Sunday, October 25, 2009

A bit of Detail Added

This weekend I placed a bit of detail around Baker's Farm. It included the road crossing safety fence, some scratchbuilt road signs and railway crossing give way signs. I also placed a few cars around that were purchased by the Missus for $3.50 from K-Mart a few weeks back. They are all 1:87 scale as well. They were great bargains, but they only had 4.

I also added another railway crossing up in the Running Creek region. I also stuck up quite a few photos on the facia in a number of areas so when the Club visits in three weeks they can see photos of the real area and scenes I am trying to replicate.

The photos this week were taken by my 7 year old daughter as part of a school homework assignment using macro mode on the digital camera. They're better than mine - don't say anything PK!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quiet Weekend

Saturday of this weekend was not spent doing anything in the shed except put a number of new wagons on the track. Earlier I went round to Mike Boyde's House and helped him with his NCE Powercab DCC System. He had just put a new set of hand made points in and we fired up the Powercab - short. Me thinks it was the point. Yep we found two places were there was just a few threads of copper and rail still bridging where there should have been cuts. We fixed these but intermittently we had more shorts, so we disconnect the point altogether. So Mike is now operational with a DCC loco which I had installed a decoder into on the previous weekend. He was happy as a pig in .... - maybe we won't go there.

Many years ago Mike and I used to scratch build lots of wagons out of styrene. Mike was an expert in making MLE's and their many variants. Over the years I have acquired quite a few of these creations from sales off other friends as they rationalised their collections. Mike also scratch built many ballast wagons, ballast ploughs, concentrate wagons, 4 wheel coal wagons, BMT's, Nepean Milk wagons and many more. Mike used to ask me to proof read his instructions and I would make a wagon ot two along the way. Mike was my inspiration for getting into scratch building so many of my own wagons out of styrene, with just AR kits bogies and KD's being purchased. Mike Boyde is certainly a Master Wagon Builder and along with the inimitable Jim Hutchinson who is certainly the greatest house and structure builder i've seen, and knowing that I cannot attain their standards in their particular fields, although I dabble in both, I concentrate on the unusual, creating unique detail items like rocking ducks, picnic tables and picnic sheds, pallets, industrial bins, above ground pools, dunnies, and various sheds.

So on Saturday Mike offered me some of his scratchbuilt NSW wagons as he has moved to On16.5 scale. I was so humbled. They are absolutely rippers and in reality when you look at them you start wondering what brand of model kit or ready to run model are these? These scratchbuilt models will grace my layout with pride and will no doubt do many miles of running during future operating sessions.

I always remember one running night maybe 10 years ago on a Friday at the LDMRC clubrooms at Springwood. Mike was backing a string of bogie milk tankers into a siding at Brisbane Street Station - the terminus on the Club layout when we hear this noise and we all look over and Mike had about 6 BMT's in the dirt and they were at all different angles. I yelled out - "It's no use crying over spilt milk Mike" - and everyone around cracked up - two others from our Tuesday nighters group were also in attendance on that day - Darren Lee and Geoff Burns. That night's events still makes me laugh when I think about it. I expect that the pleasure will be repaid to me if the BMT's ever come off the rails in a future running session in the shed.

Today I spent an hour or two in the shed and did a bit more scenicing from Beaudesert Road Level crossing through Glenapp Loop to the beginning of The Risk Loop.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baker's Farm

Today started off in front of the TV watching the start of Bathurst. At the same time I was finally installing the decoder into my last 80 class loco. It just needs couplers and then this one can join the fleet on the layout. As an aside, last night I installed a decoder into my mate Mike's 0-4-2 narrow gauge steam engine as well. That is what game me the insentive the keep decodering today and complete my loco, as well as do somthing constructive while watching the first part of the great race - unfortunately Ford did not have a good day - particularly Tricky Dickie's Team.

I had planned to spend some time this weekend working on creating the farm on the left as we enter the door of the shed. This was what I was originally calling Rocla Farm due to its proximity to the Rocla Sleeper siding. Last Tuesday night with the learned minds of our Tuesday Nighter's in attendance in the shed providing words of wisdom (Oh I forgot PK was there too and that made up for the learned ones), we were discussing the correct layout of the farm. A farm is divided into paddocks. The house paddock where the house weas located, another for the main shed is and where the cars, tractors and other machinery would be parked etc. Then other paddocks for the main purpose of the farm - whatever that was. I am still a long way short of installing all the fences, but I thought I'd update you on progress.

Yesterday and today I spent some time spraying some Sentinal and Uneek fencing and gate products. First a primer and then for the front fence of what will now be called Baker's Farm. That is my wife's mother's maiden name and her family and there were a few that owned acerage next to one another at Slacks Creek may years ago. For the Brisbane locals this is right near where Moss Street is. So what better name to use for my farm.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Problem Solved

About two months ago (if you go back through my posts) I installed a set of second hand insulfrog points in Border Loop to create a small run off - just like used to exist many years ago.

Above is scan of two photos taken by Darren Lee of Border Loop that shows this run off siding.

At some point in time after the installation of the point I eventually soldered the jumpers for the dead end siding so a DCC loco would still have power (for lights, sound etc.) if the points were set against it and it was locked away in the siding. But I had not run a loco on the layout since them. Last weekend before the Tuesday Nighters came over I fired up the layout and sure enough it had a short! Insert swear word of choice. What was the cause? Did I leave something on the track - a tool perhaps? Is something derailed? Did my ballasting at Fairy Hill Loop cause it? Nothing was obvious. The Tuesday Nighters could not see any trains running, but could see the scenic improvements I had made since their last visit.

Well late this afternoon in an attempt to humour myself. I just unsoldered one jumper wire around this newly installed (second hand insulfrog) point and the DCC system turned on. So I changed the point to the siding and the DCC system registered a short again. But is was an insulfrog! Well no doubt someone did some work underneath it and changed its function. Well, in went two insulated rail joiners and the jumper wire was re-soldered.

I then cleaned the track on the Main, the Loop and the siding, and ran a few locos back and forth.

Voila! QED!

Problem Solved! Back to doing work on the Farm near the Rocka Siding tomorrow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Work Continues

A short update this week, as I have to also provide an update for the Club Magazine which is being put togather by PK tonight and I have been slack and not provided an update yet. I only spent a few hours this afternoon in the shed, while listening to the Toyota Cup Grand Final before coming up to the house to have a few soups and watch Melbourne win the Telstra Premiership. Well they did flog the Broncos last weekend, but they are full of Qlders, so I was barracking for them. However, I don't like their coach much as he is the coach of the cockroaches even though he was the Broncos assistant coach for many years.

Well onto modelling. This weekend I finished the last locality (for some time), that I will be doing the basic scenicing on. This will allow some more detail to be added, like roads, road signs, fences, tents, a couple of houses and of course the windmill over the next month.

So today I completed the base scenicing of the southern approach to the Rocla Sleeper Siding, and at the northern end of the loop I have started on the rail crossing.

Southern Approach to the Rocla Sleeper Siding

This crossing at the northern end provides road access to the local farm, as well as the Rocla Sleeper Company Compound itself. It is also used by Maintenance of Way vehicles, who need to get access to the rail corridor to do what ever these guys do.

The rail crossing was going to be an Oz Kit single line level crossing. However, as my road is wider than allowed for in the kit and my road is also on a curve, I thought I would scratch build the necessary components needed instead and allocate the kit to somewhere on a straight piece of track that will look much better. I had some old wood stock similar to what was in the kit so I installed some check rails (using some code 80 track) and cut the wood to look like it would fit into the area. I then stained the wood in the crossing. I think I should give the bridge another coat while I'm at it as it has faided quite a lot - but isn't that the look we are after? I will use some code 55 rail for the sign posts and build about another dozen to be used around the layout. I will need to build the railway crossing signs and the give way sign out of styrene. I will also try and build some stop signs to go on some posts just to be different.

The Bridge and the rail crossing in question

The Tuesday Nighters are due over on this Tuesday so I expect to receive some comments on the progress made since their last visit.