Sunday, September 12, 2021

Still More Fencing

We had Tuesday Nighter’s this week at Shelton’s place.  There was 10 guests there as well as the host and his boss.  Bit by bit, more scenery is completed on Shelton’s VR railway.  He was also fixing various sections of track where some wagons might have had some issues.  So good progress is being made.  Dr Peter was doing a bit of cleanout of his office space and quite a number of Railway Digest magazines, other magazines, various hard cover railway books made it to the meeting and were distributed to those in attendance.  I have since found out that I already had some of the books that I had purloined.  So these doubles will be boomeranging back to the next Tuesday Nighter’s meeting for redistribution to others.

On Friday I went down to the shed and completed a few tasks.  Firstly I got the diluted aquadhere out and added it to the ballast in the Kyogle Butter factor Siding, and the Kyogle Veneer Siding.  That was allowed to set.  I then installed some more wire fencing around the Lismore Shell Oil Siding.  Today I continued the fencing task and eventually completed the fencing around the Rocla Sleeper Siding.  At both locations however, I still need to add wire to the actual gates into the rail sidings.

I also created another length of guttering for the rear of the Kyogle Butter Factory building.  I also did some maintenance on the roof structure.  I then added two downpipes from the front gutters, as well as a bit of junk around the end of the building.  Some graffiti was also added.  So I think that industry is almost complete.  I will probably add some downpipes from the rear gutters and then I just need to fit the sliding doors to the front of the building.

I also painted up some sections of white metal post and split rail fencing.  This will go around the Baker’s Farm scene between the Rocla Sleeper Siding and Rappville Loop.  Quite possibly next weekend, or maybe during the week, as I have Wednesday off.  I already have some fencing around most of the farm, but the scene needs to be extended in both directions.

On Saturday I headed over to the Club for the AGM.  The club is running quite well with good cash reserves, plenty of members, plenty of workers and development activity happening on 4 layouts and the outdoor G/Live Steam gauge.  When I came home in the arvo, I added wheels to the fettler crew’s speeder car.  I was thinking of trying to make this work on 12mm track, but the underneath frame was just too wide for the wheels to sit on 12mm track.  So it ended up being fitted with 16.5mm gauge wheels and is now sitting on some sleepers at Kyogle.  

Every time I go the shed I see my half finished Kyogle Station building sitting on the kitchenette benches.  Well I think it will soon to be put back onto the top of the 'to do' list, as the current tasks above are completed.

I have some visitors coming over on the 25th, so I am trying to complete a few loose ends before then.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

The Bad Men made Me Do it!

Well I was a bit naughty during the week.  I decided to purchase a couple of 44 class locos from Auscision Models.  Who could resist?  They were about $375 with sound on their early bird purchase offer.  A few of my mates also have them already locked and loaded so these guys made me do it.  They were inside my head advising, it was a really good price.  I was trying to build up a bit of a nest egg, before I purchased an Ausciaion Models DEB set.  Oh well!  You can’t take the money with you.

I also got my second jab yesterday so now I am fully vaccinated.  I caught the bus into town, walked to the convention centre, got jabbed, caught the bus back home.  All for $1.50 in bus fare.  Not bad.  It did not take long at all.  No effects so far at all.

On the model railroading front this weekend, I had been filling in a few gaps so to speak around the layout with scenery.  I did have quite a few scenes around the layout, but sometimes the locations in between these major features were left undone.  So my plan is to address all these areas of inactivity and complete them.  I did some work behind the Lismore Shell oil siding, and the area near the traffic lights just before Lismore Station.  I also started attaching some chain wire fencing to the fence posts around the oil siding which has sat there for quite some time.  I also got stuck into the area near the Kyogle Dairy (Old Butter Factory) siding.  I also filled in a few locations around there next to the track that had not yet been sceniced.  I also spread ballast in the two sidings around the Butter Factory, and the Veneer Factory Siding which is behind the Butter Factory.

Around Old Cassino, I added some plaster to help create some gentle slopes around some of the roads.  I also added scenery near the road into the back of Old Cassino Station near the Old Cassino Dairy.  I also did some work on the Old Cassino Shell Oil Siding, repairing some fencing there and adding the chain wire.

I also spread some plaster around the roadways near the Murwillumbah Cement Siding, and this might get some more scenery work next weekend.  I also put together a couple of white metal details items during the week.  I gave a 4 wheel covered speeder a coat of paint.  I still need to attach the wheels and then put it into a scene on the layout.  Another fettler's 4 wheel push trolley still has yet to be painted and added to another fettler’s camp on the layout.  That reminds me that I have about 6 or so fettlers trolleys in a kit that I also need to finish assembling, painting and then add them to the layout.  But these are quite fine models and do take quite a few hours each to put together.  Maybe soon!

Next week I plan to complete the adding of chain wire to fences around the Lismore Shell Oil Siding.  That will be followed with more chain wire being added to the Rocla Sleeper Siding.  This location has only had chain wire added to half of its fencing.  Following this I will return to the Kyogle scene where Fawcett’s Creek is, and blend in the scenery at the back of that location.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

End Loader and MP3 Player Assembly

Friday afternoon I went to a local hobby shop and picked up a few paints – two each of spray paint cans and two of the bottle variety.  I also went for a dig around the bargain bin and found an end loader for $20.  It was a pewter model.  So on Friday evening I broken open the pack and started to use super glue to put it together.  On Saturday morning I gave it an etch primer and then later on I gave it a coat of yellow oxide with the etch dried.    That yellow oxide is a close enough match for the base colour of all those pieces of heavy equipment. I gave the tyres a coating or etch primer, followed by matt black.  In the afternoon, I used a brush to give the wheel rims a coating of yellow oxide and set these down to dry again.

Also on Friday afternoon I went looking for a few of my paper wagons and worked out which ones had opening doors.  On Saturday morning I glued some rolls of paper into the wagon and left the door slightly open.  So when these wagons are left in the Park Road Siding, passers by will see that there are paper rolls inside some wagons.  I think that will be a nice detail scene.

During the week I also soldered up a few wires to my DFPlayer (basically a USB3 player in a single component).  All I had to do was apply power and a couple of push buttons (next and previous track) and voila – an MP3 player for the layout.  In this case my Fairy Lane Community Hall.  However, I really want to have the tracks automatically play randomly and continuously.  So I will do a bit more reading.  Maybe one night this week.

Saturday afternoon I had to pull up stumps early, as I was attending a 40 year school reunion with about 30 other guys.  Also at the venue were the 10, 20 and 50 year reunions.  It was a very good evening catching up with former school mates.  Quite a few I have run into in normal day life many times before.  Some look exactly the same, although the hair might have thinned some.

So this afternoon, I superglued the wheels onto the chassis of the End loader and placed the end loader onto my Nammoona Ballast Siding loading bank.

End loader parked next to some already filled ballast wagons.

Also today, I decided to do a bit more scenery between Old Cassino around to Lismore.  So I completed more than two thirds of that area, and the plan is to complete that whole area between those locations next weekend.  There are a number of areas on the layout where there is a base colouring of the plaster, but that is it.  My plan over the next 3 or 4 weeks is to cover those areas with various coloured dirts and then various coloured scatters.  Hopefully I will tick that off before the boys from Toowoomba come down the range in a few weeks for a catchup.

I have a few more whitemetal kits that I will try and put together at night over the next week.  These are detail items that I have collected over the years and I really need to get them onto the layout.

Looking south towards Old Cassino

Looking north from old Cassino

Looking North towards the Lismore Oil Siding  The area behind the track will be sceniced next weekend

Looking south from Lismore back towards the Lismore Oil Siding.  The area to the right of this scene will also be sceniced next weekend.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

‘Let There Be Light’ and ‘Pigs Might Fly’

Subtitle – I Bow to the Greater Stirrers

Well quite a few weeks back now, we had an NMRA meeting at my place and two dodgy characters, Arthur and Bob had conspired to plant something on my layout.  I thought that I had prevented that from occurring, but obviously not.  Well they did plant something, although it has taken me 4 weeks to work out what it was and where it was.  So I bow to the greater stirrers.  I have found something outside Ron and Marg’s B&B; where inside one of the bedrooms; PK is up to no good; found in one of the Jacaranda trees which just happens to be in full flower.  Well it was a flying pig (from Miniprints in Canada) landing in the upper foliage.  It has been there all along in plan sight, but out of my sight. 

I had a business associate come over on Friday with his Ferrari parked out the front, and spent a couple of hours having a look and having real good chat.  I’ve known Norm for what must be close to 25 years and he is such a very nice person.  He gave my son a lap around the block in the Ferrari.  I even got to sit in the driver’s seat and also got a lap around the block.  So I can now say that I have been in a Ferrari.  I must have been standing less than 12 inches from that tree with the flying pig in it and I was telling Norm to look in the window of the B&B, and check out PK in action, and I still did not see that flying pig.

The Flying Pig about to land in the tree and in the background is someone looking in the window where PK is in the bedroom.

On Saturday afternoon, a Tuesday Nighter came over to pick up some stuff, and let the cat out of the bag, advising that there was a flying pig somewhere on the layout.  I said it must be in a tree.  Well within in two minutes we found it.  It was very well camouflaged.  Those two buggers (Arthur and Bob) will keep.  I will think of something else to get Bob and Arthur back with.  They just better watch their layouts so to speak.

So back to the other heading on this post.  On Saturday I started painting some light shades that Geoff had given me last Tuesday week.  Thanks Mate!  These are just the thing to be used inside my Park Road Trans-shipment shed.  Last night I got my 0402 LEDs with pre-fitted leads out and fed them through the painted light shades and then tested them all on a battery power supply.  They all worked.  I also created a power bus inside the shed, running through the roof frame of the trans-shipment shed.  This was tested today with 7 light shades hung between the bus wires.  The shed, plugs into two sockets in the base of the layout and the lights can be turned on and off with a switch on the fascia.  The lights are powered from the track bus, with power rectified and filtered and then fed through the switch to the bus.  

This photo is taken from below the fascia and looking up into the Trans-shipment shed to see the lights hanging down inside the shed.  I have a plan to replace this section of layout fascia with Perspex at a later date so crews can see into the shed when they are shunting the siding.  You can actually see more that than this photo shows when viewing at eye level.  This photo masks the actual view, given that it was taken from below looking up. 

I have also been making and painting some other detail items for this scene.  I have made 38 paper rolls to be positioned inside some wagons and inside the trans-shipment shed.  I found on the internet that the rolls of paper were apparently 1.7m high and 930mm wide.  So I scaled then to HO and made then from white paper rolled up.  I had positioned quite a few pallets, tarps, 44 gallon drums and 3 cubic metre industrial bins on the concrete pavement between two tracks in the yard.  I have yet to place them in their final locations and will install a few pallets inside and some more outside the shed.   I will also have to install some fire hoses and other safety equipment around the shed.  I need to keep my miniature workers safe.

I also painted up another 40 pallets today and I must have painted about 20 tea bags, which will enable me to make about 40 tarps during the week.

I think I have my next project identified.  I will work on the Local Community Hall near Fairy Hill Loop, actually on Fairy Lane.  I have a plan to install disco lights inside the hall and music blaring from the hall to add something different to the average layout.  I have everything I need to action this, so maybe in a fortnight it might be ready to install.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Damn Rulers

Well lockdown in Brisbane concluded on last Sunday at 4:00pm.  So the daughter scooted over to the boyfriends place and I just did some more work in the shed and also that night at the kitchen table.  I still had Monday off work, and I could go out.  So on Monday morning I made a bee-line over to a local hobby shop and picked up some styrene and paint.  That was $100 well spent, as I had used up quite a bit on various items over the previous two weeks of holidays.  I also arranged for Arthur Hayes to come over in the afternoon and assess four of my models towards my AP for Structures.  I realised after talking to Arthur, that on one of the models I could have added some more detail, so I will see if I get three merit awards or four for these four models.  If I get three awards, I will improve the last model and get it re-assessed, after it gets some more attention.  The last model I need to get assessed, is the Park Road Siding Trans-shipment Shed.  I will be focussing on this model next.

The other day, actually last Saturday and Sunday nights I put together a number of detail items that I was going to deploy to various locations on the layout.  These being - tables, chairs, stools and side tables from styrene and after gluing together I gave them a paint.  I took some along to Tuesday Nighter’s last Tuesday and to the Club on Saturday to give a few out.  It was not until I had already made a few that I realised that some of my legs on the various items were different lengths.  That had me scratching my head.  I had recently purchased a new 150mm steel ruler, as you can not have too many of these.  I was using that new ruler to make my legs.  Now I use various locations on the ruler so that wear and tare is evened over the complete length.  Sometimes I would line the styrene rod, I was using for legs on the various detail items, up with the end of the ruler and measure either 10mm, 7mm, 5mm or 3mm and make those cuts.  Other times, I would use a major mark on the ruler and measure out the required millimetres and cut there.  Then I took a closer view of the end of the ruler.  Well when it was printed, the printing machine must have been off centre.  The 1mm mark on the ruler was actually 2mm from the end of the ruler.  Well that was a bit of a problem.  So everything I measured at that end, was actually 1mm longer than I wanted them.  But at least I worked out why the legs on various items were different lengths and the items did not sit flat on the ground.  That was a trap for young players. 

Anyway on Saturday afternoon after I had returned from the Club for the monthly meeting, and picking up another packet of styrene at the hobby shop near the Club, I took the ruler to my grinding wheel and slowly reduced the area between the end of the ruler and the 1st mm mark to nothing.  It is now just like a bought one.  Pity it could not be like that direct from the shop.  But for $1.50 I suppose we should expect that.  I will pay closer attention to this fact next time.

So I have now created a number of lists for projects that I will do at various locations on the layout.  I am working on completing more back boards with a sky colour, and then doing some more ground scenery work in a couple of locations.  But to simplify the lists, there is work to do at Cassino, Lismore, Baker’s Farm, Rocla Siding, The Risk, Border Loop and of course the trans-shipment shed at Park Road Siding.

So over the next few weeks, I hope to make quite substantial progress at these locations.  I also got my first jab yesterday on the way back from the Club.  Three weeks until I'm fully vaccinated.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Photo Update

ANZAC Drive Kyogle

Fawcetts Creek

Fawcetts Creek again

Summerland Way

Overhead Booking Office on Simpsons Parade

Overhead Booking Office on Simpsons Parade again

Overhead Booking Office from the other side

Overhead Booking Office from the platform

Simpsons Parade, Overhead Booking Office on the right

Simpsons Parade, Overhead Booking Office on the right again

Border Loop Signalman's residence

Border Loop Signalman's residence again

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Water Whoopsies!

So earlier this week my plan was to apply water to the Creek in Kyogle.  I was under the impression everything was ready to go.  The scenery was completed.  It was painted and ground cover added.  Next step Water.  I went to the tin of my normal water and it had set hard in the tin.  That was no good.  I think I still have a few more tin in the garage, but I had another idea.  I used some water product that was provided to me by Barnacle Bob.  I understand that he uses it on his layout and we all know how good that layout looks.  It was poured into the creek in a couple of places and it slowly (very slowly) made its way down the creek, finding its level and giving a water look along the way.  I then decided to add some water to the storm water drain in the front of the Fawcetts Creek scene on the right.  However, after I applied some of that water product, I soon realised that my application of plaster to the front wall of the storm water drain structure was not optimum.  I had missed a couple of small spots and the polystyrene was exposed.  That didn’t go to well for water product being added.  It soon ate out the polystyrene, left a chasm under the drain.  So I whipped up a couple of batches of plaster and started pouring that into the chasm eventually filling it back up.  The baseboard in this area is a think sheet of polystyrene on a sheet of solid plywood.  So the water product was just sitting in a sub-terrarium cavern under the creek.  The repaired areas were re-painted and allowed to dry.  I have not yet gone back to re-added water to the drain.  maybe I won't.

I then set about adding a bit of detail to the drain and Fawcetts Creek.  There is an abandoned car on the banks of the creek, along with lots of rubbish.  The rubbish included sleepers, pallets, tyres, a shopping cart and a few other items.  You need to look quite intently to see what is there and when you do, you can see these detail items.

I then decided to complete the signalman’s house at Border Loop.  I first needed to add a roof.  This item was sitting around roofless for quite some time.  That seems to be a consistent story on my layout - lots of half finished projects.  I created the roof frame out of balsa and then added corrugated iron sheets.  Next the ridge capping was added.  Next step was barge boards and then guttering.  The model was then masked off and the roof was painted silver.  I was quite happy with that model.  It just needed a place for it to be positioned on the layout.  I had to cut some of the existing foam scenery away, to make a big enough flat area to allow the house to fit between the track and the rear backscene.  This was plastered over and then painted dirt colour as a starting point.  I was installing the fencing around the house.  I needed to add some water tanks to the rear, as these were visible in a number of photos of this house that I found on the Internet.  I also needed to add a down pipe from the guttering into the water tanks.  I also added a downpipe on the side of the house but this just runs out onto the ground.

After talking online to some of the guys on Friday evening, I was talked into adding some details to the back veranda.  I added a couple of comfy chairs to the veranda.  Last night and today I got motivated and constructed from styrene some kitchen and outdoor tables, side tables, stools and wooden chairs for the tables, and these were painted today.  I think I will make a few more sets of these for other houses on the layout.  These look good as detail items.

I also added a few more downpipes to other buildings on the layouts as well.  I also added a number of kilometre signs on the layout, on various bridges, tunnel mouths and sidings locations to add more detail.  I also added a couple of signs to some other buildings. 

I’m back to work on Tuesday, but I think I did complete quite a lot during my holidays, even if we were in lockdown for half of them.  Tomorrow I will be visiting my local hobby shop to stock back up on styrene shapes that I depleted during my holiday.  I will be trying to make some progress on some AP certificates over the next few weeks.  The aim is to complete a few of these, and submit for assessment by the end of the year.