Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mambo no 5 - a little bit of this, a little bit of that

So today was a bit like Mambo no 5. First thing I did was to fine tune Barry's foam work and give it a rougher more natural texture - ie hoe into it and forget about being careful.

Barry was then able to later in the day give it a lick of No More Gaps much thinned down. He thinned the paint part down a bit too much and ended up with a PINK coating!

While Barry was doing that, I made up a corking gun full mix of my putty and made some mounts all the way along between the main yard and the mainlines. This will give a much better visual separation once some dirt and grass goes on and perhaps a fence or something as well.

After this I gave Peter a hand programming up his brand new XPT train. It too like Craig's goes backwards instead of forwards, so a bit of reprogramming will be needed later.

So after lunch I couldn't be bothered running a train so I started getting the panel on the second test track ready to be able to drive the newly laid 12 mm track. I'll finish the job on Saturday.

Now while I did that I spotted the "3 Wise Monkeys" sitting supposedly "Driving" their trains - yeh I saw you bunch perched on your chairs...

So early arvo saw me off and heading home. I arrived to find I had a parcel from Jandowae sitting in front of my front door - you ripper, as well as a you ba*&^tards. Adam gets the first yell and Straya Post gets the second. The stupid delivery bloke just dropped the parcel at my front door in full view of the street and funny thing is... it needed a mandatory signature to be received. Now since there was no one home to sign, it was off to Straya Post down the road and give them a right bloody earful. I'll see what sort of fake signature they used this time... This is not the first time the numb-nuts have tried this trick and I a really ready for an argument - really ready....

Anyway, I digress. So once back home again, I grabbed a ginger beer and my parcel and headed out back with a train magazine to read as well as the QR Railway Station wooden kit I got from Chilli Laser Engraving the other week.

The sound decoder will go into my QR 2400 I got at the RMCQ show in August. The building I have donated to the club, but will make a mock-up out of cardboard shortly to stand in its stead until the layout is "more stable" and members don't damage it whilst working on the layout. I'll probably also do this with the two Walthers buildings I am donating tot he club for the layout.

Monday, September 28, 2015

It is Irking Me

Yes, that back part of the tip of the middle peninsula. It was bare right at the back because it is so far back and hard to reach.

So I crawled up as far as I could and with difficulty brushed on some 50/50 white glue and water and then threw brown dirt all over the area. I should maybe on Wednesday be able to throw green grass on it and then this half finished area wont irk me so much.

Whilst I had the dirt out I sprinkled some up around the wheat silo area  so as to make it look more finished. Eventually there might be bitumen there and fencing and stuff, but in the mean time dirt looks much better than a painted deck.

I also did a bit around the oil tank area as well and a bit between the mainlines so we get a step closer to ballasting. But ballasting still requires the backboards to all be repainted and the cork trimmed along the track edges to allow the ballast to fall better.

And as usual I got a hankering to play with glue, so I made up a single batch of putty from the No More Gaps, paint, water and vermiculite.

With this batch I puttied up around some hills around the track at the base of the station side of the middle peninsula.

And with a bit left over I gave a rick outcrop near the cement silos a bit of filling out and rounding.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Half Done, Half to Go

With the completion of the 12 mm track in the test area, I thought that bit was done. Until I went to use it and found others in my way. So today I got out some more 12 mm track and laid it on the RHS of the test area!

I glued it down with Liquid Nails and then laid the sand filled draft excluders onto it for a hour until it was nice and dry. I will wire it up next week.

My next job was to cut some of the cork away along a lot of track at the base of the two peninsulas. It was sticking out all over the place and when time comes to ballast the track it would have meant a bad lay of ballast. So a sharp blade and away I went trimming.

After this I got out some of the home made ballast fro the dirts I sieved last week. I think there is promise here. Bruce H and I reckon the shale based one with the rougher elongated grains looks a good mainline ballast and the other two which are more quartz based and orange (like deco) in colour, should work on passing loops and branchlines and stuff. We'll need other colours in due course but I think it is a start. We sprinkled samples around the place then vacuumed it up before the running session started.

I skipped lunch at the club and was ravenous by the time I got home at 3 pm, so made up a quick snack - fresh baked bread - a slab of it, with a slab of butter on it and a slab of Vegemite on it. Washed down with some Bundaberg Ginger Beer (with an additive of some Bundy Rum).

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Another Week

So it's two posts in one tonight as I didn't get around to one on Wednesday.

So Tuesday night saw the Toosdy Niters meet over on the southside, so I headed over to this meeting of a great bunch of fellas. The layout was in Bob Hardings QR rail carriage and the meeting in his nice house. A good time was had as always with lots of looking talking and eating.

Scooter was there of course and we saw some of the laser cut buildings that Bob has been assembling ready for his upcoming new layout.

Wednesday saw me down the club and doing some wiring. I had laid the 12 mm track on the clubs test track area on the Saturday and it now needed wiring and connecting to switches for use. I was also able to take delivery of some nicely laser cut timer sheeting from Tristan of Chilli Laser Engraving. I will use these in conjunction with the QR Station kit from the other day to make the scene I want.

While I was doing this, Doug was laying cork near the outlet of the main yard near the wharf for a new little bypass.

Bob P was at it do some cutting on the top deck above the main yard for where the 12 mm track needs to dip down by 20 mm in various locations.

At noon it was then time to go play trains for the arvo :o)

Saturday saw little actual work on the layout, with the all clear for running given at starting time since all work was being done elsewhere than the layout itself. I decided to finish the 12 mm addition to the test track area with some labeling so people could actually use it.

So now we see a third switch on the test control panel. The new one is on the left and shows "16.5 mm" and "12 mm". Pretty obvious, but if you are testing your 16.5 mm loco, then have the switch in HO and 16.5 mm, if you are trialing your HOn3½ loco, then use HO and 12 mm switches - simples.

I then spent a few hours sieving some dirts I collected on Wednesday arvo. I had headed down to the end of Kremzow road (Winn road) and grabbed dirt from a road cutting, a drainage ditch and a footpath cutting. So I had 5 liters of each and sieved it right down to fine dust and all sizes in between. I then got a sample of each in a size suitable for ballast and washed it - results will be seen on Wednesday when it is dry.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

Yesterday was our Club's AGM so a few new ones got up and onto the Management Committee for the club - on ya fellas!

To help facilitate this I said I'd take the newsletter work back on so as to free John B up to take on the job of being Prez. So after a gap of about a year I'm baaack.

Now to the real stuff. I only did a bit as meeting days are always busy catching up with members all day long. But I was able to get some dirt and ground foam onto the areas I puttied up on Wednesday.

So as to let the fellas start running trains earlier than normal I stopped after this and moved onto adding some 12 mm track to the Test Track area. This needed the 16.5 mm passing loop moved a bit to make room. So a 150 mm length was removed.

It was then trimmed and put back in allowing for the loop to be pushed closer to the mainline.

After this I saw that Tristan from Chilli Laser Engraving had shown up and had with him an Aussi Railway Station I had ordered. I'll donate it to the club and it will fit very nicely I reckon on the passing loop of the middle peninsula. I'll make up a nice wooden deck for it to sit on (from laser cut decking from Chili Laser Engraving of course).

Besides other stuff going on, Peter A had finished a replacement for the old Tennis Courts on the N scale Exhibition Layout, which got accidentally damaged recently as well as having faded over time. The old MDF it was based on had also begun to swell. So Peter has now used some foamboard and we'll see how she goes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I Don't Know Where the Day Went

A day at the club can really disappear so fast.

Today I only managed to whip up one batch of my patented putty of gap filler and vermiculite. It of course starts with a sloppy mix of gap filler water and paint.


Once the slop had firmed up with the addition of the vermiculite, I used it to make some mounds and hillocks around the curved backdrop at the far left of the main yard (right hand end of the wharf).

Once dry I will add the dirt and grasses and we'll be complete for that end of the main yard - for now. With some putty left over, I then went at it and added some hillocks and mounds along the front of the wharf area so as to give a bit of three dimensionality to the front of the mainlines and passing loops.

Now while I was at it on the layout, Kev was busy redrawing some of the SCARM drawings of the layout.

The N scale Exhibition Layout was being worked on by B1 and Mr Murphy was present indeed as we developed a fault in our power dropping circuit for the new flashing sign. One minute it was working, next it stopped - damn that Murphy - and I think that is what B1 was thinking when the shutter went off.

Back in the HO room, Barry P was at it rasping away and shaping some foam at the right hand end of the station area.

And waiting in the background for noon to arrive and the HO layout to be opened for railway traffic, we have Bruce H learning JMRI on the PC.

Before lunch I was able to just fit in doing up some rough dimensions of the two areas I have to fit some structures to. So with the measurements on a scrap of paper I can now think about it whilst at home and see what comes of the mental strain. The two areas are of course the back passing loop and the larger area at the right hand end of the same area.

The reason for needing to think about the right hand end, is that I don't seem to be able to source the "Imperial Foods" Walthers kit any longer. I'll find something I reckon. And the measurements on the passing loop are so I can see about maybe massaging in a nice wooden station building. Maybe a slice here and there will allow one of the Chilli Laser Engraving QR station buildings to fit (like the one advertised on the club website) - I like the cut of their jib ;o)