Saturday saw the N scalers testing their trains on the exhibition layout so that the layout can be packed up on next Saturday in preparation for its trip up to the Bundaberg show. All was well with the layout with a full vacuum being done and track clean and all went well. Only one problem was found actually, and that was with the NCE DCC system. This is where the cabs all go funny and you end up with one cab driving multiple locos around - weird stuff. The HO'er get it from time to time to on their layouts.
But B1 saw a few articles on the Yahoo DCC forums about this. Turns out when we had the units apart doing our chip upgrades a while back, it would have been opportune to change the battery in them. Sorta makes sense as they are getting on a bit and the batteries don't last for ever. They are of the type CR2032. So B1 will arrange for a few from Jaycar or similar and we'll replace them. Maybe that will help.
Anyway, besides that, the T-Trakers were at it doing touch-ups and final adjustments on their layout for the Bundy show as well. And of course the HO'ers were trying to fix things on their exhibition layout as well in prep for the show in two weeks time.
Me, I did a bit more on the new HO layout. I was able to cut, trim and glue down the track between the two new points. It should be ready for some power droppers on Wednesday then.
After laying down the track, I made up about 5 tubes of gap filler and some cheap acrylic kiddies paint with a touch of water until I had a consistency of almost running Mr Whippy ice-cream. I then painted a good licking of it over the rolling hills of foam.
Close up it looks like chocolate on ice-cream. But stand back a bit and it looks pretty smooth. Wait until the dirt and grass flock goes on and it will be a real grassy rolling hill.
I also filled the last of the gaps in the foam with the same mix as above with a handful of vermiculite mixed in. This smoothed down really nicely with my artists small spatulas.
At the end of this work while the guys started running trains, I grabbed some left over trees and planted them around for effect. They are obviously not permanent, but will do until the dirt and grass etc get laid down. So easy to do - grab a pig stabber (awl), make a quick poke in the foam and insert a tree. Not that I would make them permanent now, but when it is time you can add a small dob of white glue in the hole or not. The foam grabs the tree trunk quite well.
Here are some shots that give a rough indication of the potential of the view as trains roll over the river and into the rolling hills.