Thursday, July 17, 2014

Link of the week: impressive modeling from India

DB says:

Greetings, Antipodeans, from the homeless International Nomadic Branch of Motorised Dandruff Inc.

I was recently sent a link to some Chinese steam pics on Vikas Chander's website and as one does, I had an explore. By Jiminy, I stumbled upon some impressive modeling detailed in there that is really pushing boundaries.

While we all have our weaknesses, why he models German prototype is beyond me... but, for example, check out his layout lighting in the link here. That is just the coolest thing. subtly different colours in lit windows, dusk doloured skies behind buildings. Wow.

He also has laser marked cork road bed (derived from 3rd planit files) for laying out his staging yard, clever module mating and track alignment ideas, resistance solders his feeders to tracks to avoid melting sleepers, and details some of the most impressive (if bewildering) electronic implementations.

We can only dream... but it's well worth a browse!

Warning: avert your eyes if you're on a limited budget

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

After show wrap

So, more thoughts on the show.

-A few people asked about kits. I'll have to acquire some track gang cards (I wrote down the details on the back of a Woodworks card. Two for the price of one) to help with this. There was some interest in the etch-cetera Da's (and I do wish I had another one or two, and not one that's someones tried to convert to Dar 512). I also pointed people at Shapeways and the models available there. However having not purchased any myself (the diesels that is) I don't feel qualified to comment on them. Maybe I need to broaden my horizons and lighten my wallet.
-We really need an NMRA compliant 6mm wheel with a decent profile and axles 13.5-14mm long. This at least will give a standard that will run through all commercial trackwork . To summarise, 2mm wheels are too fine and Peco are too coarse. British wheels are too long and no longer seem to be widely available. Thoughts on the back of a postage stamp please.

One of the jobs I worked on over the weekend was the layout I had previously built to fit in a box file. this was made on 3 400mm sections and was designed to fold out and pop together. While rebuilding the points from my failed attempt to build points with only one blade, I thought about other uses for it. Tonight I removed the track from the short bases, and layed them out on something longer.

The plywood is temporary till I get organised to mount them on something more permanent.  I'll have to make up a single ended MMW module using them (Mark, I'm going to need that other small module back, and a few more ends...)
Finally from the weekend, some photos of me at work (Cheers Grant, I owe you. Possibly a bit of rusty corrugated iron and some chunks of old concrete)

'Vices? Real men don't need vices!'
 Cutting with a fret saw holding the rail by hand. apparently this is a big no no and breaks blades like nothing. I didn't break a blade in 2 days of doing this.The gents standing in front were a US modular group from Wellington who showed a lot of interest in the MMW module ends.

'And the finger gets soldered ... here.'
'Module ends, get your module ends here...'
'Why yes, I am completely out of my mind. Thank you for noticing'
Apparently there's more, but I wouldn't know, I'm not a member of the gated community that is Facebook.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The shows over

Well, the end of another weekend, and the end of the show.

20 years ago a model railway show tended to be a rail by fire of sorts. 'Somewhere between Otaki and cass' tended to be set up on the Friday night. First was to make sure that everything was actually there Running problems were sorted out, and parts of the layout were built. Saturday and Sunday consisted of running trains while hoping that locos wouldn't die and fixing any arising problems with superglue or a staple gun. Sunday night was a mad pack up and hoping that we had not forgotten anything.
Today with cabbage industries its all rather stress free and almost automated. Roll in, layout gets set up, modeling tables are up, and then sit round watching people assemble their layouts.

 The show was held in the standard hall. Note the huge number of lights, which is a surprise (in a good way). School holidays and inclement weather added up to a sizable crowd on both days.

'The NZP modeling center'   
That ageless gem 'Kerosine Creek' is on the left, and Kai-iwi on the right. The NZ120 modeling table is front and center.
Now, I had been under the impression that I was going to be tutoring a fellow modeler in making a couple of points. However he turned up with plans for the lower part of the Denniston incline. To cut a long story short, he has now had a fair bit of practice making a variety of track configurations, and I'm lighter by a 10 pack of code 55 rail....

My selected task was to upgrade the track work on Waihao forks. Since I had 'finished' this model back in November 2011, I had not been happy with the guard rails and point blades to the point where I stripped them all back off. And there it sat till this weekend. I started at one end and immediately wondered how I was going to salvage anything. Rails gaped in the wrong place, PCB sleepers not gaped etc. To cap it all off It was all code 40 rail. Now code 55 I can deal with, but code 40 is just below the lower end of what  can work with. Its just too fiddly and I struggle to get it to do anything, let alone what I want. At one point I entertained the notion of folding the whole thing up and jamming it into the rubbish bin. However this eventually passed and I was able to sprinkle the turd with glitter to some extent by the end of the day. I don't think it will ever run well, but it is passable.

The rest of the show was a typical procession of punters, some even with good questions. I was not helped by my fellow modelers. A child asked 'how long have you been making this' to which the man in the next seat quipped 'before you were born'. Next time I'll charge him double for my time....

I also purchased the latest scenery development from scenic textures. Big flat areas of varied colour ground foam. $40 for a piece 45 cm by 60 cm which strikes me as good value.

 When I first look on it an idea came to me.

A simple method to replicate scrubby NZ bush for my bush tram. If only I had not used the last of my code 40 on Waihao forks.