Sunday, December 3, 2023

Christmas is in the Air

This week I had a few Christmas parties to attend.  Wednesday was our team at work.  We went to lunch in town and then did 2 games of bowling.  I won the second game.  Friday was the social Club Christmas party.  Our table was small in number but we had a good time, even though a storm came barreling in while we were on the roof.  Yesterday was the NMRA Christmas Party at the Monier Hotel.  Just under 40 people turned up and had a good meal, some chat and maybe a refreshment or two.  That is a nice way to end the year.

Today I did a small amount of work on laying some track on my 1:12 module.  That module is of a HO scale 4’x 2’ layout module.  Track gauge is works out at about 1.3mm.  It is hard to lay track in that scale.  It was just as hard trying to make the sleepers and paint them, and then attach them to the baseboard.  This module is due to display next Saturday at my Club’s annual modelling competition and Christmas BBQ.  I still have a few items to complete, and that leaves most nights next week to do it on.  I also have Friday afternoon following work.

After that event, my focus turns to cleaning up the shed and preparing for an Operations Session on the layout after Christmas.  I have a truck load of activities to attend to.  Some plastering of some new scenery needs to be completed and then painted and if time permits scenery put on top, track cleaning takes a good day, loco wheel cleaning with my new test rig, ensuring the timetable cards are all there, cleaning the North Coast Controller’s desk, and testing the headsets.  There is also about a dozen other items on my To Do list as well.  These other items are quite long in duration to complete.  So I will have only about 8 work days left to complete these tasks.

Invitations have gone out for the Ops Session and already I have 9 replies. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

RMCQ Exhibition

This weekend was the RMCQ Model Railway Exhibition at the South Pine Sports Complex at Brendale.  Once I finished work, I did some painting of ten tea bags that were to be cut into 20 tarpaulins on the weekend.  Later in the afternoon, I got all the items that I was going to need for the weekend and put them near the front door.  On Saturday morning at the appointed time, Geoff picked me up and we went together to the Exhibition.  We were both working on the NMRA Demo Stand in the morning.  The numbers at the show in the morning were brilliant.  It was quite busy.  I might have shouted myself a set of 3 x PCO wagons in 12mm for the layout.  Later in the day when I got home, these wagons made it to the layout and two of them were fitted with a 25’ QR refrigerator container.  I had no more 25’ containers left.  On the Saturday morning I spent some time and cut up and then folded up 40 tarpaulins.  Following that I did some maintenance on a number of HO scale clotheslines.

On the Sunday morning at the exhibition I did the rounds of the shops and no one had any more 25’ QR refrigerated containers.  Apparently they have all sold out.  I will just have to wait for a re-run.  In the afternoon, after Marty was given a cease and desist order from the super, he eventually moved on.  We had plenty of laughs on the Saturday and Sunday at our stand.  Maybe Brad had a hand in some of these funny antics.  When I finally took over the seat at the modelling table, I assembled my two saw horses for my Club modelling entry.  Next my modelling activities turned to cleaning up the two International Acco trucks I got from Oz Kit.  I can feel a whole lot of car/truck modelling coming up in my December-January holidays period, as I have six (6) 4 wheel drives and these two SRA trucks to complete painting.  I also plan to pick up another couple of SAR trucks and a compressor trailer.   I find the hardest thing to do when modelling is picking the colour items that we going to paint the models.  I was sort of looking forward to Platform Printing having a stand at our show, but they were not in attendance.  I was after another set of 10 trackside workmen.  I can easily hide these around my layout in various fettler camps.   If push came to shove, I could probably hide thirty workers.

Number at the show were lower on the Sunday morning, and dwindled away to practically no one on the Sunday afternoon.  There was the odd person coming through the doors but nothing like Saturday morning.  As we were packing up on the Sunday afternoon and I was finally working to my car, I reached into my pocket and found my shopping list for the weekend.  Well I guess I forgot to pick up some bogie screws.  I will just visit Tyson’s shop next Saturday morning.

I think beyond doubt, this show is definitely the number 2 show in Brisbane.  Thanks to all those involved.  It was great.

So now I have just one weekend left to complete the models for my RMCQ Christmas Modelling competition entry.    I am looking forward to seeing all the entries in the competition.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Trawmay Trip

This week was another week of inaction by me.  While I spent Saturday at the local NMRA meeting no other model railway activity was undertaken, except doing a bit of reading.  I purchased the current issue of Railway Digest on Monday.  My issue of AMRM also rocked up later in the week and that magazine takes over in the order of precedence of reading.  Both issues are halfway through being read. 

Yesterday the local NMRA group had arranged for a visit to two local north side layouts.  Darren picked me up and drove me around.  Both layouts were very different and were a credit to their builders.  We spent an hour at each layout watching the trains run and asking questions.  There might have been a bit of stirring of me also occurring.  Once we had visited both layouts, we all met up at the Brisbane Tramway Museum for a BBQ lunch.  It just so happens that trams are not currently running due to a transformer issue.  But we were able to have a private tour of the site.  It was quite interesting and very informative.

Next weekend is the RMCQ Model Railway Exhibition at the South Pine Sports Complex, Cribb Road, Brendale 9-4 both days.  On The Saturday morning I will be working with Geoff on the NMRA stand doing construction.  I will also be working with Marty on the Sunday afternoon.  Pop by and say G’day.

Hopefully next week I can get back into the groove and do some work on my model competition entry for three weeks time.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

More Planning than Doing

Saturday this week was Club meeting day.  I had three jobs to do.  The first was to visit the local hobby shop on my way to the Club and pick up some steel or brass structured shape or wire for use in my diorama.  I ended up getting the wire, as the shapes were way too big.  The second job was to drop off a number of magazines to the Club and these were to be inserted into a number of goodie bags to be given out to people at the door at our Club Exhibition in a few weeks time.  So I packed the car the night before and when I got to the Club I just brought them inside and stored them on one of the tables.

The third job was to drop off a bag full of goodies into the Club wheel barrow.  These goodies get built up into about a half dozen hampers for raffle prizes at our Club Christmas Party in December.  That also happens to be our Club Modelling competition.  However, I left that shopping bag in the kitchen at home.  Bugger!  The wheel barrow is looking a bit slack and it does need a helping hand.  Now, I will need to drop my stuff off in a couple of weeks, when I am next over that side of town.  That is the date of our Club Exhibition.  I will drop by to the Clubrooms on the way to the Show.

Today I hit the road and went to visit the Miniature Train Club Gold Coast, and their new clubrooms down at Pimpama.  It is quite easy to get to, just a few hundred metres off the M1.  I got there about 11:00am, parked outside and I worked out what building they were in.  The crowd was really good.  I understand that they also signed up a few new members on the day.  Three layouts were operating, and another was a static display, as they had not yet got it running after a long time in storage.  They also had two TVs rolling through various photos showing their progress in lining the Clubrooms.  That was a great effort by the Club in finally achieving their own premises.

When I got home I started working on a few more items to add to my diorama for the Club Christmas Modelling Comp.  I will continue to glue some items together tonight or tomorrow night.  Then I can move onto the next lot of items, next weekend.

On Friday I was waiting to get my delivery of the latest AMRM magazine.  They did not appear in the mailbox.  I then went for a 2.5km walk to a local newsagent, and they did not have the November Railway Digest.  The kind staff members advised that it is due in on Monday.  Luckily when I went to the Club on Saturday PK gave me his hardcopy NMRA magazine for November.  Without that magazine I'd have nothing to read this weekend.  I expect that I might have it finished being read on Tuesday evening.

Sunday, November 5, 2023


Well this last week has seen a few milestones achieved.  This is blog post number 850.

The daughter finished her last Uni assignment on Wednesday evening this week, and we now wait to hear her marks, as she hopefully has completed her Law Degree.  She still has her part time job to keep herself busy until mid December, then a well earned holiday break, and then she starts her first fulltime employment in about January or February next year.  That was quite an achievement.

Also last Friday week I submitted my AP paperwork for Master Builder – Cars.  This was for my 7th AP across the 4 disciplines.  On Monday night I heard that my paperwork was approved and I gained that AP certificate.  I also saw that I was approved as the next NMRA MMR in the region.  So that is the end of a short 4 year, 1 month and about 1 week period of activity in completing a number of components (wagons, structures and track), supporting information and the various paperwork for my various APs.

I assume, it will be a few months before I will get officially presented with my next AP certificate and the subsequent MMR paperwork, as there are no real meetings scheduled until January next year.  But it is small load off my shoulders.  I always said that I wanted to complete my last AP before I retired.  I was thinking of taking Long Service leave next year, so I guess I made that goal.  So my goal now is to light a fire under the backsides of a few mates in order to push them further along their AP paths. 

Today we had our Club’s Buy and Sell and towards the end it got a pretty wet.  That forced a bit of an early end to proceedings, with the public and sellers all scattering.  I sold a few items and I also purchased a couple of things.  I did alright out of the day.  I was able to pay off a few debts and now I need to start working on that ‘To Do List’ of activities for December.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Submitting Forms and Planning Next Moves

This week I did a small amount of work on my diorama entry in the December Club modelling competition.  I applied my layer of grout to the base.  Apart from that, I visited a hobby shop and purchased a loco shell.  I also visited Arthur, our local AP representative and he took some photos of my models to go with the paperwork I also put together for my 7th AP for Master Builder - Cars.  So that will be submitted by Arthur at his leisure.  Who knows what the result of this is and when it will be ratified.  Maybe January next year I might get the next AP certificate.

I will need to continue work on my model for the Club Modelling Comp and then also start to draw up a To Do List of activities to get the layout back operational after a couple of months of inactivity before we have another Ops Session in December.  I’m sure I will have about 20-30 things on the To Do list before I’m finished.  There are a few lights not working on the layout and I will also start a list of major projects to complete, like the Kyogle Station building that I have been working on for a couple of years.

Next Sunday is our Buy and Sell at the Club, so I need to get a few things out during the week ready to take along to sell.  The next major activity is the Club Exhibition a few weeks later.  I will be working on the NMRA stand so I need to plan my model building activities.

I also have a list of 'To Be Purchased' list of items that as soon as some of these items are released, I will have to order the items. 

So I have lots of things to do, but not much motivation at the moment.  I will try and find some.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Relatively Free Weekend

This weekend while the NMRA Divisional Meeting was way up in the Hervey Bay region, I did not have much to do.  I bus trip was organised for those down south to head up north for the monthly meeting.  I did not plan on attending after spending all my shackles in Sydney on the NMRA convention.  Luckily there was a Buy and Sell on at the AMRA Clubrooms in Zillmere on Saturday morning - which I attended, and there was also some sport in varying forms on TV to watch.  At the Buy and Sell, I ran into a few Club Members there selling, as well as a few buying.  The layouts inside the Clubrooms were running and there was a BB18¼ running around hauling a 6 car set of 3D printed SX cars.

Over the weekend I sat at the kitchen table and did some work on my Club Christmas Modelling Competition entry.  So the 6" x 6" baseboard for my diorama has been started and painted.  I still need to apply a layer of grout on this model and then that part of my entry will be completed.

There is another Buy and Sell next weekend (Sunday) at the Logan District Model Railway Club and then I think the next event after that is our Club's Buy and Sell on Sunday 5th November.