Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sidings and Yards

So Friday produced an early arvo from work, and so I went down to the shed and soldered the missing jumpers onto the rails near the points into the Rocklea Sidings area.  So no issues found, and the narrow gauge and standard gauge trains, ran back and forth good enough over the new track work.  But I must clean the standard gauge point.  I also found that my dual gauge crossing inside Rocklea Sidings was not working for the narrow gauge trains.  So I will put that onto the 'To Do' task list for later in the weekend.  One thing I did do though, was to adjust the height of an SDS Calcium Oxide wagon, which had a rather low coupling at one end.  So that is now fixed.  I also had some issues with the narrow gauge tracks in Acacia Ridge Yard seeming to being dead as well.  Another task for later in the weekend.

On Saturday I ordered another QSnap to allow me to power up the future narrow gauge points in Fisherman Islands Yard that I will install over my Christmas holidays.  I also ordered some push buttons and SPDT switches on evil bay for the control panels for these sets of points.  I realised that I need another Peco point motor to be purchased firstly, before I install the two extra narrow gauge sidings.  I was contemplating making the two narrow gauge sidings about 4 to 5 foot longer.  So that will require another 2 or 3 lengths of narrow gauge flex track to be put onto the shopping list as well.  I have already cut some extra ply lengths for the baseboard.  Again a task for the future.

I then had a bit of a clean up of my modelling desk and then installed a working incinerator onto my diorama module for the upcoming modelling competition in 2 weeks time at the Club.  A bit of extra vegetation will probably be installed next week to finalise this module.

Today I went down to the shed and sorted out the power feeds into Acacia Ridge Yard.  It seems that a lot of the power into this area, is via jumpers from track to track.  These are not fed via the track bus.  I had a track joiner feeding one rail and then the rest of the tracks in the yard fed off the first rail.  Not a very clever situation.  I will eventually rectify this, but I did fix up the dodge track fishplate and now power has been restored.  

Just before a small storm hit this arvo, I added the extra wood to the baseboard to allow lengthening of the two future narrow gauge sidings.  I also started installing the new control panel for the southern end of Fisherman Islands Yard that will control the new narrow gauge tracks.  The northern end of this yard, will be added to an existing panel a few meters up the peninsular.  

I will soon start printing out the photos that I have taken and collected of the Casino Station building, so my Cassino Station building can be kit based from three AMRI NSW station buildings.  I am hoping that these dismantled kits and some standard brick sheets will be enough to build a near enough replica.  I hope to really get stuck in over the Christmas break.  But I think it will take me most of the upcoming year to complete this model.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dual Gauge Point

This weekend we had a family Christmas Party complete with Santa arriving on a motorbike with presents on the Saturday afternoon/evening.  It was a great evening.  But before then I was able to get down to the shed and started putting my modelling competition entries together for 3 weeks time.  I found a few more items that I could enter into the competition.  The models I am entering are all sitting on the front two tracks of Acacia Ridge Yard.  I might do some little bits of titivating over the next two weekends as I await the get together at the Club.  I did do a few bits of weathering yesterday to enhance the models slightly.  I did a couple more bits again today, by adding some more weathering, this time to the roofs of the models.

I was also starting to think that I might have to start scratchbuilding a dual gauge point that I need for my standard gauge entry into Rocklea Sidings, as there seems to be no news about when the importer can source a left hand standard gauge point from Tillig.  This is very frustrating.  Either the Importer is incompetent or Tillig must be winding down their business.  It has been about 3 months now.  So yesterday I drew up some rough sketches of the dual gauge point I need, with the third rail on either side of the standard gauge through line.

I then went searching through my many bits and pieces of offcut points that I have in my scrap box.  I did find a couple of suitable samples that could be used for a basis of kitbashing these into a dual gauge point for Rocklea Sidings.

So today after lunch when I was just about to wander down to the shed and started looking at the dual gauge point, I searched another location in the study where I have some point building stuff stashed.  I found a broken left hand Peco medium radius point.  Hmmmm?  So I fixed this one up with styrene glue but mounting it on a styrene base, and then used super glue to keep the rails in the chairs.  I can't believe I still keep finding sets of points around - although partly broken.

Not more than one hour later, and I had a reasonable dual gauge point., and narrow gauge and standard gauge bogies ran through without problems.  So I then jumped up onto the top deck of the layout and removed the track and found out that the kitbashed point fitted in beautifully into the geometry.  So I then joined the track up to the standard gauge sidings.  I pushed three wagons through the trackwork quite a few times, and there were many issues.  So as I removed the old track, I think I moved the geometry into the existing narrow gauge sidings.  I then connected up the main line towards Acacia Ridge Yard and did a bit more testing on that route as well.  But after a lot more trial and error, and pushing various wagons through the trackwork, it now looks like the mainline works well for both narrow and standard gauge movements in both directions, and the two tracks into Rocklea Siding, the narrow gauge track and the standard gauge track also both work well.  

Well, I think I now no longer need the dual gauge point from Tillig.  So that is over $80 saved in my budget.  So that might bring forward the installation of the first extra siding in Fisherman Islands.  This will cost over $90 for the required track to install, and another $90 for more track for the second siding.  This could be a good job for the Christmas break.

However, next weekend, I will re-solder the feeders back on to the track around Rocklea Siding, after I removed four of them when removing the old trackwork, and then I will run both standard gauge and narrow gauge trains on the mainline in both directions via DCC, and then run trains into and out of the sidings.  I also have to install the point motor on the dual gauge point, and then that whole section of track will be complete.  Just 12 months ago, that section was not even a figment of my imagination.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Inspiration and Then Weathering and Loads

On Tuesday night this week, we ventured over to Bob’s place for our regular meeting.  It was a good turn up and we were treated to some fantastic progress on Mosquito Creek.  This layout already had a very nice terminus section with some perway sidings and other industries already installed.  Last time we visited we got to see the fantastically scratch built bridge that spans over Mosquito Creek.  This bridge just looks like a typical Queensland Railways bridge that spans a flood plain where the bridge dips down in the middle.  When Bob runs a loco over it, even a very light QR Silver bullet (2000 class) Railmotor you can even hear the creaks and groans of the old timber beams under the weight of the train.

This visit was no exception with even more progress.  Holy Crap!  I have never seen mangroves modelled before.  The creek that leads past the wharf area, and which will be the main town location (most probably started on our next visit), then runs off into a small creek.  The mangroves along the banks of the creek were fantastic.  I could even small the mud at low tide.  I'm sure a saw a crab or two out of the corner of my eye.  It was one of the model brilliant modelling efforts of any sort of water way that I have ever seen.  I think all in attendance that night were just blown away.  Further up the creek, there is boat ramp and a small camping ground.  The detail is just phenomenal.  I think people were having night mares when thinking of the quality of Bob’s work.

I viewed this layout just when I could not get motivated to do anything down in the train shed except sit down and vegetate or maybe just walk around with a can of cold ale.  This inspirations visit to Bob's place, followed by hearing that I have an article in the next AMRM along with another Tuesday Nighter, and that started to get the modelling juices flowing again.  We then found out that Arthur had sent down an article about loads for open wagons and we have seen his finished product, that he is talking about.  More inspirations!

This Friday afternoon, I went down to the shed and decided to glue some coal dust onto three more styrene loads.  That was completed and that was it.  I think that was the sum of my modelling efforts for the whole week that I had a home following some surgery on Monday evening to remove a few BCCs around my face.  I did look like some horror movie character with the bandages on my face for a few days.  Now you can hardly see where the dissolvable stitches were placed.

Saturday was RMCQ meeting day.  I had a good time talking to my mates over there.  I have decided to run a modelling session in maybe February next year at the Club, where we will make various removable loads for either coal wagons or ballast wagons.  We could even do some wood chip wagons for the US modellers if they are interested.  Maybe we can do some Iron Ore loads, as I saw quite a few of these wagons running around on the Club layout yesterday.  I will call for expressions of interest and numbers of each type of wagon.  I will source all the products required and we will put them together on the day and attendees will pay just a couple of dollars for the expendables used for each wagon load.  We don’t care if the wagons are HO or N scale.  We will try and get the members into doing some actual modelling.  At the Club meeting, it was resolved that the Annual RMCQ Modelling competition will be on the Saturday in December.  While the RMCQ Christmas party will be on the Sunday.  So what this means is that I need to create a few items for the modelling competition.  So last night I started to make a list of potential items that I can create over the next month for the modelling competition.

So this arvo I went down to the shed and did some weathering.  Firstly I added some graffiti decals to two of my four narrow gauge coal wagons.  I then weathered all four narrow gauge coal wagons.  While at it, I decided to weather another four narrow gauge wagons.  I did this to one WHO open wagon, two taughtliners and one QLX louvre van.  I think they came up pretty well.  The next task for me was to try and make some 4x4 weathered timbers for stowing in my WHO wagons.  While at it, I decided to try and make some wire reo-bar loads for my open wagons.  I had a coil of 0.9mm galvanised wire in the shed, and then was laid out and pulled tight, and then wrapped around a couple of screws and then cut off into 5 bundles of 10 lengths of wire.  These were then bound with some other very fine wire that I had lying around.  They look quite nice sitting in two of my WHO wagons.

So I doesn’t take an Einstein to work out that I might be presenting a graffitied loaded coal wagon or two, a few more weathered narrow gauge wagons, maybe another wagon with a load of reo-bar in it.  Still plenty to do to complete these models.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Still Talking Clothes Lines

On Thursday the call went out that there was a modelling night at Simon’s Shop on Friday night, and as Geoff was going as well as Darren, I mad it a trio.  It was good to catch up with the regulars and Simon on Friday night.  My night was also productive.  During the night, I put together 10 HO model clothes lines.  Well almost, I was missing a length of 1.6mm styrene rod.  That was picked up on Saturday morning and then cut up in the arvo.  The poles were glued together, winders added and then set aside and allowed to dry and then the spray can was used to paint the 10 clothes lines, as well as the four others that I already had assembled.  The rest of the afternoon, was spent getting out the items I was wishing to sell today at our Club's Buy and Sell and packing the car.

Also during the week, there was much talk (maybe more correctly termed friendly banter) online with PK and of course the opportunity was not lost on stirring him about his lack of action in installing his outdoor clothes line, so he can vacate his shed, so it can then be lined, and then become his train shed.  At the moment the Shed is just a big enclosed dryer with his clothes line inside it.  Come on PK, get a move in.  At least his washing will always dry and never get wet when it rains outside.

Today I rocked up at Dave’s place early, and we made our way to the Clubrooms for set up at the Buy and Sell.  I had pre-booked my table and I was next to Darryl, and down the road from past member Peter and Patty.  The selling was very slow, but I did end up quite a bit in the bank by pack up time.  However, I just cannot get anyone interested in my NSW rollingstock, - ballast wagons, sleeper carrying wagons, wheat wagons, open wagons, cement wagons and louvres, as well as the odd loco, XPT and various other bits and pieces.

One of the reasons I went to the club besides trying to sell some stuff, was to do a transaction on buying an old 12mm double slip.  I picked it up for a good price but upon closer inspection, someone removed the Peco springs.  Bugger!  But on the way home, I stopped in at David’s, ventured to his shed and did some consulting services.  After that I asked if he had any broken points with springs still in them.  Well he had some points, and when I got home, I removed the springs and eventually got the springs back into the 12mm double slips.  The point was then installed into Acacia Ridge yard and it works just like a bought one.

So that was another item ticked off my to do list.

It seems that the Club Christmas Party Meeting is now scheduled for a Sunday and I have other plans so I can’t make it (or so I'm told).  Another Bugger.  So that means that I will not have anything in the modelling comp this year.  I have a couple of items ready, and was planning on making something else, but it looks like I don’t have to now.

Earlier on in the week, we went to my daughter’s School Awards Night.  She picked up 5 subject awards for top marks in those subjects, a couple of perpetual trophies and then rounded it off my being announced as Co-School Captain for next year.  Not a bad night and of course we are very proud of her achievements.