Sunday, February 24, 2019

Loads of Stuff

During the last week, I have felt pretty awful at time.  I could not shake my cough.  However, after visiting the doctors yesterday and getting a prescription, I now magically, almost instantaneously feel fantastic.  Yesterday morning I visited a few hobby shops and picked up some styrene tube.  This was used to make some pipe loads.  I have made 14 x 12mm diameter loads.  I also completed making another 8 x 20mm diameter loads, to go with my 8 x 20mm diameter loads I made last week.  I also managed to get to Bunnings on Friday afternoon after a frozen coke with my son at HJ's (and I probably shouldn't have) and found what I thought was (and was marked as) 6mm conduit (it was advertised as that).  When I got home and compared it to my 20mm conduit, it was basically the same size.  I have however, made another 4 x pipe pieces out of this conduit.  All the pipes have been painted and are now ready to place in various wagons on the layout, or to give to some mates.  I also made up some wooden pole loads for delivery to the Veneer factory at Kyogle.  I have no idea what loads went into and out of this location, so now I can only guess. I have also pulled one wagon off my spare steel train, and it is possibly going to be placed on a siding somewhere around the layout.  This wagon has a number of steel pipes as its loads.

I am very interested in the SDS milk tanker wagons released this weekend.  I want a few to supplement my milk traffic, which runs to Kyogle, Old Cassino, Lismore and Murwillumbah.  These locations were served by various Norco Factories or processing plants.  Again I do not know what wagons actually serviced these locations.  I also have quite a few milk tanks from various kits I have purchased when at previous Conventions along with a number of scratch built tanks I am trying to assemble.  I have been slack and I must get back onto completing these loads.  Maybe I will work on them between now and the May model railway exhibition in Brisbane, in May this year.  That will give me something to complete at my modelling stand.

On Tuesday afternoon this week, I was also working on a few more detail items.  I have scratchbuilt 8 railway crossing - give way signs.  I have printed the Railway Crossing text and glued that to the signs, I just need to make a few triangular give way signs out of 0.005” or 0.010” styrene and paint them up and superglue these to the 0.040” rail post.  Again another task for next weekend.  There may be a modelling night next Friday at the local hobby shop, so depending upon family responsibilities, I might be able to attend and complete that task there.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Wasn’t the Only Thing That Was Sick – and How to Overcome the Illness

Monday this week, the postie arrived with my Pay Railbus model.  However with an afternoon event at my son’s school followed by a Doctor’s appointment to get some drugs to make me better, I did not get to the Shed to test the model.  Tuesday was not much better, with an appointment to watch my daughter get sworn in at the School Captain at her school.  So It was later in the arvo that I could finally get down to the shed.  So the model came out of the packaging and I placed it on the track and applied power and hit F8.  The sound was very nice.  I can figure out that F0 is the headlight, F1 is the marker lights and F2 is the horn, and of course F8 turns the sound/on/off.  But that is the limit to my ability to decipher what function does what.  A few of the other functions produce a few clangs and bangs, but the model lacked a function list in the box.

So I gave the model some herbs and it just kept spluttering and stalling and re-starting after a bit of a push.  That did not look good.  After spending truck loads on a very nice model, to have it not run well, was a total disappointment.  I had this very sick feeling in the guts.  However, I just wondered if the model was just having a dry connection from the wheels to the wire pickups.  So I turned it up side down and gave it four drops of Wahl Oil to the four wheels to help with conductivity.  I then left the loco on the track and I went away even sicker.

On Wednesday while I was convalescing at home, I decided to go visit George at Aurora Trains.  He had some nice posts on his Facebook page about some new stuff arriving.  Hmmmm!  Turned to Mmmmm when I saw some of his new items.  I also picked up a bargain in his bargain bin.  A HO scale water truck for $5.  You could not get better value.  I was talking to George and he was already talking to many owners of the Auscision Rail Paybus and all were unhappy with its running properties.  He was suggesting than an ESU keep alive be fitted.  The small one of these is about $70 and the larger version is about $110 if my memory serves me, and most of the time it doesn’t.  Then if you were not going to fit it yourself, then you might need to pay someone another $50 or so dollar to do the dirty deed done dirt cheap.  Look at that – I’m a comedian.

Anyway, after coming home from work early on Thursday, I went down to the shed and turned the power on to the layout and ran the Rail Paybus from Acacia Ridge Yard to South Brisbane Interstate Platform.  From here, it ran back to Acacia Ridge yard and then all the way back to Cassino – to the back platform road or the carriage siding, where it will spend most of its time on the layout.  It then ran back to Grafton Yard, before I felt sorry for the little bugger and carried it back to Cassino’s back platform road for stable.  Well now I am impressed.  From being a very sick little puppy, it now is a reasonably good runner.  It is now almost categorised as a good runner.  All I did was oil the wheel assemblies on the model.  Sure the model had a few splutters, but that was on dead sections of track and points.  So I think it is just dry joints in the electrical pickup that gave me the first bad impression.  

I’m still not happy with the ‘out-of-the-box’ acceleration and deceleration rates.  Because of this slow speed running, and long time to get up speed, the model will stall on all my insulfrog points.  I had plans to put the model on the programming track and see what these figures are and adjust them to something reasonable, but time escaped me this weekend.

So the model has miraculously risen from the dead in my books.  More testing will be undertaken.

Yesterday I attended my first operating session at Anthony's place since late 2017.  It was great to be back.  Following re-accreditation I was the 2nd VR operator.  I had some great trains.  The layout ran very well, although Anthony was not happy with one of his new wagons, possibly causing a few shorts.  I had a great time.

Today I went to the shed again and decided that I was going to make some large concrete pipes for loads in my QR WHO wagons, and I may also put some in an NOCY or two.  So I cut up some 20mm conduit and then used my grinding wheel to put a lip on one end.  I then gave the first 8 an undercoat of grey, before they will get a concrete colour next weekend.  I've cut up another 8 sections of pipe, but 4 are slightly too long - but only on one end.  So they will be made load ready next weekend.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

My Brain had Some Ideas

I went down to the shed in the later arvo on Thursday and started to look at my Cassino Cab Company Diorama.  I placed it on the layout in its final position and it dawned on me that it was quite a bit further away from the road (its access point), than it is supposed to be in order for it to be able to fit between the wall and the track.  But due to its width, it can’t get any closer to the access road.  Then it dawned on me, that if I moved the road entry point, one fence panel closer to the track, I could potentially cut an angled slither off the back of the diorama and it will be able to be located closer to the road.  So I removed one fence post, move the gate posts over one panel and then cut the slither off the back of the diorama with a Dremel tool and cut off disk.  After that I glued the bitumened roads down and loaded weights on top and allowed the glue to dry.  

While I was removing the various cars that had been stacked up upon the Cassino Cab Company Diorama, I got the idea that I could put a car, or perhaps part of one into the Richmond River underneath the rail bridge at Cassino.  I already have a rubber ducky with a couple of divers about to fall back off the inflatable and go scuba diving at this location.  So now, I think they will be Emergency Services personnel about to try and recover a body or two from my partly submerged car, or at the very least determine if there are anyone inside the partly submerged wreck.  So I took an old plastic car, and took a Dremel cut-off disk to it and sliced it in half and sanded the base smooth so it can be placed on the water and it looks like it is disappearing into the river after some sort of accident.

My next trip to the shed was not until today.  I went to the Train Club on Saturday and had a good time talking and just walking around.  Anyway today I removed the weights on the diorama and placed it into position next to the road backing onto the railway line on the west side of Cassino.  I then mixed up about a half dozen batches of plaster and poured them around the cab company premises and sculptured the plaster into the required heights.  This also covered the polystyrene base at this location.  I also added a couple of the mixes to near the Murwillumbah Cement works for the rear exit road from the complex.  I then got out the paint and painted these two areas with a base colour so that it is not white.  

The next task was to cut up some styrene to help make some Railway Crossing signs for the layout's various road ways.  As well, I’ve had a request from one of my regular attendees and he wants some so why not just make a batch of them.  I’ve used code 40 rail for the post and I have superglued some styrene to the post.  Tonight I will print out some RAIL WAY CROSSING words that can then be cut up and glued to the styrene on the post.  We will see how they look next weekend.

I have received an update from the postman and my delivery of my Auscision Rail Paybus is now due tomorrow sometime, in lieu of Tuesday.  Just my luck, my wife has to drive my daughter to school tomorrow as she has to be there early for a swimming carnival.  I just know that the postman will arrive at that exact time she is away.  So I assume then that I will still get it on Tuesday this week, when I have to go to the post office to collect it myself.

Late this arvo I have also been working on my 400 Class Railmotor.  I have raised the non power bogie slightly by putting a styrene washer on the bogie mount point and it seems to have had some positive impact on the ability of the railmotor to run better.  I had an idea that it was not exactly level when resting on the track, thus the power bogie which is lacking a bit of weight, is just skidding on the track.  I will apply some more lead weight maybe next weekend.  Maybe Auscision will bring that railmotor out next, but after their (according to them) less than successful Rail Paybus project, maybe they won't go down that path.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Weekly Update

Monday, as you all know, was a Public Holiday.  So early in the morning after mowing the grass and washing the pergola furniture and hosing it out for Tuesday night’s visitors, I made my way down to the shed before it got too hot.  I decided to run my steel train sequence.  This consists of 6 trains.  The first train from where I was in the timetable, was the loaded steelie going from Grafton Yard track 2 to the yard in Cassino opposite the station.  The train fits in this location.  From here the train continues further north and makes its way all the way through Fairy Hill Loop, Kyogle, Border Loop, The Risk and Glenapp before it pauses in Acacia Ridge Yard track 2 so that it can now drop off the last 6 wagons.  From here the train continues about 5 metres around the return loop at Acacia Ridge Yard and terminates.  The loads of steel on the tilt tray wagons are removed and placed in the steel load box.  The steel shunt train takes the already empty 6 wagons that are in Acacia Ridge Yard track 3 and pushes them onto the rear of the terminated steel train in track 2.  The loco the makes its way back along track two and attached to the loaded 6 wagons at the beginning of track 2.  It then moves via the crossover from track 2 to track 3 and terminates in Acacia Ridge Yard track 3.  In a few minutes the now empty steel train at the departure end of Acacia Ridge Yard track 2, travels all the way south to Grafton Yard taking the second track at this location as well.  When this has been completed, the loaded steel shunt train hauled by a sound equipped Auscision 48 Class loco travels out of Acacia Ridge Yard onto the dual gauge and heads towards Clapham Yard.  Just before Clapham Yard, it reaches Rocklea Siding.  At this location, after the set of points is set to allow the train to shunt back into the siding, it does this movement into the steel siding at this location.  The loads are then removed from each of the wagons here, and transferred to the empty steel train in Grafton Yard, wagon by wagon.  The now unloaded steel train in the Rocklea Siding makes its way out onto the mainline and waits for the points to be reset back to the mainline.  At this point, it then shunts back all the way to Acacia Ridge Yard into track 3.  The loco detaches, and then runs forward using one set of mid-yard crossovers, out onto track 2, then makes its way to the other end of Acacia Ridge Yard, here it reverses and takes the another set of mid yard crossovers from track 2 to track 3 and then re-couples up to the now empty 6 steel wagons.  These wagons remain here in track 3 until the cycle of the 6 steel trains starts all over again, and these wagons are added to the end of the empty steel train when it comes back into Acacia Ridge yard from Grafton Yard.

After doing all this work, I forgot to test all the tooth brush bristles that I had installed the previous day.

On Tuesday Afternoon, in preparation for Tuesday Nighters, I tested all the tooth brush bristles that I installed on the previous weekend.  They all worked very well.  About 9 guys came over and after they had a walk around the Shed, I decided to run my steel train sequence from Grafton Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard for their amusement.  It was a very good night.

As the weekend rolled around and with Friday night being a modelling session at the local Hobby Shop, I could not motivate myself to attend.  I think Darren and Geoff went, but I could not align the planets.  On Saturday, I did not get to the shed at all.  However today, I did get down there for about 40 minutes.  I reset the timetable backwards in time for three trains.  One of my container trains was sitting at Border Loop, but I backed it all the way back to Cassino.  The Railbus that was at Cassino moved around to Old Cassino to help pay the branchline staff.  The Brisbane Limited moved out of track 3 at South Brisbane Interstate and into the platform, before then heading south and is now sitting at Clapham Yard track 2 waiting for a cross.  So what does this all mean?  Well, it means that the fast clock time, is now at set to 3:05 PM.  From my childhood, I know that the Brisbane Limited actually went through Yeerongpilly at about 3:30 – 3:35pm, so my version of timetable history is about 30 minutes out of sink – at least for this train.

I am thinking about what can be the next piece of work I will undertake on the layout.  I am currently looking at the baseboard between the disabled wagons sidings and the area across the track from the Coal Stage.  This is about a 3’ x 1‘ area that is currently unsceniced with basic polystyrene as a base.  I will install my model of the Cassino Cab Company headquarters at this location, and do a bit of scenery around the outside.  However, at the moment, all I can do is look at it and not jump into doing any work on it.  Maybe next week, the juices will be flowing again.

I am looking around all my spare wagons trying to work out what wagons are suitable for positioning in the sidings located at Kyogle.  I am also thinking that I might be looking at running a train from Cassino to Kyogle to position and remove these trains during the timetable session.

I see that according to the Auscision website that the sound version of the NSWGR Paybus will be sent out next week.  Hopefully, I will have it in my hands before Friday.  That way I can give it a run next weekend.