Sunday, February 19, 2017

Creative Juices Have Been Piqued


The week didn’t start off too well for me, as I was home crook on Monday.  What better medicine than to sit at the kitchen table and build another 11 gates for my 40’ container flats.  Later that afternoon, I was cutting up the old flyscreen that I removed from my front screen door and making 99 sheets of HO scale reinforcing.  These sheets of reinforcing are about 20’ x 8’ in size.  These will be destined for various loads on some of my 40’ container flats. 

On Tuesday this week I ventured up the road to Lefty’s place.  We had a good rollup and we all spent quite some time trying to get Lefty motivated to lay some more track on his bottom deck and then venture into building his helix up to the top deck which does have track on it.

On Friday night, four of us ventured over to Brendan’s place for a Friday Travelling Modelling Group get together.  Brendan put on some very nice BBQ snags on bread with cheese, onions and a selection of sauces, and with us all bringing our own flavour of liquid poison, it was a good night.  We then hit his modelling table and we were all working on many different projects.  I was the first to go for the night, and I think Darren ended up staying the night, with the theory being that Geoff was to give Grover a lift home. 

My main modelling project for the night was the raised platform on which the signalman stood to perform the staff exchange.  My platform is destined for my Glenapp Loop.  I was also discussing a project with Darren that I am keen to implement on my layout.  Along the back of Cassino station, I plan to model and install all the houses that back onto the railway line.  In one of those houses, I plan to put a couple of the 20’ x 8’ sheets of steel reo to use.  I intent to have a mini scene in one of the houses, where a new driveway is in the process of being built, with the driveway all boxed up with wooden boxing in place, and the reo being installed.  There would of course be a pile of dirt where the dirt from the driveway had been dug out to, and also a pile of gravel and sand and of course a model cement mixer.  I’ll also need a couple of wheel barrows and some helpful scale HO mates about to assist.  I’m just trying to work out what house will be getting this upgrade.

Yesterday was supposed to be our Operating Session at Anthony’s place.  I believe there was a good representation there, but alas I could not go.  While I thought my son had an afternoon cricket game from about 2-5, we were surprised that he had a very early game from 7:30 – 9:55am.  We ran slightly overtime, but they recorded a very big win – 4/161 to about 7/83.  Kyle was 6n .o. at the end of the innings and took 1-8 from his two overs.  He could have had more wickets if two LBWs were given and if the guy at fine leg caught a sitter which ended up going through him for 4 runs.  His team played very well.  What made this early start a shock to the system, it was at the farthest ground from home.  So we left at about 6:20am on a Saturday - my sleep in day.  While the day was sort of developing for a surprise appearance at Anthony’s, my daughter had a party at attend in the afternoon, so I would have been leaving Anthony's early to get home to stay with Kyle as the boss took my daughter to her party.  The day was also the local NMRA meeting at Eddie’s place, and I would have liked to attend that as well.  Sometimes things just don't go your way.

Today after doing the mowing, some tree trimming and the gutters on one side of the shed, I went down to the shed to do some running.  Yes, I decided to give my Brisbane Limited consist a run from Grafton Yard until South Brisbane Interstate.  The train has only made it to Clapham Yard and few things have caused this.  When the train was approaching Clapham Yard, one of the Auscision sleeper wagons derailed on my dual gauge diverging track.  I think one bogie has under gauge wheels.  I will check this out in the future.  When the train was leaving Clapham Yard, the locos jumped a bit as they went over the point allowing for locos to diverge into Loco Pilly.  Upon inspection, I discovered that the point motor actuator, was sticking though the point too far and hitting the bottom of the bogies on my 80 class locos.  So out with the dremel tool and the actuator was shortened by about 1mm.  The locos now seem to run through this now.

When I parked the train in Clapham Yard, it brought back memories of a few things that I have not completed in this yard.  I need to install two sets of points at the northern end of the yard.  So I must buy one more point to complete this.  So I will be trying to get around to this over the next few weeks at a local Buy and Sell or I might see what a local hobby shop has on sale.  Now this observing, also reminded me that I also needed to buy a couple of 12mm points to finish off the narrow gauge yard.  This is a longer term plan.  This will allow a couple of narrow gauge dead end sidings to be installed.  But while thinking, I discovered that if I could put a HO set of standard gauge points at the southern end of the yard, and by slewing the narrow gauge track slightly, I could obtain a small loco storage road for my standard gauge locos.  Upon further contemplation, If I used one of my existing dual gauge diverter tracks, and used another 12 mm set of points, this locos storage track could be dual gauge.  But I will need to move my existing southern yard entry back by about 12 inches at least.  Now this thinking thing, is pretty dangerous!  I was now contemplating moving the southern yard entry down a few more inches and then I could reroute the narrow gauge entry a bit earlier and make a couple of narrow gauge dead end sidings at the same time.  To accomplish all this i will have to do a bit of cut and bash on the baseboard.  I am looking at adding a new baseboard piece to the existing baseboard, supported somehow and thus allowing all these changes to occur.  The creative juices are really starting to flow at the moment.  They are all costing me more money as I need to purchase about 6 sets of points now.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Heat Up Here!


This week I saw my Auscision car carriers arrive.  I had to pick them up from the local Post Office yesterday morning as my wife was out on Friday when the courier was trying to make the delivery.  My delivery of 4 packets get split amongst 4 people, with various sets divided up according to people's requirements.  So I have already put one of the Motorail wagons into my Brisbane Limited set and the other will go to into the Gold Coast Motorail Express.  I think I will need to introduce a new train into the timetable that departs from Acacia Ridge and heads to Grafton and returns about 12 hours later.  That way I can add some more carriages to this train.

On Friday, the whole of my son’s Saturday school cricket competition had their matches cancelled due to the temperatures expected, so that gave me an opportunity to ventured across to the Banyo Library and went to a presentation arranged by the Local MERG group.  Visiting Scot, Davy Dick, who is out here on his yearly house swap gave a presentation on adding sound to a layout.  The presentation was very informative it has got me thinking about adding sound to my layout through the use of various small recording devices, with local speakers.  There were 5 current Club members and one past member as well in attendance who decided to attend this air-conditioned library meeting room instead of to the hot clubrooms - as it was our monthly meeting day.  It was good to talk to some of the people there, and boy did it make me feel small in the electronics space after listening to these guys talk.  I wonder if I can download some sort of plug in like you can for a browser to get me up to speed in this space?  My brain hurts!

Today with the outside temperature even greater than yesterday, after a small shed stint in the morning playing with JMRI before I posted some questions on the JMRI Yahoo group, I decided remain in the air-conditioned house to build up another 10 sets of gates for a 40 foot container. I used a combination of 0.035” evergreen styrene rod and 0.025” evergreen styrene rod for these gates.   I think they have come up quite good.  They currently need painting.  That might be a task for next weekend.

With all this heat, I can’t get motivated to head down to the shed and do much there.  I still have a huge list of things to do to finish off some projects as well as a stack more new projects on the 'to do list' that I could start.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Trying to Finish Some Projects


I’ve been kept quite busy this week.  On Tuesday evening I ventured up the road to Shelton’s place for our fortnightly get together.  Shelton has done some fine tuning to his layout and the changes are looking good.  It proves that some small scenic items can actually lift a layout by a huge amount.  Shelton has some fencing near a couple of oil sidings and these looked really good.

On Friday night this week I went to our local hobby shop – Simon Says Hobbies and Games for the usual first Friday of the month get together for the modellers.  Initially I was working on my gas refuelling structure.  Following that I spent some time drilling holes into one of my 40’ container flats so I could put 5 gates on each side. 

Yesterday was spent at my son’s cricket match which they lost on the last ball of the second last over, but they played quite well.  Today I got down the shed early, but only did a small amount of spray painting.  Firstly I painted some Tulle grey and then sprayed 5 container flats and 11 gates the same colour.  It was quite hot in the shed, so I adjourned back up stairs.

Later this afternoon I attached the tulle to my hen house gate and then some more tulle to the four walls of the hen house.  Yes I still need to make the nesting box.  I then ventured back to the shed and fired up the Raspberry Pi and proceeded to do some testing of the fast clock and it syncing to the NCE fast clock.  What I have not done is look at the code, but there must be some dodgy code written around that function.  I will post some comment on the jmri group later in an attempt to get someone to look at the code.

The Gas Loading rig.  This supplies a water quenching facility around the gas tanker.  The two pieces of styrene at right angles to the structure are there to keep the two sides the correct distance apart until they are glued onto the layout and covered in scenic material.

My hen house is starting to take shape.  Yes it needs some nesting boxes to provide cover to the hens.

The almost completed 40foot caged container flat.  I need to put a cage on the left hand end.  All the side gates are removable.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Running Session Photos from Bill Dunn's Layout


A while back now I promised to publish a few photos of a Running Day at Bill Dunn’s layout in Maleny from the 15th of January this year.  I did eventually get the photos off my phone and put them on a USB key.  But where was the stick?  I found it and here they are:-





















Sunday, January 29, 2017

Can't be Bothered with Modelling


So school is back and I had three days off last week.  Monday I took my son to school and Tuesday my daughter.  I was the resident pack horse/chauffer.  My son also had cricket trials on Tuesday afternoon, so I had to take his cricket kit to trials where I met him.  But in between times on Monday I completed the gates for my 40' container flat that I was working on last weekend.

Yes, school cricket season is now here and I have lost all model railway enthusiasm.  Saturday I had to take my son to cricket in the arvo and today with a special activities day at the school oval with various 'A' teams playing other year levels and the 1st's playing the old boys and the 2nd's playing the teachers, we went out for a look and catch up with a few people I know.  So there has been no time for modelling this weekend.

During the week, I have walked past a few projects that are sitting on the table, I stop and look at them, and then keep walking, I just can't get motivated to do any further work on them.  I did however, get enthused by one of my mates posting his progress of his working on an LPG tank setup for the Club layout.  I asked for dimensions of the kit and he sent them through this arvo.  I will look at scratchbuilding one tank out of conduit and then come up with some sort of rounded end.  This will be added to my LPG unloading facility that I will build at Lismore.

I also did some more testing of the NCE fastclock on Thursday.  In the setup we are configuring the NCE fastclock to be master to JMRI and basically it just does not work.  I returned the borrowed raspberry-pi and micro-SD card to my JMRI subcontractor - Greg on Friday, when I went to fire up a copy of his micro-SD card in my raspberry-Pi on Saturday morning it would not work.  Doh!  You would not have guessed that I work in IT?  I’m gonna have to get his micro-SD card back to copy it again.  Bugger!  So that put a severe dent in enthusiasm.

This Friday our local hobby shop is having another modelling night.  So I intend on going and working further on my LPG unloading facility.  I will post some photos of progress next weekend.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Working on Container Flats


Last week at the club, a member asked me to make up a dozen 40’ container flats for him.  So last Thursday arvo I went over to my local hobby shop and purchased some styrene shapes.  I had quite a few flats already made up.  I purchased one packets of 2mm channel which I put on the sides of my container flat bases and various size styrene rod packets.  So today I made up five more bases from the packet of channel.  I have half made one end of one base with another 4 single ends to go.  I'm not sure if I will make double ended caged containers.  I decided to get stuck into making up a fully caged/gated flat, so started towards making the 10 side gates needed.  I have completed four and I have made up another 7 gate frames.  I just need to add in the wire uprights in each gate later tonight while watching the cricket on TV.  What I don't finish tonight I will complete over the next two days.

Basically it will take me almost 2 half packets of different sized styrene rod to make up a single 40’ gated flat.  I did not realise there was so much involved.

Yesterday Darren, Geoff, Brendan and myself were joined by Iain at Anthony’s for his first operating session of the year.  It was great.  I did not derail too many wagons while shunting Nankiva when using the single slip points.  The crew were able to put the 4 wheel wagons back on the track and continue operation without advising Control.  The biggest stack of the day was by the layout owner when his train ran through the yard against some points and end up with a few wagons in the dirt.  Once the calamity was spread over social media, the TW’s came from everywhere to get a photo of the situation.  One may even by posted here if someone sends me a photo.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I've Been Doing a Bit of Travelling


Not much has been occurring on the layout this week.  I have spent some time with pen on paper thinking about a couple of detail items to make for the layout, but no actual modelling.

Saturday this week I ventured over to the Clubrooms for our first meeting for the year.  Boy it was Hot!  By 3:30pm everyone had left so the ex-Prez and myself shut up the Clubrooms and locked the gate and left for the afternoon.  We used to have people sitting around until after 5:00pm.  Maybe the heat had something to do with it?  While at the Club I received an order for a dozen 40 foot container flats.  That will give me something to do over the next few weeks.  But first of all I will need to buy some more styrene from the local hobby shop.  I think I have about 6 already made.  I will use this opportunity to build a fully caged 40' container and see how much effort it requires to build it all from styrene rod.

Today I was met by Darren, Ken and Arthur out the front of my place at 7:30am and I drove up to Maleny to visit Bill Dunn’s layout for a running session.  We met up with Peter who was already up there and was staying for a couple of days and three other local modellers.  I had a great time.  The layout runs well and every loco has sound.  There is an immense number of powered points from various lever frames and I continue to see small scenes as I move around the layout.  I took a few mental notes and I will try and build some similar scenes on my layout.  They say imitation is the best form of flattery.  I took quite a few photos but my phone is not letting me connect to it to download them.  I will try again at work tomorrow.  Maybe I can post some later this week.

We also brought Peter back home to Brisbane with us this arvo and went through a ripper of a storm on the highway.  I then gave Peter and Ken their first look at the layout.  I think Peter started shaking his head and was worried he would not be able to sleep tonight as he would be going through the layout operation in his head.

Tuesday Nighters this week is at my place.  Hopefully it will be fine and not as hot as it has been.