Sunday 28 March 2010

White Cliffs of Bodalla
I don't need to go to England to see the White Cliffs of Dover when I can now go down to the shed and see the White Cliffs of Bodalla.
I don't know how much longer I will be able to use 'Its too hot to paint" excuse but this weekend allowed a few hours to get plastered and commence on the cliff behind Bodalla. I crunched up bits of foam , dipped them into the plaster mix and then set them against the chicken wire. I find to get the effect I am looking for is not to have the plaster too wet, other wise it comes out too smooth.
I work with three spraycan lids worth of plaster at a time, some water and a dash of vinegar, and a dash to the worksite and into action.
I didn't take any photos of white plaster, I'm sure you all know what it looks like. With a few days off over Easter I'm sure a bit of colouring to the plaster will appear. Once the cliff behind Bodalla station is complete then I can commence on doing the platform up.
Some time ago I made up a board for a local friend as the start of his Victorian branch line. It was portable enough to take outside and work on it in the sun. (Nice in winter) One of the side benefits of working in the sun is the great light it provides for photos. I've included a few on here as being stuck on a hard drive they will never see the light of day.

Sunday 21 March 2010

Happy Anniversary.
Where has a year gone? Looking back over some old blogs I realised it was now over a year ago since I started this blog. How time flies when your having fun.
As I have always reckoned blogs are a great electronic diary and good to look back on.
I decided to concentrate on finishing the signal box I started last weekend. Saturday and a bit of the night and I had all the posts and railings and steps attached. The posts and railings were cast and even with a fair bit of sanding to finish smooth the end results could have been better. I made the railings out of some North Eastern stripwood and while being a more realistic size than what came with the kit still had wood fuzz thats noticeable close up.
The water tank stand was assembled and a 1000 gallon tank was weathered up and placed on the stand. All that is missing is the water tap at the bottom.
Photos? Yes I took about fifteen but I was not happy with any of them and all are now in the recycle bin. I took some shots on macro and wow you can see how crook I finished the model off.
But if you look at it from the normal viewing distance it looks fine.
So thats another weekend of modelling gone and after around eight hours work I have a signal box for Bodalla.
While I was looking through the photos of the signal box I came across a video I took of some visitors Southern Shorthaul equipmentwhen they came to SCR last October, so I will upload in lieu of the signal box photos.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Me time
After doing a few jobs before lunch on Saturday, I decided on a bit of me time in the afternoon. Continuing on from last weekend I will be concentrating on Bodalla for a while. The main reason for this is the large amount of complaints I'm getting from passengers regarding the state of the platform.
They complain about "there's no seats to sit on", 'no garden to look at", 'the station building is here one day and gone the next". So to shut the wingers up I will finish Bodalla platform.
I was working on the lift out section of cliff stapling the chicken wire onto the former, and wouldn't you know it my $5 staple gun fired its last staple. Dropping it onto the floor also didn't help. Like all things in this throw away society it ended up in the bin and a promise to get another one on Sunday.
Unable to complete the scenery, I went to the list of things to complete on the layout before I die, and Item 765 was a signal box for Bodalla. Into the box of 284 things I need to construct I found a kit for a fibro (call it asbestos if you want) signal box. It was a Hawksmoor kit my first one to put together. I was a bit hesitant working with asbestos however the instructions told me it was a resin kit so I commenced its construction. By 9.0pm I had the walls, base and roof together waiting for Sunday for more work to be done on it. I can recommend the kit, it is well thought out and the parts go together well and fills in the hole of NSWGR infrastructure.
After rolling out of the cot around 9.0am (my weekend present to myself) it was off to the shops for groceries, back to read the Sunday paper, lunch, Landline, Gardening Australia, then back to me time.
I felt a bit guilty returning to the shed, after all there was a cupboard waiting repainting. But the draw of the signal box was stronger. I grey primed it and after it had dried, I commenced to paint it. Using the coloured picture from Branchline Modeller 3, I started with the base and then the sides and lastly with the roof. The finish is certainly not a pristine new finish but hopefully a reasonable weathered one. Also discovered a bit left over in the bag and when I read the instructions found out that I had forgotten to put the floor in. Oh well I'll have to employ taller signalmen. By next weekend I hope to get the glazing in and the handrails as well. Sitting beside the track now it looks OK.
I also bought another staple gun to complete the scenery work. The staple gun had now increased in price to $8. I had to convince the guy in the hardware shop that I wasn't running an upholstery shop and that I didn't need one of his $44 staple guns. The last one held out for about four years and I hope this one will as well.
I also must admit I like keeping an eye on all the other blogs to follow the progress of other modellers. I always head for Craigs Shed first as his blog list shows when either the blogs have been updated or thats when he must visit them. I'm glad his DCC is working out Ok for him.
Well maybe next blog I will have a photo of the finished signal box.

Sunday 7 March 2010

Tunnel Vision
Sunday night and I have just come from Craigs Shed ( to see what his achievements for the week have been. Craig would have to be one of the most regular bloggers, but when I was reading his post tonight it wasn't until I got to the fifth paragraph before I started to understand what he was on about.
The first four paragraphs were devoted to the ddc-ish language of which I don't speak. I suppose it all makes sense to those that understand dcc. Don't get me wrong its all good but for now I'll stick with the old DC. In the future I'll be like the guy thats still got a computer that can read floppy discs. They'll be saying in future 'Take your old loco over to South Coast Rail, that old fart still has DC and you can get a run there'
Today I started on the cliff that divides Bodalla and Candelo the branch terminus. At well over two metres long, behind it runs a hidden track. So far this is the last section of the layout to see plaster. The reasoning is if a train derails behind the chicken wire I can see it and reach up and rerail it. I laid this section of track as well as I could and it has been reasonably derailment free. With Murphy often visiting the layout i was sure if I sealed the full length of the cliff, derailment would start occuring.
So to get around this, I am making a section of the cliff removable to enable me to fix any derailment problems. It will not be the full length of the cliff, so in true Murphy fashion all my derailments will now occur to the left and right of said removable section.The photo shows the early days for the removable section. Once this section is completed then I can make a start on finishing Bodalla platform.
I am also posting some photos I found in the archives taken around five years ago. How time flies.