Sunday, December 29, 2019

December Operations Session Wrap

This week I’ve done a few tasks in preparation for this yesterday’s Operations Session.  The last Ops session was in April this year.  A very big break.  On Monday evening I cut up the various timetable cards that I printed.    On Christmas eve, I cut up the various shunt lists for the standard gauge trains.  I also went through the timetable cards and removed the unnecessary ones, i.e. the 'A' version of the ballast train, the afternoon Cassino Meatworks shunt, the 'A' version of the Gold Coast Motorrail and its return train and the extra narrow gauge trains.

On Christmas afternoon after the boss cooked a very nice dinner for the family, I added couplings to 6 narrow gauge wagons, and bogies to two of these wagons.  I added containers to three container flats, and also slipped a container into a FJS wagon.  I have no idea if these wagons ever carried a container, but the container slipped into the wagon, so I thought I’d try it.  I forgot to find out on Saturday when Arthur, Mr QR prototype and loads, was present.  I don't know if it is prototypical or not.  I had to adjust the bogie bolster height to ensure that the couplers were the correct height on two wagons.  

On Christmas night when I superglued two tarps to two HWE grain wagons.  I then also started applying tie down ropes to another tarp – this time for a HJS wagon.  This reminds me I still have the other side to complete.  On Thursday morning I spent 2 hours in the shed and ran my cleaning car train over all the mainline trackage from Grafton Yard to Cassino and through to South Brisbane Interstate.  Then I went back to Dutton Park and then went for a trip to Fisherman Islands.  From there we back tracked to Cassino again and then went for a trip along the branch line to Murwillumbah.  Then back to Grafton Yard.  I went out on the mainline and came back via all the loops.  While at South Brisbane Interstate I went up and down all the vacant sidings.  I found one cold solder joint that prevented trains from running in track 4.  That was fixed and everything was good again.  I also went up and down all the tracks in Cassino, Old Cassino, Lismore, and Murwillumbah.

I had planned that on Friday I was going to test the narrow gauge with the running of my largest narrow gauge train ever.  This was to positioned all the 12mm wagons in their start locations.  I never did the running.  I just carried the wagons to their start locations.  I thought I would just suck it and see on Saturday.   I did however, double check the standard gauge wagons and ensured that the wagons were in their correct order on the various trains – well except for the oil train.  That came back to haunt us on Saturday.

Saturday rolled around and 10 crew and myself turned up to run some trains.  I was expecting a larger gathering.  So again it was organised chaos.  Trains broke away.  Some locos were DOA.  Some just stopped after a bit of a short.  I resurecte dthem on teh programming track with my Powercab.  My steel train kept parting between the second and third wagons.  This train has run for years.  It caused all sorts of delays as it was late starting and got later.  That train was attended to last last night after the session.  That train also had an AOOX wagon causing issues.  I also adjusted that wagion today - and ran that from Grafton Yard to Acacia Ridge and back again as a test.  

Yesterday we ran about 31 trains to completion in the session and there are at least three on the layout awaiting completion.  We ran the fast clock for about 12 hours from 00:40 am and some trains are only at their locations they were supposed to be at 9:00am – or close to it.  So we are just over about a third of the way through the session.  But that was because of the issues, and most I caused.  I only drove one train after it was so troublesome.  I then just roved around attending to issues as they arose.

Most of the issues were ones that I was causing and holding up mainline traffic.  So there was a lot of single file of trains around various incidents.  Arthur did a great job at North Coast Control.  We had everyone enjoying themselves, I had feedback on about 8 trains on the timetable cards.  So these have all been addressed, either last night or today.  That is the reason we have timetable cards, so crew can write on them about the issues they encountered and then I can fix them up.  Issues could be about track, the timetable card, headsets, staff machines or the train.

The session caused me to have some issues with three narrow gauge dead end sidings being too short.  But only on one end!  Also two narrow gauge loops were also too short.  I will address the length of the three dead end sidings, and then adjust what wagons run to the narrow gauge loops.  But 14 of my narrow gauge wagons did not exist at the last session.  They were all scratch built since then.  I only had one issue with a coupler spring missing on one of the wagons.  I knew about that before the session, but I could not find the wagon in the lead up to the session.  Luckily someone did and that is also now fixed.

Today I had a visit from model railway royalty.  Bob Gallagher popped in for a tour.  He was up here on holidays.  We spent a couple of hours talking and walking around the layout.

I will spend a bit of time in the shed over the next few days and next weekend, and who knows, I might run a few trains by myself to progress the timetable.  I can even run multiple trains at the same time, but no more than two.  I can now concentrate on some scenic progress on the layout before the next operations session.

Thanks for turning up guys and Happy New Year to all my followers.
This shot by PK, shows some work at the level crossing on Fairy Lane.

Another shot by PK.  He was running the rail paybus heading towards South Brisbane Interstate.  It is seen here passing Nammoona Ballast Siding, which also leads cattle.

The rail paybus was again captured by PK (and driven by him as well) as it passes Ron and Marg's B&B near Fairy Hill Crossing Loop.  Apparently PK regularly stay at the B&B and rents the particular room with a view of the railway track.  You can see him through the window getting up to no good.  
Most of the Crew in this shot.  Three were missing, Arthur in North Coast Control, Mark shunting Clapham Yard behind me and who knows were Darren was.

A shunt train has arrived at Clapham Yard 48 class.  It will drop some wagons off and then head to South Brisbane Interstate with the last two wagons.  The car carriers stay in Clapham Yard, while the three loaded limestone hopper wagons at the rear of the train are shunted by a 73 Class loco back to Rocklea Siding for swapping three empty wagons at that location.

Darren is captured here running a train through Clapham Yard.  He might be driving the Brisbane Limited on track 2 through the yard.  There are three container wagons on each of track 1 and track 3 with a shunt loco ready to add the wagons on track 3 to the end of the next south bound container train on track 2 which will arrive after the Limited passes Dutton Park and frees the staff section.  The shunt loco will then take the three container wagons on track 1 to Park Road and South Brisbane Interstate.  There is also the shunt train still on track 4.  The narrow gauge yard also has some train activity visible as well.

Here the Brisbane Limited has teh staff for the section Clapham Yard to Dutton park and is heading towards South Brisbane.  The narrow gauge shunt is doing its work.  This photo shows that I might need some toothbrush bristles in the track to stop the wagons from running away while the loco is detached and wagons are run around.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Narrow Gauge Timetable Updates Complete

This week things have been more back to normal than last week.  Over the last few days I have had access to a whole lot more equipment as I had been down at Coolangatta for 10 days holidaying with the family.  But I did do some modelling, I just can't take everything down there.  No paints, and I forgot to take the couplers for the wagons with me.  

When I got home, I did check the headsets I purchased last week and there is no individual volume control on them.  What do you expect for $5 each?  I am still to plug then in and test them with my setup.  But I foresee no problems.

This week I have been spending plenty of time on the planning of the narrow gauge components of the Operations Session timetable.  This included desk checking a new timetable with various wagons moving between different sidings to create some activity.  I believe I have made plenty of progress and I think it is now suitable to give it a try during an Operations Session.  The timetable cards for all the narrow gauge trains have been adjusted with extra wording and a lot more wagons have been conscripted into service.  There is still plenty of room for more wagons to be added at a future date.  I could be opening up myself for lots of issues, if the wagons are too light, but they seem OK with tests done so far.

I also did some more follow up work on my latest narrow gauge wagons.  I visited Aurora Trains on Friday and picked up 6 sets of narrow gauge bogies for my latest creations.  These are going under the last few wagons I have scratch built.  I can remember back to when I had about 12 or 13 narrow gauge wagons total and I could have 2 or maybe 3 narrow gauge trains.  I needed to get some mates to bring a coal or grain train over and the barrow gauge track was hopeless when those trains ran.  Mine ran OK however.  This narrow gauge empire sensis now has ballooned to about 39 wagons when this last lot of wagons are complete.  This is thanks to about 15 of these being scratch built over the last year or so.

These latest bunch of scratch built wagons have now been painted and seem to run up and down the track and through the scratch built point work quite well.  I have one more HWA wagon to add external ribbing to before painting and before adding couplers.  The other 4 wagons that I built during the last week and a bit, all still need couplers to be added, but are all painted, and almost ready for use on the layout.  Maybe this last task will be completed on Christmas eve while watching TV.  I need these wagons for an upcoming Operations Session the following weekend.  I feel that last HWA wagon that I built, has ribs that are too large.  The next one will use slightly smaller strips of styrene for the ribs in the various locations on the wagon.

The timetable graphs have also been adjusted with the 4 sets of new train paths that exist between Acacia Ridge and Fisherman Islands.  These could be narrow gauge or standard gauge trains.  I have also added the Rocklea Sidings location to the train graph.  However, there is not yet any changes to the timetable cards to separately mention this location on the timetable cards.  However with Rocklea Sidings on the graph, the train controller will see what the various shunt trains - 2 narrow gauge and 2 standard gauge - need to do, with the trains reversing on the mainline to access the Sidings.

I am considering switching the timetable cards from perforated A4 (giving 4 x A6) cards to maybe going back to some perforated A4 (giving 2 x A5) cards in the future as my eyes seem to be starting to fail me more and more.  Then the timetable cards can be a lot bigger and there will be plenty of space to add new locations - such as sidings and wayside halts if required in the future.

I'm back to work tomorrow for 2 days before being on leave for another week.  When on leave again, it will be around to track cleaning and locomotive and train testing for 3 days before the Operations Session.  I hope to have plenty of photos from that session in next weekend’s Blog update.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Making QR Wagons

On Thursday I finally sat down and set out my modelling projects.  The family decided to go shopping so I sat at the kitchen table and studied the various plans of various QR wagons that Arthur previously provided.  First up, I decided to make two PCFC wagons.  These will carry a single 20’ container each.  The next wagon was a PCL, also a single slotter container wagon.  This wagon has a large open frame in the middle of the wagon.  But if you put a container on this wagon, you won’t see that I did not include the slot.  I just made it out of single piece of styrene.  Shhhh!  Don’t tell Arthur.  Next was a HWA wagon.  This version was a steel rib sided wagon.  I only got to building the box without ribs and bogie bolster and then I pulled up stumps and decided to do some timetable planning.  It was not until today that I got back to the rids on this wagon.  These were made out of strip styrene.  I’m quite happy with how the wagon turned out.

On Friday while out shopping at Big W, my son saw that they had a clearance of plug in headsets.  They were $5 each.  They only had two on display, so I grabbed them very quickly.  I then went to their service counter and asked if they had any others out the back.  The guy came back and said yep, how many do you want?  He said they had about 30.  I said I’ll take 10.  So hopefully these will replace and supplement my existing headsets.  The existing ones are losing the foam around the earpieces.  These old ones, leave black headset stuff on the ears of those wearing them.  As yet I haven’t checked to determine if they come with an inbuilt volume control like the old ones had, but hopefully they do.  

On Thursday I also spent some time working on the narrow gauge timetable.  The one thing I worked out is that with my ever expanding QR menagerie of wagons, I need to record what wagons I have so I can work out where they can be stored and where they can go to.  I think I have the minimum number of locos required for the QR timetable, but I could get some more, and then run some double headers.

While looking at the timetable I think I have found four spaces in the timetable that I can add four narrow gauge trains to.  In each of the spaces, I can either add an up or down train.  So I could have a timetable A and B options, where some days the train can travel from Fisherman Islands to Acacia Ridge Yard in the first instance and back again later, or it could run in the opposite direction.  Later on in the next 2 spaces, the same can occur.  I could use one of the pairs of slots for another coal train, but with only 4 wagons in my first train, I can build that up quite a lot before I need to add another complete train.  I have made some changes to the timetable cards.  As I now can run around all the trains in Acacia Ridge Yard, instead of having dead end sidings, I can add the run around instructions.  I can then remove two shunt trains from within Acacia Ridge Yard that repositions the locos from the previous dead end sidings to the other end of the coal and grain trains.

So there will be more activity here over the next week or so.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Free Train Ride

This week, we visited Peter D’s for our Tuesday Night meeting.  We had some Christmas cheer on display.  It was a good meeting with about 10 of us present having a very good chinwag.We even say Happy Birthday to Kerry.

On Monday PK and myself rode the rails around the Brisbane Suburban network for free.  I met PK on the Gold Coast Train at Altandi before travelling all the way to Varsity Lakes.  
Just before my train came through this train came through heading to Kuraby, where it was getting ready to provide another inbound service.

Our train was right behind.

On the way back from Varsity Lakes, this train was got very crowded, as it made its way inbound.  This must be the first train in the off-peak (when fares apply), thus meaning why it gets heavily patronised.  We caught that train to Roma Street, before we changes platforms and waited about 4 minutes for our Ipswich train to arrive.  We went all the way to Ipswich and then made a quick tour of a rather derelict shopping district and mall.  There is some work underway and everything looked closed.  We then caught the train out to Rosewood, and then caught it back again before we switched platforms at Ipswich to catch the next train back to Darra station.  At Darra, we changed platforms and waited for the Springfield Central train and a quick walk to the Orion Shopping Centre and a lunch break.  

When we were at Rosewood Station, we could see a coal train about a kilometre down the line waiting for us to get going, so it could follow us towards the city and branch off at Corinda and head to the Port of Brisbane.  When we stopped at Ipswich, we could see the track through platform 4 had been set up for the coal train, and it again was to follow us towards the city.  When we detrained at Darra, we could see that the coal train was to travel through the platform our Springfield Central train was to also travel through.  I understand that the coal train usually switches track just short of Darra and runs wrong road through platform 1 for about 600m before it gets onto the unwired freight road from there to Corinda.  So as we could hear the coalie heading our way, we were told by an announcement to head over to platform 2 to catch the Springfield train.  It was going to run wrong road through platform 2, and also all the way to Richlands station.  This movement also delayed the outbound Springfield Station which was waiting for our train to get off his track.  So that was interesting.  I had no idea how far it was from Darra to Springfield Central.  It does take quite a while to get there, and the train is hooting along, as we were easily passing traffic on the highway next to us.
The coalie coming through Platform 1 at Darra, as we started changing tracks.

The second loco on the coalie.

On our way back to Brisbane, PK and I decided to get off at Central and we just went up stairs and then had a couple of beers in the WhistleStop Bar while watching the cricket, before heading our separate ways home.  I was lucky enough to observe when I made my way to the platform that there was a Gold Coast train 2 minutes after the Beenleigh train.  I thought I might take that train, as I expected that my train would overtake the Beenleigh train before Yeerongpilly.  Well it did and I was at Altandi in no time.  I then walked to the bus stop and in less than 1 minute my bus rocked up.  We had great timings and on-time running all day.

So yesterday and today, I was full steam ahead adding ribbing and bracing to 4 HJS wagons, while I watched the women's BBL semi finals and final.  After adding the bracing, this was followed by the underfloor bracing, couplers and bogies.  Yesterday I found out that Aurora Trains sells Southern Models bogies.  So I think I will be buying a few more there in the future, as I scratch build some more wagons.  Today I finished by giving the last 4 wagons a coat of grey paint.  I will be cutting out some tarps for these wagons during the week and super glueing the cotton ropes on.

I still have not done any work on the timetable testing.  So with me being on holidays this week, I will definitely be doing that.  This afternoon I found the plans for a number of other open wagons that Arthur Hayes gave me, so I can also start making a list of styrene required this week and maybe commence making a couple of them also this week and next weekend.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

The First Three HJS Wagons Are Now Complete

This weekend I was intent on continuing work on my scratch built HJS’s (not FJS’s I spoke about a couple of weeks back in my blog).  What is a couple of letters difference between friends?  So yesterday morning I cleaned the kitchen table of newspapers and junk mail, and brought out my portable modelling bench/cutting mat.  I eventually sat down at about midday and then worked out that I actually needed some 0.020” x 0.030” styrene to help make the ribs in the side of the HJS wagons.  Well you guessed it.  I did not have any.  I had 0.020” x 0.020” and 0.020” x 0.040” styrene, but not the size in between.  So I jumped in the car and made it to Aurora Trains before they shut at 1:00pm.  I then added the side ribs on one wagon, before I needed to add the metal ‘X’ pressing in the sides and ends of the wagons.  For this I figured that I needed some 0.010” x 0.020” styrene strip.  I did not have any on my portable work bench in the house.  I thought I better check the shed in my styrene pile, before I jumped back in the car and went to Simon Says Hobbies and Games to get a packet of 0.010" x 0.020" styrene, when I found a packet in the shed.  So I added these X’s to both sides and both ends of the first wagon.  The next task is to determine will I add some door braces, or even the underframe bracing to the wagon.  

On Sunday morning, I added some 0.020" x 0.020" styrene as posts and then used some 0.010" x 0.020" styrene from the underframe bracing.  The first wagon ended up looking quite reasonable.  So I then followed the same process for two more wagons.  I even had time to go down to the shed and break out the spray can.  I gave the first two wagons a coating of what supposedly is a QR look alike colour.  I then gave the third wagon a different shade of grey paint.   It was then that I read the colour on the top of the can.  It was silver, and that did not look too good.  I will spray over it, with a grey next weekend.

I'm on holidays tomorrow to enjoy a free trip around the Brisbane suburban system curtesy of the Queensland Government.  We will see how many kilometres that PK and I can tally up.

I'm also on holidays for a couple of weeks from Friday after a Christmas party at work.  So Saturday will entail another trip to the hobby shops to pick up some more 0.010" x 0.020" styrene which I have almost used up just this morning on the first three HJS wagons, and then another can of grey paint for the next 4 wagons that I will complete over the next weekend.  

Time is running out for me to spend some time desk checking the 12mm timetable prior to a December operating session.  I guess I will have to send out those invites pretty soon as well, in order to get a crew locked and loaded.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Technical Consultant

Tuesday this week we visited my mate Dave’s place for our fortnightly get together.  He had an issue on his layout, where the throttles on his NCE Power-Pro system were not firing up.  I knew what that was.  He had to take his command station apart and try reseating his mother board.  The first time, I felt the top board sink into the bottom board, but it still did not solve the issue.   So I did it again, I slightly lifted the top board and then pushed it home again and this time the system came good after the next power on.  Later we heard that Dave’s command station might have had a fall from a 12-18 inch high shelf onto the baseboard below.  I should publish my consultancy rates:-

  • Me fixing your problem $20
  • Me fixing your problem with you watching $50
  • Me fixing your problem with you helping $100
This weekend, I have spent most of the time sitting in front of the TV watching the cricket.  This afternoon I did that at a family get together in front of someone else's TV and having a few ales at a family get together.  So not much was accomplished train wise this weekend, except that I painted up about 8 teabag tarpaulins yesterday.  These just need to be cut up and rolled up into individual tarps.  I also got around to a task that has taken well over 10 years to do.  I mounted some picture frames on one of the A-frames in the shed ceiling.  These included some nice A4 water colours of NSW railways, and the first two of my NMRA achievement certificates.  So these were mounted yesterday.  On Tuesday night, Arthur, our NMRA Achievement Program representative for Div 1., handed out my first two awards at our Tuesday Nighters meeting, as I did not get to the NMRA meeting the previous weekend as I had some family activities to attend to.  Normally there are quite a few NMRA members at our regular Tuesday night get together, but there were not many there on this Tuesday.

So this was a bit of a thrill.   That just reminds me I need to pull my finger out and complete the paperwork for the next three of the awards that I wish to apply for over the Christmas period. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Progress Being Made

Early in the week, I think it was Monday afternoon, I went down to the shed and completed the install of the small baseboard extension I was making to the Clapham Yard baseboard to allow a small siding to be added.  This baseboard extension was screwed onto the existing baseboard, and allowed me to install the new set of points towards the end of Siding 7 in Clapham Yard, followed by the laying of the now two tracks at the end of Track 7.  Each of these two sidings is now capable of holding two narrow gauge wagons.  I bent up a paper clip into an omega loop and connected the set of points to an old DPDT switch.  I drilled a whole through the switch actuator itself, and threaded the paper clip though the hole and through the hole in the point throw bar.  It works like a charm.  I am thinking that I will not power the trackage after the points.  This will make shunting these sidings after the points all that more interesting for an operator, as the loco will not be able to drive through them.  The operator will have to keep a match wagon or two available to reach a wagon beyond the points.  I may not tell the operators of this requirement either. Hehehehe!

On Wednesday I went to Aurora Trains to pick up a can of some spray paint.  I also picked up 4 cans of cheap paint from supercheap as they had their 4 cans for $10 special running.  I was wanting to pick up some Silver paint and also picked up three other coloured cans.  Upon returning home, I found out that I already had a can of silver, what I actually needed was a can of Grey Primer.  You guessed it, that colour was not one of the three other cans I picked up.  I had been delaying painting some 3D printed water tanks for a couple of weeks, because I thought I did not have any silver paint available, when I had it all along.  What a dork!

On Thursday, I got around to doing the painting.  I painted 6 water tanks that Greg had 3D printed for me a few weeks back.  These tanks in various sizes look damn good.  I then turned my attention to 42 x 44 gallon drums.  I painted 18 drums silver, 18 drums red and the last 6 drums which I did not fit lids to were also painted silver.

I eventually started work on assembling some scratch built QR FJS wagons.  I had previously cut out the sides for 7 wagons.  But upon further investigation, I had made them all too high.  Well it was only in one direction that they were oversize I suppose.   So I finally gained some enthusiasm and went to the shed and fixed up the height issue on all the sides for all 7 wagons.  I made up the initial 7 boxes for the open wagon shapes and also made the bases for all of them before I called it quits.  

Later on in the afternoon, I rounded up three sets of 12mm bogies and made some bolsters for all 7 wagons and glued them on the wagons.  I drilled holes for the bogie screws and added bogies to three wagons.  I might have to go looking for some cheap 12mm bogies.  I used rubber bands to temporarily attach KD coupler boxes and took them down to the shed and tested the first wagon against my height gauge.  All perfect.

Next task was to attach some KDs.  I chose to use the KD #5 inside a box and added them to the wagons.  On first look, they looked awful.  The KD boxes stand out like a set of  protrusions on a dog.  I now went back to the that web thingy and checked out what MMR Arthur Hayes blog said and studied how he adds KD to his QR wagons.  Hmmm.  Arthur uses scale couplers and not no. 5’s.  He also sort of attaches the couplers directly to the wagon.  So I took the KD boxes off the three wagons that I added KD boxes to and then set about directly attaching the KDs via a screw and 3mm piece of tube and a piece of styrene to keep the coupler from jumping off over the screw.  I must say that they look 10 times better.  They are also coupled closer together.  So you can teach an old dog new tricks!  I attached bogies to two more wagons and now I have 5 wagons ready to be detailed with frame webbing from small pieces of styrene and then painted.  I might get around to adding this detail later this week.  I must ask Arthur where he gets his 12mm bogies from, as I will need a few to finish off the last couple of FJS wagons, let along all the other scratch built ones I will do, following the plans that Arthur gave me of the various variations to some standard QR open wagons.  I just need to remember where I put those wagon plans for safe keeping.  Hopefully they will turn up.

Today I could not get motivated to add any of the wagon detail.  I did go to the shed and started drawing up a near enough scale plan of the top deck, from Rocklea Siding, Clapham Yard, Loco Pilly and Fisherman Islands.  I have yet to draw in the Dutton Park set of points, and any of the track further north towards Park Road Siding and South Brisbane Interstate Yard.  I did have a bit of a clean up in the shed today and threw out a lot of paper.  I did find the track plan that I did do for Clapham Yard, Loco Pilly and around to Fisherman Islands and South Brisbane Interstate, but there has been much rebuilding of the tracks in all of these locations, over the various amendments that I did, so I just started again with a new plan.  I will find some time to study the original plan to see how much the final layout varied from the initial plans.

Unfortunately I’m back at work on Monday, but my daughter is now home for about 3 months as she finished school on Friday.  Her next task is to attend University next year.  I had last week off work so I could attend all the scheduled activities, breakfasts, suppers, other handover events at her school.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Bit of a Tidy Up

On Tuesday night we visited Arthur's place.  He always has new scratch built wagons to show off.  It almost makes me depressed, when I can’t get the motivation to re-cut up some styrene that was cut too large so I can then put my own versions of some 12mm scratch built wagons together.  he is a human production line when it comes to modelling.  It was a great night, catching up with everyone and finding out what everyone is up to.  We had Geoff showing off a static grass applicator that he picked up the weekend before.  He was ecstatic about it.  So I might have to find a way of getting one myself.  I did see in some local catalogues that Office Works had 6 x 10L containers for $20.  I could not complain about that price.  So on Sunday I went to my local office works and picked up 2 lots of the 6 containers.  The only issue was that the second bundle was lacking lids.  That did not matter.

This afternoon, I put a whole lot of scenicing material into a series of these new containers.  So I have now thrown out some old stuff and have now got about 6 of my storage wooden trays back to put useful items in.  I also started to install the new 12mm siding in Clapham Yard and have just added a small addition to the baseboard.  I might complete that tomorrow as I'm on holidays this week.

Yesterday I was over at the Club and had to help a mate try and get one of his locomotives running.  People spend lots of time trying to use JMRI – Decoder Pro, but if they don’t know how to use it, it is waste of time.  If you don’t know what to look for, you are wasting your time.  Technology won’t solve issues, if you can’t or don't know how to use it.  This also harks back to my mantra, you can not manage what you can not measure.  So I just took his loco to the NCE test track at the Club.  I checked the loco number that he told me it was supposed to be.  I made sure it was set up for the long address.  I then checked CV19 to see if the loco was in a consist.  Well it was!  That will stop it from running on any system that the consist was not made on.  I removed the loco from the consist, by writing 0 to CV19 and guess what – It ran.  Don’t over complicate things.

There a few simple steps to check over a loco when it will not run.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Buying and Selling, Coming Out on the Right Side of the Ledger

I came home from work on the Friday afternoon, and I knew I had some things I needed to complete.  Do you think I could remember what they were?  Eventually I worked out I needed to paint up about 18 pallets in a red colour for a mate ready for a Buy and Sell at the Club on Sunday.  So that was a pretty quick task to accomplish.  A quick spray on one side, followed about 30 minutes later by a quick spray on the other side.  While I was in the spray painting mood, I decided to take out the old Frosted Glass spray can, and I gave a few cattle wagons a spray along the bottom the wagon.  This was followed by a few more wagons as well.  A couple of QR Louvre wagons were similarly treated and a couple of open wagons as well.

On Saturday morning, there was the grand opening of Ground Up Scenery over at Underwood.  This business has acquired the stock of Dave McPhee’s Modeller’s Warehouse.  Anyway I ventured over there yesterday morning and ran into Darren and his boss, and found out that Geoff and his daughter had already visited, purchased and left, and that Barnacle Bob had also been there earlier than me, and had already left.  Well I did spend much more than I had intended, but there were some reasonable bargains.

When I got home, I decided to spray up another 7 tea bags in various colours so I can make another 14 tarpaulins.  I then broke out the Frosted Glass spray can again, and hit the 3 cattle wagons with a second coat, and the hit another 3 cattle wagons, 3 sheep wagons and a few louvre vans, with various coats out of the spray can.  I also packed up everything required for Sunday’s Buy and Sell at the Club.  On Saturday afternoon and evening, I went back to working on scratchbuilding 10 QR open wagons.  I didn't get far.  I assembled an FJS kit and then when I was about to commence my production line to scratch build a pool of 12mm open wagons, I cut one piece of styrene and then packed it in.

Today I hit the road over to the Club.  I got a good spot at the Buy and Sell and sold an absolute motza.  I don't think I had sole this much ever.  I moved some wagons, a signal and then lots of my scratch built items, namely - Stop signs, Give Way signs, tarpaulins, pallets, insinorators, drums, reo-sheets, industrial bins, a generator set, dunnies, clothes lines and bee hives.  They don't call these events Buy and Sell, so I also needed to support some of the other sellers in their attempt at getting some funds back.  I picked up a VR VLCX wagon and a 12mm left hand point.  

When I finally got home, I packed everything away and paid off my debts from the previous day's Mastercard bill, and put even more money back (about a month's budget) into the rather negative Modelling Budget's balance.  I have even banked next weeks modelling budget straight into the Modelling Budget's balance, but never fear I'm still truckloads from getting positive.  The plan is that by the time mid February comes around, the balance might be back to zero.  But of course that assumes that I do not buy anything that has not already been budgeted for.  

I have one more week, before I'm on holidays and I have lots of tasks planned.  This includes, finally getting time to work on the 12mm Timetable, build some 12mm open wagons, and do some work on detailing the area around Baker's Farm, build an overhead travelling crane and then maybe add a new 12mm siding with my new 12mm point I just purchased.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Finishing Off Some Tasks.

I had a couple of days off work this week.  On Tuesday we had to go to my daughter’s school for an assembly and then spent a couple of hours looking at a second hand car for her.  On Friday we had to go to my son’s school and then spent quite a few more hours again looking for a second hand car.  Well we got what we thought was a bargain.  It is better than my wife’s current car.  5 years old and only 53K on the clock.  A better model and bigger engine.  Boy it has some herbs when I took it for a test drive.  The junior boss checked it out on Friday afternoon after school and was pretty happy with the find.  We pick it up on Tuesday.  We'll probably go for a lesson in it on Tuesday night.

Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon, I decided to do a bit of weathering for my blue 80 class loco.  I saw a photo online and decided to try and replicate this weathering with just some frosted glass spray paint sprayed into a medicine cup and then applied to the model with a micro brush and paint brush.  The first side looks very reasonable thus far.  I will return to that in a few weeks and complete the second side.  Yesterday I went to the shed and decided to try and complete a few tasks.  The first one was looking at the wiring for Fisherman Islands Yard for the newly laid narrow gauge crossovers.  Well upon further investigation and test running of the 1720 class loco, it seems that everything has been wired up already.  Or more correctly, I had enough jumpers originally installed and when I put the points in, everything was successfully jumpered.  I then looked at a few pieces of rolling stock sitting on a few sidings.  These were also hit with the frosted glass spray can and they have had the plastic (new) look taken off them.  I call this can - weathering in a can.  It is very similar to dull coat spray cans.

I also added some lead weight to a Bachmann Tamper that I had sitting in a siding at Grafton Yard.  Actually I have two of this train.  One is located in the Old Cassino Contruction Siding and runs well as it already has had extra lead weight added.  So I added weight underneath the other train and it seems to run a bit better.  I think it might need a bit of an oil in the gearbox though.  Before the weight was added, the wheels used to spin and any gradient was a task too hard for the train.  It is now miles better.

Today I went to a local Buy and Sell.  I picked up a quad output point decoder for one of my mates for a steal of a price and dropped it off to him on the way home.  I ran into another mate who wants some of my scratch built styrene pallets next weekend at my Club’s Buy and Sell.  When I returned home I was a few red pallets short.  Like I had none.  I thought I had a few unpainted pallets that I could paint up in red.  But I was wrong.  I had 6 unpainted pallets.  So I purchased a packet of styrene and along with what I already had on hand, I made up another string of 25 pallets.  I will paint about half of them this week when I come home early one day, so they will be ready for sale this coming weekend.  Yesterday I also added the handles to the last 4 of my industrial bins, and painted up 9 sets of lids.  Today I got around to painting 6 bins and then when they were dry added the lids to 9 bins.  I also folded up a dozen tarpaulins this afternoon.  During the week I painted up around 20 tea bag tarpaulins, so I could make up about 40 tarps.  So I have quite a few left to fold up.  Tonight I will put the finishing touches on another 36 or so 44 gallon drums.  They can be painted next week or maybe next weekend.

I have also started looking at my narrow gauge timetable.  My number of wagons has grown since we last had an Operations Session, as well as the number of narrow gauge locos has also grown.  I have also added two extra turn around sidings, converted 5 dead end sidings into run around loops, and added three extra dead end sidings in the narrow gauge world.  So I need to ensure that everything starts off at the correct location, and every wagon is added to a train sometime throughout the session, and at the end of the session, everything ends up back on its original location.  I might also have to add the loading and unloading of a narrow gauge steel train, just like my standard gauge train does.

I am also considering applying for my Dispatcher, Electrical and Civil NMRA certificates.  These will take some time to put all the documentation together.  Maybe I will focus on this over the next month or so and not do too much work around the layout.  I can then continue to start on adding some more detail items around some areas on the layout.  This will be a very big job.  I do have some major model building to carry out, with a travelling crane for the Rocla Sleeper siding to be scratchbuilt, and the main platform station building for Cassino being the two major construction targets for December this year.  Who knows I might even finish them.  I was wondering if I could actually incorporate some sort of movement into the travelling crane, but it might be too difficult.  I have been delaying jumping into the station building.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Visit to Barnacle Bob's on Saturday

I came home from work early on Friday and went straight out again to visit George at Aurora Trains.  He was having issues with the NCE QSnap quad output point controller with the Z21 system.  He had given me a ring earlier in the week and he could not get the NCE QSnap to talk.  For that matter it also looked like the NCE SnapIt was also not working on the Z21 system.  So I took the QSnap to my place and placed on my NCE system and sure enough it came online.  So what does that tell you?  It seems that the Z21 was putting out a considerable higher track voltage.  It appears that it was about 17V AC as measured on an AC Voltmeter.  I’m sure my NCE system is about 12V as measured on an AC voltmeter. And is about 13.8 Volts.

I asked the Australian NCE guru Marcus Ammann via an email he pointed me into a notice on DCC Concepts website and it mentions that “… Its (sic) not perfect (what is?) and we have noticed that it does some things (like set accessory decoders) in a way that does not meet DCC standards, but they still work well when used with Z21…”.  Well that is not good!

Based on what I saw, I think that the makers of the Z21 need to issue a version of their code, to fix the issue.  To me, nothing betters the NCE command station - any version!

I returned the QSnap to George on Saturday morning and then made my way over to Barnacle Bob’s.  The local NMRA (Div 1) meeting was at his place and about 35 turned up.  Bob’s layout is just magic.  I think everyone was impressed with his animations and scenic ability.  I had a good time, with good company and had a great feed put on by Bob and Mary and their helpers.   We had quite a number of people present some stuff at the Show and Tell part of the meeting.  I was quite impressed by the weathering clinic by Duncan and Cloud painting presentation by Barnacle himself.

Today I made my way to the shed and did some more wiring work on the Acacia Ridge Yard.  I found a feeder not working, so resoldered it and I shimmed the check rail on a Tillig dual gauge point on the divergent standard gauge track and now my standard gauge loco runs through it without derailing.  I added a 4cm length of 0.010” x 0.060” styrene strip.  I also found another feeder broken off in Clapham Yard and fixed that.  The staff machine for the Clapham Yard to Dutton Park section had a dodgy LED indicator at Dutton Park.  I eventually tracked it down to a connection in the main signal bus for this track section about 30cm down the track.  That was were my previous 4 core cable ran out and had to be spliced to another cable to connect to the LED panel at Dutton Park.  Well I resoldered that joint and all works perfectly now, but it did take some tracking down.  But in reality it was quite logical.  That is why it me so long to find it.

I also added jumpers to the new storage siding trackage at Grafton Yard and gave it a test.  What that showed was that my second Bachman Ballast Tamper needs some more weight over teh motor.  That shoul dbe an easy task, but I just need to get around to it.  I have Tuesday off this week, so maybe I can get onto Fisherman Islands Yard’s jumper wiring.  I will also try and do my tax.  Whio knows I might get something back.  Tuesday is also Tuesday Nighter’s at Geoff’s.  That will be good.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Happy Bathurst Day

I spent the day today glued to the TV in the hope the Team Tricky Dicky was to win the 2019 Bathurst 1000 race.  They certainly did and they could have taken it a bit easier on my nerves.  The result was in doubt until the last corner.  Well done Scott!  While the TV was going, throughout the day I did move from the chair to the kitchen table and back again, to do a couple of bits of modelling.  I put together about 36 x 44 gallon drums and cleaned up the flash from next 30 drums but not the lids as yet - maybe later tonight.  The other task that I did was fold up and then tie up about 26 tarpaulins of various colours.  The tarps went into the container where I have maybe 150 tarps already assembled.  You can never have too much detail around the layout when you finally install it.

Later in the day, I decided to rescue 4 x QR narrow gauge grain wagons that I tarped quite some time ago, and bring them up to the kitchen so I could do some more work on them.  The work was to apply some tie down ropes to these home made tarps.  The tarps because they were painted with a thick coat of spray paint are quite course and they tend to want to return to a flat shape and not follow the wagons sides.  They bow away from the side of the wagons.  That is not a good look for a scale model.  So I attached some cotton to the insides of the tarps with super glue and then when this had dried, I pulled those ropes tight and super glued those ropes to the underside of the wagon.  The result was much better than before I had those ropes attached.  They now look quite presentable.  The issue is now that I cannot run those wagons empty.  Well I could not really do that before either as the three scratch built wagons that I made had a styrene frame inside the wagon that held the tarp in the shape of the wire frame that existed on the prototypes wagons that I have modelled.

Yesterday was Club meeting day so I went to the Club to catch up with everyone.  I handed over two 2400 class locos to Greg as he bought them under my original order.  They ran quite well and I think he is impressed with the sound of his new models.

Yesterday afternoon was a birthday party for my niece which I attended on the way home, so I never got home from the Club until about 9:00pm.  So basically no modelling work yesterday and no shed time.  So I still have to attach the droppers to the Fisherman Islands Yard around the narrow gauge trackage that was upgraded with the various crossover from a couple of months back now.  The next job after that will be to colour code the point actuators (push-pull rods) so operators can work out what rod connects to what set of points in this yard.  So both of these tasks will hopefully occur next weekend.

The biggest job I have to do, which I keep deferring and thus in turn defers my next operations session, is to desk check the narrow gauge part of the timetable to ensure that the narrow gauge wagons start at the correct sidings and the trains pick up the correct wagons and return them to their starting location at the end of the timetable.  Maybe this will be revisited in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Still Bin Busy

This has been a quite weekend so far with Saturday spent at a family reunion on the wife’s side, and today a lazy day watching the Football on TV.  On Friday afternoon, as well as some evenings during the week, I was putting together some more 3 cubic meter industrial bins.  Today I put the hinge on the lids of the bins and added the handles on the side of another dozen sor so.  The handles are of course for the garbage trucks to lift them up by, to facilitate emptying.  I also assembled another 8 later this afternoon.  I cannot see any more being assembled.  I think I have now almost been all binned out.

The plan is to complete the painting of the remainder of the bin collection.  I was wondering what the collective noun for garbage bins is,  A trash of bins perhaps?

This afternoon between grand finals, I also put together another 30 x 44 gallon drums and painted these later this afternoon.  I hope to add lids to another 30 or so tonight after the football.

With tomorrow being a public holiday I will be back in the shed and doing some electrical work.

Tuesday this coming week is at Shelton’s place, so it will be interesting to see what changes he has done.  He has added some additional sidings.  I assume that he did not follow any of our suggestions from last visit.  

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Painting Myself Into a Corner

On Tuesday afternoon I picked up some more cheap paint.  Autobarn had a sale on so I went to see what they had in stock. It seems that this paint is made in same factory as the cheap brand of paint available from Super Cheap Auto.  The best thing is that this brand at Autobarn still has the Yellow Oxide Primer available.  I did give it a quick test run on today and it seems to be the exact same colour.  The reason for the early finish on Tuesday was because the Tuesday Nighters came for a visit.  There were 14 of us in attendance in my shed and then in the pergola.  

Later in the week, Geoff hosted a modelling night on Friday evening and Darren, Brandan and myself took advantage of that to do some modelling.  I put together 10 industrial bins – the 3 cubic meter type.  I also completed the last string of pallets (24) and a small string of pallets made from offcuts (7).  Earlier in the afternoon I had previously headed over to Aurora Trains and picked up some more 44 gallon drums that George got in for me.  I now have 192 to put together and then use on my layout for detail items, on wagons as loads and to sell to people at an upcoming Buy and Sell.

On Saturday I was chauffeured over to Austral Modelcraft by my daughter on a driving lesson and picked up some insulated joiners.  I have no idea where these rail joiners go, but I keep buying packets of insulated and metal joiners all the time.  So on Saturday when I got home, I completed another 7 industrial bins.  In the afternoon when the AFL grand final was on, I swapped a left hand curve point out in South Brisbane Interstate Yard for a left hand point and that seems to have been a good decision.  I then installed that left hand curve point, into a siding off number one track in Grafton Yard to add another short dead end track.  So these short dead end tracks can now store my Railmotors, CPHs, ballast tampers and railbuses.  So they are now out of the way, but still on the track.  You can never have too many sidings to stock rollingstock.  Trackwork then shifted to Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard and added some PC board sleepers under my scratchbuilt fasttracks dual gauge point.  I then cut an insulated gap into this points diverging tracks.  I then added insulated joiners to the Tillig point nearby.  I then laid the dual gauge headshunt and tested pushing a few wagons through both points and the new trackage.  All seems to work satisfactorily.  
The point on the left is the one that got replaced. 

The point above is the one I replaced.

This view shows the two short sidings for various small trains that are run on Cassino

Today I got stuck into doing some painting of industrial bins and pallets.  I used the various colours from my cheap cans of spray paint to paint my industrial bins and lids.  The lids were then glued on after the paint had dried.  A number of the bin, have a lid that is able to be opened.  So if someone was to model the bin with junk coming out of the bins, these are the ones to use.  So you do not have to use a spray gun to paint your items.  Sometimes the cheap paints work just as good.

My bin collection is various colours.

A number of chep pallets on the right.  A collection of drums on the left.  Some additional bin lids above them.

While I had the paint out, I painted about 10 tea bags various colours so I can extend my tarpaulin collection during the week.  The last thing I did was put some of the bins on various pallets.

I had planned on getting around to adding various electrical jumpers to the tracks in Acacia Ridge Yard and Fisherman Islands Yard, around the insulated gaps in the tracks near the new point work.  Oh well, that can get done over the long weekend.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

NMRA Meeting Inspiration and an Anti-Shelton Device

Saturday this week was the latest NMRA Div 1 get together.  Darren, Geoff and I car pooled and went to visit John Kennedy’s place on the other side of town.  I had heard about John's layout, I had even been invited to some running days, but I never got there.  Well today I finally did.  The layout is in a 6m x 6m shed.  It has some very nice scenes scattered around inside the shed.  There was a pair of legs sticking out from underneath a car.  There is a huge brown bear trying to claw its way up a tree.  There is a mother bear and cub also walking around in the trees.  There are also some deers in the forest.  There was a very dodgy business that I saw.  It was PK’s Custom Computers.  I’d bet that shop owner was very dodgy.  
The Business in Question

John’s method of point control on the bottom level of the layout incorporates a Shelton protector.  We all had a laugh about this device.  When we operate at Anthony’s place, we need to set the various points by pushing or pulling a knob on a rod attached to the point, protruding from the layout fascia, exactly as John does.  On a couple of times on Anthony's layout, after a train has left a crossing Loop in particular Nankiva and the points reset, Shelton would bump the point control mechanism while taking photos and then blame the driver of a previous train because his train never took the correct track into the crossing loop.  I always thought it was the drivers job to verify his route before he entered a crossing loop.  Well John has solved this problem with some old cupboard handles.  Very ingenious.
A view of the Anti-Shelton Device

A second version of the Anti-Shelton device.

I had a great time talking to a number of people about at the meeting.  There was some nice 3D printed model on display by a mate of Johns.  I would like to get someone (Greg or PK) to print some of these out for me.  Very nice.  On the way home, conversation in the car turned to a few events next year.  There is the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention, hopefully in mid May.  That would be followed by perhaps the NMRA convention in early June.  That will be on the same weekend as the Epping Exhibition – so maybe two for the price of one.  Of course there is also the Armidale Convention in November, that is unless it clashes with my daughter’s graduation from school.  Oh the pain, the pain!  My modelling budget is going to take a big wack next year, and I’m starting from a big negative and I also plan to order an Auscision DEB set with sound.  I really need to win lotto, unless someone with lots of money want to adopt me to help me pay off my modelling debts?

On the home front, I painted up about 25 pallets on Friday afternoon and also painted about a dozen tea bags in various colours.  I cut them up on Saturday night and rolled up the tarps and tied them all up.  I have another about a dozen tea bags still to cut up and make tarps out of.  While at the NMRA meeting, I spoke to George and he convinced me that I needed to do a few tarps in various shades of grey.  So that process is now underway.

On Sunday morning I continued on the task of making some 3 cubic metre industrial bins, I spray painted two bins black and two bins blue.  I let them dry and eventually glued the lid onto the base.  I still have about 10 more to put together and paint, but that will be a job for the future.

The next job I undertook in the shed, was to build a new left hand dual gauge point from a fast tracks jig.  This point had the dual gauge continuing through on the straight and the diverging track is standard gauge.  The third rail of the point, is on the right hand side.  Well after about an hour it was complete and it seemed to work on the workbench.  This point would not have been possible if not for Geoff dropping off three lengths of PC board sleeper on the previous Monday evening.  Thanks mate.  I had run out of the stuff.  I now know where he gets it from, so I will be getting a packet of the stuff sometime in the future.

Once the point was built and I had completed lunch, I went back to the shed and started to investigate where the point was to go in Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  You guessed it, the track was lifted, the point installed, the point actuation mechanism built and the scratch built point was usable.  The head shunt for that point was then relayed and extended by about 30 cm.  I then looked at the Tillig point I had previously removed and then started to install it where it was to go.  I then joined the diverging track of the Tillig point up with the diverging track of the scratchbuilt point and it was tested.  So pushing a train through the point does seem to work.  The dual gauge headshunt from the Tillig point still needs to be relayed and the wiring reattached.  This Tillig point had been removed from Rocklea Siding some months back and replaced by another fast Tracks scratch built one.  The reason why, was that it was causing issues when taking the curved route.  Watching trains go through while testing today, gave me the answer why it was causing problems.  I think the check rail needs to be shimmed, like you need to do with some older Peco medium and large radius points.  That will be another future job, but at least I know it needs to be done.  As I write this post, I have just worked out that I think I may have forgotten to install an insulated joiner of two or three in the new points I just installed.  Oh well, I can fix that next week.  That might cause an issue when I turn on track power next and work out that I have a short.  At least I will know where to look!  I might have to revisit the wiring for Fisherman Islands after the narrow gauge points I put in some weeks ago now.  I’m not sure that I installed all the jumpers.  That is another task to catch up on.  Oh by the way, the Mastercard statement came in recently, and the boss asked why the large charge was on it.  I had been sprung.  A 1720 narrow gauge loco and decoder, three WHO wagons, and stacks of 12mm points and track purchased at our Club’s exhibition in August.  It is only right that we support the exhibiting shops at our show - right?  I actually survived that confrontation, so I might be able to buy some more next year, once I clear the debt off.

Today I also completed wiring up four new incinerators.  These were also tested and looked good.

One of the tasks that I had planned to do during the week was to try and get some Export brand yellow oxide primer.  Well it seems to be discontinued.  PK tried his local SuperCheap Auto shop which was advertising online that it had stock.  When he went there on Tuesday there was none.  On Wednesday my wife went to another shop that was advertising stock. Yes you guessed it – there was none.  Damn!  I might have to find another source for similar paint.  I’d bet nothing will be that cheap.

Tuesday Nighters this week is at my place.  Hopefully we will get a good number turn up.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Where's Ya Bin?

Tuesday this week we visited Bob Harding’s place and checked out more progress on his layout.  The work of art keeps getting better.  Those in the NMRA Division 1, need to definitely mark the 19th of October in your diary, as that meeting is now at Bob's place.  NMRA members will be able to look over this excellent layout for themselves.  The next Tuesday Nighter’s meeting is my place is in two weeks time, that will be a bit of a let down for the boys, after visiting Bob’s.

On Friday Afternoon after work, I painted up about 40 pallets in a nice wood colour.  These need to be bagged up for sale at our next Buy and Sell on the first Sunday in November.

On Saturday on my way to our Clubrooms I picked up some more styrene so I could make another 50 pallets.  It was our AGM and I had completely forgotten about that when I rocked up.  I completed the first string of 25 pallets last night.  I hope to cut them into individual pallets tonight while watching the cricket.  This afternoon I cut out some styrene shapes for my next mass produced modelling project.  I hope to work on it during this week.  I may make the first model tonight again during the cricket just to check out how they fit together.  I will be making about a dozen three cubic metre industrial bins.  These will be built as per the article in December 2018 Australian Model Railway Magazine.  It has been a while since I made some of these items, and I think the market will tolerate some of these in the local hobby shop.  Who knows some might appear in Aurora Models next weekend.

Today I went out and picked up some cans of spray paint from SuperCheap Auto.  Unfortunately I could not get my trusty Yellow Oxide Primer.  I will have to look in some other stores.  I do hope they still make it.  It is my go to yellow for painting many of my styrene models.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Not Pipes and Drums, But Pallets and Drums

During the week I received a message from the local hobby shop that they wanted some more of my pallets with 44 gallon drums on them to sell in the shop.  How could I say no?  Luckily I was having Friday off work and headed over to the hobby shop and dropped off 6 of these pallets loads.  I also dropped off two packets of 10 x 44 gallon drums.

On Friday night, another local hobby shop had their normal monthly modelling night.  About a dozen people turned up and worked on various models.  Some were building tanks, two were railway modellers and the others were working on various cars, planes and a pilot for a cockpit.  I put together another string of 25 pallets and then cut up another string of pallets that had dried during the week.  During the day I had sprayed about 25 pallets a nice brown/wood colour.  Another 20 had been given a blue “Chep” colour but they are not coming up too well, the paint is very tacky.  I eventually hit them with a coat of dull coat and that seems to have fixed my issues.
The strings of pallets before they are individually cut up.  Some tacky blue pallets above the newly made ones.  I plan on making another 50 pallets next weekend.  I will have some for sale at our Club's next Buy and Sell in November in packets of 6 or 12 in various colours.

So after completing a driving lesson on Saturday morning, I went to the shed and decided to do some more painting.  I painted 5 drums a grey colour.  Another 5 were painted light brown, while 10 were painted a dull green.  I also did ten pallets a light brown, another 10 “Chep” blue, ten a light grey colour and I also did one a dull green.

While that was drying, I revisited the insulfrog point that I purchased a few weeks back that was to replace an electrofrog point in Acacia Ridge Yard from track 3 to track 2.  Before I put the point in, I used a Dremel tool with a sanding disk in its jaws and tried to take a peak out of the baseboard where two separate baseboards met.  I must have taken about 3mm out of the board at that location and then tested the steel train through that point.  Previously when backing up the loco had a propensity to derail and cause a short at that location when backing from track 3 to track 2.  That is now a distant memory.  It now works like a bought one.  

Today I did some more drum painting in various colours.  I also hit some of the pallets that I had previously painted with my dull coat covering.  I also happened to unleash this technique on quite a few wagons on the layout.  My standard gauge steel train sitting in Acacia Ridge Yard had about 4 wagons painted on one side.  I also attacked three HWO wagons and their loads that were sitting in the narrow gauge yard.  I also gave the engine a dose of dull spray.

I eventually returned to my work bench and  cut up about 35 pallets into individual pallets from their string that I make them in.  I also painted another fourty 44 gallon drums and did some more dull coating.
Various colours of 44 gallon drums.

Some dull coated light brown wooden pallets.

In the Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard, there are two tracks that have a third rail for standard gauge trains to use.  However, one of those tracks is isolated from any other standard gauge track.  So it is hard to explain how any standard gauge trains can get there.  So I am thinking of installing a dual gauge set of points which I need to make using a Fasttrack jig.  This set of dual gauge set of points that will allow for a loco and two or three wagons to fit in a headshunt and get access to that isolated dual gauge track.  So I will look at building this set of points over the next weekend or two.  We will see what eventuates.  Of course all these will be manually operated.

This Tuesday is our Tuesday Nighter's get together and we are visiting Bob's.  I must put some mosquito repellent on before I leave home. It will be great seeing what Bob has accomplished since we were last in attendance.

The collection of about 65 x 44 gallon drums in various colours.  Some still on the sprew as they are still wet.