Curdies Gully – Single Track T-TRAK modules progress

There’s been quite a bit of progress on my T-TRAK modules since my last entry about 2 years ago. Here are photos and videos from a model railway exhibition I attended recently. I hope to do more posts soon outlining what changes have happened and the long timber pile bridge module. The capable operator in the third photo is not myself, but he shares a quality first name …


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Figure Painting

G’day All, in the long break between posts I have been busy with model railway activities, but mainly sharing them through various Facebook and Forum posts, so here is an initial update. Through EBAY I purchased a bulk lot of made in China prepainted N Scale figures. They definitely needed repainting to look anywhere near acceptable.


First step, painting the obvious areas with a coat of Tamiya acrylic Flesh coloured paint.


This is how you repaint model figures on a mass scale. Choosing one colour paint at a time and applying it to the desired figures while they are held on to a match stick with BluTack, or equivalent, and then leaving 24 hours to properly dry.


The figures ultimately come up to standard after a light coat of spray matt varnish.


This is a group of workers with their hi-viz safety vests. It is just after a work place agreement negotiation session, the boss is on the right.


A little cameo scene on Curdies Gully.

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Sadler’s Sidings – 06 – The renovations of Smaug

After a while of shunting wagons on Sadler’s Sidings and reviewing what `flavour’ I wanted I’ve decided to make a few changes to the industries and/or their locations.


  • Keeps Shed A and gets a new Shed B.
  • Loses the small timber shed as it ended up being a bit of pain operationally even though it made a good scenic feature. I’ll need to work out what to fill the space with. Move in the yellow brick workshop at present located next to Shed A?
  • Shed D becomes Shed C or perhaps a whole new specialized transshipment operation – Eg. paper products coming from interstate (South Australia).

Sadler's Sidings - Renovation plan overview with text



Drawing upon my research of the old Fitzroy Goods Yard, see:
I’ve decided on adapting  some prototype industries that suit the smaller area, even if they are still compressed a bit.

That’s the current cogitations, things may change, but hopefully not a lot.

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December 15, 2015 · 5:57 am

Lessons Learnt while working on an old wagon casting.

G’day Folks, A couple of weeks ago I re-discovered an old N Scale epoxy resin casting for the body of an Victorian Railways ‘I/IA’ wagon. For prototype information visit:

I had the required PECO chassis and Microtrains body mount couplers on hand and so commenced work.

The 30 year old casting as found:



To reveal what was needed to be done to what I gave the casting a light coat of grey primer from a spray can. I planned to remove this coat of primer with caustic soda solution later.


A coat of grey primer can reveal a lot of detail:



The camera on your mobile phone can be a great tool in revealing detail and enabling thought about your project.


By comparing the photos of each wagon side I was able to work out what repairs needed to be done. As you can see: a)  the bottom of the doors on one side had been chipped away. b) the bottom of the upright stanchion between the doors on this same side had also been chipped away.
Looking at the photos and enlarging them allowed me a better view, and hence better planning, of what needed to be done.

I resolved to gently carve away the bottom of both doors on the damaged side until they were flush with the wagon base and then replace them with strips of styrene. The stanchion between the doors would be repaired by using a small piece of styrene ‘U’ shaped channel from the styrene scrap box.


A pair of digital calipers are a real advantage!


After trimming back the damaged doors I used a pair of digital calipers to measured the height of the doors on both the undamaged and damaged sides. The difference worked out to be about 0.5mm (0.020″). These measurement would have been difficult and eye straining if I’d used my usual steel ruler.

So  the repairs were done:

WP_20151201_002 - croppedWP_20151202_002 - cropped

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After stripping back the paint with a bath in a caustic soda solution I fitted the chassis and painted it all up in VR red oxide and applied decals.
I also fitted a new floor made out of thin styrene and painted the inside of the wagon a gunmetal colou7r to represent the unpainted finish of the inside of the wagon.


As the red oxide paint had a matt finish I gave the panel where the decals would be applied a coat of glass varnish to provide a smooth surface.
When that was done I applied two coats of matt varnish to seal the decals and even out the finish. Then it was time to fit the wheels and couplers:WP_20151206_012

Weighting and extended test running are all that is needed to completely finish the job.
Just realised that this photo is of the `good’ side of the wagon. I’ll update with a photo of the repaired side in a day or so.




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Some more fencing…

I got some more fencing in place, and later realized that some posts are a bit crooked, have to think about that…

Plus a video on threading the fence posts …



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Curdies Gully – Fencing using Spirit Design fence posts

I got some 1:160 scale fencing done today. N Scale manufacturer SPIRIT DESIGN makes laser cut farm fence posts with four holes in each post for thin wire:
Here are 4 photo’s of my efforts on my a single track T-TRAK corner module.
I sourced the thin wire from `rainbow cable’…/I…/Rainbow-Cable-16-Core/p/WM4516
The `strainer posts at the ends of the fence line are cut down tooth picks. I still need to tidy up the wire at these ends.
I also need to add `dropper posts’ which are used to keep the wires spaced and stop livestock pushing through them.







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Curdies Gully – More Static Grassing – on a corner module


G’day All, some photos of some more static grass work I did a couple of days ago. The longer dried off grass will be separated from the shorter green stuff by a fence. This represents the short cropped grazed grass of paddock verses the untouched wild stuff that grows beside the railway line.WP_20151113_014WP_20151113_008WP_20151113_012

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Curdies Gully – the full version of the layout video

Now I’m over the initial excitement – hadn’t had operations on the layout for months!! – here is the full version of the layout video:

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It runs!!! After scenery work etc IT RUNS!!! Abit of life on the newly named “Curdies Gully Branch”

It runs!!! After scenery work etc IT RUNS!!!

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N Scale Freight Pallets Part 1 – Australianizing Micro Engineering (Part No. 80-144)

Australian Standard domestic freight pallets measures 1165 x1165mm and are designed to fit perfectly into the RACE (Railways of Australia Container Express) container of the Australian railways. 1165mm scale down to 7.3mm in 1:160 scale.

Micro Engineering Part No. 80-144 is a `kit’ for 24 `skids’, which are like pallets without the bottom cross boards. They come moulded onto a sprue with six skids on each side of the central sprue. Our task therefore is not only make sure they have correct dimensions but to also add some bottom cross boards.

The ME skids measure out at 7mm wide, close enough to our desired 7.3mm.

ME pallets sprue & ruler

The skids measure up one cross board too many for a 7x7mm pallet.

ME pallets sprue & ruler 2

The boards on the underside of the pallet were made using 0.020×0.030”styrene strip from Evergreen. Rather than cutting off each skid before applying the styrene strip I made use of the sprue holding them together to stick the strip to six skids at once and save a lot of fiddly work. The strips were glued on to the underside of the runners so that they lined up with the first, third, and fifth upper cross boards, as counting from the end furthest from the sprue. See the photo below:

ME pallets applying strip to underside

When the glue has set, and that means waiting an hour or two as you will need a good strong bond, you can start trimming the styrene strips to match the length of the upper cross boards.

ME Pallets trimming underboards

Then you can trim the pallet from the sprue by making the cut on the outside edge of the fifth cross board from the non-sprue end. Wise folks will paint their pallets before doing this cut.

ME pallet boarded, trimmed and painted - comparison

The ME pack of 24 skids cost about A$10.00 plus postage.

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