Welcome to New Zealand Rail 120, Lewis Holden's blog on modelling railways in New Zealand. I'm now modelling in 1:87 (HOn3.5). For NZR plans see the Plans page, or the NZ120 Facebook group.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

HLC coal containers part II

A while back I made up two of Darryl Palmer's HLC coal container kits in 1:64. They're pretty good kits but have sat abandoned on my workbench... I'll get around to painting them up to sell them off.

Meanwhile, I've knocked up this 3D model in 1:120 scale:

From Shapeways
No great detail I know...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

HWT Mk II containers in action

Found these pics in Rails while looking for something else (isn't that always the way?) the other day - they show the Mk II HWT containers being unloaded at the old Port of Whangarei back in 1997. The port and the service are sadly no more, but here's an idea of how the system of tipping containers worked:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hatuma Lime containers

Hatuma Lime has been a big user of rail since their works at Hatuma in the Hawke's Bay opened.

Hatuma's old logo, stolen from the interwebs.
These days they're using 20ft containers with removable canvass roofs - you can see a short rake of these containers on Google Maps. Some clearer pics below... but first two other shots. About 20 years ago Hatuma were using 1/2 size 20ft containers, cut in half, and mounted on PK class container wagons. Here's a pic from Rails magazine (remember them?) in the 1990s:

They also had this cool looking unloader thingee (and shed) in Marton. The unloader is still there but apparently it's not serviced by rail anymore, which is a shame.
Hatuma Lime unloader at Martin.
And now a more modern shot:

Modern containers being pushed into Hatuma's works.
Photograph copyright Kieran Chisnall.

...and another:
Shunting the PK wagons with lime containers at Hatuma.
Photograph copyright Kieran Chisnall.
Pretty straightforward design. Standard 20ft container without a roof. Here's what I've whipped up:

Will add this to the GT order I think...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

GT class car-carrying wagon II

I've received four Type 16 bogies from Trackgang Products for my IA wagons - more on that shortly. The GT class wagons used a smaller type of Type 16 bogies, but using a bit of modeller's license I'm sure no-one will notice. Forget I even mentioned it.

There's bogies on the plans...
Anyway, with the bogies I can get an idea of the little measurements that aren't on the drawings (e.g. the space the bogies have to move within the chassis) and complete the chassis design. The next problem is the couplers.

I'm not sure exactly how much clearance these things will need, so I'm going to leave a decent gap (5mm x 3mm) for a coupler to be added in. Coupler pockets are designed for Microtrains couplers. I'm yet to see how these will go around corners, I suspect they'll need a wide radius though.

Here's what the chassis and shell look like, rendered:
The chassis is a separate piece, as you can see it's upside down for printing. There are stands on the ends of the chassis (the round things) you'll need to cut off, and four pieces of the undergrubbins that are supporting the sides for the printing process.

Other than that it should (fingers crossed) just slide into the shell, which has supports already in it to fit the chassis.

Now to order a print...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Decal ideas - NZ Shipping Corporation

NZ Shipping Corp container in Victoria, Australia.
The NZ Shipping Corporation containers were a common feaure on container wagons from 1973 when the corporation was formed until the 1990s when the brand disappeared (the company lives on though as the "New Zealand Line Limited".)

Their logo, which looks suspiciously like the Air New Zealand koru (interestingly, it dates from about the same era - Air New Zealand started using the koru in 1973). Here's a clear pic of the logo from the NZ Line website:


Found this in my collection of pics... not sure who took it. Shipping Corporation was brought out by P&O in 1989...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

DSG 3249 in NZ120

DSG 3249 in the flesh. Note the white
patch where the NZ Rail logo used to be.
From NZR Rolling Stock Lists
The DSG class seems to be a natural choice for my first loco in NZ120. The heavy shunters have been around since the early '80s, and are solid performers. I chose 3249 because it was one of the first DSGs to have shunters refuges added (in 1994) and was of course New Zealand Rail branded until that unfortunate name change in late 1995.

I purchased a Shapeways body (available on Peter's store here) in Frosted Ultra-Detail or FUD. FUD is a vastly superior finish to what I've seen in the past with the "White Strong & Flexible" option. It's worth paying more for. The only criticism I've seen others make of FUD is that it's a bit "brittle" but I'm not sure why this is a problem for a loco body though.There are no moving parts after all.

Peter recommends using a RS3 chassis as it fits perfectly in the shell. After selling some more of my 1:64 models (some partially completed 56ft carriages) I purchased a Bachmann N scale RS3, with DCC from Model Train Stuff. Peter said the RS3 fits the DSG shell perfectly.

This is true but...

The RS3 I bought had a DCC board on top, meaning the Shapeways shell doesn't sit right:

So I'm not sure exactly what to do now. I can remove the side sills, but the bogie contacts connect to these. I could file down the top of the RS3 chassis (by about 3mm) and put insulation tape on the DCC board. This would be a pretty delicate job. Thoughts?