Saturday, December 10, 2011

Featured Article

Recently I wrote an article for the 'N Scale Modeller' about making paper/cardboard buildings using Microsoft Publisher or Word, although not using this technique for the buildings in Euroa, I will use the cardboard building technique to create a prototype to save money on plastic if measurements were out.

The article can be found here..

Euroa over the Xmas break will start to develop and wiring will take place, keep watch!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Circuit Panel

Well before I could lay any track, I had to work out where my separate circuits were going to be isolated, as I am using DC the whole track would be electrified, and only one loco could be sitting on the track without disaster! So insulated joiners are used to do this, and isolate sections, chosen by the end user.

The diagram has to be drawn up correctly in a program like Adobe Illustrator, ProDesktop, or Corel. Then saved for the program Euroa Secondary College uses, with there Roland CNC machine, Dr Engraver- which requires a .BMP file.

The CNC machine cut the diagram out and the holes for the switches, but it didn't show up easily for the eye to tell the difference between where it had cut and where the original plastic was left.

That meant hours of painting and masking to get a smooth well done paint job of the lines, I was pushed for time and didn't want to do it this way. So what then was done was I went to Splash Gecko where I have done work experience and with Signage Vinyl and board I used Flexisign to cut my design into the vinyl. This was laid on the corflute board with app tape-technical words! :) to allow the vinyl to be applied. I then cut out the holes for the switches and super glued and hot glued the switches in!

So a simple circuit diagram was not that simple!

Circuit diagram drawn in adobe illustrator, saved as a .BMP file for the Dr Engraver Software that works with CNC

Vinyl cut tracks, onto corflute sign panel, switches holes cut out manually.
The panel is then bolted to the sign of one of the moduls and can come off in transport and when the modules are placed away in the case.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Easy Adjustment!

After travelling to train shows and seeing what others are doing and how they hold or join there modules Ive just used what I think is the best and easiest!
Basically the screw in legs allow easy change of height, all though the metal nut is in the wrong side the idea still works screw it in the leg gets shorter, screw it out and the leg/height of the module gets higher!

Making it this easy means less time trying to align track and correct height differences when setting up!
Then all you do is just use a basic largish clamp between each module to keep them all togther and make them stable.

Painting the case

Painting the case enables it to be now protected and covered so it can be cleaned if required. The case will hopefully have some signage and instructions painted onto!

Paint used, is
Dulux Black PGI.A9
Neutral 1 Litre
B   2Y 26N
J    0Y 12N
I    0Y 16N
W  0Y 13N
Water based enamel - never knew it existed! :)

Track Diagram

After referencing photographs and track diagrams from the below sites,'29.htm'69.htm'89.htm

and photographs from

and David Langley via email.

I drew up the track diagram with help from Rob from Aust N Rail in a program called Anyrail which is just fantastic because the diagram as below was printed to actual size to make sure things fitted on the modules, there are the options within the program to place in the points and objects sold by the leading companies and it also allows you to see if the radius's are to tight or not, so yep its recommended!,
We discussed removing a couple of points around the goods shed which we couldn't have due to size constraints of the modules., but in doing this we were able to still have the double slip which is great for shunting in the yard later down the track!

Below are a couple of photographs of the printed diagram and how I used it!


Euroa drawn in Anyrail

Ready to go!

Well after many, many classes, the case and modules are ready for some paint and track!

Mark :)

Completing construction of case.

The final touches to the case have now been completed. The ply (3mm) top was a little fragile in the last couple of days of class, so I decided that it was best to add some support to make sure if weight was added on top of the case that it wouldn't break the ply, -well as easy anyway! so 5 pieces of pine cut to the correct width and 40mm height were glued and screwed into the framing to support the top.

The case with the modules in it, weighs a fair bit, and carrying it with 2 people is possible but not for a long distance, so I purchased some casters. The back of the case has fixed wheels screwed on, while the front has the swivel type so allow some movement in any direction, the reason for two of each to be fitted is so that it makes the case easily moved without wheels going in all directions! In saying that I need a locking system so that it doesnt take off on you, while unloading and loading the modules into the case!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Standing Tall

Well after all the hard work modules are finally starting to stand on there own!!

The legs from Bunnings were a metre in length those are now 800mm tall and have the Leggz bit in the top to screw into the underneath of the module.

Module Issue

When I tried to fit the last module into the case it seems to be wider than the rest for some strange reason, so we had to remove 1mm for each side of the module. Using the combination of a belt sander, and a planer (if I remembered the correct name) I removed material from each side to allow the module to fit. 3 Shelves were required and the 4th module sits on the ply bottom part of the frame.


Adding my steel shelves created with 2mm steel folded by and sourced from SJ Rural, Euroa.

I just pre drilled some holes each end and once marked and gaps between selves checked, leaving height for the modelling to be done onto the module the shelves were screwed into place.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Completing the Case

Sealing as such the case, was not a simple task only for the reason that adding that extra 9mm create a gap on one side of the frame, which was not expected. So when it came to lining the case we had a couple extra gaps than what I intended.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Angle Plan

Picked up angle today from a local steel place, $30 for 6 metres, not bad, all that needs to be done now is some holes drilled into it then it can be placed in the case

The steel is only 2mm thich although heavy the weight should balance out in the case, good casters will be required.

4x Handles have also been purchased to also go on the sides for lifting and easy rolling around.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Case Construction Issue!

Well working on the frame at home went well, except I literally made the width 500mm which meant that there was no room for ply sides or for it to move in and out of the case freely. 

So I added some cut thin 3mm ply pieces to one sides frame joints to increase the width a little!

Only a slight issue, remember there needs to be some clearance for them to slide in and out... now to order the angle...

Case Construction Commences

Well after being informed class time is limited, I used some of Dad left over Pine to create the case. 

There are no real joints for this one, just straight butt to butt and liquid nails, and a screw!

I pre drilled some parts to get a tight bond, so that the piece behind is brought forward to the top piece's back making the screw just pop through the pre drilled hole gripping into the back piece,

Below are construction photos at home, cut with a bench saw which I had to read up on to learn how to use. Safety Glasses and an apron is recommended! 

Mark :)

Support Problems!

There is nothing like having to remove a corner support that had been liquid nailed and screwed in because of a fault with the leggz nut, I split the side of the frame.

Caution be careful removing things that have been lequid nailed for a while eg. 3 days!

I am in the process of putting in a support, liquid nailing the split and modifying just that corner support. 

Mark - not such a good post!

Corner Supports

Working on making corner supports is not as easy as first thought!

Firstly you need to work out how big the support has to be and then where the holes have to go in the side of the module so you can drill the screws into the side of the frame and through into the support.

You need to work out the size of support, then I used 45x45mm pine and at 45 degrees each end cut them all to the same sizing for all 32 corners of the modules

 I made up a template to sit on the side of the frame to keep everything uniform and less marking out and mucking about. 

Monday, August 8, 2011


Now to the little idea from Phillip Island and District Railway Modellers modular layout, to have the legs being able to screw into the modules.

So I went down to bunnings warehouse, and spoke to a bloke in there about my idea.  Hoping I didnt talk in riddles about my concept...

He put me onto the brand called Leggz unfortunately I cant get a website, but these little furniture studs are fantastic, basically a little nut (similar to) with some grips gets hammered on top of either the underneath or the leg top and then a little screw/bolt gets screwed into the opposite bit eg the leg top, and there we have it a easy screw the legs onto the module when required then all we do is unscrew them once we are finished.

Sorry if thats not making sense ill try and get some more photo up!

A pack of 4 are around $10 (that is either a pack of bolts with the grips, or the screw/bolt rod)


*Update 2013 May. - I would not recommend these for long legs or at all.. they come loose and wreck the timber. 

Legs Finished!

Ive been busy with routering all 16 legs 45x45mm Pine, to have a rounded edge for safety and a smooth clean finish, setting the amount the router takes away so that we are not creating a lip or edge is the key to get a smooth finish, a little bit of sanding in some spots and these legs are ready!

Next onto the little bits that keep the legs and modules together...


Saturday, July 9, 2011


I started painting the first module over the holidays, make sure all the sanding you want to do is done before this.... then purchase either a roller or large paint brush to start painting,

I am using Dulux Vogel which was recommended by Rob from Aust N Rail because after applying grass and other scenery, Vogel looks like dirt and earth colour making any small gaps in grass and/or gravel not stand out, if the board was white, light green or just ply colour.

(Paint Code)
DD 31N
G 5N
M 1N
W 9N

Monday, July 4, 2011

Its got to be smooth!

After putting together the final module, its at the stage where things must be smooth and accurate to enable all four modules to meet (temporarily) when its time to be displayed so tracks align perfectly, allowing easy running of locos and rolling stock. So the orbital sander is used to take off any lip so that  the 12mm ply top fits to the edge of the frame work.
Modules must be able to meet easily for good track alignment when the modules are setup. 

When its track laying time tracks will perfectly join across the modules because the modules butt together with flush accurate edges.

Now just to do the other three..... oh and paint them...


Monday, June 27, 2011

Modules Close to Completion

Today I completed 3 of the 4 modules, the main task today was to screw the screws into the end pieces of the frame to hold the base down to the frame the ends being 19mm thick and nail the edges into the 12mm thick Pine sides, with a bead of PVA and some nails and screws these 3 are almost ready for track.

Below are some construction photos, note that 3 screws are at each end holding the 12mm thick ply down, one each end and one in the middle, the one in the middle may have to be removed when laying track (just have to see how we go)

Other thing to note is that the ends have to be well sanded soon so they can be clamped easy enough to align the track and reduce gap in rails from module to module.

That is all!! 

Glueing the tops down to the frame

Underneath of one of the four modules.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Construction Underway

Construction of the Modules is underway and should shortly be built, ready for preparation of track. 
Below is a photo of the frame construction of one of the modules. The ends are 19mm thick and a housing joint routered into them to allow the 12mm thick pine sides to be glue and screwed together. 

In the future I would recommend thicker then 12mm for the sizes as splitting and strength is a real worry, although Ive been lucky. 

The 4 tops have been ordered and they are 12mm thick pine sheets ready to be cut to size once modules are completed..

Now to order the track.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Model Prototype

Havent posted in a while, with school holidays and many other school and work related things happening.

One of the task was to build a prototype of what we have chosen to make,

below are photos of the prototype case with the modules

Back soon..

Monday, March 7, 2011

Module Set Up

I have been planning the modules so that they will all fit in the storage box. This layout of the modules will allow it to be possible. The skinny length at the back will make it a continuous running layout and will have a couple of tracks on it.

All modules are 1m long by .5m wide.


Thursday, February 17, 2011


I've been working with Google Sketch Up to draw some of my ideas. The first being the storage box that holds the 4 modules, below is the box, that will accommodate 4 modules, although there is no back or front drawn the idea is to have both, the ledges would be metal making the modules slide into the case easily. 

The below photo is the Phillip Island and District Railway Modellers Module carrying case, thanks to Judy and Jack for supplying the photo!