Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stage 1 (You're Not Going to Believe This) Part 2.....

Raymond received another parcel from overseas on the 23 December. This one came from EDM Models in York. It was a five-pack of wooden drop-bottom ore hoppers made by a new manufacturer in the US – Prairie Locomotive Works. A dozen or more of these vehicles on the layout will look exceptional. They are highly detailed and run well.
A PLW wooden bodied ore hopper. A nice model that runs well.

The five ore hoppers behind a Bachmann Forney.

Christmas Day came and went with lots of family activities. On Boxing Day, Raymond and I installed the remaining seven double-slotted steel tubing and brackets along the left hand wall.
The two double-slotted steel channel sitting close together just for those doubting Thomas's (alias Cassino). This is where two lengths of L-Girder meet.

All 14 double-slotted steel channels now installed giving a length of 23 feet along the left-hand wall.

A 7 ft square section will be added to the left hand end of these channels making it 30 feet along the left hand wall. This 7 ft square section will contain the helix to connect to the future lower level while on the top there will be a fork line and pssibly some other sidings.

On Monday 27 December we cut two lengths of the 4 X 1 pine and another two lengths of 2 X 1 from the 5.4 metre lengths into 2 X 2.9 metre lengths of each and then repeated the process with another two lengths of 4 X 1 and two of 2 X 1 into 4.16 metre lengths. We then used these pieces to make some L-girders for the top deck.

The L-Girders for the top deck in place

Another view of the L-Girders for the top deck from the right hand wall.

Tuesday, 28 December we cut up some more of the 4 X 1 to give us 10 X 750 mm lengths. We need another two to finish the requirements for the top deck.
Ten of the 750 mm long 4" X 1" cut and in place but still to be screwed in. There are another two of these required to be cut to finish this 7 metre long section.

We have a serious problem with black ants in the shed. These ants are slightly larger than the tiny hi-speed ants we have seen previously. They seem to be everywhere with a couple of serious hotspots with hundreds of the little ba@#%&*sds. They are crawling along the ceiling on the left-hand side of the shed in a massive convoy and then down to the floor behind the kitchen cupboard. We've found them on our work benches. They can get into the electronics and the formic acid they exude can destroy circuit boards. We had noticed a few ants around near the ceiling on previous days but Tuesday was very bad with the convoy up the wall to the ceiling then along before disappearing in a slight hole in the cornice. We also noticed many more ants "scouting" the shed. They were obviously very active because of the extreme wet weather we have been having.We will need to get our friendly pest exterminator to zap them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

You're Not Going to Believe This.....

The weekend of the 11th and 12th of December was a bit of a non-event. We had our usual visit to Austral Modelcraft where we both purchased a few second-hand items of On30. Raymond bought a Bachmann On30 Climax fitted with DCC and sound and a couple of wagons while I got a couple of C&S boxcars.

On Tuesday, 14 December we received a delivery of 4” X 1” and 2” X 1” timber and the next day three sheets of 12 mm plywood was delivered pre-cut into 3 X 2400 mm lengths at 750 mm wide and the balance of 3 lengths at 450 mm wide.

The 4 X 1 and 2 X 1 along with the three lengths of 750 mm wide plywood is intended for the construction of the upper deck down the left-hand side of the shed.

On Tuesday evening the Tuesday Nighters (alias Mackie’s Marauders) came over for an inspection and our usual bull session. They were suitably impressed with progress but disappointed we didn’t have any baseboard under construction or track down yet.

On Friday, Raymond received his latest purchase in the mail. This is an On30 model of the Coffee Pot steam railmotor preserved in South Australia. It came from Ixion Models and is an absolute gem. The detail is superb. Raymond bought a TCS DCC chip the next day at Austral Modelcraft. It is plug’n play and he had no trouble fitting the chip and test running the model on the garage layout.
Ixion Models Coffee Pot stands on our garage layout. A superb model with a fully detailed cab and interior of the coach. Electrical pick-up is the four wheels on the loco and the four wheels at the rear of the coach.
While we were at Austral I purchased a Bachmann On30 2-6-6-2 fitted with DCC and Tsunami sound. I had had this loco on order for several years since the model had been announced. This was the first shipment Austral had managed to get.

Now, are you sitting down because you are not going to believe this. On Saturday afternoon Raymond and I installed seven of the double-slotted tubing sections and brackets along the wall on the left-hand side of the shed. This is the first stage of the baseboard construction. We installed seven sections of tubing in next to no time with another eight to go. We can then start using the 4 X 1, 2X 1 and plywood. I start holidays on Thursday and go back to work on the 4 January so Raymond and I plan to have this section of baseboard up and track-laying commenced before I go back to work. Amazing – isn’t it?
Ground breaking. The first double slotted steel tubing and bracket fully installed.

The first seven double-slotted tubing and brackets installed. Only another eight to go along this wall and would you believe it? The brackets are all dead-level in line with each other.
The AMRA Narrow Gauge SIG Group will be visiting here tomorrow night (Tuesday 21 December). We hope they will like what they see and how The Shed has progressed since they last came over.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More On30 Kits.....

Raymond received another two packages from the United States during this past week. The first arrived on Monday 29 November from a laser kit manufacturer called Raggs to Riches. Joe Fuss and his wife make a large range of narrow gauge laser cut kits. They sent a nice personal note to Raymond about the kits he had purchased. Both Raymond and I are keen to have a go at quite a number of their kits although Raymond is the only one of us who so far, has the money available to buy them. They are certainly not simple kits rather they would be termed craftsman kits.

This parcel contained the Dolores Oil Depot. It is based on the Continental Oil Company (CONOCO) Depot in Dolores, Colorado.

The box containing the Dolores Oil Depot with the instruction book.

The second kit was a model of the two-stall Ouray Engine House located at Ouray on the Colorado narrow gauge. There was a third box which contained numerous items to detail inside the engine house.
The Ouray Engine House box and instruction book

The box of detail parts for the Ouray Engine House.

More detail parts for the Ouray Engine House.

A list of the detail parts for the Ouray Engine House.

On Friday, 3 December a box arrived from Stoney Creek Models containing a laser cut and Hdrocal kit of a scrap yard. Besides the scrap yard itself there are heaps of details parts included.
The Scrap Yard kit supplied by Stoney Creek Models

Inside the Stoney Creek Models Scrap Yard kit. Note the CD of instructions.

Raymond reading the instructions for the Scrap Yard Kit.

Despite buying a few items from overseas we are very strong supporters of our local hobby shop – Austral Modelcraft. The items purchased from overseas so far are not available in Australia as we feel it is silly to ask a shop to order one kit as that is all they are likely to sell. Gerry Harvey (Harvey Norman) and some other retailers are making a lot of noise about people buying “on line” and no doubt there are many who take advantage of the high vale of the Aussie Dollar and low cost of importing CDs and books from overseas when compared with local prices. As I have said we have purchased items that are just not available in Australia. EDM Models in the UK and a couple of other small kit manufacturers only supply by mail order. The Government has had a long standing policy of allowing items such as this to a value of less than $1000 into the country GST free. The cost and workload to value and calculate GST on these individual items and then collect it would be astronomical. If some retailers get their way all items purchased overseas will be slugged GST and possibly import duty as well.

Saturday, 3 December, Raymond and I went to Austral Modelcraft where Raymond purchased another ten N Scale freight wagons while I (believe it or not) purchased a 12 pack of Cobalt point motors ready for that layout we keep talking about building. Raymond’s collection of N Scale freight vehicles has now reached almost 400.

We spent Saturday afternoon in The Shed having a cold beer and brainstorming some ideas for the layout and scenery. I am currently making a list of the plywood and timber to start construction of the framework for the layout. We want to have this delivered before Christmas so we can start work.