Thursday, 8 February 2018

Club Meeting, 4th February 2018
Hi all,

In very benevolent weather (I had the top down on the EOS) about half of our members arrived at the Club for a pleasant Sunday arvo of messing about with trains.

As to what happened - that's a bit harder.   Both Geoffs and Dale had a bit of a blitz on the store room which included putting one of the cabinets out of the layout room in there.  The corner cupboard seems to have become the home for all things electrical.  The shelves now hold a range of tools and scenic materials.  A box of "Help yourself, we don't need this" has materialised.  George went off to the quarry again. The dark side of the Club went about their business.  Their efforts with concocting a raspberry pi appear to have borne fruit (ugh!), in that I did see Greg driving a loco from his mobile phone.  One day, they will let us all in on the secret.  If it involves a smart phone, there lies my own first problem.

Port Gary

Speaking of problems, Dave and and I had a review of problems relating to convincing beautiful brass locos of 1980s vintage to join us in the digital age.  Specifically, fitting a DCC sound decoder into his Samhongsa (BGM) VR X Class Diesel.  With some help from a 3D printer, I think we will get there, apart from the lights at the short hood end.  That's a brazed/soldered closed box, and it's such a beautiful bit of kit that I simply refuse to take a Dremel grinding disk to it.  VR generally ran long hood forward, so at least it will have lights at the front.

Turntables are now in place at Mousehole and Sayer, and the loco facilities sidings are in place at Sayer.  Finished, except that I might add a couple more stub lines off the table to give somewhere to park out of service locos.  It's now over to Derek to do the electrickery bit.

As threatened, Geoff the Sec rolled out a list of things to discuss over tea.  Proper minutes will appear on the notice board at the Clubrooms one of these days.  Bits that I recall were that, while Martin has the final say, we thought that dates and prices for the 2019 show will be unchanged.  Gingin will be renamed, simply as "Steward".  Our Sec will talk to Jack about G gauge and to Paul about a web site for the club.  We will struggle, and I think fail, to get a layout to Stawell for their show this year, but will able to support them next year.  Still not too late for some one to stick their hand up.  Helen had packed up all of her cake tins ready for her move Mornington way, so the farewell feast was strawberries, melon and grapes.  Not the only reason we will miss you, Helen.  There is a trestle bridge that relies on your supports, and one day fairly soon the Helen/Judy forest will take root on the layout.  On the medical front, Geoff the Pres's sister is now recovering well from her close encounter of the equine kind, and we wish Alan well with his upcoming operation.

At our show, the club was donated the remains of a Triang Minic train set (circa 1947).  Geoff the Pres, an inveterate collector of archaic things mechanical also has one that does not work.  We decided to donate the Clubs bits to Geoff to see if he can make one working unit from the combined remains, on the condition that he brings it to our Show as a working "novelty".  At 70 years old, everything old is new again!  Some (many) of the early plastic bits have cracked/broken/distorted so it may be the 3D printer to the rescue, and everything new will be old again.

Late in the day, George's extended family came to collect him and made complementary noises when they came in and had a guided tour of our work in progress.

That's plenty for now, see some of you on the 11th

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Vale Bob Steward

Dear Colette,

We were all saddened on hearing the news of Bob's passing.

He has always been a valued member of our club.  His knowledge and experience of modelling both railway and scenics has helped us in building our current Club layout.

Bob kindly donated a "station building" with platform and lighting which has taken pride of place in a particular location on our new layout.  It is disappointing that he will not be able to see it.

As has become traditional in our club, Bob will be remembered by having a location on our layout named in his honour.

On behalf of myself and all Club members please accept our sincere condolences.

Yours sincerely,

Geoff Newman,
President, Phillip Island and District Railway Modellers, Inc

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Club Meeting, 28th January 2018

Hi All

Eight hardy souls battled their way to the Club, plus one visitor who was in Cowes anyway.  What a day for traffic!  Australia day weekend, Classic Motorbikes at the circuit, last weekend of the school holidays.  40°c in the shade.  The poor old tourist road was not in the shade, and melted.  Great lumps are presumably stuck to somebody's wheels - they're certainly not on the road base any more.  Traffic at a standstill from the koala reserve to somewhere past Grantville.  So the story goes - I did not check it out personally.

That's a great airconditioner in our layout room.  Two turntables arrived under Greg's arm and are now in place.  The one at Mousehole is well advanced, thanks to Rod, while the one at Sayer is less advanced, thanks to me.  Geoff and Geoff did stuff with the coal loader thing near the soon to be renamed Gingin.  Dale found things that no one else could find, Judy chatted and organised us for tea, Jack flew a drone - fortunately in the main hall, so the layout was safe.  Our visitor (lives in Sunshine, so not a prospective member) thought the layout was great, particularly impressed by ease of access, and ability to run long trains.  Then went off to collect his family and enjoy the drive home.

                                                                 In memory of two legends

Geoff the Sec wants to discuss a few things next week to find out in which direction we wish to head - he will be sending out some hints about the topics this week.  Usual story - if you can't be with us, then send him an email.

See you on the 4th


Thursday, 25 January 2018

Club Meeting, 21st January 2018

Hi All,

I have to start on a sad note.  We learned today that Bob Steward died just before Christmas.  Geoff the Pres will organise a card for anyone who is with us on the 28th to sign.  Bob has been getting less and less well for a few years, and we have seen little of him since he and Colette sold their house on Stradbroke Ave.  He has, however left his mark on our new layout even though he never got to see it.  He built the station building that is now at John's Falls.  The 3 unit DBB EMU, and the single car DB diesel railcar were both donated by Bob.  And it is now time to come up with a new name for Gingin.

We were also short two Geoffs today.  The Pres had to leave early (before I arrived late) to attend a sister who had fallen off a horse.  I have sat on horses twice that I can recall, and the ground looks to be a long way down.  The Sec has back trouble that goes beyond it not wanting to leave the bed.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery to all.

What did we actually do?  Derek made a lot of noise and mess, but the outcome is that we now have places to plug in throttles around the outside of the layout.  And the mess got tidied away.  David unpacked a host of cars that we got at mate's rates from Christine at the show.  Finding somewhere to park at John's Falls is now a problem.  And he is still looking for some tray trucks and a fire truck.  Dale and I unpacked an host of Scaledale buildings that also came at mate's rates, and planted these here and there.  Some have relevance to as yet unlaid tracks in the Sayer yard.  Jack came late, and played trains.  So did Dale, later, although he pretended that he was checking out the new loconet panels that Derek installed.  George, Martin and Rod did something on the other side of the divider,  Judy tidied up various loose ends with Dale, and Helen supplied us with coconut macaroons.  One should have been enough for anyone, but I had to have two.

Over tea we talked about our show.  The Show itself made a reasonable profit and should cover our expenses over the next 12 months.  We walked away with less than that, because Dale could not resist mate's rates, but we would have spent that money anyway out of our bank account, so the swings took care of the roundabouts in overall terms.  Attendance was down a bit, and George suggested that we missed out on the wives and kids who escape from Dad at the Kustom Nationals.  Last year, same weekend, this year not.  We are trying to dig back through history to see if there is a correlation before we lock in our dates for 2019.

We have had an invitation to the Grampians Club show, on 7th & 8th July.  They always support us very well, so, can anyone go?  Either to take Bald Mountain, or a layout of their own.  Last year Judy F and I took Bald Mountain, and a couple of years ago I took Zillerbahn on my own, but this year I expect to be away.  And if anyone is building a portable layout, please tell Martin about it.  George is, but it won't be ready, and he is otherwise engaged so that's no help this year.  By next year, we hope to have the "This is how you step up from Thomas" layout ready to go - but that is next year.  Let me know, we need to give Colin an indication within the next couple of weeks.

'Til the 28th

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Club Meeting, 7th January 2018
Hi All,

Good to see so many of you looking fresh and frisky in this new year.  As predicted, a few of the workaholics did some work.  Most of us did not do anything too serious either before or after the tea break..

A friend of Paul (another David) from Kilmore called in for the afternoon.  An enthusiast of the LNER persuasion, he must have one of the best equipped workshops outside of a factory - looking through his photos of projects I could see a decent lathe, a hydraulic press, pieces that must have been milled and items that demonstrated competence with a welder.  How many all steel turntables do you know of in 4mm?  Drool, drool.

Serious business of the day was confined to finalising show arrangements and jobs.  On Friday (12th) it would be good to have a couple of able bodied blokes at the Seniors shortly after 9am to load up Bald Mountain, the U-Drive, and all their associated bits and bobs.   If it is raining we will move everything in my van, if it is fine then utes are useful.  Dale will be at the Cultural Centre by 10am (unless he tells some one else to be) to collect keys and open up the Hall.  Most of you can go straight there.  I don't expect any of the visiting exhibitors to show up until the afternoon so the morning should be clear for us to concentrate on setting up our own stands.

So, until Friday, or Saturday, or Sunday,

See you

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Club Meeting, 17th December 2017

Hi and Seasons Salutations to All,

Yesterday we were the metric dozen - nine members plus a friend (perhaps future member) of Rod's from a Men's Shed.

Mousehole Arises from the Ashes
As promised, there was some gentle, disorganised running of trains.  Geoff the Pres ran an F3 or thereabouts hauling a shortish rake of freight cars, then his 0-4-2 T ( I suppose a 1400 Class) with a pair of 4 wheeled carriages as a push-pull unit on the branch line.  Later still the Evening Star hauled the blue Pullman stock around for a while in the (vain) hope that the noisy gears would bed in and quieten down.  I managed to assemble enough freight cars behind the NSWGR 80 class that it finally no longer made it round the uphill curve approaching Sayer from the north end.  By the time that it stopped with wheelspin just short of the summit, the last car was approaching Gin Gin.  That train was more than twice the length of any of our passing loops, so not likely to be a problem when we attack a timetable day.  In contrast, George had a tiny three carriage shuttle of DBB origins that made its way on the branch line.  Geoff the Sec and Rod re -graded the track bed on the approach to the bridge over Martin's ravine.  David did a bit of fine tuning on the scenery around quarry corner.  Dale found things that nobody else could.  And Helen and Judy assembled everybody's contributions onto one table that we gathered around and then put the put the world to rights once more while we scoffed the goodies.  If only the Government would leave things alone from one week to the next, then we could make real progress.

So our modelling year ended with a disparate mob having all pushed in more or less the same direction, and utterly transformed the Pool Room.  We are definitely a fixture at the CSCC for the foreseeable future.

Enjoy your next Sunday away (Christmas Eve), and the one after as well (New Year's Eve), and we will gather again on Jan 7th.  The workaholics will probably want to build something, and I would like to ( read "desperately need to") sort out who will be doing what at our 2018 show.  If you will not be with us, please send me an email prior to the 7th, saying what days you will be able to help out, and what you would like to help with, so that we can spread the load equally, as far as possible.  Set up day is Friday 12th with 13th and 14th as our public days.

Best wishes to all for the New Year

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Club Meeting 10 December 2017

Hi All,

Every one knew it was a running day, except Geoff the Sec.  So he worked for a while, until he got fed up with that game.  Late in the day he borrowed the 80 Class to rumble around with a satisfyingly long rake of freight cars.  

First to hit the track was Paul with a new model of one of Britain's classic locos of the 19th century - the Dean goods.  A lovely little model, by Oxford (better known as makers of model cars),  this hauled a rake of battered, weathered wagons around until Paul deemed that it was now run in.  Then it was the turn of some equally battered and weathered 2-6-4 T to haul them around.  

Derek continued to solder wires here and there without causing very many shorts, and I was sorting out those freight cars that rolled freely from those that did not.  That done, Marco Porter was able to move enough of them to fill any given siding at Stanley Creek.    Geoff the Sec told me that the "stiff" ones are mostly 50 years old, and have not turned a wheel for the past 40 years.  "Fix it, dear Henry", etc.  

Jack ran his HO r/c battery powered diesel and, over tea, sought advice on how to do similar in G gauge.  He received advice, but I am not sure if it helped.  

Geoff the Pres had the impressive 2-10-0 "Evening Star" that flatters but to deceive.  The motor is actually in a rather lightweight tender that produced a lot of gear noise and wheelspin and very little forward motion when four lighted carriages were hooked on behind.  Similar problem to the freight cars - one carriage in particular was hard to drag because of high friction from the pickups that powered the lights.  In contrast, his little 0-4-2 T just purred around.  

Greg had a little video camera on a wagon that was being pushed around by some anonymous looking diesel of the BR persuasion, and Rod had a different BR diesel that put in a late appearance.  

George had a Southern Pacific F? diesel that struggled to haul 3 or 4 (should pay more attention) "heavyweight" passenger cars.  I attribute most of the struggle to dirty wheels on the loco that combined with every speck of dirt on the track to bring proceedings to a halt.  At least it did point out a few spots where glue had made its way onto the rails.  Earlier, the Dean goods had identified every main line point where the moving rail was not making adequate contact with the fixed one.  Diesels tend to bridge these gaps whereas 0-6-0s do not.  

Judy and Martin did not bring anything to run, but Judy unloaded flyers for the show to all who would take a few, and passed a pile of old club paperwork to Geoff the Sec, who is compiling a rational record of Club activities since our formation.  She also mentioned that the Show is now listed on a social website  so you are encouraged to visit that, make sure to get to end of the article and "like" it.

Don't forget to bring a spot of tucker next week, and we will have another laid back day of doing not a lot.