Sunday, November 30, 2014

Less Dirt Under Foot

When the old brick shed came down in February and was carted away, it left a good area of blank dirt behind. It wasn't very level, but that wasn't going to matter as more work would be needed later for the pergola.

Then in May the Titan boys came round again and this time erected my Carport out front and the Pergola out back. This of course required more earthworks for the slab out back. The bloke on the bobcat did a nice job of burying the rubble and non-wanted materials and leveling out the dirt on top - lots of blank dirt now.

So once the erection was complete, it was time for some grass. Had had thoughts of getting in some turf, but being slack those thoughts remained just that - thoughts. Over time I saw the blue couch start shooting out a few runners over winter and so I helped it along by going out every week or so and pulling all the weeds and bad grasses out so that the couch had free rein or the dirt.

With the dry spell over winter and running into summer I had of course to help the grass along with some watering - usually 2 stubbies would be the right amount of time for a good watering. This mixed with a few good showers and the odd storm or two has now given me what I can call a lawn. I can happily walk out there and not get dirt on my feet - no more shoes required when venturing out into the my yard!

I am trying to keep it mainly blue couch, but some carpet grass is there and that's acceptable - but all others go. Now if I can just get rid of the nut grass that has gone berserk...

So above we see a shot of what the density of most of the yard is and below a shot with foot (as a reference to size - honest) to show the one or two small areas not quite at lawn level - give them another few weeks I recon.

The grass is now growing fast enough that it need fortnightly haircuts. Just watch - I'll be whinging about having to mow the lawn very soon indeed!

Oh, and that bleedin' hail storm on Thursday saw no real damage at the house - just the car looks a bit like a golf ball now and a few dents on the shed roof. All glass survived - very happy about that.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Actually did some Modelling

It might not be N scale, but it was modelling none the less.

What great weather we are having - hot it might be, but there is a nice breeze to help keep temperatures on the old bod down.

So after reading all the news and drinking lots of coffee and such, I decided to do some modelling. No, I did not do any work on getting the shed ready to use - remember, I am very slack in that department.

Yesterday at the club meeting, I saw that in our little shop we had some packets of Kadee #58 couplers in stock, so I grabbed all ten packets! These metal scale couplers are just the shot to replace the large plastic couplers that come on the Austrains S wagons I bought from Brendan a large handful of months ago - they are much more scale looking than the plastic #5 equivalents.

You can see the metal #58's in front of the plastic imitation #5's

So I dragged my table in my pergola (not a real one yet, just a 4 foot [1.2m] one I have in temporary use) out into the shade so I had plenty of light but no direct heat. Then out with my tray of wagons and packets of couplers and of course my toolbox. Simple job I know, but it was enjoyable being able to sit down undisturbed in the fresh air and do something productive on my railway kit.

While I was at it, I had just enough couplers left to replace the large plastic ones in the 4 RU Wheat PTC wagons I bought at the clubs Buy & Sell held last weekend. I'd spotted a set of four in their original packaging with a tad of weathering on them sitting on someones table and went "grab!" The speed of the grab made a sound that would have gone well in the old Batman TV series where we got all those Biffs and Kapows! 

So that used all my couplers up, so it was time pack up the wagons and such, as I'll need to buy some more to do the same on some others I have yet to do.

Next I got out my new little logging loco I recently purchased. I now have a Rivarossi 3 Truck Heisler. It will go nicely with some logging wagons I have collected. I'll be able to run on a logging line on the new HO layout at the club with Peter A and others once we design and built it of course. I wanted to look at it now that I have the lid off to see what room I have for a DCC decoder. I reckon one of my spare Digitrax decoders will fit the job - either the DZ123 or DN121 I have found buried in one of my boxes - old as the hills, but should do the job.

I reckon there is plenty of room here to play with for a decoder.

On the theme of logging, a while back I bought a couple of Walthers Pulpwood Flatcars with Missouri Pacific numbers on them so I could run them at President Plods' place (Mr Kennedy, the president of the club - ex copper you see). I've been on the lookout for some loads to plonk on them and recently got my hands on a couple of "JWD" brand pulpwood loads for them. Now that was a hard installation to get these loads to marry up with the wagons, I can tell you! It took forever to get them out of the packaging - all of those 8 staples - anyone would have thought they wanted safe transit of the loads from factory to me. So no sooner than the 1 minute and 15 seconds had passed, that I snuggly placed the loads on the Walthers cars - nice snug fit is was - no glue will be needed I reckon. Nice loads and now the wagons really look the part.

Design/build... I sorta slipped. Somehow I have found 31 lengths of HO code 83 Shinohara unused track in my hands that has appeared out of nowhere - I swear! I'll blame Mr Mackie though, as he is the source of all evil in HO for me (well most of it). He was the cause of me getting HO in the first place - all my NSW  stuff in fact. Bad inflence is all I can say!  Now he has forced, absolutely forced me to buy the rail from him and he frog marched me down to the hobby shop in town the other week and made my go buy a pile of HO code 83 Peco points as well! And there I was planning away for a purely N scale train shed....

Looks like I'll probably put in a 30 foot long wall mounted narrow section for HO. It will go from a wye at one end to a loop at the other. About 60 foot or so of track. This will give me somewhere to test all this HO stuff that Craig MAKES me buy!