Sunday, December 2, 2012

Build a Loco

After some encouragement, I have decided to document the assembly of a white metal loco kit. The loco chosen is a DJH NSW 35 class. This kit is of white metal and etched brass construction and I plan to document the construction showing you some of my techniques, which are really no secret, and hopefully dispell a number of myths proliferated through out this hobby. In some instances, I will be using special tools, e.g., a metal folder.

Please come along for this ride with me. Ask questions via FB or thru the blog.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Been busy and a step back in time.

The last few weeks have been rather busy on the Exhibition front. Newcastle and then Caulfield. It seems that I get far more enjoyment from catching up with friends, such as the members of the Wyee Model Railway Club where I get to share trains and tails all afternoon before retiring to the home of a couple of the members for maybe a movie and eventually some sleep, than I do from the trains them selves.

The trip to Caulfield was a bit different as I travelled with 3 friends. Two of them were members of the original Stockinbingal crew and the third a former neighbour into trains and slot cras crossing my 2 main interests.

Leaving Wagga at approx 4 in the morning Saturday was a challenge for some but we were eventually on the road heading for the Southern State where we enjoyed a coffee and muffin at the golden arches Glenrowan.

A visit to the Buffer Stop and Rail n Thusiast had us arriving at the show just on lunch time. A wonder around, a pie to satisfy the worms and then the serious job of looking at what was new began. Leaving the show at just short of 5 PM, we headed to the Westgate Bridge, the Western Ringroad and the Hume Highway to lead us home. 

What an enjoyable day. 4 friends, no real time constraints and we simply went about enjoying ourselves. Just like we used to do when we first became excited as a group with the public side of this hobby.

Now to get some of the excitement back.

A discussion centred around setting one night a week aside to get my layout started. Looking forward to that. Sharing the hobby with friends I mean.....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Double Nickel not so Shiny

I just turned 55. My battle with Rheumatoid Arthritus has been going on longer now than I want to remember. One month just rolls into the next. New issues appear and need to be managed and dealt with.

The latest on the health front? Injections are working, cold weather has me with another chest infection and apparently, according to the latest examination, asthma.

On the modelling front, I am still slowly moving not really making a lot of head way at times, but when I am up to things, I seem to travel ok. This lack of progress only deepens the depression. 10 years now until retirement, I hope, and my home layout is still not started, although my ideas are running along at about full throttle plus 50%. I am still leaning towards a display where my models can lap so that I can sit back and watch. My heart wants to be able to settle to full operational status, signals, lever frames and of course shunting.

My friend James pointed out that unlike our American cousins, shunting really is and was fairly minor in New Sout Wales. An operating session on his layout some time ago required that as a driver, I had to wait at the Home Stick to get SM's permission to enter the yard. Once there, one or two cars were picked up and the train, again after being granted permission, was able to movefrom the yard to the next location, a fiddle yard.

Whilst this was challenging, interesting and totally different to anything I had done before, I wonder just how interesting it would be while operating alone. A tail chaser, would allow me to sit back and simply watch. I could shunt a wagon when I feel like it and share the layout with non railway friends. Even on Stockinbingal when the local Club was exhibiting, shunting was limited to pushing a few cars down beside the Silo.

A recent visit home reminded me what trains represented when I was a small child. Shunting occurred at Griffith mostly at night. A 30T, later X200, 48 and 44 would boss around the various cars for the fresh produce train to markets and then of course the general freight which left much later. I would expect this would have been more a case of swap the Gaurd's Van end to end then push the lot into the relevant siding. Thing is, their banging and clunking would often wake me in the wee small hours. Most intolerable to a young fellow more interested in slumber, sport and eventually girls. I am only now beginning to understand this aspect of operations.

The point is, James is probably very right. Shunting on the NSWGR can be accurately portrayed by turning a train at a terminus and setting it in an appropriate siding. We have very few online customers. Depending on the location modelled, you may have a fuel depot or dairy, silos of course, but little else. The search goes on.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Four years ago, our family was involved in the World Youth Days in Sydney. For a week prior, we hosted two young ladies from Hong Kong in our home as they took part in activities in our local parish associated with World Youth Days.
To say that they had an effect on us would be an understatement. Through the Internet, we have kept in touch, promising to continue to keep in touch. We have shared events in each other's lives. The girls with their continuing education and us with grand children. We have swapped Christmas cards and birthday wishes. I guess you could say we consider them part of our family.

Well, one of our Hong Kong daughters is with us presently and we are having a very full week. Spending a little time with all of our local family and some of our friends, shopping, travelling and watching movies in front of the fire at home.

Tomorrow we visit Canberra, a new experience for our visitor and she is excited as you can imagine. The week has been way too short. And yes, our other Hong Kong daughter, is a little jealous.....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two steps forward and three back

Just as I was feeling good about things, the new drug therapy and physio finally doing some good, I get hit for six again.

A sore eye and visit to the doctor finds that I have a growth in the cornea of my left eye. Some time off work feels good, but I am so sore that doing anything with my eyes is extremely uncomfortable. Worse than that, advice is that this may be a part of Rheumatoid Arthritis.......

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Injection number 4 today. I actually feel pretty good and i am really getting to a point now where i can consider working again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Something out of science fiction for Rheumatoid arthritis, but I am testing it. This week I get my 3rd Intraveinous Infusion of a drug called Actemra. Seems to be working. I definitely have less inflamation and pain. Blood tests this week and in 4 weeks will tell the story though. Side effects are a tad hard to manage at present, exhausted all the time and falling asleep at embarrassing times is only the half of it. I am sleeping better at night so with luck I may come full circle with that, hopefully anyway.
Wish me luck..................

Lambing Flat Visit

A trip to Sydney with my little mate Rod to meet up with a group of Sydney modellers at the home of "Lambing Flat" occurred a couple of week ends ago. This layout has been photographed many times for AMRM and elsewhere. To actually drive on it, under instruction of course, was so much fun and very educational. James operates using a car card system. Running between 3 locations 2 of which are fiddle yards, allows more than enough variety for shunting. No looping, just operation and we were stoked.

What the visit brought home was that operation is a lot of fun. We were all enthusiasts, but I dare to say that some had never done more than simple running in a circle. My own Exhibition experience was little more than looping, with the occasional silo shunt.

I have questioned my own planning testing the operational possibilities. A few minor changes will occur to the drawing and the final plan now. I want both, operation and the ability to lap a loco and sit back watching. It can happen.