Sunday, November 19, 2017

Modelling Comp Entries Update


Well after weeks, maybe months, of prodding PK, it seems like the silly old bugger has finally installed his clothes line in the back yard.  There was a post on Facebook by PK and I have attached his photo here.
One of PK's 2 HO scale clothes lines that I made for him for his retirement.

This week, I could not find time to progress any of my planned modelling jobs.  However, I was able to spend a little time just looking through my decal collectiuion.  I did find relevant decals that will allow me to decal the FAM when I’m on holidays later this week while watching the cricket.

I was about to have a half day on Wednesday this week, when I got a call from George from Aurora Trains, that my Auscision order was in.  So I went home, picked up the car and drove over and collected up some more Coil Wire Wagons with loads for myself and some mates.

Yesterday I also picked up some items from Simon Says Hobbies and Games.  This included some styrene and something special for the model I started to build yesterday.  This model is titled PK’s Shed.  My modelling competition entry is a model of PK’s Shed.  It also has a sliding door just like PK’s shed.  However, in this version of the shed, it has a clothes line just outside.  This version was also lined and painted on the inside, also unlike PK's.

Today I spray painted the inside of the shed, and then painted the outside of the shed.  I then painted the tracks for the sliding door, and fitted them to the model.  When they were dry I fitted the glass doors and tested to ensure that the sliding door could be opened and closed – which it could.  I then built a roof frame and then attached some corrugated iron.  This was then painted and the shed finally assembled.

The gutters were then painted and attached.  I have not yet attached downpipes, but I can do that this week sometime.  This still needs to be put onto a very small diorama, again a task for this coming week.  That will then make it the second modelling competition almost complete.
PK's shed and clothes line.

I will continue looking for my wooden chicken coop that I had previously built and cannot find.  So next Thursday before the cricket starts, I will turn the shed upside down.  If necessary, I will build another one on Thursday.  That should then make 3 entries down with two more to go.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Planning the Club Modelling Competition Entries


Tuesday this week I made my first visit to Cliff’s place for our Tuesday Nighter’s meeting.  Cliff is the newest member of our group, although he has been a member for quite some time now.  I have not been able to make any of the previous trips to Cliff’s place to view his layout.  He has a nice layout down one side of his garage and plenty of tracks to shunt back and forth on.  He also has a few desks on which to undertake modelling and painting.  While there another of the Tuesday NIghters brought along 3 of his Eureka 40 class locos.  So I coded them up with 4 digit addresses for him.  They seem to have a very weird speed straight out of the box.  Very fast on speed step one, and one had a huge amount of momentum.

This weekend was our monthly meeting for our Club.  It was also the date that we needed to have our modelling competition entries submitted for next month's modelling competition.  This allows the organiser to determine what categories we will have entries in, and arrange judges, and trophies to be purchased for the various categories that will have entries.  This year I plan to have 5 entries.  The competition is on the second Saturday in December.  So I have not much time left in which to complete my entries.  I spent a good hour thinking what I was going submit on Thursday night.

On Friday night I decided to get stuck into completing my Hanovale FAM sleeper.  THis has been sitting around for months.  I had previously tried white glue for making the windows, but they turned out very cloudy.  So on Friday I cut out and shaped 10 windows for one side of the wagon from clear styrene.  On Saturday night, I made another two windows for the side doors.  Today I cut out 10 more for the other side of the wagon, and got around to gluing them in.  The windows now look much better.  I also painted two bogies up for the FAM on Friday afternoon.  Today I also fitted the KDs and the bogies to the FAM.  I now need to do the two end windows in the doors that allow travel between coaches in the train, and then look around for some appropriate decals for the wagon.

Yesterday on the way to the Club, I picked up some styrene to make a train shed as part of a diorama to be entered into the modelling competition.  I think I will try and get around to completing that either tonight or during the week.  I will paint it next weekend and it should be ready by next Sunday.  So that will be two entries down.

I have made another structure that I was going to use for entry number 3, but I have not been able to locate it.  It is somewhere in the shed.  I will dedicate next weekend for locating that item and put the finishing touches on it.  If I cannot find it, I will make another.  You can never have too many of this item.

Another item that I was going to enter was started many months ago and has languishing on the layout unfinished and unpainted.  So I think I will be working on that the weekend after.

My last entry also contains lots of half finished models.  So I need to get stuck into completing these items.  I am having some holidays around the cricket test match in Brisbane and the first week of December (just before the competition) and should be able to knock up about a dozen items and paint them up.

It will be shame if other members do not get on board and put entries into the competition.  That is why I am putting in 5 entries.

I have also done so much detailing and scene making on the home layout during the year, but I just cannot up and bring it along to the Club.  The shed is just not portable.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Goodbye PK


Well this week PK showed up at work on Tuesday after another couple of weeks off on holidays.  On Thursday about 60 of his closest friends and some that just wanted to make sure he was going to leave for good, had lunch on the roof at work and had about 42 pizzas ordered as well as chips, cake and softdrink etc.  It was PK’s retirement lunch from work.  My association with PK started about 17 years ago, when PK’s section at work (Office Systems Unit) shutdown and all the guys from there were redeployed to our central office in other teams.  That is when I met this ratbag.  I found out he had an interest in model trains among other things.  He wasn't a bad bloke either.  He used to swing between being bald with a beard, hair and no beard, a dead ringer for Santa and different combinations.  On the Thursday at work, various photos from his work history were plastered around the office in stairwells, inside lifts and on some doors.  He even looked like a porn star with a mow in a few of the photos.  PK always knew his stuff.  I have had the pleasure of being able to wander down between floors and have a talk to PK (as well as other model railway guys at work) when I needed to get away from my desk before I went postal.  We could also reminisce about some dork at the Club, something funny from Tuesday Nighters, something that occurred at an exhibition, or just have a chat.  PK is a great source of jokes, funny photos and train information.  He will be missed at work.  Although he barely spent any time there this year with holidays and long service leave.

Thursday was the first party.  His work mates got him a selection of presents that were quite funny.  He also got a few bottles of alcohol which apparently he will slowly demolish.  I also presented him with two HO scale clothes lines I knocked up just for him the night before.  PK built his 12 m x 7 m train shed apparently 4 years ago (I think it was longer) and has all the materials in it to insulate and line it.  They have been there for a couple of years.  Also in his shed is his trusty clothes line.  He can dry clothes in any weather.  He also has a clothes line post ready to install outside his shed, so he can then get around to insulating and lining his shed, and move into layout building mode.  He just needs to dig a hole, put the post in, and back fill with a bag or two of pre-mix concrete.  We have been waiting for ages.  So that is the reason for his present.
Santa leaving work with his retirement goodies (Photo by Cookie)

On Friday PK and about 40 to 50 of his mates went to a local hotel and had a very nice lunch and a few cold drinks.  I pulled up stumps just before 3:00pm to get home and do things as the daughter had a school dance to go to, and I had to look after the son.  Apparently PK kicked on until about 9:30pm.  Various photos were posted by his mates while he was in various degrees of inebriation.  It was a very nice arvo and we had many laughs, caught up with some people who have moved on to other jobs, but generally just farewelled a great mate – PK
PK having a drink on Friday (photo by Rob Hawkins)

On Friday Night after deciding that the two clothes lines I put together for PK looked pretty good, I jumped into putting together two more clothes lines for myself.  I painted them on Saturday.  I just need to string some line on them.

Today was a Buy and Sell day at the Club.  Plenty of sellers, plenty of buyers and I resisted and ended up not buying anything, although plenty took my fancy.  I did not have a very happy day selling some of my excess NSW stuff, and having to buy food for my apprentice in tow.

We have all been threatened with a phone call from PK on Monday asking what we are doing, as he will be lazing around drinking coffee with his feet up in his pergola, reading the paper followed by a train magazine while we are trying to still save for our retirement.  See you on Tuesday night PK.  It has been lots of fun.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

I've Got a New PC


Again there was very little Model railway activity this week.  I had to miss our Tuesday Nighters meeting as it was my daughter’s awards night.  She had a very good night, with her being dux of 6 subjects, and picking up another 3 awards throughout the night.  Anyway on Friday night a few of us ventured down to Darren’s place for a BBQ and a natter.  Geoff and Brendan did some modelling, while I just sat back with Grover and watched.  Yesterday I did nothing besides buying a new laptop.  My first new one in almost 7 years.  This one is just slightly faster with a SSD inside.

Today I just wandered around, changed a washer, trimmed up a couple of trees and watched some cricket on TV.  I also set up the new PC.  I have been starting to think want I could enter into our Club’s upcoming annual modelling competition.  That is in December, but entries have to be registered by the second week in November.  While I have done a few things this year, I’m not sure they are competition enterable.  I might have to make a list, check it twice, and see if it was nice enough to complete before the December meeting, if I register it in two weeks time.  That means that I might have to pull my finger out over the next few weekends.

I feel I have a duty to contribute I model or two as I have been entering for many, many years.  So I have some thinking ahead in the next week.

Another thing that has annoyed me today is that a state election has been called and totally stuffed up a project I have been working on for the last 6 months.  Everything needs to stop for the next 4 to 6 weeks, and if it is not approved and implemented before the end of the year, it will cost our customers, I'd suggest a few hundred thousand dollars.  Damn!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Slow Weekend


Yesterday, I made my way over to Anthony’s place for his monthly Operations Session.  I was the only NSW modeller in attendance, now that Brendan has changed his stripes to Yellow (or should I say Gold) on Blue.  I was joined at the session by Brendan, Mark, Jeff and Jeff’s father Ian who was on holidays in the sunshine state on this rather dreary day, as well as our host – Anthony.

As usual the session ran very well.  Everything runs very well at Anthony's place.  I could not claim to doing too many things wrong during the session, and I did get the job of SAR Operator No. 2 and thus I had a number of shunt trains to operate.  I had a grain train that was 6 bogie wagons long and a van and the siding could only hold 5 wagons.  Also the van could not go under the loader.  Bugger.  That was taxing my brain as to what to do.  I then had to top up fuel in loco at the other end of the yard and also add a PWS wagon to add to my train just inside the van, on my return trip.  Bugger again.  I forgot to make allowances for the PWS, so had to do some more shunting.  All this was occurring in the middle of a very busy Tatiara Downs yard controlled by Station Master Brendan. 

Another train I had was the stonie.  This runs onto the branch at Border Junction and sets back into the stone loading facility siding at that location.  Again more mental arithmetic needs to be done, as my van and 9 empty stone wagons are on the train and the wagons can only be loaded 3 at a time.  Luckily there is a small storage siding off the loading siding for me to stow 3 wagons and the van.  So after a bit of a soft shoe shuffle in lots of three wagons, and a couple of ventures out onto the branch in between trains, I finally got this train loaded.  Then I need to get down to the branch terminus so I can run around the stone train.  Again not so easy as I need to end for end the guards van as well, before I can come back.  I also have a single ended loco, so off to the turntable so I can see what is happening as I head on my way back to staging.  

One would think that the layout owner might spring for an extra van in his inventory so it would make the drivers job of this train a bit easier, with a van at each end.  No not this scoundrel of an owner.  But all these little scenarios come together to make the session the success it is, and most enjoyable.  Apparently this was the 30th session that has been held.  I’m pretty certain that my number of attendances is under half, but could be as high as 12 sessions I’d guess.  This is a great afternoon.  We even get to drink and drive.

I wonder if I can work some of these puzzles into my timetable escapades?

There was also another branch train, a passenger, that needed to do some drop offs of a couple of fast goods wagons to the dock siding at Tatiara Downs, before I made my way onto the branch.  Once at Jameston, I also needed to drop a passenger van at the goods shed for later return, before running around, turning the loco, adding two extra cars to my consist due to it being school holidays and I was away back to Tatiara Downs.  After the passenger disembarked at this major station, I have to run around my train (I was getting dizzy) and then had to shunt my carriages into the carriage siding next to loco. 

My simplest train of the day was the first.  It was taking control of the Overland from Tatiara Downs following the loco swap from VR power to SAR power.  Once I got to staging I also had to take the motive power off the train, and shuffle the locos into another siding (Siding A) as the train is too long to sit in No.1 track with motive power attached.

Today I unpacked the items into the shed that I took to the Model Railways for a Day Seminar last Sunday.  These had been sitting on the dining room table drawing the ire of the financial controller.  Well it has rained all week so I did not have time.  (Well it didn't rain on Thursday - but I mowed the grass on that day, so I think I was allowed some grace due to that)

Today my only modelling work was attaching 42 x 44 gallon drums to some masking take and then painting them all silver.  That will be the base colour before I had other colours to these drums on another day.

Who knows what will motivate me for next week?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Today Was the Day


Today we held the Model Railways for a Day Seminar at the AMRA Clubrooms in Zillmere.  Over 30 people attended on top of about a dozen presenters, the Seminar’s organising Committee and workers from the host Club AMRA – around 50 people total.  While the day dawned very wet on the southside when we left home, when we got to the venue, it was actually fine, with patches of blue sky.  But that didn’t last long, as it soon rained quite heavily, between intervening patches of light sprinkles and no rain at all.  One of our Tuesday Nighters whom was also presenting lived literally around the corner from the Clubrooms and after we all unloaded our gear for the day, three of us drove our cars around to his place and the four of us all walked back to the AMRA clubrooms, in an attempt to reduce car parking congestion in the grounds.  

I think the attendees of the day enjoyed themselves.  They got a couple of freebees in their gift bag, a sausage sizzle lunch, and quite a few pages of notes to compliment the presentations given during the day.  At least 24 of the 28 small dioramas found their way to a new home.  Quite a few dunny kits also found their way to a new home as well.  Of the modules commandeered by the attendees, quite a few had a nice looking tree planted on the model by the end of the day and at least one that I saw had some very nice looking clouds painted on the base skyblue backboards.

I think Modellers Warehouse, who did a presentation during the day, and also provided some materials for some of the sessions, may have sold a bit of stock.  Which is really good news.

I await to received feedback from the attendees to see if this Seminar has hit the mark, and any suggestions to improve future seminar days.

Following are some photos from the day.  It is now that just realise that I did not get a photo of all the dioramas before they were claimed.  Bugger!
Lefty in the distance, with the tables of the various presenters filled with their examples.

Now looking the other way with tea and coffee also set up.

Some of the attendees before muster.

Looking the other way.

Arthur and Kerrie talking trees.

Bob doing Air Brushing.

PK with his modules for scenery bases and scenicing techniques.

Dave doing Static Grass application.

An example of a small diorama of static grass.

From a higher angle.

Various sample displays of colour and length of static grass- some done by attendees.


Arthur closing out the Day.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

All Ready For Next Weekend


The week started with a public holiday on the Monday.  I used that time, to cut up another 4 dioramas for the upcoming Model Railways for a Day Seminar next weekend.  The reason why is that the convener advised that there more than 24 attendees for the seminar.  Whoops!  I think the four extra that I did look quite nice as a base for the attendees of the Seminar to continue working on next Sunday.  I also completed the application of the blue paint for the backboards on each of the dioramas.

On Saturday this week I sat down while watching some Bathurst Motor Racing on the TV and went over all the styrene that I had cut up for the ‘Dunny Building’ session at the seminar.  I completed the cutting up and I have now got 22 completed small kits that the attendees can put together.  Some components have more pieces cut up but I can provide 22 complete kits for those that attend my sessions.

The handout notes for my session have been completed for quite some time.  I will print some copies off during the week.  I also have a single instruction page to go with the ‘Dunny' kits that will be completed tonight.  Again I'll make some copies.

I’m looking forward to next Sunday’s seminar.  Next week I hope to have a few photos from the day posted on my blog.