Friday, April 30, 2010

The art of jig construction

As stated in the previous post, I'm off to the Brisbane Model Railway Show this weekend. As usual I'm not sure what to take, but I have learnt that the thing you leave behind is the thing you'll need desperately on the day. So I've packed everything, well that's what Craig will think when I get to his place.

I've been spending plenty of time at the workbench this week with a number of jigs as a result. I do have a box full of jigs from previous projects, but not so many as for this one project. It could well have been more except for the fact that the timberwork is the same on each end of the wagon, so that I can flip the wagon side over to work on the inside. Even so there are four jigs put together now, and they really don't look to be in any way able to make something remotely like a sheep van. I'm not the prettiest carpenter, but it all seems to work as it should.

So the test is this Sunday, at the workbench. I'll post the results with some photos at the end of this Labor Day long weekend. Ooroo, Geoff.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The next long weekend

The first long weekend in May marks the annual Brisbane model railway show. Over the last few years I've shared a stand with Craig from 'Craig's Shed' fame. This year is no different and Craig and I will be on the stand on the Sunday.

Every year Craig has an absolute abundance of rollingstock and buildings on show...and I don't.
This year will not be any different for sure! I do try to do something a bit different and this year I plan to do a bit of rollingstock construction. So I will probably be modelling something a bit different that I have had on the drawing board for a l o n g time, BSV and other early bogie vans of some kind. Ages ago I posted a photo of the BSV and how I was progressing, unfortunately the drawings I'd been using were not accurate, so project shelved. Till now as I've got some great line drawings to work from.

This week has seen some concerted effort at jig construction ready for this weekend. I've sorted through the styrene collection and discovered I actually have all that I need. I'll be packing all the gear up this week, and probably more than I need for the time at the show, well that's what always ends up happening anyway.

I do enjoy the show, catching up with old friends, and being amazed at what so many people accomplish in this hobby. I normally end up being fairly motivated after the show, or is it that Toowoomba is just around the corner? If you're at the show then come on over to the stand, and have a chat, after all I think that's why we're really there, Geoff

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A couple of extra trainroom photos

These photos don't have all the rubbish bits left around so you can see the room that I now have after this weeks work. I'll be moving on to the backboards next, with the lh end as you look at the photos being the enclosed end creating the U shaped backing boards, if you were to view it from above. This creates two definite yards to operate from, or one with a run around if by yourself, Geoff

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ready...get B-sgetti...GO!

The RDO was a little productive this week. The plan was to complete the last two baseboards and finally bolt them all together. I had a little added motivation with the guys coming over on Tuesday night for our fortnightly get togethers.
Previously I'd cut most of the timber for the framing, and had already drilled and t-nutted the joining timber pieces. The space for the layout is limited and does need to allow space for the kids bikes and my motorbike also. The other side of the garage is home to Helen's car. I had to make sure everything fitted easily, so it was practical as a garage and a train room.
All seemed to be working swimmingly, the layout went together ok, joins matched, it all seems to be working! I had previously built a simple cupboard, that also supported a couple of timber beams that bolted to the wall to support a module of the layout. The long modules are 2.4m long and this 'benchwork' was to support it. The modules bolted together would not have fitted in the space if the 'benchwork' was left in its current location. So off the wall it came and back to its original location. This move meant an additional freestanding unit would be required to hold up the other end of the layout. i had some timber and ply there perfect for the job.
I need to make it quite clear that any type of carpentry is completely alien to me, and the idea of a join being square is something I still aim for. However on saying that, so far so good.
Everything seems to have worked, it fits together, fits in the space, everything is user freindly, I can actually enjoy the space I've created. The workbench is a good space, tools have room to be used, what else is there, it worked!
Tuesday night saw the guys over, and I was interested in their feedback. They all have some very well organised layout spaces, amny with outstanding results in their layout construction, and many well into organising a large layout, with a real 'feel' about it. They seemed to like (as do I) seeing the layout all together, with it at a viewable height, and seeing firsthand what it will be like to operate, rather than just some chicken scratchings that I've managed to draw out for them. We had a great night actually, plenty of modelling discussion and problem solving, and generally enjoying each others company. A great night, and a great way to finish off a few days of work for me, most enjoyable. Here's some photos, the top one is actually the last photo, they were loaded in the right order but came up in the reverse! so start at the bottom and work your way up to see what I've ended up with, Geoff.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

BANG...BANG False Start!

It would seem that I set myself up for some ribbing, that never happens! This mornings post was a little adventurous, to say the least. As things happen it was actually 4:30 before I got to the train room. The list could be given of the distractions of the day, but welcomed they were. J and Z were home, H was out for a while.

So the modules wait for tomorrow, and yes I actually will have some time to myself then as it's an RDO after a particularly ugly Saturday at the 'office'. The Tuesday Nighters are here this week, and that is a great motivator to get a bit done, PK there just may be some scenic work, Z scale square metre maybe!

The wood is all cut and a few holes drilled, bit late now for the woodwork stuff. A quick post listening to 'the Cure' out in the trainroom, then off for the evening coffee. Till tomorrow, I'll have to practise my starts in future! Geoff.

Sunday morning challenge!

Today I thought that I'd try something different, for me anyway, working with a goal in mind. I've been messing about with the way the backboards come together, trying to make it as tidy as this definitely unhandyman can.

My challenge if I should chose to accept it is, To complete the construction of the last two baseboards before the end of the day. I'll let you know how I've gone tonight!

Take your marks!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trials of a non walled train room,the Discovery Bay saga

This afternoon I had a brief stint out in the train room. The aim was to organise the baseboard for the next module. The framework I finished last week, and also had put in the uprights for the backboard. When I'd done the initial planning of the track design I had laid out the baseboards on the garage floor and drawn the trackplan straight on it. So I'd thought I had done all I could to ensure it went ok when I bolted the boards to the framework. So far it seems to have worked ( but only one has been bolted together so far!)

Today marks the second baseboard having the actual trackplan board bolted to it. To my amazement it seems to be ok. I'm not getting excited just yet as all four boards are not finished yet. So I'll reserve my judgement for a little while yet.

Last week I started to paint the backdrop, and I really want to get a bit more done to the next module so that more of the painting can be completed. Discovery Bay is a british paint sample pot colour that I started to paint the backdrop with. So off I went to Bunnings to get another pot of samples! Well what is it they say about the 'best laid plans of mice and men'? Of course the paint samples are not stocked anymore, typical! So here I am with a litre pot sample now, spose I'll use it eventually. The sample pots were a couple of dollars, and of course the cheapest ceiling flat paint can't be tinted in the colour I want, only the $27 tin of flat paint can...yep, happy 'bout that one!

This was going to be a quick post, so I'd better go, I'll finish with a photo of a building to go onto SSC in modelled form of course!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Backdrops...Somebody pinch me and wake me from the nightmare!

OK I really struggle with the painting of backdrops. The need to have something half decent causes me a huge amount of stress. The clouds are the issue, sky as well. When I get to the foreground I try and have as much detail to distract the casual observer from the 'mash' that lies behind. Yes there are photos, two for the sake of a record for this blog. I can say with all honesty, the bacdrops are a sure fire way to get me to do more scenic work, if only to cover what lies behind.
Whoa! I feel better now, onto what happens next. The foreground will be where most of the work will be as I attempt to show the surroundings as being fairly close. The idea to feel like you are more 'in' the layout rather than floating somewhere in the distance. Hope it works that way, time will tell. Then some landscaping will happen, can't wait as this is my favourite part!
Catchya, Geoff.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

This week out in the dog house..sorry, modelling room.

This week has been rather hectic, working in retail as I do, things are crazy pre Easter. Lucky for me I actually have two days off this week end, a bit of time might be available tomorrow night after a day at Mt Tambourine.
The K and LV are still on the workbench. The K wagon is having the addition of brake gear and associated cabling put on. I plan to add the tarp bar that these wagons had also, and did manage to find a couple of photos I took down at Cowra that should help with this. The plan is to use some rings from grandt line that I bought a 'few' years ago, to tie down the tarp.

The LV is being a bit painful, well, maybe it's me. I didn't check the distance apart that the side sills were before gluing them in. Must be my 'Eternal Beginner' not thinking before gluing, you know how you all do that first, it doesn't come naturally for me yet. Helen would call it common sense, I believe it's something that can be learned, or improved on if you so choose. Now I could leave it as it is, but I think I'd be better off butchering it and taking a few more weeks to complete a simple job. Been there?

Now that will have to do for now, photos of progress (butchering?) will be in next weeks blog. Have good week, Geoff.

A couple of sites worth checking out

The other day I found a link to a site from another blog. It is very American, but the results are amazing. On the site there is a link to a you tube posting, the wagon at the 1 min mark is amazing.
The techniques are all very hush hush on this site, and Mike does allude to having a 'how to' DVD one day. So then the search was on in earnest to find some useful info. The technique that was used was to replicate a rusted surface. My friend Mr Google found a couple of sites worth visiting. It has turned out that the rusted technique is one where they use salt as a way of stopping a top coat of paint from adhering to the undercoat of rust coloured paint. Most of these sites are for armed forces modelling, however the techniques are very useful in our hobby.

The challenge now is to find the time to give some of these ideas a go. The photos above show some of the surface rusting that wagons do acquire after many years of service. These photos were taken just south of Werris Creek a few years ago by yours truly. There are also some excellent photos taken by Ian Millard on the ARDP disc one. Ian has taken some excellent shots well worth a look at. Have a great week, Geoff.