Early on Saturday I went to my son's soccer game in the morning for the season's first trial game and watched my son’s team dismantle the opposition 6-0 with Kyle scoring 3 and setting up another with a great cross. Depending upon how they go against the team next week will determine how they go this year. They only lost one game last season, to the team they will be playing in next week's trial. There were players firing all across the park. I'm looking forward to a great season.
So once I got home, I lounged around for a bit, watched some catch up TV, and was just going down to the shed to do some work on Nammoona Ballast Siding, when my phone beeped. Basically it said “Where are you?” Whooooopppppssss. I forgot about yesterday’s Ops Session at Anthony’s place. All week at work, I was looking at my diary and I could have sworn that I had something scheduled for the weekend but could not remember what it was and it was not marked in my diary. Well I finally worked out what I was missing, just 3 minutes before it was due to start, thanks to an SMS. So up stairs and spoke to the boss, and I was away in 7 minutes. Another almost 25 minutes later and I arrived. The session was already underway. My train was already almost half way through its 1st run and all of the shunting work was already done. So I took control of the train and drove it to its destination. At least I had 7 more scheduled trains to run and a share of a run of an extra movement due to the timetable being completed so efficiently. As usual it was a great session.
I was distracted for one moment when someone moved my beer (who wouldn't be distracted when someone touches another man's beer) while I was pushing 6 wheat wagons to the silo at Tatiara Downs and I sort of, maybe, almost, could have put the trailing wheel of the last bogie over the end of the siding into the dirt. At least my “almost an incident” (and justifiable if it did occur because someone touched my beer) was relatively minor compared to the owner putting 7 wheels of my first train in the dirt with a too eager points change under train as it was taking the branch at Border Junction. At least no passengers were injured or goods damaged with the running of the session. For those that care - my beer wasn't damaged either. This session at Anthony's is a great few hours of hard yakka. Using your brains on how to put your wagons into where they need to go and how to get the wagons out of where they are onto my train with the available tracks. The effort to set everything up between sessions must be massive. It includes removing wagons from the layout, adding others to the layout and moving things around in some sidings.
Anyway I went back down to the shed today to continue with work on Nammoona Ballast Siding. The plan is to build an embankment and cattle fencing in low relief at this location. So to start I made some concrete platform facing with a rail front to retain it. To simulate two concrete blocks on top of each other for the platform facing, I used styrene strip. For the rail to retain the facing I used 0.060" styrene "I" beam which I paint mission brown from a spray can. I made up about 50 posts before lunch today. After lunch I installed some of these to retain the concrete blocks. I then mixed up a rather thick batch of plaster to pour behind the platform to raise the ground level. While I was installing the rail posts, I was running a few stock wagons back and forth through the siding to ensure clearance.
Now behind this small platform will be a low relief cattle yard. After seeing the great scene created on the soon to be displayed layout Giligulgul at the Brisbane Model Train Show in a three weeks. I wanted to emulate the same scene. However, instead of the cattle fences being made from 0.040" rail as on Giligulgil, mine were made from 0.040" x 0.030" styrene strip to simulate the lengths of rails used for the fence rails with fence posts made from 0.040" x 0.040" styrene. I find this cheaper and easier to use. My fence will need to have a few gates installed and be painted, but it is starting to look the part - not that you can see it too well in the photos with the white on white background.
The platform bracing, the platform facing, the platform itself and the hard to see white styrene fencing in front of the white backboard. Hopefully I will be installing a back scene onto the backboard in 3 weeks which I will purchase at the May Exhibition in Brisbane.
A few cattle and sheep wagons trying out the clearances in the Nammoona Ballast Siding.
This shot shows how far I got with the platform bracing. Another about 40cm to go, and then some more plaster will be added behind.
I still have to fit a styrene top onto the platform facing next weekend before hopefully completing this scene with a base coat of paint for the ground and even some ground cover on the platform, followed by some paint on the cattle fence and a few washes on the platform facing. I might even be able to add the ballast piles in low relief at the other end of the siding as well.
This shot shows the 96cm length of fencing that I completed last week. It is currently just sitting in the location where it will be installed. Quite a few holes will be drilled into the baseboard for the fence posts.
I must update my diary for next month for Anthony's Operating session, however, I have the Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition on the first Saturday of May, followed by the Modelling the Railway of NW Convention in Sydney on the second Saturday. I'm not sure if the boss will grant a leave pass for the third Saturday at Anthony's.
So this will be the first time in about 14 years since I have attended a Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention. I last attended just a few weeks after my daughter was just born in 2002. I am looking forward to this event, as part of the Queensland contingent making their way down south to attend.