Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday morning

Or, the only post this week...

Modeling mojo is still missing in action, but I think its still there somewhere. Looking forward to the local railex show with may well reinvigorate the modeling juices.

For a link today, its not NZR, but the modeling is just stunning.

Its on my bucket list.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Things to see

First up tonight, for those of you with a bit of spare money,

Second up, its a 22MB download, but theres a couple of good articles here, especially the one on Kids and model railroading.
(theres a stack of adds, but it does pay the bills)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A week of it

Well, I've done some bits and pieces this week, but a few other things have got in the way (curse you ratio with your freely available kit sets!).
I have managed a stint putting sleepers in on Paekakariki, and I'll organise some pictures of this in the not too distant future.

Today I got a chance to get out Waihao Forks and start to fix the track work. There was a lot of track regauging, which tends to suggest that what works with code 50 rail doesn't seem to work with code 40. Not a huge crisis as code 40 is a pain to work with. Possibly more terminal is that the clearances around the frogs are not great. Well, more accurately would be too great. the 2mm FS wheels drop into the gap quite noticeably, and about the only way to fix this is to remake the switch blades/check rails. Not a quick job by any stretch of the imagination, and I think an excellent show demo job.

I do like this angle though.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Morning

Just looking for my modeling mojo it seems to be missing in action.

What I think is needed is a bit of a challenge, coupled to a deadline. So, yesterday in the mail I get both.
RailX this year is on the 27th and 28th of October at the Lower Hutt town hall/horticultural hall. I think its been nominally decided to debut the MMW freemo modules at this show, so time to get the thinking hat on and actually do some work. At the moment I'm leaning towards a bush tram to use all the small toys I've been playing with. a main line siding off to a sawmill, with the tram running on a separate circuit. I'll have to get the paper out to play with some track plans. It might even fit in a mini.

Another reason to aim for this show is that in 1993 in the same location was debuted the fledgling parts of 'Somewhere between Otaki and Cass'. I think that this probably just extended to the rolling stock and track, but hell, you have to start somewhere.

'My bit wasn't worth photographing....really'

Now, if I can just resist the temptation of GWR broad gauge books, and more war gaming stuff, I'll be fine....

(Is that sufficiently refocused for everyone?)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mind numbing

Can anyone think of a task more mind numbing than cutting wood strip into18mm lengths. maybe turing a stack of driving wheels to the same profile might win.

'Not even started'

At least I could sit in front of the TV while doing it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Planning a "Mini" Layout

And its not quite what you think.....

Everywhere we look these days we are being exhorted to produce layouts that are "cute and tiny" and the attraction is quite obvious;  time, money, materials, all of these are now in the "scarce" basket for a lot of us and so starting a behemouth in the garage or spare room isnt really an option.

So my latest acquisition has got me pondering, as obviously its an item purpose built for transporting a layout (oh, and chasing trains in which means it will soon be fully kitted with a VHF radio installation).

Obviously its not blessed with space, so any layout designed to be transported in it (including supports and stock boxes) will need to be a bit...."clever".  I'm thinking that using the MMW endcaps is a must, but after that I havent really put much though to it.  However, I think the length is already decided for me.

And just to make things really awkward, access into the passenger area isnt stellar either....

(Not much of a gap there at all....)

So the MMW layout design company has swung into action with numerous ideas and plans and no doubt something will emerge.  And it might not necessarily be Nz120 either, in fact I'm thinking of going VERY BIG for the size of the trains to fit with the very tiny wee car.

The Forks, of course, will just have to be transported in the Honda Oddity when it arrives from the builder.....I cant think of how that will fit in the mini once its endcapped.

Oh, and the main rule is that the driver needs to remain in the car...

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Saturday morning

Well, all the action this week seems to be in Wellington. The first test of the new mini-mo system seem to be OK. Certainly I'm now not overly worried about lining the tracks up. looks like i just have to add a large hammer to the traveling tool kit.

Well, another long week at workand so no modeling again. I might get the chance to get out tomorrow moring to add some sleepers to the track, and possibly sort out the level crossing. Theres a few other jobs that need to be looked at, but I'll just see where I get to.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Cabbage, 0-4-4-0T and Amateur Fettler report..

Testing last night proved fruitful, the first train of light Peco wagons to run over the first module joins derailed in spectacular fashion.
The massive Peco wheel flanges hit even spike on the code 55 track, so Peco wheel and code 55 track don't go together!
So then the search went on to find wagons that better wheel sets, Graham Farish, Tomix, 2mm wheels all worked fine. Amateur Fettler's video is of a Farish wagon speeding down the 3 modules.

The modules got re-arranged into all the possible combinations to test every possible join and we found that if the joins fromed a hollow then this caused the worst problems with high speed derailments, this however could be tuned out with some careful adjustments with a large hammer.

Things we found out during the testing:
1. The laser cut edges of the module ends are tapered and thus the track location notch has a natural hump in it. This can cause the set track to rock in the notch. The 3 modules we had were angled up to the right, the left and a good centred one between them we had humps and hollows. Extra care needs to taken when setting the track in place to ensure it is level across the 2 ends and square to the ends on both sides
But even with the humps and hollows we were still able to run wagons through all the joins.


2. The glue used also caused issues if to much of it oosed up between the sleepers. I think this was probably me just being rough, rushing the job and using too much glue. So use just enough glue to hold the track in place without it bubbling up between the sleepers

A bit much glue

3. Side play in the modules was minimal and we tried to make it worst but couldn't, when the set track was placed into the notch it would realign the ends as it is a tight fit.

More testing will be carried out with the modules 0-4-4-0T and Amateur Fettler are making up
We also need to test out other base board systems for which the ideas need to come from you out there
In all the testing proved that the system will work, now we just need to start making more modules to add into the mix of things. We hope you can all come up with something that will impress.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

On tour; backblocks edition

The lady of the house and I took advantage of the long weekend to head to Napier for a break (the first we have managed to get in quite some time). We spent a couple of fun days wine and food tasting and driving round looking fro things. all good fun. On the way home I decided that it was time to take a look at Ormondville station. This is a preserved station area, with pretty much everything still in place. The station itself has been converted to a B&B, and its just across the road from the pub as well. What more could you want.....

Just like it would have been in the 60's.

Or maybe the 1900's

One thing that stood out was the number of workers huts on site. These ones on the platform are extra accommodation. There were another 4-5 in various states of restoration on site.

There was also a boiler of some sort missing its smoke box. I'll have to do some research to see where it comes from.

I had to have a second look at this. The main line at the right heads off down hill, while the back shunt is on the flat. There may have been some industry use here (wood loading?) but no idea what it would be.

As for finding Ormondville, it is signposted from the main road, but the easiest way is to go via lower Norsewood.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Maybe those Module Joints arent as bad as first feared....

0-4-4-0T and Cabbage (possibly the world ugliest hand model) prove that the modules seem to work fine....

Monday, June 04, 2012

Some Mini Modules....

A busy Queens birthday!!

Last week we had the 4 inch long atlas code 55 set track turned up from Walthers, with enough packs to last for 48 module pairs.
For those of you that have got module ends we will be sending out one length for each pair.

So now on to the experiments over the weekend.
First off what should we use to hold the piece of set track into the module ends?? A number of different glues were trailed most of which failed to securely hold the track in place, in the end a 24hr epoxy was found to be the best. The type used here was CRC builders glue which sets strong and hard.


Now that the pair of ends was held together with the set track it was time to turn them back into individuals again, the locking toggles were undone and the end were able to be split just enough to get an Atlas super saw in the gap (great little tool these saws, everybody should have one, or several) and then cut the set track in half


Three ends got made up and more by luck than good management there were six very different ends, two pairs had the set track glued in at an angle and the final pair was straight. This should give some idea of the problems we are going to find when these things come together.

Raggy looking end

OK so now we had six ends with little bits of track poking out, next thing was to figure out how to get the base layer between them. Extruded board was going to be used for this as it is quick and nasty, but the problem is how to get the module ends and the foam board to stick together, and be square in all directions. Previously we had used thin ply down each side with the foam board forced in between, but this had an issue when it was built on a not quite flat surface that the whole module rocked. Also the supply of the ply was a bit short. Angle iron had also been suggested but a simple wooden block has been used to create a shelf for the foam board to glue into. This also allowed interesting module shape to be made rather than just 300 x what ever rectangles. The 2x1 blocks were screwed onto the inside of the ends with the screws countersunk to make sure the ends would sit flush together. The foam was glue onto the shelf with wall board adhesive, clamped and left to dry.

The shelf block 

A not just another boring rectangle

There still needs to be some working out of the track base as this varied depending on the position of the shelf block and the amount of glue used to hold the foam board. The next set of experiments to be carried out is a running test to see how bad a join the trains can run through without coming off.

All lined up ready for some running trails

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Saturday morning

Well, another week, and sod all modeling done. I managed to paint a few 2mm scale figures one night, but that's been about it. I have done a trade (cheers John) of some PCB sleepers for wooden sleepers from Woodsworks so there might be some more track work in the not too distantfuture.
This weekend the lady of the house and I are off on a break to Napier, which will involve a fair bit of wine and food tasting.

I must also make a start on the freemo modules I've been kicking round in my head. I'm aiming for a shunting style layout that fits on the top of a bookcase.

As an additional idea, here is something that was sent to me by Woodsworks over a year ago, but I've not posted it before. I've never seen a track formation like this before.

The point leading to this is just behind the photographer.