Monday, May 16, 2011

Lower Level work: Gurley

With last month’s completion of lower level (Moree) staging, it was time to get serious about the visible lower level scenes. Two country towns, Edgeroi and Gurley, will represent the railway north of Narrabri, similarly featured with 6.5’ crossing loop, station building, grain silo and loading bank/stock race track.

I’ve modified the prototype track arrangement at Gurley somewhat to fit available space while keeping the rural feel of the place. A truly faithful rendition would place the silo and station building along the front edge of the layout. I’d mocked up the scene with the silo in front, and given the 15” height between layout levels, felt that a silo of nearly that height would visually break the scene in half. Instead, I moved the silo to the rear. I also moved the station building to along the backdrop for two reasons: in most cases, I find it more interesting to look at the platform side of a train station than I do its backside; and its narrow depth (scale 15 feet) made it a better fit along the backdrop than the load bank and stock race. At Gurley, at least, moving these to the front of the layout provides more modeling, detailing and photographic opportunities than it does jammed in against the backdrop. The scenery will be very North-West: flat, wide expanses of farmlands and golden grasses between the Right of Way fences; the “hole in the wall” leading to Moree will be obscured somewhat by a cluster of trees bounded with a bitumen level crossing.

CAPTION: Sketch of track arrangement at Gurley. The prototype is at the top, my version below.

I’ve yet to sculpt the ceiling tile scenery/roadbed base at Gurley, but this past weekend completed the track work, wiring, and installation of Blue Point controls. I’ve included a short video testing the concept, depicting a 44 Class-powered wheat train crossing a 620/720 rail motor set at Gurley. Painting track, adding ballast, and more scenery work is next—not to mention adding the load bank, building the grain silos and construction the station building-- but in its present form, Gurley is ready for operations!


Ian Millard said...

G'day Blair,

What sound chip is inside the 44? It sounds really good, nothing like my current Loksound chip I have in mine. Albeit I haven't played around with the sounds yet.

Cheers, Ian.

Matt Sugerman said...

Alco sounds great! Tsunami?

I certainly agree about the placement of buildings...Is it better to have the prototype orientation or a more visually appealing scene? Hard choices sometimes...

Blair Kooistra said...

Tsunami indeed. They're a bit addictive. This is my first sound loco; would like to put sound in the other 44 and the jumbo as well. The 49 class with the EMD 567 is particularly effective--the only downside is lack of good Australian air horns, which the Locksound I think handles better. There's far more tweak in there than I can deal with right now!

Matt Sugerman said...

I can see that I will need to sound equip my engines, it's just too cool with the drubbing of 251's or 567's in my case

Jim Davis said...

Blair - Quite cool! But what was that car on the end of the train? :)