Monday, March 4, 2013

More Southern Aurora Models

Whilst I had my brief stay in the west I managed to progress on the Southern Aurora models a bit more, I managed to get the BCS Lounge car, the MHN Baggage car & PHN Power car reasonably assembled to the same stage, the sides are all basically complete, roofs modified and glued in place but the end have only been done as far as the Structural End, the cosmetic end still have to be made as does the floors & underframes, let alone the interior detailing.

 Side on shot of the BCS

 And a couple of photos of the MHN

And the PHN - I've ended up re-doing the porthole window in the luggage door as this version looked a bit too big when I compared it to photos I had.

I've also included a couple of photos showing the sequence of modifying the roof hatch area to make it more realistic using Ian's method, it not that hard to do and the shortened A/C hatch is certainly noticeable and in my opinion well worth the small extra effort involved.

You can see a square piece of styrene to the top right hand side of the A/C hatch (& also in the roof shots above), these are the pieces under the roof vents as mentioned in Ian's articles and they are pretty easy to do following Ian's instructions, having seen Ian's models with this detail they do make a difference & again a pretty easy thing to do.

At this stage I'm currently working on the remaining sleeping cars (LAN, DAM & NAMs) trying to get them to the same stage as the other cars so I can complete them all together, so far the sides have been assembled, but that's it, roofs etc still to go. The small windows near the ends of the LAN's have been made by 'cutting & shutting' so to speak, the window surrounds from the surplus windows in the end doors and then letting them into holes cut into the sides, Ian's originals where holes that were drilled & filed to the correct size, I mentioned to Ian I thought this might provide a better end result as it would give the small windows a surround like the rest of the windows & I'm certainly happy with the end result as all the windows now have matching surrounds and whilst I am nowhere near glazing yet whilst I was at Coffs Harbour for work back in Nov 2011 I called into the Plastics Factory that was mentioned in the Kamilaroi blog (I think)  to pick up some 20th styrene and and thinking what Ian had said about the CD covers not being the best to work with, asked them if they had any clear plastic I could experiment with, they sold me some 1mm clear poly-carbonate clear sheeting offcut  and as Ian mentions it certainly gives a good finish, it's reasonably easy to cut and finish to size.  Hopefully by the time they're all done they'll look as good as Ian Black's models.

At the moment I'm scratchbuilding some of the underbody detailing bits and pieces, so far the battery box has been made & I'm currently making the "boxes" that hold some of the underbody parts (Air Conditioning gear, Electrical items etc) I figure out it's going to be easier to make one part and then cast up the rest rather than making heaps individually. Since I started to compose this post I have cast some parts up. Some of the castings are shown in the following photos, I should be able to cast enough of these for the number of unit I need (I hope) and whilst it's a slightly messy procedure I do think that making the polyurethane castings is the way to go when one has to make more than a few of the same item.  I use a re-cycled Fridge compressor as a vacuum pump (not the best option but it does the job pretty much) which I use to de-air the rubber when making the moulds and also vacuum or pressure cast the polyurethane when making the castings - I'm pretty happy with the end results, and it's a fairly cheap process using the recycled equipment (vacuum pump etc).

Battery Box Master

Some early castings - electrical cabinet box on the left and Air Conditioning condensor box on the right

Talking about the underframes I purchased some 2BS bogies from Eureka and intend to fit them to some of the Southern Aurora carriages, should make it easy to set them up for interior lighting as they already have the lighting pickups included, now have to setup the modified Lima 2BU lookalike bogies, I think Ian mentions putting brass bearings and running wires from the bearings for electrical connections, sounds like a good idea to me and something I'll experiment with.

The layout has not progressed any further which I'm comfortable with because at this stage I intend to  finish my version of the Southern Aurora which I'm hoping to have done by the end of summer (which is getting closer & closer and I've still got no further - ahh Family commitments - Well Summer officially finished a few days back so I guess I missed that date :-)) so I can then start back on the layout in Autumn (not so hot then and I really want to get the Southern Aurora finished) at which point I hope to start to replace the remaining scratch built point motors with the Servo type of point motors using the TAM Valley decoders, I think I mentioned in a previous post that the old point motors will be pressed into service powering some semaphore signals I've made.

Well that the plan, now to see if it comes to fruition.

That's about it for now, not a lot to show for the time, but for me it's been quite a dramatic year for other reasons, but this year will hopefully be better.

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