Sunday, April 11, 2021

More Pallets

Well last Sunday night did not turn out as expected, but by Monday night I had painted up a total of 40 clothes lines and completed three strings of pallets.  On Tuesday afternoon I headed to a local hobby shop and picked up some more styrene and have enough styrene in reserves for another 108 pallets if required.  During the week, activity turned to painting up a few tarpaulins.  

On Friday afternoon I sold some clotheslines to a local hobby shop in between various meetings while working from home.  When I got home I produced another 27 pallets for good measure – making the fourth string and 108 on hand.  I had dinner and then produced another 27 pallets – the fifth string.  While at a hobby shop on Saturday morning I picked up a couple of spray cans of paint to paint up some of these pallets – quite possibly next weekend’s task.  I had a plan to make up a few more clothes lines on Saturday evening, before changing tack and doing some electronics type work on Sunday.  But on Saturday evening I did another 27 pallets – the 6th string.  That is 162 pallets on hand.  I still have enough styrene available to do another two strings or 52 pallets at least.  I can knock off a complete string of pallets in around one hour.

While at the Club on Saturday, I picked through some items that were from a deceased estate and handed over some money to the Treasurer and he had a bit of fun.  I found three small combi vans that had a friction motor in them that you pulled back and let them go.  So while the boring Club meeting was on, we had three of these combi vans zooming across our table from all different directions and trying to have a crash in the middle of the table.  Childish I know, but we all had a laugh.  Greg also brought along some 3D printed items that I ordered from him over the last month.  It was some road barriers and some water tanks. These will eventually go into some wagons loads.  

Today I soldered up six incinerators.  I added a bridge rectifier to a capacitor and added my LED and a resistor.  Next was some lengths of wire and the end result was 6 working incinerators.  These are ready for me to sell at the Brisbane May Show.  I might have my demo board for level crossing detectors also with me at the May show in Brisbane.  So I might have to make up some level crossing detector flashing light kits for that event as well. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Clotheslines and Pallets

On Thursday afternoon after signing off work, I finally Googled how to solve my Rubik's Cube.  I then did it.  I used to have a book to help me get it out but I lost it a few years ago.  My rubik's cube has been sitting on my office desk for a couple of years in a weird configuration.  So it is now just like a bought one.

On Friday morning I started work on 7 HO clotheslines.  That was when I realised that I needed to buy some 0.040” styrene rod, so I picked up some of that on Saturday morning.  Focus shifted to working on a strip of pallets.  So that was 27 of them.  I needed to slightly downsize them.  This was so they could fix into an open wagon at 2 wide across the wagon.  Of course the open wagon had to be manufactured with thicker than prototype sides, thus the measurement that had to give (so to speak) was the inside measurement of the wagon, while retaining the external measurements to scale. 

On Saturday I hit the road and visited Barnacle Bob to pick an item that he painted for me, and it did look very nice indeed.  Thanks Barnacle.  I then visited some hobby shops for some styrene supplies.  Nine packets later from two shops and I was ready to hit the kitchen table and knock out some more clotheslines.

In the afternoon I continued with some more clotheslines knocking out another fourteen.  I then looked for my 0.030” rod.  Well wouldn’t you know it I only had one length left in the packet I had on hand.  Guess what?  I didn’t pick up an extra packet of 0.030” rod in the morning.  So I think on Monday I will pick up another two packets of 0.030” rod and another of 0.040” rod if the shops are open.  Well just checked online and you guessed it – no cigar.  I am also now out of 0.040” styrene rod, as I used the whole packet I bought yesterday after making up another 20 clotheslines on Saturday night.  While watching TV, I knocked out most of the clotheslines, just leaving the 0.030” braces to the tops of them to complete.  I also started off on the next string of 27 pallets.  I also knocked out another 28 pieces of 4” x 4” dunnage to go inside my many open wagons and to be used to separate some lengths of steel that I sell for various open wagons.  These get painted various shades of brown.

I also managed a trip to Jaycar on Saturday afternoon to pick up the components to make 5 power supplies for my flickering incinerators.  Hopefully I will sell a couple of these flickering incinerators at the upcoming May show in Brisbane. 

I made a trip to Bunnings on Sunday morning and picked up a piece if wood.  This will be used to make another demonstration track setup, this time for Shelton the Photographer.  I may install two versions of this on the track.  One will certainly be using an Arduino for the triggering and firing the photographer flash and maybe I will also install another using just the electronic components only. 

So next up was completing the second lot of 27 pallets.  That was followed by an email exchange with my local shop – aka Raymond.  I borrowed his last packet of 0.030” styrene rod and after a natter with him and Lefty, I resumed building some clotheslines.  I completed 10 clothesline tops with the 0.030" styrene, then painted only 7 of them because I could not count.  I have since completed another 4 and will resume construction in an hour or so, in the hope of knocking them all off tonight. 

I have started a third string of pallets.  So far I have about 7 or 8 complete, I will resume working on them tomorrow morning and before the rest of the family rises, I should have string number 3 completed.  I also spent some time down the shed and will be looking at making the scenes on the layout as you enter the shed more presentable.  The fascias of the two decks may get a bit of a colour if I can work out what colour to do them.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

500,000 Blog Hits and Turning Into a Plumber

This week again nothing much to report.  Although I did complete about 7 x N scale clotheslines.  Another milestone for the week was that blog ticked over 500,000 hits.  I logged on one morning at work, and it had just ticked over.  As one secret agent used to say 'Missed it by that much'.

Most of my spare time was taken up doing some drainage work for my new carport.  I had to dig some holes to expose the old storm water pipes.  I needed to splice into the existing storm water drains that I laid underneath my driveway about 27 years ago.  Of course in the same area, is my poly pipe sprinkler runs (3), the house water main, the NBN fibre link to the house, my power connection to the house, and the old copper phone line in another conduit run.  Oh yes, I did find most of them when I was excavating.  I only nicked one of my poly pipe runs.  It was just enough to make water drip out when I turned that circuit on.  I needed a couple of trips to Bunnings for some 90mm PVC pipe, blue plumbers glue and various fittings, as well as some poly pipe fittings to repair my poly pipe nick.  It is quite difficult working about 50cm below your feet down a small hole.  But it worked out much cheaper than getting a plumber in to do that work, as they is usually no care and no responsibility involved.  I took my time and took plenty of photos to prove what was done and hopefully the carport assessor will give me council signoff when the carport is finally completed.  The wrong clips were provided with the guttering so this has not yet been installed.  I just need the crew to come back and complete that component of the build.

I spent most of this morning watching over half of the NMRA-X presentations that were broadcast today.  I did a couple of things while that was being broadcast.  I have started making a list of things to do over the next long weekend, and that involves finishing off a couple of projects.

This last Tuesday night our group of modellers visited Peter’s place and I picked up some Miniprint figures that Barnacle Bob ordered along with his last order.  I also gave Barnacle some assistance in making a blue LED flash so he could equip his 70’s era police car with a flashing blue light on the roof.  I saw the end result on Saturday morning and it looks fantastic, with its Police decal on the hood and boot, and the Queensland Police emblems on the doors.  I think it just needs a large aerial coming out of the front bumper. Not that my mind remembers back then.  I just think it will look good.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Big Plans ...

I had big plans this weekend.  Firstly I was to complete a few more random steel loads.  I did that on Saturday.  In order to complete these loads, I needed to cut up and paint a few more lengths of 4” x 4” wood for my steel loads to sit on.  That is an easy job and to do the cutting and then the painting.  I paint my dunnage two different colours, a light brown and a dark brown.  I did the painting in between showers on Saturday afternoon.  I also had to paint up some steel rod loads.  The resulting about 8 sets of loads are more than suitable.

I was also planning to do some more work on my Kyogle Station building.  As at late Sunday afternoon, I’ve done nothing.  I was also planning to do some more work on a Powerpoint presentation for an upcoming NMRA-X.  Again I did nothing.  The rain we had this weekend was miserable and stopped me getting motivated to do any work.  I hope the guys up in Bundy had a good weekend running trains at the first model railway exhibition on the calendar for the first time in quite a while.

Late on Sunday a mate wanted some assistance with some police car flashing lights.  That sent me down a rabbit hole for an Arduino implementation of flashing red and blue lights.  I had dabbled in that area previously, but it was so long ago, I could not remember what version of the code was the best one I produced.  So off down that rabbit hole and I will have to spend some more time there.  I will probably connect up an Arduino to one of my police cars and have it flashing its red and blue lights on the layout.  That same Arduino will control a raging community hall with a full on disco party going on inside, with lots of flashing lights and also music blaring out of the hall.  However, upon further clarification my barnacley mate only has a blue light on his police car, as he is modelling time back when Moses was just dabbling with streams and had not yet graduated to seas.

However, since just before dinner and post dinner I have almost assembled the Kyogle station building.  I think I've give myself an early mark tonight and just watch the idiot box.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Steel Loads

This week I had two days at home waiting for a carport to be installed, but that got washed out on Thursday and because of that didn’t come Friday either.  Rain is predicted on Monday so that is most unlikely as well.  So what do you do at home, when you have nothing better to do?  Modelling of course.  I wrapped up about another 26 tarpaulins or so and sold off 100 tarps on Friday afternoon.  I also got stuck into building some more large and small steel loads.  The steel loads fit into various NSW and QR wagons.  These also found a new home on Friday afternoon.  On Friday I was hoping for the postie to deliver my AMRM, as I had an article published in the April issue and I wanted to read the other articles.  Oh well, there is always Monday or Tuesday this week.  I just hope that the boss gets it out of the letter box before it gets too wet.

So on Saturday I went and picked up some more styrene at Austral Modelcraft and at RC Model Planes just down the road from the Club on the other side of the city.  It was meeting day at the Club.  While there I had a good talk to PK, Greg and Darryl.  Darryl put an order in for some steel loads for his QR HWOS wagons and some Wuiske HJS wagons.  Now I have no idea if these wagons carried small steel loads, but I guess they did considering what else could be found in one of these wagons.  So the process started when I got home from the Club.  It also continued today.  I put together 3 more large steel loads for my HWOS wagons.  I also put together 7 small steel loads for QR HJS wagons, and three more middle sized loads.  I have three more large loads ready to assemble and enough styrene (waiting for paint to dry) for further three large steel loads to be made during the week.  I will be putting up to five steel rod loads together later tonight.  These are already cut up, and once assembled and painted make up part of my steel loads on the top decks of the steel.

Two of my three HWOS steel wagon loads.  My weathered HWOS wagon is behind the loads.  The top load has some steel rods onboard.

Seven of my small steel loads for HJS type wagons.  A Wuiske HJS is in the middle of the photo, while one of my scratch built HJS wagons is at the top.

So most of the large styrene purchase I made yesterday has already been used up. 

I received some feedback on Friday about my pallets not fitting in a Wuiske HJS two abreast.  I checked my QR plan and these wagons have an inside opening of 2440mm or 8’.  Two standard pallets should fit in the wagon.  So I tested my half a dozen scratch built HJS wagons and other variants and in all of them two of my pallets fitted inside the wagon two across.  I measured one of my Wuiske models and sure enough two pallets don’t fit - almost but no cigar.  So I guess in the efforts of building a scale model, you must trade in on one of the dimensions of that model.  In this case in order to have robust sides on the wagon, they are just slightly thicker than the prototype and thus the inside measurement has to be sacrificed is about 1mm too thin.  These are the trade offs we must live with in scale modelling.

So I made a test build this afternoon for 8 pallets to be built in a single build that fits inside the Wuiske HJS.  I think it works out quite good.  This test build is reserved for one of my mates who was wanting something for inside his HJS, but if he doesn’t want it, I will offload it at an upcoming Buy and Sell in May.

One shot of a random load that can do into a QR HJS.  It is 8 standard sized pallets on the right with a few 44 gallon drums - empty and loaded ontop.

This photo is another standard load for a QR HJS wagon.  The components of the load - except the single pallets and the tarps are glued to a sheet of paper and painted a close match for a QR wagon grey.  This way the loads can be removed and stored between loaded and unloaded runs of the wagons.

With a bit of luck, and some fine weather sometime this week, my carport might go up sometime soon.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Good Progress on the Border Loop Signalman's Cottage

So on Saturday this weekend, I had a mate come over to pick up a couple of my level crossing detector kits.  I thought I would get my demo version out and place it on a table in my pergola to show off how it works.  It wouldn’t work.  I was dumbfounded.  It took me a few minutes to realise that the bright sunshine was playing havoc with my infra-red detectors.  Once I realised that, we took the demo board back down to the shed and set it up inside the shed and sure enough it worked perfectly.  We had a discussion about various implementation scenarios and hopefully is now all up to date and will have a great time installing these kits.    

Straight after my visitor left, I got the spray can out and painted up some bargeboards for my Kyogle Norco Dairy building.  I placed some masking take on a piece of wood, and stuck the various boards to the masking take.  That way they don’t go flying when the spray of the air and paint mix comes out of the cans.  These were left to dry.  Today I added these to the Kyogle Diary building.  However a document that I sighted today from the 1930’s shows this building as the Butter Factory. 

The Kyogle Diary building with sliding door open and the platform lent up against the building.

This photo shows the door I cut in for which I don't have a door for as yet and the window I cut into the end of the building.  Down pipes have been made but are yet to be fitted.

A shot more at platform level

So later on Saturday afternoon I retired to the kitchen table and started to mark out the window openings and doorways on the three sides of my Border Loop Signalman’s house.  I then cut out the various openings, and then added a base and some internal walls.  That way, when someone looks inside, they won’t see straight through.  I then added a plane styrene rear wall and the base house looks quite good.  Later on in the afternoon, I started making up the rear veranda section.  On Saturday evening everything was glued together.

So today, I decided to try and paint the building a blue colour.  I gave it a primer coat first and then the light blue.  I have a photo from the distant past and it shows the house painted a similar blue colour.  I then went searching in my window collection and found four that fitted the openings that I already had cut in the house.  I then painted these a white colour.  Once the windows were dry they were glued to the model.  I also found two doors from my container of doors and these fitted exactly.  So these have now been added as well.  I cut the roof for the back veranda and painted it silver.  My remaining task is to add the roof.  I have made a frame and cut a paper template, but I hate making roofs.  I think I will bring the model along to our Tuesday Nighter’s meeting and discuss the roof with the modelling guru’s in attendance.


This shot is the southern end of the Signalman's Cottage

This is the rail side of the cottage

This is the side closest to the signal box.

So this afternoon I started doing some more work on the Kyogle station building.  I was cleaning up the window and door openings.  I will work on this during the week.  However, I have been given an order for some more tarps.  So this afternoon I cut up and rolled up 30 tarps.  I have another 26 that I can make up later this week, but I will have to resort to saving my wife’s teabags in order to make a few more.  I also received a few more orders for steel loads and clotheslines.  Who know I might be able to knock out a few more this week as well.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Ticking Off To Do List Items

On Thursday afternoon this week, I wrote a “To Do” list for this weekend's activities.  I was hoping to get some motivation out of this.  I started on Friday evening, and was able to tick off the first few items.  So far so good.  First up I added some road markings to my Traffic Light demonstration module.  The stop bars in the intersection were made from 0.010” x 0.100” styrene strip and 0.010” x 0.030” strip was used for the centre road lines, and some side lines on the road.  I normally use 0.010: x 0.040” for centre lines on a road, but I had that styrene earmarked for other activities.  I do use 0.010" x 0.030" for the side lines.  The next task was to find some scribed wood in my collection that I thought I had in the shed.  Sure enough I had two packets.  One packet had 3 ¼” wide scribes and the other had 4” wide scribes.  I chose to use the 4” version.  My plan was to use this product cut into 6’ high strips with some laser cut wood frames for a fence.  The scribes would look like 4" palings in the fence.  The laser cut frames were produced by one of our Club members Tristan Harrison as his line of business.  They are great!.  So I cut up the strips and stained them with my standard stain made from Ink pad ink and metho.  These were allowed to dry and once I get around to making the house for the signalman at Border Loop, this house will be surrounded by this fencing.  I need the house first as I do not know how big the fencing will be.

Saturday’s job was to start planning for the house used by the Signalman at Border Loop.  I had printed out some photos that had appeared online over the years, and of course I took a backup copy in case the internet went down.  I looked in a book of NSW railway plans, an old AMRA magazine article of an old house (which I had already made a model of about 20 years ago, and the internet.  So from the photos that I had and some known measurements and some estimations of standard sizes of certain items or objects on the house, like doors, and windows.  I have been able to guess what I hope will be a near enough size for the four sides of the house.  One advantage is that I might not have to put any detail on the rear of the house, as it is up against the scenery backdrop.  So I have three sides worked out.  I just need to transfer these markings onto three sheets of weatherboard shaped styrene (clapboard from evergreen scale models), cut out the doors and window and put the house together.  While I am doing this, I will also put together the Kyogle Station building which has also been cut out.

Sunday’s plan was to do two jobs.  One jobs was make up 4 kits of level crossing flashers ready for sale, and the second was to try and do up a small demo layout of 'Shelton the Photographer' on a small section of test track.  On Sunday morning and early afternoon I was also supposed to tune into the NMRA-X presentations.  Well I did watch half of the NMRA-X presentations.  I have everything read to make up the kits for the level crossing detectors, and I will complete them tonight after posting this blog.  I also plan to find some Clapboard tonight and start marking my plan onto it.

I've got a couple of days off next week to supervise a carport being built at my place, so I might find some modelling time during the week.  There is also plenty on the agenda for next weekend as well.