This weekend was the occurrence of the Queensland Model Railway Show held at the Workshops Railway Museum at Ipswich. I headed out early on Saturday morning to give the guys a hand on the Club layout. There was a good number of layouts and shops in attendance. While there I purchased some nice track cleaning blocks from J&J hobbies for $8.50 each for the Club HO and N scale layouts. Apparently the guys eat them at the Club as the ones in the Club Shop keep getting used. Hopefully these ones will last a very long time due to there huge size. They are about 4 times the volume as a Peco track rubber for roughly the same price.
In preparation for the show, I gathered together a few boxes of rollingstock and about a half a dozen locos and a few other items. I had planned to find some table space somewhere at the show and do some work on my Fleischmann Tacho wagon and fit some KD couplers to it. But Aurora Trains had some KD #20’s NEM couplings that fitted in just perfectly. The wagon then went for a spin on the HO layout behind one of Bruce’s oil trains. The HO layout is 1.8km (scale) around the outer track. While looking in the shops I also purchased a RH curve point so I could complete a cross over on the layout in Acacia Ridge Yard. When I got home from the Show on Saturday afternoon I spliced that point in along with its partner in the next track and gave it a quick test. It works very well. I still need to wire jumpers around the insulfrog points. Another future project.
Also at the Show was Jim Hutchinson my modelling mate when we do Structure Building work at various Exhibitions. This time, Jim came out for a run. Jim bought two trains to run on the HO Exhibition layout in DC mode – a CPH railmotor and a NSW Garratt with a string of 14 CH and LCH coal hoppers and 2 x CHG (I think) guards vans. Both of these trains had sound. So I advised Jim that due to them having sound, they were equipped with DCC decoders. I advised him, he could just place them on the layout in one of the rear staging tracks and run them back and forwards so he could get used to controlling a train via our NCE Power Pro 5A system with a Procab controller. Jim caught on very quickly and he then ventured out onto the Mainline and to the platform road at the front of the layout. He was running shuttles from the platform into the yard and back with the CPH. Later he took the Garratt out to the platform track and ran it up and down the platform track into the yard and return. I think we have another convertee to DCC! Welcome aboard Jim!.
This weekend was the first outing of the Club HO Exhibition layout with its Raspberry Pi based Wifi setup. Apparently it did not run to well on Saturday. I wonder if they worked out what went wrong by the end of the exhibition?
Also on the topic of the layout, there were a few unexplained shorts occurring on the HO Exhibition layout yesterday morning for some unknown reason. I wonder why that happened? At least PK and a few N Scalers were getting a great laugh out of it. All I can say is beware people holding a coke can on the tracks, especially when the public ask - "Hey Mr., can you make those pretty lights come on again?" They were our short circuit indicator lights on the top of the layout.
Being a Club we have members who model a whole lot of different prototypes. When we exhibit we let them run their own things as we are inclusive Club. However, some members rollingstock just runs like cr@p. For some unknown reason, one member has taken some nice Australian rollingstock and replaced the wheels on it with America wheels and the wheels are the wrong axle length for the bogies and the bogies have been screwed so tight that they do not swivel any more. It does not matter what we do, this guy just does not understand when we tell him not to do this? You just get a blank stare back. Oh well, I only had to put up with this for about 4 hours. So you can guess that his train ran like rubbish.
Today I went down to the shed before lunch and spread some dirt around Cassino loco. I had been planning on doing this for a few weeks now. After lunch I went back down and planted various grasses in this area. I then walked around to Lismore and decided to tidy up a section of baseboard there. I then cut down the facia on a small section about 30cm long to the correct baseboard contour and then mixed up a batch of plaster and blended the scenery in to the new facia at this area. I get the feeling that this area might get the a paint, some dirt and a grass application next weekend.