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28th April, 2013 – Brisbane Model Train Show / ALY & Xplorer Update /Weathering Competion


Join us on face book at

Brisbane Model Train Show  – Doomben Racecourse NEXT WEEKEND

 Saturday 4th May – Sunday 5th May

Southern Rail Models, PGC Scale Models & Black Diamond Models will be at the Brisbane Model Train Show next weekend and located at STAND 31, LEVEL 1, HALL 2 SATCHEL.  Saturday 9am – 5pm, Sunday 9am – 4pm.

The Exhibition is an opportunity to catch up with our many customers & friends. We will have samples of the soon arriving ALY steel louver Van, NSW Xplorer & Endeavour sets and NSW Overhead Stanchions as well as stock of our QR – VAK/VGK hopper wagons ( some of these are almost sold out ) NSW NTAF Rail Tank Wagons, NDHF Concrete Sleeper Wagons and U BOATS.

Hopefully, we might have samples of the generic fuel depot along with details of the QR – “OLO” Rail Tank Wagons to be released later in the year.

QR – ‘ALY’ Steel Louver Vans

A little disappointing that we will not have stock of the wagons for the show. However samples will be on display as well as comprehensive details of the decorated models. I am also pleased to advise that full production commences this week with an expected time into Australia around the beginning of June.


                          “ALY” PRE DELIVERY PRICE $175.00 + FREE POSTAGE PER SET OF 4 WAGONS





Xplorer & Endeavours

The remaining painted samples arrived a few weeks ago. A major correction was required for the State Rail Endeavous as the colour of the window band was not right. After much consultation with many advisors, agreement was eventually determined on the correct colour and minor corrections made on some of the other versions.

Unfortunately this caused a further delay in production but I am pleased to advise that production is well under way and again we are hoping for a Pre Epping Exhibition delivery late May.

Generic Fuel Depot

Production of the Fuel Depot was also commenced some time ago & we are expecting painted but undecorated samples to arrive in the coming week in time for Brisbane Show (keep your fingers crossed). These samples are primarily to test the packaging of the models to ensure that they arrive at their final destination (you the customer) & survive Australia Post in one piece.

NSW Overhead Stanchions.

Production is almost complete and we have a ship date of 7th May and an ETA into Australia of 18th May. Blister pack samples were recently received which was also to test out the packaging etc. These samples were reviewed by a colleague who reported

I have reviewed the 3 packs of stanchions.

  • The card pack is good
  • The vacuum formed plastic cover is a good fit and the stand offs do their job well
  • The stanchions look good and are well constructed
  • The casting for the base fits neatly onto the vertical post
  • The size of the units is correct
  • The spacing of the wires for the catenary are correct for Marklin and Sommerfeldt catenary
  • The detail of the insulators is good.”


Vic Rail Tank Wagons

The Xplorers, Vic Rail Tank Cars and Vlocities are all being produced by the same factory. This is one of the better factories that we have encountered and contracted to but it is also one of the smallest with a limited production capacity to handle all their international customers with only two production lines. We have virtually tied up one assembly line with our projects (most of the time) and the other is reserved for all their other clients. It follows that if one project is running behind schedule as the Xplorers are that the ensuing projects will also be behind schedule. These delays cause Southern Rail issues with their release date as it is obvious that it is to our benefit to release projects at relevant Exhibitions such as Brisbane Exhibition for the QR “ALY”.

Once the Xplorers have been shipped the Vic Rail Tank Cars will follow & are now scheduled for release at the Caulfield Exhibition in August if all goes according to schedule. The Vlocities will follow but at this time a definite date cannot be given.

We can only apologise for these delays. Once we have contracted to a factory we will not shift the project elsewhere and delays have to be accepted. Our delays are generally months, not years. To counter such problems we now have several trusted factories managing our projects. In the future, this will enable us to better manage delivery dates of future projects.


Apologies to all and certainly the winners that this blog is a bit long and that I have the left the results of the Weathering Competition until last. Overall, the quality of the entries was very good but there weren’t as many entries as expected.

First prize of $300.00 + replacement model goes to Harley McAlister.

It is my understanding from Harley that this is the first time he has attempted any weathering. Harley was innovative & constructed a small diorama of Caltex wagon NTAF 3345 on the blocks as it was being prepared for a re-paint into the Ampol Red/Blue & grey scheme in 1997. Good job Harley, congratulations


2nd prize of $200.00 + replacement model goes to Dean Bradley

Dean is well known in modelling circles for his weathering techniques, quality of finish and expertise. The judges were not disappointed in the example also of NTAF 3345 (originally CSR1). Congratulations Dean on a great effort.


Both first & second prizes capture the essence of the prototype as illustrated in photos in Howard Armstrong’s Collection & by Graham Baker

3rd prize of $100.00 + replacement wagon goes to Paul Baker

Paul is also known in modelling circles. The judges considered the weathering on the model was very representative of that which would have occurred on the majority of prototypes over a good number of years of service. Congratulations also Paul.

The Directors of Southern Rail would like to thank all of the entrants in the competition and extend congratulations to the winners