Thursday 17 September 2009

AMRM October 2009

I received my latest issue of the Australian Model Railway Magazine (AMRM) today. The October issue is 72 pages in length with a hefty amount of advertising to keep the Australian economy (and the magazine) ticking over. I haven't read everything in the current issue as yet, although I have read in full the AMRM News section, Market Place, Reviews, and the featured layout.

I have every issue of AMRM from about the late 1970's when I bought my first copy at Micro Models in what was then, Hornsby Westfield Plaza. Micro Models is still in business, now as Hobbyland and on the Pacific Highway at Hornsby, under the management of Ian Radcliffe. I mention this because Ian and his son, Mathew, have some excellent models showcased in this latest issue of AMRM in the Gallery section. I should also add that I have a couple of Ian's excellent kits that he markets under the IDR brand (hey Ian, you need to update your blog!).

The featured layout in the October AMRM is a 1:48 scale (On2.5) freelance layout called Quart Pot Creek built by Geoff McMahon. The layout has some superb scenery (especially the trees), beautifully captured by the camera of John Dennis. John actually presented a clinic at the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention in Sydney earlier this year showing how he takes model railway photographs. From what I recall, he uses a simple compact camera but takes the same shot three or four times using different ranges of focus that he later "sews up" with a computer program (the name of which temporarily escapes me) to vastly improve the depth of field. The upshot is that John takes some superb model photos!

And also speaking of John Dennis, many years ago when he exhibited his Dutton Bay Tramway at the Sydney Model Railway Exhibition in Liverpool, we got into conversation about his model of the gypsum loading facility he had on his layout. John kindly later sent me photos of the prototype gypsum loading facilities at Kevin, South Australia - thank you John!

The October issue of AMRM continues the article about the Sydney suburban electric cars - this time on how to repower the motor bogie. The most interesting aspect of this series of articles is the use of battery power and radio control, something I was advocating a couple of years ago myself in the letters page of AMRM!

There's also an article (just skimmed the text so far) on building a laser cut trestle in N scale, looking a tad more realistic at completion than the following article on using old film canisters for bridge piers. Personally, I'd stick with the HO scale bridge piers from Uneek, available from Anton's Trains and other good hobby shops.

Bob Gallagher and Ben O'Malley look at loading pipes on the NSWGR TME flat wagon using the TME produced most recently by Austrains. The TME wagon is available ready-to-run from Austrains and Trainmaster, or in kit form from Casula Hobbies - ask Joe for the decals!

The rest of the magazine offers a variety of short articles, including Beyond the fence by Phil Jeffrey, and Ralph Holden's From the Superintendent's notebook. In this issue there is no Branchline Ramblings from Ron Cunningham who must be busy pacing the house waiting on the Eureka 38's to finally arrive from China! And he's not the only one; I have almost worn out the carpet and my 84 year-old dad has been losing his hair waiting in anticipation over the past five years!

Finally, good to see almost half-a-dozen letters in the Mailbag section.

Now, let's get back to the lounge and finishing off reading this latest issue of AMRM.

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