Sunday, June 13, 2021

NMRA Australian Region Virtual Convention 2021

Since Friday I have been logged onto the NMRA Australian Region Virtual Convention.  It is running from Friday to Monday this weekend.  I have not sat through all the sessions, but I picked out a number that I wanted to see, and I have also been sucked into some others as I started watching some other sessions and got hooked because they are very interesting.  I think I have learnt quite a bit from the various sessions.  There has certainly been some very skilled people online sharing their techniques. 

The sessions from Arthur Hayes on Sunday was brilliant.  As was the session by Luke Herbert on Friday.  I can keep going on.  There is some sessions I missed as I was at my son’s soccer yesterday, but I can go back and watch them at any time as they were streamed to Facebook and YouTube.  I have more to watch tonight and then about 5 sessions I want to watch tomorrow.  To make this even better, this was all free.  Zero cost to watch.  What more could you ask for.

I need to get something to eat and get back online.  Normal services will resume next weekend.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Presentation, Posts and Painting

This week we visited Barnacle Bob’s on Tuesday and again were amazed at his layout.  It is just fabulous.  I’m sure there has been some changes made since we were last there.  On Friday afternoon I went to the shed and broke out the black paint and did a bit of touching up of the fascia in a couple of areas.  On Friday evening, I started putting some of the slides that PK sent me into my master presentation for an upcoming NMRA online convention - well next Sunday.  I still expect some more slides from PK on Monday.  I'm hoping that we should finish the presentation on Monday evening.  It should be a hoot.

On Saturday morning I broke out the blue paint to spend a hour painting some of my light fittings and starting on some backscenes in some areas.  I then had to spend the rest of the day travelling to the other side of the city for my son’s soccer game, which they lost 5-3 after being down 5-0.  It was a great comeback, against a very disrespectful, loud and obnoxious group of so called Christian men.   

The Toowoomba Model Train Show was on this weekend, I asked PK to try and pick up some bogie screws for me at a couple of the shops.  Unfortunately they did not have any in stock.  I want to use the screws to attach some bogies to some wagons. 

So on Sunday I decided to sleep in and not go to Toowoomba and instead installed the two posts for my entry protection awning for my shed.  I’ve had the posts and the holes for the posts available for weeks.  So this morning we went and picked up 6 bags of postcrete.  My helper assisted with holding the posts in place, while I braced them with a couple of lengths of 42 x 19 clamped to the post.  The postcrete was poured in, and they were basically pretty much plumb.  So the water was added and the concrete started its setting process.  There is a couple of millimetres difference in distance for the posts from the shed.  Who cares about that?  I put a straight edge across the tops of the posts and they were pretty much level.  Damn amazing!

So next week, it looks like I will be heading to Stratco to buy some steel C channel for the frame for the roof to be installed.  I will try and assemble it on the ground and then raise it up to the top of the posts and see how it goes.  But it might have some weight in it by then.  We will see.

Anyway after that work was completed, I decided to paint a couple of the remaining fascias as you enter the shed their black colour.  So that was completed and then I started to paint a few more of the light pelmets a blue colour.  I also started painting the area behind Clapham Yard, Loco Pilly and towards Dutton Park the sky blue background colour as well.  I also started on some of the area behind Cassino as well.  But I have now run out of my blue backdrop colour, so that I require another trip to Bunnings for another sample pot.  

Sunday, May 30, 2021

NMRA Div 1 Clinics Weekend

Well I had a great time this last 2 days.  I attended the NMRA Div 1 Clinic’s weekend in Brisbane.  About 36 paying customers (I think they were all NMRA members) attended the event.  Then there was the 16 or so presenters and organisers on top of that.  We even had our Div 1 member Luke Towan (of YouTube modelling fame) in attendance and giving a clinic.

Well to those that think they know everything and don’t need to go to these entry level clinics, they would be very wrong.  You need to keep an open mind.  You missed a great weekend.  I think I learnt at least one new fact in every clinic.  Actually I learnt quite a lot in some sessions.  So I walked away with a Decal Positioning kit – container, sponge and paintbrush).  I also received an AR Kit NPRY wagon (no bogies or couplers – but I have plenty of those in the shed – what I don’t have is any screws to attach the bogies – Bugger!) to practice applying decals to – thanks very much Al Cutmore!  I also received a piece of wood with some wire holder-uppers in it.  This has many positions predrilled and is to allow us to hold our wagon or loco and apply some weathering to it.  I also got a small farm type shed which I assembled in the styrene clinic.  I also learnt some more about JMRI especially operations, some spray painting tips, soldering tips and some more layout reliability tips and an understanding on 3D printing and an overview about how CAD programs work to help with designing my own model projects.

I steered clear of the hands on build a diorama stream, but what they produced was very nice indeed.  At the end of the day there was a raffle, and guess what?  My ticket number was called out second.  So I picked up another NSW Ready-to-Run Cement hopper as my prize.  Then another of my tickets was called out again.  So I asked them to redraw that prize.

We had tea and coffee, as well as cold drinks available all weekend.  A light lunch was served on both days and we had cake and biscuits for morning and afternoon tea.  Well done to the organisers, and the presenters.  They did a magical job.  I’d go again, just for the discussions with a number of those members in attendance.  It wasn’t an expensive weekend, but the presenters I think did provide a lot out of their own pockets.  Thanks very much!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Lots of Learning

This Tuesday we visited Shelton’s place and caught up with his layout progress.  I take it that it was basically nothing since our last visit as he had lost interest.  We had 9 guys turn up there I think.  We had some interesting discussions and we did a bit of swapping of goods for money between the various guys in attendance.  Darren brought along his portable Aldi modellers air compressor and plugged in a very cheap spray gun to show off.  We then started another round of buying as Geoff went online and purchased some of these spray guns and next time we see him, we will give him some money for our share of the purchase.  

Wednesday night we went online for some Queensland modelling discussions with Adam and Bridget Wuiske and about 8 other people.  Again some interesting discussions were undertaken.  I think I always learn something at a Tuesday Nighters, or a the Wuiske Wednesday Session.

On Thursday afternoon I think I got the message that someone wanted 100 HO scale tarpaulins from me.  So that night and again on Saturday night I was head down and another part up, cutting out and tying up the various tarps.  I have another dozen to do later tonight and I will be well over the 110 mark.  Modeller’s Warehouse rang and advised that he has some long waited for trees now in stock.  I got a phone call and 4 packets of Weeping Willows were put aside for me.  I will try and pick them up on Tuesday afternoon.  On Friday afternoon I went down to the shed and worked out where my trees will be deployed on the layout.  I now think I will pick up another packet (at least) if they are still there on Tuesday.  I then had to head into town on Friday to attend a work related happy hour with 8 other workmates and boy did we have a great time and I got change out of $20. $3 Corona’s – just brilliant.

Saturday was NMRA meeting day.  I went via my son’s soccer game which was at 8:30am.  Maybe we both should have missed the game as it ended up an 11-0 drubbing.  The NMRA meeting was at Div 1 Superintendent Duncan’s place.  While I had been invited many times before to attend an operations session at his place, I have not been able to make one.  So this was my first glimpse at this very large N scale layout.  It takes up the equivalent of 5 car garages and a bit more.  OMG it is very nice.  The work on some of the buildings on the layout is just magic. Some of these have been built by some of his operating crew.  The scenery is not bad either.  So it was certainly an eye opener.  We had a show and tell, again I learnt something and I had some great conversations with various members present.  There were over 30 there.

Today I went to the shed many times, but only to get beer out.  Well I did make two trips to show off the layout to my niece and my nephew-in-law – but no modelling or running trains.  So, I had my niece and her husband and two of their kids come over for a BBQ.  I’m creating an Arduino solution for my nephew-in-law for a starting sequence controller for some boat racing club.  It involves interfacing with some rather large traffic lights controlled by an Arduino.  I will write the code tonight.

So plans now turn to the NMRA Div 1 modelling clinic weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday.  After that I will be head down and backside up again doing some more work on the layout.  In 8 weeks time the NMRA meeting is at my place.  I think I will start doing a bit of a tart up at Baker’s farm and finish off a few scenes and then move around to the Rocla Sleeper siding and complete some industrial fencing.  Next task after that will be build an overhead travelling crane in the siding.  Then I will make my way around the layout.  Plenty to complete on the To-Do list and not much time left to do it.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Buy and Sell Wrap

So after a very busy work week, I signed off early on Friday afternoon.  I did some more painting of my fascias in the afternoon.  I had two sections to complete and I did a second coat on the last sections I painted to make them look better.  Later in the arvo I was asked to change my wife's non working brake light, so I conscripted the support of my apprentice.  I think he needs to be introduced to all these small car type jobs as he is doing his driving lessons.  He needs to know his way around the car.  Later that night when watching the Broncos get smashed, I sat at the kitchen table and did some work assembling my second QR QGA wagons. When that was completed, I also folded up 40 tarpaulins of various colours to sell at the Buy and Sell.

On Saturday after school sport, which my apprentice chauffeured me too and from, I gave my two QGA wagons a coat of silver paint.  The two wagons seemed to come up quite well.  While using the silver paint, I painted up two small water tanks a nice galvanised silver colour.  The next step was to pack the car for Sunday morning’s Buy and Sell event at the Club.

So after an early start on Sunday morning, I made my way to the Club and lined up and paid Norm the Treasurer for my table.  There were people setting up everywhere before 8:00am.  The numbers through the Club gates seems pretty good.  I caught up with quite a few mates for a natter.  I also found a couple of bargains.  Or more correctly, they found me.  I made sales of a few hundred and then went and spent most of it on lots of miniature people for my layout and 4 Road Ragers Australian model cars and a fantastic HO scale VW beetle.  I might have also picked up some other bargains, a few wagons and a DCC auto reverser for a bargain.  I stayed back to help with a small amount of work with putting the sales tables away.  I had no idea we had that many tables at the Club.  I think everyone was happy with their level of sales and the amount of people through the front gate - particularly the Treasurer.  The BBQ guys were going all day and they had people lines up from very early until late.  They had it down pat.  One cooking, one serving the snags, and one handling the money.

Now the next thing I need to do is motivate PK into completing his part of our Weathering Clinic for the Online Australian NMRA Convention in mid-June.  We are heading to Shelton’s on Tuesday so it will be interesting to see what he has or hasn’t done since our last visit.  Next Saturday is also the NMRA meeting and Operations session at Duncan's place and I'm sure I will find some jobs to complete next Sunday.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Whoops I Almost Forgot!

Tonight I got distracted and almost forgot to post an update in this blog.  I have not missed a Sunday night post for years.  Maybe over 11 plus years – possibly as far back as December 20 2009.  I was just sitting at the kitchen table assembling a model kit from PGC Scale models which I purchased last Saturday at the Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition when it dawned on me that I had not yet posted for tonight.  So I dropped everything and changed focus by sitting at my computer and popping out this Blog post.

This week started with Monday being a public holiday.  First task was to put everything away from the weekend.  The second task was to install some 12mm bogies that I purchased from Caintode Flats Products last Sunday onto three QR open wagons that were fitted with HO bogies.  These were purchased from a deceased estate at a Buy and Sell a couple of weeks earlier.  Tuesday was our fortnightly meeting at my place.  So my spare time on Monday was spent doing what I had been doing for the previous 2 weeks in secret.  This was painting the fascias on my layout.  Bit by bit, I was painting these black, doing different section all over the place.  They were originally white laminate that I was given by a mate.  I just painted over the white with a few sample pots of black paint from Bunnings.  On Tuesday night, not everyone noticed.  But some did.  I think the black paint is making us focus more on the colour between the fascias, especially when I have the layout lights on.

Saturday this week was Club meeting day.  Due to my son having a late school soccer game, I didn’t rock up at the Club until one minute before the meeting started.  I bought the last two raffle tickets and I won the first pick of the three prizes.  How was that for luck.  I also picked up a decoder from PK for one of my 1720 class locos.  Today I picked up another decoder from a mate that lives in the next suburb, also for another 1720 class loco.  I may get around to decodering these up during the week, and probably Friday afternoon at the latest.

Following some questions I asked the collective wisdom of modellers on Tuesday night (about painting the lighting pelmets), yesterday afternoon, I got out the blue sky paint and started painting a couple of random places in this light blue sky colour.  This is starting to look good, but I really need to do quite a bit more to get a better impression.  Today in the shed, I did a bit more fascia painting and there are only a couple of small sections yet to be painted.  I still need to do a second coat to some areas as the paint brush is pretty dodgy and does not give a good coverage.  After lunch I took a few photos of quite a few wagons on the layout for an upcoming NMRA-X presentation on weathering.  I have basically completed my part of the presentation.

Next Sunday is our Club’s Buy and Sell on the Sunday morning from about 10:00am (I think) so hopefully I will pick up a bargain or two and also sell a thing or two.  Saturday will be spent working out what items  I will take to the Buy and Sell to try and get rid of.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

AMRA Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition

I’ve just returned home from two days at the 2021 AMRA Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition at the RNA showgrounds in Brisbane.  I along with quite a lot of mates, and I’m pretty sure other exhibitors, store owners and the organising Club will all be 100% stuffed.  This was a great weekend.  I have conversations with many old mates, some I have not seen for well over a year.  I might have picked up a couple of 12mm locos over the weekend.  A couple of 12mm wagon kits, and a few small detail items.  I had my least productive display at an exhibition ever.  I spent the whole time talking to the public and never shutting up.  I was demonstrating either my set of traffic lights controlled by an Arduino, my level crossing detector controlled by an Arduino, or some of the other detail items I make.  I make up two 3D printed staff machine from my mate Greg.  I distributed 10 sets of 3D printed concrete washing tubs (also from Greg) to our Tuesday Nighters (and Clinton).  I just need to wait for 2 more weeks before I can get mine washing tubs now, as I donated my place in the 3D printing queue to a better home.  Hopefully Greg will print off 10 more, so we can spread then around even further in the community.  Over the weekend, I referred countless enquiring people to the various local hobby shops around the exhibition that stock my items for sale.  I also sent them to other manufacturers where we buy our locos, wagons, and other detail items from.

I hope all the manufacturers and hobby shop owners at the Exhibition did a roaring trade, and it was worth their trips.  We had stacks of people at our two tables over the weekend.  We had some benches set up in front of our tables for people to sit at and have a natter.  We just never shut up talking to other modellers, the general public and anyone else who happened to walk past.

I might have moved a bit of my stuff.  I also had a surprise when Bob Mawson from AMRA gave me a stack of his excellent trees.  They will look brilliant on my layout when they get installed.  I do have an uncomplete section of layout that needs the scenery to start on it.  I am collecting trees to line the creek in this location so they will fit in perfectly.

It will take some time to unpack everything and set aside some time to get a few new wagons into the layout roster.  I should have four wagons added tomorrow and another 2 over the next few months.  My next tasks are to work on the presentation for the upcoming 4 day NMRA online convention in June this year.  I need to take some photos, (maybe tomorrow) and then put them into my presentation and then hand the presentation over to PK to add his components.

One of the funny things that has occurred over the last week, is the QR 1720 purchasing competition that has been going on between a few people.  B2 thought he was in with a show, until PK told him he had one extra.  I then told PK I had more than him.  I told PK that one of the Tuesday Nighters was selling a couple of 1720’s, expecting him to buy one of them, but the bugger bought both.  So he then had one more than me.  B2 bailed out of the competition at that point.  So I bought one extra 1720 yesterday and then we were all square.  So PK bought another one after that to pull ahead again.  So today I bought another one and now we are all square again.