Wombat Creek is a H0 (1:87) scale model of a fictional town situated somewhere in the Victorian Goldfields, Australia.
The time is 1963. Geelong wins the VFL Championship against Hawthorn (109– 60). John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. ValentinaTeresjkova is the first woman in Space. The men behind The Great Train Robbery get £2.6 million from a Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London. The town consists of several buildings. The “Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange” is a prominent building in the town centre. You will also find several other commercial buildings; among them the daily newspaper“W.C. Chronicle”(colloquial known as the "Toilet Paper") and “Wombat Creek Brewing Company” (Famous for the “Wombat Bitter”). “The Big Nugget Gold Mine” is situated at the Western outskirts of town near the small Chinatown. The War Memorial is in a small park along East Street. The town’s mayor Alfred Campbell together with his son David Campbell owns several businesses, including the bank, the pub and the newspaper. AC/DC basically run the town and make most decisions on behalf of the rest of Wombat Creek’s residents, who, on the other hand, are too busy with their own businesses. The mayor’s latest initiative is Wombat Creek Tramways. Wombat Creek doesn’t really need a tram system, but AC reckons tramways will improve the town’s reputation. Partly because of limited funds the tramways' construction and rolling stock depend heavily on second-hand requirements from other Australian and overseas tramways.
A happy trio are leaving the Hobby shop. Dad is carrying their newest purchase. The Tri-ang train set R4A consists of a Princess Victoria locomotive, two BR coaches, tracks and a battery operated controller.
The Pedal Place appears to be fully stocked inside, but it is a little wonder they haven’t utilised the space in front of the shop to show off their newest bicycles. Maybe later!
The regal is a Metcalfe construction in the background, but still needs a few details added. Instead of ‘cinema’ it now states the name of the musical Wildcat. The posters at the entrance have been replaced with appropriate versions. Some ‘cut-outs’ on the balcony could draw in crowds as well.
The area between the Royal Arcade and Chinatown still creates a challenge. It is quite narrow, so the building will be very low relief. A public bath and a RSL building are both on the drawing board.
From a bird’s eye view Wombat Creek looks like this
The roof has now got some support and looks like this
The photo is obvious not ‘in-situ’, but shows how far the gate and background buildings have evolved. The ‘cobblestones’ warps a bit hence the gap under the buildings. Once in place the cobblestones will be glued down and everything should look all good – I hope.
The shops still need some signage, but the sign above the gate says it all. If you live in Adelaide, you may recognise the gate and be able to translate the sign.
The corner of the awning has been fixed and the signs are in place. In fact, the gate and shops are in their proper place in Wombat Creek. Being Wombat Creek the Chinese lions have got a twist!
Recently I have spend some time modelling around the back corner of the layout. As seen on the photo it is a fair distance from the normal viewing point.
A closer look as seen by the phone’s camera (apologise for the somewhat blurry photos), reveals a couple of customers at the market blocking the view of the interior. The interior is just a photo of the main ‘arcade’ of the real market in Melbourne. To the right of the market a small alley branches off the main street. Unfortunate the shop front of ‘Rogers Diamond Emporium’ can’t been seen, but the arrow with the diamonds points potential customers to the shop. The sign on the wall of McPhee’s Fine Antiques’ advertises an Aussie stable, ‘Vegemite’. Greatly overrated in my opinion! The ‘One Way’ sign is a result an investigation into 1960s road signs.
The alley is very narrow but the forced perspective works quite well. The front of the Emporium drops 2mm towards the back and the hight of the rear shops is approx. 20 mm less than the Antiques shop.
The last photo is a close-up of McPhee’s Fine Antiques and LJ Hooker Real Estate. The awnings do stick out but the rest of the buildings are complete flat!
This build is a bit different. I have made a roof without having something to put under it! And the shape – it is quite unusual for Wombat Creek.
As the composite photo shows, I started with a rectangular base. I used OpenOffice Draw to make a template for the supports. The four corner ones are ‘elongated’ versions of the regular side supports.
Next step was adding strips of 350 gr paper to the supports. By adding the paper as strips overlapping each other I get a ‘stepped’ look of the final roof (like roof tiles slightly overlapping each other).
The tiles are corrugated plastic strips. I did look into buying ready made roof tiles ‘Spanish style’ but I fund the price including postage too high. Instead I used some left-over sheets. The capping tiles along the ridges are tiny pieces of 50 gr paper.
Finally I painted the roof with ‘burnt umber’ with a small amount of red to give the tiles the appearance of yellow terracotta tiles.
Time consuming but fun to make the this Chinese inspired roof. Of course I have an idea of what will be under the roof, but it has to wait until shops are open again. I need some additional supplies.
For a confined spot next to the Regal I wanted a building (or rather a facade) which was rather short and at the same time with some features. After some investigations on the internet I found the Elizabeth Street entrance of The Royal Arcade in Melbourne. Short and distinctive. It came up quite well with only one ‘mistake’. I glued ‘1901’ above the wrong set of windows!
The Mechanics Institute to the right looks out of place. It is less than 10 mm thick and designed to fit in along the curve, but I think it needs to be replaced with a two or three storey building.
At the moment the newly laid track is just leading to the abyss (read edge of the layout). It will eventually be part of a loop around the gold mine and join the main line again at the intersection near the Bank. I had to do the track before I could proceed with the footpath (pavement) around the Regal Theatre.