Wednesday, March 4, 2015


That is the exact word I said the other day when taking photos at the bottom of the creek bank. Here is why:

I ran out of the "dirt" I have been using on the various club layouts 6 months ago. It was a grayish silt and clay based dirt I had found only a few kilometers from the club. It was created by sun and weather beating down on the top layer of clay and such and weathering it down until it was a nice grey. I could easily pulverize and sieve it to give all sizes from fine dust up to "boulders" in both HO and N scales. So when I went to get some more, I found that someone had bull dozed the whole are and removed it all and built a bloody Bunnings store and car park over the top of my supply!

I have spent the last 3-4 months hunting high and low for another supply and nothin' !  The area and withing 30 klicks, is all shale or red/yellow/white clay - no gray :o(

So the eureka moment came when I was looking through my view finder on my camera last Saturday and looking at the creek bank. I noticed a lot of the long grass was all flattened from the recent floods and even some ripped out. One of the vacated patches was drying out in the sun and you guessed it - it was gray in colour. Funny that - that I should have been looking all over for my dirt supply when it was out the back door of the club!

When you think about it - weathered silt type soil - where do you find it.... yep, at the bottom of rivers and creeks...  I should have been looking there in the first place. So today my first job was to take a 20 liter bucket down and half fill it with my newly found gold. I then spread it out on a table to dry for the rest of the day. Some sieving and pound looks to be in my near future I think.

The dirt is not as white as in the photo, as the sun was bleaching the shots pretty good - she was sure hot out there today.

Bruce Harper got into the main fiddle yard and installed the point we need to feed the end of the peninsula for some small operations based building we might put in.

The shot below shows the new point on the back rail at the left of the photo. To make it all fit better and such, Bruce also moved the point that was on the mainline to the left as well. This gives a long enough straight section to the right, to accommodate two points should it be decided at a later date to move the two curved points at the far right and replace them with straight ones.

My bit of work today was to make and install the plywood roadbed for the wye I am working on. I found some scrap 12 mm plywood and used to pieces to make the curved trackbed. 

I needed to install one support under the trackbed to make it stable.

A bit more 12 mm to make a joiner to keep the trackbed nice and flat without kinks. I also used some 12 mm at the beginning and end of the trackbed where it joined back into the main layout decking.

After that I glued on some cork and gave it a lick of gray paint to seal the cork.

Finally I made up just one corking tube of No More Gaps and paint and brushed it onto some of the foam to seal it and strengthen it in one.

This shot shows how much even just this mix will fill gaps and smooth things out. The bottom is my "putty" from the other day and the top shows a free smear of No More Gaps and paint.

Phil, Kev, Doug and Co were working on the HO Exhibition layout getting it ready for the show in Bundaberg. Dallas was doing the same for the N. B1 was working on the N permanent as he has some locos wanting to barrel roll down the hill a few times.

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