Sunday, September 29, 2013

An Expensive Weekend

I came home from work early on Friday and decided to head down to Jaycar to pick up some heat shrink.  The family came with me as we were to check out the car yards at Browns Plains after the stop at Jaycar.  The Bosses car is approaching 10 years old, and the plan is always to swap them over about every 10 years or so.
Anyway we got out of our estate and onto the highway and then all of a sudden the in car computer started complaining that it was overheating.  Oh no!  So I coasted down to Jaycar went inside to have a look around and pick up my heat shrink.  So upon leaving the shop when I started the car again the temperature was back to normal so we left Jaycar and then no sooner had we left that car park and the car computer started complaining again.  So we drove into the next shops carpark and then called RACQ for roadside assistance.  These guys do a great job!  After about 15 minutes they turned up and it looked like the fanbelt had shreaded and had taken the water pump with it to the great big used car part place in the sky.  It was a tow home job.  Luckily only 5.8km from home.  So while I awaited the tilt-tray to turn up, the wife and kids started walking to the Browns Plains bus stop and caught a bus back up to the main intersection with our suburb and then a walk of a couple of kilometres back home.  The bus driver allowed the kids on for free while the boss used her GoCard.  About 20 minutes later the tilt-tray truck turned up and the female driver loaded my car onto the back and gave me a lift home.  We reversed the car into the garage and then called Lube Mobile to see if they could do some magic on Saturday morning some time.  Well as it turned out, they arrived at 8:00am on Saturday and while they were there making the car run again by removing half the equipment in the engine bay in order to get to the water pump, I got them to do a scheduled service at the same time which was also due as well as replace the five year old battery as it was on its last legs.  So for the just a bit more than the cost of an Auscision XPT set, my car is back on the road.
So while the mechanic was performing major surgery to my car, I put the heat shrink to good use and I attacked 4 locos – 2 x 80 class and 2 x 421 class and installed decoders and wired up the headlights at both ends via a pair of 220 Ohm resistors.   This work is for a fellow Club member whom has a number of locos to be decodered up.  I had to try and claw back some of the money I spent on the car somehow!  I still have two 442 class locos to do, but they take about 10 minutes longer to do, as you have to remove the couplers to get the shell off with those models. 
We did never get to the car yard on Friday.  However, on Saturday afternoon, to give my car another test run, we made our way down to the Browns Plains car yard magic 400m section of the highway service road.  There were about 5 or 6 different car yards all with new and used vehicles on the service road.  We went to all of them and the wife will spend some time over the next few months refining her colour choice and car make.
Today I went out and picked up another 20kg bag of casting plaster at Bunnings and put it to good use doing some more plaster work in the shed, terra forming the terrain on the southern side of the Richmond River bridge.  On the subject of bridges and my long awaited Central Valley trusses, I understand that they were to ship this weekend from the states.  So at this stage, I have no idea if they will be available for pickup next Saturday morning from the local hobby shop.  We can but hope.
So after lunch I splashed a bit of plaster around at both ends of the Richmond River.  I also took my rice cake piers - sorry hebel block piers and cut them down to a more realistic size slightly.  I then tapered them from bottom to top along both planes so they were more realistic.  I then tried to coat them with plaster to get a smooth covering.  This took some time, but it seems to have worked.  We will see once they have dried and I will use a file to smooth out the rough bits.  During this week I'm pretty sure I will find time to clean the piers up and give then a coating of my colour all stain.  I can then look at fitting the piers permanently to the layout.
Back on the subject of the Auscision XPT set, I will be putting in my order tomorrow, as they announced last Tuesday on their Facebook page that the price will be going up from $895 to over $1100 for the basic set.  So I will be locking and loading Eddie!  Of course I will also be ordering two extra wagons and I would dearly like to order an additional motored power car, but I would like to order the Casino power car (I wonder why) which is not separately orderable, even though they spell it the wrong way, and given my luck, it will be the non-motored power car as well.
I won't be doing much model railway related activities next weekend as it is a milestone Birthday for the boss.  So we have activities planned with the family on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I might need a day off the week after to recover!

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