As usual, I nicked off early from work on Friday afternoon and went down to the shed. I had to pack up my things for Friday night's outing. I also had a couple of special tasks to attend to. PK had ordered two monkey’s from overseas for me. They turned up and he dropped them off to me at work on Friday morning. I named the monkeys Rod and Peter after two lycra wearing monkey’s I work with. I placed these miniature scale monkeys on the layout. Rod is driving the tractor at Fairy Hill Farm and Peter is hanging from a branch on a jacaranda tree on the same farm.
Rod on the tractor
Peter is more at home up a tree
One of most important jobs I needed to do was replace a plastic wheel on my BBQ that dis-integrated a long time ago under the wait of the BBQ and gas bottle in the hot sun. So call me Fred Flintstone, but I made a replacement wheel out of some offcuts of 5-ply. So I drilled the axle hole and fixed it and I have now invented the wheel. It actual rotates as you wheel the BBQ along. I'm quite impressed with myself. From the sawdust created from the from the jig-sawing that I performed on the wheel, I collected this to make another item for the layout.
Friday night I ventured over to my local hobby shop (Simon Says at Browns Plains) who run a modelling night on the first Friday of the month. I was there with Geoff, Ken and the owner – Simon. I was doing a couple of things – firstly cutting up the shunt lists for about a dozen to 15 trains for my Operating Session on Sunday. Next task was cutting up, staining and assembling a number of (maybe a dozen) fence strainers to go either side of a few railway crossings. I also tried to dip some fence gates into my stain to see if they would take the colour. They sort of did. I then tidied up the flash on 8 water tanks that a mate cast for me which PK picked up the previous weekend and dropped them off to me on Tuesday morning. I also cleaned up three platforms seats from Uneek (I think) and glued them together. Just before leaving for the evening, I dug out the sawdust for earlier in the day and poured a lump of white glue onto my cutting mat and mixed the sawdust and glue. I then formed the sawdust into the shape of some large eagle’s nests. I made up three.
On Saturday I went down to the shed and spray painted the water tanks with an etch primer and also sprayed about 6 gates that I soldered up last Sunday night out of copper wire. The gates look quite OK. I also got around to cleaning some of the mainline track on the layout by running my track cleaning train. I also ran the Brisbane Limited from Grafton Yard to Cassino and back. I placed a couple of incinerators made from styrene tube covered in copper paint onto the layout at two fettler’s camps and drilled a whole through the baseboard to allow the LED to poke through. I tested these and they look quite OK.
The fettler's camp at Border Loop. The drum with the LED inside can be scene glowing in this view.
The fettler's camp at The Risk. This shot also shows the red hot incinerator glowing. It also shows off the new locals in the foreground.
I also glued the three birds nests to various structures on the layout prior to the running day. I also placed some cows in a new paddock near The Risk and also placed an old caravan into the next paddock at the same location.
Last night when there was nothing on TV (besides the election coverage), I made up a frame for a 44-gallon drum and a kids swing set. Both these items are clearly visible in a photo I have found of Border Loop signal box. So I needed to make my own versions. I still have more to do at this location but that will take some time.
More detail being added to Border Loop Signal Cabin. The original photo I'm working off is just out of shot to the right.
Today was an Operation session for the layout. It did not start off well, as two crew called in sick in the morning with cold and flu symptoms. However, we still had 7 crew turn up and we ran about 28 trains. We had first timer Bill Dunn from the north coast and second timer Paul also from up that way. Arthur jumped into North Coast Control's seat and trains headed off slightly early. We had a few incidents:- low couplers hitting new scenery detail items between the track, breakaways, derailments, trains on wrong tracks at passing loops, people proceeding without approval from North Coast Control - and Shelton was not even in attendance, etc., but all in all, quite a good session. We also had a loose wire in the Dutton Park to South Brisbane section that took out the staff machines and we had no power to run trains. I traced it to a cold solder joint that I will action this week. I have about another 14 tasks to perform post the session before we can resume operations in a couple of months time.
Luckily, Mark had his trusty phone and captured a few photos. I will post these during the week. But at the close of the session, we had spent about 11 hours (fast clock duration) of operating we were slightly behind time, with the timetable showing sometime before 10am. I might have to move a few trains in a small mini session with a few mates over a few beers sometime in August. Remember the slogan - Don't Drink and Drive - but you can operate on Cassino - as there is a 'no alcohol limit'. policy in place.
None of the operators found the new swing, the birds nests, nor the monkey's. None mentioned about the flaming incinerators either. But I told some before the session started.
A shot of Lismore Yard which is quite full after three separate trains dropped off wagons into the yard. These were the cement train - the banana train for loading and the down shunt with some containers and louvre wagons for the Norco siding.
Kyogle has the ARHS CPH railmotor stabled in the Loop, keeping the Main line free as there will soon be a train coming through before the railmotors can head back to South Brisbane with their paying customers. In the Yard is the rail train that was first train south on the line from Clapham Yard for the day just after midnight.