Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Lot Did Get Done

Saturday saw a cooler than recent day emerge and after the mandatory reading of the morning paper, it was off to the club to do trainy things.

All I got done was to lay down a pile more dirt, this time along the wharf district and around the peninsula. It the middle of it all I had to sieve more dirt a number of times, but with all the makings at the club, it was not too onerous - just bloody dusty!

Peter A was down doing more bridge work and Kev M, John B and Bob P  were redrawing the SCARM drawing to make it more accurate and representative of what actually is built so far. A few of us also joined in to offer some more comments and changes at the same time!

B1 was at it on the N scale Exhibition Layout getting some lighting into the corner shops.

After lunch it was a few laps around the layout with my NSW 45 class and some wagons, and then off home for a well deserved, I reckon I deserved it, beer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fun in the Sun

As usual, many things were happening at the club today. My little bits started off with some dirt getting thrown around.

With the help of the ever trusty aquadhere and water mix (50/50) and a small paint brush, the hills that were in need of dirt were given a liberal coating of liquid and then a pile of dirt sprinkled on them. So this almost finishes the hills at the left hand end of the main yard - almost. And it is just the beginning of the wharf areas that need a bit of soil added.

After I had doe the dirt, I decided to head off to Bunnings to get a few 1/2 inch paint brushes. So off I go and 45 min later I get back. I had 5 one litre buckets and lids and 5 five litre ones. I also had a small garden hoe, a small garden shovel and digging fork and some other odds end ends for myself... but I had forgotten the paint brushes!

Mind you, whilst I was out I collected some more dirt. The other day I had remembered where the pale red dirt had come from - it was only 5 minutes or so away from the club at the end of Warner road. On the side of the road there is a besser block retaining wall keeping the hill back off the road and when it rains the dirt washes down over the wall and into the concrete guttering - perfect. I just get my shovel and scoop the dirt into a 20 litre bucket for later processing at the club. Almost all of the contents are nice and fine and need little screening before use.

Whilst I was at it, there is a small dirst path at the end of the road where I had spotted some various prospective soils. One was a nice almost hite clay that just turned into power in your fingers. I reckon I can use it like a chalk powder. So I got a half a litre of it while I was there.

Also while at the club, I did a bit of programming of a decoder for Johnny J, and whilst doing it he showed me his latest work in progress - a tank wagon. He is almost ready to start casting it and I reckon another great little train will come of it.

Rob P and John B were at it on the end peninsula on the top deck tidying up and marking out some more track designs. The other day had seen the part of the deck around the end being lowered a tad for the 12 mm track.

While all this was happening Darryl D and Phil were at it putting on some fascias on the end of the middle peninsula.

Now while Kev was busy updating the CAD drawings of the layout, David L was busy setting up a test rig to show off an Arduino based points control module. I loaned him a couple of the really small SG90 servo motors and mounting kits from Tam Valley, and he now has them working with the Arduino. Push a button and the servo flicks over. Push it again and it comes back - simples.

After the club it was home time and beer-o'clock. But of course I got side tracked and added some 12 mm track to my test track rig so I can play with my brand new QR1550 and QR2400 locos I bought from Wuiski Models on the weekend at our club show at Strathpine - I just couldn't help myself, so I now have locos and rolling stock to play with on the 12 mm track once it is usable at the club.

Now as part of the above short job, I got to use my new soldering iron. The old one was very old and the tip had had it and replacements not available, so I was on the prowl for a new one. Whilst at a Tuesday Nighters meeting at Geoff's place (not Geoff from RMCQ), I mentioned I was looking for a new one and Geoff showed me his... new one. He'd gone to Jaycar and gotten a ripper of a new one. So I looked the other day and decided it was a good buy at 150 smakers and got it. It is fully variable and has a temp display and is industrial quality, so it should last me well.

 Whilst at Jaycar I also got myself a new brass cleaning station for the soldering iron.

Now I have one last thing - a tip. At our show on the weekend, which went off quite well, we had some trays of samiches delivered from a members better half. They were sitting on some very large aluminium platters - the disposable type. At the end of the sangas they went to turf out the trays and I quickly stepped in and nicked 'em! They were large and had a great flat area. So I will cut the good flat bit out to keep for later use as roofing material for models - I can make it into corrugated iron sheets. So keep an eye out yourself for pie tins and such - all are good for something.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Noisy Day

So today I did a bit more putty. So I made up a batch of putty and bogged up some holes and filleted the hills into the layout as well as made a bunch of small mounds to break up the flat world.

So I think I am finished with the putty down that end of the layout - the left hand end of the main yard. Next time I'll get into the dirt on the hills and maybe some grass.

Now I had a little delivery yesterday arvo and brought it down with me today - my LokSound decoder had arrived from DCC Sound in Victoria. Yep, my NSWGR 45 class noises had arrived for my Auscision loco. So I took a bunch of photos as I installed the chip and will write an article the club newsletter.

But basically you take the old chip out (or DC one) and install the sound decoder - making sure to install it correct side up. The speaker just clips into position and away you go. This is one easy install - very happy with it indeed.


So here is a quick video of testing the loco after installation of the decoder.

Here is a quick video of the test after installation.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

It's Good to be First in Line

So Saturday morning saw another great start to the day in Brisbane. So after a quick OJ and Bacon & Egg Muffin, it was down to the club. I was first down there so I got to have my first coffee of the day in peace and quiet... hummmmmm - nice.

Then it was into it. I decided to continue on with the landscaping of the left hand end of the main fiddle yard. Wednesday saw the foam carved and a coating of gap filler over them. So today I made up my "putty" out of the gap filler, a bit of paint for colour and a pile of vermiculite. Once I had used some Liquid Nails to glue the foam down on the layout, I was able to use my putty to fill any gaps, holes or areas than needed smoothing over. I also filleted the foam into place to make a more natural integration with the ground.

After the foam was down, and the putty skinned over, I got out some 50/50 water/white glue mix and brushed it over the foam. Then I got out a faintly redish dirt I had kicking around that looks to have been gotten from a natural drain up around the shale areas nearby. It really suit well, so I must relocate my source and grab a 20 litre bucket of the stuff.

With the foam carving I have started to hack into it a fair bit now and it seems to be working and giving, what I think, is a really good look. A bit of grass and tufts of scrub should finish this off nicely.

Once this area is done it will make running through the base of the peninsulas a bit nicer and more complete.

While I was at my scenery building, Peter A was at the bridge area again and working away with power tools. Dave was busy with point work and continued construction of the point control systems.

Rob, (B1) , was busy on the N scale exhibition layout getting into and around the small shop complex so lighting can be added as well as our new Miller Engineering flashing sign. We reckon this scene will become even more spectacular and attracting of the crowds at the shows. So here is the before, and soon you'll see an after.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's Warming Up

Winter I think will be coming to an end soon. The jacket didn't stay on long today at all - even the no sleeve vest came off very early - but what a great winters day it was.

So for my work today I carved up some expanded foam into the shape of some hills and rock outcrops to put a bit of 3D into the left hand end of the main yard where it curves into the run along the wall.

I used the blue beaded foam we have which is made of small beads of foam but they are not bound very well. So it shapes easily with my Surform tool and a sharp box cutter. I made the forms in multiple parts so as to not have to use large pieces of foam to cater for the curve.

Once I had shaped the forms, they needed some protection from man handling and the environment. So I gave them a good lick of my No More Gaps and paint mix to give them a tough skin.

After a couple of hours they were dry enough to place on the layout to show what it will look like when in place.


After giving he foam a skin, I still had a bit of the mix left, so I threw in a few handfuls of Vermiculite and did some gap filling and made some tiny mounds at the base of the south wall peninsula. This will give a bit of variety to the land surface.

While I was at it, Barry was carving up some foam in the area between the large gorge and the station area.

Phil and Bob P were up on the big mobile scaffolding working on the top deck.

And John B was doing some work requiring some outdoor ventilation.