Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fairy Lane & Other Progress

I had some rather productive time modelling over the Christmas to New Year Break. I did some terra forming around the helix south of Fairy Hill Loop. This was then plastered over with tissues dipped in plaster and them a final cover of just plaster poured over the top to smooth out the lumps. Running right through this area is Fairy Lane.  In real life Fairy Hill Road is here but modeller's license will be enacted, thus teh name change. At the top of the lane will be a local church come community hall complete with his and hers dunnies out the back. Down the road further will be a rather large mansion with a double titan shed for the car, boat, caravan etc. I think we will eventually put one maybe two further buildings around the top of the helix. What has been demonstrated now that the basic senery is in, is that I will need lots of fences and lots of very large trees to make this area look just right and country-ify it.

Looking up Fairy Lane with the Community Church on the left

I also got stuck into some styrene modelling. I built the signal box for The Risk. I even made it so the three sets of double windows even slide! After success here I decided to retrofit some windows to the Border Loop Signal Box. So the front window was put in, and it also slides. I also made up four screen doors. One for Fairy Hill Signal Box, one for The Risk and two more that are just sitting against the 4-wheel drive at Border Loop.

The Risk with the Signal Box next to the Station building

Border Loop Signal Box with the replacement screen doors

All the above was achieved before the Tuesday after Christmas. There was a running night at my place attended by PK, Darren, Geoff and Peter. A quite night with trains running quite well. However, I keep finding incidence of low and high couplers. We have also spotted a few mud holes in the track caused by all the rail that has been occuring and these have caused some dips in the track. These are being packed and hopefully before the next running session, more issues will be attended to. I also plan to run each complete train from one end of the layout to the other to see if it has any issues and if so at what location. This is no mean feat as it takes 20 minutes to run from one Acacia Ridge to Grafton, so I can only run one train at a time.

PK has given me some incentive to get my signalling panel up and running for the Area Controller to use. I have some tin sheet that I will attach magnets to to help track a trains direction and location. The other night we had a few trains also ready sitting in some sidings and someone ran past his allotted loop - Hey Geoff! So he had to back up to let someone else come through as he couple not back up as he was having trouble with his couplings.

After visiting the Club on Wednesday, I advised that I would make the weighbridge cabin that Darryl wanted on the HO Quarry Module. I left some of my tools at the Club, just all my hand drills that I just happen to need to drill holes in a few wagons to fit bogies that I purchased at Horizon Hobbies. So on Thursday afternoon I did my best to fit the new bogies to a few wagons. On New Years Eve I built a Weighbridge from the Club HO Exhibition Layout from Jim Hutchinson's AMRM article from a few years back.

Weighbridge Structure for Club HO Exhibition Layout

On New Years Day, I have also built the Toilet for Border Loop. I also built the Platform for Border Loop out of wood and styrene. I also built 2 x 20' Containers frames to fit large coil steel roles on. On New Years Night I also built one standard coil steel frame for fitting on flat wagons. But I have now run out of 0.040" x 0.040" styrene.

Border Loop Toilet and Platform

Container Cradles for Coils

Coil cradle for steel wagons

During the day I also painted up about 14 plastic steel coils in two sizes, and painted the 7 steel coils I had previously built from rolled up manilla folderers. I also hit about 6 pieces of dowel wrapped in corrugated paper to simulate water tanks. It seems that every house in the country has water tanks.
While I did do some of things I planned to do over this period, there are lots I didn't do.  There was also lots I did do that I did not plan to do.  Overall a very productive period.
Happy New Year everyone!


  1. You've been a busy little chap Craig! Good to see time off being well used, the layout is starting to take shape, from a scenery perspective. It's all in the detail! Good one.

  2. You know Craig, it was a great running session, good to see that my testing of train control was picked up on, well done!

  3. Geoff,

    Of course it is a great session when I provide the beers and you guys drink them!


  4. You provide beers??? I may have to make the trip over one night!

    Yes I agree with Gary that you have been a busy little beaver (or whatever the comparable mammal is in Oz - platypus perhaps?). Well done in getting time in to do all these remarkable things that you find time to do. One day my children will be old enough to leave me alone as well!