Saturday, 1 June 2019

Narellan April and May Progress Update plus Wingello

Since the last blog I have been busy in getting Narellan Ready for the Modelling the Railways of NSW 36 Convention. The main aim was to get the Layout in a presentable state for the Convention where I was aiming on getting most of the scenery area done and the get the station building, Cream Shed and Lamp shed completed. Thankfully, I was able to get Narellan in a presentable state.

In this blog will provide a long over due update on Wingello (my Model Rail Club HO Scale layout).

But I better first start off where I left off from my last blog.

What the layout looked like in mid April.

Taking Advantage of the Easter Break
Over the Easter Break I decided to take few days Annual Leave time off. On the days before Good Friday, I did my shopping spree in getting the needed materials and tools from Bunnings Warehouse and Jaycar for the various electrical supplies to have at my disposal. The initial aim was to get the wiring done and build up the scenery. Certainly a lot work a head of me to get this layout in a presentable state for the upcoming Convention. 

Fiddle yard track work finally completed.

The positive was that my track work was completed and I was able to do some test runs on the layout to locate anything that could cause derailments. Fortunately, not many issues that needed to be resolved, at this point I had a good run in building this layout.

 Weathering of the track completed.

Taped up for plaster cloth to be applied. Also added in the formation of the platform.

Plastering completed. 

 I decided to cover the plastered areas with Grouting for the reason to remove the cross threading look that plaster cloth presents and colour grout also removes the need of painting the area that is going to be landscaped.

Grouting has been completed, but did not grout the platform formation.

Before any further scenic work could be carried out, I needed to complete my platform and paint it. I used Liquid Nails to attached the platform to the formation. I made the formation with a bit of left over plywood and Portugal cork which provided the hight of the formation that was needed.

I first started off using Chuck's N scale Bombo Ballast with a mixture of Chuck's crushed coal. I placed more coal than ballast near where the coal stage will be. I found that 50% PVA glue and 50% water mix in with a couple of drops dishwashing detergent was not creating a strong enough bond with the ballast and coal, event when it got sprayed with water before it was being applied. I later found that 70% of PVA with 30% water with a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent provided a good solid bond. Other lesson learnt here is when using crushed coal as part of the landscaping, is to use paint the PVA glue on the area in which you would like to place it then place the coal then give it a spray with soapy water, I found just using the water down glue mix made the coal float on top which resulted in an unsatisfactory finish.

Starting to look like Narellan now.

Turfing Completed.

Fast Forwarding the Story
To prevent this blog from being larger than what it should be, the scenery was a quick easy process of this layout project that only took less than a few days to carry out. However, what took most of the time over my Easter Break was the wiring of the layout. I will do a separate blog just on the wiring and the electronics as it is worthy of its own blog. That for me was a massive challenge that certainly tested my patience. But got it done in the end.

I also will do a separate topic on the building and detailing of the buildings for Narellan.
The rest of this post now is the getting Narellan in a state that it can be presented at the upcoming convention. 

Getting a Little Help From My Friends
Thankfully, two of my model rail friends Rob and Dan who drop around a few times to assist me to move forward items such as getting the carpentry work completed. Without their help, I would have not got to the point of having a presentable Layout for the convention. I certainly needed assistance in tasks such as getting the back scene picture placed on the back scene board. 

More importantly, they did not let me sit back and watch them do the work, they also taught me a few methods in several items. Since starting this project, we were also able to have an open discussion on how it should be done. We collectively were able to come up with some practical solutions such as using Kato Track as the run around track to connect the fiddle yard to the scenic section and trying to keep the Layout also light as possible so it can be easily moved around.

I should also mention what has resulted from these discussions was that we determined Narellen had a few different variations of fences around. One variation was rail line post fencing that had wire  fencing attached to it. We were talking about this topic in my model rail club during one working bee night, where my club President Peter said that he knows how to make the rail posts. After I finished helping out with fitting one of the structures for the Clubs Wingello Layout, I turned around to find that Peter had done a whole bunch of them for me ready to go on the Narellan Layout.

Pigeon Box Frame work got completed. At the same time managed to get some static grass down. It gave some opportunity to do some loco and rolling stock testing.

Not prototypical running, but the Auscision 442 that I recently purchase that has the factory fitted dcc sound chip doing a round of further track testing. The Carriages are a Eureka Models AB Car and a Austrains FS Car. All run on the track work nicely without derailing or hitting the platform or a layout structure. As much as would have loved to run trains here on in, I had to pack them away to keep going on the layout construction.

 LED Lighting strips installed.

 Doing some retro fitting of the line side structures.

 Fencing Work in progress.

Further Landscaping work in progress.

 Pigeon Box painted.

 First lot of Fences installed.

Lead Up To the Night Before the Convention
Unfortunately, I did not take too many photos of the progressive work as I was just focused on getting the remaining outstanding items completed. That consisted in getting the buildings secured on the layout, fences completed, station area completed and the layout wiring tidied up.

 Above five photos of the progressive shots on the night before the Convention.

Day of the Modelling the Railways if NSW 36 Convention
At 00:30 Hrs 18-May-19 AEST, I got one part of the layout packed in a back of an old Mazda 2. Unfortunately, I had not had the time to work out the best way on how to pack the layout into the car, but fortunately, the convention was not too far away from home. I decided it was best to to get some sleep in for the day ahead. At the start of the day I ended up doing two trips between Loftus TAFE and home. When I made the first trip to the venue of the convention, I opened the car door and was greeted with the aroma of PVA glue as I did not think have opened the window to vent out car out overnight. I guess I should make that as a lesson learnt point. 

With the great help that the convention organisers provided made it an easy task to setup and Dan who has been helping me in the construction of this layout arrived on time to get things sorted before the patrons attending this event arrived.

We were able to get the trains setup ready for the day show. However, we did not have the time previous to this event to work out how to best operate trains during and exhibition event so the running session was a bit of a rough start, but as the day progress, we were able to get ourselves in a routine. Thankfully, it not the trains on the layout that would be the topic of conversation, but the positive comments on my modelling efforts that have been done so far for Narellan, how well the back scene worked in with the layout and how the 2.4 Meter long scenic section worked well for this layout, which has provided me positive feeling that I have taken the correct approach in the development of Narellan.

It also great to catch up with some friends and other fellow Model Rail Bloggers in this convention.

Narellan all setup in the convention venue.

The day finally ended and again with great assistance from the convention organisers I was able to return the layout back home within an hour of the event closing for the day.

From that point, I have decided to have a short break on working on Narellan, as there were a few items that I needed to complete for the Clubs Wingello HO Layout project for the upcoming Rosehill Race Course Model Rail Exhibition to be held on the June Long Weekend. Hopefully, I will be able to acquire some needed items from Rosehill Race Course Exhibition to complete Narellan to be ready to attend future exhibitions.

I can now make it official that Wingello will be making its first appearance at the Epping Model Rail Exhibition held at the Rosehill Race Course during the June Long Weekend. Last years show was fantastic, but seems that they do have a good list of Layouts that will be at the exhibition this year. Unfortunately, I have been for one lazy in taking the progress photos over the last few months and currently the layout has its modules separated for the final touch up work getting done to prepare it for the upcoming exhibition which has prevented me on taking some good photod of the layout in its current form.

As far as I can say is that Wingello will be only exhibited at the Rosehill Race Coarse Exhibition in 2019 with its next exhibition appearance most likely to be within the 2020 Exhibition Calendar. However, I would like to say that Wingello is going to put on a great display. I will let that be revealed at the Exhibition.

Wingello Layout Preview pictures.

Now for that Closing Note
As you have probably read in this and in my last couple of blogs, I have been busy doing two model rail projects, that of Wingello and Narellan. Over the last week I have been involved getting Wingello prepared for the Rosehill Exhibition. I have also taken a bit of break from working on Narellen since the convention just to catch up on other items. I have to say that I have a very patient wife who has allowed me to spend the time and money in building Narellan so expect to resume working on Narellan not long after the Rosehill Race Coarse Exhibition at a more steady pace, but with the hope to have it completed in a few months time.

Last weekend, I just had to set up Narellan again to run trains and enjoy the good hard work I have put into Narellan. Blog coming up are some catch up posts on the construction of Narellan.

Above 4 photos are just pictures of my running session at home, enjoying the hobby. Unfortunately, all disassembled now ready to recommence work on completing what remains to do on my Narellan project. 


  1. Well, done Peter, a lovely layout and great modelling!

    Ray P

  2. Wow! That sure was some Backyard Blitz! Well done. So much progress in just one month.

    1. Thanks Phil, indeed it was a flat out month to get Narellan ready for the convention.