Sunday, August 29, 2010

Almost no Trains this Weekend

As foreshadowed last weekend, I knew I would not do much this weekend with a big BBQ today for my daughter.  Yesterday I cleaned up the Pergola, and washed the outdoor setting down - making sure those red-backs were not around.  Today I had to get the ice, pick up the breadrolls, chill the drinks, cook, drink a few coldies, cleanup and update my blog - not necessarily in order of importance.

It was almost a weekend without any trains, except on Friday night, I had a few visitors.  My niece, her husband and their 3 ankle biters came over, as did my nephew.  We had beer and pizza.  But I gave my nephew and nephew-in-law a tour of the shed and ran a few sound locos up and back on the track to show off.  Neither of the two boys had been in the shed over the last 3-4 years.  They had a few laughs at some of the scenes and were impressed with progress.  My nephew actually lives in the next suburb and his house backs onto the Interstate Railway line.

Today we had my sister and her husband come over and few of the wife's sisters check out the shed for the first time.  They also had a few laughs at the scenes and were interested in progress.  Some of the taller (younger) nieces and nephews saw in through the window of the B&B on the top of the helix and were all talking to each other about the 'R' rated scene.

Just now I received an email from Lefty and Son, owners of a similar shed to mine, just up the road in the next suburb.  They also back onto the Interstate Railway line.  They need some help moving the left over plasterboard from the middle of their shed to under their house as they have a tradie coming on Tuesday morning and need it moved so he can do his job.  So I will head over their just before 8:00pm tonight to lend "and Son" a hand in moving the plasterboard sheets out of the way.  "Lefty" is slightly incapacitated at the moment with his broken wrist, which we all hope is getting better.

I need to get off my behind this week and order a couple of 73 class from Auscision and maybe make a payment on my 81 class from Austrains.  I think I will also need to place an order for some more Styrene so I can build some more coil steel cradles at the Ipswich Model Railway Exhibition in October.  I also plan to build a few butter box coil steel containers and will also put together a few 10' x 10' sheds.

Maybe next week I will be able to get down to the shed and do some more work on the Upper Richmond River flood plain.  I will post some pictures of progress then.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's my Birthday and I'll Cry if I Want to!

Sounds like a song doesn't it. Well today is my birthday.  It started by me getting a fright out of my sleep by my son at 5:50am this morning with him charging into the bedroom wishing me a Happy Birthday.  Just when I needed my beauty sleep after a late night watching TV.  Any way we did our usual Sunday thing - off to Church, but then as a treat we went to breakfast at the local hotel, followed by a scout around the shops.  Upon arrival back home, we switched on the TV and watched the Pan Pacs swimming and then after lunch, I decided to adjourn to the shed.  The kids wanted a game of cricket this arvo, so I only got about 2 hours down there.  I was installing the bridge piers across the Upper Richmond River flood plain. 

This week I had plans to spend quite a bit of time in the shed this weekend but nothing ever really eventuated.  Yesterday started early, with a trip to the kid's school to drop of some of the wife's cakes for the cake stall, in an attempt to raise a few dollars for the school while people were voting.  That was followed by the Soccer carnival and then by the soccer break up party at the local park.  Kyle was on fire in the first game and scored the first goal.  This time I saw him score.  When we finally got home, I had to actually skip out to vote, followed by attacking the yard with the whipper snipper followed by mowing the lawn.  Then it was time to settle down in front of the TV for the night. 

So the best laid plans for the weekend went out the window.  This Tuesday is Tuesday Nighters, at Peter's place so hopefully we will get a good turn out.  Maybe that will instill a bit more enthusiasm for next Saturday.  I know at this stage I will have to clean the outdoor setting, clean the pergola and get the BBQ ready as I have a party at home next Sunday for my daughter.  God forbid if I did anything modelling related until I had done all this work.  So if I can finish these tasks early next Saturday I at least might spend some time doing some modelling in the arvo.  I know there will be no Shed time next Sunday, except showing off the layout to the rellies.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Who's Got the Motivation?

Where has the motivation gone? Did I misplace it? Did I loan it out? Did someone take it?

Late this week, I lost complete motivation. After a great Tuesday Nighter's meeting at Geoff's even though we only had 4 in attendance, and a reasonably productive Wednesday - a public holiday in Brisbane, the wheels fell off. I think that was when someone stole the motivation!

It seems that some modellers were certainly not in this boat, as last Sunday and Sunday night was a huge update night for blogs. It took a considerable time to read and digest their updates. That is not a bad situation. I'd actually like that to happen every Sunday night.

On the other hand I see that I may not be this motivationless boat along! It has been about 6 weeks since Auscision updated their blog with what is happening. Also Eureka are up to about 14 weeks since an update - I know that as I write this, updates are sure to occur and make be look like a goose - hey Geoff! I realise that these guys have businesses to run, but without regular updates, I'm sure their business will not be as successful as it could be. I also know that it is probably end of financial year time and the guys will have to do their tax just like yours truly - and that reminds me I have not booked in to do mine yet - Doh!

So what was I doing when the motivation disappeared last Wednesday? I kitbashed an old Peco LH medium point, and changed it into a dual gauge contraption. It is now dual gauge coming in, with standard gauge existing to the left and narrow gauge on the straight route. It's a pitty I don't have any 12mm wagons or locos - yet. So what that means is that I can't test how well it runs.  I even installed an old point throw that I had laying around to move the single point blade.

Photo of new dual gauge point

I then fired up the paint shop and finished the bridge girders for the Upper Richmond River opening at Kyogle and repainted my through truss sections that I had previously added the rear webbing to.

At this stage I was thinking of making the front section of the Upper Richmond River opening removable, so the complete bridge could be removed in one section if I ever wanted to display it.

And that was that. The motivation disapeared.  I did not even read any railway books (Digest) on the way to work on the bus for the rest of the week or at night.  It wasn't until this afternoon when the wife took the kids to see the grandparents and I went to the shed that it sort of returned. I removed what I had done in the form of styrofoam for the Upper Richmond River crossing and started from scratch again.

The clean work area

I than installed the removable piece of ply that slides in and out.  On this, I will build the base layer of styofoam and the bridge. This will need to be carved quite a bit to the correct contours, but before I do this, I will review my photos of the area and double check what I have to do.

In the mean time I tried to balance my bridge on the opening, and see how it might look. Before anyone says I realise that I need to halve the height of the main piers. I might even have to make them wider.

My bridge balancing act

Sunday, August 8, 2010

RMCQ Model Train Show

Well the RMCQ orabised Model Train Show or more correctly titled - The 2010 Pine Rivers Model Train & Hobby Exhibition, has completed for the year.  It will be another 12 months before it is held again.  The quality of the layouts was good, the numbers through the door were good, there was great food put on by the canteen and their very efficient staff and I think we all (members, exhibitors and the public) had a great time.

This year, as usual, I sat on the door with our Treasurer - who was collecting the money.  I was handing out exhibition programs and the free Model Railways of Australia Magazine.  It was rally great to see the reaction from the kids when we handed them their magazine.  Their faces really did light up.  It was almost as good, to see one particular groups of adults come through the door.  We had an elderly gentlemen probably in his 80's on a rolling walking frame and his son come through the door eager to catch a look at the trains being exhibited.  When we heard elderly gentleman say he was here with his son, we had to make a scene out of it by saying to the 50/60 year old son, that we were giving away the magazine to all the kids and he qualified for his free magazine.  He father almost fell off the walking frame in laughter.  Well I guess you had to be there and everyone around the entry table also laughed quite loudly as well.

On my modelling front, I spent this week completing another 9 coil steel cradles and on Friday afternoon when I came home, I hit 14 of them with paint.  I took along a collection of coil steel cradles with a coil  of steel installed, and a number of coil steel containers, in both HO and N scale, as well as a number of tin sheds of various sizes.  I sold 10 cradles to one bloke alone.  Quite a profitable weekend, which more than paid for a few of the purchases I made. 

As usual on the Saturday night after the exhibition doors shut we headed back to our Clubrooms, about 1.5km from the hall, and put on a sausage sizzle with salad and had a few drinks for the exhibitiors and members who wished to attend.  It is also a time to show off the Clubrooms to Exhibitors.  We had quite a few first time exhibitors, including Wuiske Models and their great range of QR prototypes ( and Modeller's Warehouse (  We also had John Guest and his wife from Horizon Hobbies attend along with a number of other exhibitors including the guys from the Northern Rivers (NSW) who were camping in the Clubrooms for the two nights.  Last Wednesday we had the slab poured on our 15m x 12m Clubroom extension.  By the beginning of September the frame should go up on the 12m x 12m HO annex, with a 3m verandah out the back (sounds like a song).  I think everyone was suitably impressed with the progress we are making with the Clubrooms.

While working on the door, I was also able to meet Sparksey4869 from Toowoomba (see his blog in the list to the right) who introduced himself to me.  Sparksey4869 does some great modelling.  He made the 2 hour trip down the range to visit the show.  I didn't see any of the Tuesday Nighters apart from PK at the show, PK is different as he is part of our club.  Maybe the Tuesday Nighters thought that travelling to the other side of the city across the river would cause some sort of issue - like growing horns.  They shouldn't worry, as you can now go under the river via the Clem7 Tunnel.

This picture above of the Rosevale layout by the 'S' Scale Modellers of Qld shows a great little scene.  The building is a model of the old Bald Hills Memorial Hall located on Gympie Road.  This was where we held the first 7 of our exhibitions.  The hall had been modernised slightly from the scene but that was where we first started all those years ago.  I also liked this scene as one of my 'S' scale picnic tables was off to the right.

The above photo shows the local publican arriving with his weekly supply of the local nector - XXXX long necks in 8 pallets on the back of his truck.  The pallets of beer were another idea of our members (PK and myself) with PK using photoshop to form the pallet of beer.  Also out the back of the pub is my 'S' scale industrial bin.

Above is a house from the Rosevale layout.  Underneath the house is the old fashioned concrete washing tubs that many Queenslander houses had.  Also note the stumps with ant caps on them.  Just a great little scene.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Can't See for Looking

Well this week I received my styrene shipment (Thanks PK) so I attacked the Upper Richmond River Bridge destined for Kyogle.  The unfinished work was quickly completed. On Friday night while adding the gussets on the external members, I realised that the two central bracing members were going the wrong way - Doh!  I was wondering why the gussets I cut after looking at the photo that I was working from did not fit the model.  So I had to take these members out, and put them back on with the correct orientation.  However, once I did this, they did not fit - did they.  Due to bits of the old members that were left behind.  So this had to be cleaned out and new members cut.  Lucky I had a new packet of 'I' beam to use.  It was amazing none of my eagle eyed mates picked this rather large mistake up.  I'm also sure they won't know about this little issue as I will not be telling them about it.  But it is amazing that sometimes you can't see for looking.

So after fixing up these members, I was able to add the gussets, and then thought about adding the lattice work around the top of the bridge.  I found some styrene that looked teh correct size and while not exact as in the photos, I think it is near enough and gets the picture across.  This afternoon I gave the model its first coat of paint.  I will need to turn it up side down one afternoon this week and paint the underside.

The complete bridge with the latice work visible

The partly painted bridge

Today I also put together another 3 coil steel cradles as well as taking a few pictures of these so I can supplement my potential article text with a pictorial view.

Last week, I mentioned David from Silkwood Depot had fallen off his ladder and broken his wrist.  Well I might have actually understated the damage.  He actually smashed his wrist.  So on Friday, Humpty Dumpty went under the knife and had it all put back together.  I visited his place today and checked out his shed progress.  It looks great! The floor just needs to be painted and them the layout construction can commence.  David, just use this time with some detailed planning for benchwork and trackwork.

Next weekend will be the Railway Modellers' Club of Queensland's Exhibition at the Strathpine Community Centre.  As I will be there all day Saturday and Sunday, I will not have an update until late on Sunday night next week.  I thought I might just get in early and mention this so Geoff does not worry.