Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A bit more on tarp colour

I had an idea tonight (dangerous I know) about how to colour the tarps. Basically I turned the tissue paper over and taped it to a scrap of cardboard then air brushed the back with Tamiya XF-57 Buff. One 'advantage' was that the tissue wrinkled so that might assist in making it look more like an old tarp.
I think that it might do for a start and as tarps end up all sorts of colours from black to browns to the off-white original then different base colours could be used.
The advantage of course is that the NSWGR stenciling and the locations of the tie down points are still clearly visible.

Some weathering of the tarp can be done later after it has been installed on a wagon.
Now, how can I make the attachment of the ropes less boring and quicker?
Somehow I don't think that there is an answer to that one.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tarping an S Wagon - Not a One Hour Project

As a result of Colin Hussey leaving a comment on my last post with the size of a NSWGR tarpaulin (24' x 16') I decided to have a go at tarping a S wagon. A search led me to the following three photos from the Weston Langford collection. Note the brand new tarp on the S wagon and the stencilling of NSWGR with 4 characters, the last two being 44. You can also see the end of a tarped K wagon in the lower left corner which only has the NSWGR so I don't know what the other 4 characters were for.

With the clean tarp picture I was able to estimate where the tie down points were on a tarp and as Colin pointed out in his follow up comments there are some about 4' in from the edge as well as around the perimeter. I drew up a tarp to HO and made a PDF file with three tarps (click on the link to download the PDF). I then then taped some white tissue paper to an A4 sheet of paper, crossed my fingers and printed three tarps on my laser printer. This worked well as can be seen in the following photo.

After cutting a tarp from the tissue paper I used a pin in a pin vise to put small holes at the black dots printed on the tarp. I then threaded some EZ Line through the holes and put a small drop of ACC (Super Glue) on the underside to hold the 'rope'. Twenty ropes later I was ready to give it all up!!!

I then used a number 76 drill and drilled through the sides of the S wagon to the underneath of the floor .

A piece of balsa wood was glued to the floor of the S wagon to replicate the load under the brand new tarp in the Weston Langford photo. The balsa was rounded slightly on the top edge.

I missed a photo here, but the next step was to thread the 'ropes' on one side of the tarp through the bottom holes in the wagon until it was shorter than needed (so it could be stretched later) and glued it to the underside of the floor. I used accelerator for all glueing and I can't emphasise enough how this speeds construction. It is tricky to get two ropes through the same hole but it can be done, the second rope coming from the higher up tie downs. I continued slipping the ropes through the holes, pulling them tight then glueing them to the floor and folding the tarp around the ends of the wagon. This is hard to explain so if you give it a go you will have to work out the best way to do this. I think that each wagon type will have a different challenge.

Once the ropes were all attached with the tarp folded around the S wagon I carefully coated the tissue with watered down PVA and allowed it to harden.

The last step was to carefully paint the tarp without painting over the NSWGR stencils. I used a light grey and followed it with powdered pastel colours. I am not too happy about the result but it is the first time I have tried to replicate the colour of a tarp.

If you look carefully at the top view of the S wagon you will just see the NSWGR stencils.


It appears that I am in trouble with the detail police as James McInerney sent an email saying that I had the timber in the wagons pointing the wrong way for the direction of travel (see the video in the last post). It seems that the single central stack should be pointed towards the locomotive to lessen the chance that either of the two outer stacks would strike something, makes sense to me, thanks James.

Here is a photo from Colin Hussey showing timber carried this way.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tracking of K and S 4 wheel wagons with cantilevered timber loads

As a result of the my success recorded in my blog post of 13/11/2011 I managed to do two S wagons with the cantilevered loads and another K wagon with a load enclosed within its sides.
The timber castings for the loads came from two different sources to the load in the earlier post namely, In Front Models and some polyurethane timber stacks I found in a plain plastic bag a few years ago (in Toms Hobbies I think).

The end result is that I now have three cantilevered loads each with different timber stacks in one K wagon and two S wagons plus the normal load in the other K wagon.

Of course the next step was to see if the timber stacks extending out of the ends of the wagons would interfere with each other on curves. I placed the wagon with the wide central load projection next to a S wagon without timber then the others were coupled so that each central stack went between the two outer stacks on the next wagon.

Here is a video showing that there was no interference on my 762mm (30") curves.

The next obvious step is to tie down the tractors in the following S wagons. I will have to paint them and then tie and brace them as shown in an AMRM article by Graeme Brown some years ago (AMRM Issue 229 August 2001). I am sure that the VR way of tying down a tractor in a 4 wheel wagon would be much the same as it was done on the NSWGR.

I also want to try my hand at tarping a few wagons using the EZ Line to stretch the tarps 'tight' but I have loaned my Day of the Goods Train book which has the dimensions of the tarps in it to another modeller. I think a phone call might be in order soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Another Small Project

While going through that box of bits last week that resulted in the timber K wagon load, I also found a Bergs Hobbies CV wagon kit that I was given many years ago by my cousin Garry Waugh. Garry is no longer with us and may be remembered by some who have been in the hobby for many years.

I hadn't used the CV as I have several Protype CVs on BYLONG which are superb models, the masters being made by Michael McCormac, the well known modeller who has just released his NSWGR 'dogbox' kits.

Now, Wollar loco depot has a short radial track from the turntable that is very close to the edge of the layout with a 1420mm drop to the concrete floor, not a good situation. This track is to be used by the Cassilis branch railmotor so the answer was to build a shed for storage of parts and light running repairs. Down the decades the NSWGR had used old wagons stripped of their undergear and placed on supports for this and other purposes, a SRC was used at Sutherland  for the CPH railmotors and trailers that were used on the Sutherland to Helensburgh services.

I won't go into the details of construction as they will be self evident from the photo but will say that the wagon doesn't have to be supported by rail and a retained embankment or even stacked old sleepers could do the job.

I have to find more bits and pieces to detail the shed and surrounds along with some nice black oil spillage soaking into the ground, then I really should start (and finish) the Stephen Johnson 400 Class Railmotor kit I have had since the 1980's. Now how did a 400 Class sound and what sound decoder will I need?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A One Hour Project

Last evening I came across a Sydney Hobbies timber load for a K wagon while searching through my 'treasure chest' of detail parts for another project. I didn't have any luck with what I was looking for so decided it was about time to do something with the wagon load kit as I had bought it a few years ago.

I thought I would document this as a blog post as I tried something that I had not done before and thought that it might be of use to others.

I placed the three stacks of timber into an Austrains K wagon which was laying on its side, two stacks one way and the third one in the centre the other way as shown in the photo accompanying the kit, applying a drop of ACC (Super Glue) at the cross point between the stacks.

I then slipped a piece of timber (supplied strip polystyrene) vertically either side of the stacks as shown in the photo aligning them with the hinges of the K wagon doors glueing them to the stacks but not the K wagon body.

At this point I removed the stacks from the K wagon and proceeded to paint the timbers.

I used Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow for the fresh sawn timber and Tamiya XF-57 Buff for the vertical scrap pieces of timber that are tied in place to hold the stacks. I feel that the Desert Yellow does a great job of giving that fresh cut timber look while the Buff gives a slightly weathered colour as could be expected for the scrap bracing timbers.

While the paint was drying I removed the K wagon chassis and drilled No. 78 holes in the tie down rings low down the side of the K wagon (see photo of finished model).

After the paint had dried I placed the load back into the K wagon and proceeded to use copper coloured Berkshire Junction Model Railroad Supplies EZ-Line (from The Model Railroad Craftsman at Blacktown NSW) to tie down the load as per the supplied photo.

I chose the copper colour for two reasons, one is that the line comes in black, copper and green and we don't usually see black or green rope at least not in 1965 and the second reason was simple, I had the copper line already.

The trick is to ACC glue one end of the line to the inside of the K wagon body after passing the line through the hole in the ring. After this it is simple to stretch the line up and around the various timbers glueing occasionally as you go. I use a piece of tissue paper to blot up any excess ACC glue straight away and the use of an ACC glue accelerator solution really assists this work to move at a fast pace (I got my Flashtac Accelerator from Tom's Hobbies).

Where the rope is tied around the ends of the stacks I started by glueing the line end on the bottom of the stack end then wrapping it around as required. I left a few short ends of line hanging loose to indicate knots.
I didn't attempt to tie knots as the stretchy line is interesting to tie knots with, not impossible just interesting. I also couldn't work out how to model the knots on the rings, maybe someone else can work that one out.

So the new technique was the use of the EZ-Line for tying down loads, nice and thin, more or less the right colour and it looks tight as it should.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making an Exhaust Chuff Cam

In my last post I mentioned that I would explain how I make exhaust chuff cams for my locomotives so here is a technique that anyone can do.
1. Place the loco upside down in a cradle.
2. Connect power to the loco and clean the rear of the rim of the most likely candidate driving wheel, this is usually the rear wheel on the left, looking towards the front and with the loco upside down.
3. Apply power to the loco while it is upside down in a cradle and bring the side rod crank of the wheel uppermost (where it would normally contact the rail).
4. Make two marks on the rear of the rim wheel three spokes apart (the crank is usually aligned with a spoke) with a very fine marker (0.5mm line width).
5. Move the wheel to the next quarter position by counting the wheel spokes and make the next three spoke set of marks and follow through with the last two sets.
6. Using a sharpened toothpick carefully apply ACC glue (Super Glue) between the three spoke marks at each quarter location and allow to set for a couple of days.
7. Mount a piece of printed circuit board (PCB) to the under side of the chassis either with a suitably located chassis screw or with glue, if glueing the PCB, clean any oil from the chassis thoroughly.
8. Solder the cam wire from the sound decoder to the printed circuit board.
9. If using a chassis screw to mount the PCB ensure that the copper of the PCB where the wire is soldered on  is not in contact with the screw head or chassis by removing copper between the screw and the decoder cam wire.
10. Solder a piece of phosphor bronze wire or strip to the PCB near the decoder cam wire such that one end bears against the rear of the rim of the wheel with the ACC insulated segments. I used Slaters 0.12mm (0.006") phosphor bronze strip on the Austrains C36 but I have also used phosphor bronze wire.
11. With power applied to the loco rub the point of a 8B graphite (lead) pencil to the rear of the rim, this smooths the tracking of the wire/strip.
12. Place the loco on the programming track or main and set the sound decoder to use the cam, this is easily achieved using JMRI Decoder Pro.
14. Adjust the strip/wire to lightly touch the rim until a good clean chuffing sound results.

Here are some photos showing the C36 installation.

If you have followed the above you should now have a loco that chuffs four times for each wheel revolution.
If you have a slightly uneven beat then one or more of the ACC glue segments is a different length but this is not an issue a locos may have a slightly different beat with one chuff being slightly longer/louder than the others. Of course if the chuff sound is really out of balance then you will have to scrap the ACC glue off and redo it.