Thursday, 16 November 2017

Static Grass

Static Grass

When visiting the Toowoomba Model Railway Exhibition back in June, I visited the Modellers Warehouse stand. Dave was selling static grass applicators and 2 packs of grass as a show special for $ 80.00. Static grass has been around for years, I’m just a little slow on the uptake. I guess the cost of the applicator to date had a bit to do with also. The Wacol CEO was with me and indicated he would go halves with me and we could share the device.

Some months later the purchase was still in the plastic bag sitting on the book case unopened. At the “Model Railways of a Day” a few weeks ago I attended Dave’s presentation on Static Grass, he made it look so simple. It was great to see the various steps demonstrated. A couple of weeks back I attended the Gold Coast Model Railway Show and had to confess to Dave that nothing had be done. In looking around the stand I purchased another packet of grass.

Currently I’m doing some alterations to the Wyandra area of the layout and there is a small block of land near the station that could do with some refreshing.  It’s time for me to learn a new skill and attempt applying static grass. The surrounding area not requiring grass was covered with newspaper before starting. With the instructions read and understood, it was time to start. Ground Up Scenery products were used. First the Oliver (3 mm) a dark green was applied, later in the day the Dead Grass (3mm) as added, and finally the Summer Blend (5 mm) was applied and let dry. The scenery director was called and the job passed with flying colours. The area is different to others grass lands near by which adds verity to the layout.

A new fence was added, a gate was scratch built for wire, a “Rail in Scale” bill board was cut down and shorten so it wouldn’t over power the area, and some finishing scenery effects was placed at various points. The grass looked that good a cow was added under the tree.

Yet again another new skill was learnt, what a great hobby.  I guess I put it off in fear that I would muck it up, when I should have been done long before I did. Seeing the demo at the convention also helped heaps.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Wyandra. SWR

Wyandra is the other station on the QR narrow gauge network on the SWR. A few years back when you could travel by train from Charleville to Cunnamulla on the Westlander, the first stop for safeworking (Staff & Ticket System before 1980’s) was Westgate, the junction station for the Quilpie Line. Travelling 77 kilometres south towards Cunnamulla is Wyandra. The crossing loop is a shorty at 39 units. Wyandra on the SWR is nothing like the real one between Charleville and Cunnamulla.   
SWR Wyandra is a basic crossing station with a couple of sidings for operations. Station platform is located on the Main Line and a Loop Line is available for crossing trains. Off the loop line is a run through siding with a side loading bank at one end. The other end can be used for grain traffic or general freight. Running off the Main Line is a siding serving a standard Goods Shed with a crane and a sawmill. On the station end of the siding is a short dead end that can be used for visiting camp wagons.
The loop points were laid on the curve for two reason, one was to have a yard that was not all straight track. The other season was to give a longer sidings with curves.  The photo below gives an overview of the station.

Wyandra looking west showing the various sidings.

Wyandra is an area on the layout that was not completed to the standard I was looking for, it looked completed. I used what I had or had been given many years ago. Plus, I wanted to use it before I finished it off completely. As built the station platform was a shorty, it could accommodate two carriages.  That was OK for rail motors, but with the increase in passenger number, and with more engine and car working, a longer platform was required.
Each year after holidays with the rollingstock still packed away I spend time refreshing, cleaning, dusting, cleaning track, and vacuuming the layout. It’s a plan to have the next 12 months with trouble free operations. I also use the time to make any alterations or repairs needed.   
This year I decided to extend the platform. Plus during operations the short dead end could be a little on the short side, often wagons were foul of the crossover. Yes, it add more to the operations session, but I do not want to make it to hard for new comers.  You can always add wagons if you wish to make it tougher at a later date.



With the short platform, two or three stops were required for passenger on trains worked by engine and cars.  

Less than ideal, poor customer service.  Plus, it shoots holes in the Time Table.

Many stations with low level platforms also have a short length of high platform. This feature doubles as a side and end ramp for unloading vehicles. Another use is loading/unloading small consignments of livestock, horses etc. The local grazier drops the door on the wagon and leads this animals to his truck. This quicker than shunting the wagon off the train, plus their is less down time for the wagon being out of traffic.  

The extend platform now bring the Guard’s Van on stopping trains to the clearance point for the Loop Line.

The vehicles parked at the station are new from Road Ragers Cooee Classics Models   
R.029 1958 FC Taxi Yellow Cab
R.030 1961 EK Special Sedan Twiligth Turquoise               
R.034 EH Premier Sedan Kalgoorlie Gold / White two-tone. 

Platform lights were added to bring the scene to life. These were scratch built using K & S 1 mm brass tube, Grandt Line shades and the lights are from DCC concepts (protowhite Nano LED-NLPW). 

A light pole was also added near the rail ambulance shed to make life much safer for the ambo’s at night.

  The Goods Shed is scratch build from styrene with foil CGI added. The crane is a Peter Boorman’s Workshop NSWR brass etch.

The sawmill is scratch build largely based on Grandchester, the steam boiler is Uneek # 472 and twin steam machine is also Uneek # 475. The derrick is a VR 6 t yard crane that came from The Buffer Stop.   

Loading VJMG grain wagons with scratch build grain augers.
Construction of the Grain Augers can be found in the NMRA MainLine Magazine Vol 33. No 5. November – December 2016 issue.

On the Loop Line side of the yard there is a single man quarters for visiting Track Inspector and a Trolley Shed for the local fettering gang.

The standard gauge sidings for loading NSWR grain wagons is part of the Wanko standard gauge yard. The next part of the project is to add a new station building. I’m looking for something like Landsborough or Yandina without the cabin attached with an outside entrance into the waiting room. Will look through a few photos to see what I can find out in the SWD. Maybe Chinchilla, Miles, Mitchell, Morven may fit the bill, Oakey is something different and is still there for some photos ?????
The station is used in two operations plans using a switch list type of arrangements with a fast clock. The station can be attended with a Station Master on duty or as many were on the QR as an unattended station in accordance with QR Rules 229& 442. In short, the Guard of the first train to arrive become the Office in Charge until his train leaves. May be more on that at a later post.
Till next time, happy modelling.