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Yesterday I went along to the Exhibition of Australian Model Railways 2007. This was an exclusively Australian model rail event but nevertheless was very interesting and had some excellent layouts and most of the big local manufacturers attended to show their latest models. It was almost like an Australian Nuremberg!

Austrains were showing off their CLP model which comes in several liveries.

http://homepage.idx.com.au/austrain/



Most of the layouts and manufacturers here focus on scratchbuilding and most of the layouts have hand made buildings and rolling stock.

First one was Mildura which is a Victorian country town in the outback. You can see that the buildings are all hand made.







Steam Era models make Australian outline kits including the streamlined S class and J class. The kits are made by DJH according to the information sheet.







The S class is a favourite of mine however the price tag is $650 for a kit! Just to put that into perspective it is a top of the line Brawa loco with sound or three Hornby steam pacifics. Hmm, it is very nice though.



SAR Model Company & BGB Models produce a large collection of freight and rolling stock kits, loco decals and Trailerail vehicles.



Elphinstone is another Victorian country scene. It features the aforementioned S Class.









Victorian N scale modular layout. Everything is scratchbuilt.





Mallee river is based on South Australia and is a nice desert scene.







Auscision models make very high quality precision models. I was very impressed with the quality of detail on this EL Class Diesel. http://www.auscisionmodels.com.au/



I wasn't aware of these guys before but I am very impressed with their product.



I had a look at Eureka models Beyer Garratt AD60. It does really look a good model. There are still a few available for those still thinking about this model.

They also had on display their latest model, the NSWR 620/720 2 car diesel in several colourful liveries. It also comes with optional sound. http://eurekamodels.com.au/



Broadford was another country desert type layout.





The best layout there in my opinion was Bolivia. This was based on a New South Wales country scene. The attention to detail on this was very good. The creators have really got the scenery spot on. The granite outcrops and the river scene were excellent.











I love the way the freight train snakes through the cutting. Fantastic.


I was trying to update the gallery with some of these pictures but there seems to be a problem doing this from my home computer so this may take a day or so when I am back at work.
 

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Hello neil

It looks fantastic. i think i would have liked that one!

Out of interest was there a price on that S class?

There was an australian layout at Ally Pally. but very little running on it though. there was really just a railcar and the odd diesel going up and down.

Could you fill us in a bit on the bits and pieces manufacturers?
What is available for the aussie modeller?

Are there loco kits apart from the DJH stuff?
What are the prices like?

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Peter, The S Class was $650 which is about 250 quid which is a bit steep I thought. I do love it though. Here is a link to Steam Era models. There was a guy scratchbuilding a brass O gauge one at the show. I wonder how much that would have cost?


There are a lot of bits and peices manufacturers who make various things like decals and kits. Some so small they don't have websites like Bills Billboards, Hobby Supply, Scaleways, Chucks Ballast.

Here is a list of suppliers who have websites with links.

Scratch building is a bigger thing here as,unlike UK USA and German outline you can't just buy everything off the shelf. There is a lot of stuff that isn't available at all. There are no ready built Aussie buildings that I am aware of. Some nice kits though.The Australian Model Railways Mag focuses on scratchbuilding articles and you can notice this in the layouts as they are all individual rather than having the same buildings.

I think DJH just makes the kits for Steam Era and A & R but Ozzie is the guy to ask about that. I do remember him saying that the A & R Garrat was the DJH one but was better value. Prices vary, A&R are better than Steam Era probably as they have a bigger market. More stuff is available as kits here. If you have a look at some of the links you'll see whats available. The Aussie $ is about 2.4 to the pound at the moment. So a dollar is roughly 40p. It is more expensive to model because of the smaller runs but there are some nice items which are worth getting.
 

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Hi Neil,

Thanks for those excellent pic's - any ideas what the blue diesel lurking in the back of the picture of Mildura is ? I had something similar years ago made by Triang. (As well as a HST in Aussie livery).

Some very nice looking items there as well.
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 9 Apr 2007, 08:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for those excellent pic's - any ideas what the blue diesel lurking in the back of the picture of Mildura is ? I had something similar years ago made by Triang.

It's a B class diesel in the classic Victorian Railways blue-and-gold. Basically a licence-built General Motors F3 with two "Bulldog" noses, squashed slightly and stretched over six axles to reduce the axle load, the first GM to have six traction motors. A fabulously successful design, most of the them are still running fifty-five years after they entered service (admittedly, most of the survivors were rebuilt in the 80s as the A class).

IIRC the old Triang model had only four axles and was OO scale as far as it was to any scale at all. Lima did a rather better one in HO and Auscision are working on no doubt much nicer As and Bs for release this year (promising 28 variations on a 26 locomotive class...)

I want more of them than I'll be able to afford.
 

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I went to the show today, and I'll agree that Bolivia was the standout despite being a model of that heathen prototype north of the border where they put the rails too close together (i.e. New South Wales standard gauge). My next favourite would be Mildura, which appealed to me amongst a *lot* of other Victorian HO roundy-roundy layouts; all were good but en masse they tended to blur together.
Distinctively different amongst the Victorians was Sunset Sidings, an elegantly simple point-to-point layout; though I didn't notice until I got home and read the show program that it had been built to real 18.3mm broad gauge, something most of us modelling 5'3" prototype wimp out on. I'd have liked to chat about the standards used for this (EM, I suspect, though it might have been an widened version of P87).
My only model buy was a Victorian Railways goods shed in HO, made in India by Redfern Models. A nice small one to fit on my planned little layout.

More generally, these are boom times for Australian modellers, at least those of us who model standard or broad gauge. The range of diesel RTR locomotives being produced in China for Powerline, Auscision, Austrains and Eureka is very good and they're beginning to move on steamers, although often you need to pre-order from the importer to get your hands on what can be limited production runs (for instance, the passenger liveried CLP at the top of this thread sold out before arrival in Australia). Only Powerline routinely supply to hobby shops. Things to run behind your nice new loco are less available RTR, and seem to be even more subject to rapid sellout of short production runs, though there are plenty of kits available to fill the gaps.
Some suppliers of kits and accessories feel that the current flood of RTR locos is sucking up all the cash that would otherwise be spent with them.
 

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Thanks for that information about the "Blue Thingy".

Interesting about the 18.83mm - so does that equate to 5'3" if you use 1 : 87 scale then ?
 

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I would like to have a go at an australian loco. a pretty victorian steamer.

Ask a silly question but if these loco's are in such demand, why are they doing such limited runs? it seems like nobody in australia is willing to bite the bullett and go into mass production. it looks like there is demand for it.

I too would be very interested to know how they went about modelling 5'3" prototypes. i want to do a couple of russian steamers (a P36 and a rissian FD) and the information might be usefull.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE Ask a silly question but if these loco's are in such demand, why are they doing such limited runs? it seems like nobody in australia is willing to bite the bullett and go into mass production. it looks like there is demand for it. I don't know, it could be to inflate the price or alternatively it could be they are unwilling to take risks. It's a real shame as I would love a strealined S Class or a Garratt but the current prices are excessive even for me!

Judging by the amount of people at these shows I think there is a fair sized market for Aussie outline. I think they could do bigger runs of items. There are some pretty good Aussie locos out there which are well worth looking at.

That book looks good Peter. There are some pretty good books on Aussie prototype most avalable only locally, but I'm sure some of the better ones will be available in the UK. Maybe Amazon or some of the specialists like Transport Diversions may have them.

If Auscision are doing one of these B Class diesels I might well be tempted.



Brian here is a link for more info. VR B Class

The only issue I had about Bolivia was the height. It was eye level for me so that would mean lots of kids and people in wheel chairs would not have been able to see it.
 

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.In steam days the barriers were fixed between the three main states NSW, Victoria and Queensland due to the differneces in guage, standard, broad and narrow so everything had to be transhipped at the break of guage stations, Albury in the south and Wallangarra in the north. I wasn't untill diesels came along that gaps were bridged andstandard guage trains could run into Victoria to Spencer St Station in the south and with the bridging of the Macleay esturay on the north pacific coast standard guage trains could run into Roma St station in Brisbane. It's the same for modelling but these are due to numbers. With only a small population of 20, 264.082 it equates in smal numbers of modellers in each state. Prior to about 1984 there was only one manufacturer of RTR and that was Lima. The did a mixed bag of HO scale, the predominant scale in Oz, models of NSW and Victorian diesels usually of the same type. To model anything else or steam you had to kit build or scratch build or buy brass models. These days with RTR on the rise we now have a few importers, I'll not call them manufacturers as it's all made in China, and with a still, small modelling population limited runs is the way to go. Take Trainorama. They started with only one diesel the NSW 44class, got people hooked then said were building this and a this and this. With a list of models a mile long the only way to sell and supposeidly finance there projects is to sell one lot of real quick to get the next one started and so on. The result is if your not real quick you miss out. While the quality of the models is excellent the quantity is not so if you do miss out and you really want one is to go on ebay and pay a grossly inflated price and I tend to think that the volumes of certain items appearing on ebay are coming from the original importer.

Ohh and Pedro if your thinking of getting an ARkits/ex Footplate garrett then get in quick as I hear the bussiness is up for sale due to the present owners ill health. A quick comparrison of the DJH UK supplied model and the AR kits one is really quite simple with the Oz one you get twin motors driving through NWSL gearboxes and supplied with the kit are wheels with RP25 profile and heaps of lost wax brass castings. With the UK kit is's a single motor drive, not sure of the gearbox and the price difference is huge.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 9 Apr 2007, 22:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would like to have a go at an australian loco. a pretty victorian steamer.

Ask a silly question but if these loco's are in such demand, why are they doing such limited runs? it seems like nobody in australia is willing to bite the bullett and go into mass production. it looks like there is demand for it.

I too would be very interested to know how they went about modelling 5'3" prototypes. i want to do a couple of russian steamers (a P36 and a rissian FD) and the information might be usefull.

Peter
 

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Super pix there Neil, nice to see that the standard of modelling "down under" is so high.

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (mikelhh @ 12 Apr 2007, 10:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks very much Neil for the report and the excellent photos. How I wish Queensland narrow gauge stuff was as readily available.

Mike
Thanks Mike, have you seen these guys Black Diamond models I wanted to find out a bit more about the Cairns tilt train but all I could find was a picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Neither did I until recently Mike. I found them on a list of suppliers and discovered their website as I was going through them. Some of their stuff looks good. If you find anymore on that Cairns tilt train let me know please.
 

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QUOTE (mikelhh @ 12 Apr 2007, 10:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks very much Neil for the report and the excellent photos. How I wish Queensland narrow gauge stuff was as readily available.
Mike

Do you think Mike that while broad gauge Victorians seem to accept H0 Queenslanders are split between H0 and the narrow gauges?
 
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