Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Styrene Construction

This week and this weekend I spent time doing some styrene work.  It started with by finishing off the doors for the last 3 scratchbuilt NOCY wagons.  That will make a fleet of 10 scratchbuilt ones when I get some 2CM bogies and they get painted.

Three NOCY wagons - sorry for the dark picture

This was followed up by me completing the three half built Coil Steel Containers from a few months back and supplementing them with another seven more.  This used up one sheet of the styrene I use for the sides and the roof.  I originally intended to make these to sell, but now I think I might keep all of them and make another 9, the number I get out of a sheet of the #4530 metal siding from Evergreen, to sell.  I have also run out of 3.2mm Channel and 4.8mm Channel which I also need, if I am to build the next lot of 9.

Ten Coil Steel Containers sitting on my work mat along with all my still unfinished telegraph poles - don't remind me!

Ten painted Coil Steel Containers

I have cut up some styrene for the next 3 containers and will put them together later tonight.  I also also cut up styrene for 3 x N scale Coil Steel Containers which I will also put together this week.  Then I can sell them to the N scalers in the Club or at our Club's Model Railway Exhibition, which by the way is on in 2 weeks (7th and 8th of August) at Strathpine in Brisbane.

While on the subject of styrene, I'd thought I'd show an update photo or three of the Kyogle Bridge, while I'm waiting for more styrene so this model can be completed.

The bridge from the top

The bridge from the side

The bridge from the bottom

On Friday my AMRM was delivered so this week I will enjoy reading it on my way to work on the bus.  I woke up this morning coughing up a lung so I did not end up heading to the Gold Coast Model train Exhibition today.  I thought I'd keep my flying lung fluid to myself.  However, I might visit PK at work tomorrow though - I'm just that kind of sharing and caring person. 

Tuesday this week is also a Tuesday Nighters meeting and it will be at Mad Mike's.  Hopefully it will not be too cold and we will get a good turnout.  On a sad note, I've just heard that Dave from the Silkwood Depot, has fallen off a ladder in his shed and broken his wrist.  Dave what have you been doing!  Let's hope you have a speedy recovery and construction gets back on track pretty soon.  That's what tradesmen are for.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention

Tomorrow (Saturday 24th July) is the date of the next Modelling The Railways of NSW Convention, in Sydney.  Alas I cannot attend.  However, I wish I could.  However, I will be attending the New England Convention in November.  It has been about 7 years since I last attended one of the Modelling the Railways of NSW conventions and I guess I've probably attended about 4 or 5 of them over the years.  The last one was just after my daughter had just been born.

I think I will commemorate the occasion by having my very own convention tonight doing some modelling and continuing on through the weekend. 

This weekend is also the Gold Coast Model Train Show at the Ashmore PCYC, Dominions Road, Ashmore.  Our Club I think is exhibiting both the HO and N scale layouts and no doubt the boys will party pretty hard tonight and tomorrow night.  They have 5 berth cabin within walking distance of the Show.  I may be able to get there on Sunday to have a look see and maybe run a train on the HO layout.

And I see on the other screen, our Cricketers have just made Pakistan bat again, but we only have 5 wickets in hand.  I bet I will wake up in the morning and we would have beaten Pakistan.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Having a Run

Today I spent some time in the Shed and gave a few locos a run.  I concentrated on 5 of my sound locos, 3 x Tom's 44 Class, my Eureka Garratt, and Eureka 620/720 class (wouldn't it be nice to also run a sound CPH - I just need it to get here) before giving the non-sound ones a run.  The non-sound locos that were run ranged from good runners to absolutlely cr@p runners.  I exercised a few locos that rarely get run and gave some a bit of an oil so they would run slightly better.  These included an X200, a 73 Class (bring on the Auscision ones), a 45 Class, an 80 Class, a 442 Class and 3 x powerline 81 Class as well as a Lima 422 and 44 along with a Powerline 48.  The 44 and 48 had come from the loco area and I now know why.

The Lima and Powerline stuff just runs like cr@p when compared to the all wheel pickup and all wheel drive of the modern locos.  While the 81's run well enough, you almost need ear muffs when running as they are the noisiest locos on the planet.

I put a few trains back on the layout as I took three to the Club on Wednesday for a run and didn't do get them out of the car.  I spent the day adding a bit more styrene to my Kyogle Bridge, as I borrowed some styrene off PK.  I will pay him back when I can buy the replacement packets.  The bridge is coming along well, but I still need some more 3.2mm 'I' beam, and 0.060" angle to complete it.

This week I decided to do a bit of electrical work on the layout.  I finally installed a panel mounted voltmeter next to my existing panel mounted ammeter.  Both can be cut in/out.  I love the ammeter as it tells me how much load in on my 5 AMP NCE DCC system.  It normally hangs around 0.5 Amps with about 40 locos sitting on the layout, with me running a double or triple header  Most locos (bar one or two) have LED headlights installed and some locos just sit there in staging or siding with their headlights on all the time.  So 0.5 Amps I feel is pretty good for my power drain when nothing is running on my layout.  The Ammeter certainly tells me when there is a short somewhere on the layout as it goes almost off the scale when this occurs.  So as a precautionary step, I can power down the whole layout by a master kill switch, next to the meters if the person who caused the short, is slow in responding to the short.  I also turn this switch off when I shutdown the layout and don't turn this switch on after powerup until I know the NCE system has powered up properly.

I also finally installed an NCE switch it that has been sitting around for over 12 months.  This is powered off the track bus and can be switched in/out via a panel mounted switch.  Then from two panel mounted momentary operated push buttons, which I also installed, I was intending to turn on/off the first point motor output of the switch it.  This NCE switch it is designed for tortoise switch machines.  However, mine will control a small relay which will be in series with a diode so that it will only operate when power throws in one direction - or that was the theory.  The relay will power a PC fan that will allow air to be blown through a pipe to under the layout to make my Windmill at Baker's Farm turn.  However, the amount of air being moved by the PC fan is minimal and certainly not enough to move the windmill.  I might have to acquire a larger fan or a fish tank air pump.  We will see.

I also fitted bogies to the three NOCY's without doors that I painted last week.  While not 2CM's they are bogies and the wagons can now enter traffic until I get the proper 2CM's.  Today I fitted the doors to the last of my 3 scratchbuilt NOCY's.  On one of these I also fitted the tie down strip all the way around.  Two more to do this to (maybe during the week) and I can painted these also.  Again I will need another 3 pair of 2CM bogies, and these can also enter revenue traffic.

Tuesday this week was a Tuesday Nighter's get together.  We visited gentlemen Jim's house and had 10 in attendance.  That was our biggest turn out for quite some time and the attendance included Mad Mike.  Next meeting will be at Mad Mike's place.  Jim and Mike are both well into their 80's and don't get to travel around much especially in the cold, but they both enjoy our get togethers.  I know I had a great time.

See you next week with another update.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More Little Jobs

This week I have been on holidays and did get some time down the shed.  However, monday started off with me stuck in front of the computer trying to finish off a few articles (hopefully for AMRM if they are interested) that have been sitting around for 6-12 months.  I have completed three of them and substantually finished a few more and have just started another.  But to complete the articles, I needed to take a few photos of some models, as well as finish off a few items.

Basically I added some grafiti to some industrial bins, drilled a few holes in some fence posts, painted some more fence posts, kitbashed a lima 4 wheel 2 slot european container wagon into a near enough NSW 45' bogie container wagon.  I even installed some fencing to show off what it looks like on the layout.

Two Industrial Bins

Some completed fence posts

 Midweek I decided to do some modelling.  I cut up the centre sills I had for the remaining 6 NOCY wagons I've had hanging around for 18 months.  I fitted the sills and bogie bolsters, and I then sprayed the three doorless wagons Gunmetal, Blue and Brown.  The three wagons with doors, still need the door details added - maybe next week and I may even get around to spraying them

I did spend some time removing the rubbish off my workbench in the shed.  Since I've been in the shed (4 + years), I have not been able to sit at the workbench and use it as intended.  So now it has been cleaned up.  I am planning how to arrange shelving, storage cabinets, a test track, tools, paints, my styrene collection, my scale wood collection, detail parts etc. so it will become a nice modelling area.

Today I started building the Pratt truss bridge for Kyogle.  You guessed it, I ran out of styrene.  I need 1 packet each of 4 different sizes to complete it but below is what it looks like so far.  I still have to add some underneath cross bracing and a few gussets.

The Bridge

The Bridge Again

The first section of fencing at Fairy Hill Farm with wire installed

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bridging the Gap

Just to make Geoff happy I started early this afternoon for this week's update.  Can't have Geoff getting stressed or more of his hair will fall out!

After what I thought was completing the two bridge girders last weekend for either side of the main river span of the Upper Richmond River Bridge at Kyogle, I took them along to our Tuesday Nighters meeting this week for a show and tell.  Well one got broken in the transfer but not too badly.  After talking to the boys, they just confirmed my thinking, that I needed to add detail (more webbing) to the rear of the bridge.  Damn!  I thought they were reasonably finished - painted and all.  Originally I thought it might not be seen but I know it will be seen so it is smart to add it now.  Well I added the additional webbing on Saturday around lunchtime, although I have not painted it yet so I could show it off below.
The two (what I thought were) completed girders with the extra rear webbing added

With the added webbing, the width of the bridge is now 2mm narrower, but I think all my rollingstock can still get through between the bridge.  I think I have about 1.5mm of space either side of my diesel rollingstock.  I hope my steam locos are not as wide or I may have some issues when I lay the track across it and run the first train.  I may have to hold my breath when I do run a train through it.  I may have to snap the rear truss off and add a 2 or 3 or even 4mm spacer to ensure everything fits through.  How much safety room do others leave on their bridges?

As usual, it was Saturday night that I started drawing my plans for the main bridge span.  Bad luck if I needed to go buy some styrene and start building the bridge this week, as the main hobby shops are now shut till next week!  However while contemplating the drawing of the plan, I came up with a few questions.  How high is the main span for the trains to go through?  How long is span?  How wide is it?  What size styrene beams to use?  What angle are the beams at in the triangles?  I know that one is at 90 degrees but what are the others at?  65 and 25?  60 and 30?  50 and 40?  I have no idea.  I made a rough plan and the bridge works out about 29cm long.  I may have to shorten the bridge slightly by increaseing the angle of the beams. 

When I started to put the whole bridge together with a few steel girders, one on the northern end and at least 2 at the southern end - maybe three, the two girders I have made above plus the main 29cm bridge span, the bridge does not fit into the space I had allocated.  So this afternoon, I spent 10 minutes in the shed trimming the styrofoam around the Richmond River opening to see if I can crib a few centimetres or more.  I now have an opening of about 86cm.  I still may be able to crib 1 or 2 cm more.  I think I can make this size opening work, with the invoking of modellers license and shortening the steel girders at each end of the bridge I think I can make it fit.  Tonight I will try and cut the styrene for the bridge girders at each end. 

This afternoon I went for a run around a few shops for a few items and happened to find a Kibri forklift kit for $8.99, which I put together and added one of my pallets along with two of my home made 44 gallon drums.  The drums were made from styrene tube with fine wire looped around and twisted at the rear and then superglued on.  From the front you can't see the twist at the rear of the drum.  The model just needs a driver and a bit of weathering.

The fork lift doing some work up at Fairy Hill Hall

I also picked up 6 more 3mm white LED's.  One will definitely go to light up PK's room (via a switch on the facia) at the B & B.  See you next week!