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Claus Ellef
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I, Claus Ellef, have built model railways since early childhood in Denmark. As a son of an railway employee and living next to a main railway line it is to no surprise. So far I have started – but never fully constructed – four model railway layouts. The last one was rather substantial but ended up been abandoned for around 20 years. My spare time was instead spent with a heritage railway. In 2014 it was finally dismantled. I put the buildings and rolling stock in storage. The tracks were donated to a local railway club.

The reason for the above decision was a move to Australia with my Aussie wife. Being a train and tram enthusiast the journey from Denmark to Melbourne went by rail trough Russia, Mongolia, China and South-East Asia. The only flight was from Singapore to Darwin. The whole journey is recorded on http://www.payne-ellef.dk

Before leaving Denmark I had already considered getting back in to modelling. This time it had to be a portable lay-out, not occupying to much space and related to our new home town, Melbourne. So the obvious choice was a lay-out with a trams. The result is 'Wombat Creek Tramways'.

Wombat Creek is a H0 (1:87) scale model of a fictional town situated somewhere in the Victorian Goldfields, Australia.

The time is 1963. Geelong wins the VFL Championship against Hawthorn (109– 60). John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. ValentinaTeresjkova is the first woman in Space. The men behind The Great Train Robbery get £2.6 million from a Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London.





The town consists of several buildings. The “Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange” is a prominent building in the town centre. You will also find several other commercial buildings; among them the daily newspaper“W.C. Chronicle”(colloquial known as the "Toilet Paper") and “Wombat Creek Brewing Company” (Famous for the “Wombat Bitter”). “The Big Nugget Gold Mine” is situated at the Western outskirts of town near the small Chinatown. The War Memorial is in a small park along East Street.

The town’s mayor Alfred Campbell together with his son David Campbell owns several businesses, including the bank, the pub and the newspaper. AC/DC basically run the town and make most decisions on behalf of the rest of Wombat Creek’s residents, who, on the other hand, are too busy with their own businesses.

The mayor’s latest initiative is Wombat Creek Tramways. Wombat Creek doesn’t really need a tram system, but AC reckons tramways will improve the town’s reputation. Partly because of limited funds the tramways' construction and rolling stock depend heavily on second-hand requirements from other Australian and overseas tramways.


After two years of modelling, phase one out of three is coming along. The tracks are down and most of the buildings (kits and scratch builds) are in place. The kit buildings stem for some part from my old Danish lay-outs and the scratch builds are inspired by real buildings in Victoria Victoria. Due to the fact the trams mainly run in direction I have chosen to build an analogue lay-out. Only shunting into the depot requires the power supply to be reversed.





'Wombat Creek Tramways' have their own web-site, wct.payne-ellef.dk. On the website I show the latest progress in writing and photos. I also – with great in-frequency – put out issues of the 'W.C. Chronicle' with news-stories from Wombat Creek. The last article was about the Seekers' concert at the 'Mug Punter Hotel'.



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Very good, Claus.  You certainly have embraced the Ozzie vernacular.  I haven't heard the expression "mug punter" for donkeys' years.

Let's face it; all punters are mugs.  You'd hafta be.  :lol:

Nice layout.  Looking forward to more installments of the story.  :cool:

Cheers

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:hi Claus, welcome to the club.

Interesting looking tram layout, looking forward to hearing more.



Ed



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Hi Claus,

Welcome.

When are AC/DC performing at the Mug Punters? Do all the muggins in town use the hotel for a punt? Sounds a chancy place to be.

Nigel

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Welccome to the club Claus. :Welcome

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Hello Claus,

Welcome to the club.

Jeff

Claus Ellef
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Hi Nigel,
Unfortunately AC/DC will not perform at the Mug Punter Hotel. In Wombat Creek time has come to a stand-still - the year 1963. In Wombat Creek AC/DC refers to the mayor Alfred Campbell and his son, the editor of W.C. Chronicle. The only performing and singing they do will be at the local watering hole 'The Wombat Cave'.



Last edited on Wed Jun 5th, 2019 09:55 am by Claus Ellef

Claus Ellef
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Hi Max,
Many of the shops, businesses and venues in Wombat Creek are named with a bit of a twist! The dentist is dr. Molar and the local GP is dr. Paine. The interesting fact is, they do excist in real life. Just try to google.

Below is a few other examples of appropriate names.



The Bell Brothers use the slogan 'Best in the Ground'. They did consider 'Heaven or Hell - Ring Bell'!
The painters at the brewery are busy repainting the big sign for 'Wombat Bitter'. Well, two are not so busy painting. Instead they are testing the local brew! If the logo looks familar it is not a coincident. VB - Victoria Bitter - has been inspired to do a similar logo (or perhaps it is the other way around).

Cheers,
Claus
http://www.wct.payne-ellef.dk

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Hi Claus

My late uncle Charles was an optician/optometrist.

He had a sign C.WRIGHT on the wall of his shop.

Fair dinks.  :cool:

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Good day Claus, very nice layout, I build card trams have considered building a diorama sometime, your layout looks very clean and organised, well done.

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Great work. Well done

Cheers
Evan

Claus Ellef
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Two new houses are been constructed along the East Street. The are designed as 'fibro-houses', which later will infamously known for the use of asbestos cement as a wall material. I have adapted the history behind the designs from the following website: http://architecturebulletin.com.au/autumn-2015/a-home-for-every-taste-the-nsw-small-homes-service/


The Small Homes Service was instigated in Victoria by Robin Boyd and The Age newspaper in 1947 and later introduced in NSW. The Sydney Morning Herald and Home Beautiful lobbied to establish a service along similar lines to that established in Victoria. In New South Wales building costs had doubled between 1939 and 1946 and building materials were very hard to get. There was up to a two-year wait for bricks in some areas with no brickworks.

In September 1952, designs from the Victorian service were published in the Sun Herald. The aim was to raise the standard of home design. Designs were in brick (S/B), brick veneer (S/BV) and timber (S/T). The total number of designs in September 1956 was about 40.

It was among the timber house series that the more modern designs could be found. Despite considerable effort by Bunning to promote modern architecture the public seemed to prefer the more conservative designs.

While the New South Wales service overall may not have been viewed as a success, the regular publishing of designs had an impact. The combined living-dining area ‒ initially the result of the need, in the late forties and early fifties, to plan houses in a compact manner to meet official size restrictions ‒ became widely accepted. Living areas opened onto paved terraces. Designs contributed to the idea of informal living for which Australia is now known internationally.





The designs of the two houses in Wombat Creek are S/T 632 and S/T 663. I found the designs on a website from https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/post-war-sydney-home-plans-1945-1959 . The picture shows an original advertisement from 1956. The designs may be compact but they still take up a fair part of the to 'blocks of land' next the tramway depot.

Instead of using the infamous fibre-cement 'Durabestos' I will use cardboard as the main building material. I will try to keep to the colour scheme as seen in the advertisement. So far the walls have been cut and glued together. Next steps are to glue thin strips of paper over the 'gaps' along the walls and to apply some coats of paints.




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Lovin' this! You have to have a wombat featured somewhere, a bill-hoarding, a 'Wombat Soup' perhaps?

Doug

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Hi Doug
Thank you very much for your comment. I certainly going to feature a wombat somewhere on the layout. It will probably have to wait a few years when I get to the more rural part of the tramways.

Claus Ellef
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Hi,A photo shows the slow progress on the fibro houses. The walls have been painted in colours close to the ones in the add. The green is a little darker, though. The window frames are cut from a white 0.4 mm styrene sheet.



Last edited on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 09:28 am by Claus Ellef

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Hi all,


The construction of the fibro houses is slowly progressing. One of the features of the houses is the rather larger windows allowing a lot of light into the interior. Unfortunately the windows also allow you to have a good squeeze into the houses!


I usually don't model the interior of the buildings with the exception of shop windows, which are fully decorated. In the case of the fibro houses I find it necessary to put up wall paper in the lounge rooms and hall ways.


So I have been on the internet to find good pictures of 1960's designed wall paper, curtains and doors, They have all been through Photoshop before being printer on ordinary paper. The outcome is visible in the photo.



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Hi again,
2 weeks of holidays enables me to start on a major project at Wombat Creek Tramways. This time it is the long waited tram barn at the depot. The 'foundations' and the floor were put in place a long time ago. Now I have the time and materials to erect the building.






The model is inspired by the former Victorian Railways' tram depot in Elwood. Between 1906 and 1959 VR operated a broad gauge tram line between St. Kilda railway station and Brighton Beach railway station (VR also ran standard gauge trams between Sandringham to Black Rock and Beaumaris). In March 1907 a fire destroyed the barn and the entire fleet, but both the barn and the fleet were rebuilt later the same year. To read more about the Victorian Railways' tram lines go to http://www.hawthorntramdepot.org.au/papers/vrtram.htm
The new barn in Elwood was clad in corrugated iron and featured some very distinctive inward leaning windows, which will be the main feature of my model.






In real life you will attach the wall to the already placed posts and beams, but I have taken a different approach. I have put the walls together, cut out openings for the windows and attached the posts and beams to the finished wall. Instead of working from the inside and out, I have worked from the outside and in!






All the posts are slightly longer than the walls allowing them to stick into pre-drilled holes in the foundation. Which allows me to move the building from the layout – giving me easy access to the building itself and the interior.






So far walls and windows are finished. Since the ends of the barn will be quite open for glances of the interior I have modelled the window frames on both sides with the help of a white paint marker straight onto clear plastic. It works quite well.






Next step is the rafters and the roof. This time I will do it the 'proper' way around – first getting the rafters up and later lay the roof.


What has happened to the fibro houses? Well, literally the are both in the shadow of the barn! But both houses are progressing well. Whilst I am waiting for paint or glue to dry on the barn I work on the houses. They are both under roof and just need gutters, downpipes and supports under the carports.



Last edited on Sat Jul 6th, 2019 12:11 pm by Claus Ellef

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That is coming along nicely! Looking forwards to the next set of pics

Claus Ellef
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Hi all,

A couple of pics to show the progress with the tram barn. Putting the rafters together was a bit 'fiddly' but I think, they came up all right.  :lol:





I have no idea how the double-decker tram turned up in Wombat Creek. The only Australian city with double-deckers was Hobart, but they didn't look like this one. Well, the tram is used to make sure, it is possible to run a double-decker tram into the middle road of the barn.

Last edited on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 07:32 am by Claus Ellef

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I'm enjoying this Claus.  :thumbs

I love your sense of humour - as Max said, you've picked up the local vernacular extremely well.  I particularly like the vision of  AC & DC running WC ....................... :lol: :lol:

Claus Ellef
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It is hard to believe 2 weeks of holidays are almost gone. It has been a race to finish the tram barn. The weekend will be spent at the Melbourne Tram Museum and at the 'footy'.

Well, I almost got to the finishing line. The barn is up and running. Compared to the original there is a few adaptations and compromises (sounds better than 'mistakes'). The barn needs bit of weathering to remove the shine of the corrugated iron panels. Rust will be added to show some ageing.




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Just discovered this layout and I really love the way it's firmly planted in time and space in 1963 Australia.The tram barn is amazing and I love your shops and bars etc.It's going to be great to watch this one develop.What's the origins of your trams???
Cheers,John.B.

Claus Ellef
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georgejacksongenius wrote: Just discovered this layout and I really love the way it's firmly planted in time and space in 1963 Australia.The tram barn is amazing and I love your shops and bars etc.It's going to be great to watch this one develop.What's the origins of your trams???
Cheers,John.B.

Hi,
Thanks for the nice words from John. Since my last photo I have done a bit of weathering and 'rust' on the barn. The rolling stock is mainly made up of three Bachmann Brill trolleys. They have been bought on Ebay for a reasonable price. They aren't really of Aussie design but not too far from the Adelaide H Class. But as you can see a new tram has arrived - a Melbourne W6 class. It is from Cooee and un-powered. I plan to scrap one of the Brills to motorise the W6. It doesn't sound too difficult but apparantly it is not straight forward to dismantle the W6. I'll keep you informed.


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Bachmann in the USA still has powered and dummy Brill trucks in the spares section.

Nigel

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The weathering of the barn has really brought it to life. It looks fantastic!

Last edited on Sun Aug 4th, 2019 07:19 pm by TeaselBay

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BCDR wrote: Bachmann in the USA still has powered and dummy Brill trucks in the spares section.

Nigel

Thank you, Nigel. I have visited Bachmann's website. It is cheaper to scrap one of my Brills, which was bought for that purpose anyway.

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TeaselBay wrote: The weathering of the barn has really brought it to life. It looks fantastic!
Thank you!

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Lately I have been tinkering around the two fibro houses. The 'garden' at the blue houses is mainly made up of grass – very long grass. The residents are not gardeners!
The grass is made with 'teddy bear' material from 'Spotlight', hairspray and a small and cheap spray bottle with diluted green acrylic paint. The result is not too bad – only a few clumps of grass. I still need to add a couple of gum trees, a garden shed, a Hill's hoist and a few more 'surprises'.



It is a bit hard to photograph the street side of the fibro houses, but with a mobile phone on 'selfie setting' it looks like this:

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Work around the Fibro houses has continued. A wooden fence has been erected on top of the bluestone wall along the tram barn area. The garden around the green house has been laid out. As seen on the photo the owners of the green house are better gardeners than the neighbours. The lawn is nicely cut and lined by blue-stones. The garden beds are ready for planting. The concrete slab for the garden shed has also been poured. The tree in the corner is a wattle – probably needs a few more flowers to give it the right yellow colour.


At the back of the tram barn Ray Knott, the local joiner, has loaded his Volkswagen full of left over wood from the construction of the barn. A water tower (yes – the real barn in Elwood had a very distinctive water tower) and a shed for tools are next on the 'to-do-list'.

The tank wagon is a more than 40 years old Jouef track cleaning model. And no – it doesn't advertise the well-known beer VB – Victorian Bitter. In Wombat Creek the only beer to drink is WB – Wombat Bitter!



Last edited on Thu Aug 15th, 2019 08:40 am by Claus Ellef

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Hi all,

The angle may be awkward but the photos shows the latest additions to the gardens around the two fibro houses – the garden sheds. The family in the blue house are not gardeners, so the lawn has only been mowed in a short strip (explanation will follow) and the door of the shed has fallen off the top hinge. The garden around the green house is much neater and the garden shed is well maintained.
Perhaps you have noticed the red dot in the grass. A Victorian icon – a footy (an Australian rules football). In fact, it is a grain of rice painted red!

Last edited on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 07:28 am by Claus Ellef

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A night time view of Victoria Street

Saturday August 24 I went by train to my volunteer work at the Melbourne Tram Museum. At Caulfield Station I spotted a sign advertising the nearby Model Railway Exhibition. Fortunately the museum was not very busy so I decided to leave early and visit the exhibition. I was presented with some very fine layouts in both HO and N scale, but my interest was also caught by the different stalls selling model railway 'goodies'.

A bag of 'Clump-foliage' became the first purchase. Nothing special, but something I need for my gum trees. The bargain was three 90 degree crossing for Atlas for just 60 % of the normal retail price. Pretty good, even I couldn't find a fourth one. The crossing are needed for a future extension of Wombat Tramways. A stall had different LED streetlights for sale. Not something I had in mind for the time being but the price was okay. So I ended up buying a set of three for $10.

Back home I had to wait a week before finding time to install the lights. They came with resistors attached so I have hooked them up to a 9V battery. I am quite pleased with the result, so I will order some more online.



In day light the scene looks like this

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Lunch time

All trams are out and running and it is time for the an employee at the tram barn to enjoy his lunch. A close up on the newspaper reveals it must be early October 1963. The front page informs the readers, Geelong has won the VFL Grand Final.


Last edited on Tue Sep 10th, 2019 09:13 am by Claus Ellef

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Claus Ellef wrote: Lunch time

All trams are out and running and it is time for the an employee at the tram barn to enjoy his lunch. A close up on the newspaper reveals it must be early October 1963. The front page informs the readers, Geelong has won the VFL Grand Final.


 
Is that a good omen for 2019 then ? :mutley

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Sol wrote: Claus Ellef wrote: Lunch time

All trams are out and running and it is time for the an employee at the tram barn to enjoy his lunch. A close up on the newspaper reveals it must be early October 1963. The front page informs the readers, Geelong has won the VFL Grand Final.


 
Is that a good omen for 2019 then ? :mutley
I hope not! I follow the Tigers!

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It's a six, but...


The kids in the blue house have been playing a bit of 'backyard' cricket. It is hard to figure out how they could bounce a ball and run in the long grass, but they did. In fact one of the kids batted for a six. The ball went over the back fence and – by closer inspection – through one of the windows (second from the right) in the tram barn. No wonder they all have done a runner and left the stumps and bat behind.

Last edited on Fri Sep 13th, 2019 07:42 am by Claus Ellef

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Claus Ellef wrote: No wonder they all have done a runner and left the stumps and bat behind.


England cricket team, please take note :lol:


Ed

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Yes Ed - we're good at that ........................... doing a runner, I mean !!

Is the broken window painted on Claus ?

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Petermac wrote: Yes Ed - we're good at that ........................... doing a runner, I mean !!

Is the broken window painted on Claus ?
No, I dilled a very small hole in the plastic window .

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Quiet times at Wombat Creek Tramways


It has been rather quiet around Wombat Creek in the resent weeks. The reason for this is the manager's (read my) holidays in Taiwan. After arriving into Chiayi by 'bullet train' (top speed 298 km/h) it was time to explore the Alishan Forest Railway a 2ft 6in narrow gauge railway. Along the line the track winds in and out of 10 tunnels in a way, no railway modeller would even think of!
I have attached a few photos showing the 'layout'. More photos can be found on my Flickr page.












Last edited on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 07:28 am by Claus Ellef

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G'Day Claus, that has been a fun and enjoyable read, I love the fact that you have given life to your layout with all the stories and information. It sounds like a fun place.Robyn

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Wombat Creek Memorial Park


It has been a while since I have posted on the progress of Wombat Creek Tramways. Holidays in Taiwan and work have taken up time, but some construction has taken place.



A new bandstand – or rotunda – has been erected next to the Memorial. It is modelled after the local bandstand. It is not exact copy. E.g. the railings are different. In fact they are made from left-overs from the Heljan Brewery kit.


At the moment concrete footpaths, nicely moved lawns and garden beds with mulch (made from used the content of used teabags) make up the parkland around the bandstand. Later I will plant some bushes, shrubs and trees and perhaps place a few benches. Interestingly you will hardly ever find people using a bandstand, so I may consider not populating the area.

After completing the bandstand only one major feature is missing from this part of Wombat Creek (I will eventually draw a detailed track plan) – a water tower next to the tram barn. Why the tram barn in Elwood had a very prominent water tower is a bit of a mystery to me. Perhaps it served a nearby powerhouse. I will enquire at Melbourne Tram Museum.


Last edited on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 06:02 am by Claus Ellef

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Nice bandstand Claus.

Are you going to have a band playing in there ?

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Petermac wrote: Nice bandstand Claus.

Are you going to have a band playing in there ?
Maybe on Australia Day 😉

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Diesel locomotive 56 and Scrubber no. 1

Most tramways will have scrubber cars and Wombat Creek Tramways is no different. 'Real' tramways will convert old trams into scrubber cars but Wombat Creek has no surplus of old cars, so I came up with another solution – a diesel locomotive and a tank wagon. I know it is not a solution, you will find at an Australian tramway, but it will serve the purpose here in Wombat Creek. The tracks will be cleared of dust!


On a holiday in Austria some 40 years ago I bought the Kleinbahn locomotive. It has not had a lot of use being in storage most of the time. The wheels and gears had become stuck but a dose of WD40 made it running again. The number '56' comes from a small Victorian shunter, V56, with the same wheel configuration and an almost similar look. It was once used to shunt Metro trains through a washing complex. And yes, the gauge is not right! You may think the colours are the old VR livery, but it is not. They symbolise Wombat Creek with the blue being the 'creek' and the yellow being the gold.



The tanker is an old Jouef track cleaner. The decals on both the locomotive and scrubber are home-made and printed on an ink-jet printer. The first attempt didn't do too good. I chose to print without a background colour (transparent) which made the decals very visible. The second attempt with a blue background is far better but not perfect. The colours could have been a bit brighter, but perhaps they have faded in the Aussie sun! Another 'issue' was the white print in 'Scrubber no. 1'. Of course 'white' on a printer is 'no ink', so it turned up transparent. Well, that was sorted with white paint before the decals were attached.

Last edited on Sat Nov 30th, 2019 05:32 am by Claus Ellef

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Christmas in Wombat Creek

Everybody in Wombat Creek is busy getting ready for Christmas, but the council workers have managed to plant some mature bottle-brushes along the back of the Memorial Park.



A closer inspection reveals the shrubs are made from sisal rope, brown paint and Woodland Scenics foliage and flowers.

On behalf of all the people – young and old – in Wombat Creek: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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And the same to you too Claus - hope you have a great Christmas and that 2020 is kind to you.

Oh yes, nearly forgot - the bottle brushes look great - nice idea using the sisal.


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Looks great. I love the band stand, can imagine a brass band playing there. 
Chris

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The Wombat Creek Tramways' controller

I haven't done a proper drawing of the lay-out, as it stands at the moment. Since all tracks are down there is no real purpose for a drawing, so I'll give you a photo of the control panel instead.



Obviously the black lines are the tracks. The reason for three tracks going right to the left edge is the tramways will eventually be extended depending on time and room. The necessary points and crossing are in storage.
The red push buttons control the points. Three points are still not connected and one points is unfortunately very unsteady.
The black push buttons control the power to the tram-stops. The tracks are under constant power and the trams will come to a stop, unless the black buttons are activated.
The slide switches are normally one, but they make it possible to stop a tram between stops.

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Thought is worse than reality

Around six months a finished the two fibrohouses. Well, almost finished the green one. The roof over the entrance didn't get its supports,which are set on angles. I considered that to bee too 'tricky', so the project ended up in the 'too-hard-basket'. But the fact is – thought is worse than reality.


Over the summer holidays I have done quite a bit around Wombat Creek and couldn't no longer avoid the green fibrohouse. And of course – the job was done in about 30 minutes. A length of balsa wood, six pieces of green stem wire, super-glue and some Woodland Scenic for the flowers did the trick. It is a little difficult to photograph the house in situ, but I think it came out all right.

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Garden news from Wombat Creek

During summer holidays quite a bit of work was done on the lay-out of Wombat Creek. Most of the 'projects' still needs the finishing touch, but the photo shows one being almost finished.



The garden around the blue fibro house deliberately looks somewhat un-kept because the family has other interests. The newest addition to the garden are the two tall gum-trees. They are made from florist wire, 'no-more-gaps' filler, some paint and Woodland Scenic material. They came up all-right even though the canopy is a bit wide. The cubby house is made from gum-tree bark and a piece of corrugated iron (plastic). The bark has the right texture and colour, so no weathering was needed. The rope ladder hanging from the cubby house is a very thin slice of corflute panel. A dive into my wife's sewing supplies gave me the materials for the hammock. To finish the scene I only need to find a person for the hammock and a child to climb up the ladder.

Last edited on Thu Feb 6th, 2020 10:42 am by Claus Ellef

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Ray Knott's Joinery getting ready for business

Life in Wombat Creek is going on nice and quiet. Not of new-build for the time being. Only to more 'major' structures are planned – a water tower behind the old tram shed and probably Leaky's plumbing will get a building on a vacant spot next to the Mug Punter Hotel.


Ray Knott's Joinery is housed in a building which once was part of the Brewery. The building resembles the Brewery building. In fact the walls and windows are left-overs from the Heljan brewery kit. A wood storage (partly visible in the centre of the photo) is made from  balsa wood and a small piece of corrugated iron (well, corrugated plastic). The wood on the top is small strips of balsa. The hardwood at the lower shelf is strips of bark from a gumtree.

The parking lot is a bit uneven because of tree roots (read 'bad glueing') and appears worse on the photos than in real life.


The second photo shows more of the area near the tram shed. Concrete still needs to be poured between the rails, and the lamppost should be adjusted to a more vertical position. I will give the council workers a call!

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The Water Tower Erected

The water tower next to the tram barn in Elwood was a prominent feature. It is somewhat unusual with a water tower at an electric tramway, but a fire in 1907 destroyed the barn and the entire fleet. Perhaps the water tower was later installed in case a new fire should break out. Anyway – Wombat Creek Tramways now have their own water tower. The first photo shows the tower under construction. The tower itself is made from wooden I-beams from 'North-eastern Scale Lumber Co.' The beams come in 11'' lengths and are easily cut with a sharp knife. The base for the water tank is a square of balsa wood. The tank consists of two caps from juice containers. The black top is another left-over from the Heljan Brewery kit.



After additional details like reinforcements at the joints, water pipes and a ladder the towers is painted 'metal grey' before the water tank is added. Like the water tower in Elwood the tank is clad in an advert for Peters Ice cream.



The third photo shows the view from the front of the tram barn. Road numbers have been added to the barn and 'speed restriction' (5 mph) is in place at the entrance. A while ago I ask for help regarding road signs from the 1960's. Trevor (Xford) was the man to help me out. He dug out his old book of 1970 Road Rules and emailed me copies of the relevant pages. Thank you very much, Trevor. More signs will be put up in the near future.


Last edited on Mon Mar 9th, 2020 06:22 am by Claus Ellef

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That's looking great Claus.  :thumbs

I love the water tower - very "American" and, as far as I'm aware, such a structure didn't exist in UK but it really does look the part there.

I am slightly surprised there's a water tower at a tramway depot - water and electricity don't make good bed-fellows ……………. :roll:

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Petermac wrote: That's looking great Claus.  :thumbs

I love the water tower - very "American" and, as far as I'm aware, such a structure didn't exist in UK but it really does look the part there.

I am slightly surprised there's a water tower at a tramway depot - water and electricity don't make good bed-fellows ……………. :roll:
 Thank you very. I was inspired by a few photos. This is the link to one from the Public Record Office Victoria:

https://prov.vic.gov.au/search_journey/select?keywords=rs/0820


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Horse stables for the Racecourse
Being on school holidays usually means at least a few days of travelling but not this year. Thanks to COVID-19 I am confined to the house and garden. Which of course gives me time to read books, to mow the lawn, to repot a lot of plants etc. Fortunately I also have time to work on Wombat Creek Tramways. A few minor tasks have been accomplished. Among them some constructions at the Racecourse.

An odd-shaped, walled-in area between the entrance to the Racecourse and Racecourse Road has been a bit of ‘problem’. From the street-side it looks fine but sitting at the edge of the lay-out the area itself needed some attention. The solution was the construction of a few stables for the racehorses.

The stables are made from cardboard with corrugated roofing from leftover plastic card. The horses come from my childhood train layout, so they will be around 45 years old. Probably too old for racing. To give them a bit of shade during the hot summer months a cheap tree has been planted after being improved with extra foliage and colouring to reduce the bright green.


Last edited on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 08:21 am by Claus Ellef

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The little scenes like that make a railway/tramway Claus.

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Woody's is open for business
Woody’s timberyard has been completed for quite some time – except for the crane used to haul in and out large pieces of timber. The timberyard sits right at the back of the layout, so the buildings are only a couple of centimetres deep.


The figures on the fence come from a similar fence around a timberyard in the Danish town of Svendborg. I am not sure it is still around. I caught the image from Google Streetview and put it through Photoshop. In real life the board was a real piece of wood, but being at the back of the layout I decided a ‘flat’ print will do (The 3 foot rule?).

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Leaky's Plumbing Service

My third project during my stay-at-home holidays dealt – like the horse stables – with an odd shaped area. This time it is next to the ‘Mug Punter Hotel’. I often search the internet for images I can use as inspiration for future buildings. I came across a few photos of a South Australian blacksmith shop advertising horseshoeing. They gave me the idea to construct this small building. Due to the size of the spot the proportions of the building is much smaller the original, but the features are pretty much right.


The corrugated iron cladding is vertical on the front and back, but horizontal on the sides. One of out-buildings to the side is with stonewalls re-enforced with steel beams. The very vigorous plant near the front is also found at the original building. I haven’t worked out how to write/paint ‘Blacksmith’ and ‘Horseshoeing’ on the corrugated front, so I may end up with a sign above the door. Another challenge is the interior. The building was design to have the front towards the street and you wouldn’t be able to see inside, but it works better being turned 90 degrees.


The fence looks a bit worn down, but what else would you expect after the business was taken over by ‘Oscar Leaky’s Plumbing Service’! Oscar is so slack he hasn’t bothered to put up his business sign. To be true the signage is delayed because of COVID-19. I get my signs etc. printed at Officeworks on high-quality paper, but I don’t think a trip to Officeworks will qualify as ‘essential travel’.

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Claus,  
If you have a colour printer, you can get sticky label paper in A4 size with 1 Peel off strip.  The trick is to build up enough signs to put onto one sheet to run it through the printer!  That would only involve 1 trip to Office Jerks to get a pack of about 20 sheets for around $12.20 - just checked the website

https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/quirkii-a4-adhesive-paper-20-pack-aumsa420p

I used this stuff to make the building sides shown on

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9679&forum_id=14

and fill in the spaces with other signs or loco number boards, 

Hope this helps

Regards

Trevor 

Last edited on Mon Apr 13th, 2020 09:50 am by xdford

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xdford wrote: Claus,  
If you have a colour printer, you can get sticky label paper in A4 size with 1 Peel off strip.  The trick is to build up enough signs to put onto one sheet to run it through the printer!  That would only involve 1 trip to Office Jerks to get a pack of about 20 sheets for around $12.20 - just checked the website

https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/quirkii-a4-adhesive-paper-20-pack-aumsa420p

I used this stuff to make the building sides shown on

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9679&forum_id=14

and fill in the spaces with other signs or loco number boards, 

Hope this helps

Regards

Trevor 
Hi Trevor

Thank you very much for your reply. I have some self-adhesive  transparent sheets, I can put through my printer. It works quite well. I have used them for my 'scrubber car'. The challenge will be the corrugated surfaces of the building. How to get the sticker to follow the actual surface so it looks like it is painted directly on the walls and not stuck on. I will test it out and let you all know, how it goes. 

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Hi Claus,
Some of the Trainz buildings and other textures that you can find on the net are good enough that you can get away with stickers particularly at normal viewing distances. To wit as an example...   

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/galvanized+sheet  which if you can manipulate it a  bit with paint or similar (who needs photo shop?) can look quite presentable!

Cheers

Trevor




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xdford wrote: Hi Claus,
Some of the Trainz buildings and other textures that you can find on the net are good enough that you can get away with stickers particularly at normal viewing distances. To wit as an example...   

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/galvanized+sheet  which if you can manipulate it a  bit with paint or similar (who needs photo shop?) can look quite presentable!

Cheers

Trevor




Hi again,Leaky's Plumbing Services is situated right at the front of the layout, so I need to get the lettering right. I am back at work (though it is teaching 7from home) so Wombat Creek is at standby, but I hope to get bit of work done during the week. 

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Hi Claus,
Good luck with the online stuff... I've been doing a bit with my U3A lot on a one to one basis and that has been heavy going! 

You may be interested in the following thread on the Model Railroader site. Tom did also have a section on Australian signs (Golden Fleece, Ampol, Brockhoff Biscuits etc as I recall) but not sure where they are on this thread!

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/162879.aspx

Hope this helps!

Trevor

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An Aussie icon in the backyard

No backyard would be right without a Hills Hoist. Of course the two gardens around the houses had to have the Aussie icon for drying your laundry. A bit fiddly to do. I had to reduce the number of strings from six to four, but I think they came out all-right. The clothes are made from tissue paper painted with a very diluted acrylic paint.


The garden around the green house still needs some work. The garden bed is too empty and where is the second icon from the 1960's – the incinerator?

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Brilliant!
D

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I'm with Doug here Claus - brilliant modelling !!

That first shot looks so realistic ......................................... :roll: :lol:

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Petermac wrote: I'm with Doug here Claus - brilliant modelling !!

That first shot looks so realistic ......................................... :roll: :lol:

Thank you. I am especially pleased with the green hoist in the background!

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Gum tree for the brewery

The paved area behind the brewery, the shops and Ray Knott's joinery has been somewhat 'boring', so something had to been done to make it more attractive. A while ago a small building – formerly the stables for the brewery's draught horses – got erected and some fencing applied, but the area still needed more to be attractive. So I decided to plant a tree – a rather big gum tree.

I started off with florist's wire to form the trunk and branches.



The wire was then covered with no-more-gaps filler. It takes a while to try but remains flexible for some time, which gives you the opportunity to keep adjusting the shape of the tree.



Once dry the whole tree was painted light grey with a few darker strokes. Brownish paint simulates rough bark at the base of the tree as found on some gum trees. Finally the canopy was added using Woodland Scenics light green foliage.



Before planting a small area of cobblestone was 'dug' up and replaced with some grass made from 'teddy bear fur' sprayed with a light green paint.


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That's a beauty Claus. So very Australian.

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All looking very neat.  I live the hoist - a great idea and replica.
Michael

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Running out of room


Stage 1 of Wombat Creek Tramways is almost finished. Well, it will probably/hopefully never be finished. Still some 'concreting' to do between the rails and a couple of points to wire. But otherwise, all major features are done. So it is time to think ahead.


Unfortunately I am running out of room. 'The Tram Room' should have enough space for stage 2, but at the moment the room also serves as a office. My wife and I are both working from home due to COVID-19.


But I have done some forward thinking. I do have a plan for Wombat Creek Tramways, so I had a pretty good idea of the next step, which will have to fit onto a 900 x 900 mm square. On Ebay I got a very good deal: two Peco points fitted with motors for $25. Unfortunately they are a quite long version, so could they fit in?






Some cardboard was cut to the right size and I could measure it all up. The points didn't fit in the expected spot, so the plans had to be redrawn. The result is a far better line-up! The points will sit at a major tram stop, which gives the opportunity to go in two directions. It will also save me two point a a crossing on stage 3. The 90 degree crossings (four of them) will connect to the existing track at the front of the lay-out. The points near the church will lead to a track at the back of stage 1 (behind the town hall). The last three points are spares for stage 3. The two quarter circles are for drawing curves.


So what now? Wait for the virus to disappear or try to get started on stage 2 already. It can be done without being put in place. Just a matter of lining up the tracks. I prefer the last option.

Last edited on Tue Apr 28th, 2020 07:55 am by Claus Ellef

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Running out of track

In my previous post I was running out of room. A bookcase was 'un-stacked', moved and finally re-stacked and more room for Wombat Creek Tramways appeared! It is now possible to extend into stage 2, The photos shows 'the blank canvas' that will be the town centre in a couple of years!


So enough room, but not enough tracks. I have the five crossings and the points needed, but a mail order will soon be done for more flexible track. I will keep to posted on the progress!

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Wow, that looks like a very useful extension Claus.  Do you have plans ready for it or are they still being formulated ?

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Petermac wrote: Wow, that looks like a very useful extension Claus.  Do you have plans ready for it or are they still being formulated ?
HiI do have a plan. In fact I have already put down four 90 degree crossings at the end of the tracks in Main Street.  A photo will soon follow. 

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Inspecting the curves 
The work on the extension of Wombat Creek Tramways is on its way. A couple of engineers are inspecting the latest track work at the intersection of Main Street and The Golden Mile. The four right angle crossings are working quite well, but the crossing just to the left and outside the view has caused some issues with older locomotives. The engineers also have some concerns with the curvature right before the points. The track geometry isn’t great.



The reason for this is partly how Wombat Creek Tramways is constructed. The mayor of Wombat Creek, Alfred Campbell, decided with the help of his son David, editor of the W.C. Chronicle, the town needed a tramway. (The rest of the good people of Wombat Creek are too busy with their own businesses to care). To keep the costs down AC/DC decided to purchase tracks, points and rolling stock second-hand, if possible. So they bought a pair of points for a very good price, and as a result of this the Tramways got an unnecessary curve!

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A day for celebrations in Wombat Creek

Saturday 30 May 2020 is a day to remember in Wombat Creek. The tracks on the new extension have been laid (and re-laid due to a curve being too tight) and wired. The circle line is now fully operational with up to three trams running at the same time.



The photo shows the single line along Lt. Church Street. The line was planned to run in front of the church, but resulted in a curve in Church Street being too tight. The curve was eased but one of my three identical (?) still derails negotiating the curve. A problem to solve at a later state.

The shop fronts are mock-ups of real shops from the streets of Melbourne. They have just been printed and glued to cardboard to give me an idea, how they fit in. Before a final print each shop front has to go through Photoshop to get rid of electric wires and poles in front of the shops.



The control panel for the extension is a temporary fixture made from a take-away container! The tracks are still the original lay-out. The two unused holes are for the now re-positioned points into Little Church Street.


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Quiet days in Wombat Creek

It has been quite a while since I have posted an update from Wombat Creek, but here is some news.

Even with two weeks of holidays the progress has been rather slow. Not due to lack of time, but because the tram room also serves as an office for my wife, how has to work from home due to COVID-19.

During the last few weeks the main focus has been on the shops along Church Street and the church itself. The shop-fronts are made from photos of real fronts from Melbourne streets. They have been through Photoshop to remove unwanted features like parked cars, tree branches and people. The depth of the houses varies from less than a centimetre to 5 cm. I still have to do awnings and signs.





The church is a second-hand Hornby model, which I purchased a while ago. I plan to change the colour of the walls and of course install the stained-glass windows. The railings are made from thin plastic card and green stem wire. I think they came out quite well.

Hopefully I will get more work done in the weeks to come. Who knows - we may unfortunately soon be under stricter lock-down here in Melbourne.

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Oh no, I'm sure your wife doesn't mind you working on the railway while she is working.....  :mutley
Looks good, I like the idea of printing off the shops for the back scene.

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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 1
 
Until recently my main focus has been on the buildings in Church Street and the Market. The next task is putting up signs for the different shops and businesses. The signs are ready to be printed on 300 gr. paper, which I can’t do at home. Unfortunately the printer at my local Officeworks doesn’t work, so I have to wait finishing the buildings.
 
Instead I have put forward the construction of the Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange (for now on just called the bank!). It will be the most challenging construction so far and I don’t plan to see the finished building in the near future.
 
The walls are constructed out of 2 mm mount board. The first photo shows the parts making up the front of the building. Everything will be cut by hand, which has been time consuming, but the current lockdown here in Melbourne gives a lot of time at home!
 
The second photo illustrates the assembled front and end walls in its future position at the intersection between the Main Street and the Golden Mile. The proportion between the bank and the building to the right of the photo isn’t quite right, so the latter of the two may need to be repositions further back on the lay-out. Fortunately it is not a major challenge to move a 4 storey building in scale HO!

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Hi Claus,

On first glance on the mockup, I was thinking Flinders St Station!!  It should look quite good!
Cheers Mate,

Trevor

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xdford wrote: Hi Claus,

On first glance on the mockup, I was thinking Flinders St Station!!  It should look quite good!
Cheers Mate,

Trevor

Maybe you are right  :roll:

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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 2

During the weekend a team of bricklayers went to work at the Bank.





In fact the bricks are printed on a photocopier and later glued on. Looks very 'substantial' for the time being, but I hope some 'trimmings' will enhance the look of the building.

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An update from Church Street

An unexpected day off from work gave me the time to do the signs for the shopfronts in Church Street. By temporary removing St. Ursinus Church it is possible to do a photo of the entire row of shops.



From left to right you find:
An antiques store - it is in real shopfront somewhere in Melbourne
LJ Hooker Real Estate - perhaps not the only 'hooker' in the street!
TAB betting - Church Street is probably not as innocent as you may think
Church Street Spirits - well, it is after all Church Street
Town and Country Vet - an existing veterinarian clinic somewhere in Australia
Burke and Wills Surveyors - an unfortunate name for such a business (if you are not familiar with Australian history, they got lost whilst exploring the Outback)
Pet Shop - making sure the vet will stay in business
The Black Cat - perhaps another name could be 'Gentlemen Club'. Definitely not related to the Pet Shop!
'Shop to Let' - honestly ran out of shop names. Anyway it appears pretty run down
The Toy Shop - you should be able to buy to model trains and trams somewhere
The Rug Shop - again a real shopfront from Melbourne
Sputnik - selling clothes for the young adults. The year is 1963 and the owner got inspired by the latest Space craze

I am still working on Queen Victoria Market located adjacent to the shops and of course the long-time project with the Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange.

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Spot the difference

I spotted a nice photo of Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, on the internet. After a make-over in Photoshop it came out like this:



It will be positioned towards the very back of the layout, so was it really necessary to improve the front. The shadows give it depth already. Anyway I made a few extra copies, cut out the columns, glued them to 1.5 mm cardboard and finally glue them in place on the front. Spot the difference.



I think it was worth the effort.

The sidewalls will be extended and a proper roof added. It has to wait until the hard lock-down in Melbourne is over and I can purchase a board for the the background. The market is in front of a curved 'corner' making the back part of the roof some of a challenge to get right.

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A great street coming together there and I like the use of photographs for the buildings.  Some great names in there too. I also use photos, but only for temporary buildings and to help with "town planning" and I have just started to convert them to models, although I have quite a few left to do.
Ironically I am also building a street scene which will have a market at one end, and mine is Abbey Street.  Who would have thought two similar scenes on opposite sides of the world?!

Michael


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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 3

During the last three weeks or so columns and 'cladding' have been added to the front of the Bank. The 'cladding' is made of narrow strips of paper towel of the type you buy on rather larger commercial rolls. It took quite a long time to glue in place, but ended up with the right texture. The paint is acrylic and a home-made mix of white and 'yellow ochre'.


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That's a substantial building Claus - now I know where our bank charges go ............................. :lol:

A brilliant idea to clad it in kitchen paper - never thought of that but you're right - the texture would be spot on.  Did you soak it (the paper) in PVA or glue it in the traditional manner ?


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Petermac wrote: That's a substantial building Claus - now I know where our bank charges go ............................. :lol:

A brilliant idea to clad it in kitchen paper - never thought of that but you're right - the texture would be spot on.  Did you soak it (the paper) in PVA or glue it in the traditional manner ?


I soaked the paper towel strips in diluted PVA (approx. 1 : 1) before applying them to the building. After drying the paper became quite firm, but easy to adjust if additional glue was applied. I was quite unsure, if it would end up in a mess during painting, but the paper stuck very well.

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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 4

We are still on strict lock-down in Melbourne with a nightly curfew and only allowed 1 hour of daily exercises less than 5 km from home. That makes life a little bit difficult, but thanks to the Internet I have be able to keep modelling the Bank.

It is no secret it is modelled after the grand facade of Flinders Street Station. I have been able to google a floor-plan, which has given me the length of the main entrance. In addition to this I have a drawing which is no to scale, but still a great help getting the dimensions right. The main source of information though, is Google Street View! In short – the model so far has been done without a recent visit to the station.

Since my last post the facade has undergone some progress. The walls are almost finished. The dentils (small squares at the top) are numerous, cut and glued in individually.

The stain-glass window is taken from an almost front-on photo. To get the size and shape right I scanned the cardboard cut from the opening and with Photoshop adjusted the photo to fit the scan. Two copies (one reversed) were printed on a transparent self-adhesive label, cut out and stuck on each side of a lid from a take-away container. Perfect fit first time! I will use the same method with the flooring. Scan the odd shape of the floor and get the tiles to fit.



Next my attention will go to the back of the building. Even it can't been seen from a 'normal' viewing point, it must be done up nicely.

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Top marks! That really does look like its going to be the part!

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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 5

The back of the Bank will not be visible once the building is in its final position in Wombat Creek, but I still want it to appear as well done as possible. At least I know it is done right!

For the time being bits and pieces are sticking out at the ends of the wall because I don't know, how wide the adjoining buildings will be. Part of the wall features may be extended to the two walls at the end of the building.



The construction will continue with the flat roof, which will be detachable. That will give me access to the interior of the building, which will be visible through the front entrance. Window frames are also high on the agenda.

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All looking very good and I'm impressed that you are finishing off the unseen rear of the building - it certainly looks the part and will be a great feature building.
Michael

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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 6

The flat roof has been cut and the construction of roof details can commence any time.





The gaping window holes have also been filled. The window frames were drawn in OpenOffice Draw and printed on transparent self-adhesive labels. Each frame has been done in two copies -one for the outside and one for the inside of the building. The frames were stuck to a sheet of clear plastic before glued in place. The are slightly opaque but less than shown on the photos. The front windows still need some panels and posts, before they are finished.









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Hi Claus and wow,

This landmark building gets more impressive as you complete each element.  

Superb modelling and thank you for sharing your techniques.

Best,

Bill

Last edited on Mon Sep 21st, 2020 06:26 am by Longchap

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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 7

Just a small up-date on the progress with and around the Bank. Windows are now proper framed.
Next to the bank a department store is under construction. It is a card-board kit from Metcalfe. It is low-relief and was intended as such, but due to its depth the building will not fit along the back of the lay-out. Instead a rear wall will be constructed and the store will eventually sit nicely next to the bank.



Until it is possible to get printing done at Officeworks (still out-of bounds due to Covid-19) the interior of the Bank and the back of the department store will have to wait. Likewise the pavement in front of both buildings. Instead the attention will be on the roof. I can do some work but again some printing has to be done.

Along the top of the walls will be a balustrade, which I intend to buy ready-made. Unfortunately the only OO/HO balustrades I can find online come out of England. They seem to be a good quality and reasonable priced, but postage is a problem. Currently an order from England has been under its way since July 25!

Do any of you know if its is possible to find a supplier in Australia or do I test my patience and order from England?

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HI Claus,
I seem to remember a modeller of my acquaintance using  notice board pins with a plastic body and a styrene cap that could double as the upright... just cannot remember exactly who it was!  I think they will be staple items at Coles or Woolies... I will keep an eye out for them!  Check out the J Burrows Push Pins at Officeworks!

Office Jerks have these for $3.14 each packet.

https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/j-burrows-push-pins-assorted-50-pack-jbpushpina

hope this helps!

Cheers

Trevor


Last edited on Thu Sep 24th, 2020 10:51 am by xdford

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xdford wrote: HI Claus,
I seem to remember a modeller of my acquaintance using  notice board pins with a plastic body and a styrene cap that could double as the upright... just cannot remember exactly who it was!  I think they will be staple items at Coles or Woolies... I will keep an eye out for them!  Check out the J Burrows Push Pins at Officeworks!

Office Jerks have these for $3.14 each packet.

https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/j-burrows-push-pins-assorted-50-pack-jbpushpina

hope this helps!

Cheers

Trevor


Thanks Trevor. I will give it a try 😉


                 

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