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 Digger's Bend...an On30 mini project

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
danpickard Posted - 11/29/2010 : 05:18:13 AM
Hi all,
I thought I'd start to document a little side project I'm about to get stuck into. Basically, I do have plans well under way for my next larger exhibition project, but I expect the development and construction of that will take a couple of years (since as well as a heavily sceniced layout, there are a number of scratchbuilt loco's and all the rolling stock to build up...and I have no deadline like previous efforts!). In the mean time then, I'm going to put together "Digger's Bend Mining Co" as a small On30 display layout to present at exhibitions while the next effort gets developed.

Building the smaller layout kind of has two purposes. Firstly, I have a number of newer construction methods, scenery styles and techniques etc, that I want to experiment with, plus I thought I could use it as a small presentation piece that I can incorporate into a clinic I'll do at the Aussie NMRA Convention here in Melbourne next October. A bit under a year to put together, which should be comfortably achievable (provided the experiments work that is!).

I guess the starting point for this new little layout, was completing a Bachmann gas mechanical detailing job that had been on my workbench for about a year as well. I had a Backwoods Miniatures dress up lit for the loco, which was assembled quickly, primed...and then sat. I finally got around to pulling out my airbrush to complete the paint work a few weeks ago, tried a few different weathering methods, and it turned out quite nice...nice enough for me to think it needed its own layout to run around.

I thought that this loco would be more than suitable for a little mini layout, trundling around some tight radius. I decided a short string of little rugga v-tipper wagons would be appropriate, so ordered 6 from "KB scale models", which now put out the older Roy C Link items (if anyone is familiar with these past kits). Originally O-14 kits, but KB now have an On30 16.5mm conversion set for the wagons. Thay are simila in style to the Bachmann v-tippers, but much finer castings and on a smaller/lighter frame...a bit more quaint than the Bachmann version. They are also link & pin coupling, making for a nice tight little string of wagons.

So, another starting point was a previous unfinished layout that was sitting in the shed, my old Brewery Cove mini layout. It was also an inbetween big layouts project, started prior to my previous Dolly Varden layout, but never got completed. My modelling style has changed a fair bit since it was started, so it made more sense to strip the frame out, and start again. Same size boxed diorama style unit, about 1000mm front width, 700mm deep, about 600mm high, with a curved backdrop, and the same simple loop of track to run a short train through a scene. The scenery and structures were gutted out, backdrop primed again and a new backscene started, and the brainstorming began.

The above photos show the current state at the starting point really. Still with the old name on the shell, but soon to be replaced. The backscene was a quicky trial using oil paints, since I haven't painted landscape with oils since my days in high school (still distant hills and trees to add once I work out what else will go in the display).

Heres a list of some of the small experiments I want to use this layout as a testing ground for.
- finally doing some Aussie style scenery, with some new types of trees and grass finishes to try (prior to applying them to the larger exhibition layout that is under development),
- the front old wharf area will be refashioned into a bend of a rivers edge (hence Diggers Bend), where I want to try some different long edge water grasses and reeds,
- a couple of new painting and weathering techniques, which be tested out on the few small structures for the scene,
- soundscape construction, which I picked up the cheap 2.1 system as seen in the photos for (only about $25 on sale), which will be hidden within the scene, incuding the subwoofer, and do some soundscape recordings in the virtual studio setting (have done these previously with my old Stumpy Creek layout, and also for John Hunters Narchuca Wharf diorama).

I've also got a heap of castings I want to use up, so expect a good volume of junk and detailing.

Back top the bench then...

Dan Pickard
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
on2rails Posted - 03/11/2013 : 09:35:15 AM
Beautiful work Dan!
adrian_batey Posted - 03/11/2013 : 07:05:06 AM
Thanks Dan. Really was interesting to see ausie on30 rolling stock along with the wonderful scenery.

I love the waterfront part of your mini and as always the gums are a=outstanding. Ill have to have a go at them sometime.
danpickard Posted - 03/11/2013 : 06:03:37 AM
Hi Adrian,
"9 Mile" was one of Prof Klyzlr's beautiful little Aussie logging layouts, so unfortunately not one of mine. It was only a small layout, but was a wonderful capture of some protoypical Aussie loggong scenes, with some well modelled loco's and rolling stock to match some of the proto photos that accompanied the layout when on display. Simple loop of track, just two sidings, and a long cassette system at the rear. Il really respected this layout for its simplicity and what it represented from a historical perspective.

Dan Pickard
adrian_batey Posted - 03/11/2013 : 05:43:19 AM
Really like the mini layout.

I noticed on your youtube a layout 9 Mile. Do you have any info on it on your blog or something? Is it an older layout of yours. Just haven't seen it before.
wesleybeks Posted - 03/11/2013 : 05:15:50 AM
Brilliant Dan. Everything has come together perfectly.
danpickard Posted - 03/10/2013 : 9:12:31 PM

Hi all,
Really quick update between trying to finalise our NGC in a few weeks. Just a short video clip of the near finished layout. Just need to finish weathering the KB scale v-tippers, and sew up the curtain to go around the stand. Spent a couple of hours the other night and mixed a soundscape for the layout that plays through the built in sound system, with a bubbling river, local birdlife and some mining work sounds. Sorry for the low quality video (just a quick phone capture), but will look to have more time to do some better images of this piece in the near future.

Dan Pickard
danpickard Posted - 02/17/2013 : 11:43:13 PM
You reckon you're worried Mario.
I was going to display this small layout in a darkened room with some gentle mood lighting...might have to stick it out in full light again now, just in case :)

Dan Pickard
k27rgs Posted - 02/17/2013 : 5:07:08 PM
Originally posted by NickO

I am really looking forward to seeing this " in the flesh"


Your starting to worry me.....
andykins Posted - 02/17/2013 : 4:01:12 PM
elwoodblues Posted - 02/17/2013 : 11:07:15 AM

Just read the entire thread, that is some fantastic modeling there.
Frank Palmer Posted - 02/17/2013 : 10:02:19 AM
Dan, I missed this thread from the start but I'm certainly glad I caught up with you at the end. Had to do a bit of speed reading this a.m. but it was well worth the effort. It's certainly true, "good things come in small packages".
Hopeless Posted - 02/16/2013 : 6:21:46 PM
Dan, I can't add to all that has been said, Beautiful.

TRAINS1941 Posted - 02/16/2013 : 3:26:28 PM
Dan that is beautiful. What a great diorama.
dallas_m Posted - 02/16/2013 : 3:18:17 PM
Beautiful! The scenes really give a great sense of environment ...
Bill Uffelman Posted - 02/16/2013 : 2:05:50 PM
Dan -- looks great. I see a NGDU multi-picture article in the future!

Bill Uffelman

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