Sunday, June 27, 2010

Building Bridges Again

Today I went to the "Brisbane Big Train Show" at the Mt Gravatt Showgrounds in Brisbane.  It was organised by The Gauge One Gallery from NSW, to highlight garden railways.  It had 4 layouts on display and the shop itself, with Adults being $2.50 and kids free, apparently numbers through the door on Friday night were good and Saturday was pretty good as well.  They were also hoping for even better numbers today.  I'm sure a lot of kids would have enjoyed seeing the big trains running.  Two families from my son's soccer team reminded me about this show yesterday morning, as it had slipped my memory.  My original notification came from two Tuesday Nighters - David and Raymond.  When I got there today, Dave was on the door collecting money, while Raymond was working on one of the layouts exercising two of his live steam locos.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week, there was the LVR 32 Class loco running services from Casino to Kyogle and up to Loadstone Loop and return, a number of times each day.  This was apparently to celebrate 100 years of passenger service between the two localities.  I would have loved to go down to Casino and catch the train to capture photos of the scenery for my layout.  But family activities prevented me from attending any of the days.  I hope there is still another weekend of trips later this year - but with my luck there will not be.

So this week my modelling activities consisted primarily on continuing to Build Bridges.  Thursday Night and Saturday I cut up the 0.060" styrene angle for the webs on my large through girders for the structure over the Upper Richmond River at Kyogle.  Today after coming home from Mt Gravatt Show, and before heading out for Paige's birthday party at the bowling alley, I glued all the previously cut webs on.  I then hit the girders with grey undercoat.  This coming week I will commence holidays on Thursday.  It is also schoool holidays so the kids will be home causing havoc with the boss.  I may have to retire to the shed later in the week to avoid World War III.  This week and this weekend, I plan to work on making a few drawings of and estimating the actual dimensions of the main bridge span.  I will then check to see what sizes of styrene I need complete construction.  As usual I will probably find out I am missing something after the shops close on Saturday arfternoon.

This week we travel back to Peter's place for our Tuesday Nighter's Meeting.  It is always great to check out the detail on Peter's layout for some added inspiration.  We will also get some goss from Darren, Geoff and PK about the Toowoomba Exhibition last weekend.  I hear that our Club did themselves proud with a few bottles of wine between 5 of them on the first night back at the hotel.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gantry Crane Construction and Bridge Building Recommences

Last Monday was a public holiday so I spent the time starting to build the NSW 5 Ton Gantry Crane.  This will go into Kyogle Yard.  I have started building the basic frame structure, but need to get some nice scale gears to simulate the bits that make it actually work.  I have quite a bit of scale chain - somewhere that I will also put to good use.  I also need some more Code 40 rail - which I actually found yesterday, so the little jig on the top of the crane can ride on.  I might try and make mine a working model.  It just adds to the scene when you show people that you can pull chains and the jig moves or the hook lowers or raises.  Also it just proves to people how sick you are.  So far this has cost $3.00 in styrene.  I plan to see if some of my old watches may have some gears that can be used or I might visit a watch repair place to see what I can get from them.  Failing that maybe I can find an old alarm clock that is past its used by date.

My 5 Ton Gantry Crane frame with steps up the near post

Yesterday I purchased a large piece of balsa from Bunnings so I can experiment building some bridge piers for the bridge across the Upper Richmond River at Kyogle.  I have carved some basic shapes from the balsa that I will coat these with some Jo Sonja's Testure Paste mixed with some paint pigments, just like our local Tuesday Nighter's scenery expert Peter Leslie does.  Peter's home layout, based on NSW outline, is certainly up to the standard of those featured in the AMRM magazine.

The shapes I have so far cut for the piers have basically matched the shapes in the photos in last weeks blog photos.  What I do not know is the exact dimensions of the piers - so I'm just guessing.  I have also decided to scratchbuild the main through span of the bridge from styrene, as well as the through trusses either side.  I have started making the two through spans either side of the main span with styrene and will complete them possibly next weekend - if I have the correct styrene available.  I will also make the girders for under the rails for the spans on the other side of these as well using the same technique as I did for the Cougal Spiral girders.  I still have to complete the basic contours for the flood plain but that will take some time.

In the forground are my balsa piers, behind is an example of a bridge that I will scratchbuild for the main river span, while either side of that are the first drafts of the through girder spans

A second view of the right hand side through girder span.  The webbing will go on next weekend.

This weekend is the Toowoomba Model Railway Exhibition put on by the Darling Downs Model Railway Club, which I did not get a chance to go to.  It appears that my mates up there are terrorising their credit cards with lots of great bargains so I hear - Oh maybe their wives weren't meant to know that yet! - Oh bugger I may have let the cat out of the bag - hey Darren and Geoff?  But we know PK is a dobber. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Club Meeting and Work at Home

Saturday this weekend started with a trip to the other side of town to the Club Meeting.  While I left early, after visiting Austral ModelCraft for some decoders and Horizon Hobbies for a Data Sheet and some Kappler's Scale Timber, I eventually made it to the Clubrooms about 2 hours later and then it was lunch time.  We normally have a great time down the Club.  We have everything a Man Cave needs - the comforts of fridges stocked with softdrinks, pies, sausage rolls and iceblocks in the freezer, tea/coffee on all day, a microwave, and the reason for the Club - layouts, tools, newsletters from Club's all over Australia, and various Australian and Overseas magazine subscriptions for reading by members and a huge library.  And best of all HO'ers that stir the N scalers and vice versa along with some great modellers.

This day I was going to run a train on the Club HO layout.  I don't normally do this, but on this day I did.  I took 3 x 44 Class Locos each with a sound decoder installed, along with 8 Auscision KLY's and NLKY's, 2 coil wagons I built with 6 of my jumbo coils on them, 2 OnTrack x HLV's, 3 x AR Kits GLX, a well wagon with a 48' container, and a three pack well wagon with three 40' containers.  This was just longer than most of the loops on the layout.  Luckily I was the only person running.  They ran well enough, but I need to add some additional weight under the steel coil wagons. 

After our formal Club meeting, and our obligatory raffle (I never win - but that B...... PK did again), I ran a small presentation on building Telegraph Poles.  My making telegraph poles for Cassino just happened to coincide with articles in Model Railroad Craftsman and Model Railroader.  I also showed these articles off and examples of my scratchbuilt poles, as well as a few I had put together from an Ian Lindsay Crossarm kit with some code 40 rail.  Interest was good, as a few members wanted to install some telegraph poles on their home layouts so I think a bulk order of telegraph pole crossarms from Ian Lindsay is on the go.  Over the years we used to have a presentation of some relevant topic after each Club Meeting, but that lapsed over time.  We used to always have at least, one, sometimes more presentations, and I used to try and do a factsheet in relation to each presentation.  These factsheets then went into our Club's Workshop Manual which were then distributed to members via email or hardcopy.  New members of our Club got a CD with a copy of all our previous factsheet.  When printed out it came to over 300 pages.  I think I lost interest in doing factsheets about 8 years ago when my oldest was born.  It would be good if someone in the Club started this organising up again, but there are not many willing workers interested in this type of stuff.  Those that do the work are well and truely doing their fair share in the jobs that they currently do get involved in.

Today I went to the shed just before lunch to cut up the two extended baseboards for Kyogle and splice them into the existing baseboard.  I went to screw in some bits of ply to help attach the new baseboard to and the drill was dead.  So it was put on charge, while I completed the cutting of the new baseboards and backboards, attached the backboards by hand and had a spot of lunch.  After lunch the drill was charged and everything went together well.  I also cut off a few pieces of timber from the inside of one my access hatches, between Kyogle and Border Loop just to make it easier for me to get into.
Kyogle, with a container train in the loop, the beginning of the platform in place and a few buildings behind the road

Another view, this time with a photo of Kyogle platform and the Google Maps print out of the area across the Upper Richmond River and the road behind the station

This afternoon, I got out my G5 Data Sheet that I picked up yesterday from Horizon Hobbies.  I did some scaling of dimensions and needed some 1.75mm and 2.33mm 'I' beams to simulate the NSW Gantry Crane I was going to make.  Peter Boorman makes a very nice white metal and brass HO model but at $132 is well outside my budget.  I think for $5 worth of styrene I will make one.  I also have some nice scale chain and a few other bits and pieces in my scrap box to help me complete my model.  However, Bugger! - a quick check revealed only 1.5mm (0.060") 'I' beams in the shed.  I did have some 2.5mm 'H' beam but it did not look right.  So I rang Mewes and Son, purveyors of all things narrow gauge and the largest collection of styrene on the southside and open 24 x 7 and just up the road to boot.  Dave had been over early this morning to borrow a saw so he could do some more work on plastering the 'A' frames in his shed ceiling.  Dave advised that Raymond had a packet of 0.080" or 2mm 'I' beam, so I went round and borrowed 2 lengths off him.  Just enough to make the structure.  I will start on the structure tonight and hopefully have it complete by tomorrow night just in time to take it around to the Tuesday Nighters get together at David and Raymond's.

If I have more time available tomorrow in between kicking the soccer ball with my son, I will fine tune some of the polystyrene around the Upper Richmond River Bridge opening at Kyogle.
The opening for the Upper Richmond River at Kyogle with a few photos beneath sourced from the Internet - photographers unknown.  Below that on the lower level is Lismore Station

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tuesday Nighters and December Deadline

This week started off with a visit from the Tuesday Nighters.  We were hoping for the planets to allign so three guys from my Club, whom are not Tuesday Nighters, could make the trip from the other side of Brisbane, for a coincided visit.   But reality got into the way and they were no show-ers.  Coupled with sickness, work commitments and people being away we only had 4 regular Tuesday Nighters come over. 

One of our regulars who made the trip on Tueday was Mad Mike - as a pillion on Geoff's motorbike I think - only kidding.  Mike is over 80 years young and has not been over for quite some time.  He doesn't get around much these days but when he does he is great company.  Mike was once a prodigious HO NSW scratch builder, but now dabbles in various On2 or there abouts scales.  He brought over about 4 or 5 models that he scratch built in his new scale.  Very Nice models indeed.  Mike also went for a scout around the layout checking out progress.  Over the last week he emailed me 5 or 6 old photos of Cougal Spiral.  They were just what the doctor ordered.  These photos showed off the bridge abutments which I did not have previous photos of and of which I have not yet installed.  I showed Mike my version of Cougal Spiral and it was nice to hear a complement about my scratch built bridge from the master scratch builder himself.

We also talked about some of the discussion threads in the model railway newsgroups this week.  We were stirring Geoff about the activity and discuss his thread generated but it trailed into obscurity behind others on standards and exhibitions this week.  These topics are best left alone.  However I must mention that I do spend time each night and morning, catching up on a series of newsgroups and the various blogs that I follow.  I think without this activity being built into my daily ritual, I would not be as active as I am in modelling in the shed.

On Tuesday Night I announced my intention to complete the basic scenery around the top deck of Cassino by Christmas.  To me that means I will be working flat out over the Christmas - New Year holiday period.  To complete this task, I will need to install the Upper Richmond River River Crossing just north of Kyogle.  This rather large crossing has a nice bridge that I may have to scratch build with a few different types of bridge either side of the main span.  Between both banks there is a road underbridge on either side of the river with different levels of terrain heights above the baseboard required.  I had previously decided that I would also add some depth of the area behind the Kyogle Platform.  I would include a road and the buildings on the other side of the road.  I would be able to show off a series of structures, fences, road, footpaths, gutters, etc. in this area as one of two places on the layout where I can put multiple buildings together in the one area.  When I said basic scenery being finished by Christmas, I meant without the trees, lineside fencing, telegraph lines and various detail items need to really bring the area to life.  It alone will take me about 5 years to build thousands of trees for the top deck.  I'm not looking forward to this.  There is another area on the top deck that also need to be completed, this is the area south of The Risk.  I'm also not looking forward to this as this area is the most difficult to reach.  But we will see.

Today I had an early morning working bee at the kids school and after watching the tennis late last night, I did not get to the shed today. When one of the kids went to a birthday party this afternoon - I caught up with a few zzzzz's - I was completely knackered. Yesterday was a different story. After lunch I went to the shed to potter around. I eventually ended up working around Kyogle and the Hotham Road Level crossing at Cassino.

At Kyogle I cut two sections of ply 1200mm long to increase the baseboard depth behind Kyogle station by approx 400mm.  These have yet to be actually joined in but that will be next weekend's task.  I also started terra forming using styrofoam the Upper Richmond River Opening.  As a first cut - so to speak - what has been achived is not bad.  I have also decided that I will incorporate a 300mm high scenic break behind Kyogle station and I will need about a 450mm high break behind the river opening.  Next week I will have to buy 2 sheets of 3mm ply for this purpose.  I will attach this to the behind of the extended baseboards at Kyogle before they are permanently put in place.

While I was in the terra forming groove, I decided to attack the next major bottom level area that needs some work done.  So I started adding styrofoam to the area around the Hotham Road Level Crossing filling in the open benchwork.  This area needs some more work, as I think I may need to move the level crossing slightly or invoke modeller's license or I may have to rip up a section of track and relay it.  Next week I provide more information on what has been decided.

Have a good week modelling!