Thursday, November 29, 2012

Enthusiasm, Bugs & Carrots

I've been back from the Convention in Armidale for a week now. This weekend I'll have to wash the car for a second time, bugs have a way of getting in everywhere! Not only that bug guts should be bottled as the perfect universal glue, they stick to everything.

The sessions had alot to offer, and as always I had the trusty notebook for anything that really meant something to me. This was my third convention and I continue to be surprised about how much I don't know. 

I got alot out of Ian Dunn's two sessions. Painting brass locos and research, two things I have very little knowledge about, and that is what was stopping me from doing more with my modelling. Now I can't wait to get on with airbrushing!  His techniques allayed some long held fears on my part. The main one being just how to successfully take apart a brass loco, paint it, then get it back together, working as well as it was before it's de-construction.  Paint prep and what paint to use were always questions left unanswered for a fair amount of time, till now.

 Thanks to Ian, a great teacher and communicator. I have found myself eager to start on some research into my home layout after being part of this. The what, when, where's are really having to be decided upon for me to move forward. Great stuff! I didn't have a chance to speak to you personally, so many thanks to you Ian I have learnt some very helpful ideas and pointers.
 Years ago I came across a photo of the above broken down old passenger wagon. I have a copy above my workbench (somewhere!) that I glance at for inspiration. In front of Laurie Green's display of his work in sideshow alley was the actual model. To  see Lauries' work in the real was a huge bonus for me, now I knew who's work I'd been admiring for so long, and I had a chance to let him know about it. What a modeller! 

 Geoff Nott and Michael Flack's layout 'Smuggler's Cove' is absolutely awash with detail! Their sessions were very condensed wanting to share as much as possible. Plenty of very practical ideas were shared about so many subjects.
 These two terraces were built by Grant McAdam. These were showing the detail that he gets into his masters, that then follows through to the models that he creates. The attention to detail, wow, amazing stuff. These two have individually painted bricks, and the tiles on the floors are also hand painted. Brings me back to living in Melbourne years ago!

I was looking forward to Stephen Ottaways' session from when I found out about it. At the last convention he held a very informative session about rail inspection vehicles. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was well researched, photographed, and presented. So this session had a lot to live up to Stephen! Gold star! It was great, hence all the photos we all took on the way home at Guyra, and Tenterfield stock races. I found the session to be plenty to get you interested, but had you wanting to find out more about your particular area of interest. Thank you Stephen.

The best part of the sessions overall is that the presenters get you started in a new technique or idea that you have to now pick up and run with. That is why I love these conventions, the enthusiasm it injects into modellers is almost visible! There are many of us still talking about sessions we saw years ago! So in short thank you to all of you who took the time in research, preparation, effort, & patience, to bring us to a new level of modelling.

 These four above photos are of the Guyra stockyards. We had to stop there on the way back home on Monday, fuelled with our new found knowledge of what to look for when taking some photos of record. The races appeared to be mostly for cattle, with the ability to be used for sheep also. How did I come to this conclusion? Well for those who were there it should be obvious, the height of the fences for a start. One thing we did notice was that all the yards had corners, and no man safe gaps in the fencing. What else can you see in the photos?
 Above is an overall view of the loading/unloading area with the sheep loading down the far end of the photo.
 The galvanised gate and the wooden two plank one appear to be retro fits over the man safe access at the point of the loading platform for cattle.
 These wooden gates were a completely different design to those seen at Guyra, maybe an earlier design?
 The unloading bank here took up quite a bit of space, with the sheep loading being separate and further south.
 Sheep loading platforms, quite away south of the rest.
This last shot is of the truck unloading race at the base of this whole area. The change in height of the trackwork was quite dramatic, used for gravity feeding the wagons. You can see the ballasted deck bridge in the background, probably not around for much longer after seeing many others already removed since our last trip south.

All these photos are of Tenterfield stockyards. What a great spot to stop. There were some really great opportunities for modelling  here. 

We were lucky enough to be asked to stop by at Rohan's place on the way north to view his layout 'Bolivia'. I have seen his layout at a couple of shows, but to see it up close! Well thank you Rohan for letting us all through your layout, and home. The cuppa and sandwiches were great. 

So carrots Geoff? Yep I simply meant that we were all a little like horses, being temped to move forward for that carrot that was being dangled out of reach. After all if we don't experience it ourselves we won't have ownership of an idea and run with it. I think there are many of use who will use this convention to go on and DO more with our modelling. So yeah carrots...

I was looking forward to this convention and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The New England Club are to be congratulated for their efforts, thank you. From my perspective, having the layout there, it was a humbling experience to be even asked to attend, thank you Warren. We had a great time, we were well fed, the meal Saturday night was beautiful, the beer was close by, and the company outstanding! 

Can't wait for the next one!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Evans' Gap Station surrounds

Time for a little bit of detail stuff this week. I've been trying to finish a bit around the station masters residence before this weekend. It's along way from finished to the way I'd like it, but it is on site at least. The chimney was a challenge to finish, whether because of the finish of the casting, or the application of the 'right' paint colour. In the end it had a couple of coats till I got it to where it is now. The red colour is alot better than the previous creme colour that i'd done it in.
 A couple of shots show around the water column and the siting of the Station Masters residence, with associated clutter. I still want to add a bit of detail beside the line, so it will be a busy next few days.

Well a quick update, so there you go. Have a great week, might see you Friday!
Oorroo! Geoff.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Weekly my name Craig?

Sundays bring on relaxing hours with family, then late in the day an update from Craig! He's just been so consistent, regular and informative. I post about as regularly as the moon is full, well maybe I'm a werewolf and I just haven't realised it yet. It is great to have something to look forward to, so Craig my hat is off to you! Seriously! (H says my hair is off as well!)

So what is is this post about? I'm not sure really. I've had a fair bit of time outside today so I've finished the LED's on the layout. They've come up pretty well actually, and so much lighter to carry about when I'm moving the layout about.

In a couple of weeks we'll be off to the Armidale Convention, held by the New England Club. It is certainly looking like being a great event, with some great subjects and lectures to be involved in. The event has been run for a fair while now, this will be my third. I have enjoyed over that time meeting some just brilliant people, great modellers, and just fantastic blokes! 

My first one was at Ebor in NSW, I was a complete beginner, and was a walking sponge. There were several speakers that really had a great impact on me, the first was Ian Millard. Ian's approach to getting his modelling as close as possible to the real thing had a huge impact on what I was and am trying to achieve. It really is still today a great motivating force for me, so thank you Ian.

Then at Ebor was a session about electronics, and Marcus really had a captive audience. The ideas he planted are still providing me with ideas and reasons for doing more with my modelling.

The convention, no matter which one I've been to have been, informative, enjoyable, and worth the travel time to get there! I'm sure i'm not the only one wanting to find out how to paint my locos better, how to build a better bridge, or even how to get into On30, or what about modelling stockyards, I haven't begun mine as I'm waiting to see this first!

Now this next week is all about ensuring I've got the last minute jobs done, packed everything, and of course I'm looking forward to Craig's post next Sunday night!

Have a great week, and hope to catch up with you in Armidale!

Oorroo, Geoff.