Sunday, 22 November 2020

Muttama In 2020

Here is a bit of a belated post from myself. Long story short I was intending to have the Good Shed for Muttama completed, but other priorities got in the way preventing me from completing it. I am nearing the completion of the Good Shed and hopefully be able to provide a full dedicated post as opposed to a fragmented one in the very near future.

Muttama In Spring 2020
Last month, one of my good friends did a road trip into the Riverina District of NSW and detoured via Muttama. He forwarded me some photos he took of the area and with his permission, I can present you what the landscape of Muttama looks like today. Be warn, you do have to look hard for some of the evidence of what remains of rail corridor at Muttama as most of the infrastructure has been removed long ago and some of it may be hidden in the long grass.  

Looking from the Level crossing towards Cootamundra where Muttama Railway Station was once located at

Looking towards Tumut in the area where the Goods Shed was once based

One of the two Ground Levers for the Siding of the Goods Shed.

Further up on the line is what remains of what seems to be a Cravat. Take note of the hilly landscape in the background.

Comparing The Landscaping

Looking towards the Tumut side of the Level Crossing of the layout compared to the actual location

Looking towards the Cootamundra side of the layout compared to the actual location

Still a fair amount of work to be carried out on Muttama. Hopefully, I can start to get more items completed in the upcoming weeks ahead. Getting straight back into the project now.


Friday, 9 October 2020

HO NSWGR Exhibition Muttama Layout Build September 2020 Update

To summarise Septembers efforts, work was mainly focused on applying the final solution on the road and Level crossing areas on the Layout. I was hoping to have got more items completed, but other work and life priorities again got in the way. However, I managed to get decent amount done in the few nights that I had at my disposal.

Roads and Level Crossing for Muttama
The road that crosses over the rail line through Muttama will be a dirt road. 

I had a couple of choices for the Rail Crossing which was to use Gates which the Gatekeeper would have closed off to road traffic when the Rail Traffic was passing though (hence the existence of the Gatekeepers Cottage), or the Rail Crossing Signs.

After a lot of thinking into the 2 options, I decided to go for the Rail Crossing signs. The reason for this is that I just did not have a lot of information on what type of crossing gates were used at Muttama and that the photos that I do have of Muttama clearly show the Level Crossing signs. However, it is not to say that I may in the future replace the Level Crossing Signs with Gates if I can obtain more information as to what gates were used.

Level Crossing
I decided for the wooden flange ways for the Level Crossing to use styrene. Before super gluing the wooden flange ways so they can be coloured up later on. It is worth pointing out that I tested some locomotives (Steam and Diesel) and other various rolling stock over the Level Crossing to ensure no derailments occur.

I taped up the wooden flanges to allow for the Selleys Spakfilla was applied as shown in the above pictures. Once the Sapkfilla was applied and set, I sanded the Spakfilla to the form that I was looking for. I then coloured up the wood flange ways using the Tamiya Weathering Masters colours. 

Woodlands Scenics Gravel Road applied. I applied pva glue down and got the following effect (which was by pure incident), that somehow created to dirt road wash away effect. However, I decided to smooth it when reapplying the Gravel for the second time round.

For the Road I used Woodlands Scenics Bluff fine Gravel. I was hoping that the bluff colour would provide me close to the dirt road colour and texture that I was looking for. The Woodlands Scenic Gravel comes with 2 x packs which one pack contained the gravel and the other contained the colouring pigment that you apply onto the gravel to get the bluff colour. However, the supplied pigment did not stick and gave up on it in the end. However, the gravel was great and I highly recommended as a road base, but I found the next method delivered the results better than I was originally hoping for.

Roadway gravel up and toned up with soft artist pastels of various colours

I ended up making a trip to a local art supply shop where I purchased a few soft artist pastels. I was able to find a good photo of the dirt road nearby where Muttama railway station is and selected a few colours matching to the various tones that are seen on a dirt road. At first, I used pigments that I shaved off the pastels and powdered them on using a soft bristle paint brush. I later found that scribbling the pastel on the roadway and smudging it with a paint brush was more of an effective method which delivered the end result that I was looking for.

Cattle Stops
Level Crossings mainly in rural NSW locations had Cattle stops at each side of the Level Crossing to prevent Cattle and other live stock making their way into the rail corridor. The HO Scale Cattle Grid by Uneek Models are close to the ones that were used at Muttama.

Cattle Stops painted and put in place onto the layout

Level Crossings Signs
There are a few options for Level Crossings signs on the market which are all very suitable choices. With the limited photographic evidence that I have available, Muttama had the typical Level Crossing signs but with a Stop sign attached which I believe would have been a later addition.

For Level Crossing signs I opted for the Stephen Johnson Models Level Crossing Cast Iron Signs which provides a pair of etched nickel silver signs. The Kit came with a template with measurements where Rail crossing sign and the Triangle needs to be placed. The sign and triangle was soldered onto the supplied rail. I have to say I would recommend this kit for any one who wants to get into soldering etched kits together. For me, this was an easy and quick kit to complete.

I primed the Level Crossing Signs and painted in a Gloss White Paint (as you will need a gloss surface as the decals will adhere better) and applied the other respective colours. 

The decals also needed to be cut to size to fit within the area of the level Crossing Sign. 
Once the decals were applied, I applied Micro Sol to set the decals in place and then apply Dull Coat (I used the tester Dull Coat) to remove the gloss look and to seal in the decals.

Level Crossing signs assembled

Level Crossing Signs painted and Decals cut to size ready to be applied

Level Crossing Signs complete ready to be installed on the Layout

Level Crossing Signs now installed on the layout.

More updates to come in my upcoming October Post.


Friday, 4 September 2020

HO NSWGR Exhibition Muttama Layout Build August 2020 Update

After going through personal woes of July which resulted the progress of Muttama only making a small amount of progress. August seem to somehow offer me with some good free time to work on on my current Muttama Project at a more rapid pace. August progress mostly focuses on the Landscaping of Muttama as you will see that this layout is no longer a plan baseboard with track on it.

Landscaping Muttama
The actual start of the landscaping of Muttama occurred on the last few days in July which was the commencement of profiling of hills around Muttama railway station. From Cootamundra to Tumut, the Country side is rather hilly, therefore I wanted to represent that hilly profile for this project, but make it subtle enough so that the landscaping does not block the view of the track where the activity happens. Materials used is blue installation foam, Portugal cork off cuts and Selleys Spakfilla. Also need anything that has weight to keep the landscape formation materials in place when they are glued to the layout. Please note, that for this exercise, I just needed to get the profiling set as close to what is desired. Plastering and the grouting process will smooth out anything that looks rough. 

Above Pictures shows the progress of forming the landscaping profile which was carried out on the last few days of July.

Landscaping formation completed ready for plastering

Final Touches For The Landscaping Profile of Muttama
To complete the profile I used Woodlands Scenic Plaster cloth and Davco Corn Silk Coloured Grout.
It is worth noting that the Woodlands Scenics plaster Cloth I used here was their large roll which was the only option available at the time due to the high demand on hobby supplies due to COVID-19.

Plaster Cloth down ready to be set in place

Plaster socked and massage into place

Layer of Grouting applied which completes the Landscape Profiling of Muttama

It is worth mentioning that there are several methods of doing landscaping profiling. I have used the method above as grouting brings not only the ground colour but a bare ground finish, (Not showing the woven threads that gets presented from plaster cloth). It is also light in weight which is important for an exhibition layout especially if you are the only person to setup and dismantle a Layout at an Exhibition Event.

All of the above efforts from start to finish took me 8 nights to carry out.

Grassing Up Muttama
Once the Grout had dried up, it was time to apply the turf and grass. Mixture of different static grasses both in colour and in length where applied so it can blend in with the back scene (which I will reveal in a future blog). Please note that I have left some area bare as there are Line Side structures to be put in place at a later time without the need of ripping out scenery.

From the above pictures I applied a mix of Woodlands Scenics Yellow Grass and Burnt Grass Fine Turf. The platform, where the line side structures reside and the roadways will be scenic later on.

Static Grass applied

To match up with the back scene I have mixed up various colours of static grass to get that semi drought look. I have included a picture of the Woodlands Scenic static grass applicator which I have used to apply static grass on my Model Rail Club Exhibition Layout of Wingello, my Narellan Layout and now Muttama. It is not a cheap tool to have but one that I have found essential to have. This particular Static Grass applicator can operate from a 12 Volt adaptor or a 9 Volt battery. I have used this static on all 3 projects without a need yet to replace the 9 Volt battery. Not trying to give any means Woodlands scenics a free plug here, but I personally have found that any static grass applicator that is supplied with 9 Volts of power or above works effectively. In the past I have used a static grass applicator which operated from 2 x AA Batteries (3 Volts) which made the application of static grass difficult and not with the result that I was looking for.

In any scene where there is a rail line present there would be at least some form of fencing and for Muttama there is going to be plenty of fence work that needs to be done. 

Fences do help a lot in uplifting the look of the scenery especially if there is plenty open area with no structures. Therefore are certainly worth the effort in doing. 

On a weekend that had bad weather outside, I cut length of wooden fence posts and drilled in some holes with a pinvise ready to be painted up.

Wooden Fence Posts now ready to be painted up

Fence Posts have been painted in Tamiya Neutral Gray

First lot of wired fencing done

Still a lot more fencing work to be carried out, but I will gradually resume the remainder of the fencing as the positing of some of the Line Side items are put in place.

There are a couple of more items that I got semi completed in August, therefore I will cover it in my next post.

Roadway and level Crossing still work in progress with a bit of work needed to get it looking right

Hopefully the warmer weather in Spring will encourage me to be in my workshop for a longer period of time which will result in getting more tasks completed.