Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finally some track laying!

Four bolt fishplates are very common through the branchlines of NSW, six hole fishplates were also used with only four bolts used in the centre holes.
The colour of the sleepers is very bleached out, I may still be modelling my sleepers a little dark. I think we tend to model what we think we've seen, I know my memory does escape me sometimes, that's where photos come in handy. I also note that these sleepers are of a line that had closed over ten years ago and this would definitely effect the maintenance of the line. Taken near Guyra in northern NSW.
Darren shows the timber spacing the heel of his rear foot is in the centre of the sleeper, about two and a half foot centres.

The timber sleepers that I need to complete the track work number at about 320. The process of staining continues in batches of about 40 or so. I have a fair number done so it's on to the laying.

I've marked out the spacing of the sleepers, and also indicated the location of the frogs so that it is easier to position the turnouts. I have marked the spacing as 3ft centres. The branchlines were from two and a half feet to three foot centres. A couple of weeks ago I'd marked and drilled the holes for the activation of the turnouts so that made today faster to get into.

The job of gluing the sleepers down is fairly straight forward. I put in a PC board sleeper one in seven sleepers. I am not obsessed with the alignment of the sleepers, only that they follow the general arrangement or radius of a curve. I imagine I could spend alot more time doing this more precisely however there is result vs time spent evaluation that we as modellers must all grapple with. So the sleepers with a space for the PC sleeper have been laid across the front of the module of the other side of SSC. A weight applied, and a wait for drying.

That's about it for today, see ya! Geoff.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Let the Staining Begin!

This week I thought that I should increase my stockpile of sleepers so that laying them can begin next week. I had a new addition to the staining 'kit' in a white pencil that I spotted at Riot art supplies last weekend. I thought it could be used to really make the weathering of the sleepers a little faster and easier. I've always had trouble with the dry brushing of white onto the sleepers so I thought this might make the task easier. I found that the paint went on in little dry lumps, maybe it was too dry? Not sure really.
The two photos above and below are the final products after using the white pencil after staining them with the timber stain, and also some india ink, it too was from riot as it was on a good special. I like that the white pencil just 'grabbed' on the highest part of the sleeper, and left the low bits rather darker.

The last two photos are before using the white, and the india ink was left till after as well. I still have a bit of trouble with the upload of photos, as these were in the opposite order when I uploaded them, a little frustrating, but you get the idea.
The two photos here have the initial wood stain applied, then a thinned down wash of the grey tamiya paint applied over the top. I have found that applying both pretty well straight after the other makes no real difference to the end result, and it is certainly faster. The white seems to work ok, and I'm quite happy with the result. Any hints would be welcomed!
My photo taking is as usual a bit ordinary, actually I think that they look better in the real. This week I'll have to repeat this task several times so that I've plenty to work with.

Off to Craig's place this week for the Toosdy Niters, with some discussion of the trip to Armidale sure to take up some time. We are intending to leave Friday morning and do a bit of 'railway' spotting on the way down. The convention requests that you bring something along to share, not sure what it will be yet. I think I might have to start something soon, after all it's only a couple of weeks to go!

Oorroo! Geoff.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 New England Convention, Who's Going?

OK, I got a little excited last night, when I opened the mail to find the programme for the convention in Armidale next month. I also felt a little stressed, as there were choices to be made about which session I wanted to attend!

I attended the last convention in Ebor, and found it an excellent experience. The concept of going to a different location, and staying with fellow modellers was fantastic. Many of the ideas and thoughts that I use now, or hope to were started at the previous convention. Ideas on layout module construction with Chuck ( from ballasting fame), Hand layed track and signalling components and eventually Proto 87, thanks to Ian Millard, DCC Control, greater detailing of models, I could rant all day, but you get the idea.

The best part for me was the positive environment, it's not too often that we have an opportunity to get together with a large group of people all wanting to do the same thing. Sharing of modelling efforts through the sessions, and especially through the models that were brought along was very satisfying.

So, this event looks to be even more inviting with the variety of sessions available. Four of us from the Toosdy Niters will be heading south to attend, and a few members from my railway club also. So the big question is will you be there also?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So, Where is Splitters Swamp Creek?

The last post had a rather strong message for me, 'no posting until there is something to photograph'. Yessirree it has been quite a while between drinks... Ah, photos I mean. I importantly have been keeping to this plan, for sure I've nearly given in and posted a bit to fill in a bit about what I've been doing. So here's to a milestone reached...clink! Clink! (toasting oneself)
What plan? I hear you say, well the one that had all the trackwork completed on SSC by the end of October. The time line I've been trying to keep to is this:
1. Complete the laying of trackwork by the end of October.
This milestone also includes all the associated wiring for the trackwork, the lighting system, and the power supply for the DCC system.
2. Complete the basic scenery work by December(ish).
3. Work on Locomotive and Wagon construction till the end of March, and also the beginning of building construction. I don't want to rush them, and those who know me would agree I'm definitely a slow modeller.
During this time also continue adding to the scenery, as I can guarantee I won't be happy with how it looks.
4. Weathering of layout and rollingstock, I really like things not to have that 'just polished' look about them. Complete by the end of April.
The idea is to have things done in plenty of time for a couple of shows that Darren and I might be heading off to in 2011.
So the above is the timeline for completion. Where am I at right now?
Miles behind truthfully, however I still think that if the scenery and trackwork is done by December then all should be OK.
The wiring had me thinking that I should make each module able to be supplied power on their own, so that scenery work could be finished in other places other than the garage. After all H has commented that the scenery part is her favourite, so I've read her comments as 'modelling the scenery in the loungeroom is OK with me', we'll see. So powering the module really only means turning the lights on, and for the two longer modules, also plugging in the NCE control unit. The power enters the non scenery module and it's then daisy-chained around the other modules. You can see the 'black' input socket , double point in the centre, and round socket for daisy-chaining between modules, in one of the photos.
A quick bit about the lighting for a sec. All the photos of the layout are with the lights on and no camera flash to give a better idea of how the brightness is. I mounted 2xtwo foot lights and one fluoro bulb in the end of the module Looks OK I think, seems to be plenty of lighting.
I popped down to Austral on Saturday morning and picked up one of the NCE plug in thingy's that I needed on the other long module. I had a great chat, and it did extend the visit time a bit, but isn't a bit of a chat half the reason we go to a hobby shop? It's mounted on the module now and the power is completed to all four modules. The lighting is well on the way to being completed. I should get it done by the weekend.
Tonight I had a bit of time out in the train room after getting home late from work. How does that work? I hear you say. Well Tuesday nights are 'Trainclub' nights, whether at the clubhouse or at a 'toosdy niters' home. So with a late finish it became easier to stay home and head outside for a bit. I'd mounted the workings for the wiring under the track board on the weekend and permanently mounted the board on the module, so no turning back now! Tonight I began fixing down the cork roadbase and working out the placement of the turnouts for laying. I am feeling a bit better about my deadline, but you know how life gets in the way of modelling, Oorroo!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Down at Tenterfield the other day

The last two weeks have been a welcomed break from the retail frenzy I work in. We began the holidays with just on a weeks camping at Girraween National Park, just south of Stanthorpe in Qld. I'd been watching the long range weather forecasts for about a week before, with mixed feelings about what was going to be our weather outlook. As it turned out it wasn't too bad at all, with only one really wet day. A perfect opportunity to head south to Tenterfield.

The railway museum is well worth a visit, with various different displays to keep you interested. Z & H both seemed to enjoy themselves, especially as alot of what is there is as it was when in use.

I'd seen a few photos on their website and was keen to look at some of their pre WWII exibits. They have an early S wagon, 4whl Sheepvan, and 4whl meatvan.
The sheepvan is well restored from the chassis up anyway, the underframe is still in need of some work. I enjoyed seeing the differences between this van and the many that came after it. It did seem alot more open than the models of the bogie stock we see running around on layouts. The use of the doors in the end would have been a hoot with a string of these wagons all linked together, imagine loading and unloading!

I think that I may need to get onto greg edwards for some more line drawings of the Early years wagons that he has. This wagon would be a great addition to my rollingstock.
The meatvan has been completely restored, Z was very interested in the use of all the hooks hanging from the ceiling. However I don't know how impressed with the 'picture' I painted for him in their correct use.

Sorry no photos of the Meat van today, getting late. I did however think that a quick update would be worth it after such along time. More on SSC another day, Oorroo!