Apr 2013 25

The Postal Bureau of the Fraternal Republic of Utraijnia

The Postal Bureau of the Fraternal Republic of Utraijnia is Utrainia's public mail service. The have a long and proud history, stretching back to the founding of the country itself. To celebrate this fine establishment, our roving correspondent was tasked with following the daily mail run.

Post Master Alenski has been making the daily run for many decades and is a familiar face to all in Utrainia. Each day, the mail train stops at his small unassuming mail office and offloads the day's deliveries. His trusty station wagon is almost as old as his velocipede.

After sorting the mail, Alenski pushes out his velocipede and swings it onto the rails. These days he carries a small radio to let Train Control know when he is on his way, however he is so punctual that it is hardly necessary.

Read full post...
Mar 2013 6

A great way to end the day

After a week of overcast weather, it was with a happy heart that I saw some rays snaking into the office this afternoon. So after work I grabbed a quick dinner and camera in hand, headed off up the road.

As luck would have it, the regulars were there with a short manifest. I checked on the scanner and they were waiting to take possession of the next block, so I knew I'd have a good half hour or so of shooting. 

Read full post...
Feb 2013 26

Building lighting

It was going to be another long night, I could tell. The siding was being shunted tomorrow and we had a load of grain going out, so everyone was rushing to get the last of their harvests in today. Which of course meant another late night at the weigh bridge for me.

I'd run all the numbers and my radio serial (Drag Net) had finished, so I stepped outside for a breather. There was a warm breeze blowing and the crickets — or were they frogs — were loud, as usual. Sometimes I wonder if they ever sleep.

I wandered down the road a little and looked back up at elevator. It was quite a sight looming up there, flood lights over the loading bay. Tomorrow I'd probably have to climb out on the roof and inspect the cyclones. Off in the distance I cou...

Read full post...
Feb 2013 26

Sunset at the grain elevator

They say there is nothing better than Summer in Utrainia. I'm inclined to agree. Coming home one evening I saw some activity down at the grain elevator. I pulled off the road, grabbed my camera and went off to investigate.

Turns out the hot new kids in town were doing a spot of shunting, and the lighting was just perfect.

I clicked off a few shots and then headed for home. A friend in a chopper (a Robinson R22 I believe) forward this to me, I'm surprised I'm not in the shot!

Read full post...
Feb 2013 25

Static grass

Mid-west Utrainia is famed for its vast fields of waist-high grass, so naturally I had to model this. A recent innovation in model railway circles is static grass, and after some hunting and researching I set about making some of my own.

The grass fibre

First ingredient is static grass fibre, apparently a side-effect of textile manufacture. I got mine from ebay, from Aussie Scenics. I used their Wheat Fields, Late Harvest Brown, and Desert Scrub flavours. Since ordering they have come out with a new expanded range of dry looking colours which I am keen to try. Another source on ebay is War World Ltd, also on ebay.

The Grass Blaster

The other ingredient is a static grass machine. Mine is a home made one, based on a very simple circuit of power-pac...

Read full post...
Feb 2013 25

Power poles

When the Soviets build the Utrainian State Rail Road (USRR) they strung up a great network of communication lines to ensure operating orders were swiftly and efficiently delivered throughout the railway. Of course as the relentless march of technology progressed, two-way radio links mostly replaced the traditional analogue lines of past, however if you look hard enough there are still patches of the old lines standing.

To model this, I took some very ordinary Atlas N scale telephone poles. I chopped off the molded on bases and drilled a small 1mm hole into which I stuck a beheaded track pin. I then primed them with some spray can primer (good and quick).

Nice and straight? Notice original brown plastic underneath.

I stuck them in a lump of cork and went ove...

Read full post...