Chapter 121 – 27/02/2019

I guess it goes without saying (though I will anyway) that after having worked so long on getting the HJS kits ready, I wanted to snaffle some time to make some models for our layout.

It was after I’d built the first four that I decided to attempt a kitbash of one. With this thought in mind, I plonked my backside down at the modelling bench and did some thinking… After much thinking (and some Panadol) I can tell you what I thunk…

I thunk that I should remove the doors from one of the HJS wagons. This has got to be the simplest kitbash in history! All I did was make a single cut along the back of the sides where it steps out from the side sills. That was it!

The rest of the assembly was exactly the same as how you’d assemble the normal HJS kit.

The model was painted with Tamiya TS-81 Light Grey, glosscoated and the decals applied… That kept me busy for nearly two minutes. Once all that was done, I applied a coat of Matt Clear and let it dry. Then it was onto the weathering.

I took a tip from Pelle Soeborg’s book “Done in a Day” by Kalmbach Publishing. In the book, he demonstrated a method for achieving nice, small rust spots that have a bit of texture to them… Just like REAL rust does.

The first step involved applying a tiny amount of clear varnish (matt clear, gloss clear, it really doesn’t matter) using either a micro brush or a toothpick.

The next step was to use my stippling brush (it’s really just a normal small brush that I’ve over used and destroyed with powders) and dip it lightly into the powders then just dab it over the wet varnish spots.

After letting that sit for about 30 seconds or so, I blew off the powder… most of it vanished onto my already messy desk.

Once that was done, I used a dry, semi stiff brush to just dust off the excess powder… This also created a kind of transitional effect to soften the dots of rust.

Once this was done, I used a VERY small amount of dark grey powder applied it in varying spots around the wagon deck and just brushed it off. I made sure the brush strokes followed a logical path, such as from one side to the other. For a vertical surface it would be from top to bottom.

This gave the appearence of softening further the rust spots and blending it all together.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten with this model at present. From this point on, the next step would be to either apply more subtle blends of powders or to simply air brush a very fine mist of light grey or cream paint to blend everything together and further dull it to appear like a nice faded open wagon. But that’s still yet to be decided.

Aside from playing the part of Mr Sir HJS Kitbasher Extraordinaire (whom is oh so modest of course), I have also been working on a couple more buildings for the layout.

The first building was kit bashed from the Walthers Cornerstone Corn Unloading & Storage Sheds (933-2974). If you can find this kit, buy it! It’s a brilliant and simple kit for two large sheds.

I took one of the end walls of the larger shed and simply cut short lengths of the side walls to mate up to it. The same was done with the roof and presto, we had a background shed.

A VERY boring background shed, but a background shed nonetheless.

The next step was to add some details just to break up the boring lines. I did this with some left over pipework from a Walthers refinery piping kit. I made a simple L shape, marked where it should be mounted and drilled two holes.

Obviously, a pipe sticking this far out from a building needs some support, so I made these using some scraps of Plastruct 1.6mm angle iron. The diagonal stays are 0.020″ (0.5mm) styrene strip. The down pipes were added later as simple 1.5mm diameter rod and cut down brackets from the piping kit.

The whole lot was painted with a suitably boring (yet mildly disgusting) colour (Tamiya TS-68 Wooden Deck Tan) and now awaits the roof and pipe to be painted silver and grey respectively. After getting this far, I started on another background building for the layout.

This time, I used a few pieces I had stockpiled from my collection of Pikestuff (Rix) kits. The entire model is made from two of the large end walls and two ends of the side walls. The roof is their standard roof cut down to suit.

The door castings are supplied with the kit, I just cut down the roller door so it could be open. I made a small shadow box from left over wall sections and glued it behnd the door (I painted it before fitting it into place).

I detailed the inside of the shadow box with a couple of left over Plastruct I beams. This was just to break up the boredom. The beam running above the shadow box serves to keep it aligned whilst it dried as well as providing a mounting position for the interior lighting.

The next step is to add the lights, a few details and make a base for it. Of course, that is for another day though… We shall see how we go.

Posted in New Layout | Comments Off on Chapter 121 – 27/02/2019

Chapter 120 – 06/02/2019

Well here we go again with another chapter of rampant insanity from Planet Jandowae.

Except that this time, it’s not so insane. This chapter we’re focusing on a brand new product as well as a bit of a milestone for both Wuiske Models and the Queensland modelling scene in general.

Wuiske Models is proud to announce the release of the FIRST EVER mass produced,  high pressure injection molded kit for the Queensland market (even if we do speak from a one eyed perspective)… The HJS open wagon.

Bridget and I have been quietly working away on this for some time and are extremely proud of the results.

We’ve managed to incorporate all the fine details of the pressed side doors for these wagons.

One feature we’re particularly happy with is the interior detail.

The brake rigging has been designed to go together with as few pieces as possible.

The end detail captures the look of the wagon nicely. Please note the lashing loops!


So far as assembling this kit, the theory was to make it as simple as possible. As a result, ALL components have small mounting tabs and slots.

The first 600 HJS wagons were first imported from Metropolitan Cammell Carriage & Wagon Co in Birmingham in 1950. The next two batches of HJS wagons (totaling 400 wagons) were built by Evans Deakin & Co in 1952.

The first 600 units from England were fitted with 5 Foot Archbar bogies where as the remaining 400 Australian built units were fitted with QR4 bogies and fitted with roller bearings. The kit we’ve produced here is of the Australian built wagons.

There is every possibility that we will produce the Birmingham built wagons in the future, along with many other things we’ve always wanted. Then again, I have A LOT of HJS wagons that need weathering for the Wuiske layout don’t I? But, as ever, we shall see how we go.

Posted in New Layout | Comments Off on Chapter 120 – 06/02/2019

Chapter 119 – 30/01/2019

Well after a surprisingly hectic New Years and January for that matter some time has been taken by the ever modest and not even remotely conceited me to do some actual modelling. But more about that in a minute.

Recently we were proud to announce the release of our second run of QSC Tautliner wagons.

Yet again, in partnership with that demented Aussie that everyone thinks is a Taiwanese hamster with a bit of Alsatian thrown in for good measure… Kieren Haskell I mean, we have finally got the second run available.

This time round, we did away with the decals that you all loved like a red headed step mother whom thinks you are the devil incarnate. Yes, we’ve supplied them FULLY printed and in all new running numbers.

This time around we’ve done both the original Easiliner and Q-Link liveries that were so common around the state. Essentially, there are now 15 more wagons on the Wuiske Layout.

Some time ago, 4 paragraphs, I mentioned that I had finally gotten in and done some modelling. Well, even more time ago (about 6 months or more) I started making the load out bin for the grain silos on the layout.

On a trip back from Rob’s house one day, I stopped off at the Kingaroy grain silos and took a few dozen photos. Eventually, I started building the frame work for the load out bin from Plastruct C channel.

The first step I made was to draw out the basic shape in CAD to make the measuring and cutting a lot simpler. Then I just cut and glued the bits together until I had a basic frame.

A quick trip (it is apparently possible, so I’m told) to Bunnings and I stumbled across some small joiner pieces of conduit. These were priced at about $1.50 or some similarly cheap price and so I bought two pair in two different diameters. In the end, I ended up printing this also.

After some time of the partially constructed frame work sitting on the bench, I decided to make use of my Anycubic Photon DLP printer (actually MY printer had a catastrophic issue where it developed amnisia and decided it could no longer remember where it’s Z axis is), thankfully my good neighbour Col has one too and was happy to volunteer it for my use.

In any case, it was decided that we should make the detail parts and handrails using this little death machine. The results are pretty impressive and surprisingly strong.

After this, I decided to build the conical base for the grain bin. After this was successful, I thought that perhaps I should design and build the actual bin on the printer as opposed to building it from the conduit I mentioned earlier.

The bin was drawn as a simple series of four rings. Each ring had a small seam added to the edge which replicated the prototype weld lines but also helped to hide the joins in the parts.

A smaller ring was subtracted from the bins to allow mounting rings to be added and make for a nice, straight fit. I should point out that I allowed a 0.1mm gap all around on this. This allowed for the shrinkage you will get due to the UV curing process on the printed resin.

The next step is to draw and print the unloading pipes and their fittings and attach them.
Once this is done, the top of the bin can be made and the ladders can be made up out of brass and fitted.

After that is all done (in about 17 years going by my time scale), it’s on to the silos themselves which will be made from 90mm PVC pipe and then the elevator itself.

As a test for the Photon Death Machine as well as a modelling project, I am REALLY enjoying this one and hopefully I’ll be able to carry on with it at regular intervals. As ever though, we shall see how we go.

Posted in New Layout | Comments Off on Chapter 119 – 30/01/2019

Chapter 118 – 22/12/2018

Well it’s that time of the year once more when we all finally get a chance to take a break and do some work on our hobby… Only to find that all the suppliers and shops we want to make emergency purchases of decals and glue from are shut!

And why are they all shut might we ask? All so that the proprietors can claim that they have one of those new fangled “life” things I keep reading about.

That’s right it’s time once more for that morbidly obese North Polian to hang up his gloves on his normal job as a sacrificial animal breeder and don his infamously red pajamas and jack boots so that he may, once again, haul his increasingly girthsome posterior into a sleigh. If only to be led around this mildly noteworthy planet of ours by 8 out of breath escapees from the venison farm.


In other words, it’s Christmas time once again. And we all know what that means… It means that the wondrous and only mildly egotistical leader of the Wuiske Models work house can take a breather from yelling and screaming at the urchins in the Wuiske Models work house and relax, take stock and yell and scream at his layout for a week or so.


After recent events here at the Wuiske Asylum, we’ve decided to make some changes on the Wuiske Models layout. We’re backdating it!

So with a new modeling period of about 1991, we can now run original 1720s, high nose 2400s and 2470 etc. Not to mention REAL TRAINS! Back when QR still acted like a railway and hauled “things”, train loads of “things” actually. All done with a myriad of wagons with 78,000 different classes and bogie types… Ahhhhh this should be fun.


We recently had a visit to Planet Jandowae from Stephen Colclough (formerly of 3 Foot 6 Models fame), we were led to believe that he was going to show us “something we would like”. Obviously, we were cautious.

Surprisingly enough, the “surprise” from Stephen was actually a REALLY good surprise. He had brought with him a shiny new DCC control system to show off to us. Being that the new system was in a black box, we knew it must be good!

Within a few minutes, Stephen had set up a little demonstration of the Digikeijs DR5000 and we were impressed… So much so that we ended up buying the system from Stephen there and then!

In theory, it seems that the new Digikeijs system will allow us to put occupancy detection, signal control and all the other bells and whistles without me needing to learn to much complex electro-gizmo-thingy-stuff (what? it’s a word alright).

As well as allowing for simple add on  bits and pieces, it seems that the Digikeijs is actually compatible with ALL the major DCC suppliers and even has wifi. As a result of this, we can continue using our Lenz LH100 controllers as well as the Roco Lokmaus wireless controllers. In fact, the only system it’s not compatible with is NCE, but this is simply because all their items are propitiatory, trademarked, tissue typed and just don’t like to play with anyone else.

All of these points, coupled with the fact that it’s half the price of the others had me sold. So all that remains now is for me to become a youtube junkie (again again) and learn all I can about setting this little piece of techy stuff up.


On the personal front, it would seem that Bridget and I have managed to side step the Australian Gumbyments laws about the proliferation Wuiske’s and we’re proud to announce that she is “with child” (not me this time, but an actual small human).

It looks like the soon to be urchin shall be a boy, which makes us all VERY happy to say the very least. Bridget has been in full swing of using her lumpy condition to her advantage and cries of “for I am with child” have been heard all over Planet Jandowae when hefty tasks (such as lifting a postage stamp) are required.



On behalf of Bridget and myself, we would like to thank you all for your support and congratulatory wishes since we announced this news on faceplant a few weeks ago.

As we’ve reached the end of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support over the last year. 2018 has been, genuinely one of the happiest of my life and we have MANY plans for new things (some of which are VERY big) in the not to distant future.

So from all of us here at the Wuiske Asylum, thank you and we hope you have a VERY merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.


Now, I’ve got work to do on the layout… We shall see how we go.

Posted in New Layout | Comments Off on Chapter 118 – 22/12/2018

Chapter 117 – 15/12/2018

Well, we’ve done another Modelling The Railways Of Queensland Convention and yet again, it was brilliant!

This was Bridget’s first convention and she had a brilliant time. As ever, there was lots of great info and some simply stunning models to get inspired by. One of the great ones for me was Ken Edge William’s (I am pretty sure) overhead bridge that was under construction and completely built from styrene. Pretty sure I need to make one for our layout now don’t I?


Of particular note was Anthony Vaness’ layout “Dagun”. This small layout is based on the tiny town of Dagun in the Mary Valley (near Gympie). This is Anthony’s first QR layout and it is simply stunning.

The entire layout is designed around a 24 inch radius curve and is essentially, a circle. The radius was chosen because the outer radius of a Peco curved point is 24 inch. The layout is extremely lightweight. It was interesting watching Anthony at pack up time as he just picked the layout up in two pieces and took them to his car… How simple is that!

The majority of the structures on the layout are scratch built.
He began by adding cardboard mock ups into the scenes to test how they would look and then built the structures from styrene.

Anthony gave a talk about his layout at the convention and went into great detail about how he constructed it. Even down to using dirt from the actual location!

One of the real stand out things for me was the trees, Anthony told me he managed to walk into his local Riot Art store… That’s one of those hippy places where people whom have seen an ad on TV for British paints that featured a paintbrush have decided they are now an “artist” and as such they need to find an establishment that can furnish them with $2 items for the bargain basement price of $37.50. That aside, they had a small quantity of trees available, so he bought them at a surprisingly good price.

For me, the small details and the scenery are the stand outs and this layout has given me many ideas for our own layout.

Whilst the entire layout is very simple in it’s design, it’s the details that make this layout simply spectacular.

The only thing we can hope for now is that Anthony brings “Dagun” along to many, many shows so the rest of us can be inspired.

As most of you will be aware, we said goodbye to our beautiful dog and long time companion Connie recently. On our return trip from the Convention, we stopped in to the RSPCA office in Toowoomba… JUST to have a look mind you.

It was whilst “just having a look” that we met Scout… Scout managed to lure us in under the guise of appearing to be a dog… A big dog but a dog nonetheless. He regaled us with tales of his excellent training, obedience skills and sitting abilities… In other words he wagged his tail and licked us… A LOT!

So now we had another dog… It wasn’t until we got home that we worked out that in fact Scout was actually only part puppy and mostly a mixture of dragon and wilder beast. He has an interesting loathing of all things shrub related and has a grand plan to rid the world of ALL shrubs. He similarly is in the process of actually eating our balcony, let’s pause and think about this for a minute shall we? HE SNACKS ON HARDWOOD!

Add to this that Scout is actually stupid. I don’t mean a little boof headed, I mean he makes a glass of water look like a computer! Most of his actions seem to resemble something from a cartoon. That being said, we love our new boof headed cartoon dog and he has worked his way into being a proper member of the Wuiske Asylum.

So now we’re simply getting ready for a fast approaching Christmas, we may have an interesting announcement for the Chrtistmas Adam’s Corner. But as always, we shall see how we go.


Posted in New Layout | Comments Off on Chapter 117 – 15/12/2018

Chapter 116 – 04/10/2018

Well things have been a bit hectic here on Planet Jandowae over the last few months. Bridget and I have been head down, bum up working quietly on our next items (usually this translates to Bridget doing things and me saying “are we there yet?”).

As a result, we now have 6 new products available to assist with all of our modelling,

Firstly, we have released some Modern Freight Buffers as well as some Early Freight Buffers. These are something we have been quietly working away on for some time. Not because they are a particularly difficult item to produce but because they are a difficult item to get right by compromising between dimensional accuracy, and an item that will work on everyone’s layout without needing to put a few scale miles between your wagons to make them couple.

The end result is an accurate model of the QR buffers but with the buffer stem slightly compressed (as they ran on the prototype) to ensure you don’t get buffer lock. These modern buffers are ideal for our QLX and QSC RTR wagons as a replacement for the supplied ones which require LARGE curves. As well as the CGL Models HWO open wagons which do not include the buffers. The earlier liveried VAK coal hoppers from SRM can also accept these without issue for those modelling the 1970’s. Aside from that, these buffers will suit ALL QR timber or steel wagons from the 1890’s through until the 1980’s.

The next item is our fine Air Hoses. These we have made as Left and Right handed hoses to ensure ALL freight wagons post 1920 can have these little gems added.

Whilst we’re at it, we have released a Combination Brake Cylinder set (the first of a few actually), These are the standard brake equipment for most 32 foot timber AND steel underframe wagons from 1947 onward. Wagons such as the H, HJ, HH, HS, K, KA, KSA, KB, KKB, HJS, PC, PTM, P–you get the idea, there are many, many more. These sets have been made to incorporate all the fine details that usually send one into a minor psychotic episode to make into one piece to bring our models to life without anyone needing their head plugged into the national grid or having to lay upon a tasteful leather couch and explain to a complete stranger how ALL their modelling woes can be traced back to our mothers not buying us 746 puppies for Christmas when we were 10.

Next, we have released the Drop Door Stops, these tiny, little gems have been produced after many years of screaming at styrene or brass strip that just wouldn’t sit where I wanted it. These door stops were used on ALL QR open wagons with drop down doors (such as the U, UR, H, HJ, HH, HJS, HS, HWA, HSA, F, FG, FGM, T, G (pre 1913), PH, DF, etc, etc… the list goes on and on and on etc. As well as the vast majority of cattle wagons like the IC, J (pre 1913), K, KA, KSA, KWA, KL, KLEX, Y, YK and again, the list continues.

Lastly, we have released the Wagon Weights. These small, metal weights have been made right here in Queensland and are designed to suit pretty much all wagons. They are 16 grams in weight and measure 20mm x 66mm, so you know they will fit in most vehicles.

On a sadder note, it is unfortunate that we have to announce that head of Buried sanity and long time Wuiske Models mascot Connie Dogs has passed away at age 13.

For those that knew Connie Dogs, they will know just how great a dog she truly was. A better mate a bloke could never ask for. Her company will be greatly missed by Bridget, myself and the kids. With her passing, the Wuiske Asylum has become a quieter and emptier place.

Her absence has been noted by her life long mortal enemy Cephor whom in the time I’ve been writing this has been keeping an eye over the spot in which Connie left us. No longer will she need to cast a loving spoonful on enmity at her mild mannered foe by swiping at her as she passed on the stairs, no longer will she be able to curl up on mine or Bridget’s laps to look down upon her obviously inferior house mate and purr with the sense of entitlement that can only come from looking down upon ones canine enemies. No longer shall she puff out her chest after having successfully eaten from Connie’s food bowl without receiving a nip on her ear, similarly, no longer will she have to watch over her shoulder whilst trying to steal Connies food whilst she wasn’t looking.

In her place we shall need to train the kids to start catching snakes an chasing motorcycles. Regrettably, we shall see how we go.

Posted in New Layout | Comments Off on Chapter 116 – 04/10/2018

Chapter 115 – 13/07/2018

Well after a lengthy delay, I have finally managed to get moving on weathering 1754D after we installed a sound unit in it last chapter. The first step was to apply a small amount of white artists acrylics with dry brushing to the body.

This was done to help mute the blue shading in areas where it would have faded the most. The other area was the logo which tended to fade to light outline.

 Once this was done and let to dry (for a month as it turned out), I masked the windows and sprayed the entire model with a very fine mist of white paint. In this case, I used Humbrol Matt White thinned with GP thinners. You can see the difference between this image and the previous one.

As I’ve mentioned previously, this is done to help blend the colours on the locomotive and to leave the white and blue looking far less stark. At the time this was done, I also gave the model a quick, light coat of Tamiya Flat Clear (TS-80).

The Flat Clear gives the surface some tooth for the powders to adhere to later on. Once this had dried, the next step was to start applying the powders. Firstly, I applied a small amount of AIM Dark Rust to the roof.

I did this in small patches along the roof. This helped to simulate how the roof is actually uneven on the prototype and rust develops on the flatter sections between the ribs supporting the roof. After this was done, I applied a small amount of AIM Dark Earth powders to the roof.

This helps to blend it all together and give the roof a worn look. At the same time, I added small amounts of Dark Rust to the exhaust and the center of the panels around this area. This was then muted with a small amount of Dark Earth.

Next I added small spots of Dark Rust to the edges of the top of the body and drew them down using a dry, flat brush. This helped to create little streaks and faint rusting. I also did this on the edges of the cab.

I applied Dark Earth to the bogie sideframes and the cable runs on the underframe. Most of this was blown off and then brushed in. This helped to highlight the detail on these parts.

The buffers received a small amount of Dark Rust which was rubbed in with a small, stiff brush next. Essentially this entire model was done using ONLY the two colours of powders. Another option would have been to apply either a black powder or a wash to the grills, which I still may do.

Once all of this was done, I re-masked the windows and gave the entire model another light coating of Matt White with the airbrush.

Next, I sprayed the entire model with Tamiya Matt Finish again to seal everything in place and to remove any unwanted shine.

This model still needs to have the wheels painted, but that aside it is pretty much finished. Overall, I am happy with this model. It was a pretty quick weathering job that took around about 2 hours to do.

As I’ve mentioned, I still need to paint the wheels on this locomotive to complete the model and possibly apply a light wash to the grills.

And of course, there is still two more units that need weathering also, 1728D and 1733D to complete my collection of blue Driver Only 1720s… for now.



As always though, we shall see how we go.

Posted in New Layout | Comments Off on Chapter 115 – 13/07/2018

Chapter 114 – 05/05/2018

Here we go again with yet another series of delusional rants from Planet Jandowae.
A small voice in my head (well a Bridget shaped voice in my right ear actually) has been telling me for some time that I need to “get my ****** **** ** ****** (censored for your benefit) *** **** ** ***** into gear and show the installation of a sound unit for a 1720”.

So after having come up with the idea to install one of these decoders all by myself, I have decided (without ANY influence at all) to show you step by step how I install the sound units in my 1720s.

The first step is to remove the shell from the locomotive.
This is done VERY quickly by simply undoing the two small Philips Head screws under the locomotive. They’re diagonally opposed from each other on either end of the fuel tank (the same as they are on all our locomotives). You may prefer to (in standard gauge you will have to) remove the sideframes from the bogies.

To remove the sideframes, just place a small flat bladed screwdriver behind the sideframe and gently press it out from the two mounting pins. Just place them to one side until you’ve installed your decoder.

The shell can then be removed from the locomotive. Keep in mind, this is a tight fit and should be removed slowly. DO NOT try to take the shell completely away from the chassis as it is still attached by two sets of three wires. These can be unclipped and this should be done carefully as they are very small clips.

Once this is done, it is simply a case of removing the dummy plug from the printed circuit board. Try to do this with even pressure or pry it up with a small flat head screwdriver.

Once the plug is removed, plug in your decoder. Please remember that ALL decoders use the orange wire as PIN 1. Pin 1 on the PCB can be located by a small white rectangle that is printed around the socket. There is a triangulated corner of this white rectangle… This is pin 1. So ensure the orange wire is plugging into pin 1.

If you’re just fitting a standard DCC decoder, this is all you need to do aside from poking the decoder inside the shell (above the lights wires on the hood end will keep everything in position) and reattach the shell to the chassis. If you’re fitting sound, keep reading.

When fitting the sound unit, you will notice that there is a pair of brown wires coming from the decoder. These are the wires for the speaker. If you look at the chassis, you will note a small indented section leading to the fuel tank on one side. This is where the wires feed through to the speaker enclosure.

The speaker enclosure is located inside the fuel tank. Under the model, you’ll see a flat speaker plate with holes in it (as well as some strange words such as “Wuiske” no one is really sure what these mean). This plate can be removed with a small flat screwdriver blade in one end of the tank.

Once you can see inside the tank, pass the two brown wires through the opening into the fuel tank and you’re ready to attach the speaker. DO NOT use the white (or black) baffle box that is included with the speaker as it is taller than the fuel tank (It’s a 1720, they’re small).

Carefully solder the wires to the speaker terminals. It does not matter which wire is soldered to which terminal. At this point, I usually place some Play-Doh in the bottom of the speaker enclosure before pressing the speaker inside. This will eliminate any negative sound from leaking…

Negative sound is where you have sound vibrations emanating from both sides of the speaker. If they meet, they cancel each other out. This will result in a very quiet sound that has little bass and sounds distorted.

Next I press the speaker into the Play-Doh. Ensuring the speaker is seated nicely inside the fuel tank, I can then refit the speaker plate to the fuel tank. Once this is done, simply reattach the shell and the locomotive is done.

The final step is to program the running number. Prior to this though, I suggest test running the locomotive with the default address of 03. This is done merely as a possible fault finding step later on if problems occur. But I will mention this in a minute.

Programming the running number is done in a number of different ways, depending on which DCC system you’re using on your layout. I have the Lenz system using LH-100 controllers and it is a simple case of placing the locomotive on the programming track and pressing button F (function), 8, then entering the running number and pressing ENTER. That being said, I nearly always program my locomotives using the Loksound Programmer which is mounted to the wall next to my computer.

I mentioned earlier “fault finding”. This is something I have learnt to do every step of the way. As a manufacturer, I get calls from people whom claim to have a “dud” locomotive. Nine times out of ten, it is actually the fitting of the decoder that has been done wrong and could have been avoided. So, here’s what I do for my own locomotive fleet.

First and foremost, I run the locomotives in using just DC. Running in is ESSENTIAL as these are a mechanical device and they have gears and bearings that need to bed in (just like with a car or motorcycle). I usually let mine run for about an hour in each direction at top speed. Then I knock them down to about half speed and allow them to run for a few hours in each direction. You’ll notice that this will remove any wobble and excess noise from the models.

This step also means that I can eliminate the locomotive being the issue if it does not work once I have installed the decoder. The next step is to run it with the decoder installed BEFORE I have programmed it. This means that if it has an issue once I have programmed it, then the fault lies with something I have changed by accident in the programmer.

One thing I do HIGHLY recommend is to turn off the DC function on your decoders. This can easily be done with the programmer but can also be done with the controller on your DCC system. I suggest this as I had a wiring fault on my layout a couple years ago that was burning out decoders. The fault was caused by the AC current coming from the DCC system being blocked and only a low voltage DC current getting through on one section of the layout.

As a result, the locomotive (only two locomotives did this too, the rest were fine) would go quiet and then crawl along as it was trying to switch from AC to DC and back constantly for a while. This killed two decoders on my layout and also took me a few months to find the cause of.

The end result, was I fitted a “Snubber” to the layout in each power district and the problem was solved. I would suggest looking up a DCC filter or Snubber on google and seeing what you come up with as this VERY cheap fix has saved me a lot of headaches and has meant that I swear a little less.

So with 1754D added to my fleet, she is ready for weathering. When I installed the decoder in this locomotive I also installed two others. So my 1720 fleet is now sitting at 6 locomotives. The goal is ten, not for any special reason except that when I was a kid, I said I would love to be able to have ten 1720s on my layout.
As always though, we shall see how we go.

Posted in New Layout | Comments Off on Chapter 114 – 05/05/2018

Chapter 113 – 10/04/2018

Now then, where was I at last time? Oh yes, I was showing off my personal fleet of models.
So here goes, in this chapter, I’ll show you the remaining six locomotives from my current roster.

As most of you know, I don’t add ANY locomotives to my layout until they have been weathered and had sound fitted to them. This simple rule for myself helps to motivate me to pull my finger out and get more work done… Well that’s the theory at least.


First up, 1557D.
This model has had no real weathering as yet. After adding the sound, I painted the wheels and gave it a very light mist of light grey, followed by Dullcoat.

This just blends the colours a bit and dulls the entire model down. I may look at adding more weathering to this model at some point, but for now, 1557D is happy on the layout and working hard… Even if it doesn’t show in it’s weathering.


Next up is 2410.
2410 was a locomotive I had put aside to weather and then Wade McLaren offered me his… So we did a swap.

Wade has removed one of the window panes on the driver’s side and has made this locomotive look as though it was gainfully employed in the coal fields for many years… JUST like the prototype was.

As with the blue liveried locos in my fleet, Wade has used white paint to fade the logo, almost out of existence.

1743D is up next. Like 1557D, this model has had very little done to it.
I removed the bogie sideframes and painted the wheel faces then gave the entire model a very light misting of light grey enamel paint and a quick coat of dullcoat to seal everything in.

I used the 3M Blue Painters Tape to mask the windows as always.
One lesson I have earned is that once the model has been dullcoated, remove the tape from the windows ASAP! Otherwise it will leave a gummy residue on the windows.

1755D is the next loco in the fleet. This model was begun with painting the wheels (as always) then had a light mist of grey and dullcoat added. The dullcoat not only gives you a nice matt finish but also provides some tooth for the weathering powders to adhere to.

I used photos from the Prototype Photos section of the site as a guide for weathering this model. If you ever get any residue from masking tape on windows, just use a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton wool bud to carefully remove it.

The sideframes were given a very light dusting with black powders on areas where the bogies would see grease and grime build up. The grills were given a very light application of dark brown powder (black stands out A LOT on the corporate livery).

Small patches of Dark Rust were applied with a small stiff brush to areas such as the corner of the cab and in other areas where rust develops. Again, I used the prototype photos as a reference here.

Next is 2402D. This model is my favourite 90 tonner thus far. As usual the weathering started off with a light mist of grey, painted wheel faces and dullcoat. From there, I applied white artist acrylics using dry brushing in a downward motion to give the logo a faded look.

I applied small patches of white to the roof of the long hood. These next had powders (dark rust) added and gave a nice halo effect to the rusted areas.

The white dry brushing was used on the cab sides and other areas of blue. This gave a very faded and battered look, just like the prototype.

I redid this part a couple times until I got the result I was happy with. A small cotton wool bud dipped in water was used to rub off the unwanted paint.

There were a few things I made mistakes on and ideas that didn’t turn out how I wanted on this model. One of the things I love about weathering is that you can always go back and change things.

The last locomotive in my fleet (so far) is 1741D.
This model was weathered using the same techniques as the others… ie wheels pained, light grey mist etc.

The dry brushing was again done on the blue sections as the prototype has white splashes on the paint there.

The roof was weathered using Dark Earth and Dark rust powders and these were worked into the dullcoated roof and the excess blown off.

There is a pattern to how the roofs weather on these locomotives. Usually the areas where a brace or some other section is welded beneath the roof remains relatively clean.

Getting the powders to leave a small semi straight line clean takes a bit of practice to get right. And then, once you get comfortable with being able to do it, you will make a mistake and have to redo it again… and again… then swear and repeat.

Overall, I am happy with my fleet of locomotives, thus far. But, I do need to add more locomotives to my fleet. Then again, I also need to continue weathering some more wagons. Those new HWO wagons need a bit of weathering too. I should really look at getting more done on my lights also.

Ahhh the list is never ending. Gotta love this hobby. I guess I’d better get a move on and tick some things from my list… Or I could just see how we go.

Posted in New Layout | Leave a comment

Chapter 112 – 03/02/2018


A lot of you have been commenting on the weathering of my personal models after the last few chapters.


After much thought, I decided to have a think, the result of my thinking of having a thought was that, as a thought, maybe, I think, I should put up some photos of my complete (thus far) locomotive fleet that resides on my layout.



Not a bad thought? I think I thought so too.



The first of the 1550 class that I added to my personal collection was 1558D.


I discovered that the 1550s never really got that weathered as Driver Only units due to being repainted not that long after the conversion.


This unit was given a light misting of grey (the light grey we used to paint the old freight wagon kits actually). This just dulled the blue and reduced the starkness of the overall colours and gave it a slightly bleached look.



1558D and 1570D were both weathered using this method and then had powders added.



Overall, these are not my favourite weathering jobs and my later ones are (in my opinion) far better.



I have all three of the corporate liveried 1550 class on the layout and the first one I weathered was 1572H.



1572H ended up being weathered more than I had initially intended.



I wanted to see how much weathering was needed to avoid the light shining through the cab roof, one of the problems with yellow locomotives.



The end result, I am actually pretty happy with.



The next locomotive I tackled was 2401D, the Bicentennial unit.


This one was a model I was genuinely worried I would not be happy with. The prototype never really got that dirty. The bogies and fuel tank got rather grotty but the body was kept fairly clean.


The next locomotive I will show in this chapter is 2414. This model was (again) dulled with a light mist of light grey, then dull coated.


From there, I painted the yellow air conditioner and began to dry brush the body with an eggshell white (really cheap artist paints were used for this).


I added a rust colour over the top of the white sections, to simulate rust. I also started applying powders at this point. Once I was happy with each layer, I dull coated the model to seal everything in.


As the 2400 class stayed in coal traffic longer than the 1550 class, they seemed to get a lot more fading of both the blue and the white sections as well as a darker colouring around the bogies and fuel tank.


1574H is the last locomotive I will show in this chapter. This unit was one I simply had to do as it spent much of it’s life in corporate livery with a blue air conditioner. So just as something different, I painted this and added a driver.


As you can see, the weathering is very mild. Again, it was dulled with the light grey and some VERY light applications of powders were made.


In the next chapter I will show the remaining locomotives in my fleet and may start showing some of the rollingstock I have running around the Wuiske Layout. As always though, we shall see how we go.


Posted in New Layout | Leave a comment