Sunday, October 28, 2018

Slow Weekend Again

Well today I spent the day at a family Christening.  It was nice to catch up with the family.  Today would also have been my mother’s 100th Birthday, if she was still alive, so what better day to have a family catchup.

Yesterday I decided to sit at the kitchen table while the wife was off doing stuff like attending a linen party and then taking my daughter to a Halloween Party.  I revisited my 7 coal loads that I made the Friday a week ago.  I decided to build a shaped top on the load to help them look more like the modern coal loads that are nicely manicured to ensure that the wind over the top of the wagon does not dislodge the load that much.  So I made various shapes of load tops out of styrene and then glued these to the top of the existing load.  These were shaped with a bastard file.  The next step was to paint the loads with a spray can of matt black - a one minute job.

I also painted the two ballast loads inserts a matt black base colour as well.  While this was still wet, I sprinkled some Ardglen ballast onto the top of the loads and then wet this with some wet water.  I then dosed the wagon load tops with a mixture of diluted white glue and allowed it to set.

Late this afternoon I went down to the shed and observed that the two ballast loads look great.  The load is well set and the load can be inserted and extracted from the ballast wagons very easily with a magnet.  I just need to put these two wagons onto the layout somewhere.  I then decided that I would pour some glue onto three of the coal loads and then sprinkled some coal onto the tops to form the loads.  More glue was dropped onto the tops and then more coal.  These have now been set aside to dry.  On my next trip to the shed during the week they will be inspected and tested as well.  I will then do the same to the remaining four coal load bases.

I tried to take some photos today but the camera battery was flat.  So it is on charge, as my daughter's awards night is on this week, so I need to make sure I can grab some photos at that event.  We find out who out of her friends are going to fill the 10 leadership positions at the school for next year.  Finger's crossed for my daughter and her preferred position.

This coming Sunday is our Club’s Buy and Sell at our Clubrooms.  I hope to be taking some HO scale NSW rollingstock that is excess to my needs over there in the hope of selling. it  I will also have a few styrene detail parts like clotheslines, container flats, and generators on 20' container bases for refrigerator containers on trains for sale.  You never know your luck in a big city.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Recovery Weekend

This week I was invited over to Brendan’s place for a Friday Night Modelling group BBQ.  It was very nice to catch up with Brendan, Darren and Geoff.  We also had Jeff visit as well.  Basically it was a night of discussions about Brendan’s new VR layout which is starting to come along very well.  We then adjourned to the modelling table.  Last Sunday I visited Bunnings and picked up a packet of steel washers.  I superglue two of these  washer to what becomes the underside of a sheet of styrene which is the basis of a load that I am putting together for two more NSW ballast wagons and 4 QR coal wagons.  I have so far made 7 bases for coal wagons.  While one of the coal wagon bases is basically finished so that the load can nestle into the wagon among the various ribs on the inside of the wagons, the other 6 have been just cut to length and width.  The cut outs for the ribs will occur most probably next weekend.  To remove the loads, I just hold a magnet over the washer and whole load gets extracted from the wagon.  The reason for this is so I can run loaded and full wagons on the layout as part of my operations.  The crew just load or unload the wagon at the appropriate locations on the layout.

This weekend, I spent quite a lot of time sitting in front of the TV just watching the V8 racing.  Not really doing any modelling on Saturday or Sunday.

In two weeks time, I will pick up the next piece of track I need for Acacia Ridge Yard – a 12mm double slip.  I noticed that the local hobby shop had one on Saturday when I visited.  Two weeks ago he did not have any.  Mine however will be second hand and at a fair price.  While at the Hobby Shop, I picked up a spare paint display rack, that he was disposing of.  Wouldn’t you know it, following assembly yesterday and stocking it up today, mine is now almost full.  It is amazing how much stuff one collects over time.  Now to clear some bench space so I can install it on top of one of my kitchen benches in the Shed.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention 2018

Yesterday was the 2018 Modelling the Railways of QLD Convention, held at the Beenleigh Events Centre.  While this facility was not cheap to hire, I think it provided a nice dry location to bring together about 80 modellers together to listen, chat, learn, and hopefully buy some models or detail items from the various trade stands in attendance.

I rocked up pretty early as I was one of the organising committee and shared an exhibition table with PK.  We soon blew out to two tables.  PK had 6 dioramas to show off and I had two with a third under wraps until just before my presentation.  PK’s dioramas show how to create the layers of ply, foam or other items like chicken wire, fly screen or cardboard to then cover with plaster or other similar items.  These are then painted and completed with dirts and scatters to then be super detailed.  The dioramas are meant for the attendees to see on a small scale what they can do on their layouts  on a much larger scale.

I did a session later in the day about “Bringing a Layout to Life”.  I provided some of my tricks and techniques as well as to an insight into what I try to achieve on my layout to bring it to life.

Throughout the day, there were some very good presentations.  I went to Anthony and Mark’s session on “Adding Purpose to Your Layout”.  It basically covered making your feel you were back in the era that railway was designed for and you were doing that work.  It was great.  I also listened to the session by Anthony Veness on his Dagun layout.  Again a very nice session.  Of course Arthur Hayes did a great session on the O wagons of Queensland Rail.  The day was completed with Marty talking about Animations. This too was very interesting and has prompted me to do some more research into Arduinos and how I can use them for a couple of tasks on my layout.

The feedback so far has been extremely positive.
Here are a few photos of my detailed diorama.

A few sheep have wandered into this shot.  Maybe they are on the lookout for a mutton bird in one of the trees.

This photo shows the small rock filled creek.  There is water in it which is keeping the small weeping willows alive in a rather barren scene.

Today, all I have done is unpack the car and put everything away.  I spent some time working out what the next project is and it will be making some loads for a mixture of wagons on the layout.  This will include 12mm QR Coal wagons and a couple of NSW ballast wagons.  Of course these loads will be built on a styrene base with a couple of washers superglued underneath so that the loads can be removed with a magnet in ones hands.  However, I don’t think I have any coal dust to use for the coal wagon loads.

The next major project will be to start building the station building for the Cassino platform.  I think this will be a mammoth task and take me well into next year to complete.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Layout Tidy Up and Convention Preparation

With Monday being a public holiday, I spent most of the day in the Shed.  Most of that time was spent wiring jumpers to sections of the track and continuing the feeding of 10 wires from Clapham Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard.  These wires are for the Rocklea Sidings control panel and continue all the way back to an NCE Mini Panel underneath Loco Pilly.

The Mini Panel was coded up with the various commands to throw the particular points when the various switches on the panel were pushed, and it all works well.  I am still waiting for a Tillig LH Standard Gauge point to be brought into the country.  This piece of track is currently unavailable worldwide.  When this track segment arrives, I will then wire up a point motor to that set of points, and then also spend some time with one set of points where the point motor catches when it is thrown in one direction.  I think I have to replace the point motor base.  It only works in one direction at the moment.

The dual gauge sections of track in Clapham Yard that were added over the last weekend, had wire jumpers added around the Peco points and a few nails inserted into the track to align everything.  Both a standard gauge loco and narrow gauge loco run quite well over the new trackwork.  I also added two wire jumpers to Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  These two new sidings work well.  However, I have had a catastrophic failure of the rest of the dead end sidings.  I think I may have had a wire come loose under the layout.  But as yet, I have not stuck my head underneath to investigate.

This phot is of Clapham Yard.  This yard is a mixture of 16.5mm and 12mm track and includes a crossover of gauges and a section of dual gauge.

This scene shows the work done last weekend to provide a few more sidings in the narrow gauge yard at Acacia Ridge.  The 1720 is sitting on the loco siding, which will allow trains to move from the runaround sidings on the left to the deadend sidings on the right.

This photo shows the new standard gauge points between the 4th track from the left (the dual gauge) to the third track from the left.

This is Fisherman Islands Yard.  The baseboard has been extended at the rear to allow two more narrow gauge loops to be installed.  These will be short compared to the length of the sidings in the existing yard.

This weekend has been spent working on my notes for the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention next weekend.  These notes were started some time ago, and now they have finally been completed.  The last task was to supplement the notes with photographic examples from my layout to demonstrate my presentation.  My Powerpoint presentation was also sent off to the conference convenor yesterday although it has been basically completed for the last two weeks.   All that is left to do is to pack up my models for my presentation and have fun next weekend.  

I did find some time on Saturday to head over to Aurora Trains and picked up a three pack on SDS NPAX calcium wagons.  Two are for me and one for a mate, well it was PK.  I should be also paying for a 4 wagon set of Coal Wagons on Tuesday Night thanks to PK. The other thing that I did today was watch the Bathurst race.  Unfortunately Tricky Dickie’s team only came 3rd.  That was at least a podium finish.

I think over the next week I will try and make another half a dozen clotheslines so I will have some available next weekend in case some of the Convention attendees are after one. 

Tuesday night this week is at Dr. Peter’s place.  It has been a while since we have been there and I understand that he has done quite a bit of work lately.  So I’m looking forward to that.