Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Club Meeting 25 March 2018

Hi All

It has been a while since I awoke to the sound of rain beating on the window.  And, however much the garden may be enjoying it I feel no inclination to go out there and join in the celebrations.  So I sit here, snug and dry, and think back to a pleasant yesterday afternoon.

Prize for question of the day has to go to David "Should I ballast the track...?"  When did any of us say "No" to that?  So the South end of the branch line continues to grow more beautiful by the week.  Other compass points, too.  Geoff the Pres turned up with a truckload of tarmac.  Actually, it was a pot of dark grey paint but nevertheless, under the expert direction of Dale, a road was laid in Mousehole, together with pavements and a school fence.  Out in the wilds of the West, Geoff the Sec was risking life and finger working lineside as the Flying Scotsman thundered past.  I swapped the Scotsman for a couple of old (1950s) model aero engines some years ago.  It is out of place on my home layout, so the Club layout is its new home, ready for anyone who is in the mood to run a mainline express.  Derek would disappear from time to time, create a short circuit, then reappear smiling when all was well once again.  It was all Rod's fault, in the end.  More and more points are responding to having a button on a control panel touched.  Did you know that we have a touchy feely layout?  Not quite the the usual connotation - our touching is done with an electric prodder.  Jack showed up with a cough that he wanted to get rid of, so now you know who to blame.  Martin continued his efforts in his canyon - still looking for Clementine, perhaps, and showed us at smoko his plans for next year's show.  I failed to get Western Packaging to fit into their new site, so the factory has gone away for more drastic measures.

A very welcome visitor was Ron Wrigglesworth, who we usually see at our show quietly making a relic of some Aussie outback building, and cheerfully chatting to visitors.  This chatting feature is not to be under rated.  It is very important is making our event a friendly place for the paying public.  It is a major difference between our show and an art show, or museum, or some other shows I have attended.  And Ron cannot stop changing his own layouts and pulling out last year's scenery.  We already have a number of his superseded buildings (mostly still in Cupboardus Giganticus) and now we have a magnificent shearing shed and yards to complement our farm to be. 

Paul arrived very late bearing a mysterious box - his excuse was that he had been laying decking, but he didn't bring a note so we cannot be sure.  He also produced an almost endless string of reasons that he will not be at the Club next week.  Just to remind you, next week is a running day, and we did get the track cleaned and trains running at the end of the day so all is set to go.  It is also the day that clocks go back an hour, and April Fools get their turn.  Regardless, if you want a piece of raspberry pi, then bring your smart phone and be with us.  Neanderthal carnivores are still welcome - just plug in a Digitrax throttle and away you go.

See you next Sunday

Club Meeting, 18 March 2018

Hi All,

Today's notes are somewhat skewed by my lack of knowledge of what people were up to.

As promised, Martin and I were at the model truck show at the RSL on Saturday and today.  Not at all like our version of a show.  It was essentially a competition - with lots of awards - for builders of plastic kits.  Public attendance seems to have been a very secondary consideration.  Lots of categories.  Predominantly trucks of all persuasions, but also army vehicles, planes, ships, motorbikes and miscellaneous.  Martin is trying to persuade me to 3D print a Dalek for the miscellaneous category.  All proceeds (entry fees and public admission) went to the CFA.  Organised by Renee and Nigel Lowe of Auslowe Models.  (Especially Renee, I think).  They have been in business for 25 years or so, and have recently moved into Cowes.  The "business" is making plastic truck model kits, and bits for them.  The principal common ground for us is that they stock paints (Humbrol and Tamiya) and glues, and a range of Plastruct and aluminium sections.  They are at 249 Settlement Rd, which is a house and shed, not a shopfront.

As for the rest of the mob, they spent their time scoffing Heather's sausage rolls - so I was gloatingly told.  The last point motor got installed and Derek is well on the way to getting control panels wired up.  A couple of roads were laid.  And no sooner did I turn my back than Stanley Creek Yard got bought out by an oil company.  The freight station and timber yard have been summarily moved over to make way for a refinery.  Such is the way of big money operators (i.e. our treasurer).

The collective mob has apparently decided that the first Sunday of a month will be a running day, so next week will be business as usual.  Then, on April 1st, we will run trains - no kidding.  That's when we find out how dirty the track is, which couplers need adjusting, which points don't work and which bits of track never got wired up.  And don't forget to put your clocks and watches back to EST.

Meanwhile, see you on the 25th

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Club Meeting, 11 March 2018

Hi All,

A quiet start to the day yesterday, in that I was the only one there.  For about a minute.  By the time that I had walked round and opened the back door Geoff the Pres was there.  Then there was quite a lull.  Eventually we totalled eight, with every who does not live at Rhyll slowed by heavy traffic.  I hope that you have all made it home again by now.  Would have been an interesting drive home for George who is trying to be kind to a slipping clutch.  He can't get it fixed because the dealer is booked out replacing dodgy airbags.  Last time I had trouble with a clutch totally fail to transmit any torque I was about mid-way between Borroloola and Burketown.  Before satellite phones.

Progress at CSCC?  Every point on the layout now has a motor fitted (bar one).  Every point in the Stanley Creek yard is now fully functional (bar one).  Beginning to sound more like a wild west ranch than a train layout.  However, now that he has mastered his first 3-way point, the ones at Mousehole and Sayer should be sooo easy for Derek.  George worked the quarry for a while, then made templates of various parts of the layout that we know will never be finished.  David laid ballast at John Falls, then he and I failed to find why his X Class will not go.  Neither will anything else on his home layout, so there has to be a magic button that needs to be unpressed.  (no, not the 240volt one).   Dale and Grant discussed scenery, without actually doing anything.  Judy laid out Geoff's mint Tim-Tams for us to enjoy at smoko.

Next week Martin and I will be flying the Club Flag at the RSL exhibition, and encouraging any one who shows interest to call in at the club.  Can you please keep the extension leads under control.  Or even clean up the main line near the tunnel and have a running day.  Times for the exhibition are 2pm to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday.  (I think)


Club Meeting, 4 March 2018

Hi All,

In contrast to the previous week, this time we had lotsa hands on deck.  A full complement of executives, plus Judy, Derek, George, Greg, Paul, Rod and this scribe.  The usual suspects - Martin, George and Paul - got stuck into scenery.  (George was really stuck in, finger painting with PVA glue.)  To this we could add Geoff the Pres rearranging the buildings along Mousehole Main St and Geoff the Sec getting serious about his coal mine.  When he turns up with Davy lamp and pick axe I'll know he is really serious about coal mining.  Derek spent the afternoon getting back to where he was at the start of the session - three way points offer an interesting challenge when wiring up motors to operate in the correct sequence, and indicator lights that indicate something useful.  I made a late start on retro fitting under base Hatton's point motors at the East end of Sayer.  With two double slips and three points still to go, I need to develop a much better technique.

Late in the day we finally parked Bald Mountain in its allotted space under the baseboards, and promptly filled the space in the middle with the portable HO layout that will become our "This is how you do scenery" exhibit at shows.  George - being OIC this project - set Rod to work on it then went home.

Which brings me to shows.  Martin has been building up his stockpile of exhibitors for next year.  His appeal to members a few weeks ago produced layouts from Simon, Greg and myself.  Then there are three Club layouts - Bald Mountain, U-drive and the above scenery demo.  Ted Allan wants to bring his new narrow-gauge O scale layout, there is Shannon Tapia with an N scale layout and there is the new layout from Grossard Court.  We have had Hollowglen and Eyarth before, but both these have been extended, and both would like to return, so I think we can fill the Centre once again.

Geoff the Pres has offered to bring the Tim Tams next week - see you then (long weekend)