Sunday, May 26, 2019

No Time To Relax Yet

This week I have been flat out.  It started with 9 people coming over to Tuesday Night for our fortnightly get other.  PK came bearing gifts as he does occasionally, and in return he took away a HO scale generator set on a 20’ container.

Most of the time this week I was constructing lots of styrene models.  I have completed and painted 7 generator sets and 7 x 20' container flats.  I still need to build three more gen sets to go on existing container flats, then I think I can put that project to rest.  My next project is constructing about 6 or maybe 10 N scale butterbox containers.  I have not constructed these models for quite some time, so I am a bit rusty in how they go together.  I'm not sure if I have the particular Styrene in my collection for the container sides.  But I will get around to looking before next weekend.

On Friday afternoon, I went over to Aurora Trains and picked up another length of dual gauge Tillig flex track for the finishing off of Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard. I also picked up some more styrene. 

The weekend has been vary busy.  Saturday started off with a trip to Ashgrove for an 8:30am school soccer game for my son.  Four minutes before the scheduled kickoff time and we only have 5 players.  For the previous half an hour, the whole opposition was warming up, going through a series of drills.  They must have thought that they were going to get a forfeit, or at least play a reduced team and go through them like a hot knife through butter.  Then two more guys turned up.  They said there were two more coming just behind them.  Sure enough in another minute there was 2 more and that made nine.  Just as they arrived, I could see player number 10 walking across the field.  The whistle blew and number 11 rocked up and ran onto the field.  Another minute later and our first and only reserve also appeared.  The opposition must have thought they there were in the box seat, with no warm up for most of out team.  Well not really, although my son and his attacking partner could not hit the side of a barn from 10 paces.  They missed wide, they went over the cross bar and then they both with no one to beat except the goal keeper they both kicked it straight to him.  Then the flood gates opened after the first goal.  The biggest guy on the team, playing as a mid fielder scored a hattrick and by half time it was 4-0.  he was great.  He player in the goal for the second half.  Second half was just the same.  Again my son, just kicked to the goalkeeper and either he caught them, or they were deflected wide.  But they finally won 7-0 and Kyle was back playing soccer after a fractured arm kept him out for a few weeks.  In another incident, Kyle was sent flying in the air in the first half, when someone took both his legs out from under him in the penalty box.  But the ref did not give it.  He landed on his arm, and he came off saying it did not hurt.  So that was good news.

Following that game, we had to go to Bridgeman Downs for a club game at 11:20am.  That started off badly, being down 2 – 0 at half time, but they showed promise.  But in the second half, they came back and it was 2-1 and they had many shots at goal.  It ended 3-1 and they played their best game of the year.  Next week, they might break their winning drought.  No sooner had we got home from soccer and (of course the hobby shop – Austral Model craft for some more styrene) and we were off into town for the weekend.  My niece was turned 40 along with her husband, and they had hired a place in town for a great party.  It was great to catch up with the nieces and nephews and their friends.  So finally arriving home today, just 11:00am and then having to mowing the grass.  This afternoon I completed the Gensets and painted everything.

I never got down to the shed to complete the track work, or start the wiring as I had planned.  That has been pushed back to next weekend.  That is also the weekend for the Toowoomba Exhibition.  I will have two more games of soccer next Saturday to travel to and maybe an afternoon of track laying.  But I also need to do some work on the N scale butter box containers.  I also have further plans for putting together some HO scale outhouse kits as saleable models.  That way I can clean out some containers of styrene at home.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Where Did That Week Go?

Another week has come and gone, but I feel that it just flew past and I did absolutely nothing.  But on reflection, I did quite a bit of modelling.  I think I started the week off by painting 7 of the 20’ container flats that I constructed at the Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition 2 weeks ago.  I then on Friday afternoon/evening constructed 5 generator sets for the 20’ container flats.  

Early on Saturday morning I was able to visit a local hobby shop and pick up a length of 12mm flex for Acacia Ridge Yard and two lengths of Tillig Dual gauge flex track, also for Acacia Ridge Yard.   I ran into Grover and his daughter at the Hobby Shop.  The rest of the day was spent watching many soccer games and rugby games including the First XI and First XV games of my son's school.  I had a great time.  However, before I left in the morning, I spray painted the generator sets.  Later on in the evening I glued the now dry generator sets to the container flats.  I think later this week I will continue constructing the last few container flats, and then I’ll jump into building another 5 generator sets.

This morning was an early start as I ventured over to our Club for the semi annual Buy and Sell.  There were about 30 tables of sellers and quite a consistent stream of buyers.  I actually sold some stuff and made enough money to pay for a few items that tickled my fancy.  I even had some cash left over.  That generally does not happen that often.  At least I know that there are two people that read my blog.  One was my mate Shelton.  He was the smart aleck who posted about me building a fourth level.  Ho, Ho, Ho that was so funny - Not!  It must have been funny for a VR modeller, so we will excuse him for that.  So at the Buy and Sell, another comedian came up (Hey Mark) and mentioned am I going home to build the fourth level?  Well I suppose, he did not know much better, as he was an American N scale modeller – mind you a good one at that.  So that must be both of the people that read the blog.

When I finally got home and unpacked, I ventured down to the shed and the first thing was to distribute my newly purchased loot around the layout. Next was to get motivated to lay some new narrow gauge and dual gauge track in Acacia Ridge Yard.  So this is actually the third level not the fourth.  The fourth level already exists as it is the track at Rocklea Sidings and around to Clapham Yard.  As always happens there was a change of plans.  I realised that if I redeployed a couple of 12mm points, I could add another 12mm siding in Acacia Ridge Yard and also make another 2 narrow gauge run around sidings within the Yard.  So I robbed these points from Fisherman Islands.  So that means that I need to buy some more points to allow completion of Fisherman Islands Yard, but I will delay that until our model railway exhibition in August, when I save up some more money for track.  This new plan will allow me to store a couple more 12mm wagons around the layout.  I must also get back onto the task of scratchbuilding my 12mm grain wagons.

So I have some tasks scheduled for this week, and some more track laying for Acacia Ridge Yard next Saturday.  Then I will have to spend some time, probably all of Sunday and the following weekend completing the wiring of this new track.

Another brainwave I had at the Buy and Sell, was to potentially keep about 4 old style NSW grain wagons that I was trying to sell today.  I may consider keeping them to be part of a local shunt train from Grafton to South Brisbane Interstate, or maybe even Clapham Yard.  There was, and still is, a rather large Grain Silo facility on the western side of Clapham Yard.  I assume that many years ago, train loads of grain were delivered by new railways to this facility.  I guess someone will confirm this to me.  I could use one of the dual gauge sidings in Clapham Yard for the grain wagon spotting location.  

This Tuesday is also Tuesday Nighters, and the crew are visiting my place.  So early Tuesday afternoon, I need to come home early and just do a quick tidy up of the shed, and get the tea and coffee gear out.  We should then get an update from Darren about the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention held yesterday in Sydney.  I’m looking forward to Tuesday.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Early Disillusionment followed by Modelling Success and the Layout Progress

Following a successful weekend of model railway activities at the Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition last Saturday and Sunday, I was poised for a great Monday public holiday being spent in the shed continuing down the model railway path.  My enthusiasm was soon tempered when I found out that I did not have enough rail joiners both metal and insulated to allow installation of my newly purchased points in Fisherman Islands Yard.  I was further disillusioned when taking my daughter for an early morning driving lesson and I noticed that the local hardware was closed due to the public holiday.  Bugger!  Well that certainly smacked me in the face and deflated my enthusiasm quite severely.  However, I decided that on Monday evening I was to break out the styrene and commence making some QR grain wagons that could be fitted with a tarpaulin – or three – let’s not be too greedy.  So by Monday night, I had three styrene boxes with a base created, that were going to form the basis for the tarpaulin covered grain wagons.

On Tuesday evening, I shot out to Bunnings and purchased the ply sheet I needed for the extended baseboard for Acacia Ridge narrow gauge yard.  This was followed by a get together with most of the Tuesday Nighter boys at Peter’s Place where we again discussed the previous weekend's model railway exhibition and solved plenty of the world's problems - as we normally do.

Over the rest of the week I cut out some underfloor centre sills for the grain wagons, and on Friday and Saturday nights I constructed the wagon doors on both sides of the three wagons.  Yesterday on the way to my son’s Club Soccer game, I stopped off at Austral Modelcraft and picked up some metal and plastic rail joiners and a packet of 0.020” x 0.040” styrene that I needed to complete the last pair of doors on the last grain wagon.  This morning, I cut up many small pieces of 0.010” x 0.030” styrene while waiting for the boss to be ready to head out to the Mother-in-law’s place, I started affixing the bottom part of the styrene that will look like the press fitted shape in each of the wagon panel sides provided to add strength to the wagon side panels.  I am only doing the bottom part of this shape for two reasons.  The first is that the wagon will have a strategically fitted tarpaulin that will cover up top half of the ‘X’ pressed shape in the panel side.  The second reason is that the whole ‘X’ shape is too hard and fiddly to accurately make in styrene.  Maybe it could be 3D printed in bulk for each wagon though?  Maybe there is an opportunity out there for someone to mass produce some 3D printed pressed ‘X’s for QR wagon sides to be glued to QR wagon sides – Who knows?  I am most impressed with how the scratch built grain wagons are coming together.

Anyway this afternoon, I made my way down to the shed and cut out the ply shape for the extended narrow gauge yard for Acacia Ridge Yard.  The track has been just placed about where each siding will go and it now looks like quite good.  The next issue is that I think I need a couple more lengths of Tillig dual gauge flex track and maybe one more length of 12mm flex to complete the track.  I think I will not bother making any more curved sections of dual gauge track like I had previously done - I will just buy it this time.  I had some done testing and it looks like track 1 will easily take a 12 wagon coal train with two locos, and track 2 will take a 12 wagon grain train with two locos on the end.  It also appears that the run around points at the far end of Acacia Ridge narrow gauge Yard will easily be accessible from the operating aisle at the Clapham Yard end of Acacia Ridge.  Most of the new baseboard has been screwed together and fixed to the layout frame.  

Next Friday afternoon I might be able to pick up a couple of lengths of Tillig track at Aurora Trains which will allow me to continue on the track laying activities in Acacia Ridge Yard and Fisherman Islands Yard on next Sunday.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

2019 Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition

The Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition has found its way back to the May long weekend in Brisbane at the Brisbane Exhibition grounds.  However, it on now only a 2 day show.  For quite a number of years, the show had moved to the second weekend in May in lieu of the long weekend, as they had moved venues.  It had been held at Doomben Racecourse and the Big Marquee at the RNA showgrounds.  But we are now back at both the show grounds and the original weekend - the long weekend in Brisbane.  The exhibition hall had a flat concrete floor, the toilets were inside, the aisles were wide enough and the attendance to look at some great exhibits was good.  Access was also good.

I went in early on Friday and took two tables, 3 chairs and a few boxes of stuff and was back out inside 30 minutes.  I had other things to do.  Andrew Matt dropped in from Townsville, in the afternoon and had a more in depth tour of Cassino than occurred at his previous visit.  His last visit was when the layout was an open layout at a previous Modelling the Railways of Qld Convention about 3 years back, if I remember correctly.  This time Andrew got a private tour of each location with a few scenery features pointed out.  We also went through the electricals.  He picked up an NCE radio throttle and ran the Brisbane Limited from Grafton Yard to South Brisbane Interstate Station.  Along the way, he set points and took and returned staffs for the various sections travelled through.  At South Brisbane he ran around his train and then cut off the motor rail wagon and his express fruit wagon from the passenger consist.  The trains locos then hauled the passenger consist into track 4.  The train locos then ran to Park Road Siding.  Normally in the normal timetable, the locos would run all the way to Loco Pilly.  The shunt loco (7304) at South Brisbane then travelled to the end of the platform and pushed the motorail wagon to the end of the track and the fruit wagon was moved to track 5 and then the loco moved back to the Loco siding at South Brisbane where it started from.  A few minutes later, the shunt loco went back to the end of the platform road, but this time via road two and collected the motor rail wagon.  It then added the motorail wagon to the front of the express fruit wagon in track 5 and then moved both to the front of the passenger consist in track 4.  The 73 class shunt loco moved back to the Loco siding.  The train locos then ventured back from Park Road Sidings and joined onto the train in track 4.  They then moved the train back into the platform road and then departed south towards Grafton Yard where they terminated.  Soon after Andrew left to go watching trains down at Acacia Ridge in 1:1 scale.  Just as I was writing this, I forgot that the consist needed to be reversed at Grafton Yard.  I forgot!  It is difficult to get good help sometimes.  I will seriously chastise myself tomorrow when I fix up this issue.

On Saturday morning I picked up my partner in crime – Arthur Hayes MMR and we inhabited the Structure Building Stand (No. 52 in the program) under the NMRA banner.  OMG!  We did not stop talking all day and did very little actual work.  People asked questions and we caught up with lots of old friends.  We had quite a few enquiries about the NMRA and also just modelling in general.  I was dry as a dead dingo's ....  Today, was just a little bit less busy.  But we did exactly the same as yesterday.  Now my Mastercard is currently in shock. The wife will be when she see how much is on it when the bill comes in too.  Maybe I may have purchased another 1720 class loco and of course an ESU chip for it – no not sound as I’m not made of money.  I may have purchased another 8 sets of 12mm points and three lengths of 12mm flex track, so I can now complete Fisherman Islands Yard along with another extra dead end siding – maybe a loco siding, and two intermediate cross overs.  The rest of the points are for Acacia Ridge Yard and an idea of adding a head shunt and making the four narrow gauge tracks all connect at the other end - thus allowing run around movements.  So all my track for the layout should now be purchased.  I think I have said that statement before.  But I'm much closer to being correct this time.  I just have to lay it now – maybe tomorrow.

I did have the aim today of starting to collecting wagons for my narrow gauge grain train.  So I now have a 1720 class loco.  Ideally, I would like double headed 2300 class locos, but as I said before – I am not made of money.  I did pick up a PGC HWE grain wagon.  I was after some QGA (I think) grain wagons also sold by PGC, but they did not have any when I visited the stand today.  My partner in crime Arthur, was scratch building some 12mm wheat wagons at our display stand.  So I will probably go down that path as well.  I also hope to pick up maybe 1 or 2 packs of Southern Rail Models ready to run grain wagons with lids when they do their next run of these wagons.  Now one of the down sides of sitting next to one of the two most knowledgeable QR person walking on this earth, and by the way, the other one visited our stand yesterday hey – Arthur (also called Arthur) is that you learns lots of stuff.  Some of it you just don't want to hear!  Now Fisherman Islands is a bottom discharge grain handling facility.  However, some of the wagons that I will be building the HWE kit and similar ones that Arthur is scratch building – they are tippler wagons.  Arthur, just knows how to drive that stake right into your heart.  Oh well!  In my Fisherman Islands time period, it had both.  Tongue is now extended out of mouth and various sounds like Thhhhffffttttt are being emitted.  Refer Rule Number 1.  It is my layout and I will do as I want to.  

I also picked up some other items, like ballast from Matt’s Ballast, few Road Rager Ford cars at a nice price, and a HO medium point for Acacia Ridge Yard to replace one I stole to put somewhere else some months ago.  Now, I do have one dream.  My dream is to install a set of point sin Fisherman Islands Yard and create a return loop directly above Cougal Spiral - following the layouts support posts and having the track come back onto Fisherman Islands Yard again.  So I have not done much thinking about this, like if it would be 12mm, 16.5mm or both.  We will see maybe next May what develops.  I should have paid off my debt by then and be out of the wheel chair after the boss finds out what I spent.

I was most impressed with a couple of layouts at the  Brisbane show.  Walloon a QR 12mm layout from the Love family and an S scale  shunting layout.  I must admit I did not get enough time to see everything at the show.   So the venue is great.  Pack up was a bit of a pain, only because I had tones of rubbish with me.  Arthur and I took all the gear out the front of the hall and then across the road to a loading zone.  And in less then 2 minutes I drove up, we packed the car and we were off home.  I was home by around 5:00pm.

Bring on tomorrow when I start to install the new trackage.