Sunday 26 October 2014

Garratt comes to Candelo

Another black and white while I had some filum left in the camera.

6039 this week did a light engine trial to Candelo. It is seen in good company with 3610 in the loco sidings.
Another milestone happened this week when I finally finished boxing in the eaves of the shed. It wasn't easy putting these sheets up on my own and luckily only one sheet managed to break in half as it was being put into position.
Now all that remains to do is to paint it. I have always used Solagard in the past and was used to paying around $50-60 for a four litre tin. Well yesterday I got one cent change out of $80. At least I had the choice of any colour I wanted. I chose a Mist green colour so that the shed blends in with the fence, the grass, the trees and the garden.  Some times I even have trouble finding the door. In the photo above can be seen the bent key referred to in a previous blog, now replaced with a straight one.
Today Sunday is stinking hot and no way I'll get the paint brushes out. Its almost like a switch has been thrown, the cooler weather is gone and the humidity has arrived.
So it has been a bit of activity in the shed this week. The sign on room for Candelo Loco has started to get their garden in place. At least the mandatory palm tree has already grown and in place. Says a lot for getting advanced plants.
The gardens have begun to sprout out front of the loco chargemans rooms. A safety fence has also been put into position. It was constructed from code 55 rail, soldered, painted white. The rail I used was a length of Railcraft rail which was pre weathered. By using some Tamiya white mixed with isopryl alcohol it gave an aged/weathered look straight away. Structures around loco depots were never pristine except straight after something was painted and that would have only have been for a few hours.
A tarmac path was made using dark grey chalk but the only piece I had wasn't the right colour.
Jock looks nervously on as a garratt edges up to the buffer stops.

Here is a high level shot of the loco depot area. It doesn't take long for an area to develop once the ballast and groundcover are put into place. The yard lamp and palm tree pierce the vertical and give a different perspective to the scene. As can be seen a pathway around the palm tree is in place to be finished off with edging and more gardification.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

So far..........

So far, so good. It seems for now my little furry friend? has left the building. Eventually the eaves will be filled in and he will be cut off forever.
Managed to start laying out some ground cover around the loco depot. Luckily we still have dirt verges in the street which means I don't have to travel far to get some dirt for ground cover. It is put through a strainer and fixed down the same way I do the ballast. Its easy to vary its colour by using chalks rubbed over the dirt and then spread using the finger.

Candelo is starting to take shape slowly. I have included a few shots below.
A shot of Candelo loco depot prior to the invention of colour.

Car park for Candelo loco depot

Ballast train has just ballasted the loop
Budd set arrives on the loop
Victorian T and Y class take over Candelo loco

Saturday 11 October 2014

In the poo (still)

Well Saturday morning has come and gone and after breakfast I ventured down to see if my resident pest had gone.
I think so must be the answer judging by the new hole he has chewed through the new piece of plaster put into place this week.
Kindly disregard the skid marks on the wall. I don't know how he could make such a mess. Why is it that possums are supposed to be protected?
 The whole room stinks of possum piss and anyone that knows that smell would be put off going in there. I don't think he likes me. I would have liked to see how he managed to get the piss half way down the roller door. This has led to the conclusion that it must be a male. Females are not that versatile. Guess its the mop and a bucket of lavender disenfectant into action.
Damage to rolling stock? Minimal as its was moved away from the window where I guess he spent most of his time planning his escape.
The easy part was getting a replacement key for the roller door. I got two this time, just in case. A pair (all though I only needed one set) of pliers managed to extract the broken bit from the lock. A bit luckier than Paul from WA.
So more wasted time now required for the hole in the roof, then we move forward.
Last but not least the little bugger left me a calling card (again) but I have got the boys onto the job of cleaning it up.

Friday 10 October 2014

In the poo (again)

As much as I would like this blog to be devoted to model railways it seems there are other forces working against me.
Many posts have been devoted to the ferals that inhabit the shed. Well this week was going so good in that I had finally sealed across the front of the shed under the eaves. The painting is yet to come and it will then start to look half decent.
During the week I have done some more ballasting and painting the sides of the rails. Now yesterday afternoon I thought I would pop in and have a quick look and see if the ballast had dried.
But when I got inside, turned left and went to have a look at Candelo what I saw was mayhem. There were locos and carriages on their sides all over the place. I do not recall any earth tremors the night before and immediately felt my little furry friends had paid me another visit.
Maybe this was payback revenge for sealing up the hole into the shed (that they had put there) in  the corner of the roof. On the main board down the middle of the shed (Bega) the garratt had been tipped on its side. (goodness how many parts have fallen off) and random wagons on different roads were tipped over.
I could not hear any activity anywhere in the shed, maybe the little bugger was asleep planning his next raid? So all I could do was to right up the overturned and hope for the best.
So going up for dinner the door was closed then to suck a bit of sympathy from the wife. 
Today Friday after having been out most of the day, I wondered down again to the shed, turned left again towards Candelo, you guessed it the little bugger was back. Candelo suffered most.
Not being an expert in animal faeces, what I did spot was a calling card on the floor. Having seen enough of this rear end product over the years I like Sherlock Holmes deduced it was from a possum. I apologise in advance for subjecting the following shots to you, but if its not from a possum someone out there may be to identify it.
Although this first shot may be sufficient to identify the said animal, the second shot is only included for the fantastic stacking skills of the phantom layer. (made harder as the landing strip was on an angle!!)  Assumed as coming from the same creature it was probably as result of panic setting in when he was up against the window with the outside with its green trees beckoning him to join them. They actually looked like O scale black puddings. The bit I liked was that they seemed to be laid dry and not wet and sloppy which would have taken longer to clean up and would have played havoc with the vacuum cleaner. The cars were also part of the accident scene.
Above is a photo of the carnage brought upon Candelo yard. All I can say is that I'm glad it wasn't any further advanced here or more damage could have been done.
I'm sorry I had to share these pictures with you. The good news was that no one was hurt and all the locos and rolling stock has been righted. After cleaning up the mess I thought if I opened the roller door the phantom mangler might disappear into the night. Getting the key I opened the roller enough to let any animal up to a metre tall to make a quick evacuation while I had dinner and watched the news.
So after a few hours and darkness had come, I went out to re-close the door. Now there is one thing you must do with roller doors and that is to remove the key before pulling it up. As I look up I see a bent key and as I try to straighten it up to pull it out, yes it snaps with half key in and half key out. 
So tomorrow my project will be to Google how to remove broken keys from locks. Wish me luck.

Saturday 4 October 2014

Into Loco

Not a lot of progress inside the shed lately but finally after around 25 years I have started to  box in the eaves of the shed. This will finally stop all those pesky creatures that normally live on the outside from taking up residence inside the shed. Amongst those creatures are possums and rats. (See multiple older blogs for details) Its one of those "will do it later jobs" which you always seem to put off and never get around to doing. I must admit the visible side of the shed has had the eaves filled in and the left hand side of the shed painted. Its so long ago but the paint must have run out as only half the front was painted. Scrap bits of timber were nailed up to the opening to deter pests from entering the roof cavity. A few years ago I saw a swarm of bees who thought the shed would make a nice home. Thank goodness they didn't stay long and left.
I had some fibro sheeting put away years ago just quitely sitting along side of the shed waiting for the big day to be used. Now to put up long lengths over two metres long up a ladder on your own and be expected to nail upside down and hang on to avoid falling is a big ask. So far no falls but I had to devise a  way of not only getting up the ladder carrying a large sheet but have it stay up there so I could nail it. I put a few scraps of timber nailed to the shed which held one edge. To hold the outside edge, I drilled holes in the bargeboard and put nails in the hole. Then after carrying the board up the ladder, slipped the shed edge over the scrap bits and slowly pushed the nails through along the bargeboard to support the sheeting. Have you ever tried nailing upside down? I had to pre-drill holes to make this task easier.
Now as this sheeting had been around for quite a few years I suppose I can't blame it for snapping in half as I was carrying it up the ladder. A few choice swear words, down the ladder again, recut the sheet again and now the sheet being half its original length was so much easier to handle. Well I nearly have the front bit done and this will allow me to eventually get another coat of paint onto it.
Inside the shed I have been doing some more ballasting around the loco roads, nice and dark with dropped oil spots as you would expect in this area. A few bits of grass around the point motors to blend and hide them was also applied.
During the week I hope to get some timber about 150mm high to sit on the window sill and form the backdrop to the station. This will make it visually better and allow a backdrop to put behind the station. It will also form a good backdrop for photography. Once this is done the platform can be put into place.
When I was uploading the above shot from the camera to the computer, there was a folder dated November 2000. Quickly doing the sums this was 14 years ago, have I really been building this layout for so long?
This is a shot of the control panel for South Coast Rail. Now I'm almost sure DCC wasn't around in 2000 so this will allow me to post this shot without getting into too much trouble. It was made on a sheet of perspex. The tracklayout was drawn in reverse onto the brown paper. Then the track sections were cut out with a razor blade and painted so adjoining colours were different. Once all this had been done the remainder of the back was sprayed with black gloss paint. This then secured the track painted lines under the black paint. The front layer of protective paper was then removed. The pushbuttons were a Dick Smith product I got many years ago when they used to sell usefull things not like now. Originally an 8 gang pushbutton unit, I removed three buttons to allow 5 controllers to control each section of track. I has worked well to this day. The usual pushbuttons for the point motors were also installed. The only drawback with this style is that you have to be sure you don't want to change the trackplan once its all painted up and the holes drilled for the buttons.
Tomorrow I will be heading off to the Liverpool exhibition to catch up with a few people and hopefully enjoy the day.