Sunday, December 20, 2015


Nope, it's not a wedding of satellites, but my antics at the club over the last 2 Wednesdays and Saturdays.

So on Wednesday the ninth, it was to start with some soldering. I now needed to complete the track work of the two small passing loops and siding. So I got the tools ready to wire the track into place. So drills were needed to get the wires from the top of the layout to underneath it. There of course was the wire, which in this case we use the solid core wire sold by Bunnings as bell wire or detonator wire. It comes in a figure eight configuration with one wire being white and the other white with a red stripe.

Now I clean the rail where I will solder the wires. I use a Dremel rotary tool with a rotary wire brush and run it against the side webbing of the rail. This cleans it up nicely and saves me having to use flux on the rails. Next I get the electric drill out and near the rails that are to get a dropper wire soldered to them, we drill a hole through the layout deck with a 2-3 mm drill. 

Next we part the figure eight wires for about the last 50-60 mm and strip about 5 mm of insulation from the end of each wire. Now we crawl under the layout and feed the wires up through the holes we just drilled. Of course we need to make sure we keep to the standard set for the layout for wiring of tracks. In our case we have made it that the outer rail will have the white wire with red stripe on it and the inner rail will have the plain white wire. So up goes the wires and then I can crawl out from under the layout.

In the meantime our trusty soldering iron has been warming up. Now I grab it carefully and tin the rail at the webbing we cleaned earlier. I also tin the ends of the wire that we exposed earlier as well. Temporarily we push aside the soldering iron as we bend the wire so it sits up close to the track and is as hidden as we can get. Normally once the rail is painted and the ballast goes down, you will not see the wire and solder join, which is just as we like it. So once bent we hold the wire against the rail and with a quick tap of the soldering iron melt the solder and the wire is electrically and mechanically secured.

So between the above heavy work and drinking copious amounts of coffee, the morning disappeared fast. So it was now time for running of trains. So I got to test my work. So I setup a train of box cars with a caboose and a small shunter to haul it all.  With the new siding and also passing loop, I was able to haul a long train into the loop and push back the caboose and excess wagons into the siding. The remaining wagons with loco then fitted into the passing loop where the loco left the wagons and was able to run around them to be able to push them into the sidings off to the right.


The Saturday saw the club's annual Xmas bash and Modelling Competition. As usual it was a good day and some good modelling to look at. For pics of the models, head over to Craigs blog for a squiz -

Not in the comp, but I reckon well worthy of it was some first runs off of Johnny J's new molds he made of an Aussi loco. Yummy I reckon!

Also not part of the comp is ther stuff Dave is working on. He brought in to show off, his new circuit boards he's been making that will marry up with the displays for the points controls as well as control the points with servos.

Now on the following Wednesday, it was time for me to fill in the gaps and holes and lay on some earthly structure around the trackage I've laid. So it was out with my trusty ice-cream container and mixed up some No More Gaps and brown paint to act as the base to hold the Vermiculite. This then makes my structural "putty' with which to sculpt the scenery.

So the two passing loops got some attention to fix what I had to strip away to lay the track.

With some left over I was able to add a bit to the helix area on the bottom deck.

There was just enough time before train running time, for me to brush some 50/50 white glue and water mix on the sculptured areas and sprinkle a good coating of fine dirt on it.

Again I think we did a bit too much coffee and talking, as that was about it for work on the day - running trains came next. Me, I got into installing decoders in my Via Rail locos I'd been meaning to do for ages. That will be part of an article some other time.

So Saturday, yesterday, I took my spray painting gear down to the club. It was time to paint up some track that has been worked on over the last twelve months since I last painted the place. So again I used Tamiya Acrylic paints. I used Tamiya XF53 - Neutral Grey and XF64 - Red Brown, mixed 50/50 and then added about 50% thinners to the lot for my mix. It is what I used before for the yard and sidings and that was the main work for the day.

I also did some spare sleepers for sliding in on the big bridge Peter is working on. You can also see where the track laid while I painted it for the bridge as well - foam goes over the top of this area, so no probs with my mess.

So the wye got a lick of paint, as did the stock yard siding.

While I was painting, Peter A was at it puttying up the sides of the ravine with similar putty mix I use - ie No More Gaps and Vermiculite.

The River as been irking me for a while now ever since I painted it sky blue with left over skyboard paint just to cover up the scratches and markings on it. So with a bit of blue and green poster paint - I roughly fixed it - lots better now for the next 1-2 years until someone does something permanently for it.

Now back to my rum and coke - CYA.

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