Sunday, December 9, 2018

RMCQ Christmas Modelling Competition


So the week started with a delivery of my Southern Model Railways 2300 Class loco arriving in the mail on Monday.  On the same day I also received an order of ten push buttons from an Ebay seller.  Later during the week I also received another package from the postman for an NCE QSnap that I ordered from Sydney at a very good price.  

On Tuesday night we all went to Lefty’s place for our Tuesday Nighter's meeting and I showed off my 2300.  I had to take my own length of 12mm track (actually it was a Tillig dual gauge piece of track) and two alligator clips so I could power my narrow gauge track from his HO track.  Arthur had also received two 2300’s on Monday and he had posted a couple of photos on his blog on Monday.

I am particularly impressed with the horn on the 2300s.  I think it must be the best horn I have ever heard on a model.

Saturday was the date for our annual modelling competition at the Club.  There was a couple of very nice models in attendance.  There was a fantastic large scale wagon entered that had drop down sides.  The sides even had a locking pin that could be put through the catch.  Absolutely amazing.  There was also a very nice O scale train with advertising on the side.  I believe that the winning entry was the narrow gauge shay on the back of standard gauge wagon.  One member who had quite a few entries in the competition, could not turn up at the last minute.  But all up there was plenty of entries.

Below are a few shots of the entries.
The Innisfail Tramway Guards Van

Narrow gauge Shay

Small Diorama

Weathered NSW ballast wagon with a removable load.

Weathered NSW Paper Van.

Two QR narrow gauge graffitied and weathered coal wagons with removable load.

Weathered Narrow Gauge WHO with a load of wire bar.

Weathered NSW Banana wagon.

Weathered QR tautliner wagon.

Old O Scale Brisbane Tram

N Scale dump track.

58 Class Loco

Diorama with lots of Arduino controlled flashing lights.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

I'm in Trouble


Last Friday I received an email from Australia Post advising that my 2300 class loco from Southern Rail Models is due to arrive on Tuesday this week.  I also was advised that something which was ordered from another shop in Sydney was being posted out.  I ordered that item last Saturday and it was on the way on Friday.  So I can expect the postman to be busy next week at my place.  No official word as yet as to when my RUB set will appear, or my Railbus for that matter.

On Saturday I also attended the Beenleigh Model Railway Exhibition, and while there had a very productive time.  I ran into Simon from my local hobby shop, Simon Says Hobbies and Games.  He had a demo layout brought along to talk about accessory decoder control on the layout.  It created a lot of interest and I know of a few guys who did not know about his shop, will be heading over that way over the next few weeks for a look see.  George from Aurora Trains was also there with his shop.  He advised that the set of Tillig Dual gauge points on back order were on the water coming from overseas and should be here is a couple of weeks.  Hmmm.  Decision time, do I rip out what I had already installed, and relay everything with the Tillig track work.  I might investigate that next weekend when I’m on holidays.

There was also Col with his second hand shop doing what seemed like a roaring trade.  There was also Don from the northside, and Jim from J&J.  However, the main reason I went there was to pick up another 1720 loco and decoder from Adam at Wuiske Models for my 12mm track.  Shhh!  Don’t tell the wife.  I’ll be in the dog house – again.  I thought that I’d been pretty good lately and thought I deserved do give myself a present.  Once home, I took off the shell and installed the decoder.  All in well under 5 minutes.  Gave it a new DCC address and let it do a few runs up and down the track.  While I was in the mood, I took my other 1720 apart and rotated the decoder about in it.  Low and behold, the lights now work.  Some dork, namely me, installed the 8 pin decoder backwards.  At least both 1720 now work with lights and movement.  I just need to save up for next year’s May exhibition and pick up another 1720 class loco from Adam.

Last night I went down to the shed as there was nothing on TV and decided that today I would relay the entry into Rocklea Sidings.  This area was not giving me any confidence that it would continue to operate without issues.  So this morning, I went to the shed, put the Women’s T20 cricket on the TV, turned the fan on and went to work.  The baseboard was extended about 15 inches towards Clapham yard.  The track taken up, and the narrow gauge point into Rocklea Sidings was moved about 500mm towards Clapham Yard.  A Tillig third rail changing track, was installed in lieu of my home built one.  The track was then joined back up and the standard gauge trains tested from Clapham Yard to Rocklea Yard and also through on the mainline and in both directions.  I then tested a narrow gauge train from Clapham Yard to and from the Rocklea Sidings and on the mainline.  Again I just got a feeling that everything was running much better.  Now the point motor controlling entry into the narrow gauge sidings was moved and the wires controlling and powering it were extended.  All seem good with this change. The question still is, do I replace my doctored standard gauge point into Rocklea Siding or use the Tillig one that is on order.  Some more contemplation is required here. 
This shows the entry to Rocklea Sidings.  The left most point is the dual gauge track with a standard gauge entry to the yard.  The point on the right, is the narrow gauge entry to the yard.  Standard gauge and narrow gauge rollingstock is seen in the sidings.

The after shot,  The narrow gauge siding entry was moved about 500mm towards Clapham Yard.  Everything seems to run better through this area now.

After Lunch, I started working on a few tidy up tasks. I added weight to two of the calcium tankers in the standard gauge sidings in Rocklea Sidings.  One also had the traditional AR Kits bogie plug replaced with a screw.  I then found my half finished WOAX open wagon and added some decals to it.  I then added some weight to centre sill of two AR Kits NOCY wagons.  

Next Saturday is the Club’s modelling competition, and I have everything ready to take over to the shed.  I also have a plan to start getting some models to work on ready for my holidays later in December.  I think I’m going to work on the Cassino Station building, but also some Milk containers that I’ve had a couple of years wagons and not done anything with them.  So I need to get stuck into building these milk containers.  I also have a 400 Class railmotor kit, that I need to put together.  This might also get a start.  I intend that I will complete the two NOCY kits over the Christmas Holidays.  So these will be put together and painted and readied for maybe disposal at a Buy and Sell next year, if they can’t fit into my roster somewhere.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sidings and Yards


So Friday produced an early arvo from work, and so I went down to the shed and soldered the missing jumpers onto the rails near the points into the Rocklea Sidings area.  So no issues found, and the narrow gauge and standard gauge trains, ran back and forth good enough over the new track work.  But I must clean the standard gauge point.  I also found that my dual gauge crossing inside Rocklea Sidings was not working for the narrow gauge trains.  So I will put that onto the 'To Do' task list for later in the weekend.  One thing I did do though, was to adjust the height of an SDS Calcium Oxide wagon, which had a rather low coupling at one end.  So that is now fixed.  I also had some issues with the narrow gauge tracks in Acacia Ridge Yard seeming to being dead as well.  Another task for later in the weekend.

On Saturday I ordered another QSnap to allow me to power up the future narrow gauge points in Fisherman Islands Yard that I will install over my Christmas holidays.  I also ordered some push buttons and SPDT switches on evil bay for the control panels for these sets of points.  I realised that I need another Peco point motor to be purchased firstly, before I install the two extra narrow gauge sidings.  I was contemplating making the two narrow gauge sidings about 4 to 5 foot longer.  So that will require another 2 or 3 lengths of narrow gauge flex track to be put onto the shopping list as well.  I have already cut some extra ply lengths for the baseboard.  Again a task for the future.

I then had a bit of a clean up of my modelling desk and then installed a working incinerator onto my diorama module for the upcoming modelling competition in 2 weeks time at the Club.  A bit of extra vegetation will probably be installed next week to finalise this module.

Today I went down to the shed and sorted out the power feeds into Acacia Ridge Yard.  It seems that a lot of the power into this area, is via jumpers from track to track.  These are not fed via the track bus.  I had a track joiner feeding one rail and then the rest of the tracks in the yard fed off the first rail.  Not a very clever situation.  I will eventually rectify this, but I did fix up the dodge track fishplate and now power has been restored.  

Just before a small storm hit this arvo, I added the extra wood to the baseboard to allow lengthening of the two future narrow gauge sidings.  I also started installing the new control panel for the southern end of Fisherman Islands Yard that will control the new narrow gauge tracks.  The northern end of this yard, will be added to an existing panel a few meters up the peninsular.  

I will soon start printing out the photos that I have taken and collected of the Casino Station building, so my Cassino Station building can be kit based from three AMRI NSW station buildings.  I am hoping that these dismantled kits and some standard brick sheets will be enough to build a near enough replica.  I hope to really get stuck in over the Christmas break.  But I think it will take me most of the upcoming year to complete this model.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dual Gauge Point


This weekend we had a family Christmas Party complete with Santa arriving on a motorbike with presents on the Saturday afternoon/evening.  It was a great evening.  But before then I was able to get down to the shed and started putting my modelling competition entries together for 3 weeks time.  I found a few more items that I could enter into the competition.  The models I am entering are all sitting on the front two tracks of Acacia Ridge Yard.  I might do some little bits of titivating over the next two weekends as I await the get together at the Club.  I did do a few bits of weathering yesterday to enhance the models slightly.  I did a couple more bits again today, by adding some more weathering, this time to the roofs of the models.

I was also starting to think that I might have to start scratchbuilding a dual gauge point that I need for my standard gauge entry into Rocklea Sidings, as there seems to be no news about when the importer can source a left hand standard gauge point from Tillig.  This is very frustrating.  Either the Importer is incompetent or Tillig must be winding down their business.  It has been about 3 months now.  So yesterday I drew up some rough sketches of the dual gauge point I need, with the third rail on either side of the standard gauge through line.

I then went searching through my many bits and pieces of offcut points that I have in my scrap box.  I did find a couple of suitable samples that could be used for a basis of kitbashing these into a dual gauge point for Rocklea Sidings.

So today after lunch when I was just about to wander down to the shed and started looking at the dual gauge point, I searched another location in the study where I have some point building stuff stashed.  I found a broken left hand Peco medium radius point.  Hmmmm?  So I fixed this one up with styrene glue but mounting it on a styrene base, and then used super glue to keep the rails in the chairs.  I can't believe I still keep finding sets of points around - although partly broken.

Not more than one hour later, and I had a reasonable dual gauge point., and narrow gauge and standard gauge bogies ran through without problems.  So I then jumped up onto the top deck of the layout and removed the track and found out that the kitbashed point fitted in beautifully into the geometry.  So I then joined the track up to the standard gauge sidings.  I pushed three wagons through the trackwork quite a few times, and there were many issues.  So as I removed the old track, I think I moved the geometry into the existing narrow gauge sidings.  I then connected up the main line towards Acacia Ridge Yard and did a bit more testing on that route as well.  But after a lot more trial and error, and pushing various wagons through the trackwork, it now looks like the mainline works well for both narrow and standard gauge movements in both directions, and the two tracks into Rocklea Siding, the narrow gauge track and the standard gauge track also both work well.  

Well, I think I now no longer need the dual gauge point from Tillig.  So that is over $80 saved in my budget.  So that might bring forward the installation of the first extra siding in Fisherman Islands.  This will cost over $90 for the required track to install, and another $90 for more track for the second siding.  This could be a good job for the Christmas break.

However, next weekend, I will re-solder the feeders back on to the track around Rocklea Siding, after I removed four of them when removing the old trackwork, and then I will run both standard gauge and narrow gauge trains on the mainline in both directions via DCC, and then run trains into and out of the sidings.  I also have to install the point motor on the dual gauge point, and then that whole section of track will be complete.  Just 12 months ago, that section was not even a figment of my imagination.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Inspiration and Then Weathering and Loads


On Tuesday night this week, we ventured over to Bob’s place for our regular meeting.  It was a good turn up and we were treated to some fantastic progress on Mosquito Creek.  This layout already had a very nice terminus section with some perway sidings and other industries already installed.  Last time we visited we got to see the fantastically scratch built bridge that spans over Mosquito Creek.  This bridge just looks like a typical Queensland Railways bridge that spans a flood plain where the bridge dips down in the middle.  When Bob runs a loco over it, even a very light QR Silver bullet (2000 class) Railmotor you can even hear the creaks and groans of the old timber beams under the weight of the train.

This visit was no exception with even more progress.  Holy Crap!  I have never seen mangroves modelled before.  The creek that leads past the wharf area, and which will be the main town location (most probably started on our next visit), then runs off into a small creek.  The mangroves along the banks of the creek were fantastic.  I could even small the mud at low tide.  I'm sure a saw a crab or two out of the corner of my eye.  It was one of the model brilliant modelling efforts of any sort of water way that I have ever seen.  I think all in attendance that night were just blown away.  Further up the creek, there is boat ramp and a small camping ground.  The detail is just phenomenal.  I think people were having night mares when thinking of the quality of Bob’s work.

I viewed this layout just when I could not get motivated to do anything down in the train shed except sit down and vegetate or maybe just walk around with a can of cold ale.  This inspirations visit to Bob's place, followed by hearing that I have an article in the next AMRM along with another Tuesday Nighter, and that started to get the modelling juices flowing again.  We then found out that Arthur had sent down an article about loads for open wagons and we have seen his finished product, that he is talking about.  More inspirations!

This Friday afternoon, I went down to the shed and decided to glue some coal dust onto three more styrene loads.  That was completed and that was it.  I think that was the sum of my modelling efforts for the whole week that I had a home following some surgery on Monday evening to remove a few BCCs around my face.  I did look like some horror movie character with the bandages on my face for a few days.  Now you can hardly see where the dissolvable stitches were placed.

Saturday was RMCQ meeting day.  I had a good time talking to my mates over there.  I have decided to run a modelling session in maybe February next year at the Club, where we will make various removable loads for either coal wagons or ballast wagons.  We could even do some wood chip wagons for the US modellers if they are interested.  Maybe we can do some Iron Ore loads, as I saw quite a few of these wagons running around on the Club layout yesterday.  I will call for expressions of interest and numbers of each type of wagon.  I will source all the products required and we will put them together on the day and attendees will pay just a couple of dollars for the expendables used for each wagon load.  We don’t care if the wagons are HO or N scale.  We will try and get the members into doing some actual modelling.  At the Club meeting, it was resolved that the Annual RMCQ Modelling competition will be on the Saturday in December.  While the RMCQ Christmas party will be on the Sunday.  So what this means is that I need to create a few items for the modelling competition.  So last night I started to make a list of potential items that I can create over the next month for the modelling competition.

So this arvo I went down to the shed and did some weathering.  Firstly I added some graffiti decals to two of my four narrow gauge coal wagons.  I then weathered all four narrow gauge coal wagons.  While at it, I decided to weather another four narrow gauge wagons.  I did this to one WHO open wagon, two taughtliners and one QLX louvre van.  I think they came up pretty well.  The next task for me was to try and make some 4x4 weathered timbers for stowing in my WHO wagons.  While at it, I decided to try and make some wire reo-bar loads for my open wagons.  I had a coil of 0.9mm galvanised wire in the shed, and then was laid out and pulled tight, and then wrapped around a couple of screws and then cut off into 5 bundles of 10 lengths of wire.  These were then bound with some other very fine wire that I had lying around.  They look quite nice sitting in two of my WHO wagons.

So I doesn’t take an Einstein to work out that I might be presenting a graffitied loaded coal wagon or two, a few more weathered narrow gauge wagons, maybe another wagon with a load of reo-bar in it.  Still plenty to do to complete these models.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Still Talking Clothes Lines


On Thursday the call went out that there was a modelling night at Simon’s Shop on Friday night, and as Geoff was going as well as Darren, I mad it a trio.  It was good to catch up with the regulars and Simon on Friday night.  My night was also productive.  During the night, I put together 10 HO model clothes lines.  Well almost, I was missing a length of 1.6mm styrene rod.  That was picked up on Saturday morning and then cut up in the arvo.  The poles were glued together, winders added and then set aside and allowed to dry and then the spray can was used to paint the 10 clothes lines, as well as the four others that I already had assembled.  The rest of the afternoon, was spent getting out the items I was wishing to sell today at our Club's Buy and Sell and packing the car.

Also during the week, there was much talk (maybe more correctly termed friendly banter) online with PK and of course the opportunity was not lost on stirring him about his lack of action in installing his outdoor clothes line, so he can vacate his shed, so it can then be lined, and then become his train shed.  At the moment the Shed is just a big enclosed dryer with his clothes line inside it.  Come on PK, get a move in.  At least his washing will always dry and never get wet when it rains outside.

Today I rocked up at Dave’s place early, and we made our way to the Clubrooms for set up at the Buy and Sell.  I had pre-booked my table and I was next to Darryl, and down the road from past member Peter and Patty.  The selling was very slow, but I did end up quite a bit in the bank by pack up time.  However, I just cannot get anyone interested in my NSW rollingstock, - ballast wagons, sleeper carrying wagons, wheat wagons, open wagons, cement wagons and louvres, as well as the odd loco, XPT and various other bits and pieces.

One of the reasons I went to the club besides trying to sell some stuff, was to do a transaction on buying an old 12mm double slip.  I picked it up for a good price but upon closer inspection, someone removed the Peco springs.  Bugger!  But on the way home, I stopped in at David’s, ventured to his shed and did some consulting services.  After that I asked if he had any broken points with springs still in them.  Well he had some points, and when I got home, I removed the springs and eventually got the springs back into the 12mm double slips.  The point was then installed into Acacia Ridge yard and it works just like a bought one.

So that was another item ticked off my to do list.

It seems that the Club Christmas Party Meeting is now scheduled for a Sunday and I have other plans so I can’t make it (or so I'm told).  Another Bugger.  So that means that I will not have anything in the modelling comp this year.  I have a couple of items ready, and was planning on making something else, but it looks like I don’t have to now.

Earlier on in the week, we went to my daughter’s School Awards Night.  She picked up 5 subject awards for top marks in those subjects, a couple of perpetual trophies and then rounded it off my being announced as Co-School Captain for next year.  Not a bad night and of course we are very proud of her achievements.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Slow Weekend Again


Well today I spent the day at a family Christening.  It was nice to catch up with the family.  Today would also have been my mother’s 100th Birthday, if she was still alive, so what better day to have a family catchup.

Yesterday I decided to sit at the kitchen table while the wife was off doing stuff like attending a linen party and then taking my daughter to a Halloween Party.  I revisited my 7 coal loads that I made the Friday a week ago.  I decided to build a shaped top on the load to help them look more like the modern coal loads that are nicely manicured to ensure that the wind over the top of the wagon does not dislodge the load that much.  So I made various shapes of load tops out of styrene and then glued these to the top of the existing load.  These were shaped with a bastard file.  The next step was to paint the loads with a spray can of matt black - a one minute job.

I also painted the two ballast loads inserts a matt black base colour as well.  While this was still wet, I sprinkled some Ardglen ballast onto the top of the loads and then wet this with some wet water.  I then dosed the wagon load tops with a mixture of diluted white glue and allowed it to set.

Late this afternoon I went down to the shed and observed that the two ballast loads look great.  The load is well set and the load can be inserted and extracted from the ballast wagons very easily with a magnet.  I just need to put these two wagons onto the layout somewhere.  I then decided that I would pour some glue onto three of the coal loads and then sprinkled some coal onto the tops to form the loads.  More glue was dropped onto the tops and then more coal.  These have now been set aside to dry.  On my next trip to the shed during the week they will be inspected and tested as well.  I will then do the same to the remaining four coal load bases.

I tried to take some photos today but the camera battery was flat.  So it is on charge, as my daughter's awards night is on this week, so I need to make sure I can grab some photos at that event.  We find out who out of her friends are going to fill the 10 leadership positions at the school for next year.  Finger's crossed for my daughter and her preferred position.

This coming Sunday is our Club’s Buy and Sell at our Clubrooms.  I hope to be taking some HO scale NSW rollingstock that is excess to my needs over there in the hope of selling. it  I will also have a few styrene detail parts like clotheslines, container flats, and generators on 20' container bases for refrigerator containers on trains for sale.  You never know your luck in a big city.