Monday, June 13, 2011

Additions and Exhibitions

The June long weekend once again saw the Epping Model Railway Club Exhibition held at Brickpit Stadium, located at Thornleigh which is one of Sydney's northern suburbs. This is a nice close one to me, only about 45 minute trip down the F3 expressway and a few minutes along Pennant Hills Road which is a nice change.

However, as good timing was kind enough to bestow itself upon me, I also got the call from Toms Hobbies at West Ryde through the week that my six packs of PGH and MHG brake vans (three packs of each) were ready to be picked up. So a quick detour down to West Ryde was slipped in before the 10am start at Thornleigh.

These brake vans have been available for a few weeks, but as I ordered mine with weathering due partly to my laziness, as well as being very happy with the Job that Phil does, meant that mine were a little longer before being ready to pick up.

It's very much on the to do list that as the weather again warms up, I'll fire up the compressor and get the air brush out ans start doing it myself. In the mean time I wanted some RTR satisfaction and stuff not weathered just doesn't do it for me.

Along with the brake vans, I'd noticed that Toms had some green 32 Class loco's on Ebay for $400 which is down from the original $585 or so. Whilst there were no green 32's left by the mid 50's, I none the less crave a little colour in what was a rather drab N.S.W.G.R. look as far as steam was concerned towards the end of the 50's. So along with the brake vans a Green 32 was also purchased.

I also noticed the latest edition of the "Australian Journal of Railway Modelling" which is a brilliant magazine, sitting on the counter at Toms, so a copy of that was purchased as well. Not a bad start to the day at we hadn't even gotten to the exhibition yet!

Speaking of green steam engines, I was somewhat surprised and very happy to be presented with a Green Eureka 3813 a few weeks ago by my wife as part of my 10th wedding anniversary present, that didn't quite make it for the actual day. I was sure that Eureka were sold out of sound equipped 3813's, but my wife said that Ron was very helpful in "finding" one for her. A few days later a Trainorama 4201 turned up as well, rounding off a nice "reward" for the past ten years.

But I digress. So it was on to the Exhibition, and we arrived about 45 mins before opening time at 10am. I guess we were about twenty or thirty down the queue from the front which wasn't too bad, and before we knew it we were in. As per usual 99% of those there early head straight for the second hand stall in the hope of a bargain. I waited until later in the day, and in all honesty didn't see anything of any real value there. In fact there was stuff there dearer than what you could buy it in the shops or in some cases from vendors at the exhibition. There were also things there I'm sure I've seen at the last two Epping Exhibitions, so maybe some people don;t get the message!

Austrains created the usual bun rush with the release of their NSW 4-wheel oil tankers, as well as the newly released FS/BS/BSR passenger packs. I picked up a couple of packs of the oil tankers, as while they are not strictly 100% accurate for each version, they are none the less quite nice, and with a bit of weathering they will look the part. I was also amused but not surprised to see a set of tankers up on Ebay Sunday morning that are already up to more than new price. Fools and their money .............

I also grabbed a pack of Indian Red FS/FS/BS carriages and pack of FS/FS/BS Tuscan and Russet ones. Most of the Tuscan and Russet carriages would have been repainted by the 1960's, however I've seen a few pics of the odd Tuscan and Russet carriage still around well into the 60's, and so wanted at least one to mix it up a bit. As you can only buy these things in a three set, I might look to see if anyone else wants a Tuscan and Russet FS in exchange for another Indian Red one. I hear people complain about having to buy rolling stock in bulk lots, but honestly, I'm sure there will nearly always be someone out there in the same situation happy to swap amongst these packs to get a bit of variety.

A few small purchases at some of the trade stands rounded out the spending for the day, and so it was on to look at the exhibits. Not a huge amount of layouts were present, but most were of a high standard.

Jembaicambene is always a favourite of mine. It features some lovely scenery, especially around the river with the bridges, with very impressive looking water that just captures that slightly murky muddy look that is so hard to get just right. Its collection of steam era loco's and rolling stock is always a highlight as well, no dirty big NR's for this layout (thank goodness).

Carlo was an N scale layout loosely representing the Carlingford station and surrounds. I quite enjoyed looking at this layout as I spent a lot of time in my 20's with mates who lived in that area, and I knew the guys who owned the servo on Pennant Hills Road just up from the station. Seeing this area in miniature brought back some fond memories, so for that reason alone I really enjoyed this layout.

The highlight of the exhibition for me though was Bowen Creek, the N.S.W.G.R. themed layout built by
Andrew Campbell and Ian Millard, with track work to P87 standards. Paraphrasing Bowen Creek as being a layout built to P87 standards does not do it justice though. The whole layout is built to a standard that is extremely high, with scenic detail equaling as impressive as the track work. The bridge and river bed section is simply stunning with the washed out ground around the base of the tall tree in the foreground being one of the best bits of scenery modelling I've seen, period.

It's one of those layouts that the more time you spend looking at each mini scene, the more details you see. In fact it wasn't until I got home and downloaded the images off the camera and iPhone that I noticed some of the finer detail. I've added five images to this post which I hope do this fine layout justice.

As well as the pics I've uploaded three videos to Youtube. For whatever reason, they aren't appearing here on the blog in widescreen and the image is chopped off on each side, so go to the following links for the full size vids.

Unfortunately I don't have anything of note to add on the modelling front. Ongoing house renovations seem to be taking up a lot of spare time lately, not to mention the foul winter weather Sydney has been cursed with, making doing anything outside almost impossible, which included doing any real cleaning out of the garage to facilitate getting started on Gunnedah!

In the mean time, work should continue again on the shelf layout in the spare room, so hopefully some actual modelling posts should soon follow.


Blair Kooistra said...

Great Stuff, Darren! Thanks for being my eyes and ears at the exhibition. And super video of Bowen Creek. I look at that and imagine what Gurley on Narrabri North will (hopefully) look like someday!

Wish my wife was as generous as yours for the 10th anniversary. Not a total loss-she DID order me a Geelong Cats jumper from down under, so that took a bit of effort!

Darren said...

Hi Blair,

Glad you liked the pics and videos. Hopefully between the various "bloggers" some more exhibition pics will pop up over the coming days.

I was pretty happy with the way the videos came out, slightly shaky hands aside. Not bad for a simple iPhone jobby!

Bowen Creek is definitely something to aspire to equaling, or even approaching for that matter. I did take the liberty of taking those pics from a bit higher than eye lever to really show off the detail.

By the way, nice work on the article in A.J.R.M. on weathering the aluminium (or is that aluminum!) hoppers.


wango said...

Completely agree with what you have said about Bowen Creek. A superb layout that has lifted the standards of scenery to new heights. As well as everything else.