Sunday, June 29, 2014

Glenapp Out-of Shed

This week I have been looking at various photos I have in my collection of the Glenapp Out-of Shed and trying to work out the required dimensions for all the walls, doorways, windows etc., etc.  On Friday I was off sick from work and so from mid morning I decided to sit down and put all this weeks planning together and see what I could construct.  I did a bit more work on Friday night and again on Saturday later morning until midday.  After spending Saturday afternoon and night away with the family to celebrate my daughter's birthday and arriving back mid afternoon today, I jumped back on the tools for a bit more time working with the model this arvo .  Today I added the awning braces, the guttering and the down pipes.  So below is what manifested itself over the last few days. 

The view from the Brisbane end.

The rear view.

from the south.

Looking up underneath the awning, showing one door open and the other closed.

The shed is of standard NSW concrete block construction, except that this building used the 15" blocks and not the 10" blocks that other buildings from the north coast used.  I just happened to have the some small off cuts of styrene that are very very close to 15" in size.  From this known dimension, I have been able to deduce all other dimensions.  I do have some photos that have people included in the frame, and given their approximated dimensions, I can double check the various sizes for doors and the like. 

I raided my window and door collection and found some matching items that I think fit in well.  I have cut the roofing material (corrugated iron) that just needs to be glued on.  I am deciding if I need to fit any sort of an LED light under the eaves of the roof or even inside the open door that will be visible through the door and the window during a running session.  Following painting, the glass panes will be added to the windows and above the doors.

My week started off with a huge deflation by my mates at our Tuesday Nighter's meeting.  Two of them Darren and Jacko advised that one photo that I was led to believe was a shot of the Glenapp Out-of Shed which also had the Signal box next to it, was actually the Tamrookum (I think they said?) shed and signal box!  What are friends for!  However, the items were actually the same design at both locations.

My next building will be the waiting shed, to be followed by the staff exchange platform and then the toilet block.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ripping Out Some Scenery

Some time ago Master Modeller Jim Hutchinson built and gave me a model of the Glenapp Signal box.  The building of this model was documented in our Club magazine.  Well that great looking model has been sitting next to the track in the loop at Glenapp since early this year.  My issue was that the base scenery that I had created in that location did not exactly match the scenery required to locate the signal box and the various other buildings required for Glenapp Loop.  So on Saturday, I took the craft knife and cut out a 30cm section of scenery and re-made it flat so the signal box will be the correct height in relation to he track.  So I then replastered over the visible styrofoam and then painted it and then spread some dirt as a base for the scenery.  This was followed with some basic shades of green scatter and you would now not know that I had done any work on this area.  The Signal box is sitting perfectly on the newly flattened ground.  My next task is to design and build the other two major buildings and the small toilet block and the staff exchange platform.  I plan to complete these before the November Armidale Convention so I have something to take along.
Saturday afternoon I also spent some time looking at my Tillig dual gauge point in Acacia Ridge Yard (see first photo in last blog update) that was causing a short when it was thrown to the standard gauge only direction.  I could not work out why there was a short developing.  Overnight I must have been thinking about it in my sleep, so on Sunday I decided I needed to put an insulated joiner onto the entry side of the narrow gauge third rail.  So today after a bit of effort, ripping up the track so I could remove the metal joiner and install the plastic insulated joiner, I gave it a test run with my Eureka CPH railmotor.   Believe it or not, this solution fixed the issue!  The CPH has to make a few trips around this location in my standard timetable, so it was great to see it was now runable.  However, the CPH derailed in the frog area point.  So after checking with just a standard gauge bogie being rolled through the point, and with it also derailing, I resorted to the standard solution to this kind of issue.  I installed a piece of styrene to the back of the check rail with my trusty styrene glue.  I used a set of tweezers and carefully put the styrene strip in place and reran the CPH.  Just like a bought one.
While being on the track bandwagon, I decided to install the last point and point motor into the Loco Pilly area.  Being a Peco electrog frog point, I installed two insulated joiners on the middle two rails and then installed  track jumpers to these rails from the outer rails.  The point motor was wired up to the common supply and I installed the two wires that will go back to my DS64 point controller.  I have yet to screw these two wires into the vacant terminals of the DS64.  That will be a job for next weekend.
Also on Sunday I also did a bit of work trying to manufacture what looks like some concrete culverts out of plaster over the top of some pipes I had previously installed under the track on the lead in to Cassino Station. I made up four of these in situ over the pipes.  I will haev to paint them so they don't appear to be too white, but overall i'm happy with what I had occomplished.
Those followers who hang out for an update every sunday night will be disappointed.  The reason that my update is a few hours late is that Blogger would not let be on to do an update on Sunday evening, so I had to wait until Monday morning to do this post.  I could get onto the Blog, but just not create a new post.  But all seems OK now.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Reveal

On Monday I twisted up 10 small gum trees, and finished twisting up 4 weeping willows from some of my left over wire offcuts.  I also installed the seven trees that I foliaged the day before as in last week's blog.  Later in the day I went back down to the shed and spread some scatter around the northern bank of the Richmond River bridge.  I then spread around 65 of my Hornby Skale Scenics trees around in that section on the Northern side of the Richmond River Bridge. 
I also painted up about 20 cows and bulls.  I also painted the trunks of another five wire twist trees that I had previously ‘no-more-gapped’.  I have at the moment about 26 trees that I need to no more gap.  I still have about ten other trees of various types and sizes that still need adding foliage to.
Tuesday had a trip to my mate David’s place for Tuesday Nighters.  I spent some time playing on his NCE mini panel that controls the southern end of his yard.  We identified a couple of points not working properly and tasks were allocated to David to fix up.  We also identified a couple of points in the Upper Hammersmith location that were also not working properly.  We even had trains running on his layout.  One loco on each track circulating around and around.  I expect Shelton to post some pictures as he took about 300.  We had a very constructive night.
On Wednesday night I went down to the shed and did a bit of pottering around.  I noticed the cows that I painted on Monday were looking a nice shade of brown.  I was checking out where I was going to install a few new sets of points in the Acacia Ridge Yard.  I thought I really needed a RH curve point or two so I could install some track work. 
On Friday afternoon, I found one RH curve point in Grafton Yard in a section of track I do not yet use so I stole that along with one that I found in my broken track pile that I repaired quite some time ago.  With these two RH points and a couple of LH curve points that I obtained from Shelton on Tuesday night,I went about ripping up quite a bit of track in Acacia Ridge Yard.  At the end of the existing cross overs tracks half way down the sidings that allow a train to go from track 3 to track 2 and from track 2 to track 1 while entering the yard, I have now installed some new crossovers that go back from track 1 to track 2 and then from track 2 to track 3.  I also replaced the dual gauge point that I had made to split the standard gauge track from the narrow gauge track in Acacia Ridge yard.  This was replaced with a purchased one from Tillig that I had had sitting around for quite some time.
This shot shows the narrow gauge line in the bottom foreground and the track from the standard gauge joining it in the middle left at the Tillig LH dual gauge point.  I have now actually laid a third rail from the dual gauge point for about a metre along the narrow gauge track so I can actually store a standard gauge loco here.  In the middle of the picture is the crossover from track 2 to track 3.

Looking back the other way, you can see the crossover from track 1 to track 2.  In the foreground is the set of points to go from track 1 to the Tillig dual gauge point (out of picture) up to Clapham Yard.
Saturday was spent at the Train Club.  While there I heard some disturbing news about what I would call a corrupt administration offering us a new three year lease for $1 per year with some very bad consequences.  Don’t think so sunshine!  Anyway that is for another forum.
Today in between a few games of soccer with the son in the back yard, I planted the 65 trees that I placed out on Monday.  I then added foliage to another 8 Woodland Scenics trees and two more of my wire twist trees.  I also added about a dozen small twigs (with no foliage) in various places in the areas I'm currently working on. All these were then planted along with another 70 or so trees from my Skale Scenics packs.  This last lot of trees were in a new area that I have opened up to more scenicing.  I then decided to install the few jumpers around the new Peco points I installed on Friday, and then the track in the passing loops seems to be back to normal.  I did test drive (actually pushed) some wagons rakes through the points this morning and finally run a loco through this afternoon to test the electrical wiring.  All seems OK.  I will take a few more trains on a few test drive to ensure that there are no kinks in the track before opening this up for full service.
I also have a plan to splice in the last set of points into Loco Pilly (maybe next weekend).  This point also came from those I obtained from Shelton on Tuesday Night.  This point needs to be connected up to the last free slot in a DS64 point controller and tested and that should be the last set of points to be installed on the layout, except to replace the one I stole out of Grafton Yard.  I will also have to start clearing the single ended sidings in Grafton Yard, so that they are ready for my XPT set when it arrives from Auscision Models. 
So here is a pictorial summary of what has been happening at Cassino.  Firstly the area around the Bonalbo Ballast Siding.
Here is the location of the points into Bonabo Ballast Siding.  Some trees have sprung up on the southern back of the Richmond River and beside the railway line.  There are also a few within the siding fence line.

An overview shot of the southern bank of the Richmond River and the area looking south.
Now looking to the northern bank of the Richmond River.
Overview shot of the northern bank of the Richmond River.

Looking north, along the train line, as the line heads towards Cassino.  As you can see no ballast at this location as yet.  Maybe before the next running session.

A small marsh area will be installed next to the railway line here.  I just have to find some water to put in here.  I'm sure I have some water like substances in the garage.  I will do a test first.

There is over 70 trees in this area already on the northern bank of the Richmond River on the approach to Cassino station.
Here are some photos covering the new area that I planted some trees in today.
A ground level shot of the new work area.  Again no ballast as yet.

Moving further south we see the track through here.

This is the first area of baseboard that I put a basic green cover over.  I thought I might add a few more trees to this area as well.  I will add some detail in this area before the guys come over for a look.
Lastly I have two shots for the area around the Running Creek tunnels.  I have removed a tree or two and started work on an area where there will be a small smouldering log/tree stump following a lightening strike that has left a small area of forest singed.
A view of one of the Running Creek tunnel portals (looking south) with quite a few trees in the scene, even some without leaves that have died back.

The area where the lightening strike occurred.  This started a small fire.  I have not yet installed my electronic flickering fire device.  It has three LED's in it.  I will run optical fibre from the LED's to a tree trunk to simular the fire.
I keep getting asked when the next running session will be on Cassino.  I think everything is basically set to have one, except for a slight bit of tidying up and a run over the whole track to ensure it is clean.  In the next few weeks I will put out the feelers to see who is available when and we will try and schedule the next session.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Still Making and Planting Trees

Over the last three days I have been making more trees.  This has involved gluing various shades of green tufts (aka foliage) onto a large number of wire trees I have previous made as well as gluing more tufts onto 16 or so Woodland Scenics plastic twist-up trunks.  They all came out quite well.  I also decided to branch out (sorry about that!) and cut up some small twigs of lemon scented tea tree that I had cut off a tree out the front of my house a long time ago and plant these as bare life less leafless tree trunks.  They also come out pretty good.  Today I went out to the lemon scented tea tree at the front of house and cut off a few more twigs.  After viewing a photo in the latest AMRM magazine from the O Sscale Convention in Sydney, I decided that I might also try and make a small bush fire scene, where a tree has been struck by lightning and a small fire has ensued.  This scene is a work in progress, but just happened to fit into the purchase I made last Saturday at the Toowoomba Exhibition of the flickering fire effects electronic module. 
Yesterday afternoon and today I also planted quite a few trees.  Today I decided that I need quite a few more weeping willow trees.  So I went digging for my wire stash and started twisting up about 10 more weeping willow trees of various sizes.  I still have some work to do on them and of course they will need to be ‘no more gapped’ before being painted and greenised. 
Yesterday morning I had made arrangements to head over to my mate David’s place.  I delivered to him, three NCE mini panels that he ordered and these were given addresses.  We installed his cab bus with two NCE UTP’s and the next two mini panels.  On one of his control panel we successfully attached the 26 push button wires and the single common connection.  I then coded up the mini panel with its commands and we gave it a whirl.  It was pretty good.  One point will not throw, so David was going to replace the point motor that afternoon when I left.  A couple of points also throw in the wrong direction, so we will look at that on Tuesday night.  Either I have coded up the mini panel with a straight command when it should have been curved command or vice versa, or David has wired that point back to front.

Tuesday Night is the debut of this layout with the Tuesday Nighters.
Just to show you the extent of David’s Yard and the quality of the control panels, I took a couple of photos to show it off.  These control panels certainly look very nice.

The main station on the layout - Lower Hammersmith.  This panel is operated as an N-X panel - an entry exit panel.  You just press the two buttons together for entering the station and then two buttons for exiting the station and all the points magically throw and set up the routes involved.  A complete mini panel is used for this panel.  Below the panel can be seen the Digitrax DS64's for throwing the various points.

This is the panel for the main yard on the layout.  We have just completed the wiring of the right hand side - or southern end of the yard.  The panel shows what input number controls what track and also lists the various point motor addresses.

This is the southern end of the yard as depicted in the photo above.

This is the bank of Digitrax DS64 point controllers that control the points in both ends of the main yard.  The wiring is very well done.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Toowoomba Exhibition

This Saturday I hit the road with Lefty and we made our way up the Great Dividing Range and through numerous road works sites to Toowoomba for the annual exhibition of the DDMRC at the Toowoomba Showgrounds.  Once there it was like having a party and have all your friends attend the party.  We ran into Tuesday Nighters or ex Tuesday Nighters, Geoff, Darren, Paul, PK, Tess, Jacko and Old Mike.  I ran into quite a few from my Train Club and in particular had some conversations with, Bruce, Reverend Paul, B2, Kev, John, Paul, George, Reverend John, and a few others.  There were also ex RMCQ guys in particular Ron and his mates with their layouts also there.  Then there were the guys from the host Toowoomba Club - Bill, Doug, Smithy and Sparksey.  Then there were other Cassino Running Session attendees - Anatol, Anthony, and Mark.  Then other hobby mates and Pac Nat guys, Brett and Dave.  There were also a few LDMRC guys (and gals) including in particular – Graeme and Thelma.  We best not forget the traders – Al, Jim, George, Warren and Kath, Harold, Col and of course Wuiske and Christmas Every Day.  Now I’m sure I have forgotten a few others as well, so I apologise to those for that moment of brain fade.
Well, I was most impressed with the exhibition this year.  I saw quite a few very nice scenes on some layouts that I have committed to my mind in the hope of producing similar scenes on my layout.  I even committed a few of the scenes to my phone as I left my camera at home.  I also spent quite a bit of cash on various items for my layout at the traders in question above.  I think I picked up everything on my shopping list and a few more as they were all well priced.  I really needed to buy those items that I did as it is not likely I will see most of those shops again until the next round of exhibitions.  Some come from quite a fair distance away and only get to see them once or twice a year.  That reminds me that I must start saving the pennies for more scenery items to be purchased at our Club’s exhibition in August and then again at the Convention in Armidale in November.  I am certainly starting to churn through the tree making material at the moment so I purchased some more of that.
So last night I spent about 15 minutes in the shed, dispersing some of the various items I purchased around the layout where they will be permanently installed on the layout next weekend.  I also picked up a few tips from Geoff that I'll be looking into next weekend as well.
Thanks to Lefty for being my travelling companion yesterday and for loosing me in the large Founders Shed at the Toowoomba Showgrounds so I could go shopping without a conscience.