Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Small Amount of Progress - And Still More Stuff.....

Raymond received a home delivery early in the week commencing the 13 February. This took the form of several large cartons from Gauge One Gallery in Sydney. One carton contained a Bachmann Large Scale (read – Garden Railway) model of “James the Red Engine” of Thomas the Tank Engine fame. There were also three 6-wheel coaches for “Emily” a Stirling Single loco introduced a few years ago as a new character in the Thomas stories. It is unlikely however, that Bachmann will produce a model of “Emily”. Raymond already has two other Bachmann Large Scale models of Thomas with Annie and Clarabelle as well as Percy and two of the Troublesome Trucks.
James the Red Engine. Raymond has started collecting Bachmann's Large Scale Thomas Series because of his nephew Troy who will soon be two. Raymond and I are trying to bring Troy up in the correct way. There is the Right Way, the Wrong Way and the Rail Way - much to Troy's fathers disgust.

This is the 6-wheel Van for "Emily". The only difference from this vehicle and the two coaches is that the van has the white windows at one end. Raymond has one van and two coaches.

The other carton contained a Bachmann Garden Railway model of “Lyn” a Southern (British) Railway narrow gauge 2-4-2T from the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.
"Lyn" is a 2-4-2T that worked on Southern Railway's narrow gauge Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.

Both Raymond and I came down with some kind of virus during the week so there was no work done on the layout.

Saturday, 18 February we went to Zillmere to the AMRA Garden Railway Group. Raymond had two Garden Railway steam locos that needed certification on the boilers. The first was Raymond’s Michigan-California Lumber Company’s 2-cylinder Shay No.2 from Accucraft in 1:20.3 Scale. The second was the Accucraft Baldwin
WD 4-6-0T built for the British Army in 16 mm Scale (running on 32 mm gauge track).
Having passed its boiler pressure test, Raymond prepares his WD Baldwin 4-6-0T for its steam test.

The Baldwin British WD 4-6-0T stands on the 32 mm gauge track ready for its first test run.

Both passed their tests okay. Raymond had some fun testing his locos while I just watched the trains.
Our friend Jason, owns this beautiful Rio Grande C-19 2-8-0 made by Accucraft. It is radio-controlled.

Raymond purchased a Roundhouse live steam John Fowler 0-6-2 ex Innisfail Tramway B9 1/2 Class from Paul Blake some time ago. Now Paul has made another one for himself this time from scratch. The Queensland Government Railways owned three of these 2 ft gauge tender locomotives. Both Raymond's and Paul's locos are radio controlled.

Sunday, 19th I went to Bunnings and bought a couple of 900 X1200 mm MDF sheets 3 mm thick. I wanted these to start mapping out the trackwork on the new section of the layout using pencil, paper and the Peco pointwork photocopies as per Darren’s instructions. This is starting to work well but silly me, I only bought two sheets of MDF when I should have purchased four. At present, I can only do the left hand end of the yard. I am on leave for the rest of this week as the builder is starting work on the bathroom rebuild so I will go back to Bunnings on Monday and pick up a couple more sheets.

It is Tuesday nighters this week, so I need to be able to say “We have made some progress”.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Still More Stuff - And Some Progress

I think Raymond must have been bitten by some kind of bug. I wonder if there is a cure?

Today, Monday, I picked up two big cartons from the Post Office. The postal clerk just grinned at me as he handed them over. He handed over the first then said “Hang on, I have another”. I had to make too trips. These were more purchases by Raymond one from a manufacturer and the other an E-Bay purchase.

The first was from Accucraft in the UK. It is a 16 mm Scale live steam War Department Baldwin 4-6-0T. This is a 2ft gauge model, of one of 495 built by Baldwin in the United States for use by the British Army in France during World War 1. It is an absolutely beautiful model running on 32 mm Gauge (O Gauge) track. The locomotive is gas-fired. It would be fantastic if Accucraft produced a WD Hunslet
4-6-0T. Raymond already has several Slaters WD D Class bogie wagon kits in 16 mm Scale to run with this loco. He will absolutely have to get stuck in building his Garden Railway.
Accucraft Baldwin WD 4-6-0T. This is a butane gas fired live steam built to 16 mm Scale and runs on 32 mm gauge track.
Another view of Raymond's latest Garden Railway acquisition. The British War Dept. 4-6-0T built by Baldwin in the United States.

The other carton contained several custom built/rebuilt locomotives. One is a Bachmann Porter 0-4-2T so heavily rebuilt and weathered you would not recognise it. It is fitted with a DCC sound chip. The second locomotive is a Backwoods Miniatures Davenport diesel. Again it has a DCC chip and is heavily weathered. It did not travel well as the exhaust pipe had broken off but is repairable.
The rebuilt Bachmann Porter 0-4-2T Raymond bought on E-Bay.
A Bachmann Davenport 0-4-0DM with a Backwoods Miniatures body. The weathering and additional details are superb.

The final loco is a custom rebuilt and weathered Bachmann Climax. Unfortunately, when it was packed there was major damage done to the locomotive. The worst being one of the bogies was ripped out of its mounting bolster. Raymond has yet to assess whether it is repairable. The owner/seller should not have tried to fit (sorry “force”) it into the pre-formed Bachmann plastic box. Rather, he should have gingerly wrapped it in bubble wrap and then used Styrofoam “peanuts” (actually they are a real curse to dispose of) to fill up the Bachmann cardboard carton.
The customised Bachmann Climax as it appeared when received. Raymond has started repairing this and it now runs very well. It is another E-Bay purchase.
One of six MoW wooden 4-wheel work wagons bought on E-Bay.
Another MoW flat car
And a third. Notice the vice on the front corner. One of the many fine details on these customised models.

Raymond missed out on an E-bay auction again. This time it was an MMI K-28. He put in a maximum bid of $600 which I would have considered very fair for a second-hand loco considering there seems to be a few up for sale around E-bay and other dealers. But no, just before the auction closed his bid was gazumped by a ridiculous margin. I am convinced that some people have no idea on the true value of an item or think they are going to command a higher price if they want to resell it.

It was Tuesday Nighters week this week. Craig came around to pick me up as Raymond was working and couldn’t go. PK and Barry were also in the car. We had a great evening down at Bob’s place as we haven’t been there for quiet a while. He had made some additions to his layout since our last visit.

I spent a couple of evenings during the week making a scale drawing of the new station and yard along the right hand wall. I want to get this right so when I install the joists I don’t locate them where a Cobalt point motor will need to be positioned. We had enough problems with this on the left hand side of the shed.
Saturday morning, Raymond inspected the custom Climax he had received earlier in the week to see if it could be fixed. He partly disassembled it and managed to re-fit the bogie. Reassembled, it ran pretty well. There are still a number of detail items to be refitted, but overall he is happy with this E-Bay purchase.

I spent the morning shopping for bathroom fittings with SWMBO. An expensive morning!

Raymond test ran his Backwoods Miniatures Bachmann “dress-up” Davenport which ran well. Next he tried the Bachmann 0-4-2T that had been heavily modified. It too ran well. He tested it with a train using the six MoW 4-wheel wagons he had received. They looked good together.

I spent Saturday afternoon redrawing the yard on the right hand side and discussing with Raymond what our outcomes should be.
The track plan as modified, thanks to Craig. The right hand end has not yet been finalised.

Sunday afternoon, I installed another joist along the back wall and the plywood for the track. The first section was the short piece still required to bring the track up to the start of the 5 foot long bridge. Then I installed the plywood base for the track along the back wall on the right hand side and the curve around to the right hand wall.
The main line on the left hand side of the rear wall can now be brought up to the proposed big bridge.
Ready for track laying on the right hand side of the rear wall starting from the end of the big bridge.
The curve around from the rear wall to the station along the right hand wall is now ready for some track laying.

I will now look at using the large sheets of paper and the Peco pointwork photocopies that Darren had given us, to lay out the trackwork full size according to the “scale” plan I have drawn. This should allow us to locate the joists we need to install so as not to interfere with any point motors. It will also allow us to work out where we need to install the plywood.

Looking forward to more progress next week.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

We're on a Roll - A Little More Progress.....

We must be on a roll because things are still moving in a forward direction.

Monday 30 January saw Raymond receive a parcel from Canada with more of his E-Bay purchases. This time he got an AMS Denver & Rio Grande 0-4-0DM No.50. Raymond already has one of these but he was stymied when trying to fit a DCC sound chip and speaker. This one is fitted with a DCC chip and works well on the layout when he test ran it, EXCEPT, the gearbox hangs low and hits the track nails AND the rail through the points. Some work required there. He also got, in the same auction a Grandt Line Gramps frameless tank car and a brass Denver & Rio Grande long caboose by Pacific Fast Mail.

Tuesday, 31 January, yet another parcel arrives from Canada. Another E-Bay purchase, this time there are three San Juan Car Co D&RGW High-Sided Gondolas and two San Juan Car Co D&RGW box cars. I also got my January/February issue of the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette.

The Weird Geezer (Craig) rang to ask if I had ordered the plywood yet and if not could I order a sheet for him too? So, Tuesday afternoon, I ordered four sheets (one for Mr Weird Geezer) 2400 X 1200 X 12 mm ply CD Grade from Mr Ply at Underwood. The cost was $34 per sheet plus $25 delivery – a bargain. I told the rep want I wanted it for so he gave me a “good deal”. That major hardwarehouse mob charges something like $85 for delivery alone.

Wednesday, no more parcels for Raymond but I got my copy of Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review from the UK. This is the English equivalent of the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette (USA) and Narrow Gauge Downunder (Australia). These are all fantastic magazines and thoroughly recommended. They have some great modelling tips even if you are not a narrow gauge modeller. The plywood was delivered mid-afternoon Wednesday.

I had the day off Thursday as the concreting contractor who had quoted on job for me last Friday arrived to dig the area out and box it up. The concrete will be poured Friday. This concrete work is to provide a two foot wide walkway around three sides of the shed. I thought I would help and pulled a few small clumps of grass from along the back of the shed. The contractor came along shortly after to discover a Brown snake rearing up at them. How I didn’t see it and how it didn’t get me is a small miracle. They are very aggressive and very venomous.

Because of all the recent rain the contractor could not get any concrete delivered until 7:30 am Saturday morning. The concrete pumper truck arrived at 7:00 and the concrete pour was finished by about 8:30 am.
The new concrete path along the left-hand side of The Shed. Raymond's future Garden Railway will take up the grasses area (and save me some mowing)
The concrete path across the bag of The Shed. The air-con unit will sit on the concrete near the power point half way along.

Craig came over Saturday afternoon with his jig-saw and cut up his 2400 X 1200 mm sheet of ply and then started cutting out some 90 degree curves for me. We went into The Shed and Craig gave us a few pointers telling use where we were going wrong..
Craig (The Weird Geezer) weaves his magic with his jig-saw as he cuts up his sheet of ply.

We discussed a number of other issues and he was most helpful.

Following some divine guidance from Craig I spent Saturday evening totally redesigning where the track would go along the right-hand wall and relocating the curve around from the back wall. I drew this up to scale and it seemed to offer some better possibilities both as a “fit to space” and operationally.

When Raymond finally “surfaced” Sunday morning we had a discussion around this new concept plan. We both agreed it would suit our purpose and seemed better than the original concept.

Sunday afternoon was spent with SWMBO going to Bunnings to look at bathroom furniture and fittings for the rebuild of the upstairs bathroom. We didn't really find anything but I bought some strong herbicide to kill lantana growing into our property from the railway land along our back fence instead. This lack of progress then also necessitated a visit to Ikea as SWMBO wanted to go there too. While SWMBO didn’t see anything she wanted I bought a cork board to help in making some of my laser kits. So, all in all, a reasonably successful afternoon.

I will spend some time in the evenings this coming week finessing the track plan along the right-hand wall. Oh! And it is Tueday Nighters this week. We are going to Bob's place. I haven't been there for a while so I hope my GPS Unit (Raymond) can give me the directions I will need.