Out in the shed I have been laying track and wiring. For me these are probably the two least favourite aspects of the hobby. In the past I have rushed these jobs to get to more favourite tasks like scenery. As you would expect this has meant that I have been rewarded with layouts that look nice but don't preform the way they should. As someone said on a podcast I was recently listening to, "if the trains don't run theirs not much fun". So this layout I am determined to get good reliable running before the scenery work starts.
You probably don't want to look at photos of my wiring ( because I don't!!!) so here is a photo of another project I have been working on.
I recently picked up another Bachmann On30 2-8-0 of ebay. For the price they are a great but they do look very American. I decided that I would have another go at making one look like it belongs here in the Aussie bush. Regular followers of this blog will remember that my February post talked about replacing the whole superstructure with a new brass one. I am yet to complete that conversion as I wasn't completely happy with the appearance. Also a couple of the next steps had me stumped on how to proceed. A visit today with master metal worker Bernard Snoodyk has helped and I plan on getting back to finishing it soon.
Meanwhile back to the loco I just bought, I decided to save some work and keep the boiler that comes with the engine. I removed the steam dome with a jewellers saw and replaced the chimney as well with castings from O-Aust kits A new cab based on the Commonwealth Railways NM class has been soldered up out of brass sheet. The photo shows the model in a very rough stage and I still have a lot to do like finish the cab and add styrene sides to the metal frame to extend the tender. Even so I hope you would agree that it has a certain charm and will look more at home than the engine straight out of the box.
The background is an experiment in using photo backdrops. I like the realism that a photo provides, something that I think my painted backdrop struggles with. Having said that I have seen layouts where photos haven't worked that well either. There is also the cost which is not something to be sneezed at, but then the work in painting a good backdrop is a considerable investment as well.
I am going to do some more research and if anyone has some experience please feel free to share