Sunday, December 4, 2022

Careful Planning

On Tuesday 9 of the Tuesday Nighters crew came over.  We start up in the shed, and they grab a yea or coffee and walk around seeing what has changed.  After a while I point out a couple of things that are different.  We then exit the shed and head to the pergola for supper.  It was a good night.

Apart from that, I did not visit the shed until late this arvo, after the cricket finished today.  I spent the weekend, watching the cricket, world cup soccer and V8s.  I ran a few trains, in particular the steel train from Grafton all the way to Acacia Ridge and back again.  I also ran a light engine, a stock train, and a shunt train.  This is just to identify any issues for the upcoming running session in late December.  One wagon has had its bogie adjusted slightly, another loco had its wheels oiled.  I still have about 12 trains to run complete the test run of the timetable.  Hopefully that will be next weekend’s activity. 

I am starting to create a list of tasks to complete before the Operating Session.  So far that consists of only a couple of simple tasks, including clearing the dispatcher’s desk, which doubles as my modelling workbench in the shed.  But it has a whole stack of half completed projects sitting on it.  I also have another list of tasks to complete post the Operating Session.  Some of these will include significant changes to the layout, so I do not want to risk changing something and not having it complete before the Operating Session.  That list includes adding a turntable to Murwillumbah.  But first I will need to fix up the turntable’s motor.  That list also includes some track work at Acacia Ridge Yard.

I will need to change some signs on the various layout fascias before the Operating Session.  I will print these soon. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Wait, One, Two, I Still Have Them. Good, I Must be OK

This week I was back at work.  On Friday my order of 4 x sugar wagons from Auscision arrived.  I certainly do not like the eco-friendly packing used to protect the wagons, I had paper everywhere but they did arrive safe and sound.  Only one coupler pin needed to be adjusted from the four wagons.  I placed the wagons on a track in Acacia Ridge Yard and the wagons proceeded to run away to the other end of the yard.  That was not good.  I will need to install some toothbrush bristles into that part of the loop, to hold the wagons in place when they are uncoupled.  I needed to acquire two left hand medium points to allow for a crossover between tracks 2 and 3.  So I decided to attend the local Buy and Sell on Sunday to see if anyone was selling some second hand Peco points. 

Saturday lunchtime was our NMRA Christmas get together at a local hotel.  Nice company, certainly very nice food, cold drinks and a great time talking to people.  When I got home I decided to do what I had not done for some time.  Run trains on Cassino.  The first train I ran was a container.  I noticed that the headlight and taillight on a 48 class where not working.  I pulled the shell off and could not work out why it was not working.  Everything seemed to be good inside.  I will take that loco to the Club in a couple of weeks and put it onto the JMRI controlled test track and see if JMRI will advise what looks out of place in the loco's configuration.  Another 48 class loco had one coupler too high.  I pulled the shell off it, and worked out that some wires were trapped on top of the motor, and once that was remedied, I had no further issues from the coupler height discrepancy.  As I ran this train, I oiled the track and noticed a couple of things to fix up.  Today after the AFLW Grand Final (where the Lions did not win – bugger), I went back to the shed and continued running about another 5 trains back and forth on the layout.  I am trying to test all the trains left in the timetable before my December Running Session.

So on Sunday morning, I went to teh Buy and Sell.  I walked in the door and the first seller was selling Peco points.  I bought 2 x LH Peco points and immediately put them in the car for safe keeping.  I should have stayed there!  On my way back in I ran into Clinton who was exiting.  He said there was no QR 12mm there.  Boy was he wrong!  I ran into the Toowoomba guys and gal, (Bill, Ben and maybe one was called Weed – I don’t know).  I picked up a 60’ turntable with a mechanism, but the motor did not run.  So I will get around to investigating this over the next few weeks.  I am planning on installing this turntable into Murwillumbah.  It will be an interesting exercise and a job for the December Holidays.

I continued around the Buy and Sell.  I saw some QR wagons.  In fact a train load (11) grain wagons.  Well they were coal wagons with a ecofab lid, converting them into QR grain wagons.  So I could remove the lids and turn them back into coal wagons.  Hmmmm!  I purchased 2 other 12mm wagons for a good price and then I walked around the Buy and Sell some more.  I ran into quite a few people that I enjoy talking to and hence spent quite a bit of time at the Buy and Sell.  I came back to the grain/coal wagons again.  Well, you guessed it.  I caved in.  I bought them.  Don’t tell Clinton, or the wife for that matter.  I’ll lose something that I’m rather fond of.  So I on-sold one of the wagons to Anthony, who had the same idea as me.  He was going to remove the lid and then put a load of apples in the coal wagon.  This occurred when apples were sent from Stanthorpe to the Golden Circle Cannery in Brisbane in about the 80s and 90 - I think.

So yes, I put the 12mm wagons on the track when I got home.  The couplers are a bit dodgy, but they run quite well.  The other two wagons have also made the layout.  One needed bogies and the other needs to have its wheels looked at, as it does not roll too well.  There is one wheel on each bogie that does not spin freely.

Plenty to do next weekend, as I will run more trains on the layout and fix some issues as they arise.

P.S. This is my 800th post on this blog.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Holiday Week

While on holidays I started off by doing nothing for almost the entire week.  I might have visited the shed, to get something, or take something to the shed, but no modelling was undertaken.  Tuesday night we went over to Glen’s place for our fortnightly meeting.  Glen is an ex SRA driver and he has a very nice modern-day layout with electric rollingstock and lots of diesels.  He even has a few steamers.  We had a good turn out and a natter about a few things.  As we were going, I purchased an Austrains 80 class off Darren.  Darren was trying to sell it at the RMCQ Buy and Sell two weekends back.  He has now.

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to the shed and gave Darren’s loco a test run.  It ran very smoothly, but I could not get the headlights on the number one end to work.  So I removed the 12V bulb and replaced it with an LED and a 1K ohm resistor.  This was a pretty easy change over.  So my next task is to work out where I will use it in the timetable.  Do I add a second loco to an existing train, or do I replace a loco from one of the train.  I then realised that I should do some work on the number of 44 Class locos that I have in various stages of (dis)repair scattered around the shed and in the office.  Then I can ensure everything is running well for the next Operating Session in December.

On Friday this week, I finished off a task that has been on my to do list for about 5 months.  I finally spliced in a set of 12 mm points into Acacia Ridge yard and created another run around siding.  At the same time, I also investigated what I needed to allow for 4 sugar wagons to be dropped off in the yard without inconveniencing through traffic.  I just need another two left hand medium turnouts and that will allow this to occur.  Following that, I started installing fencing along the right of way on the layout. 

Saturday was an early rise to get over to the RMCQ clubrooms before the NMRA members turned up.  We eventually had about 40 NMRA members in attendance.  We also had some presentations from Greg Beal on the ‘Modelling RM55 in G Scale’,’ Homemade DCC Wifi throttle that fits into your hand’ by Peter Akers, Laurie McLean doing ‘Animations in On3’.  RMCQ put on a BBQ lunch with some snags on bread with onions and sauce along with a cold drink from the Club fridge.  After lunch we had the normal ARC and Divisional news, and then Arthur Hayes spoke about another NMRA AP certificate, this time Scenery.  This was followed by a bit of a show and tell that covered the Diorama Competition from the New England Convention.  Four of the Div 1 members, put in an entry and they were all very good.  The attendees could then check out the various items from the presentation items up close or have a wonder around, checking out the clubroom layouts and facilities.

Today I continued installing fencing along the right of way on the layout.  This was primarily from Kyogle Stock Siding, past Cougal Spiral and into Border Loop.  I also added some from Hotham Street at Cassino past the Cassino Meatworks.  In total this amounted to about 8 metres of fencing being added to the layout.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Absolutely Nothing

So apart from heading to the Club yesterday and having a few very good chats with the guys there, I have done nothing modelling related in the shed this weekend.  I was watching a broadcast from Dave Abeles from his layout room basement this afternoon, until our suburb lost power for about 30 minutes.  That was a bit of a bummer.  So I did nothing after that, and I have not progressed any of my projects.

Hopefully I will get motivated this week while at home on holidays.  I have been thinking about buying another 80 class loco this time in freight rail blue, and following the announcement from Auscision that they had some NGGF wagons, I was thinking of getting a box to add to my miscellaneous train on the north coast.  There was a time that around 4 sugar wagons were attached to a train into Acacia Ridge.  They were then sent back down to Grafton where I assumed they dropped off the empties and picked up 4 full ones to go to Sydney.  I will potentially add 4 sugar wagons onto this miscellaneous train and drop them off at Acacia Ridge on the train's way to South Brisbane.  It will then pick them up again on its way south and that will be just a small bit of modeller’s license being invoked here.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Today was Buy and Sell Day

I went to the Club today to try and sell a few items at the Club Buy and Sell.  I also did have a plan to pick up a couple of books from Phil Overton that he had on sale.  I was checking these out a few weeks ago in a local hobby shop and nearly purchased them then.  Well I have now! 

The sellers for the Buy and Sell seemed to be slightly down on usual numbers, maybe 4 or 5 tables I thought.  The people through the front door also seemed to be slightly down.  Some of that could be that the NMRA had a weekend tour down to Warwick with a bit of a wine tasting and train trip organised, so I’m sure some of those guys would have turned up at the Buy and Sell, had the tour not been on.  I had my usual location and was near a few mates, Anatol, Phil and Anthony.  Darren was located inside the shed.  So from my point of view it was a positive experience.  I had a good natter to some of my modelling friends, made some money (well a bit), maybe I acquired a thing or two (shhhh!).  I also sold some more 3D printed items for Greg.  Maybe I have my eye on something a mate was trying to sell today.  That might change hands next time I see him. 

Just looking at the calendar, I have model railway activities planned for the next 3 weekends.  I also have some holidays approaching.  Maybe I can get some motivation back to do a bit more work on the layout.  I have some station buildings to complete and some fencing to install next to the railway line in some areas.  Maybe I also need to plant some more trees and bushes in November and December.  We need to do all we can to guard against climate change, even on the layout.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Monday Travels on the Way Home

Late on Sunday night (almost 2 weeks back now) I was conversing via text to our mate Rohan.  He invited us to drop into to his place on Monday morning on our way home.  So we left reasonable early, got petrol in Armidale and hit the road and made our way to Glen Innes.  We stopped at the local bakery for some sustenance and then went and met Rohan.  We had a great time checking out his layout.  Rohan had a couple of trains circulating and we might have taken a few photos.  It was great to catch up.

Post departure, we stopped at Tenterfield, and Warwick.  We got petrol at Aratula, when Modeller 2 went straight through, and we then made our way home to drop Geoff off at his place, PK at my place to collect his car and I had to unpack.  A great long weekend at the New England Model Railway Club's New England Convention in Armidale.  I can certainly recommend it for modellers.

The Crew and Rohan.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

NEMRC Continued - Day 2

Last Sunday I got up early so I could tune into the NMRA-X presentations.  But I could not find them on Facebook.  I have no idea what was going on.  Anyway we headed over to the New England Convention and when the Bowls Club opened its door, I set up in my room for the presentation which was first up.  I plugged my laptop into the PC available for the presentation, and streamed via Youtube the NMRA-X presentations for the hour or so before my presentation was due to begin.

At presentation time, a few stirrers made their presence felt with a few smart remarks coming from the first two row on the right hand side of the room.  Mostly Division 1 members.  Damn Troublemakers!  Hopefully those in attendance had a laugh.  The room was pretty full and hopefully I was able to get my point across and inspire a few there to attempt to bring their layouts to life.  For the rest of the day I was up stairs at my desk with some of my detail items on display. 

At the end of the convention we met up for a few drinks in the Bowls Club.  We then made our way back into the Convention room and had a few more.  Geoff has made arrangements for us to have a table booked for dinner at the White Bull.  Originally he had about 14 places, but that was expanded to 20.  When we got there, the place was full.  Our Table booking full and there was eventually about 43 people from the Convention having dinner there.  Boy was the place busy. 

A few of us unwinding post the Convention

Dinner on Sunday

The convention had some good layouts in attendance.  An O scale layout was very nice.  Lismore Wharf from peter Boorman was also very nice.  I got some very nice photos of both.  Below are some shots of the O scale layout.

These photos of the Lismore Wharf Layout.

We had a great time at the Convention and we will all be back again.  Thanks to the Convention organisers, the shops in attendance, the presenters, those going displays, those that made dioramas, those that brought along models and those with layouts.  All these contributes to the success of the convention.  Well Done.