Kingsvale, NSW 1963

Kingsvale, NSW 1963
A view of Kingsvale station, looking north towards Cowra c1963. Courtesy Ken Ames, "From Grease to Gold Braid".

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


No blog entries for a while, but I'm pleased to say this does not imply no modelling!  I've had a few things on the go and with no uni this month, I've made fair progress, particularly with the landscaping at the northern approach to the yard.

2 July:

Plaster cloth has been layed over the polystyrene form.  Plaster has been added over this to strengthen the structure and to (visually) break up the surface.  The plaster has been roughly sanded to knock off any sharp edges and shapes in the plaster that make it look like plaster, rather than earthworks.

Some Woodland Scenics washes have been added to the plaster, though I was experimenting here.  In hindsight, I think the best use of this technique is for exposed rock.  Underneath flock, gravel, soil etc acrylic paint is more effective.  The access road to the yard is plain in this view.

This is the reverse view of the angle above, looking towards the station.

Here is the loading bank, a Sydney Hobbies polyurethane casting.

19 July:
After adding flock and various Chuck's Ballast dusts, I was not happy with the colouring.  It was far too brown, whereas the dirt road in this area are usually a yellow ochre colour, but quite pale.  So I experimented with yellow oxide and plaster which worked quite well.  It was a bit too yellow, particularly after spraying it with adhesive, and afterwards the surface was much too textured to look realistic.  I knocked this down by sanding with 240 grit paper.  This has been quite effective.  The underlying dried plaster created some white dust which gives a more realistic colour, as you can see above.  One thing I have learnt about landscaping is how forgiving it is.  You can't undo much, but you can just keep laying down more layers until it looks right.

There are two areas which I have patched because the ground was un-prototypically uneven.  They have not been coloured as yet.  Overall, I reckon it's looking ok.  It should look much better when I've added some scrub, blackberries and static grass.

Looking along the road into the yard.

3803 is an unusual visitor to Kings Vale.  Don't tell anyone.

 On the other side of the line I've layed some cork to show the low point of the terrain, where there is a creek running beneath the yard.  Beyond that is a flat area where the Fettlers Shed and rail rack will be.  While researching this structure, I came across Jim Longworth's excellent Bulletin article from 1999, "A Desktop History of the Gang Sheds of the NSWGR", and Kim Armstrong's article in Branchline Modeller 1.

I have chosen to do the ballasting last, the way it happens in reality. 

Here is a great photo of Kingsvale, which I estimate to be about 1970.  Indications are that gang sheds were not painted until this period, so my shed will be plain galvanised iron.

Until next time



  1. Nice progress James!

    3803 at Demondrille, "don't tell anyone", LOL! It doesn't matter if everyone is quiet, the Detail Police have you under surveillance! (There is also a 'bung' in the mail for that 'poley up a hook' (RU coupled to hook drawgeared CW) ;)
    You are quite right about the difficulty of capturing the soil colour, it is a devilishly difficult shade to reproduce. I haphazardly mix a lot of white into my yellow ochre when painting the ground.
    That photo of 5597 at Kingsvale couldn't be as late as 1970, 5597 was long withdrawn by then and I would have noticed if a 55 came to town! If I remember correctly 5597 left Cowra in 1965/66, so it had to be before then. I think there were a couple of big tours on the line in 1965/66, but I can't indentify which one this one actually was.

    1. Thanks, James. I will re-marshall my train!

      If you're correct, and I assume you are, then this contradicts the information in one of the articles that "gang sheds" were unpainted until the 70's. Do you have an opinion on this? Could the shed have been this colour as far back as the 50s?

  2. By the way, the loading bank wasn't constructed until about 1963 and it is the reverse configuration of what was at Kingsvale - the lower level was at the northern end. So I have used a bit of modeller's licence to (a) have a loading bank and (b) use a kit that was in my box of goodies for convenience.

  3. This isn't the first gang shed I have seen painted in photos taken prior to 1970! Also, it is painted in medium stone, which the railways stopped using around 1954, so I suspect it has been painted for some time...

  4. James,

    The latest Train Hobby Book on NSW Country Branchlines No.5 deals with the Blayney to Cowra section of the cross country line and the Eugowra Branch in Part 1 of I assume to be a 2 part volume that will include south to Demondrille and the Grenfell Branch. But no doubt your probably already aware of this.

    There are several great pictures of Carcoar (pages 8, 11 and 12) that show a Gang Shed at the Down end of the station (between the Station and the Stockyards) that is painted, in what I assume to be the same colour as the Kingsvale example you have shown.

    The pictures are dated 1965, 1962 and 1964 respectively.

    Hope this helps


    Tom R.

  5. Thanks, Tom. Yes I'm looking forward to Volume 2. Thanks for directing me to the picture of Carcoar's shed. I'll check it out.


  6. Very NICE. It's such fun to watch as nature evolves with a bit of help and hard work!
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