Sunday, 24 April 2022

 The Fat Cave

Sorry I have been a little quiet of late. I might start by showing a couple of projects that are nearly at their completion. I did show this one a while back. It is basically finished now;


Pretty happy with the way it come up. This will mostly feature in my container yard where it will be nicely viewed waiting for containers to be dropped in.

This is another that I have been working on. I will talk about this one later. It was a major kit bash involving an IDR PHV Kit and an On Track Models GLV RTR model

Still a little work to do. Got to add Dampers to the bogies, Brake Wheels and decals.

I got my hands on this nice model Recently. It puts to shame the work I did to try and fix up and Austrain's Model.

I have just finished off a review of this SDS model for the AMRM but I am going to do a bit of a review and comparison of this new guy on my blog, compared to earlier models produced of the 81 class. Just out of interest.

This Auscision 44223 I weathered up for a good friend of mine Greg Riddel for him to give to his son George as a Present

Now for the title of this Blog, The Fat Cave. 
I just want to share some photos of my layout as it stands ATM. I had a chance to clean up the fat cave so I took some unobstructed shots. Anyway enjoy. I am going to go into detail about what the layout is all about soon. I want to share the ideas and scenery process as I am working on it. Anyway some shots.

Hidden storage, 7 staging tracks. Hinged scenery block. Branch line heading up the right side

This will be a Container Yard 

On the Sydney end of the staging. 7 staging tracks and 3 terminating tracks. A branch line terminal over the top. Not sure what I am doing here as yet. Tracks are only random ATM

The number 8, 3rd back is a short dead end for  DEB Set storage 

road 9 and 10 will be for loco hauled Passenger Sets to be stored. The branch will have a timber trestle above this with a lift out scenery block behind. 

Control panel for the staging

This area will have a lift out placed in above the staging. The siding that will head off onto the hinged scenery block will be BGF I think

The down end of the location modeled. A branch line heads up over the staging and the mainline heads off through a tunnel into the staging. My plan is to have this tunnel as north coast modelled trains only. The rest of the layout is anything NSW

The Junction for the branch on the down end of the yard. There will be a third control panel near this location for the junction signal box. This end of the yard controlled by the box and the up Sydney end will be CTC.

Another angle. The track at the top is a lead from the back platform road that will be used most to store terminated passenger trains waiting for there time to head back to Sydney. 

The lead off to the grain silo

A look at the main yard and the island platform.

The up end of the layout. This is the only real north coast looking part of the layout. There is going to be a disused old turn table pit at the end of the old loco. 

The container yard and goods shed

In the foreground will be a small loco servicing area

A bit of shunting area and yard storage

Much of the container area will have the track in concrete

The entrance to the Fat Cave. showing the hinged bridge

This area is where the branch heads up a steep grade and a hill for the tunnel to go into

This will be farm land in the fore ground. There will be some suburbia behind the line of trees where the PVA is

Looking from near the goods shed

I have tried to make the best of the space available. Much of the furniture is now part of the layout

The main control panel. Still very much a work in progress

Although all the staging is wired up and all points working but the main layout is still to be wired. 

More updates as they come

Cheers Justin Moy

Friday, 5 November 2021

VLDX Model


Hi Guy's

I was just going through some Photo's on my PC from back in 2018 and come across this file I had made up of my modelling efforts to create this VLDX Model. I can't even remember why I chose not to share it on my blog at the time. Anyway here it is.

This model is a serious kit bash. AFAIK there has only been one model kit available of this wagon produced and that was from Broad Gauge Bodies. On Track Models had produced real nice models Ready to Run of the VLCX, VBBX and VLEX. They had also produced both versions of the VLCX. Auscison have also done both versions of the VLCX RTR. 

I only have the On Track Models representations of these Victorian Vans, so when looking at options to make up one of the VLDX vans, I chose to use parts from On Track Models 2nd version of the VLCX to kit Bash a VLDX. I see this van as the most closely related in Construction.

I am no expert on Victorian Vans but from what I can work out, The Victorian Railways constructed 20 of these 52 foot long VLDX Lourved Vans. I believe they were made for a pacific haulage contract at the time. This is why they have an unusual length. Up till this time they had only built Vans in this series as 40 footers and 56 footers.

I have noticed these vans as part of consist on trains passing Taree in the early 90's, but never got up close and personal with a VLDX. So I have had to make a number of guesses on how these are constructed. I am very thankful of people like Norm Bray for his Flickr Site Norm Bray | Flickr that has many photographs of rolling stock for those that really missed out on getting photo's of wagons while they were running. He has given permission for me to use his photo's to explain my modelling process.

My aim for this project is to make the model as closely as OTM's have produced their Victorian Vans. So it looks like it may of come out of one of their boxes originally.


What makes these vans unusual is the length and the doors which only roll to the right on each side. This in a way makes it relate more to the VLCX Van rather than the VLEX Van. I also lacks the extra pressing on the side panels that the VLEX has.

VLCX 419-P

The second version of the VLCX is what I can see as being the mostly closely related Van in it's general construction. I have used the On Track Models version of this van to construct my VLDX. The side panels on the 3 panel end are the same (H beams between the panels) The Ends are the same, the roof has the same profile and panel size. Going off the fact that these have a steel floor and not timber like the first version of the VLCX, I have used a steel floor on the VLDX.

VLCX 131-T

When you look at the first version VLCX, it is quite a bit different. The ends are different at the base around the coupler area. The side bracing is very different and the top door runner is different. This also has a timber flooring. It is well presented by the OTM's version of this.

VLEX 837

The VLEX is a different beast. It gains it's extra 4 feet (52 vers 56 feet) by using larger doors. It also has extra pressing in the sides. In some ways it might of made sense to use parts from the OTM's VLEX to make the VLDX but I viewed the pressing as just too hard to remove and still look good. The pressing at the top maybe, but the ones between the louvres, not so.

Anyway to the model
It started life here from my parts box.

I had quite a bit of stuff to use as I had acquired some pre-production stuff from OTM's which become very useful. One that was very useful was a couple of pre-production VLCX bodies that had removable brass plates for the number boards. On the production run the number boards were put on the die and not a separate part. This was useful as the VLCX had the number board at the ends were the VLDX mostly had them placed in the centre of the Louvres. 

For some reason I didn't take photo's of the construction of this model or I cannot find them.
Of note in this photo is the under frame. The fish belly is quite a bit shallower than the VLEX Van. As a guess I have made it the same size as the first version of the Victorian ELX/VOBX open wagon. it makes sense to me that they might share the same dimensions as such. I measured up an Austrain's model to match it. 
An example of a shallow under frame

On other plus from the pre-production models were the use of real chain for the hand brake. All the parts except the under frame constructed from styrene are OTM's. The brake detail is done based on the 2nd version VLCX. I have used photo's to pin point the location as close as I can tell. I had to use the doors from two wagons as they are different on each side of the VLCX. One set rolls left, the other set rolls right. One the VLDX they both sides roll to the right. 
The roof is interesting. The panels on the roof as the same size as that on the VLCX. but to make them fit on the 52 foot VLDX they have this short panel in the center of the van. This made thing easy for adding the roof to this build. I used the door end of two roofs and then cut off the remaining door runners to suit. I was real happy when doing this as I finished up with a short panel in the middle about the same size. Maybe a fraction too big but it doesn't look out of place. Some satisfaction came when I could get the doors to open and close.

Side on difference between the VLEX and VLDX

I added the interior load barriers from a VLEX model.

Some various photo's from Norm Bray's Site

I picked VLDX 7 to model as it had a silver roof. Most had red roofs for some reason which really did set them apart from the VLCX/VLEX. I like the silver roofs and I already have one VLEX with a red roof so silver it was.

Anyway that the model. It was quite an effort
and it blends in well with all the other Victorian Vans on my roster

Cheers Justin Moy