Sunday, March 28, 2010

Will something worth looking at emerge from this?

This is it, organisation at it's best! Through the mess something beautiful will, that was a song lyric I think, and certainly wouldn't apply to this lot. Although I feel a certain sense of order in my modelling even though the workspace is so much of the opposite. Now amongst this is a Berg's LV kit, the mech from one of my 48's, being tinkered with, a Casula K wagon kit, Steam era wheelsets, AR pourable wagon weight, the list goes on.

The LV is not a bad kit, and certainly will run around at Toowoomba this year quite happily. I picked up some brass cast wagon buffers that I'm usung instead of the moulded on effort. All four sides are together and I've been tidying up the side sills ready to add them soon. I'll be adding some basic brake gear next, and I've got some Ian Lindsay brake blocks somewhere that I'll be using. As far as anything else with the brake gear it will probably be star wheels and some brass wire to imitate the brake gear under the wagon. I take a dreadful photo, and it actually is better than it looks.

I weakened this last week and ordered some of the shorter axles for the K wagon, enough for ten wagons. I plan to use them in the timber sleeper wagons that I've had on the drawing board for the last four years. I cetainly don't rush things you know! A photo of these shows you where I'm up to with them. They don't look too bad, and will only be viewed from a distance. Over the last couple of years I've developed two sets of rollingstock, the first for at home and the second for Toowoomba. That being the plan anyway. The idea being to only take the less detailed gear to T'ba, and leave the finer stuff at home. Well a combination of slow progress and wanting to show the guys at T'ba what I've been working on means that everything tends to be taken along.

So there you go, the best laid plans of mice and men, as they say...

The 48 mech has been a bit of a bummer, I'd been fooling around with decoder settings and had taken the mech apart to ensure all was well. Then all back together,and it was ready to show the guys one Tuesday night and it ran like a pig! Today had a bit of time to model so out it came, apart, and discovered that I'd not put it back together correctly, too much pressure on the axles from a sideframe. Now I've adjusted the motor dogbones so they seem to run better. I'll let it all cure then take ti to the club on Tuesday for a run around, we'll see how it goes.

It's been great to get out to the shed today, refreshing, no doubt that next weekend may have a little bit of time free, fingers crossed. Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Simple Kit... or so I thought.

I've enjoyed that time honoured tradition of kit construction this week. For those of you who've not seen my hobby area I have had to store all the railway bits and pieces away in sealable styrene boxes. These same boxes have an assortment of labels, ranging from, 'kits & decals', to 'if you can't find it look here first' and it's mate, 'if you can't find it look here second'.

The boxes are stored around the end of the garage wall up high over the top of the layout area. A thought struck me this week, ' those kit boxes are not getting any emptier'. So there it was, that moment of realisation, it was time to model.

After re-aquainting myself with the contents of the kit boxes I chose a simple one to get started, a Casula K Wagon. It looks a really simple kit, and would be finished with a high tarped load so no interior detail would be required. The sides and base went in with a few adjustments, sole bars adjusted to fit and check the W irons for fitting the wheelsets.

As time has gone on and I've become pickier with my modelling, the wheelsets of a plastic of some type just didn't seem to be ideal. I have purchased previously rp 25/88 8-spoke axles from Steam Era models, and they are great, but these are a different axle length than the kit supplied. The axles are shorter so the W irons all move in towards the centre. A simple change to the model that does have a large difference on how it will look on the rails.

Now an order to Steam Era will need to be put together, but how many packs? Do I now order a few more K wagons and get really excited, or finish a few other 'simple' kits that I've got stashed away? If this hobby does one thing to us all it is this,
that there is always room for a few more wagons!

Have a great week, Geoff.
This photo is unrelated, but thought there should be something to look at as well as read. It will be re created on SSC as the local butcher store. It is actually from Koorawatha in western NSW. Not a bad spot, would have been a great place to see about Fifty years ago.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Screw Link Couplers

The other day I posted a comment to Mr Picton's Blog about the AR passenger links in brass that Al sells. I really like the fact that they are well detailed and fairly clear of any flash. Mr Picton had asked for a photo, and quite honestly I thought that I'd posted some here, apparently not. So here they are for all to see.

They are a bit fiddly to put together, but certainly anything but difficult, and the result I think is really worth the effort. They are really another small step towards having a Steam Era coupler that looks the part.

For those of you with goods wagons and chasing a three link coupler then you really can't go past the 'Equip' local Jewellery stores. There's one down the road from me with various styles of cheap chains. Three links are exactly that , three links of chain, as the wagons did not need to be pulled in tight like the passenger wagons, giving the guests on board a more gentler ride. The wagons with the three link couplers would have spread and banged together constantly, not pleasant!

The problem is finding the right size link whilst being hassled by all the young storekeepers, most of them about the same age as my daughter! It is a bit sus to have an HO scale ruler with you, and very difficult to find a plausible reason for the ruler, let alone for the scale marking. So can I suggest a small picture of what you're after so that you can simply place the chain over the top. It's worth the effort and I have enough chain now to last me for years.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

To Ballast or Not to Ballast, that is the Question.

Lately I've been completely taken aback with the modelling efforts that have been posted to various blogs. Some new and some quiet for a while, all have held my attention through the limited time I have for modelling. So, firstly I need to say thanks to those who post their efforts, then secondly I need to get back to my own efforts...we'll see.

For a long time now I've been focused on the 'location' of SSC as being in a range somewhere in the northern part of NSW. The ability to have a layout set in my imagination only I thought was a good idea all those years ago. As time has gone on and a 'history' has grown around my initial ideas the location has more and more become more fixed. I love the location south of Tenterfield, I suppose that's obvious to those who know the area, as that is the place where there's a creek named Splitters Swamp.

Last time the crew came around to my place for the fortnightly Tuesday Nighters there was a fair amount of discussion about my plans for the first module and the location of both passenger and locomotive facilities. This leads me to think about just what I should be building next. Sure there's backdrops to paint and scenic foam to carve colour and glue in place, but a trestle bridge would be great!

now the trestle is on the second module so that begins the next chapter in module construction. The timber is cut, T-nut holes are already drilled, the only missing element is time, rather than allowing this to move along its natural course I think I'll begin construction of the trestle.

Here we are, the part of the post where you find out the purpose of the actual post. Do I follow the construction of bridges on the Northern line and have a ballasted deck or do I have a more pioneer line construction and have an unballasted deck? A Pioneer line would only have a very basic bridge so unballasted is the way to go. The location is now more focused on an area, the topography I like. I also have quite a few photos of the area, so it all looks good. I never would have thought that the progression of this layout would have caused a very definite link to a place, but it seems to make alot of sense. My original thoughts was of a heavily timbered steep area, and a fair bit of that will probably occur, but I think that now the landscape will be a bit more open with distant hills not just a very close background of dense scrub and trees.

I'm off to 'construct' for a bit now, a bit less in the way of posting and all will be well.