Saturday, July 28, 2012

last Saturday morning

Well, The lady of the house is back. And while she was away the broad extent of modeling achieved was bugger all. Work had a sizable amount to do with it. enough said.

Instead lets have a look 'behind the scenes' of last weekends modeling get together.
(We really must attract some more of the locals). Drew took some 'blowfly on the wall' photo's.

Some of us can only do one thing at once. Cabbage displays his superior skills by talking and pointing at the same time. The bystanders just know their limitations and stick to what they are good at.

Surgery. I should really take the rolling stock off the layout while I'm working, but I just don't have the boxes for it.

'I can't model that well, I'm off. Hang on, its my house.....'

Monday, July 23, 2012

Better the second time around?

I didn't make it to paekakariki. a few too many other things to do

I did make it out to the shed for a bit. More fixing the track between the module joins.
I swapped from PVA to No more nails. This is very messy, but sets quicker in cold temperatures and should provide a stronger bond to the track.

It looks like a dogs dinner but it should hold.

And just as a addition to the scenes. I can't find photos taken from close to this spot, but there must be some out there. Probably buried in an NZRLS box.

I'm now looking at the track and thinking just how huge code 55 looks. Still, I'm not tempted to change things now.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Modeling saturday

So, what happened?

First up, I decided to run a few errands in palmy. This got nailed by everywhere I wanted to go not being open till 10 or 10:30. Finally got everything done, then though I should pick up some cheese and crackers for the visitors. Its amazing how when you are in a hurry everyone else slows down.

Finally got home at 11ish to find Drew leaving as I wasn't at home. not sure what the neighbours thing about lots of car horn but it did attract his attention. A surprise visitor was Cabbage who was allowed out for the day. A call from Am fet and mike revealed that they were just passing paekakariki, and there was an open day and they might not make it.

Drew had brought a little German, and in no time this was up and running.

It is quite nice to look at, and I can see the attractions. Its also a good target for Nerf guns. Am fets defence that 'I'm more use to human targets' is just an excuse for the American style 'blaze away with enough shots and we'll hit something' ( I hit first time, then commented 'so its not overly hard then?).

Micheal had brought along his NZ120 minimo module. its the first one I have seen in the flesh, and its surpassed my expectations for the initial idea already. I had wondered if 20cm was deep enough to model 3D terrain. I'm pleased to report that it is.

I finally managed to get out into the shed and continue the rebuilding of my baseboard joins.
I inserted all the PCB sleepers that I could fit, and then applied the glue. The Eds ran over it without any rocking which hopefully will still be the case when it is complete.

Buoyed by this success I charged off and cut up the tracks on the second module join.

Its not overly pretty but it should work.

Sunday I'm off to Paekakariki to do some photographing.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Morning

Well, after my plans to get out into the shed this week, it got a bit nailed by work. Going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark are not overly conducive to then heading out into a cold shed. They are not really conducive to coming home to a cold house.

Today though a hardy band of modelers will get together to do....whatever. I've got a few things that i want to play with and pick some brains on some ideas.

In other news, I see that Steam Inc at Paekakariki are having open days today and tomorrow from 10-4. might be worth a trip down to get some photos and measure some things up. at least you will be able to see everything.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back in the saddle

Well, made it out to the shed tonight after a skype session (news just in, its very hot in Japan, not so hot in Perth). First up was something that needed to be fixed.

I have not been overly happy with the module joins as there track isn't that good where they butt up. The Ed's take a distinct 'over the hump' move as they cross. several weeks ago, in a fit of frustration, I took a hammer to it to see if I could beat it flat. While this failed in the short term (quite catastrophically) it did force me to fix it. At rail-X among other things I purchased a razor saw. with this it was relatively easy to remove the dogs dinner that was the module join.

The rasp sorted out the high points in the end plates rather quickly. I then cut 2 rails to length and slotted them into the gap.

Now all I have to do is solder in the sleepers and solidly fix the rails down. Hopefully (I must avoid using this word at work, apparently one does not hope for science to work) It will hold in place and not wander off again. then I'll take the razor saw and cut everything to size. With my experiences over the weekend I'm also wondering about swapping my module connection system from the ex-Aquaflow pressure tube to a split hinge system, which seemed to work very well for the 9mm layout.

The other purchase I made at the weekend was a couple of second hand Digitrax panels cheap.
now I'll have to do some thinking about where I want to position them. the options are under the layout so that I can use them from both sides, or recessed into the fascia board where they will look stylish.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rail-X wrap up

So, after 2 days of rail-X I should put finger to key and record my thinking's.

Overall I had a good weekend. I had a chance to chat to a few people, play some trains and brought a few useful items.

Sunday confirmed that I'm modeling in the right scale. I had a hour shunting which was fun. However it still was not as good as I think that I could manage. I now do not believe that working NZR couplers in NZ120 are physically of usefully feasible. They are barely workable for shunting in 9mm and too fiddly. Pickup on as many wheel as possible is almost mandatory regardless of scale.

I was also impressed about the interest in NZ120 over the weekend. Several larger scale modelers expressed interest, and one even purchased some kits. The flip side is that I'm having some competition on building a logging layout.
I am also not sure if a round and round layout is a good choice. On Saturday afternoon, I was put in charge of one of the loops. in 5 minutes I was bored out of my mind. its convenient, but not much fun. I'm not sure what the answer is, but this isn't it.

The plus at the moment is that I feel rather invigorated and will get back into modeling this week. not sure where I'll start, but I can decide that when I get to the shed.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

RailX day one

"Well, how are you seeing things shaping up Brent?'
" I think its going to be an exhibition of 2 days. We're expecting the Da to put some hard yards in up front on the express, backed up by some US models. We are expecting the smaller scales to put up a bit of a fight, but we should have the mass up front on the day'
(Run a mile when the TV cameras show up. you have been warned)

So, day one is over. so how did it go?

Well, it has validated my choice of scales. The models are beautiful, run well and the detail is just fantastic. then there is a but...

It just doesn't get my juices flowing. Its just not my 'thing'. I guess I like looking at the scenery too much, the overall picture rather than the close up stuff. And man are those models close to the edge of the world a lot of the time. If one of those models was to head off the edge it would be like dropping a horse down a well. Another odd effect I've noticed is that any other scale looks tiny. I spent 5 minutes trying to work out if a British layout was 3mm or 4mm. And N scale looked just silly. How could someone model in anything so small?

Surprisingly there are even bigger models in the hall.

On surprise I did get this morning when unpacking the rolling stock boxes was the only 9mm model I have ever built.
A Q5 with a balsa wood hopper on an 11' von strap underframe. Rivets are PVA blobs. Its in the process of having some remedial work done, but the ad hock springing I invented still works. I had to put it behind the Wb, which is the only sound equipped loco that I have ever been impressed with. Again, no idea why, it just does it for me.

So, don't worry, I'm not swapping scales any time soon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ready to go.

Well, the weekend is here, and with the lady of the house safely ensconced on the other side of Australia, its time to go play trains for the weekend. I volunteered to help the good squadron leader with the Wellington (ex Christchurch) 9mm layout. having never really seen it up close before, I got closely acquainted with it last night. First up, its not like the TARDIS, but it makes the hall seem like it.

"I say, you down the other end.."

The layout is 20 years old, and does show it, being built like the proverbial brick sh*t house. It goes together surprisingly easy, which is something I could probably learn from. Cabbage has redone the wiring. It has confined my hatred for MDF, as It took myself and Karl Morris 30 minutes to put up the undergarments. Hammering thumbtacks into MDF is not too much fun.

On the right you can see the fiddle yard boards. There are of later construction with blue foam on a lightweight frame. As an odd observation, lighter baseboards are actually more dangerous. heavy baseboards require several people working together to get any job done. A light base board requires just one idiot to lift it...

I'm looking forward to having a play with it over the next couple of days to see just what it can do.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Its cold out here....

Its been 2 weeks since there has been any actual modeling on here, so time to rectify that a bit.
Moving forward on the main street of Paekakariki, I filled in the gaps between the rails at the level crossing with Das-like air dry clay. Once its dry I'll seal it with PVA, then sand and paint the whole road to get the same colour.

Second up, and a bit of an experiment. following the methods described on RMweb here I have laid a test piece of ash ballast at the loco depot. We will see what happens when it dries.

Last up, and it was sleeper laying time. Cutting them was a doddle compared to this. I'm just doing the spacings and lining up by eye, but using a ruler at the back so at least they line up with the PCB sleepers. The sleepers were pre-coloured by soaking in dilute black acrylic paint and then drying. I'll colour them properly after they are all in.

The colour does look about right for a branch line though, or the bush tram.

Only a Week to go to the palmy rail-X. Will be good to catch out with people.

Also, there has been some interest in another modelers day here at Schloss dandruff. The date would tentatively be the 21st of this month. last time we had 5, but only one local modeler. I think that we should be able to do better than that this time.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Minimo idea II

Thanks to those who pointed out the location of yesterdays photo. Thanks to the magic of the Alexander Turnball library and Whites aviation I have found this (or don't, this one is dead)

If you enlarge the picture zeroing in on the railway line at the top center of the picture, you can see the double signal between the 2 road bridges. However on the back shunt there is no sign of a line down to the Lion crap works or the tallow works across the railway line. However this picture was taken in 1949 so there may have been something there earlier.

Over to the peanut galley for more thoughts.

UPDATE; They really don't make it easy for you do they. Try this link instead. (and don't cos its dead too).
If that fails go to Timeframes and search on 'Newmarket railway 1949', and look for the

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A minimo idea.

I've been doing some reading recently about trams in New Zealand. Not sure why, just something that has taken my fancy. Anyhoo, I came across this in 'From Rails to Rubber' pg 83 apparently showing the Parnell road bridge. Google maps is no help here for a better location.

This looks an interesting scene with an interesting mix of features. I immediately thought of doing a Y junction model with a back shunt for shunting.

On another note, its a week to Rail-x in Palmerston North. I'm slated to help with the Wellington 9mm layout, but I suspect I'll be 'floating' in the hall doing whatever, when I'm not showing the large scale guys how to run a layout properly :v)

Who else is planning to be there, apart from the usual suspects (Mr Trackgang will be there as well, possibly with his new layout?). I'm not sure if MMW is making the trip north, as I'd be rebuilding the track on the Waihao Downs layout if Kai-iwi was there.