Monday, May 31, 2010

Baby steps towards a BSV 1895 style!

The saga of the BSV continues. I've charged the batteries in the camera, then the modem went and died! You can't imagine the stress this caused in the Burns hosehold, with four active internet users.
I mentioned the jigs I built in the previous post and I have to say that they make it so much easier to get a half decent result. I have two main ones for the construction of the wagon sides. The first one has a copy of a line diagram glued down then quite a few pieces of basswood to aid in holding everything still glued on top of this. This jig is used to construct the 'outer' of each side in styrene, then the same jig is used to construct a brass 'inner' that will have the bars added later. The idea being that the sides will match each other once glued together.
A second jig was built around a brass 'inner' side to hold it steady whilst soldering on the bars. This is a fiddly job, but I think the result is worth it. I've been using 15x40 thou brass bar and 15 thou brass wire to construct the sides. 40x40 thou styrene is used as spacers between the wire bars, and the spacing matches the scaled drawings exactly, that I can see anyway.
I've built other styrene jigs for the wagon ends, but still have to come up with one for the chassis.
More to model and less time to do it in!
Ooroo! Geoff.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Heading towards Toowoomba 2010

The AMRA May show is for me a key milestone each year. It's not the show itself, it's the fact that Toowoomba is only the next month, and a funny kind of modelling panic sets in. I'm not one for setting and meeting deadlines, setting modelling goals, well maybe. I like the idea of goalsetting, but not the planning and sticking to it that must follow.

The weekend after the Queens' Birthday long weekend is when the Darling Downs club hold their annual railway exhibition. When I first became interested in modelling as an adult, I took a trip with the family to T'ba for the day. We had a great time, I was impressed with the laid back atmosphere of the show, where presenters were only too happy to discuss anything with you, for as long as you wanted. I'd met a few blokes from a local club that I eventually went on to join.

The next year I went along to be part of the group of members that attend T'ba without fail. What could be so attractive about going to a show, sleeping in a close to zero oversized shed, having communal showers, then spending the day running trains? Well the answer is without hesitation, and trying not to sound too over the top (as I'm normally prone to be), the friendship and comradery. I do not plan to miss a t'ba show any time soon.

Now each year I like the idea of running something new, for me I suppose as I doubt that someone would notice what i ran from one year to another. I have several projects on the go at the moment, but really not enough time to finish them all before the show. This is where I have trouble deciding what to do first. I also think that I wrote about this last year, boy I've been doing this for twelve months already, time flies... anyway what will I finish in time? Your guess is as good as mine really, I'll post what I complete before the show.

This year the pressure is building for a completely different reason, as this year is the last time Daz will be presenting 'More'. Now I find myself with less than twelve months to get SSC to a presentable standard. The points are nearly there, timber for sleepers are ready to go, kits and RTR for the rollingstock are almost all purchased (not constructed yet), second modratec lever frame I purchased at the May show, lighting pelmets are well on the way. I want to make sure that bare minimum, one side of the layout was 100% finished with the other well on the way there. The fellows at T'ba are quite happy with a work in progress, as long as it runs, and you're willing to share where you're at and how you did it. I do think back to what I liked to see as a beginner, and still do actually, as I've said before I do still think of myself as a beginner in so many ways.

So the line is in the sand now. Not long to go, the last of my hair is bound to decide to part company also. Bugger! I'd better buy a better beany for this years show, I'll keep you posted on how the deadline looms for me, Ooroo!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday Modellers' Guild

The title for this post seems a bit over the top I suppose, however sometimes I think you need to mark a great event with a great title. 'H' probably thinks it's me lost again with some sort of 'railway madness', she may be right. For me it could be the start of a great modelling tradition, one that surprises all of us in what may come from its humble beginnings.

What happened I hear you ask, well it was not much actually. I asked a couple of friends over for a modelling night, and a couple of drinks, and yeah that was it. I think the four of us would say that we had a great time, and actually got some modelling done. I'd just set up a table four chairs, lights, beers, and coffee. Everyone brought something simple to work on, as you don't want anything too complex when you may just end up socialising.

Darren had a uneek home signal, Craig and Peter were staining timber, and I was messing around with the BSV that's on the workbench. We were listening to the chatter on the suburban rail network on a scanner Darren brought along. That turned into a quite interesting part of the night with a power line down and very restricted rail service being the result, with the football crowd ready to make all QR staffs night a living hell, if in fact the Broncos had lost!

I always thought, and 'H' agrees, that when you get a few railway fans together that not much happens. This night was different, I got to see how the others worked on a project, their methods and techniques. I think if we were to continue this meeting on a fairly adhoc basis, that some regular progress could be the result, and the swapping of ideas would help all of us in our individual modelling projects. That was it for me really, learning more about our hobby, seeing how others attack a project, and of course having some social contact also. So to Peter, Craig, and Darren, thanks for a great night we will definitely have to do it again!

the 'Friday Modellers Guild' got a great ring to it, way over the top! But what else could you expect from someone who calls their blog 'Splitters Swamp Creek', Oorroo!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Scratchbuilding at the show

At the May show this year I actually planned to get something done. The last few years whilst on the stand I've spent most of my time chatting to new modellers, or catching up with ones I've met before. This year the plan was to begin work on the 'new' version of the 1895 BSV that I've been wanting to do for ages. So armed with jigs and copious quantities of styrene I set myself up on the workbench.

My first thought was that Craig had brought 'everything' the previous day. I shouldn't complain I did have a square foot or so, plenty of room for a cutting mat, glue, jig, and styrene! I set about starting on the wagon ends they are fairly straight forward and I'd scribed styrene with the board spacing I required before hand. I built them with the outer and inner boards so that the air gap for ventilation can be clearly seen. I have thought since that I should have painted the inside of the wall before construction. The two ends built up in no time, the jigs, though simple really did aid the construction time.

Somewhere about now an announcement came over the P.A. system saying 'good afternoon...' Afternoon? Yep 12:30 actually, the day was flying along. I had a short break about now and went for a little shop browsing, and bought some lunch.

Getting back to it I started work on the side of the wagon. In a post along time ago I'd built the first version of this wagon. Since doing that I've had a few ideas of how differently I'd do it next time. Firstly I wasn't happy with the thickness of the side, and how overscale it therefore appeared to be. It also was not as strong as I'd like for longevity of the wagon's life. My solution is to build a styrene outer with a brass inner side. The outer is thinner than last time and the inner holds the bars for the wagon sides and makes it more rigid. When I get to this part I might even be able to solder some of the inner swing doors that divided the wagon to the brass part of the wagon. I have certainly wondered whether an all brass version may be the way to go down the line. However the time to cut and file all the individual pieces would be alot longer that doing it in styrene.

The jig for the sides has made using the thinner styrene alot more user friendly. The sides are the mirror image of each other, so I'm able to turn the side over in the jig and work on the back of it also. I was able to about half finish the wagon side. Not bad for a day at the show.

The day went very quickly, we had a great time meeting Brendan and Greg from a couple of other blogs, you'd know Brendan's work on the 19 class loco he entered at last years May Show, winning first prize. I made a couple of purchases, 4910 from Trainorama (actually if anyone has one, do they come with instructions or warranty cards? as mine had none, just an exploded view of the loco and parts list) 6-lever frame from modratec, for the other side of the layout, and a couple of other bits that I just couldn't live without. One of them was from hanger 13, or whatever the airbrush name is. Several 'bottlebrush' type brushes in various sizes attached on a split ring for all those hard to get at places on your airbrush, a great idea and $5, perfect!

I should stop now as I've the day off and the modelling bench is calling!