Friday, 5 February 2021

HO NSWGR Exhibition Muttama Layout Build January 2021 Update

Over the Christmas period into January, I had manage to score two and a half weeks off from work and made the wise decision to stay at home during this time as it rained for the most part of it and a COVID scare in Sydney which came with some restrictions. This resulted in a fair bit of Railway Modelling done on Muttama and also managed to get some needed repair work done on Narellan in the hope to get it into some exhibitions if they do eventuate at some point this year. 

January has been a very productive month. Let's first start on Muttama Station Building.

Muttama Station Building
The next Line Side item I elected to construct is the Station Building of Muttama Railway station. This station building was an early days type wooden structure which that consisted of a fancy wooden curtin at the entry of Waiting Room and contained an office presumably for the Station Master. Outside of Muttama, there where several of these types of buildings on the NSWGR network to the likes at the Neighbouring station of Brawlin, Bunyan on the Bombala Branchline. This type of Station Building was also seen on several locations on the Illawarra line such as Heathcote and other variations that still exists today at Dunmore and Bombo. However Bombo has been modified which resulted in the unique waiting room curtin at the entry being removed. Basically it seems that many of these early day buildings either got replaced by a later version of a Station building or in the case of Heathcote destroyed by a fire and replaced with a more modern brick structure.

Fortunately, I was able to find plans for Muttama Station Building at the NSW ARHS Resource Center (before the COVID Restrictions started last year). I also found a couple of photos of Muttama Station Building, which had shown some slight variations as to what the plans presented. One example was the placement of the windows for the Waiting Room and the other being the back half of the building being built into the slop of the landscape. Luckily for me, the photos presented me with a more easier build option in which I was keen to follow as the final reference.

Instead doing a comprehensive blog on how I constructed Muttama, here are some photos on its stages of its build. I will make notes on a couple of them to state why I did the way I did it. 

As always I start on building a corner section of the structure. I did the corner portion that is pictured above as the other corner portion will need to integrate the brickwork of the Fireplace.

For the wall where the Fireplace Brick work will be placed, I partially cut out a section to ensure firstly there the cutout that was able to fit the 3D Printed Fireplace but once MEK onto the first corner portion, I can cut out the rest of the wall to allow the Fireplace to fit.

All four walls are all joined up, it is now remove the remainder section of the wall where the Fireplace is to be installed. I would also like to point out that section of floor needed to be cut out in order install the 3D Printout of the Fireplace.

A bit of a test fit on all the windows, Door way frame and other 3D Printed Items. The Wooden Curtin for the waiting room, front windows and the  Fireplace are 3D Printouts.

Most of the main structure of the building is completed. Now onto getting the additional detailing completed.

Skirting on the base of the building, awning supports, guttering another minor detailing parts added on.

Painting Muttama Railway Station
First point to cover off was to determine the colour that Muttama may have been. It would have been likely it would have have been painted several times in different colour during its days in production. The only colour clue that was available was from a book Country Branch Lines New South Wales - Riverina District which had a colour picture of the Gate Keepers Cottage. After doing a bit of looking around I found that the primary colour resembles to the colour of Couridjah Station Building which is preserved on the Picton to Mittagong Loop Line.

Couridjah Station Building colour example

I have decided to try out the SMS Range of paints as they are for one locally produce in Australia. Recently, obtaining paint colours from international based suppliers been hard to get hold of. I have also heard of a lot of good reports from other railway modellers on how impressed they were with the SMS Paint Range. Also the paint range seems to include a decent selection of colours that are a match or closely match the colours that were used to paint NSWGR Line Side Structures.

For the Case of Muttama, I chose to use Light Stone as the main colour. White for window frames, door frame, facias and waiting room curtin entry. Dark Brown for the colouring for the guttering and lining on the part of some of the facias, door step and the steps for the waiting room entry. And Mid Stone for the Door and some of the internal detailing. From my research, it seems that three combination of colours would be used on station Buildings on the NSWGR network with four combinations of colours on a few cases. In the case of Muttama, I decided to use the four above mentioned colours as the Dark Brown was painted on minor items, but has help greatly in bringing up the finer detail of this model which could have been easily been overlooked if it was just white in colour. The Brick work is painted in a US Pale Brown colour and the mortar has is SMS White Pigment which has been fixed in placed with a Dull Coat.

Now for the result of the paint job and what are my final thought on SMS Paints?

Main paint work completed with only needing to do the painted lining to show where the corrugated roof sheets met up and weathering on the Chimney.

My final thoughts on the SMS Paint Range is highly positive. They are an acrylic lacquer based paint which meets in the middle when compared between acrylic and enamel based paints. It has the advantage that paints smoothly via an air brush on the model and very quick to dry like acrylic paints do. The paint job is just about as robust as an enamel based paint. Furthermore, I found it was also easier to clean the airbrush after using this paint compared to other paint brands.

As I mentioned earlier, these are locally produced paints and the colour range (which seems to be expanding in colour options) are very close if not a match to the colour schemes that were used on the NSWGR network and it is worth noting for the Victoria Railway modellers that SMS does a V/Line Grey and Orange colour. A couple of years ago, Humbrol discontinued their Mid Stone Colour (Humbrol 225) which is a common colour for the Heritage colour scheme which has been used on many of the remaining Heritage Buildings in NSW. SMS Paints have now filled in this void with Mid Stone colour within their range.

Ensure when you do use SMS Paints that you use the air pressure that is recommended on their bottles which is 5 - 15 PSI for the best outcome. 

I will be certainly using SMS Paints from here on in.

Fixing Up Narellan For Upcoming Model Rail Events
Even though Narellan has only been to one event, there are a couple of minor issues that I have come across that needed to be resolved before they become a bigger problem. 

The First issue was scratches on the paint work of the facias of the Modules that was caused in the transportation of Narellen to the Forestville Exhibition. The Second issue was with the Back Scene detaching it itself from the Back Scene Boards.

In the above two pictures shows the bubbling up and lifting effect on the back scene picture, mainly where the back scene pictures join up.

To address the first Issue, I decided to paint the front facias with an Enamel Black Gloss Paint. Even though I liked the Matt Black Finish, Im hopeful the that the Enamel Gloss Black finish will be more resilient and be less prone to be scratched due to the gloss finish. In saying that, I will also need to put in better protection between the modules when they are being transported.

Enamel Gloss Black Pain has been applied

For the Back Scene issue, I decided to write up a separate Blog dedicated to this topic, as there is a method that should be followed in order to ensure that the Back Scene picture properly adheres to the Back Scene Board. This Blog Post will be posted within the next couple of weeks.

Either way, the Back Scene boards needed to be removed and with careful removal of some of the wooden frame work that holds in the Back Scene Boards. I was able to remove them without causing damage to the main wooden Framework. Fortunately there was no major damages done on the scenic sections to Narellan other than a bit of wooden fencing which can be easily replaced in an evenings work.

After the surgery that was needed to remove the Back Scene boards.

Replacement Back Scene successfully attached to the back scene boards.

Next Blog post will be dedicated on how to best apply your back scene on your layout.


  1. I like the colour choice Peter. Must try the SMS paints myself. And the Muttama station looks fantastic. Are you planning detailing the interior?

    1. Hi Rob,
      Thanks for the compliment. I am planning to do some interior details which will include seating for the waiting room, the office desk and the fireplace. Currently working on the final solution on the lighting so that the interior details can be seen. Hopefully I will start on these items in the very near future.

      Kind Regards