Sunday, February 24, 2013

Consulting Services

This week on Wednesday we all went over to Geoff’s. His layout was set up and we were checking out his derrick crane. Very nice indeed. I suppose when you model the era Geoff does, you can build one of these beauties. We had a great night with plenty of conversation, banter and learning. Geoff found a new shop for the War Gammers and told us all about it. It stocks scenery material and all sorts of paints.  We hope to have a little article from Geoff for our next Club magazine about this shop very soon.  We were also doing some work on a couple of Mike's locos.
While at Geoff’s, Darren gave me a small model of a small 10’ x 10’ fenced off compound. It was modelled on one that was located at Casino right next to the signal box. Guess where mine is going? You don’t have to be Einstein to work out right next to my Cassino Signal Box.  This was indeed a great little surprise.  Thanks Mate!
On Saturday I was planning to lay some more plaster around Cassino Station as I continued to move further north.  I had advised the guys on Tuesday night and I thought there was potentially three guys coming over to watch.  However, only Shelton came over and watched and maybe learnt my methods of readying the area and pouring plaster on the layout. I started off, near the back platform road.
Cassino Station with the back platform road at the bottom of the picture.  I start off with some styrofoam, which gets cut and shaped and then covered with plaster.

Voila!  The area covered with plaster.  You can even see some drips have run down the facia.  the nearest track to where I'm working gets covered with masking tape and then paper towels.
I was also preparing the area west of (behind) the station where a number of houses will be located. I was intending to plaster between Canterbury Street and a lane way, that is between Canterbury Street and North Street - I think it is called Convent Lane. But I only prepared the area with masking tape to fill all the holes and get ready for when it will be poured.  I did not get around to actually pouring any plaster - maybe next weekend.  I also installed the roadway for North Street.  This is a piece of balsa that I pack something under it in the middle to create a camber and then I weight it down on the sides.  It is laid on top of white glue and hopefully after the glue sets it retains its camber.

North Street is literally buried under all that wood.  In the front of picture is where a walkway will disappear under the track and comes out just next to North Street.  At this location the houses are below the track formation.

Looking further north we see where Wiangaree Street will be located.  It will actually come about 4 or 5 inches to the left.  All the masking has been done at this location as well.

The other work that I did while Shelton was watching and taking lots of notes and the odd camera shot was the pouring of the concrete abutment under Simpsons Parade.  Last week I had cut out the styrene and earlier today I had positioned it in the correct angles.  I had used white glue to seal it around the base and to help lock the base in place with small pieces of corflute. 

The formwork for the front bridge abutment under Simpson's Parade.
So when Shelton was here I thought all the holes would be sealed up as teh glue would be dry. Boy was I wrong!  When I poured the plaster for the near side concrete abutment to carry Simpsons Pde over the railway, the plaster leaked out everywhere.  Anyway I did finish it and removed the styrene formwork.
Sitting on the Cassino platform is the finished plaster abutment.  Sitting on the Simpsons Parade overbridge is the rear abutment that I poured last weekend.

This morning I attended a working bee at my kids school.  When I got home I did not feel like going down to the shed.  But last night I had made arrangements to head over to my mate David's house this afternoon.
So I did go over to my mate David's place to check out his progress and provide some more consultancy services. He has laid a new yard area on his layout. It certainly is big. I counted 42 sets of points. While there we worked out where to power the various tracks from so everywhere can get power. He has an up and down yard, a steam loco area with turntable and shed, a diesel loco area, various roads for his HSTs and Eurostars etc., other storage tracks for some goods trains and some dead end sidings off the through lines.

We also installed his powercab and wired it up and tested it. You know it works better if you allign the 2 pin plug that takes track voltage to the track correctly instead of with only one lug connected.  That was my fault.  So he has a number of tasks to work on before we get together again and discuss the next few projects.
As promised here are some photos of last week's efforts.

The black blob, is Barker Street - a stained piece of balsa.  This shot views from the Richmond River bridge to the left around to Barker Street.  There is a house to the left of Barker Street and I am making a swamp with a runoff under the track to a pipe.  There will be a corner store on the right of Barker Street.

This photo shows the area to the right of Barker Street (out of shot to the left) around to Simpsons Parade on the right.

To the right of Simpsons Parade is this area.  Middle right is the covered up Canterbury Street.  I have moved the water tank back in along with the section hut.  I have started laying down pieces of paper where houses or structures will eventually be positioned.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Activity at Cassino

On Saturday I went over to the local hobby shop and picked up some decoders for the Club. I’m still waiting on some NCE N scale decoders that I’m wanting to install into my Auscision 73 Class locos, and one for another Club member when they arrive – hopefully in a week or two. While at the shop I ran into Lefty and entered into some friendly banter.
Later that afternoon, I made my way to the shed and was perusing the layout, working out where next I would next throw some plaster around. Well the bottle pointed towards the area behind the main line between between the Richmond River Bridge at Cassino and to the road overbridge at Simpsons Parade - right next to the Cassino Station Platform.  In the era that I am modelling, there was an overhead booking office next to Simpsons Parade.  I made my version years ago and I will be installing it permanently next weekend.
This morning, the plaster bug was still biting. So I thought I’d continue further along the back wall towards the Cassino platform. I installed the balsa road bed for Canterbury Street (complete with camber) and plastered up to that location. Still feeling full of beans, I then turned my attention to the near side of the tracks. I shaped the foam a bit and then hit the area from the recently installed opposite Canterbury Street to back up to Simpsons Parade. I then jumped over the road and re-plastered the area between Simpsons Parade and made my way around towards the Barker Street walkway. This area has been previous plastered many years back, but one section was quite thin and really needed a second coating. I am installing a small culvert between Simpsons Parade and Barker Street and it will run along the track formation and then into a large pipe and will look like it is heading towards the Richmond River. Further towards the Richmond River Bridge I have also installed a second small culvert. This too will feed into a small open drain that then disappears into a large pipe again heading towards the River. The source of this drain is an small swampy area that I intend to install.  That should be quite an achievement. I also plastered around this drain. There are a few small flat areas in this section that I was working on and today I poured a thin plaster mix to go on top of the foam or ply base. This has now completed a rather large area that must be close to 10 feet long that I am pretty happy with.
While I was preparing to do the plastering I gathered the numerous photos I have strewn around the layout in this area. I put them aside so they would not get plaster on them. This afternoon, I took these photos upstairs and looked at then to determine if I had a few good ones showing the bridge carrying Simpsons Parade over the railway line. I had previously poured a plaster pier for the central pier of the bridge. I used my son's lego to make a mould and filled it with plaster. Today, I cut this pier to the correct height today using a dremel cut off disk and placed it under the road way - Perfect fit. I then turned my thoughts to how I was to create the piers on either side of the roadway. I cut some 2mm Styrene and formed the far side of the pier. This is a one piece curved or more correctly three-sided pier. It is a flat front with two side wings at an angle.  My master mould for the far side turned out quite well. I poured it and removed the styrene.  It is currently sitting above where it will be eventually be placed.  I will pour the other pier next week and show off the items in next weeks blog.  I will try and install them as well.
This week is a visit to Geoff's with the other Tuesday Nighters.  It is great to catch up and hear what they have been doing.  In other news I'm in the process of negotiating with the boss about attending this year's Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention.  I have not been for about 10 years due to the intervention of the littlies.  We will see how the negotiations pan out.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Back to Terra Forming

Tuesday this week my shed was packed out with 11 visitors coming over for our scheduled meeting of the Tuesday Nighters Crew. Due to the numbers and lack of space inside the shed, various groups form – some near the door, some near the jug in the kitchen area, and some near Fairy Hill Loop in the recess around that area. With one first time visitor attending, I spent some time taking Ray around the layout so we were everywhere.  Ray was interested in how the rocks were made and the helix among some other areas. I think it was a good night. We checked out three of Mike’s locos in which he had recently installed DCC chips. The first ran well. So we set it to address 9 - its cab side number. The second caused smoke to be produced on DC. Whoops, that was not good. The third ran well on DCC, but we did not put it on DCC as I was thinking that he maybe had not installed a resistor inline with the LED headlight as it was very bright on a low DC voltage. So I asked him to check that before we ran it on DCC and submitted it to full track voltage. On DC we could just give it a low voltage to check it out and everything did look fine apart from the blinding headlight.
Yesterday and today I reverted back to that ago old past time of Terra Forming. I did some more work on the southern side of Lismore around a road I’m putting in and further south around the Lismore Loco siding and the Lismore Shell Oil Siding. I then went up to the top deck and started working near the Kyogle Dairy Siding. I then went over to the Bonalbo Ballast Siding and have started in that area.

So here is a photographic update of my plastering over the last few weeks.
The Cassino Loco area is in the foreground.  4803 is in the yard with the shunt to the Cassino Meatworks.  The loco area is at a lower level than the main line.

The Dairy Siding at Lismore.  The plastering is to the right.  I think I will have to build the actual Dairy buildings here eventually along with some sort of platforms to offload the various dairy related items.  The collection of wagons in view here have been dropped off by various trains running north during the last operating session.  They will be picked up by those trains retruning south later in the evening.

The road (made from a sheet of balsa) that I am installing is in the background covered by paper towel and masking tape.  I have plastered up to the road.  The set of points to the bottom right is the start of Lismore station and its loop.

Looking further south along the road.  More plastering on the front side of the road has been completed.  The track is covered by paper towel.

Looking further south, we see the work I've done around the Lismore Loco area.  A 44 class and three old petrol wagons are in the Shell Oil Siding.  I will replace these and 4 other oil tanker wagons (currently sitting at Old Cassino) when someone brings out some Shell Oil tankers.

Kyogle has a few sidings.  One is the Dairy Siding, but I just needed to break up the flat earth around here and installed a small hill.  In the background in the siding is my rail train.

Looking further north you can see this embankment to the west of the main line has been blended in, and then ends up lower than the tracks a bit further along.

To the other side of the Dairy Siding at Kyogle.  The track has been covered in masking tape.

Looking at this new work from the other side of the layout.  You can see the small embankment that has been installed.  The yellow level is sitting up on the Fisherman Islands Branch.

This picture shows the main line snaking past the Bonalbo Ballast Siding.  The embankment has been installed to the left of the track.

Further north we show where the siding branches from the Main Line.  Right at the bottom of the picture is where the Richmond River Bridge needs to be built and installed.  That won't be a simple task.  My collection of cut up tissues is in the centre of this picture.  I dip these into my plaster mix and lay then over my styrofoam.  I then slap straight plaster over the top.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Skies Cleared and I got Plastered

With last Monday being a Public Holiday and with the weather clearing after a rather rough weekend in South East Queensland, I was able to get down to the shed for a fix of model trains. I did a small amount of plastering on the bottom deck near the Hotham Street level crossing on the northern end of Cassino, near the Cassino Loco area.
On Thursday I came home early because I thought someone was coming round to pick up a 3 seater lounge that the boss wanted to get rid of, but they advised they could not come. However, my E-bay purchase of a couple of curved points turned also up that day. So I went down to the shed and installed the required left hand curve point that I needed to allow access from track 3 to track 2 in the Acacia Ridge Yard. So I think that has now completed the track work on the whole layout except for Cassino Loco, Loco Pilly, Clapham Yard and Fisherman Islands Yard.  But I'm in no rush to complete these.
Saturday morning after mowing the grass, I went to Austral Modelcraft to investigate some NCE N scale decoders for my 73 Class locos but Ray did not have any. I ran into Lefty and Son who were buying a few items. On the matter of the 73 class locos, I faxed back my final payment details on Friday so I just need to sit back and wait. Friday night I see that Auscision are now producing the RUB set. Oh No, I will be completely in the dog house if the boss ever finds out how much I want to spend on my XPT and a HUB set or two. I have been talking to a number of members in our Club about the 73 class and what decoder to install.
Saturday arvo I went down to the shed and did a bit more plastering, a small amount around Cassino Loco, continuing on from Monday’s effort, and some more around the Dairy Siding at Lismore. I went back today and did another coat around the Dairy Siding and then I moved south and started to do some work around the southern side of Lismore Station. This is an area above the hidden spiral that adds distance to the track between Old Cassino and Lismore. I will be installing a road in this area made from Balsa strips. So I laid the balsa and masked off the edged and then poured the plaster right up to the edge of the road.
Once it dries, I think I will be removing the masking tape on Tuesday night when the guys come over to my place.  I also did a few little repair jobs during the day as well.