Sunday, May 21, 2017

OMG!  I Need a Rest After a Great Convention Weekend


This weekend has been a really long one.  It started on Thursday at sparrows, when Dave and PK rocked up and we headed off down towards Murwillumbah, Lismore and then over to Old Casino and finally Casino.  We had some walk arounds at each location and took plenty of photos.  From there we headed over to Tenterfield before dropping down to Glen Innes and then catching up with Rohan Fergusson.  We had a view of his layout due to be displayed at Epping in a few weeks.  Guys this is amazing.  I do remember it in its previous guise back from 2005 at Brisbane and I even found a photo from then.  From there we scootered down the New England and ended up at Tamworth for the night.

Next morning we hit the road and were bombarded by trains at Werris Creek and lots of places between there and Muswellbrook.  Again lots more at Muswellbrook and then we headed down to Sydney and our motel at Sutherland.  Then the troops started to arrive.  Geoff and Dazza, Sailor Darryl, then John, and then the Toowoomba boys - Smithy, Bazza and Doug.  Apparently the first carton did not last long.  We had a great dinner at a Sutherland Hotel and then I went back to the motel to try and get my internet connection working, but it did not and I then ran into Stephen as he was walking past my unit.  The others came back a while later and some more drinks were consumed.

The reason for the trip was Saturday.  We rocked up to the Loftus TAFE and caught up with all our interstate mates.  Of course this was for the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention No. 34.  I attended 5 sessions, purchased a few items (Shhhh!  They really were cheap).  It was a really great day.  Apparently I’m doing a presentation next year.  I enjoyed cathing up with many of my Interstate friends.  On closing the convention for the day, we headed back to the motel where we joined forces the for 1 hr trip across Sydney to Marcus’s place.  Hospitality was in spades!  Marcus cooked 12 of us Spaghetti.  We then had desert.  Then the piece de resistance, the descending into the garage and the official viewing of the Main North.  Absolutely Brilliant in an understatement!  I think everyone got to run at least something.  We had a great time, with many other like minded model railway guys.  Did I mention Marcus also putting on supper.  We finally got home at 1:00am and then finally to bed.

On Sunday morning, we bid farewell to Dazza and Geoff and hit the road and had coffee just down the road, before heading back across town to James’ Lambing Flat layout.  Again a few did a bit of a run.  We dropped off Darryl who headed back to Nowra, and we then headed to East Maitland to watch some trains.  We again were not disappointed.  We then let John go his own way, while we headed up the coast towards, Taree.  We had a look over the station, before we ran into Matt from Matt’s Ballast and had a bit of a talk and tour of the Taree Clubrooms.  Then we headed north to Port Macquarie, were we are tonight.  We just had fantastic grub at the an Irish joint.

So when I get home, I will post hundreds of photos over the next week or two from this vast road trip.

We have been having a ball.  What a great group of guys.  Thanks to PK and Dave for a great time so far.  We hope to get to Grafton for a look tomorrow before getting home in the arvo.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Quiet Week Before the Storm


Following last weekend’s model railway exhibition, this week was rather quiet in terms of model railway activity.  The week started with a visit was model railway Royalty on Monday night.  I think James enjoyed the visit to the Shed and it was very nice to have him in attendance.  On Tuesday night we did venture to Shelton’s for our fortnightly’s get together.  Well we should have known.  The layout is never the same on any two consecutive visits.  We were not disappointed as Shelton, has changed the layout again.  He has simplified his layout and it is just as good as his previous version, but it just takes less time to do a circuit.  There are some very nice features of this version, including long sweeping curves.  This one has basically removed the previous hairpin curve that existed.  So some very good positives.  We also expect a few tweaks following suggestions from the Tuesday Night crew.

Yesterday, my son’s soccer game was on at 12:30pm, while the Club meeting is on at 1;00pm.  Luckily they were on in the same vicinity.  I finally made it to the Club to have some lunch with junior Pele in tow at about 1:50pm.  The aim was to catch up with PK and Dave to discuss the trip down and back from Sydney.  PK was there, but no Dave.  PK was telling us about his new baby - A 3D printer.  Anyway we had a good chat with those still at the Clubrooms and ended up being the last to leave.

Today was our Club’s Buy and Sell event, and numbers were down slightly in both sellers and buyers.  Maybe it was because it was Mother’s Day.  Note to organisers – don’t do it next year.  For the last 20 or so years, this event has been on the third Sunday in May.  Next year it will go back to the third Sunday as the May show is on the second weekend in May.  I did not sell much at all.  Possibly due to the lack of NSW buyers who were looking after their wives on their special day.

I did purchase some more water tanks of various sizes.  So they will get a paint job in a few weeks time and get placed around the layout.

This Thursday morning PK and Dave will come to my place and we will begin our photo-a-thon on our trip to next weekend’s Modelling the Railways on NSW Convention at Loftus.  We are all looking forward to it.  Hopefully we will stop at Murwillumbah, Lismore and the Casino.  Then we may head down via the inland route.  We will confirm in the next day or two. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017 Brisbane Model Train Show


The last two full days have been spent at the RNA showgrounds for the 2017 Brisbane Model Train Show.  I also spent a couple of hours on Friday there helping setup the Club's HO layout as well as the table and chairs for my Structure Building Stand.  I had a ball.  It is always great to catch up with people that I see close to just once a year and then some others that I seem to catch up with at every model railway activity.  It is also nice just having a natter with absolute strangers and it is so fullfilling to see smiles on their faces when I show them something, and then they realise what I have modelled and it may have some sort of moving part of hidden detail.

This year, although I took the camera, I did not take one photo.  There were a couple of new layouts at this show.  Firstly there was Tarni, which I think made its debut at the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention last year.  There was also Philden also making its debut, but this home based work of art has been well covered in the blogosphere by Phil himself.

The usual shops were there and had their usual selection of goods available for purchase.  I could not resist when talking to Dave McPhee from the Modeller’s Warehouse late on Sunday arvo, yelling out in front of a few people – “Dave, do you have any Marijuana?”  He replied “Yes”.  Of course he had scale 1:32 scale plants.  So in HO scale that is a big crop.  This was about $8.00 a packet.  I have no idea what it costs in real life, but I’m sure it is a pretty good price in anyone’s language.  Most of the modellers in attendance at these shows have a pretty good sense of humour and we cannot wait to stir them up a bit.

Dave's shop is now stocking MEK, although not my preferred method of joining styrene, it certainly has its advantages in some situations and while I have some at home, I do not take it to exhibitions. Dave provided me a bottle to try and I used it on a double garage I was building.  I had great success with this stuff.  When I ran into Dave on Friday during setup, I was amazed at the variety of trees that he is now stocking.  These included Jacarandas in full bloom, some very nice weeping willows and his grass trees are excellent.  When I saw his grass trees, it made me remember that I purchased some last time I saw him.  It then dawned on me that I have no idea where I planted them on my layout.  But it made me realise that I could get 50 more of his grass trees in a variety of sizes and I would have no trouble at all placing them in realistic locations on the layout and still want more.

It was good to catch up with James from AMRM on both Saturday and Sunday.  It has been years since I’ve seen him at the Brisbane Show and I think it was just been once in the past – maybe twice.

On the Structure Building stand, yesterday I had the modelling guru Jim Hutchinson accompanying me.  Over the years, Jim has had numerous fabulous construction articles published in AMRM.  Today I had Geoff from Splitters Swamp Creek fame sitting beside me.  The current buildings that Geoff has on display under construction are just mind blowing.  You guys really need to follow his blog.

I was just pottering around dabbling in a few items.  I also snapped up a few scenic detail items at some of the shops.  I got about 8 water tanks.  But I think I still need another 20.  That goes with the existing 20 – 30 that I have already placed on the layout.  You can never have enough water tanks.  I picked up some laser cut benches to supplement my own scratchbuilt benches, and I picked up a few KG of ballast of varying colours from Matt’s Ballast. That should keep my busy until later this year when I catch up with him again.  I think it best that I don't mention any other purchases - Shhhh - Hey Lefty - you dobber!

Next week we have a Tuesday Nighters get together at Shelton's.  That will be special.  That is followed by our Club meeting on Saturday, and a Buy and Sell on Sunday.  I might need to pick up some styrene next weekend as well.  Of course the following week is the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention at Loftus.  I am driving down with a few people so that is taking quite a few days.  I must have a good wife to let me do all this Railway related activities.  But it is a pitty that I don’t get a longer financial leash.  Oh well, maybe next year.