Saturday 20 February 2010

The Last Post.
No don't get excited, this is not the last post ever, but hopefully the 'last post' about the leaky roof.
I received a phone call at work last Thursday from the hardware man, saying that the corrugated roofing has arrived.
Arriving there I saw this long length or corro that need loading onto the roof rack of his four wheel drive. With just a small 'T' piece strapped to the bull bar for support, one by one we loaded these 7.5 metre long sheets on board. A quick tie down to the roof racks and we were on our way.
We headed off down a single lane road doing all of 40 clicks and soon a wagon train of cars grew behind the 4WD.
Eventually we made it to the highway which was at least two lanes wide, allowing cars on their way home to pass.
He backed into the driveway and we then had to unload these sheets one by one again. We found the easiest way to get these to the back yard was to place them on our heads and walk them in.
Six sheets later and they were on the ground waiting for stage 2 today.
There was no rain about today, only the hot boiling sun. I started early getting up on the roof and cutting branches back as well as getting the screws lifted.
My daughter and future son in law arrived and we got straight into it. Off came the first row of iron and I was surprised to discover that every rat in the district had decided to live in my roof.As can be seen from the great hole in the above photo this appears to be the lounge room of one of the residents.
Now can you work this out. Where has all the fibreglass insulation gone to? If us humans go into the roof to install, its wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, don't forget the gloves and never go up without a face mask and breath in all that dust and fibres which they say can kill.Well apparently the rats must be immune to that sort of thing because there were rooms, passageways and a ton more insulation missing since the day it was put in. Any way I hope these rats were all from the same family that were eliminated on a previous post. I had a few pieces of insulation left over which I managed to put in. Then on the news tonight we find out that Mr 'Midnight Spoil' has cancelled the insulation rebate. Then there were shots of hundreds of rolls of insulation that were going to be laid out on the lawns of Parliament House being loaded into the back of protest vehicles. Gees guys one roll would have done me if you had any spare.After a well deserved break and some lunch we got back into it and eventually the six sheets were laid. I was tired towards the end, and found out there is no such thing as a 'sat on a hot tin roof''. It was boiling.The photo above is the first and last shot of the roof you are likely to see. And I hope to be able to get back into some modelling soon.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Give it a break
A recent link to a Youtube site showing a clip of Nickel Plate 765 and Pere Marquette 1225 made me want to see more than just the tempting trailer. They recreated the bygone days of a freight train with the relevant era vehicles. Also staged was the placement of old road vehicles at level crossings and around trackside structures.
A chance mention of this clip to a work collegue revealed he had the full dvd and brought it in for me to watch. So I got the chance to view it this morning.He did happen to warn me that there was a bit of whistle blowing. Boy was he not wrong. Amongst some brilliant filming was this incessant need for the driver (and assuming his mate on the other side of the cab) to hang off the whistle cord. I can accept it is mandatory to do this approaching level crossings but not every bloody time the cab crew got the film crew in their sites.
This whistle blowing issue is not just restricted to this dvd. Most others I have viewed suffer the same problem.
Out of the many run pasts, maybe three had no whistle. Maybe the filmcrew were up a tree and remained unspotted. Maybe the safety valves weren't working and the crew were told to reduce pressure this way.
A cab crew member may of had a part time job of a bell ringer at the local church and found the need to play out a tune with the whistle. Just imagine if this dvd had been made in late December, they might have tried to whistle out ' Jingle bells'.
One of the options when commencing the dvd was 'Narration on/Narration off" I went with narration on so as to maybe learn a bit about what I was about to see. I think I should send an email to the producers and suggest that also add a "Whistle off" option.
Anyone else out there noticed this irritation in US productions?

Saturday 13 February 2010

Yeah Its still raining
Well this post will continue on the rain theme mainly because since the last post thats all we have had.
The decision to reroof the main shed was taken last Sunday night when my previous roof patch was looking a little moist around the gills. Yes I will go and order some more corrugated iron no matter what.
As one of my favourite TV segments recently has been the weather section, I duly noted that showers were predicted for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I had discovered that the black crap of the roof joints that had failed in its duty to keep rain out, and was cracked after drying out yet again. Having found the tin of goop buried in the train shed, I duly climbed up the ladder towards the roof knowing this would be the last time I would be doing this. I was even happy to sacrifice a brush to the cause to apply the goop. With failing light I slapped on the goop and headed down the ladder, cleaned up and headed indoors. Saturday was going to be order new iron day.
Friday night and its home from work, a quick pizza and get ready to head off for our groups regular get together. Tonight was Phils turn and we were eager to see his new layout room that was completely renovated over the past months.
There is one thing that we can almost guarantee on our nights it that storms and rain will happen.
We got to Phils OK and saw this bright light shining down from the garage. Where are my sunnies? Well compared with the previous effort this was one of the best set ups I had seen. A ton of lighting, and painted sky blue walls. Inside was a baseboard and complete with a circuit of track which was identified as the lower staging level of what will be a two level layout.
It is going to be based on the Broadmeadow/Newcastle area and includes a small branch.
It was after a while in the layout room when the heavens opened up and down came the rain.
The problem was all the cakes, tea and coffee were upstairs, but we made it eventually. Refreshments were partaken, and a rail dvd on double header steam and a New Zealand were viewed.
The rain was bucketing down at this stage and looking out of the dining room window towards the rockwall, we now noticed Phil had acquired a waterfall, which wasn't there the previous day.
On our way home, one last check of the train room showed that it had held up to the might of the storm. Lucky Phil. I was hoping my black goop was doing its job back home.
Saturday morning came and two important things were on the agenda. One was to order the corrugated iron and the second was to photograph the restored 4204 heading north to Dungog. It was also supposed to have GM 10 in tow. I was going to go on the trip but decided to divert the funds to the roof appeal.
After a small delay 4204 appeared but not only had GM 10 but also S317 in tow. Well if you like the GM sound, Mt Colah platform was the place to be.
I finally got to see the guy that could put me out of my misery with the roofing. I bit the bullet and decided to get a single lengths for the shed and no joins. It will be colorbond and I picked out a nice light blue color to reflect heat. I haven't got a final price yet but I expect it to be more than a sound garratt. (Ouch I know what I would rather have) Not that I will be able to see the roof from the ground but it should be enjoyable to countless number of traffic helicopters that seem to report on the prangs and peak hour traffic on the local F3 freeway.
A timely visit from my future son in law in the afternoon will hopefully allow reroofing to be carried out soon. He has kindly offered to help.
High winds and rain will not be welcome. Watch the blog soon.

Sunday 7 February 2010

Go West - Warragamba needs you.
Last night I decided to visit the shed. As those of you who reside on the east coast of Orstralia would know we have had a ton of rain this week.
So as I gingerly opened the door and slowly cast my eyes roofbound it all appeared to be there and no dripping bits. Great, any shed that has come through the last couple of days without a leak is doing well. I kept looking at the two hundred projects that I need to do and couldn't decide on any of them.
Stuff it all I will drive a train round the layout, after all thats what its all about isn't it? In order to do a complete lap involves closing a hinged section and line up two sections of track. Well thanks to the rain we have been getting, the wooden hinged section appears to have swollen and the rails didn't join up. And naturally I didn't get to drive a train last night. So that was the end of that and I came inside and did a bit of computer work.
Sunday and after filling up the green bin with garden refuse, I needed a break and decided to go visit the shed again. And after another night of heavy rain I again checked the roof as I went in. All appeared well until I noticed a pool of water on the floor. I have traced this water to a build up on the outside wall and it has decided to take a shortcut through my shed. Luckily this doesn't affect the baseboard so no real damage was done.
Then aargh! I noticed the ballast looked considerably darker at the end of Bega platform. Yes wet and some pooling on the floor. If you remember a previous thread where the bats and rat poop have crashed down it appears this section was in trouble again.
Out comes the ladder and up onto the roof I go. It appears no matter how much gooey black crap you stick over the joins, it eventually dries out, cracks and back to square one. More rain in. Of course we don't notice leaks when it doesn't rain.
What the problem with the roof is that on the original shed roofing iron only came in certain lengths and this shed roof needed a small section at the end to finish off. So I have decided to only way to completely cure the problem is to order in longer sheets of gal and redo the last section. And then I might be able to stop blogging about bloody leaks in the roof.
Almost as annoying as the leaks is the number daddy long leg spiders that reside in the shed. The smart ones are hidden away under the baseboards and the dumb one are clearly visible ready for the vacuum cleaner. I missed my chance about two weeks ago when I saw a mummy long legs had given birth to about fifty or so kiddy short legs. Last time I looked for them they had left the web. I wouldn't mind them if they would only stay up on the roof but they insist on visiting the layout and making bloody webs all over the scenery and its a pain to remove.
Another spider has decided to build a home in the sliding window and has used the buildings for the Candelo Canning Factory to drape his web over. Maybe if their webs were green, then they would look like vines.
So as you can see this weekend has been a downer. Then as I was looking around the future Bega Loco area I noticed a heap of black dots on a piece of white styrene. So on closer inspection it appeared to be an ant graveyard. I can only guess they have taken up residence in the ceiling above and then when they cark it, they just dump bodies and parts and other rubbish down towards the layout from the flourescent light above. Obviously no dignity in the ant world, just get the parts and chuck them out. Surely if you were married to an ant, just keeping your husbands head to one side wouldn't hurt anybody.A little bit different to the usual model photo with a train in it, I have included a photo of exhibit A showing the above ground cemetery for ants. If they weren't dead when they were chucked out of the crack, they would have been when they hit the styrene. One wonders why all the resident daddy long legs don't wonder over and help themselves to a meal. Maybe if I put up a sign "Hungry Cracks Takeaway" they'd come.
Well sorry I couldn't be more rail oriented this post but I have to tell it as it happens.