Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday morning

Time for a Saturday morning post.
This mornings will be book review time.
First up the Railfan. This months (well, December) marks 20 years of publication. All the normal sections are there. There is some good coverage of the 150th anniversary celebration. The 3rd installment of the EE Df saga completes the story, and I'm now extremely tempted by the 3D Df top that's just been updated on shapeways.the ongoing passenger carriage saga continues with a look at early postal cars. There is also a collection of photos from the 50's to the 70's from another collection. Again I still wonder why we are not seeing more photos from unknown collections. I'd but a CD of scanned pictures for $20.
Next up the Journal. An excellent article on NZ120 (with photos) by Greg Keay. Some good pictures of some excellent models by Russel Jones and eter Bryant, along with some cruel expansions of some decidedly average modeling. An article on a lineside industry in Invercargill that would serve as an excellent MMW module subject. Several articles on the early G class locos (plans, photos and a model). An interesting pair of articles on tail lamps for models (in S scale). A write up of what could possibly be the last Pokaka meet. Oh, and my usual rant on the Chritschurch NZR modelers group page (and Peter Ross' increasingly rambling and indecipherable comment column). Overall a good issue.

A short post today as Ive been interupted by the cat, and theres holes to be dug outside.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Another year shot

Well, its that time of the year to take stock and set some targets for the new year.

This is going to be somewhat harder this year as my modeling is in astate of flux at the moment. The house purchase and move (and the associated work involved) has staled the modeling entirely. I have not even set up the work bench properly yet.
So, what are the plans for the year?
Honestly, I'm not sure. I don't seem to have the space for Paekakariki at the moment (unless there is some major surgery outside). The model room has space for an end to end layout, but I'm not sure what form it will take (including scale). I'm leaning towards something freelance (location wise) with a port at one end, and a fiddleyard at the other. epriod also to be decided.
I must also have a crack at teaching myself CAD this year, if only for the big bits. I can see a few purchases of 3D tops from Shapeways coming on, especially after the 3 part Df series in the Railfan last year. Theres also the fell loco's to sort out.

Just pondering after I've writen this, and re reading some old posts, maybe its time this year to make a more concerted drive to get our free-mo layout up and running. Despite a few teething problems last year with it ( I always get to odd module set), things worked well enough.
Would there be interest in a module 'kit' of a fixed size (say 3') long?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

What, another year already?

I quick check this morning shows that I have not written a blog post in over a month. Personally I'm blaming the garden...
I've also been on overseas travels for A family Christmas (the lady of the house's side that is).
This time I managed to wangle a trip to one of the 'best preservation lines in the world', Puffing Billy in Melbourne. I'll let the photo's do the talking.

'Belgrave station. Na class 8A waits for the doors to shut.'
'We moved about 150 meters round a curve and then stopped. Just when I thought I was being had, a train turned up from the other direction.'
'20minutes travel saw us to Menzies creek, 1/2 way between Belgrave and out destination Lakeside.'
'The presentation was very impressive. It could have been 100 years ago.'
'Another Na leaves Lakeside with a 10 coach train. The drivers were not sparing the loco's, 100 years old or not.'
'The line runs through Australian native bush for much of the length between Belgrave and Lakeside. This is the return trip.'
'I had to get a photo on the famous bridge.'
'Tanking up before the last trip of the day. Seems to be good on coal too.'
 We only traveled 1/2 the line but that was good enough for a 1/2 day out with the extended family. So, what are my opinions. First up, Australian trains are really not my cup of tea. They just don't do anything for me. Having said that, this is the best heritage railway I have seen. Nothing comes close in this county in overall presentation. Everything was clean, neat and tidy. The staff (almost all volunteers) were helpful and talkative. They all seemed to be enjoying their day, even if it was boxing day. The locos were all driven hard up the hills, and down hill were allowed to run at a fair clip. The price (for a party of 6 adults and 3 kids) was a bit eye watering but I would do it again without hesitation.

In a time honored tradition of the railway, you are allowed to sit up on the windows and hang your legs out the sides (there are bars holding you in). As I participated in this tradition I wondered how many tonnes of paperwork would have to be filled out to do something similar in this country.

'No Hi-Viz in sight.'