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.
Being in lock-down you need to do some therapeutic activities. I have learnt that one such activity is painting figures. The bar of Duncan & Fraser will soon be full of life. The photo shows the line-up ready to be installed inside the building.
Just to make it clear. The study waitress didn’t step into something ‘nasty’. She and the coffee-serving waiter are both temporary standing by the help of a small amount of blue-tack.
The arrival of 200 people in Wombat Creek yesterday made the proprietor of Duncan and Fraser very happy. He sees great business potential after the arrivals have undergone some dress-up (read painting), and fortunately the year in Wombat Creek is 1963 and not 2021. The real life hotel (Young & Jackson) has had a couple of Covid-19 cases and is – like the rest of Victoria – in lock-down again.
The proprietor of Duncan & Fraser is a happy man. Finally he has some income from the advertising on the front of the hotel. Hopefully he does not have to pay the electricity bill!
The first photo shows a birds-eye view of the hotel with all the beams securing the three big billboards along the roof-line.
The second photo is taken in daylight of sorts.
The third photo is taken at night time. The LEDs came with a battery box for three 1.5 V batteries, which gives a very bright light. To dim the light slightly I have replaced one battery with a metal screw (!).
As mentioned in an earlier post the proprietor of Duncan & Fraser has looked into an additional in come for the hotel. As a result parts of the facade has been covered in signs advertising diverse items and offers. The additional signs will be installed along the roof.
The lights are from a set of 100 micro LEDs brought from the local hardware a while ago. Today the price is $9.99 with includes a battery case and three batteries. The LEDs are in parallel, so it is quite easy to cut and re-solder the ‘chain’. The lights are very bright so I will run from only two batteries.
I have purchased a small video camera. It is attached temporary to one of my trams and I have done a test run around Wombat Creek. The outcome is not stunning. The camera struggles with focus on close-up objects, but how much can you expect with a price tag of $25?
The route around Wombat Creek is: Tram Barn – Main Street / Bank – St. Ursinus’ Church – Golden Mile / Duncan & Fraser – St. Ursinus’ Church – Main Street / Bank – War Memorial – Victoria Street – East Street / War Memorial – Main Street / Mug Punter Hotel – Main Street / Bank – Church Street – Victoria Lane – East Street / War Memorial – Main Street / Mug Punter Hotel – Tram Barn
So far visitors from overseas haven’t arrived to Wombat Creek and the hotel is not getting much of an income. The proprietor has to come up with an alternative and has his thoughts set on renting out spaces for advertising. Quite a few companies have responded to this option. It is just a matter of time before the neon lights go up.
In real life the Young & Jackson was almost covered in advertising. It all started in the 1920’s and continues to present times. Nowadays, though, the advertising is confirmed to the top of the building. I have studied quite a few photos from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Over the years the advertising has changed. Some signs stayed on for quite a while (e.g. the one advertising for Tasmania. Interestingly the word ‘Tasmania’ at some time changed to the informal ‘Tassie’) while others changed over time. My signs may not have been on the building at the same time, but they are a representative selection. A few signs have the wording changed to suit Wombat Creek and surroundings.