Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rob The Builder

It's been a busy week this week with quite few things started and finished in the train room. I mentioned in the last post about making a module for the upper and lower decks near the roller doors. It's mostly completed with just the top deck to go and the backdrops to be added. I also built 3 book cases to store my kits, tools and magazines. Here's a photo of the module

And here's one of the bookcases

I've still got to sand them and then they can be painted and then all of my stuff can be brought in. I'll probably have to build some more to hold everything but at approximately $25 each, it's not going to break the bank
The track work continues and I've started on the points needed for Hill Top and Thirlmere. I had started by gluing the sleepers to templates but the glue didn't hold the sleepers so I had to do it again.  Modelling is sooo much fun when you do everything twice. I've done 8 points and have glued down all the track plates and have glued the straight rail down with the rest to follow this week with luck. Here's 2 of the points.

Still a fair bit to go but I've set myself a target to have trains running by the end of the year.....we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jetstar = Craptacular

Got back from Darwin on Friday after a 4 and a half hour flight with Jetstar. What a mistake that was. Now, I don't care about in-flight entertainment or crap airline food but I do want to have my seat recline!!!
No-one told me that Jetstar are so goddamned cheap that they've installed seats that don't recline. I'm 6'4" so economy class seating is not the most comfortable at the best of times let alone not having a reclining seat. Caveat Emptor I suppose.
I could bore you all about all the other things that got up my nose but that would just show you what a whining old sook I am, so we won't go there. The salt is the same in Darwin but it was still good to get out of the office and catch up on some reading....trains of course with a touch of Second World War carnage.
I was given time off on Sunday to do train stuff so it was into the garage to lay the cork underlay for the track. I've done Hilltop's cork underlay and some of the mainline but still have a fair bit to go. Also, I glued sleepers to the #6 point templates from Greg Edwards ready for soldering / gluing the rail next week.
And lastly, I built a module for the bottom and top deck that will sit where the garage roller doors are. So far all of the previous bench work had been attached to the garage wall and was self supporting. I couldn't do that on the roller doors so I had to build more conventional bench work to support the bottom and lower deck.
So that's it for this week.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Release the Navvies

Mr Postman brought me Greg Edwards NSWGR Track book during the week and how good is it?!?! Everything you would want to know about NSWGR track standards but were too afraid to ask. And it has cleared up all my questions about track sleeper spacing so the Navvies were released from their shackles and were told to get cracking.
I made up a jig equal to 4 x 24ft rail lengths and then spaced the sleepers at 2'9' centres except where the fish plates will be. The sleepers here are spaced at 1'10" with these standards adhering to the 1890 measurements. I then cut some PCB sleepers to the correct length of 8' and laid them together with the stained wooden sleepers into the jig. I then applied Scotch blue masking tape to the sleepers which removed them from the jig and kept them in place while the soldering iron was applied to the PCB sleepers to keep everything in alignment. Now, all I have to do is glue the wooden sleepers to the Code 55 rail, add the fishplates, spike the rail, paint it and then fix it to the cork roadbed....simple hey?

Comparison between track from Robbyco Enterprises and Micro Engineering

There's quite a difference in the sleeper spacing

I also managed to solder up a frog for the #6 points from Proto87 that the Navvies will be constructing soon. Well, not this week as the Evil Overlords at the Salt mine have said I must try the salt in Darwin. And before anyone says, "Oh but it's warm up there" I'll draw your attention to the fact that I hate weather over 25 degrees. I may have to taunt the locals to relieve the heat stress. Anyway, here's the frog

Reebit, Reebit

I also ordered some bullhead rail and chairs from Wizard Models in the UK for Hill Top's loop which has arrived ready for installation. These guys are excellent with really quick delivery times so I can thoroughly recommend them. I've also bought all of my sprung buffers from them and may have to end up getting some screw couplings from them as well depending how the ARkits couplings turn out.
During the week Elscotto and I went round to Ian T's house to check out some magnetic uncoupler action on his Darling Harbour Layout. Needless to say, we now know the pitfalls of operation using these couplers including unprompted DCC commands. Thanks Bob G, Ian T and Es D for an entertaining evening talking Elscotto's and my favourite subject, Ferro Equinology.