Monday, April 30, 2012


As well as a bit of a walk, I managed to get a few things done over the weekend. First up, J wagon chassis wheeled up, attached to the tops and with some paint thrown round.

Next up, a new set of 2mm association arch bar bogies that I have eventually beaten into submission.

Compared to the MMW wagons these etches are straight from the 5th and 7th circles of hell (and possibly the 8th and 9th). They are a bit of a challenge to assemble (as I've said before). They would eb so much better if they had nice fold up tabs like the MMW ones. I also must do some research into how far items falling from the modeling table actually travel (under controlled conditions). I dropped more than the allotment of fold up axle boxes on the floor, and recovered none of them, which implies there is either a wormhole to another universe in the carpet ( with a stack of aliens sitting at the other end saying 'why do they send us these tiny metal things, we need more socks'), or the laws of physics don't apply down there and energy gets created as elastic (or 'ping') energy.

Finally, and off on that bush tram tangent...the first log bogie.

I just knocked this up by eye with a 'that looks about right' sort of mentality. Soldering small bits of solid brass is fun, especially when the piece that you have somehow been holding together with your fingers goes 'hissssss' when put on a wet sponge to cool down. In retrospect it looks a bit long and I may have to cut the frames back a bit. having said that, I have seen all sorts of shapes for these items so its pretty much anything goes.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Micro Module W?????.....

Cabbage questions...

MMW Micro Module W??.... What?

Maybe World, Wares, Wards or railWays

Herr Druff proposed the original idea which we (the mottly crew) thrashed around until we came to a workable (we hope) idea, based on the laser cut interlocking ends and a "standard" section of track.
The "hole" in the top of the module end is 16mm wide and 4mm above the baseline of the module end and is designed to fit Atlas set track

The standard parts of the design are:
  • the laser cut end
  • a short section of Atlas Code 55 set track
There is no standard length
There is no standard width

It would be nice if there was a standard for the track but maybe the head Druff can fill in the gaps here
I would say NRMA compliant, so not PECO.

MD comments

I'm in motion to purchase some Atlas code 55 set track to cut pieces up for each end plate. I'll then merrily distribute them with each set of end plates so that everyone gets the same (well, allowing for experimenter error). Other things we will sort out as we go, which will annoy some of the control freaks out there, but that is just how we tend to do things (IE its going to be an evolution thing rather than commit things to paper that might not work in real life). 2 wires between each module, possibly just by twisting them together. If we actually manage to get some interest rolling, then we can sort out a longer range DCC setup.

Just as an aside, do Parkside dundas wheels (which are not NMRA standard, but can be shuffled out on the axles to fit the standard) run on atlas code 55 rail without hitting stuff. May as well check out these things just in case its not going to work.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ivor Biggun....

Am Fet angles off on a tangent.....

Although I hate to admit it, there are...."other" scales that people model in. It turns out that some of the guys at work are irrevocably attached to that odd scale where no one can quite decide on what scale ratio they are using and you need to mortgage off the wife and/or children to afford a locomotive. I am talking, of course, of G scale.

I made the mistake of going to a club night (again) and was talking idly about what I had got up to in laser cutting. As soon as I mentioned "...Oh, and a 1:24th scale La6 in styrene", Her Majesties Representative of the Armed Forces (Not the Sqn Ldr, the other one) said "Ooo, can I have one?".

Photos were duly dispatched to both him and our resident KiwiRail G scaler who we shall call "Gav" (mainly because, as a moniker, it seems to suit him; His personality somehow has a certain amount of "Gav-ness" to it, and possibly more importantly, its actually his name).

I was swiftly corralled in the tea room with no hope of an easy escape via that small gap between the coke fridge and the pot plant and asked "What else can you do?" "Ummm...what do you want?" was my witty reply. I then told him what I had the best drawings already Cad'ed for, namely the award winning J5 and Ug, both of which he had dribbled over at the convention. "Yes Please!", he squealed, almost fainting with delirious delight.

And so, I wandered into the den of Mr Laser yesterday and said "You know that Ug drawing? Can we multiply it by 5 and try it?"

Okay sure, its the Uga, but we couldn't get our hands on the Ug quickly. The top laminate is in 08mm ply and the bottom structure is 3.8mm Poplar. I have just done a side as a test as the drawing needs to be rejigged to cope with the 3.8/0.8 combination (previously the UGA consisted of two layers of 0.8).

So! Another little adventure starts. Drew wants some more La's for his planned garden empire, and Gav is keen to see the J5 done as well in 2mm. Both of these are on hold while we try and find some suitable material, we seem to be all out of the 1mm styrene for a inconvenient!

Well, a happy ending to what was a crap week. Heres a word to the wise: If you hear an alarm going off in train control, WALK QUICKLY IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Simple Module Ideas

Am_Fet scribbles:

After the Head Druffs last post on Opua, the old grey matter has been shrugged into action.When we were first kicking around the idea behind these modules, the stated intention was for "Branch or Industrial Line" traffic to be represented. Looking at the dimensions we were pushing, I dont think they are really suited to 10 car express trains or large stations and depots. But thats not a bad can have as much fun as you need on a small module detailing the bejesus out of everything.

Personally, I'm a fan of the "in-between" bits.....those bits of line that form a backdrop to the trains but arent operationally packed wee pockets. Almost glorified photo dioramas, if you are a couple of suggestions, both with a similar vein. First up, Nukuroa near Studholme in Sth Canterbury

This is really simple. Just the main line on an embankment, fields in the front and trees in behind. The picture was a winter special, so the trees might be a bit more of a challenge. 2 feet of this (or 600mm to all of you metric babies) would go nicely in a modular setup to space apart the stations and warehouses of other modelers.Of a similar bent is this scene beside SH1 at Hunterville:

Lots of leafy green trees in this one, plus some changes of level and slope for those handy with some foam and a hot wire.Sure, these may look like boring modules, but I can assure you any module built like this will always be one of the first ones used in any setup as the organisers try and space apart all the yards and industries.

As I've got nothing else thrilling to write about in the building stakes (still unable to hold or control a scalpel), I'll put together a few more suggestions from my own store of "places worth modelling" and show how they can be done using the new MMW modular standard.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Micro module plans

I've been thinking about possible track plans for the micro modules over the weekend, and last night I put pencil to paper to see how it would work out. The base for the plan is Opua wharf, with the picture that has inspired me here earlier.

So, sticking the paper down in the living room, and with the limit of a 600mm minimum radius, we get...

The whole thing is 4' long by 1' wide, which I thought was a bit too big, but turns out to work OK. I've used a Uk and 2 50' vans to visually measure stuff out.

Having sketched this out, I think I could fit a standard NZR station on 2 x 3' boards. Another option which I will have to explore on paper is Ngapara which I also think would make a cool model.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


This weekend just past I've been ruminating on a few things.

-Now we have a fool proof module end, where does it go from here? Do we go down the 'serious' NMRA standards only with code 55 track etc' or do we go with the Cheap and cheerfull be able to run all course scale models. I'm sort of leaning towards the latter.

There was some otherstuff, but at this point it was time to stop thinking and start modeling. Often solves a stack of problems.

3 more J sheep wagon underframes (sans wheels) which took me less than 90 minutes to do. Constrast this with the 2mm arch bar bogies which have taken the same amount of time for one bogie.

Only another 15 to go.....

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday morning

Well, RMweb seems to be down or not responding (which seems to be a moderately common occurrence lately for me at least), so I suppose I'll have to write something myself instead.

I've been doing some thinking about the freemo end plates that Cabbage has come up with in terms of what one can actually do on them. All good fun with a pencil and paper. We must have a chat about standards at some point, or maybe I'll just declare what they are. I fear getting bogged down again in a discussion where eventually nothing happens short of wasting a lot of time.

Its also come to my attention that there have been sod all photos on here in the last couple of weeks, so here we go to alter that with 'whats on my workbench/layout'

First up, cast W10 or W11 wagons on the J underframes. I've simply removed the headstock's (to be replaced at a later date) to allow for the longer top

Another 3 J tops waiting for me to solder up the under frames. Also the R1 waiting for new bogies, and the Ugas (having had weight added) waiting for new lids.

This of course is all going to be held up by a load of wood to stack and fishing later in the day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

That time of the year again

Today the blog turns 4.

'Its all a bit much really'

I'm not sure how much that is in Internet years. at least several generations.

I've just had a quick look back to a year ago at the progress I've made. The layout is coming along at a 'solid' pace. nothing spectacular, just steady increments. I've had some bush tram distractions, which still threaten to build into a fulling fledged mini layout. Not much has happened in the loco building stakes (I've noticed that if the Ew project was stalled it would still be moving forward faster than it is at the moment), but some massive strides in the wagon building (entirely due to the efforts of cabbage and Am_fet).

So, I still have yet to get bored of this blogging lark. I was a bit surprised to discover just who does turn up here for a regular dose of stupidity and average modeling.

Aims for the next year? Build a couple of Freemo modules (and we as a group either need to have a discussion about this, or i can just set the rules and you can all like it or lump it), build a few more wagons to actually assemble some trains. Build a bit of scenery and a few buildings, and the fiddle yards at each end of Paekakariki. Oh, and continue to push more of you out there to sit down and build a model or 2.

All sounds reasonably simple doesn't it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Enter the Journal....

Am_Fet thinks its his turn to write:

I arrived at work nice and early this morning to find the kind library pixies had left this on my desk:

(I was slighltly surprised at the depth of periodicals we receive at work when I started, so promptly signed up for a few...)

Anyway, onto the journal. First up, another superb photo on the cover from that jandaled behemoth, Barry Fitzgerald. Boy, can that man work magic with scenery. Back cover is more work from boy wonder Grant Morrell, this time with a Bc wagon.

Inside are a 1:160 "impressionist" layout using RTR from Scotland, Peter Ross pontificates endlessly on digital cameras, Diode matrix route control for all you techies, some gorgeous photos of Middleton yard in 1927 before colour was invented, and Les Downey's remembery's (including walk shorts!). The main article from Crosado is a detailed look at a highway overbridge at Opaki....and before you scoff about a "non-train subject", these bridges are everywhere and its a very welcome fact, it would make a nice scene for those MMW modules...

In the news section comes the show stopper that Online Models is coming up for sale as Ken Cousins looks to this ends up effecting our biggest scale will be watched with interest. Also included is our own Graham Baker's obituary and the obligatory bumpf to round out the mag.

Verdict? Well, not much there for repeated pick-up-and-read's and some of the articles looked a bit like hard work to get through if they weren't your specialty. Having said that, the overbridge article is a classic (although I cant see many agreeing with me!).

(All these opinions are my own and are not necessarily the opinions held by Herr Druff and all those at MD Publishing Worldwide's headquarters in Zurich.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

And the results are...

The numbers have turned up from the competitions and since I said I would, here they are.

First up, the 2 vans (all grades out of 20)

30' 1889 guards van.
Skill 15.5
Complexity 12.75
Conformity/fidelity 12.5
Finish 13
Total 53.75 (67.19%)

47' guards van.
Skill 15
Complexity 13.25
Conformity/fidelity 13
Finish 12.5
Total 53.75 (67.19%)

These 2 entries were supplied with no supporting information. Also both have a wire coupler on one end and someminor flaws in assembly.

Skill 14.5
Complexity 12
Conformity/fidelity 13.5
Finish 12
Total 52 (65%)

This model was supplied with a journal with the plan and a photo I worked from. might have hurt me a bit

Finally, the J sheep wagon
Skill 16.5
Complexity 14.5
Conformity/fidelity 17.5
Finish 15.75
Total 64.25 (80.31%)

Again, this was supplied with the relevant journal article.

So, what does this tell us all? I think that the lack of historical information hurt me a bit. The finish I'm not too sure about, weathering is very subjective. I could have had a crack at decals for the numbers, but life is a bit short.

I'd be interested to see how Kiwibonds Dx would score in the cutthroat locos section.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday morning

Well, a week after the convention and I should really be getting out into the shed, all fired up to start on the projects that need to be moved on.

-I need to do something about the lack of trains on my layout. This means building more wagons, and also as an off shoot, building a fiddle yard or 2 (well, definitely 2). I've been putting 2mm bogies together, which just remind me how poorly designed they are, although most of it will be down to old technology. I need to add to the single j sheep wagon that I have, but can't for the life of me locate the 5 etched under frames that are supposed to be on my bench.

-I've been pondering about the finer nuances of the new modular end plates, and have decided that thinking about finer is not my forte. It just revolves around using Peco vs NMRA wheels. Non of the old British stuff is NMRA standard, and its only been in the last few years that they have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 1970's. So, can we accommodate all this or should we all just bite the bullet and do something new. Now before anyone pipes up and says 'but I have all this track etc that I can't use', I'll point out that I have 2 1/2 years invested in a 12' layout that in all likely hood won't be able to connect up, and if it could, would be rather limiting to the things that could run on it, so I'm not overly worried either way. I'm intending to build something different entirely, and try out some new techniques for doing things. There will also be people asking questions about how we join them electrically, how XXX won't work and how we really need YYY. Others then pipe up and ask about ZZZ. Keep going on this, and the discussion merry circles the drain until everyone collapses exhausted, and nothing happens.

I guess that the only way forward is to ignore this and just build a couple, and see what works and what doesn't. I'm not expecting a fully formed modular standard to appear before anything happens, it will be based on what works and what doesn't. In my experience, any well thought out plan on first contact with reality tends to get mugged in a dark alley and left bleeding behind a dumpster.

And that extends to all the modeling hurdles that I seem to be faced with at the moment. I just have to stop over thinking things and just go and do it. I wonder if the First bank of Cabbage accepts Pay pal....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A request

Somehow we forgot to take any photos of Paekakariki at the convention. If anyone has some 1/2 way decent pictures could they send them to me?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Convention report part III; where to from here?

Today some philsiophising type stuff. over the 4 days I was lucky enough to have conversations outside the convention area with a wide variety of people. A fair bit of this was down to the 'local' knowledge' of the fine dinning establishments on Cuba st, but also the high caliber of dining companions that I tend to attract, and Barry Fitzgerald (who at least this time round didn't wear jandles). A US prototype modeler pointed out something that I had completely missed, that it is actually a modeling event for all modelers in New Zealand. From the coverage 9and indeed the entries ) I had always felt that it was an NZR convention with add-ons. The flip side was that the layout tours were predominantly American, with the opinion that one of the tours was one of the highest overall standard tours that the modeler had been on.

Competition trophy's. Some thinking (which I agree with) is that there needs to be some rationalisation of the trophy's. Its rather confusing that models with high grades in particular sections don't 'trophy' by the simple reason that they are in the 'wrong' scale or 'wrong' prototype. I'm not sure why this bugs me so much, as I don't feel I'm an overly competitive person (wargaming aside, which I play simply for the game , not to actually win), but I do enjoy entering the competitions simply to see how my modeling compares with others. Its also comparing the primarily scratch built or kit built NZR models with British kits or US highly detailed RTR. Now I'm not suggesting doing away with some of the trophy's, but maybe stretching the categories for their award outside 1/64.

Another topic was the future of the hobby. This is a bit of an old chestnut, but still topical. One thing that I did notice at the convention was that there were not that many younger modelers coming through. At about 40 I would have been in the lower age section. The problem goes further than getting people into modeling NZR, but getting them into railway modeling at all. Lets face it, its not a cheap or easy hobby. I've been working on Paekakariki for over 2 years now and there is still a lot of work to do (thats a bit of an understatement). How do you keep a new modeler interested for that length of time. Sure there are shortcuts, but they are only really available for track, or for locos and wagons, for those with money. It was also pointed out that we can get too insulated in our own wee niche and don't look at the wider picture. Here at Motorised dandruff we have spent 4 years showing that making models is not that hard, that everyone makes mistakes, and hopefully encouraging you all to actually have a go.

Well, that's a bit of a ramble, but I guess all the main points are there, maybe. Open to the peanut gallery for comment..

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Convention report part II or 'Dude, wheres my layout?'

In this part, here's a bit more of an irreverent look at the convention.

Thursday night we arrive after a quiet drive down from Palmy. First job is to register at the hotel, then off to the convention site to drop off the 1/3 of the layout that I had transported down. The first question, was 'Oi, wheres my layout' (in a text to Cabbage). A bit of a cock up on the communication front, but rectified next morning.

Friday morning dawned clear and sunny, leading to questions about whether we were actually in Wellington. Rolled up to the convention center to be greeted by what looked like the tail end of the million mustache march, turns out it was only Morris and Postelwaite near the door. Get the layout set up. plug in the DCC boxes. Ta dah, there is a short. spend 5 minutes isolating it, then realise I had twisted 2 wires together for tidiness. Take 10 minutes to get the booster talking to the main box, and finally discover that the 2 jump throttles have flat batteries....Apart from that the layout runs nicely. Graham from Auckland turns up and brings his locos along. The Df is 'entertaining' to get onto the rails, and the Dg with sound goes quiet. This later requires surgery on the last day. Can you believe that I didn't take any photos?

The layout attracts plenty of interest, mostly for the construction methods, but also for the track work and models. It also serves as a focal point for all discussions Nz120 and a few others.

The clinics are interesting, but I skip the layout tours. Entertain Brent Hopley instead, who has his 9mm layout at the convention, and is in charge of the hall for the afternoons.

'Damn photographers straying on the tracks...'

This is a part of a much larger layout. All the locos have sound, and I watched while a Wb had the decoder put in. The decoder was larger than my Cb.

The SIG on Friday night was a small intimate affair, bolstered by a few hangers on. First up we all had to escape the larger NZR SIG (at one point I was considering feigning my own death to get out of the room). After a wide ranging discussion on a variety of topics it is suggested that we aim to meet again in 2 years time at the next convention. In that time, we aim to achieve a few things.

1) Get more people making models (it seemed a bit redundant to try to get more people into the scale, as that's what everyone says).
2) Aim to make it easier to get hold of all the bits required to build wagons and locos in the scale.
3) Aim to have a freemo layout based around the MMW end plates come together at the convention to run trains.

Nothing really earth shattering here, but I'm a bit of a believer in baby steps. Now, the 2nd and 3rd aims are ones that we can lead (and I have some ideas for the fremo layout), but the 1st one is up to the rest of you.

Monday, April 09, 2012

To infinity and beyond!

Well that was the quote for the convention, Thank you Mish.

The micro modules were on display with plenty of interest being shown by all scales, the idea of the interlocking ends was a complete hit, 4 pairs of ends were sold including 2 pair to NZ Finesclaes for an NZ64 scale table top layout. Had to break down the examples at the convention to meet demand.

So for the next convention lets see if we can get together and make up an NZ120 layout and run some real trains, so let's take it to the next level and see if we can go "To Infinity and Beyond"

More ends are going to be cut as soon as I can get down to Orrsum next week, the cost has been set at $10 each $20 for the pair.
There is no standard length or width only that each module end is one of the cut ends available through this blog, what you put between the ends is up to you.
With as little or as much track and scenery as you like, some suggestions have been bridges supported on the tables on each side, large shunting senses like Marton or Whareroa and balloon loops for turning.

So let's see what you have

To Infinity and Beyond

2012 Convention report's I

Well, back at Schloss Dandruff tonight, with the car unloaded and the train room to clean up, what was the news from the weekend.

Well, there was allot of it, so much in fact that I'm going to split it up into more than one post.

Overall, I found it to be a very good convention. The venue was great, big enough so that everyone was not tripping over each other, but with some nice wee areas to get away from others for quiet chats. as well as that, Cuba st with all its cafes was just around the corner, so I didn't dine in at all. However reports suggest that the on site food was very good anyway. There were a wide selection of clinics which were all well attended (depends on your definition of 'well' I guess). The only beef I heard was a lack of non stop coffee and tea, which if that's as bad as it gets, suggests that it was very successful. Thanks to the organising committee for putting in the hard yards before and during the convention to make it the successful event that it was.

Well, first up, what everyone will want to know about, competitions. The entries were of a very high standard, with some stunning locos (with the eventual winner being an amazing piece of work). As well as the Uga and J5 I decided to enter my 30' clerestory and 47' vans. These were also tarted up a bit prior to leaving last week. Saturday morning I get a text from Amateur fetler asking (from Taupo) 'How are we looking in the competitions?'


The competition room appears to be a most secretive area, with the door shut for most of the 2 days. However late Saturday afternoon the door was open, and those who had not gone layout touring ambled in to check the results.

'Well done, you shall be rewarded with a place of honour above the work bench'

'Pack of losers! back to the layout with you!

In all seriousness, I was very happy with the results, as I had not expected to score so well. The J scraped into the gold category by 0.31 of a percent, but its written down, so I don't care. It placed better than other S scale models . The other 3 were in the mid 60's, but again, still good enough for bronze. Not bad for 'layout models' with not much extra work done to them.
I'd also like to thank Amateur fettler and Cabbage for doing the grunt CAD work, so that all I had to do was assemble it. The problem I now have is that the next 19 sheep wagons that I do will have to have the same level of detail.

I'll post the judging sheet marking scheme and comments when I receive them in the mail, so that all of us can see where the shortcomings are in modeling in a smaller scale, and which areas need to be addressed to increase the competition scores to compete with the bigger guys.

So, was the J5 the best Nz120 model in show?


I was beaten by B 0-4-4-0's line side hut which he had knocked up

'The very deserving inaugural winner of the John Rappard trophy'

Friday, April 06, 2012

If you are not here

Well, since by the time you read this I will be in Wellington talking crap (everyone needs a skill), here are a couple of photos of my competition entries.

I think its done, added the hand brake linkage and handrails the other night. There's some things that I would like to change, but that will have to wait for the others. Can't believe I need to do 15-20 of these...

Again, just about forgot to add the handrails, and have since cut the side chains short.
Oh, and there are 2 guards vans as well, but not as well made. It will be interesting to see how they get graded (and if the dreaded optivisor comes out)

All things being equal I hope to try some blogging from the convention itself, we'll see how it pans out.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

2 days to go

Well, things just amble on here at Schloss dandruff. I feel I should be more worried about the convention, but so far its a bit blah.

The clinic is 1/2 finished, hopefully it will be a small crowd and I'll be able to get everyone around the bench to see what I'm doing. The competition entries are done, just have to see about the supplemental information required (which appears to be none).

I'd provide some pictures of the finished models, but maybe next week.

(last night, while doing some final touch ups, I noticed that I had completely forgotten the handrails! Bugger)

Monday, April 02, 2012

Some rambling thoughts on Micro Modules....

It all started out with a random email from the head druff which sparked a discussion between Am fet, Cabbage, and 0-4-4-0T at the Tuesday night special interest group in the Lower Hutt club rooms for the Hutt valley model railway club which got the creative juices bubbling away.

Cabbage woke with an epiphany at some ungodly hour, not wanting to incur the roth of the rest of the family on a Saturday morn, went straight to the computer to get the ideas into cyber space.
The first iteration went out some crazy time of the morn for comment, which started the furious discuss over the hours between second breakfast and elevenses.

Between Cabbage, Am fets, 0-4-4-0T and the head druff the ideas flew around.
We could all agree on a standard 300mm wide end board with a centrally located single track in free-mo style and no legs just setup on tables

By lunch a workable design was pretty much there and by second lunch Saturday Am fet wrote "Okay, enough pontificating….I say lets cut a couple and see what works and what doesn’t in real life."

Monday rolled around.... on the way home from work Cabbage stopped off at Bunnings got a 1200 square of 17mm ply to drop in to Orrsum Lasers services. A quick chat to Paul Orr who was happy to check over the drawing and chop up the sheet of ply during the week

By Friday Cabbage had a pile of cut end and a bag of ready made dowels to play with over the weekend
Amazing just how many bits came out of the sheet

Bash in the dowels to locate the keys.... idiot proof
Evan a one handed man could do it

The ends slot together with the keys
the bit missing here is the locking toggle
which turns about the hole in the centre of the key
locking the module ends together

Track locating slots to align things between modules

Add some blue foam and vela..... Micro Modules
Interestingly enough if we scale these up to 64th
they are the same size as one track minds

And by sheer fluke the cut out in the foot allows for easy stacking

The modules Cabbage knocked up over the weekend were 300x600mm but the idea is the length and shape is entirely up to the modeller, the laser cut ends are supplied and you go nuts in between.
The first track layout design out of Cabbage's head was Whareroa, again, made up of two sections and ending up as 4x1.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sunday Morning

Well, it was a day and a bit yesterday. First up was the ceremonial loading of the car with the layout. I managed to get 2/3 of it in and the rest will head down next Thursday night. First stop on the way south was Paekakariki. Time to get the camera out for some shots. As I didn't pan really it was just point and shoot, though there were some buildings that I concentrated on.

This is a relay shed of some sort that was there in the time period I am modeling, though it was then painted white ish. Also the ex ORB Drewry DSB (near equivalent) shunting wagons at Steam Inc. Closer to the camera, the balasting is 'interesting' No sleepers visible, but not up to the tops of the rails, and there are 2-3 different grades and shades I can see. Will be 'fun' to model.

The station itself. most of the ray track on this side has been removed.

Looking North, and the area of interest here is the hill on the left, and how tall and what shape it is. I've looked at other old photos and this one just adds to the confusion (which I though I had unconfused). Maybe I need a GPS reading from the loco shed and the top to work out just how tall it should be.

The Air-rail shed. With the building of the new rolling stock shed you can no longer easily (at all?) get to the other side, so I will have to go off old photos that I have.

After this wander round, I paid a visit to the home of Scenic textures (well, technically, its a shed and a cupboard). A cuppa and a chat with the proprietors was very enlightening thanks to the local knowledge, and hopefully I'll have some better leads on some of the important buildings on the main street ie the old Pub (and I'm happy to reward in wine if they pass on their preference). Looking at the hills from the coffee table also reminded me that google maps does not do 'ups' at all well, and I may need to rethink that side of the layout. A major plus is that when i need to do the scenicking, I'll be able to order with instructions 'Oh, just what you see out the window will be fine...'
While I do wish I could have stopped for longer, I was on a deadline and so next it was off further south...

A wide ranging discussion was had, but we can't discuss some of it, though the opinions expressed about the scale with the largest following in this country were a surprise to me. Skepticism was also expressed about the chances of getting my competition models done in time for the convention, to which my reply was 'Well, I better start writing that clinic as well...' And while photos may make it look like I was holding court, I was meerly the only one sitting on that side of the table. Also of note in that photo sitting on the table to the right of me. This is something that Cabbage Industries has come up with based on a brainstorming session a few weeks ago, and which he may like to post comment on.