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.


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Club Meeting 3rd December 2017

Hi All,
The end of the day marked the end of "normal"  activities for 2017.  So what normally happened?

As promised, Derek courted death by soldering iron, out of sight of most of us except Rod who kept making holes in the baseboard and poking bits of wire at him.  David plastered the hill which the quarry is trying to cart away.  Geoff the Pres and Dale finished putting up the back scene on the branch line side of the divider, and protected Rod from further injury by neatly fitting capping strip to all the rough edges.  Thank you, gentlemen, it was only a matter of time before I too came away bleeding.  In fact, I guess that most of us are at the stage where the skin and the blood are thinner than they used to be.  Judy had brought a bunch of new, double sided name tags to be laminated.  Why double sided?  For the show, instead of risking more blood-letting by safety pin, we will all have name tags on lanyards (with which to hang ourselves, or each other).  And we all know which way around name tags want to hang on lanyards.  Geoff the Sec had forgotten to bring any tools (as if the Club doesn't have any!) so amused himself by coupling a couple of metres of freight cars behind my NSWGR 80 Class and hauling that lot around at freight train speed.  After a while he disappeared into the store room and claimed to be sorting things out.  Grant walked back and forth, hither and yon, creating cerebral scenery, and wondering where to put the Pub.  Or was it the Church?  If I remember town planning from my days in Ireland, they are on opposite corners of any given crossroads.

I had a quietly fruitful afternoon sorting out bugs that I had built in when I laid the Stanley Creek freight yard trackwork.  During the week I had taken the Porter 0-6-0 home and introduced him to Marco the UPRR gondola.  These two are now inseparable companions, and Marco Porter is now a 4-4-6-0 combo who unhesitatingly explores the length and breadth of the Stanley Creek yard.  He can escape onto the main line if some one leaves a point open. 
I also found that while he did not have any problem pulling a 4 foot train of wagons on the home track, there are a few freight cars on the club layout that he can barely move on their own without wheel spin.  Time for a bit of maintenance, or release the handbrake, or suchlike.

As foretold, next Sunday is set as a running day, so bring along your favourite loco (or use a Club one) and stretch its legs along the main lines,  or fight your way through oncoming traffic on the branch line. 

The 17th is still to a cakes (but no ale) afternoon.  Not to over cater, if you just bring enough for one, there will be enough for everybody when we mix and match.

And somewhere in there, there is a bit of tweaking to be done on the U-Drive.


Friday, 1 December 2017

Meeting 26/11/2017

Hi All,

More than twice as many of us this week, but not any noisier - at least not when Martin and George turned off the world's second loudest vacuum cleaner.

I rocked up rather late (not too late for tea - got to make the most of it before Helen finds her new house) to find Martin, George, Dave and Paul busy building scenery.  Rod was puzzling over trackwork at Mousehole, Derek was down at floor level with a hot soldering iron for company, while Greg tried to look as though he knew what Derek was doing, and why.  Geoff the Sec was standing around - possibly doing something, I was the other side of the divider so how would I know?  Jack had recharged the battery in his r/c diesel, and ran that around derailing this and that.   As well as a date loaf (or similar), Helen had brought along a box of disassembled USA diesels that Ian was going to do something with one day.  These are available for anyone who wants a challenge.  Dale was harried from pillar to post with the usual range of questions.  All I asked was "Does the Club have a 40' gondola that I can modify?" and that led to looking through every mysterious cardboard box in cupboardus giganticus.  We found a lot more than a gondola.  To remind us that our annual show is now seven weeks away, Judy had brought along the first draft of the Show Programme, and that got passed around.  George did his usual meticulous proof reading, and found every one of Judy's deliberate mistakes- just can't get anything past that fellow.  Check out the Club's blog site, to see if any of the photos taken by Jack's drone came good. 

Next month, Derek is going to try to get the branch line powered up to its end on the 3rd, the 10th is to be a running day, the 17th will mainly be given over to eating cakes, the 24th is reserved for Christmas Eve and the 31st for New year's Eve.  Jan 7th we better try to get the Club layouts in running order for the show because Friday 12th is set-up day.

See you on the 3rd for what will be our last "normal" day for a while.