Sunday, October 29, 2017

I've Got a New PC

Again there was very little Model railway activity this week.  I had to miss our Tuesday Nighters meeting as it was my daughter’s awards night.  She had a very good night, with her being dux of 6 subjects, and picking up another 3 awards throughout the night.  Anyway on Friday night a few of us ventured down to Darren’s place for a BBQ and a natter.  Geoff and Brendan did some modelling, while I just sat back with Grover and watched.  Yesterday I did nothing besides buying a new laptop.  My first new one in almost 7 years.  This one is just slightly faster with a SSD inside.

Today I just wandered around, changed a washer, trimmed up a couple of trees and watched some cricket on TV.  I also set up the new PC.  I have been starting to think want I could enter into our Club’s upcoming annual modelling competition.  That is in December, but entries have to be registered by the second week in November.  While I have done a few things this year, I’m not sure they are competition enterable.  I might have to make a list, check it twice, and see if it was nice enough to complete before the December meeting, if I register it in two weeks time.  That means that I might have to pull my finger out over the next few weekends.

I feel I have a duty to contribute I model or two as I have been entering for many, many years.  So I have some thinking ahead in the next week.

Another thing that has annoyed me today is that a state election has been called and totally stuffed up a project I have been working on for the last 6 months.  Everything needs to stop for the next 4 to 6 weeks, and if it is not approved and implemented before the end of the year, it will cost our customers, I'd suggest a few hundred thousand dollars.  Damn!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Slow Weekend

Yesterday, I made my way over to Anthony’s place for his monthly Operations Session.  I was the only NSW modeller in attendance, now that Brendan has changed his stripes to Yellow (or should I say Gold) on Blue.  I was joined at the session by Brendan, Mark, Jeff and Jeff’s father Ian who was on holidays in the sunshine state on this rather dreary day, as well as our host – Anthony.

As usual the session ran very well.  Everything runs very well at Anthony's place.  I could not claim to doing too many things wrong during the session, and I did get the job of SAR Operator No. 2 and thus I had a number of shunt trains to operate.  I had a grain train that was 6 bogie wagons long and a van and the siding could only hold 5 wagons.  Also the van could not go under the loader.  Bugger.  That was taxing my brain as to what to do.  I then had to top up fuel in loco at the other end of the yard and also add a PWS wagon to add to my train just inside the van, on my return trip.  Bugger again.  I forgot to make allowances for the PWS, so had to do some more shunting.  All this was occurring in the middle of a very busy Tatiara Downs yard controlled by Station Master Brendan. 

Another train I had was the stonie.  This runs onto the branch at Border Junction and sets back into the stone loading facility siding at that location.  Again more mental arithmetic needs to be done, as my van and 9 empty stone wagons are on the train and the wagons can only be loaded 3 at a time.  Luckily there is a small storage siding off the loading siding for me to stow 3 wagons and the van.  So after a bit of a soft shoe shuffle in lots of three wagons, and a couple of ventures out onto the branch in between trains, I finally got this train loaded.  Then I need to get down to the branch terminus so I can run around the stone train.  Again not so easy as I need to end for end the guards van as well, before I can come back.  I also have a single ended loco, so off to the turntable so I can see what is happening as I head on my way back to staging.  

One would think that the layout owner might spring for an extra van in his inventory so it would make the drivers job of this train a bit easier, with a van at each end.  No not this scoundrel of an owner.  But all these little scenarios come together to make the session the success it is, and most enjoyable.  Apparently this was the 30th session that has been held.  I’m pretty certain that my number of attendances is under half, but could be as high as 12 sessions I’d guess.  This is a great afternoon.  We even get to drink and drive.

I wonder if I can work some of these puzzles into my timetable escapades?

There was also another branch train, a passenger, that needed to do some drop offs of a couple of fast goods wagons to the dock siding at Tatiara Downs, before I made my way onto the branch.  Once at Jameston, I also needed to drop a passenger van at the goods shed for later return, before running around, turning the loco, adding two extra cars to my consist due to it being school holidays and I was away back to Tatiara Downs.  After the passenger disembarked at this major station, I have to run around my train (I was getting dizzy) and then had to shunt my carriages into the carriage siding next to loco. 

My simplest train of the day was the first.  It was taking control of the Overland from Tatiara Downs following the loco swap from VR power to SAR power.  Once I got to staging I also had to take the motive power off the train, and shuffle the locos into another siding (Siding A) as the train is too long to sit in No.1 track with motive power attached.

Today I unpacked the items into the shed that I took to the Model Railways for a Day Seminar last Sunday.  These had been sitting on the dining room table drawing the ire of the financial controller.  Well it has rained all week so I did not have time.  (Well it didn't rain on Thursday - but I mowed the grass on that day, so I think I was allowed some grace due to that)

Today my only modelling work was attaching 42 x 44 gallon drums to some masking take and then painting them all silver.  That will be the base colour before I had other colours to these drums on another day.

Who knows what will motivate me for next week?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Today Was the Day

Today we held the Model Railways for a Day Seminar at the AMRA Clubrooms in Zillmere.  Over 30 people attended on top of about a dozen presenters, the Seminar’s organising Committee and workers from the host Club AMRA – around 50 people total.  While the day dawned very wet on the southside when we left home, when we got to the venue, it was actually fine, with patches of blue sky.  But that didn’t last long, as it soon rained quite heavily, between intervening patches of light sprinkles and no rain at all.  One of our Tuesday Nighters whom was also presenting lived literally around the corner from the Clubrooms and after we all unloaded our gear for the day, three of us drove our cars around to his place and the four of us all walked back to the AMRA clubrooms, in an attempt to reduce car parking congestion in the grounds.  

I think the attendees of the day enjoyed themselves.  They got a couple of freebees in their gift bag, a sausage sizzle lunch, and quite a few pages of notes to compliment the presentations given during the day.  At least 24 of the 28 small dioramas found their way to a new home.  Quite a few dunny kits also found their way to a new home as well.  Of the modules commandeered by the attendees, quite a few had a nice looking tree planted on the model by the end of the day and at least one that I saw had some very nice looking clouds painted on the base skyblue backboards.

I think Modellers Warehouse, who did a presentation during the day, and also provided some materials for some of the sessions, may have sold a bit of stock.  Which is really good news.

I await to received feedback from the attendees to see if this Seminar has hit the mark, and any suggestions to improve future seminar days.

Following are some photos from the day.  It is now that just realise that I did not get a photo of all the dioramas before they were claimed.  Bugger!
Lefty in the distance, with the tables of the various presenters filled with their examples.

Now looking the other way with tea and coffee also set up.

Some of the attendees before muster.

Looking the other way.

Arthur and Kerrie talking trees.

Bob doing Air Brushing.

PK with his modules for scenery bases and scenicing techniques.

Dave doing Static Grass application.

An example of a small diorama of static grass.

From a higher angle.

Various sample displays of colour and length of static grass- some done by attendees.

Arthur closing out the Day.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

All Ready For Next Weekend

The week started with a public holiday on the Monday.  I used that time, to cut up another 4 dioramas for the upcoming Model Railways for a Day Seminar next weekend.  The reason why is that the convener advised that there more than 24 attendees for the seminar.  Whoops!  I think the four extra that I did look quite nice as a base for the attendees of the Seminar to continue working on next Sunday.  I also completed the application of the blue paint for the backboards on each of the dioramas.

On Saturday this week I sat down while watching some Bathurst Motor Racing on the TV and went over all the styrene that I had cut up for the ‘Dunny Building’ session at the seminar.  I completed the cutting up and I have now got 22 completed small kits that the attendees can put together.  Some components have more pieces cut up but I can provide 22 complete kits for those that attend my sessions.

The handout notes for my session have been completed for quite some time.  I will print some copies off during the week.  I also have a single instruction page to go with the ‘Dunny' kits that will be completed tonight.  Again I'll make some copies.

I’m looking forward to next Sunday’s seminar.  Next week I hope to have a few photos from the day posted on my blog.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

It's All Coming Together

In two weeks time the Model Railways for a Day Seminar is being held in Brisbane at the AMRA Clubrooms.  Attendance is by prior registration and costs $30 and includes lunch and notes.  This event being put on by the organisers of the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention team after feedback from attendees at last year's MtRofQld Convention that there was a need for an entry level/beginners seminar.  So we responded to that request.

Yesterday PK come over and we went down to Bunnings and picked up the items we needed to make 24 dioramas the size of an A4 sheet of paper that we will hand out to attendees of the Seminar.  PK and I spend about 5 hours in the hot sun putting these small dioramas together.  Today I painted the backboards on most of the dioramas as a base coat.  At the Seminar, attendees will learn about baseboards and scenery construction (Terra forming), we will then help them make an outdoor dunny from styrene, to sit under a tree which they will make, learn about track and lay a piece of track on their diorama, as well as improve their soldering skills and learn how to solder wires to their piece of track, and then ballast the track and then learn how to apply static grass over the module, and apply some detail in the form of paint to their backscene.  Apart from this, there are also sessions on DCC and JMRI, how to research something you might want to model, How to create operations on your layout, how to get trouble free running, as well as how to's on airbrushing, buildings, and making the layout look real.  

So PK and I have completed the basic work on these diorama so some the attendees can take away a great little diorama that they can do all the practical elements of the hobby on.  We also had Shelton come over and he took a few photos of what the two bearded dorks were doing.  It might have looked like the blind leading the blind, but we did get there in the end.

Today I went a little further on one model.  I scoured out a creek bed and I cut up the wooden components for a bridge that one of the models will have on it.  I got inspired by the latest AMRM issue that had an article about building a bridge.  So I knocked one up using the Data Sheet for a 10’ 6” wooden bridge.  Well it is almost knocked up, I just need to assemble it all tomorrow.  This model is reserved for someone attending the Convention.
Gluing the backboards onto the modules

Is that a message for Shelton?

Hmmm!  What happens next?  What makes it go?

Let's make some sawdust?  Was that your finger PK or mine?

Doing some modules with backscenes on two sides

24 completed modules and the foam to use in the background

Out work area!  Even a reflection of one of the workers in the shot as well as the photographer.

Can we put the foam through the saw?

PK,  If I die first from fumes coming off the foam can you tell me?