Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Pacific National 1WB3 Steel Train - Normanhurst 19/02/2017

Went spotting up at Normanhurst in Sydney's Northern Suburbs this afternoon. 

I managed to get the video camera in time for 1WB3 steel to pass with NR18, AN7 and 8220 up front. 

The train consisted entirely of jumbo coil steel loading and steel coil in 'butter-boxes'. 

NR18 up front in Indian Pacific Yellow and Silver.



Trailing shot of the locos.

 RCQF wagon up front. 

RQIW wagon with coil containers.

RCQF wagon.

Another RQIW wagon. These wagons are turning up often.

VQCF wagon with coil containers

NCFF wagon (formerly NQFF).

RQSY wagon with an interestingly tarped load.

RKLY butterbox wagon.

RQTY wagon (foreground) with an RKLY wagon.

RQMY wagon.

RKLY wagon.

NQTY wagon. 

Another NQTY wagon with blue boxes.

VQFX-type wagons on the rear.

Link to the video:


Monday, 13 February 2017

Auscision MBY Car Carrier Wagon

Hi all,

Quick image of Auscision's new MBY car carrier wagon in Indian Red with SRA 'L7' logos.

Not many of these packs arrived with the first batch, so pretty happy to be one of the first people to order (and therefore receive) them.

NSW RTM 4250 leads MBY 2582 and a PHN power van. 
Once again, Auscision do not fail to deliver in detail and quality. The wagons are well weighted and roll smoothly. The deck and framing has enough detail that a load of cars isn't needed (though a load of holidaying family cars wouldn't go astray).

Models are available from Auscision Models or their retailers:
Auscision Car Carrier


Friday, 13 January 2017

3232 Grain Approaching Towrang 13 January 2017

On the way South today I managed to spot 8144 and 8133 leading train #3232 Pacific National grain.

Train was pretty standard consisting of 28 x NGPF/NGKF type grain wagons.

8144 leading the consist around towards Towrang heading North.

8144 + 8133 passing through the rather photogenic cutting. 

Trailing shot as the locos pass beneath Towrang Road.

Unmarked NGKF wagon. 

Another unmarked NGKF wagon. Number boards may be obscured by the hot morning sunlight. 

NGKF 35790-Y (Centre)

NGPF 36082-D (Centre).

NGPF 36060-P (Centre).

NGPF 36149-S is second last wagon.

NGPF 35916-R brings up the rear as the train passes under Towrang Road.

A link to the YouTube video of the train:


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Austrains FS Carriages - Review and Upgrade

Hi all,

I fairly recently purchased a pack of Austrains FS carriages in Indian Red livery.

These carriages are very nice out of the packaging, are well weighted and run very freely.

The beauty of these carriages in real life though is that there was many varieties and modifications done to them over the years and into preservation.

Given this, I thought I'd customise my carriages to represent more of a 'preserved' look, more specifically the look of the carriages used by LVR on their Picnic Train tour that I was lucky enough to go on back in December.

I have found that that unless you are modelling a specific carriage, anything goes in terms of details and modifications as long as it achieves the look.

The Model:
Straight from the box.
Out of the box the models are very well presented. I'm no rivet counter, and being 28 have not had the experience of travelling in these carriages with the exception of tour trains. 
In terms of performance they are very well weighted and roll freely. I haven't had a chance to run them around the layout but they are sure to perform well.
A massive elephant in the room for me though (I havent read about it anywhere else) is the spoked wheels in the 2AN bogies. Modellers and experts more familiar with these may know better, but from research I cannot find any record of spoked wheels being fitted to these bogies. 


As mentioned they look great out of the box, however there are several improvements I feel can be made.
First and foremost is the wheels; I can't stand the look of the spoked wheels. I replaced these with Auscision 36" Finescale wheels 10.5mm diameter x 25mm width.
Another improvement is the roof. The torpedo vents are quite good, but the roof is moulded smooth, with no 'mathloid' seam lines.
To do this, I removed the vents by gently lifting them with a pair of small snips. The quite freely come away from the roof, and stored them to ensure they don't get lost.
10mm Tamiya masking tape strips installed onto the roof.
This process is quite tedious, and there are several alternatives, including using a teabag. I preferred the tape option however as I think it produces a good look and is easier that cutting teabag material to size. 
One this is finished, I reinstalled the vents. The vents on both ends are for the toilets; I have seen photos of these being the torpedo type as well as the fletner type. As I had some spares around, I installed fletner vents to the ends, and reinstalled the torpedos through the remainder. A dab of glue on the underside is all that it took.

After the vents are reinstalled, note the fletner vents on either end. 

A last minute decision was made (after checking my spare parts box) to change the Austrains 2AN bogies with AR Kits 2BS. I've noticed many of the preserved carriages have the 2BS type fitted, and I'm not particularly fond of the 2AN as installed (Bergs are the only ones who have gotten the 2AN 'right' in my opinion, though I haven't seen Casula's latest).

AR Kits 2BS bogies, primed but not painted.
Compare the pair.
Before painted I added a few extra pipes under the wagon for the air lines and between the brake cylinder and air tanks. I also added a handbrake chain, air hoses and changed the couplers to Kadee No.153 'short' shank scale heads, and trimmed the pin beneath,

After painting the roof and bogies, and adding some weathering to the under-frame. 
In painting the roof, I first applied Tamiya XF-15 'Flat Flesh'. I didn't add tape or a 'mathloid' material to the ends as from photos the ends usually have a 'step down' in them anyway. Once dry I masked these off and painted the remainder of the room Aqueous Hobby Color H77 'Tire Black'. It's critical to ensure the sides of the roof are properly painted in this process. 

Once this was dry I removed the masking and lightly added some more Tire Black to the ends, just to give it a bit of a more 'dirty look'. 

I painted the bogies a plain black colour, and coated the new air lines and chain in black as well. 

For the weathering, I mixed some Vallejo 'Sand Yellow', 'Dark Earth' and 'Gray' until a nice grimy colour was formed. I then lightly went over the bogies and underframe until I was satisfied with the look. I've found that the preservation railways tend to keep the bodies quite clean, but the under-frames will inevitably end up grimy. 

FS 2010 in company with 3526 and a NVFF van.
3265 and 3526 lead a newly upgraded FS 2010.
Next will be the other FS carriage from the pack. I'm hoping Austrains or SDS re-release the BS and BSR carriages in the near future so I can have a proper 'heritage' set going with the above steam locos. 


Sunday, 22 May 2016

On Track Models 82 class and Austrains 81 class with a cement train; DCC + sound fitted

Hi all,

Long time no post; I made this video compilation of 8215 and 8155 hauling some cement wagons around my newly finished (in terms of tracklaying) layout.

8215 is an On Track Models loco from the second production run. It is fitted with an ESU Loksound V4.0 DCC sound decoded, with the custom sound project by DCC Solutions.

8155 is an Austrains loco. This has had the paint job modified by lowering the yellow and white bands along the bottom of the loco, and weathered to show its use. Again the loco is fitted with an ESU Loksound V4.0 DCC sound decoded, with the custom sound project by DCC Solutions.

The cement wagons are the NPRY type (all three batches) by SDS Models. The last wagon I have weathered. 


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Video: North-bound Pacific National Superfreighter

Hi all,

I've just started up a YouTube account so I can upload the full videos I've taken. There is a few to go up, but firstly I'll share the one of the Pacific National Superfreighter led by the two NR class and G class through Meadowbank. 

The bells on NR12 was a real treat. I've known that they have bells installed but only used during shunting etc.

Anyway check out the video:


Saturday, 5 March 2016

North-bound Superfreighter 24 February 2016

I was lucky enough to be getting off at Meadowbank just as a North-bound Pacific National super-freighter was about the pass through. 

The line-up was interesting, with consecutively numbered NR12 and NR13 leading G537 still in Freight Australia colours. 

The consist was the typical collection of containers and other items loaded onto flat wagons.

NR12 powering into Platform 2.

NR13 Trailing

Not a great shot, but G537 behind the NRs.

TS Lines container on a RQSY-type wagon.

RQJW-type Wagon.

RQSY-type wagon with Cronos container.

A load of reinforcement mesh on a flat-pack.

Toll tautliner container

Breeze Logistics reefer container

Toll auto-racks on a five-pack RRAY wagon

Auto-racks and reefers.

Another RQSY wagon.

More of the five-packs. Their lower height allows them to carry the larger 9'6" containers.

Two Rand reefers bring up the rear.

...On an RRYY wagon.

Not the best photos as I was using a simple 'point-and-shoot' work camera which is really not made for trainspotting. But was an entertaining few minutes nonetheless.