Jul 2014 26

Crossing safety

I've now finished the railway crossing over the crossover; for a long period of time this was a chasm of railway tracks that would swallow entire cars whole! However all good things must come to an end and so I have patched up the holes. Always fun trying to squeeze bits of road between moving turnout blades!

The crossing is just an elaborate collection of carefully trimmed pieces of balsa, painted and weathered with powders to match the rest of the road.

I've also taken the chance to install some cross-bucks. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, these days even the Federal Highway Administration have the exact dimensions of railway crossing signs online. Saved me having to visit a real railway I guess.

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Jul 2014 25

Back yard gardening

"but that can wait for the next rainy spell" I said...

Well the next rainy spell arrived pretty promptly, so with little delay I settled down and made a back yard garden for the little E.L. Moore cottage.

Raised vege gardens

When I off handedly mentioned building a vege garden, the matriarch very quickly handed down her specifications: two raised gardens, on the sunny side of the house, at least 1 foot off the ground. No wide than arm's length, with good walking space between them. While you're at it, I'd also like a glass house.

Well! Not one to argue I rummaged around under the house and found some suitable ship-lap styrene siding that had seen better days. A bit of cutting and sanding later and I had the framing made up. I filled up the boxes with some of my usual dirt mix (glue-plaster-paint) and then mixed in some horse & sheep manure from over the fence.

A bumper crop of cabbages were soon well on their way, along with some stalk...

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Jul 2014 20

Raparapa detailing

The weather here in the real Raparapa has been quite miserable lately, which has been a perfect excuse to do some detailing on Raparapa in our cosy lounge.


Rachel bought me some sheep for my birthday, although the clever model shop in Christchurch managed to send OO scale sheep, which are truly gigantic in N scale – not so much sheep, and more like wooly mammoths! Eventually after several phone calls and even a personal visit, they managed to get the correct size of sheep sent over from Britain.

Out of the packet they were very plastic looking, so I took some time to paint them up like real sheep.

I chose to paint them as "black and white sheep" and "regular grubby sheep", as researched while driving to Rachel's school.

I snipped them off the sp...

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Jun 2014 28

Raparapa station improvements

Things have been pretty busy here at Utrainia HQ, but the blog has been a bit neglected. Time to change that!

First update is to showcase the recent improvements to Raparapa Station, as part of the Raparapa Beautification Improvement Project. I started by painting the window panes white, which has nicely lightened the mood and made the windows seem a little less oppressive. Then I redid the roof, this time a light tan colour, heavily weathered.

Perhaps the coolest improvement are the window planters. These were made up from some weather board styrene siding, with some static grass "plants" added. The plants were quite fun to make. I took a sheet of tin foil and dabbed on some super glue in little lines. Then I attached the sheet to the negative output of my GrassBlaster 40...

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Mar 2014 5

An engaging build, part 5

Continued from part 4...

An important occasion requires a celebratory train, so two carriages were duly ordered and shipped over to Utrainia, months prior to "the occasion". The carriages were prepared in top secret, first with a coat of deep maroon paint, which unfortunately came out more brown than maroon. Then it was time to name the carriages.

First of all some guidelines were added to the carriage with some masking tape. Then the decal letters were cut out and put in a dish of water to soak for a minute:

Each letter is the...

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Jan 2014 12

Raparapa trackwork completed

Last time I talked about the Raparapa trackwork was back in November, when I posted a nice photo of the crossover I was building. Well since then much has been going on.

Soon after the trackwork had been constructed, the maintenance teams moved into Raparapa and quickly ripped out the old track.

It then sat like that for some time, as wedding planning took priority. However Rachel was a little dismayed that her beloved town of Raparapa no longer had a functioning railway station, and so time was found late in November to install the new trackwork.

First I cleaned out all the old ballast and carefully cut the rails to the right lengths:

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