Recently I have had the privilege of meeting two fellow Victorian On30 narrow gauge interstate modellers. Firstly Gavin Hince the editor of the Narrow Gauge Down Under magazine was on leave from the winters of Victoria looking for a warmer climate in New South Wales. I am located close to the M1 which is the main highway north from Sydney so side trips here are no hassles. Gavin was an attendee at the 2019 Easter Narrow Gauge convention at Erina but was unable to fit in a visit at the time so this was an opportune time. After some carrot cake and a cuppa, Gavin and his wife went down to the shed to see South Coast Rail. We spent some time there discussing the layout and ways of doing things. It is good to have interaction with fellow modellers especially if they model the same prototype. And after a while they headed north seeking the warmth, but the weather forecast for the week wasn't good. Hope you didn't cop too much rain Gavin.
And yesterday I was pleased to finally meet up with Roger Johnson also a fellow VR narrow gauge modeller who was over from South Australia. This meeting almost didn't happen as when we were corresponding about his visit to NSW he stated he was available on a Friday. I thought the day would be clear but when I checked the calendar I found I was booked on a transfer movement on that Friday aboard 3801 that was transferring the carriages for the Maitland Steam Festival. This Festival had already been cancelled from April when a landslide from the flood had washed out the connection from Thirlmere to Picton. So I had to advise Roger that I couldn't make it on that day. But the rain gods struck again, the flood gates were closed over the tracks at Maitland and due to many other flood issues the Festival was called off again. So the good news was sent to Roger and a meet up ensued.
Roger was instrumental in making the 3d printed piers for my Thomson River bridge. Although the top structure of the bridge was coming along quite well, I was unsure how I could make the piers to match the top structure standard. So the bridge can now look as good as I can make it, thanks again Roger. Also while he was in Sydney he attended the 'Modelling the Early days of the NSWGR'. One of his models he brought along was a bullock team and wagon and very nicely put together.
Roger and his wife also had to endure some carrot cake and a cuppa. (The carrot cake is standard issue here) Eventually Roger and his wife got to see the layout and Roger was reunited with the piers he made some time ago. They have also be painted and weathered very well by renown painter Ian Fainges. Similar to Gavins' visit time went too quickly for our layout tour and the rental car needed to be returned to Gosford.
Roger Johnsons bullock team
So it was great to meet both of those fellow modellers and new friendships are made within the hobby.
The layout, yes I have been doing a little more scenery work down the left hand side of the bank down to the bridge. Slow work but satisfying when it comes out right. I can also add that doing the scenery to the way I want it is becoming a mini money pit. But I must live by my word and get what looks good. It is possible to do a certain amount of work by using cheap items such as logs, twigs, mosses, lichens out of the local bush, but sometimes it is left to the experts in the field who really know how to put great scenery products together. Such as the items from the 'Martin Welberg', 'Mini Natur' and other products that can be obtained from the Modellers Warehouse in Brisbane.
Another item that falls into the great scenery product was spotted on a New Zealander modeller on Facebook as '3 mile Bush Railway'. The item was some flax that looks great as an architectural stand out plant. Made by a company 'Finescale' I sent away for two sheets which turned out to be able to make eight plants. The plants come on a flat etched brass sheet that needs painting, separating from etch and then rolled into form the plant. Again these weren't cheap, being around $60 landed but if you want it you have to be ready to pay for it. I was happy with how they turned out.