Friday, March 29, 2013

Briefcase Layout v2

Gday All
Grab a cuppa, sit down, get comfortable and prepare yourselves for an update!!  A big one at that.  I have been very busy working on my new and improved Briefcase layout (yet to be named).  
The design still based on the original concept I had for the first Briefcase.  My concept is to display what can be achieved with a small amount of track in a small area whilst remaining within a prototype, showing you do not need much space or money to enjoy model railways.  In this case (pardon the pun!) I've chosen a small country Victorian town nestled in a valley, along a meandering river.  With only a few buildings including a Pub, petrol station, railway buildings and some small homes I hope to portray some of the character of a small Victorian railway town.

I wont babble for much longer and will let the pictures show the progress.

The plan and the base foam board finally meet.
Cutting the base board and the pieces for the hills and cuttings.  Thank you Paul for the use of your workshop, and power tools and cleaning up my mess. :-)
Here is all the foam needed for the layout.  A bandsaw did a great job at cutting the foam precisely.  Using the overlay of the plan, I will be able to mark and cut out the valley.

I have started to shape my landscape using a sharp bland and fine sandpaper.  *ADVICE* Do this outside or at a mates workshop! :-)
Glued the hills to the base.  Further smoothing and test fit of the buildings.
Using putty, I moulded the hills into the valley.  My river wasn't 'meandering' enough so i marked out an altered route
More moulding.
I have cut out the roads using styrene. Here I am moulding the putty to ensure the road bridge looks prototypical.  Note those are not the piers I am using in the final layout :-)
I have received a number of packages in the mail in the last few days including a  "TGauge 8 Pack" from OzRailwaysTstuff at and a Station Building from
The houses are also available from  Search for "T Gauge". 
This building is available from was an absolute delight to build.  Using double sided tape (attached) the building simply sticks together.  I of course couldn't stop at that and attached a scratchbuilt platform, verandah and painted in VR colours.
I finished the landscaping by smoothing out the putty and foam with fine sandpaper and then applied a base coat of paint. 
I couldn't stand staring at the plain white houses any longer so I created this.  The house was first painted with Enamel paints.  I found acrylics too 'gluggy'.  I then used a small piece of styrene and applied the Eishindo T gauge grass adhesive.  I cut out the driveway and footpath using a blade.  I also scribed the little lines in the path and painted grey at this time.  The front fence is made from N scale ladder and painted white.  This property was designed by my daughter and continues to grow in detail.
My petrol station utilizes a Shapeways house (by tv_man) that has been kitbashed.  I removed the verandah on the house.  Then constructed the station verandah poles and pumps from scrap styrene.  Added details including sign and guards from the Eishindo Road Signs and Street Lights Set and a N scale 44gallon drum.
My neighbourhood continues to expand.  The new property on the right was designed by my son.  I built the hedge from foam.  I added the centre strips to the driveway.  He wanted a little Aussie flag.  
Here is the neighbourhood as it is today.  Painted petrol station with added vending machines, two new properties in the foreground and a piece of paper where the Pub will go.  My wife wanted to build a property so she has painted and is about to start landscaping the house with the green roof.  I started the house next door.  Including a little man mowing his lawn.  These properties will have post and rail fences facing the rail formation. 

I hope you have enjoyed the progress so far.  I continue adding details to the buildings on the layout as I think of them.  Next will be to start adding grass to the rest of the layout.  If your thinking of getting into T-Gauge........DO  IT!!!  This is SOOOOOO MUCH FUN!!!!
If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me or check out the NEW Facebook page: Victorian T Gauge.

Take care and Happy Modelling


Facebook Page

G'day All,

For those who have a Facebook account I have created a Victorian T Gauge 'Page' to enable easy access to ask questions and comment about stuff that you, or we are doing.

I have a stable internet connection now so keeping the page updated 'shouldn't' be an issue. :-)

Take care and Happy Modelling.


Sunday, March 17, 2013


Gday All,

I have been greatly inspired by Pauls layout, Orbost.  His attention to detail has made me rethink my approach with my suitcase layout and T Gauge in general.
With this in mind, I have been having a great time tinkering with Google SketchUp.  Utilising a couple tutorials online and some spare time I was able to learn the skills required to create some T Gauge items.  So far I have designed a VR ZF guards van and a Country Pub. I am designing these with the goal to get them 3d printed.

These photos (taken of the screen with my mobile :-) ) show the comleted ZF van.  Ive made the model solid as I am still refining my techniques and am not sure about wall thickness vs printing etc.  I have placed an order for a few ZF's and am really hoping they turn out alright. :-)

These photos show the Country Pub.  I have a place for this on the re-designed suitcase layout as below.

Last night I commenced the redesign of the suitcase layout.  Here is the final design.  It looks a mess but as you will see in coming posts there is method to my madness!!

I have also taken all the good items off the layout in preparation for the new layout.  Here is what was left!!!

I hope to commence landscaping tonight so will endeavour to keep the blog updated.

Take care and Happy Modelling!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Gday All,

It has been a number of months since our last update.  In this time we have attended two model railway exhibitions where Paul has received great feedback and awards for his work. 
Below are some photos of the progress leading to how the layout is presented today. 

Here it the completed bridge awaiting placement on the layout.
This photo shows the bridge (minus track and ballast) in its place on Orbost.
Sweeping curve looking towards Newmerella.
Sweeping curve on the final approach to the terminus at Orbost station.  Note the attention to detail with the placement of fence posts in the paddock.
Just like the prototype in 1981, the bridge has been modeled with the replacement steel beams following damage incurred during floods in the 1970s.
Attention to detail never ceases to amaze me. 
This truly shows the scale of the bridge.  The highest pier sits at around 9mm!!! 
Below are some photos from the 2012 Stawell Model Railway exhibition.  These photos are taken by Dale Cray.  This is how Orbost is presented at the moment.
This photo shows Orbost with a passenger train crossing the completed trestle bridge.  I will upload a video soon. Paul has even attached picture cards to the front of the layout demonstrating the prototype location.  Note my 5 inch miniature train display in the background.
What can I say............ WoW!!
Here's the view towards the terminus.  This is where Paul will be focusing his attention next.
MORE WoW!! All this scene needs to be completed is the highway surface.
This photo shows the 'balloon loop' that Paul has installed at the end of the layout.  This enables the train to depart the station, travel across the layout and return to the station without intervention.  The PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) controller allows the train to travel at the realistic 'snail' pace making for a 10 minute return trip!!! 
The next exhibition Paul plans to attend will be Morwell.  Operated by the Latrobe Valley Model Railway Association, this exhibition will be held at Kernot Hall Morwell 8th, 9th and 10th of June.  Hope to see you there!!!!

Take care and HAPPY MODELLING!!!!!