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Wombat Creek Tramways

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 new home for Chloe

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, April 13, 2021 12:30:01

I have commenced the construction of a new home for Chloe. I have abandoned the name ‘Young and Jackson’ for the hotel, so for the time being the hotel is unnamed. As of the 12th of April the building has come so far:

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A new hotel in Wombat Creek

The building material is cardboard with a few sticks on balsa wood. All 70 windows and doors are cut by hand. The green parts are green because I used green cardboard. Nothing to do with the final colour.

The original building and the inspiration for the build looks like this on a rainy Saturday morning in April 2021:

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Young & Jackson, April 2021

Since Wombat Creek is set in 1963 I have to go back in time to find the right colour for the walls, A search on the internet gave me some photos but unfortunately in black and white. Instead I turned to Warren Doubleday from Melbourne Tram Museum. He dug into the archives and in no time came up with the following photo:

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Young & Jackson, 1963
(photo: Peter Moses, 1963. Archive: Melbourne Tram Museum)

The walls are brown! Perhaps not the most inspiring colour. The window frames appear to be white. I intend to print the windows on transparent foil and in a printer ‘white’ equals ‘no colour’. Therefore I will need to change the colour. A few years later the window frames were brown as the walls, which is just too boring. I think I will go with a light grey.

Covered walkway along Myer

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, March 30, 2021 17:50:15

Work on the covered walkway (canopy) along the Myer department store has commenced. The columns are meat skewers with footings made of M4 ‘lock nuts’. The crossbeams are made of cardboard.

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Canopy along Myer

At the moment I am constructing the ‘rafters’, which will support the roof.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 17

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Fri, March 12, 2021 18:25:40
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Wombat Creek Bank under construction

The balustrades are up. They were easy to assemble with some tight fits on top of the columns. The roof area of the Bank is finished – at least for the time being.

My focus will now be drawn to street level. The two shops to the right of the stairs have to be finished. Canopies along Main Street and The Golden Mile are also on the drawing board.

Another pub for Wombat Creek

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sun, February 28, 2021 12:33:00

In real life Melbourne the intersection of Swanston Street and Flinders Street features two iconic buildings – Flinders Street Station and Young & Jackson Hotel. The station has already been resurrected in Wombat Creek as ‘Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange’, so time has come to the hotel.

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Young & Jackson Hotel

A recent five day lock-down in Victoria gave me time to make a mock-up of the hotel. With photos from the internet and some time with Photoshop I came up with a composite image of the buildings. The first version may have been true to scale but appeared too big compared to the surrounding buildings. The photo shows the second version which sits a bit better with the existing buildings. Due to space limitations the Wombat Creek version of Young & Jackson will not be an exact copy of the original but, hopefully, it will be recognisable. For the time being I have no schedule for the build. I will need to pay a visit to the original to investigate a few details – including the bar!

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 16

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, February 16, 2021 15:39:46

While waiting for the balustrades to arrive from England my attention has been on the road at the back of the bank. It will hardly be visible from a normal point of view, but I know it is there and it must look right.

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Behind the Bank

The area has been raised some 15 mm above the baseboard, which has caused a small issue with Myer’s display window. A few steps will connect the lower footpath to higher grounds. The surface of the road is made of fine sandpaper which looks quite real apart from the joints. Retaining walls will be built along the footpath next to Myer and in front of the vinegar factory. Why vinegar? It will give me a reason to model a famous sign (at least famous around Melbourne) of a skipping girl. Not sure how I make her skipping at night time. Neon lights in H0/00 scale are rare!

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 15

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, February 16, 2021 15:33:48

Life in Wombat Creek is pretty quiet at the moment. Recent work includes some ‘underground’ adventures. To make room for the basement of ‘City Hatters’ a crossbeam under the Bank has been moved 45 mm to the west.

The roof of the building is finished, finally. The central dome has been topped with a flagpole, which bring me to the following question:

How to model a flag?

A paper flag will look like – a paper flag on a stick!

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 14

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Thu, January 21, 2021 14:27:35
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Wombat Creek Bnk and Gold Exchange

The copper roofing has been finished with capping along the ridges, windows and ornaments. I still need to finish the roof with small spires and a flagpole.
The top of the facade will be finished with balustrades. Ordering pre-made ones from Britain is out of the question due to postage ($75+), so I need to come up with something else.

Myer is now open for business

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Mon, January 04, 2021 12:25:57
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Myer department store

I had hoped Myer (department store) would be ready for Boxing Day sales. Despite three days of intensive construction work on the site the extension of the original store front still lacked roofing and other features. Hopefully the store will be ready for a ‘grand’ opening in January 2021.

After a few more frantic days of work the roof is finished and signs and railings are up. A taxi rank in front of the store is ready for use – unfortunately the town’s only taxi is on route to Gum Nut Valley.

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Myer is open for business

As can be seen on the photo entering the department store will be a bit of a challenge due to the lack of a footpath near the revolving door, but I am sure that will not deter the customers getting to the good bargains.

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Myer, Wombat Creek

Deliveries to the department store are through the doors at the back. At the moment the sit high above the ground but that will be rectified at a later stage with an elevated back-road.

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