Ivory Silk as the basis for the sandstone colour, then achieved the weathering effect as I outlined in my book Model Railway Weathered Wonders.

You may recognise the above picture from pages 66-67, as it was one of the final weathering methods to make it into the book.

The finished look resembles weathered and peeling, rendered sandstone walls.

I left the roof removable on this structure, as I wanted to have a little fun for my own benefit by modelling a stage complete with a band playing inside on the top level. The HO scale figures are by Noch, and the packet I used was the 15563 Street Performers.

I could only fit 5 of the 6 figures on my small stage, and the guy from this packet standing infront of a red music box cart I'd already installed as a spooky looking prop inside my Haunted Bookstore. The stage was built from card, with the images sourced from the internet, resized, printed and glued to the card. I double imposed the stage by printing a second identical image and cutting it to the outline of the curtains to give the stage some 3D depth. The rest of the interior was painted satin gold, so that the interior lighting would throw out a warm glow.

The band has just started playing for the night, and my wife and I are first onto the dancefloor.

Knowing that I wanted the band to be visible through the open French-windows, I built a raised stage and kept the area in front clear of any figurines that would only block the view. Except of course for my wife Denise and I, who just happened to be the first couple to hit the dance floor. (Everyone else is still outside on the top balcony drinking... and probably watching the trains!).

I added the French-windows and figures to the upper balcony before gluing the balcony in place.

Modelling the French-windows was again a cheeky shortcut... I simply filed the as-provided window frame sashes flush, glued a benchtop bar in place on the lower portion of the opened-up window frame, and glued the windows on an angle to look as though they had been concertinaed open. I did the same with the doors so that it looks like the crowd is coming -and-going from the balcony and the stage area.

The figures were this time a mix of Woodlands Scenics WOOA1836 HO scale Tourists and WOOA1833 Lovers. The unused ones will pop-up somewhere else on the layout in good time. I didn't want to over-populate the upper level with too many figurines, as once the roof is in place, I still wanted the band to be easily seen inside. Plus they're expensive little critters once you start ordering a packet of this and a packet of that!

A false bar was added against the left side wall, and an interchangable band poster to the outside.

As the kit had extra doors and stairwells on the upper level that I did not include, I back filled the stairwell doors with some Chooch Industries latex stone wall sheeting I had leftover in my scrap box, and topped the scrap box back up with my leftover doors and stairwell frames. You never know when stuff like this will come in handy.

Some white styrene roof guttering and rusty downpipes were added, and the building sat in place.

I finished the building off with some decorative stone capping around the street-side entrance doors, and added some H channel strip styrene to the roof edging to represent freshly-installed roof guttering. That's right, I cheated again by not even painting it. It looks all-white to me!

The balcony facades were glued into place, and the balcony roof secured to the verandah posts with some super glue. Only then did I notice that one of the verandah posts was sitting a mm lower than the other three, giving the balcony roof the impression of having sagged a little in the middle, (see very top photo). But, being a Century-old building, I decided to leave it as is, and tell myself that it adds a little character and charm.

Finally I painted and fixed some H channel styrene to the side of the building and made myself a set of 6 different band posters to slide in-and-out on the side of the building. I feel that over time, they will add some background variety for future photos of my trains trundling in-and-out of the railway yard below. So more on that later. As for the remnant trams tracks from the days of Philden Street Yard, (see the Philden Museum if you'd like to read all about that), they too are now gone, and I've almost finished modelling the Philden Beach Markets scene that will replace them atop the overpass.

From here on, it's all a bit of fun for me. As I continue working on the next and final Philden Model Railway book, there is a lot happening model-wise behind the scenes. I'll try to keep you updated as soon as I can. Until next time...

Friday 13 October 2023

2023 BRMA Convention Brisbane

The weekend of September 22nd to 24th 2023, saw me attend the British Railway Modellers of Australia convention, held this year in my home city of Brisbane, Australia. The coming together of modellers from across the country was held in the top floor convention rooms of the Pacific Hotel in Spring Hill, which just so happened to overlook the Roma Street Parklands and Brisbane's Roma Street Station.

Along with filling the honour of being this year's Keynote Speaker, I also manned my own bookstand over the course of the Mini-Expo on Friday afternoon and throughout Saturday's program.

I must thank the convention's organiser and BRMA Queensland Representative John Rostron, for all the behind the scenes work involved in putting together a successful convention program. Along with his assistance in helping me to set-up on the Friday. I'm sure I was one of my taxi driver's more interesting pick-ups for the week, given that I had two large boxes of books, a small layout module and a bag of lighting cables to fit into the boot. But it made it easy for John to spot me as I pulled up outside the Hotel's foyer!

In the lead-up to the event, and in the midst of preparing my presentation notes, my wife Denise and I also happened to become proud first-time Grandparents to a lovely little Grandaughter, Zailee. The excitement of becoming a Poppy, combined with the exhaustion from having just released a new book the month before and attending two model railway exhibitions with the new layout over back-to-back weekends, meant my mind was well and truly fried by the time the BRMA Convention wrapped-up.

Remember this little addition to my original Philden layout?

The weekend afforded me the chance to meet with some wonderful modellers from around the country. It was nice to have met fellow modeller Gavin Thrum who had flown up from Adelaide over dinner, and be set-up alongside UK model producer John Wiffen from Scalescenes for the weekend.

That's me alongside John Wiffen (right) from Scalescenes who produces amazing downloadable kits.

Part of my Keynote Speaker address shared some of my highlights and near misses over my 40 plus year fascination with trains. Including this screen grab I shared from back in 1989. I thought I could beat the crowds and get a photo beneath the famous Flying Scotsman locomotive's nameplate, by standing alongside the track and having a friend take the photo as it rolled slowly past.

That's right... take a closer look at how close I came to being hit by a train when I was just 17. And to set the record straight for all the do-gooders out there, this was back in the days before Workplace Health & Safety existed, and it was pefrectly acceptable for a trainload of passengers to just disembark at Seymour Railway Station, and wander all over the tracks! Anyway, as I explained in my address, compared to the whistle blast from a Victorian Railways R Class steam locomotive, the Scotsman's peep-peep whistle went over my head like a canary that had lost it's voice. I'm sure I recall feeling something having brushed my back at the time...

Thankfully I've survived this, (and other close calls), long enough to have penned 22 books throughout my career as an Author. Being asked to be the Keynote Speaker for the BRMA Convention, was a huge honour. To be recognised for my contribution to the hobby through my Philden Model Railway Presents books, my other railway books, this blog and my years of modelling is something I shall be forever proud of.

Part of the tradition for the Keynote Speaker, involves presenting the trophies for the modelling and photography awards at the Gala Dinner on the Saturday night, along with enjoying a sit down five star dinner in the Pacific Hotel's ballroom.

And goodnight Brisbane. We'll see what eventuates for 2024...

And to complete a truly month-long model railway immersion, I spent the week immediately after the convention wrapped-up, finally being able to work on my own model railway layout. While it was waiting patiently downstairs in the garage following it's outing to the Sunshine Coast Model Train & Hobby Expo early in September, I took the opportunity to fix, cut, add, repair and touch-up anything that I'd been meaning to get around to, without making a mess upstairs in our apartment. If I'm about to sit down to commence writing my 6th and final Philden Model Railway Presents book, then it goes without saying that I needed to have everything revamped that I am going to write about... revamping.

The result is a much more polished layout. One that I'll now need to be happy with for many, many years to come. However, raising the bar with this layout has come at the expense of some other long stalled projects... You can't model everything, I said so in my own Keynote Speaker presentation. And the time has come to make some big calls about what I can and can't balance alongside enjoying my now complete NSW North Coast layout, my newfound Poppyhood status, and returning to writing fiction early in the New Year. I've had to admit that I can only afford to put any rare modelling hours towards a small single project that can co-exist alongside my Philden Coast layout. Over the course of the next week, I'm going to be pulling up stumps on another layout project I've just lost interest in, and now haven't the time nor desire to pursue.

I'll save that news for another post, but for now... the sight of myself enjoying a British Modellers Convention should be a strong enough clue as to what that second small layout project will be. Until next time...

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Weathered by Philden Showcase 22

Not only have I gone and listed another batch of weathered Australian models for sale on my eBay page, but this week I'm also clearing my wardrobe of any distractions ahead of sitting down to start writing my next book, by having my biggest ever eBay sale!

Ever buy something thinking that someday you could build a little project layout of this, that or the other? Well... that's been me for the past 8 years! And I think it might have just reached the point now that my NSW North Coast layout is almost complete that I need to pick one, and only one, project to start early in the new year.... and simply farewell the rest.

Without going over everything I am culling from my timetable, tickets and trains collection, here is simply a sample of some of the weathering I have been up to since the completion of my latest book.

This Freightcorp NHFF coal hopper is by Auscision Models.

This N scale NHKF red hopper is hardly recognisable as red anymore...

Having always wanted to return to modelling N scale, I now doubt whether I am going to proceed in that direction, despite another jolt of enthusiasm when Auscision Models released their NHFF/NHKF coal hoppers in August this year. Instead, I weathered up the Freightcorp coal hoppers and have listed them for sale on eBay.

Auscision Models have produced a great looking N scale model of the NHFF and NHKF coal hoppers.

Then there are an assortment of HO scale Australian containers. If I learnt anything from attending two exhibitions with my new layout recently, it was that I simply had more containers models than I could poke a stick at!

So I've subsequently halved my container fleet and am still left with enough model containers to fill my container train three-and-a-half times over! Here's just some of the containers I have listed.

This Auscision Models 40' foot SCT container has found itself out-of-era on my layout... has this Aurizon 40' foot container. Both need to find a new home.

I had a few too many of these great-looking On Track Models curtain-side 40' foot containers.

This SDS Models WGG Westrail gyspum wagon features some white-grey residue after it was emptied.

And a side-on view showing the rust beneath the gypsum spills around the door frames.

This WOAX Westrail open wagon has one of the rustiest floors I've ever modelled!

SDS Models once more made a fantastic model. Yellow happens to be my favourite base colour to weather a rusty wagon, and I've lost count of how many models I've weathered similar to the one on the cover of Model Railway Weathered Wonders.

Given the amount of airbrushing I have done these last few years, it is hardly surprising that my mini-compressor has given up the ghost this past week! Instead of the tut-tut-tut noise as the air pressure builds back up while you are brushing, it sounded like something inside got stuck as it tried to do its job. To the point where the metal body of the compressor heated up that much that it melted the fingertips on the latex gloves I was wearing while working....

I've added a new mini-compressor to my shopping list this week, ahead of a laptop upgrade as I prepare to head into a new year of writing. So I'll call this week my biggest ever sale on eBay as I work through what to keep and what to clear. Hopefully by the end of this weekend I'll have a clear favourite emerge for a new model railway project post Philden Beach... And the rest will follow the above as I turn a wardrobe full of one-day projects into some much needed cash!

Once more, all models weathered by myself come with a signed certificate of authenticity as a way of simply saying thanks!

There's only a few more surplus Australian HO scale models for me to weather and list on eBay in the coming months, before my modelling interests take me abroad to a change of pace, scenery and prototype. For now, this is still an enjoyable way of keeping my weathering skills sharp... and a means to justify purchasing a new airbrush!

Click on the above banner to view my current model railway items I have listed for sale.

For my own record...
Models sold 181/230