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Australian Model Railway Magazine

Australian Model Railway Magazine December 2019

The Australian Model Railway Magazine covers the modelling of Australian railways in all scales and gauges. The magazine regularly features contributors layouts and modelling projects, covering everything from completely scratchbuilt models, through modifying ready-to-run commercial products and kit bashing to 'hints and tips', as well as product reviews and the latest news from the manufacturers.

Country:
Australia
Language:
English
Publisher:
Southern Cross Model Railway Association
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
creating an illusion of reality

One of my recreations away from model railways is a visit to the local cinema, where the offerings are from both the mainstream and off-beat producers. Movie producers have the task of creating a scene in which to present their story. In many cases it has been large scale model building, with only sections of a house or shed being shown – no point in building what does not appear on screen, is there? It is more than fair to say that most movies have done a good job in creating the scenes, especially these days with the use of digital imaging. Some time back, our local theatre used a new clip to highlight that the theatre was fitted for special sound (Dolby Sound) with the image of a steam engine,…

14 min.
the top end 1942

How it began It all started a couple of years ago when, by chance, I came across a couple of photos of Darwin in 1942. One showed the waterfront during the initial bombing and the second showed troops lined up on the jetty railway with wagons behind. At the time, I had no idea that a railway existed in the Northern Territory prior to the current standard gauge. Research started. A couple of books on the North Australia Railway (NAR) were located and purchased. These revealed an intriguing story of an eclectic mix of rolling stock and some decidedly quirky operations, that just had to be modelled. The fact that I had never seen a NAR layout provided further motivation. At the time I had a large, British-based OO scale railway in…

14 min.
a life’s work (and after)

It may not surprise you to hear that I like a yarn. My use of yarn is meant to be understood in the way it was used around me when I was a growing up in the company of people who’d lived through WWI, the Great Depression and WWII: not so much a story being told, but a chat or a gossip with stories woven into the talk. The sort of talking you do leaning on a farm gate or over a back fence. Perhaps it’s a rather out of date term in these days of ‘FaceTime’ and social media, but I like a yarn and I would hazard a guess that a lot of the readers of this magazine do too. I especially like a yarn with modelling friends I…

1 min.
coasting to clean track

I’ve read many model railway magazines over the years and I’ve never read much in them about how to actually clean the rails. The only mentions I can recall are about someone using a track rubber by ‘running it over the rails’. I’ve never actually seen a ‘track rubber’ and the rail cleaning wagons that are available seem expensive and all seem to work only on the tops of the rails. I also saw one bloke who recommended using a chunk of Masonite. Anyway, my track needed cleaning and I came up with this idea as I sipped on a frosty one at my local club. I picked up one of those standard, fibreboard drink coasters for a closer examination. They’re made from an absorbent, recycled paper with two folds and…

4 min.
no more stalling!

There is no doubt that the addition of DCC, especially a sound-equipped decoder, adds to the realism of a working model locomotive. However, even with the cleanest of track and wheels, DCC-equipped locomotives can be more prone to stopping, especially on dead frog points and dirty sections of track, than DC locomotives (often because the ‘cues’ offered by sound and the better motor control encourages one to drive locomotives at scale speeds, rather than treating them as slot cars). The way to solve this problem is to add a ‘stay alive’ module, which are available under various names from most of the major DCC decoder suppliers. These function by storing a small amount of ‘backup’ power in capacitors for when the electrical supply from the rails is interrupted by dirt, bad…

15 min.
even more buildings (and a scene or two)

The Station Building Even though the layout is small, there are a fair number of buildings. Apart from the fish co-op, the next most important building is the station building [Photo 1]. It’s the railway’s headquarters on the line. The platform was marked out on the baseboard and traced onto paper. This was then cut to use as a template and transferred to an old piece of timber that was big enough to use as a platform. I wanted to give the platform a look of a moderately cheaply-built platform constructed by a private railway that, in its day, was trying to look fancy. I figured that the station building could be stone with a brick-faced, earth-filled platform for the passengers. Over the years the platform had the sandy surface replaced by…