Sunday, December 18, 2011

Silos, Steam Train Tours, Wheels, and a Merry Christams!

I feel somewhat slack when looking at the date of my previous post, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. The second part of 2011 has not been so fruitful for modeling, and although few little things have been done, there has been nothing worth of a blog post.

In July my wife and I went on a trip down to Robertson via the Southern Highlands behind 3642 with 4490 assisting, and travelled in the rebuilt GMS 1, which has been built from the ground up pretty much into a beautiful lounge car with an open observation platform at one end.

The trip was very relaxing, and the service provided for this carriage was exceptional, with very nice food, and plenty of it! Anyone who knows Robertson would appreciate that in July it’s far from the warmest place on Earth, and that typical Southern Highlands “breeze” blowing didn’t help in making it all that comfortable walking around Robertson. Surprisingly though, traveling out on the observation deck was almost completely wind free and quite warm, with basically unrestricted 180 degree plus views.

I bought a whole bunch of RP25/88 wheels in various axle lengths to replace the RP25/110's or similar in some of the RTR items I have, mainly some of the smaller 4-wheel items like S Trucks and RU’s. I popped some into one of the Lima TAM’s I have, but I think what I will do is put the RP25/110’s that I replace in some of the other items into the TAM’s as the heavy bogie sides really obscure the wheels to the point where flange depth aside you’d be hard pressed to tell what wheels are in there.

I went to the Liverpool Exhibition in October, and whilst I enjoyed wandering around for the first time on the Sunday morning, which was so much more crowd free that the Saturday typically is, I felt that this years exhibition was somewhat lacking in anything really new or interesting.

The large O Gauge layout Arakoola was brilliant, and a highlight for me, and although I don’t model in 7mm, the result, if you have the room and the skill is impressive. The locos and rolling stock appear to have much more bulk about them, they actually look heavy, and move with so more momentum to them than the smaller scales.

With continuing house renovations, and a slight change in purpose for the spare room, progress on the shelf layout has completely stopped. In fact it has stopped to such a point, and with the changing purpose of the room now being more of a family room, I don’t think it will go any further, and what little was done will be largely removed.

However, my wife being the generous and understanding person she is, somewhat surprisingly suggested an alternate space for my modelling, a basically purpose built 7.2 x 3.6 meter room that will be situated in the back yard next to the garage.

For those who have been reading this blog from the beginning, you might remember the 7.2 x 7.2 meter garage that was initially going to be where I would built my layout. In that time the mess from moving in has gradually been removed, and more space is now available in the garage, but the reality is without spending a considerable amount of money on lining it, as well as stopping the dust that seems to come in through the roof and around the tops of the roller doors, it is not really the best place to have a layout.

Along with that, the layout would have to share space with two cars and lots of spare parts, as well as all of my tools, a work bench, and other items that really have nowhere else to live. In the end it would be a compromise, not so much on space, but with heat and cold, as well as dust and debris, all of which are a major enemy to the operational effectiveness of any layout.

If everything goes to plan and the 7.2 x 3.6 meter dwelling appears in the near future, the challenge is designing the layout to fit what I’d like vs what can be done without making it an operational disaster. Gunnedah will take centre stage along one long wall, with nice sweeping curves at either end, however fitting in the other areas I’d like to model is going to require some lateral thinking.

I’ve drawn up some initial plans that I might post up later on, and after that I’d certainly welcome any advice or thoughts.

The past week saw me head to Melbourne for two days with meetings at the new head office located in Richmond just near the River. Upon arriving on the Thursday morning a quick tour of the building for us Sydney folk was arranged, including the roof. The best part of the roof visit was the wonderful view of the Barrett Burston Maltings site including the rather impressive concrete Silo’s. There’s a bit of history and information here for those interested.

As Gunnedah has a silo within the yard, as well as the larger silo outside of town, I’ve become keen to study their various designs, and take any opportunity to capture the unique texture and coloring of them, as well as the weathering styles they develop.

Apart from all of that, there’s not much else to say, except to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Hopefully 2012 will see lots more posts on my blog, but even without much progress of my own this year, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your blogs and the wonderful ideas and techniques that have been shared, so keep it up.