Following a successful weekend of model railway activities at the Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition last Saturday and Sunday, I was poised for a great Monday public holiday being spent in the shed continuing down the model railway path. My enthusiasm was soon tempered when I found out that I did not have enough rail joiners both metal and insulated to allow installation of my newly purchased points in Fisherman Islands Yard. I was further disillusioned when taking my daughter for an early morning driving lesson and I noticed that the local hardware was closed due to the public holiday. Bugger! Well that certainly smacked me in the face and deflated my enthusiasm quite severely. However, I decided that on Monday evening I was to break out the styrene and commence making some QR grain wagons that could be fitted with a tarpaulin – or three – let’s not be too greedy. So by Monday night, I had three styrene boxes with a base created, that were going to form the basis for the tarpaulin covered grain wagons.
On Tuesday evening, I shot out to Bunnings and purchased the ply sheet I needed for the extended baseboard for Acacia Ridge narrow gauge yard. This was followed by a get together with most of the Tuesday Nighter boys at Peter’s Place where we again discussed the previous weekend's model railway exhibition and solved plenty of the world's problems - as we normally do.
Over the rest of the week I cut out some underfloor centre sills for the grain wagons, and on Friday and Saturday nights I constructed the wagon doors on both sides of the three wagons. Yesterday on the way to my son’s Club Soccer game, I stopped off at Austral Modelcraft and picked up some metal and plastic rail joiners and a packet of 0.020” x 0.040” styrene that I needed to complete the last pair of doors on the last grain wagon. This morning, I cut up many small pieces of 0.010” x 0.030” styrene while waiting for the boss to be ready to head out to the Mother-in-law’s place, I started affixing the bottom part of the styrene that will look like the press fitted shape in each of the wagon panel sides provided to add strength to the wagon side panels. I am only doing the bottom part of this shape for two reasons. The first is that the wagon will have a strategically fitted tarpaulin that will cover up top half of the ‘X’ pressed shape in the panel side. The second reason is that the whole ‘X’ shape is too hard and fiddly to accurately make in styrene. Maybe it could be 3D printed in bulk for each wagon though? Maybe there is an opportunity out there for someone to mass produce some 3D printed pressed ‘X’s for QR wagon sides to be glued to QR wagon sides – Who knows? I am most impressed with how the scratch built grain wagons are coming together.
Anyway this afternoon, I made my way down to the shed and cut out the ply shape for the extended narrow gauge yard for Acacia Ridge Yard. The track has been just placed about where each siding will go and it now looks like quite good. The next issue is that I think I need a couple more lengths of Tillig dual gauge flex track and maybe one more length of 12mm flex to complete the track. I think I will not bother making any more curved sections of dual gauge track like I had previously done - I will just buy it this time. I had some done testing and it looks like track 1 will easily take a 12 wagon coal train with two locos, and track 2 will take a 12 wagon grain train with two locos on the end. It also appears that the run around points at the far end of Acacia Ridge narrow gauge Yard will easily be accessible from the operating aisle at the Clapham Yard end of Acacia Ridge. Most of the new baseboard has been screwed together and fixed to the layout frame.
Next Friday afternoon I might be able to pick up a couple of lengths of Tillig track at Aurora Trains which will allow me to continue on the track laying activities in Acacia Ridge Yard and Fisherman Islands Yard on next Sunday.