Sunday, August 30, 2009

And on the 7th Day...!

The most difficult part of model railways in my oppinion is trying to emulate God. That is, trying to create a landscape like the big fella has done and make it look half reasonable and slightly believable. The first part of this process is what I call terra forming. Last weekend I finished the basic terra forming for the area around Fairy Hill Loop.
I use styrofoam and cut it down and shape it to get the basic contours and this was followed by the first coat of the plaster (half on Saturday and half on Sunday) over the styrofoam. As previously stated I use tissues dipped in plaster and lay this over the styrofoam.

After a visit to a mate's house this last Tuesday (for our fortnightly Tuesday Nighter's meeting) and just seeing the detail in his scenery I decided that I would try and bite the bullet and progress to the next step after terra forming and jump into creating the dirt and the grass in the latest section of scenery I had plastered. There are still a few more "creation" days left in the emulation excercise following this, with fences, bushes, trees, weed tufts, animals and man made junk, etc. to follow, but I thought I might share the results of this and last weekend's activity in the shed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Acacia Ridge Yard

This weekend I was planning to install my lower level automatic reversing module (AR1) but it still has not arrived at the shop. I was told Saturday that it should be here next weekend. I was also planning on installing a DS64 - a 4 point controller fron digitrax. I went to the shed early saturday morning after an ephifany on Friday night and worked out that I needed 2 of them - Bugger. They were also not in the shop. So that put a kybosh on my weekend plans.

Just to recap - I have one track fanning out into 9 tracks into what is Acacia Ridge Yard. Four are for arrivals and four for departures. Each track can store at least 3 trains nose to tail. The 9th track is between the arrival and departure tracks and allows access to the single ended storage sidings. I may as yet install some sort of run around on these tracks but that is a fair way off. It will also allow access to what I will call Locopilly. The opposite of Grafton Loco where I will store spare motive power at this end of the layout.

So I then had to think about how I was to manually control the 2 x DS64's and also where was I going to locate the control panel. The panel will be operated either by the driver when we only have a few in attendance at a running session, or by the main signaller. This person will control the setting of points for arrival and departure of both Grafton Yard and Acacia Ridge Yard. These are located above one another, each point in different directions.

I think I will have to re-read the DS64 manual over the next week to make sure I understand these things before I install them next week.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Border Loop

This last weekend I have spent some time working on Border Loop. For many months I have run trains through here but the track had not been laid on cork. So this weekend I took the plunge and installed the cork. I also spliced in a left hand point that will be where the Mountain Goat will terminate. The Mountain Goat on my layout will be either a CPH (when it finally arrives - hopefully in September) or a 620/720 railmotor. I think in real life it was a 19 Class with a coach or two as well. This train ran from Casino to Border Loop taking kids to school in the mornings and in the afternoons, it took them back home.

I also drilled some holes under the points for the point actuators. This is just a piece of wire that protrudes through the facia. I also finished off the styrofoam base for the front of the Border Loop section. I had previously installed the styrofoam for the rear to similate the mountains at the rear of the track. These have been plastered over previously. I also poured a couple of buckets of tissue soaked plaster on Saturday and a couple on Sunday over the new styrofoam at the front of the tracks.

The first photo here shows the baseboard at Border Loop many months back before scenery was considered. This is looking north towards the Running Creek tunnels.

I have a couple of photos of the area behind the main and loop lines and the southern tunnel portal.

I also have one showing the newly completed plastering with a train cross occuring.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


After 2 full days sitting on the door of our Club's Model Railway Exhibition (8th-9th August), I am about to turn a new leaf. I promise I will absolutely try and keep a weekly update to what has been occuring to Cassino. I will try to provide an update every Sunday night. I can't always promise that there will be photos accompanying the update, as I'm not a guru with the shutter, but I will try and provide updates that show off my progress.

I have been considerably slack in not updating this blog for approximately 2 months - My God - it has been three months I just checked!!!!. That does not mean I have not done anything. In reality I have gone through about 15Kg of plaster in that time and undertaken a considerable amount of terra-forming. I have done some initial landscaping in some huge areas of trackside real estate but I have absolutlely truck loads more to go. I have been able to impress the Tuesday Nighters last Tuesday Fortnight with progress from when they were last here so that is also encouraging. With so much area to scenic it is hard to work out where to start or what to do next. But what has been done - I'm mostly happy with. I will provide some photos next week.

For those who are really interested in finding out what has occurred in the construction of Cassino since its inception from a twinkle in my eye to reality, you can go through the pictorial journey from April 2005 until approximately March 2008. Just go to then go to [members layouts] on the left hand frame and then click on [Craigs Cassino Layout]. There are about 9 sets of photos on this page and then a link back to this blog. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This Weekend

This weekend (8th and 9th August) the Railway Modellers' Club of Queensland Inc. will be holding an Exhibition north of Brisbane. The 2009 Pine Rivers Model Train and Hobby Expo will be at the Strathpine Community Centre 199 Gympie Road (enter off Mecklam Street). There will be 27 Exhibits covering a range of scales, outlines and non model trains. It is open from 9:00am - 5:00pm Saturday and 9:00am - 4:00pm Sunday. Costs are $5 for Adults, $4 for Consessions, $2 per kid, or the whole family (2 adults and all the kids) for $10.

I will be on the door most of the weekend so you guys in and around Brisbane, pop by and say hello.

Certainly cheaper than the Brisbane Exhibition which is also on this weekend.