Saturday, October 17, 2015

Time Passes Fast

I've been a bit slack in my reporting, but I have an excuse. I am now back to being the editor slash do everything fella for the club newsletter - the Semaphore. So I am spending a bit more time getting stuff together for the newsletter rather than reporting here. So my reports will be a bit further apart rather than the previous two per week of late.

So here goes. The first Saturday of the month saw me finish laying and wiring up both sides of the test track area with 12 mm track. So we can now program and test our QR (and other) 12 mm gauge railway gear. I was of course first to use it when I whipped out my QR 1550 and 2400 class locos for a test run under DC in preparation for installing decoders later on. Both locos ran purrrrrrrfectly. Quiet as and they were able to run so slow you had to look twice to see them move!

The other main thing for the day was to get the blue paint out and give the backdrop for the middle peninsula a complete going over on both sides to remove the dirt, grime and finger prints of the last few years. The river got the same treatment just because I could. The river will get a real bottom and side paint job when we get to it later on, but for now it is a bright sky blue in colour and really pops.

Peter A and some more N'ers got into the backdrop of the N scale Exhibition Layout. Peter came up with a great idea of using some 5 mm foam board. He printed out fresh backdrop scenes and glued them to the foam. We then cut the foam out and painted the top of the foam where we'd cut, a sky blue. This foam board then got glued to the nicely cleaned sky blue back board. She really looks good now - must get a few photos of it.

Wednesday saw me make up another batch of my Vermiculite bog. This I used to fill the gaps and imperfections of the hill side that Barry P has been working on to the right of the main railway station. Barry was then able to, on the same day, give the whole thing a good coating of Parfix Gap Filler mixed with some modelling Acrylic Paint. This sealed it nicely and it can sit like this for ages now until we get around to the final colourings and coatings. At least now it looks a bit better and won't shed little beads of foam all the time.

I also did a quick glue of some foam down near the stock yards - might as well give El Presidente John a hand since he is going hell for leather on the top deck.

While I was at it I played second fiddle to our Navy Dude Darryl D (that's right, he's playing sailor again for a while) while he put on some capping on the layout to spruce it up a tad.

The next Saturday was the club meeting so not much actually work on the layout was done, but a decision was made to add a couple of small sidings just off of the passing loops on the main peninsula. This will add to the things we can do when shunting these passing loops and the industries on them.

Darryl D brought in his QR wagons which he has been working on. He'd gotten some of those End of Train Flashers made by Ring Engineering and did some heavy modification to fit these 16.5 mm gauge gadgets to his 12 mm wagons. Worked a treat and these new orange type flashers look perfect on the end of his wagons.

The Tuesday night saw us at Scooters place (Craig M) for a really great night - I like this bunch of Toosdy Niters on the Southside of Brisbane.

Wednesday saw some of the results of the El Presidente John's efforts. The top deck along the windows is now wider and the timber work is almost complete for the widening.

Just as a sight reminder, I grabbed a bunch of nails and pushed them in to designate the road on the middle peninsula as well as where a dirt road will cross the mainlines.

I also made up a batch of bog - this time I used foam beads rather than vermiculite as it is cheaper and I was only gap filling and not doing surface work on the hills along the top of the helix. You can see how rough the foam is compared to previous pictures of the vermiculite based bog mix once in place.

We also saw Kev, Doug and Phil work on putting in the short bypass at the throat of the main yard to the passing loop in front of the main wharf.

Dave was also down and showing off the beginnings of his Arduino based points motor control system. He has designed the mounts with plywood in mind and has been talking to Tristan to get some laser cut. These systems should be nice and cheap and control the points nicely.

On the way home on Wednesday I decided to take a trip up Kremzow road into Cashmere. There I again found a nice source of shale chips and dirt that had washed down an embankment and was sitting on the concrete footpath making a mess. So, as a concerned citizen, I shoveled up about 4 buckets worth so no one would trip over the mess. This I then took back to the club and spread one buck out on a bench to dry for the next few days. BTW I was parked when I took the photo.

Oh and I also found a nice cheap source of Vermiculite. So rather than 9 bucks for 5 liters from Bunnings, I got 100 liters for 33 bucks down at Nudgee Road Landscape Supplies - bargain!

That brings us almost up to date. What is missing is today, so here it is.... Today. OK, being that the Ipswich model train show is next weekend, I wasn't going to go building much today, as I had to test my trains on the N scale Exhibition Layout. B1 had it running nicely and we were all firing up our trains to make sure the layout and our trains were fit for next weekend. I did a few final touchups on the layout like gluing down the new tennis players to the new tennis courts and moving some old players from the old courts to this new set of courts. Peter A had also finished building a very nice fence for one of the courts. The fence was made from fine brass wire soldered up in a jig he had made and then covered with tulle. The jig he made was firstly to make railings for the new HO scale bridge he is building, but with addition modifications he now can build these lovely fences.

While we were doing this, Phil was out on the HO layout adding in the head shunt along the short wall. He had to do a lot of foam carving to be able to get the cork down, but hopefully next week the points and track might be able to go in. Peter A was also in early today and had installed the big bridge he built on the HO layout - marvelous! He also installed the brass bridge we got really cheap, on the middle level track in the gorge - it too looks great.

Dave has progressed further with the Arduino point control system. He was able today to show us it in the action of making the servo motors turn when you wanted it to. Looking very nice indeed.

Yeh, now I remember, I did do a bit of work on the HO layout - I helped out El Presidente John by installing the track work for the Stock Yard.

So I rounded off the day by making a pile of mess. I got a 5 liter bucket of my shale dirt from the other day, which was by now nice and dry, and did a pile of sieving. I was able to make very fine duct, Z, N and HO scale ballasts and then a selection of various sized rocks and gravels for loads and for detailing layouts. I think this will work well and save a few bucks in the process.

Oh and a great bonus was that when we all walking in today is that Darryl J had some of his sparky workers come round on Friday and install a pile of fans around the club and tidy up that brothel of wires that drove the lighting in some places. We are now up to code and cool to boot.

So there - we are now caught up. Time for a beer I reckon.