Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Progress

I did not think much had been done this month.... That was until I put this post together....

Work has been completed in the following areas of the layout: Daveyston, Stanvac, Hornertown, Onka River Valley, Flinston, Fascias & Control Panels. If BJ had not been busy enough he has also made a model of a Portative Organ used in the Baroque period - it's details are at the bottom of the post.

As usual picture saves a thousand words (quite a few thousand words!!).... see below...


My old workmate Ross has built a couple of Dapol kit buildings for the pending township. I have another six in my kit building line up and Ross has taken another to build.

These two will form part of the twelve or so buildings to be placed around the station.

BJ and I have decided on a footprint for the buildings beyond the station on the Huntington Branch and Bill2 has agreed to construct the shallow relief buildings for the background and street scape scene. These will be constructed next year!

BJ has been quite industrious with ground cover, shrubs and trees commencing at the plant in the northwest corner and heading south towards Iron Hill albeit the photos go from south to north!. The progression can be seen below.

Ground cover and trees

Fitting wood sleepers to flexi track joints and hand made turnouts

Rossco fitted the wooden ties under my triple gang hand laid point - notice the cardboard under the copper sleepers as the code 70 rail used for the points coupled with the copper sleeper being thinner than the plastic ties so "packers" were required.

half done

finished product - the ties were stained with an Indian ink wash before ballast and ground cover.


More wiring of those "36 turnouts and 75 lengths of track = 222 droppers" previously mentioned. Plus we remembered that the flexi track joints to be hiddden under the scenery on the back dog bone tracks between Hornertown and Flintston "had not been secured"

Installing Copper sleepers

Copper sleepers were required to be soldered to ensure no movement of rails towards "out of gauge" tracks will happen over time.

Chris and I soldered the six copper sleepers in place at the back of the bottom level under the top level - it could not have been in a worst place! Both Chris and I were nearly at full reach!  Perhaps if this had been done a lot earlier it would have been a lot easier!

Chris did not find the camera so I don't appear - as usual!

The easier of the two locations...

Of course the NMRA standards gauge was used to check tolerances.


Bob completing the last of the Hornertown dropper connection to track bus wires.

Onka River Valley

The humugas job of mountain building continues.....

Work mate Ross mixing the 4:3:1:1 scenery mix for Onka River Valley

Before this month

At the end of the month

It does not look much but 5 mixes were placed - probably another 30 mixes to go to cover the remainder! That reminds me I'll need more supplies from the hardware store.


Rossco gluing wooden ties under flexi track joints at the cement works where plastic ties were removed for the joining.


Bill2 and Barry have been busy on the fascias installed last month with filling, sanding and painting.

Bill2 filled and is shown sanding

Barry painting

Painting is about 20% completed on the first coat of two or three required coats.

Control Panels

Work has been completed on Hornertown, Hornertown East, Hornertown West, Flinston & Daveyston. I ran out of yellow and green 3mm led so ordered some more from RS Components (they are a lot cheaper than Jaycar) buy on-line and get free air shipping throughout Australia.


Hornertown East

Hornertown West




I placed an order for a PA-PB set and another PA, a three diesel consist originally on Broadway Limited Imports but they cancelled all orders when they gave the dies to Mikes Train House (MTH) following the court case between manufactures a while back. So, I reordered my locos from MTH to six months later find out they use DCS not DCC a totally different and proprietary control system with only a few DCC settings available. I researched the JMRI user group message database to find that many of the usual loco set up parameters were not available - including a top speed setting. The comments related to Proto Sound 2 - luckily my order was for the new Proto Sound 3 which I have now received..

By using my MRC Prodigy Advance 2 on my test track I have been able to:

• program a 4 digit address in the same manner as other decoders,
• been able set CV29 to run in reverse even though all the discussion groups say this cannot be done,
• set start voltage,
• set the acceleration rate,
• set the deceleration rate &
• set the top speed

This all means that I should be able to speed match!

The down side is that DecoderPro won’t talk to the decoder (even though it has a MTH PS3 decoder file) so having to do it all by individual CV’s.

Still to try my own speed table but may not have to use it as the three MTH PA-PB-PA will be a consist that I can use as it does not conflict with any other loco numbers!

I'm thinking of asking the JMRI boys if they can update the MTH decoder definition file as using DecoderPro is just ssssoooooo much easier than doing the old way CV by CV - all 40 of them.

Relaxing BBQ Lunch

Well the Tuesday morning crew have been enjoying a BBQ lunches after the morning work sessions.

The pic below shoes he boys enjoying a glass of chilled "Sav Blanc" while I cook the snags, spud chips and onions....

(Not I had not had too many glasses! just didn't stop long enough the camera to function correctly!!)

BJ's Organ Model

It is a Portative Organ the idea developed in Baroque period used to provide a continuo part in orchestral setting. They were built to allow movement between venues to allow the "organ part" performances at Baroque concerts.

A musical group in Brisbane want to acquire one so BJ have built a model so they can display what they are on about and and use it as focus for raising money.

A close-up of the had carved scroll work.

It may be of interest that the "Adelaide Crows" football club chairs seen in the background may not be appreciated by the Brisbane Lions football club supporters.....

Once again I must thank all my helpers who continue to contribute towards the completion of the building component of my layout.

My current comment seems to be "if I worked 40 hours a week it would take me a month to finish the control panels" and that does not include the lower level yards' point motor wiring!!!   Just have to bite off the elephant in digestible chunks!

Till next month.......


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