Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday evening

Well, thanks to a dose of 'cantbearseditis' this morning, a trip to Paekakariki did not eventuate. It was going to kill a large chunk of my day were there were other things to be done. however the garden has been sorted and beer bottled, and I managed to fit in a skype chat to Japan.

I'm now off to ponder what projects to have a go at for the Masterton show...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday morning

The weather seems tro be on the improve here at Schloss Dandruff and so I'm being threatened with gardening duties. That and there is beer to be made.
So, while we wait for Beakaboy to post a 'guess the voice' youtube clip, I'll just point out that Paekakariki are having an open weekend with hours  10 till 4. I think a trip may be in order tomorrow, possibly with a map to orientate myself on the ground.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

On Display

From and other spots some photos of the Taupo show from the weekend.

'Look apon my works and dispair, ye modelers of inferior scales!'
Peter attempts to convert the heathens to modeling in a decent scale.
(more photos here)

'Thank you for purchasing your DCC system, we hope you will spend many happy hours trying to understand the instructions...'
Beakaboy in a quiet moment, deciding which train to run next.
(more photos here)

The Next show on the list is the Wairarapa show on the weekedn of the 10/11 of August At teh Masterton town hall. Marks model works and assorted hangers on will be there. No NZ 120 layout planned to be there unless my modeling mojo seriously fires itself up in the next 2 weeks.

And in other 1:1 scale news, The Standard Railcar made the trip from Pahiatua to Napier and back.
On my list of things to be built.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

No juice

A rare occurrence today as I made it out to the man-sion. While looking at which project to ignore first I was running some trains up and down. Suddenly the Ed's stopped while heading towards Wellington. 'Thats odd' I thought, 'I've added in solid track feeders down there.

Ok, time to have a look under the boards.

Hmmm, it appears that while I had added new track feeders, someone had forgotten to actually connect them up. Yah, time for my all time favorite job, soldering up underneath the layout.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gadzooks! We're Credible!

Am_Fet writes:

Its interesting that whenever I think of "our" scale, I always get the impression that we are a minor side shoot lagging well behind the major juggernaughts of S and 9mm.....almost like the poorer and significantly smaller cousin.

Cabbage however, seems to have different ideas.  He quite frequently proclaims in a loud voice on street corners to startled passers-by that Nz120 is the scale of the future.  Sure, I snigger, and make rude pointing gestures towards him behind his back....

NO MORE......After todays wee episode I am truly a convert.

This morning this got placed on my desk with the question "Can you make it go?"

"Its....a box", I retorted, quoting Woody from Toy Story.

"No, can you make whats in the box go?"

So....what I have in my hot little hands is a factory built 1:87 scale DL made entirely from brass.  To make it move under its own power will require the sourcing of a self contained power bogie....investigations are not just continuing, they have yet to start.

And the reason?  Unless you missed it (I know I have), apparently rail in NZ is 150 years old this year.  To celebrate this milestone, KiwiRail are putting together a display train of old to tour the parts of the country the tracks still reach, and one of the display containers will include moving model trains.  I've been told the shopping list (to match the DL and Frateschi DX's) is for 10 container wagons, 10 log wagons and 10 milk wagons......

.....And this is when I thought "Where are we going to find those in HO?  It would be so much easier in nz120...."


Its a pity theyve already decreed Nz120 to be too small for the display.  But even if you moved up to S for display you couldnt do it.  Your minimum radius would screw things for a start (I think we're already overstepping our bounds with a 600mm radius) and then once you factored in 2 DX's ($500 a pop) followed by 10 container wagons (thats another $400 without even trying) youd be well on the way to bankruptcy and the display train would end up consisting of a life size cutout of Jim Quinn on a Hi Railer....with a flag...

Take it as gospel....Nz120 IS the best scale to model modern image.  And I think we can all be proud that we've played a part in that.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Family Movie

Am_Fet writes:

Yet again, the rabid foamer community has come up trumps....maybe their habit of pointing cameras at everything that moves (and most of the things that dont) might not be so annoying after all.  Case in Point:  Already this morning the foamer jungle drums are beating as news comes out that 2 DL's will be running light up Westmere.......and I fail to see the point.  In a few months you wont be able to move without falling over fact, I'd be more inclined to record DC and DXB movements.....

Whoops, let me dismount from my hobby horse...there.....Wow, everyone looks so much taller from down here....

While the Patea layout is progressing, planning is still moving forward on the Castlecliif layout made from MMW fact, I might even post some of my scribbles this week to put the latest design thoughts up for debate.

I did come across this gem however, and it shows quite well one of the movements the Castlecliff Line will support.  Here are "The Twins" (1267+1200) coming back from the terminus with a rake of containers.

As stated previously, working around this service will be the DSG and DSC shunt teams servicing the local warehouses and industries, of which the Castlecliff has (or did have) squillions.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Field Trip (How not to do it)

Am_Fet writes:

After the sterling work so far on the Cheese Store Roundy Layout I had to face the fact that at some stage I would need to get to Patea (somehow) and get some photos from the correct angles and resolution that would allow them to be used for the "photo building" method.  A set of decent photos for the backdrop were also on the shopping list.

A chance comment by Drew a few weeks back spurred me into action.  He announced that the DL invasion was imminent and the chance to ride a DC might soon be gone.  Right then!  Operation "Last Chance to See" was underway!

Tuesday night found me ensconsed in the salubrious confines of the Capital Connection to Palmy where I had a midnight connection with freight 522 to New Plymouth.  After a pleasant evening playing trains in the ManSion, I was duly delivered to Milson depot at 11pm ready for the nights adventure.  Luckily the heater in the cab of 7186 worked well and with 7158 and 4692 on behind we made short work of getting to Whareroa and the joyous reunion with Drew who was down to take the train the rest of the way to New Plymouth.

After dropping off 7186 (which was down to run 537 back to Palmy in the afternoon) we headed to all points north.  Another stop at Stratford has us dropping off 4692 which was slated to run 52 shunt before heading back to palmy that evening on 521.

It was around about here that I fell asleep for 30 minutes or so, not having slept for the previous 24 odd hours.  Oddly enough, I'd slept through the same bit of countryside the last time I was through as well!  Apologies to all Inglewood inhabitants, but it possibly doesnt say much for the scenery....

The plan was for Drew to tie up 522 then drive back to Stratford to run 52 to Kapuni, but a complete lack of tonnage killed that after service 7158 we headed for home and breakfast.

With the weather looking threatening, I made the call to pass on the chance to sleep and to head to Patea while we could.  As it was the weather was freezing, overcast and a bit damp, but I still took the chance to get the photographs that I needed while Drew just basically ran riot, occasionally yelling from a different part of the complex "I feel like I'm on Time Team!" and imitating ghost noises.

After getting the photos, we went on a general fossick trying to work out where the old buildings were and their uses.  The engine room took a bit of nutting out, and I still dont think we worked it out.  There are remnants of where the boilers poked through the walls, but where the attendant stuff went (coal piles, chimneys etc) is still up for debate.

Treasures found include

...finding the trolley tracks along the loading bank at the front of the complex were to the weird gauge of 2'6".

and this old wagon door with the intriguing lettering "R E" on the top.

After a bit of siteseeing (Patea river mouth, Tawhiti museum which was closed, Normanby diary factory, Te Ngutu Battle site where Von Tempsky was killed) it was back to Drews place for a few hours kip before being dropped back at Whareroa around 5pm for the trip back to Palmy on 521....and that elusive DC ride.

After 521 came a quick dash back to Welly on 229 with 4191 and crawling onto the couch outside my lab at around 2am for 6 hours kip before work Thursday morning.

SO.....that was the easy bit, now I've got to use the photos to make the backdrop and buildings!  ARGGHH!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Just Visting

Amfet passed through last night on his was to the 'Naki' to photograph Patea.
While here there were a few discussions (apparently Dc's are now being stopped for very weak reasons, similar to K's being stopped in the 1960's for broken boiler sight glasses).
There was also some playing on Paekakariki, with experiments in driving 2 locos at once, then 2 locos coupled together without being Mu'ed to each other. This lead to the genisis of what could be a great game for next years convention.
After collecting a couple of loco chassis, I finally had to drop him off at the loco depot about 11 pm.2 Dls were in the yard, which makes me wonder how long the Dc class has to run in the wild (and not in captivity on Auckland subbies)

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Workbenches of the World Part 37

Tonights workbench:  Cabbage from Marks Model Works.

Or.....maybe not.  Doh!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

....Lost Control (Again)....

(Ian Curtis RIP)

 Am_Fet writes:

Way back in the dim dark past (actually here), I wrote about the idea of taking a layout "Off Grid" by relying on battery power to run the toy choo-choos.

 Its an idea that still intrigues, so today I started doing something about it. Cabbage had previously provided me with a circuit:


Today I found myself coming back from the Safety Shop in Petone (I was eligible for a whole swag of work clothes...after 9 years with KiwiRail who knew!) and decided to drop into our comms workshop in Kaiwhara to gently loot their electronics drawers (now mostly redundant).

5 minutes later (and a call to the Cabbage Support Customer Care Line) a wandered away with my little grab bag of bits.

Here I've got a 5K pot (a double one here, but thats fine), 2 LM338 Voltage Regulators, a tape of 1K resistors and a collection of knobs.  Next to source will be a DPDT switch for reversing and things will be ready for the next build night.

(BTW, the pot came from a draw labelled "Bow Thruster Sensor Relays" if an Interislander ferry hits anything, I know nothing!)

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Look Ma, a Train!

Am_Fet writes:

This just in fresh off the satellite from tonights club meeting....

I am reliably informed that those present managed to scrape up a Df, 3 ZH's, 2 Ia's and an Ib....not a bad effort at all, really!

BIG happenings in Castlecliff...

Am_Fet wonders:

Is it time to change the operating parameters of the planned Castlecliff modular layout?

Oddly enough, it seems to have co-incided with the arrival of this on Peters layout:


Monday, July 01, 2013

Putting the Mockers on it....

Am_Fet writes:

With the threat of an impending public showing of Patea in its bare bones state, I got my skates on and spent a few hours during the week calculating the building dimensions from the pictures I had taken from a past visit.

Monday evening was set aside for a go at mocking up the buildings with whatever materials we could lay our hands on in the shortest period of time.  First up, tonights surprise guest:  An etched MMW OM wagon, complete with a piece of aluminium representing the tank:

So, without further ado, Cabbage and I leapt in with scalpels slashing and after a seemingly never ending supply of different materials, we had this:

I was slightly surprised how unimposing the buildings were and how they lacked some height when seen from this viewing angle.  However, the join between the backdrop and the baseboard is hidden behind all of the buildings (even the low one at the right) and we should be able to hide the rest with scenery.  Of course, this will look infinitely different once the backdrop is done and the final building added.

Here are the "buildings" in close up showing how we cut, hacked and ripped anything we could lay our hands on to get the general shape of each of the buildings in the complex.

And of course, this is how its supposed to look, as viewed from the cab of a passing DXB (apologies for the wiper blade...Doh!)

Finally, here are another couple of pics of the OM.  Cabbage has said its a low priority job to complete as there arent enough crazies to make it viable, so I might have to wait a while to do train 547 for the layout (I only really need 8).

"Hang on, let me just straighten it...." (graunch)  "Thats better..."