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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.

The Tram Barn is almost finished

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Fri, July 12, 2019 16:45:36

The barn is almost finished and up and running. Compared to the original
there is a few adaptations and compromises (sounds better than
‘mistakes’). The barn needs bit of weathering to remove the shine of
the corrugated iron panels. Rust will be added to show some ageing.

(Large photo)

(Large photo)



Update on the tram barn

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, July 09, 2019 17:40:22

A couple of pics to show
the progress with the tram barn. Putting the rafters together was a
bit ‘fiddly’ but I think, they came up all right.

(Large photo)

I have no idea how the
double-decker tram turned up in Wombat Creek. The only Australian
city with double-deckers was Hobart, but they didn’t look like this
one. Well, the tram is used to make sure, it is possible to run a
double-decker tram into the middle road of the barn.

(Large photo)



The Tram Barn

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sat, July 06, 2019 17:39:33

2 weeks of holidays enables me to start on a major project at Wombat Creek Tramways. This time it is the long waited tram barn at the depot. The ‘foundations’ and the floor were put in place a long time ago. Now I have the time and materials to erect the building.

(Large photo)

The model is inspired by the former Victorian Railways’ tram depot in Elwood. Between 1906 and 1959 VR operated a broad gauge tram line between St. Kilda railway station and Brighton Beach railway station (VR also ran standard gauge trams between Sandringham to Black Rock and Beaumaris). In March 1907 a fire destroyed the barn and the entire fleet, but both the barn and the fleet were rebuilt later the same year. To read more about the Victorian Railways’ tram lines go to http://www.hawthorntramdepot.org.au/papers/vrtram.htm

The new barn in Elwood was clad in corrugated iron and featured some very distinctive inward leaning windows, which will be the main feature of my model.

(Archive: Melbourne Tram Museum)

In real life you will attach the wall to the already placed posts and beams, but I have taken a different approach. I have put the walls together, cut out openings for the windows and attached the posts and beams to the finished wall. Instead of working from the inside and out, I have worked from the outside and in!

(Large photo)

All the posts are slightly longer than the walls allowing them to stick into pre-drilled holes in the foundation. Which allows me to move the building from the layout – giving me easy access to the building itself and the interior.

So far walls and windows are finished. Since the ends of the barn will be quite open for glances of the interior I have modelled the window frames on both sides with the help of a white paint marker straight onto clear plastic. It works quite well.

(Large photo)
(Large photo)

Next step is the rafters and the roof. This time I will do it the ‘proper’ way around – first getting the rafters up and later lay the roof.

What has happened to the fibro houses? Well, literally the are both in the shadow of the barn! But both houses are progressing well. Whilst I am waiting for paint or glue to dry on the barn I work on the houses. They are both under roof and just need gutters, downpipes and supports under the carports.



Wall paper for model houses

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Thu, June 20, 2019 17:36:34

The construction of the fibro houses is slowly progressing. One of the features of the houses is the rather larger windows allowing a lot of light into the interior. Unfortunately the windows also allow you to have a good squeeze into the houses!

I usually don’t model the interior of the buildings with the exception of shop windows, which are fully decorated. In the case of the fibro houses I find it necessary to put up wall paper in the lounge rooms and hall ways.

So I have been on the internet to find good pictures of 1960’s designed wall paper, curtains and doors, They have all been through Photoshop before being printer on ordinary paper. The outcome is visible in the photo.

(Large photo)



Slow progress

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Thu, June 13, 2019 19:32:35

The
photo shows the slow progress on the fibro houses. The walls have
been painted in colours close to the ones in the add. The green is a
little darker, though. The window frames are cut from a white 0.4 mm
styrene sheet.

(Large photo)



Two new houses in East Street

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Thu, May 30, 2019 18:05:53

Two
new houses are been constructed along the East Street. The are
designed as ‘fibro-houses’, which later will infamously known for the
use of asbestos cement as a wall material. I have adapted the history
behind the designs from the following website:
http://architecturebulletin.com.au/autumn-2015/a-home-for-every-taste-the-nsw-small-homes-service/

The
Small Homes Service was instigated in Victoria by Robin Boyd and The
Age newspaper in 1947 and later introduced in NSW. The Sydney Morning
Herald and Home Beautiful lobbied to establish a service along
similar lines to that established in Victoria. In New South Wales
building costs had doubled between 1939 and 1946 and building
materials were very hard to get. There was up to a two-year wait for
bricks in some areas with no brickworks.

In
September 1952, designs from the Victorian service were published in
the Sun Herald. The aim was to raise the standard of home design.
Designs were in brick (S/B), brick veneer (S/BV) and timber (S/T).
The total number of designs in September 1956 was about 40.

It
was among the timber house series that the more modern designs could
be found. Despite considerable effort by Bunning to promote modern
architecture the public seemed to prefer the more conservative
designs.

While
the New South Wales service overall may not have been viewed as a
success, the regular publishing of designs had an impact. The
combined living-dining area ‒ initially the result of the need, in
the late forties and early fifties, to plan houses in a compact
manner to meet official size restrictions ‒ became widely accepted.
Living areas opened onto paved terraces. Designs contributed to the
idea of informal living for which Australia is now known
internationally.

The
designs of the two houses in Wombat Creek are S/T 632 and S/T 663. I
found the designs on a website from
https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/post-war-sydney-home-plans-1945-1959
.
The picture shows an original advertisement from 1956. The designs
may be compact but they still take up a fair part of the to ‘blocks
of land’ next the tramway depot.

Instead
of using the infamous fibre-cement ‘Durabestos’ I will use cardboard
as the main building material. I will try to keep to the colour
scheme as seen in the advertisement. So far the walls have been cut
and glued together. Next steps are to glue thin strips of paper over
the ‘gaps’ along the walls and to apply some coats of paints.

(Large photo)



The Depot Starter on his way to update the run-in board

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Thu, May 16, 2019 17:42:55

The tracks or roads in the
depot are assigned a road number. The depot in Wombat Creek has five
roads, numbered from 1 to 5. 1 to 3 is in the main depot, 4 and 5 are
assigned to the tracks next to and in the old depot.

The run-in board is used
by the Depot Starter – who is responsible for managing tram
operations at the depot – to show arriving crews which road to
berth their tram on, by writing the tram number under the appropriate
road number. If a tram number didn’t appear on the run-in board, the
driver would stop on the entry track, and go into the Depot Starter’s
office and ask where to berth the tram.

This is important, as
different roads have different purposes. Only roads 1 and 3 have
maintenance pits, where the pit-man can perform basic maintenance
such as adjusting brakes. The Depot Starter will ensure trams needing
maintenance are place on run-in on road 1 or 3. The run-in board is
also a key tool used by the Depot Starter to position trams ready for
next day’s operations.

The run-in board is
modelled from the board from the Hawthorn Depot, Melbourne. Today the
depot houses around 20 vintage trams and is managed by the Melbourne
Tram Museum. The Wombat Creek run-in board only has tram numbers for
roads 1, 2, and 3 since it doesn’t really make sense to list trams
for roads 4 and 5, which are approached through a different set of
points.

(Large photo)



W.C. Chronicle No. 4

W.C. Chronicle Posted on Sat, May 04, 2019 17:51:42

The Seekers at the Mug Punter Hotel.

Click on the link and read the article:



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