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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.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 3

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Thu, August 27, 2020 12:36:54

During the last three weeks or so columns and ‘cladding’ have been added to the front of the Bank. The ‘cladding’ is made of narrow strips of paper towel of the type you buy on rather larger commercial rolls. It took quite a long time to glue in place, but ended up with the right texture. The paint is acrylic and a home-made mix of white and ‘yellow ochre’.

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Wombat Creek Bank under construction

Spot the difference

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sun, August 09, 2020 13:05:17

I spotted a nice photo of Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, on the internet. After a make-over in Photoshop it came out like this:

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Queen Victoria Market, Wombat Creek

It will be positioned towards the very back of the layout, so was it really necessary to improve the front. The shadows give it depth already. Anyway I made a few extra copies, cut out the columns, glued them to 1.5 mm cardboard and finally glue them in place on the front. Spot the difference.

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Queen Victoria Markey, Wombat Creek

I think it was worth the effort.

The sidewalls will be extended and a proper roof added. It has to wait until the hard lock-down in Melbourne is over and I can purchase a board for the the background. The market is in front of a curved ‘corner’ making the back part of the roof some of a challenge to get right.

An update from Church Street

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Wed, August 05, 2020 21:45:03

An unexpected day off from work gave me the time to do the signs for the shopfronts in Church Street. By temporary removing St. Ursinus Church it is possible to do a photo of the entire row of shops.

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Church Street, Wombat Creek

From left to right you find:
An antiques store – it is in real shopfront somewhere in Melbourne
LJ Hooker Real Estate – perhaps not the only ‘hooker’ in the street!
TAB betting – Church Street is probably not as innocent as you may think
Church Street Spirits – well, it is after all Church Street
Town and Country Vet – an existing veterinarian clinic somewhere in Australia
Burke and Wills Surveyors – an unfortunate name for such a business (if you are not familiar with Australian history, they got lost whilst exploring the Outback)
Pet Shop – making sure the vet will stay in business
The Black Cat – perhaps another name could be ‘Gentlemen Club’. Definitely not related to the Pet Shop!
‘Shop to Let’ – honestly ran out of shop names. Anyway it appears pretty run down
The Toy Shop – you should be able to buy to model trains and trams somewhere
The Rug Shop – again a real shopfront from Melbourne
Sputnik – selling clothes for the young adults. The year is 1963 and the owner got inspired by the latest Space craze

I am still working on Queen Victoria Market located adjacent to the shops and of course the long-time project with the Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 2

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, August 04, 2020 20:13:42

During the weekend a team of bricklayers went to work at the Bank.

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Wombat Creek Bank under construction

In fact the bricks are printed on a photocopier and later glued on. Looks very ‘substantial’ for the time being, but I hope some ‘trimmings’ will enhance the look of the building.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 1

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sat, August 01, 2020 17:36:25

Until recently my main focus has been on the buildings in Church Street and the Market. The next task is putting up signs for the different shops and businesses. The signs are ready to be printed on 300 gr. paper, which I can’t do at home. Unfortunately the printer at my local Officeworks doesn’t work, so I have to wait finishing the buildings.

Instead I have put forward the construction of the Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange (for now on just called the bank!). It will be the most challenging construction so far and I don’t plan to see the finished building in the near future.

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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – parts of the facade

The walls are constructed out of 2 mm mount board. The first photo shows the parts making up the front of the building. Everything will be cut by hand, which has been time consuming, but the current lockdown here in Melbourne gives a lot of time at home!

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The facade of the Bank

The second photo illustrates the assembled front and end walls in its future position at the intersection between the Main Street and the Golden Mile. The proportion between the bank and the building to the right of the photo isn’t quite right, so the latter of the two may need to be repositions further back on the lay-out. Fortunately it is not a major challenge to move a 4 storey building in scale HO!

Quiet days in Wombat Creek

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sun, July 26, 2020 14:50:28

It has been quite a while since I have posted an update from Wombat Creek, but here is some news.

Even with two weeks of holidays the progress has been rather slow. Not due to lack of time, but because the tram room also serves as an office for my wife, how has to work from home due to COVID-19.

During the last few weeks the main focus has been on the shops along Church Street and the church itself. The shop-fronts are made from photos of real fronts from Melbourne streets. They have been through Photoshop to remove unwanted features like parked cars, tree branches and people. The depth of the houses varies from less than a centimetre to 5 cm. I still have to do awnings and signs.

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Church Street, Wombat Creek

The church is a second-hand Hornby model, which I purchased a while ago. I plan to change the colour of the walls and of course install the stained-glass windows. The railings are made from thin plastic card and green stem wire. I think they came out quite well.

Hopefully I will get more work done in the weeks to come. Who knows – we may unfortunately soon be under stricter lock-down here in Melbourne.

A day for celebrations in Wombat Creek

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sun, May 31, 2020 18:57:58

Saturday 30 May 2020 is a day to remember in Wombat Creek. The tracks on the new extension have been laid (and re-laid due to a curve being too tight) and wired. The circle line is now fully operational with up to three trams running at the same time.

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Littel Church Steet, Wombat Creek

The photo shows the single line along Lt. Church Street. The line was planned to run in front of the church, but resulted in a curve in Church Street being too tight. The curve was eased but one of my three identical (?) still derails negotiating the curve. A problem to solve at a later state.

The shop fronts are mock-ups of real shops from the streets of Melbourne. They have just been printed and glued to cardboard to give me an idea, how they fit in. Before a final print each shop front has to go through Photoshop to get rid of electric wires and poles in front of the shops.

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Temporary control panel

The control panel for the extension is a temporary fixture made from a take-away container! The tracks are still the original lay-out. The two unused holes are for the now re-positioned points into Little Church Street.

Inspecting the curves

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, May 19, 2020 16:01:25

The work on the extension of Wombat Creek Tramways is on its way. A couple of engineers are inspecting the latest track work at the intersection of Main Street and The Golden Mile. The four right angle crossings are working quite well, but the crossing just to the left and outside the view has caused some issues with older locomotives. The engineers also have some concerns with the curvature right before the points. The track geometry isn’t great.

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Track inspection

The reason for this is partly how Wombat Creek Tramways is constructed. The mayor of Wombat Creek, Alfred Campbell, decided with the help of his son David, editor of the W.C. Chronicle, the town needed a tramway. (The rest of the good people of Wombat Creek are too busy with their own businesses to care). To keep the costs down AC/DC decided to purchase tracks, points and rolling stock second-hand, if possible. So they bought a pair of points for a very good price, and as a result of this the Tramways got an unnecessary curve!

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