I had this blog and also joined two sites on facebook and was approached by one of the efficient organisers Dan Pickard who was aware of my On30 layout to see if I was interested in having the layout open for inspection on the Good Friday prior to the main event starting on the Saturday. I tentatively said yes with a come back to me when the show gets closer.
This was good and bad at the same time. Good as I had a goal to strive for and although I knew it would never be finished in a year I made an effort to get as much done in the time.
I am pleased to say that I never had to resort to night shifts down there but some long days especially when the deadline drew closer. But I no complain at least the progress was well advanced had I not had a target to go for. There was no plan to get big areas done but certain areas like the terminus at Eden resulted in that area nearly 80% finished. All I really need is to complete some structures like the engine shed, transfer shed, gantry crane and the coal stage and it should be nearly done.
Another project that I finished was the complete surrounding all edges of the baseboards with a fascia. This was a long slow process with the 3mm mdf being cut to shape out on the lawn, then undercoated and moved into the shed for attaching to the baseboard edge. Some sections were screwed in as they might need to come off for wiring access and other were just glued into position. Two finish coats later and it really lifted the appearance of the layout. Another enhancement was the addition of vinyl lettering in white to indicate the location of each station. This I hope will help when operators turn up to let them know where they are. Although there will be station nameboards by way of design some will be facing inwards and be of no use to the operator.
I also had plans of using carpet tiles on the floor and a trip to a used carpet warehouse got a boot (trunk) load of tiles. I put a few down on the floor but they started to slide a bit and was advised that I needed some double sided cloth tape to make them secure. As it was getting very close to the target day I made the decision to just use up the half a can of floor paint I had just to spruce it up. You could still smell the new paint on the Friday. The tiles will be laid at a later date.
So the room was as good as I could get it for the open day. There are now many more boxes containing items that once happily resided on the baseboard that are now underneath (somewhere).
As I was the first layout on the way north for inspection I didn't know what to expect in the way of crowds, were they going to be queued up at the side gate? No that didn't happen.
I was also lucky in that I had a last minute of assembled and painted rolling stock delivered to me from the Black workshops on the Friday morning, (thanks James) so now I can make a respectable train. I even purchased a visitors book for the event and thought it would be a good time to start one. The viewers were staggered out over a few hours which gave me some time to be able to answer any question re the layout. I held the fort till after 5 o'clock and no more visitors came. Relief the big test was over. Inside for dinner and then to get ready for the first day on the Saturday at the convention.
Saturday morning arrived and I headed off in the car up the Central coast and had to find the Central Coast Grammar school. Wow, when you arrived at the outside in the car park you could smell and see the quality. Why wasn't mum and dad rich enough to send me to a school like this? The committee picked a nice spot and it had everything you needed to hold this convention.
I had to pick up my info pack when i got there and met Rod Hutchinson the registrar. I finally got to put a face to some of the names I had conversed with on facebook and other places.
The hall was expansive if anything to me a bit on the big side (after all we were narrow gauge and wouldn't take up that much room) It was a meet and greet and I soon attacked some of the stands with my wallet. These sort of shows are great when all the traders are there together, you don't have to chase around on the internet and going to their shops for purchases.
|Government Gums On42 and On2|
After the welcoming address the lectures/clinics started in various rooms. i must admit time got away on the first morning and i missed out on the first session. After standing around talking, my legs started to let me know they needed a seat for a while, so I checked out the next session and sat through it. It was quite interesting though and was a talk on the narrow gauge railways of Japan.
Lunch consisted of Subway rolls which were quite enjoyable and are the staple diet I found out for these conventions, a lot less trouble than a spit roast lunch?
|The Points - Rod Hutchinson On30|
|Cromford Canal Bull's Bridge Wharf - Michael Flack 7mm|
|Cromford Canal Bull's Bridge Wharf|
|Cromford Canal Bull's Bridge Wharf|
I obtained a drink and then a seat ready for the evening meal. Now the only gripe I may have had all weekend was the seemingly (to me) arrival timing of the meals. The bread roll was dropped off on the plate by the nice lady and I noticed were quickly devoured as people were starting to get a bit peckish. The entree may have turned up around just after 7.0pm and then the awards for the competitions were made. This was a great distraction to any hunger pains that may have been around. The main meal finally turned up around 8.30pm with a choice of a pork chop or a lamb shank. Meals were nice but by this time at home I reckon the dishwasher would have been on. I suppose there were around 200 for the meal so it was probably the excuse for the delay. I believe the meal was going to be a three course one and that the dessert would make a show sometime later and by calculating the timing between number one and two courses I reckoned the third would turn up after 10.0pm. I had to drive an hour or so back towards Sydney and decided to forgo my dessert and told my mate to tell the lady I was at the toilet and you can fight over the surplus dessert. I found out the next day it wasn't sent back to the kitchen. I also had a football game to watch (We only lost by two points) and went to bed as I needed to be up again at 7.0am to start back for the Sunday offerings.
|Kinmont - Dan Pickard - On30|
|Bobcat County - Garry Walden - HOn3|
|Quinces Landing - Ken Scales On30|
|Trouble Brewing - Steve Pettit - Gn15|
The talks were all finished by 4.30pm and the closing remarks were given in the main hall.
I must congratulate the work that the committee has gone to get the whole show prepared and finished, many many hours have been put in by a dedicated few for our enjoyment. The quality and presentation of the Convention Notes was also first class and well laid out.
So before 5.0pm we had set sail for the queue of traffic that was normal for Sydney over the Easter period. I can say that I enjoyed the event and was good meeting up with the guys that were previously only a name.
|Fingal - Simon Handby 00-14|
|Corrimal Colliery Incline - O & O16.5 in 7mm scale John Garaty and Guy Gadsden|
|Corrimal Colliery Incline|
|Freight rolling stock entries|
|A magnificent structure of Walhalla terminus of the Moe to Walhalla line|
The next one will be in 2021 in two years time. So I hope I can attend that one as well.