First post in the new year

Slow but steady progress.

     Well Christmas has been and gone and here we are already almost halfway into the first month of the new year.
     Been working in the garden trying to get that as close to finished as I can and working on a few videos with the main one being an update to Bills SN3 layout so he can have that for his trip to Seattle in April.
    Progress has been made on the layout with more turnouts made and installed in the town of Poncha Junction along with siding tracks. Both Johns have been a tremendous help by installing more of the MP5's under the layout. Ran out of feeder wire and just too bloody hot to work in the garage as we have had temps as high as 43C in Melbourne a few weeks ago, today is going to be 37C so just came in after completing the penultimate turnout. One to go yay!
    More work has been done on the D&RGW water tank. The stand is completed and I have weathered the tank timber ready for a light weathered spray of Depot Tan when the weather lets me.

 So here are just a few pics to show where I am up to.

Poncha Junction

Poncha Junction waiting for two more turnouts and motors of course.

View from the front door of the garage.

Water tank.

     Need to add the bands and band lugs then its ready for paint. And yes I did add the NBW's on the viewing side.

Well that's it for this post. Hope you all have a great 2019.


Ongoing progress slow but steady

Not that much done but.

     Progress has been a little bit slow the past two weeks what with Christmas and all however I have done a bit to the Monarch Branch to keep the juices flowing.
    The control panel for Poncha Junction has been designed by good friend J.F. printed and fitted to the panel. All of the switches have been installed and most wired but you guessed it I ran out of wire and the store is shut for Christmas.
    I decided to scratch build an ash pit for Gunnison and add another track to/or from the turntable which required an additional L/H turnout to be built and added to the main line. I am pleased to say that those jobs have been ticked off the list.

I made the pit by using 3mm MDF. It scales out at 1 foot wide.

Assembly completed with some Polystyrene girders added to support the rail.
Installed waiting for some ash and details.

     I have also started to assemble a Durango Press D&RGW water tank which I am doing in the study today as it is planned to be 37C outside. I had previously stained all the timbers using a Liquitex Acrylic light oak wood stain that has come up really well. I have also stained the timber tank ready for a weathered spray of Floquil Depot Yellow kindly offered by good friend Bill.

   Two 8ft x 4ft sheets of MDF cut to about 11 inches wide have been sourced ready to begin adding some fascias to the layout. I like this part of the journey as it makes the layout look so much better.
colour of them is yet to be decided however I am heading towards using a colour called Domino.  
   So that's about it until I can take a few more in progress images to post.
   I have also been working an a new version of a DVD for Bills Sn3 layout ready for his clinic in the USA next April so that keeps me off the street so to speak.
   Until my next post I trust you all have had a very Merry Christmas and have a safe & Prosperous New Year in 2019.


More work completed

Lots more done.

     Over the past few weeks lots more progress has been made on the Monarch Branch. More track laid quite a few more hand laid turnouts fitted including a #6 wye and painting cross-ties and track in Gunnerson well underway. New turnout motors fitted in Poncha Junction by Big and Little John over the past two weeks.
    Some images to show progress follow.

A visitor from the Los Pinos & Toltec RR

A meet at Cimarron with the visiting Goose and C19 #41

Could only build this using a Fast Tracks paper template together with the frog & point tool.

     Next stage is to work on making the last 7 turnouts needed, finalize the industries I want for Poncha Junction so the panel can be printed, add the roundhouse tracks from the turntable and work on the plans of where to put the water tank, ash pit and coaling tower ( if I have room) at Gunnerson.
    Thanks for taking the time to check on my progress in my blog.


First train on the D&RGW Monarch Branch

Just a quick video of the first train

     Lots done since the last post with thanks to good friends John F and John C.
This is RGS C19 #41 as she tests track and turnouts and the trestle on the line between Cimmeron and Gunnison.


Further progress

Lots done this past week

     Quite a lot of work has been completed on the Monarch Branch this past week. Additional track has been laid, droppers installed along with turnout motors in the town of Gunnison.
     Last weekend I got to cut all of the droppers for the back rail (blue wire) and get the ends soldered and bent to 90 degrees so I could insert these under the rail out of sight. There is a lot of them, one for each length of rail and one on every turnout. Once these were completed my electrical engineering team arrived at 10 am Tuesday morning to get the remaining turnout motors installed.      
    The first two were installed the week before and helped sort out a few issues before the rest were started. Throw bar size along with the appropriate wire diam was very important along with which hole to use in these new motors.
    As you will see in the following images I have chosen to use MP1 motors. I purchased these from Brendan who brings them into the country along with MP5's the newer version. Both Johns and Brendan are installing signals on their new layouts so the three of them have gone with the MP5 version as they have additional contacts for signals. So after a few hours, morning tea and lunch all of Gunnison and the two mine turnouts had the MP1s installed.
   Whilst the lads worked at one end of the layout I was busily soldering track feeders to the blue bus wire. Once these were done along came all the black feeders.
Two of the MP1's in place and lots of track feeders too.

The controller for the T/table waiting to be wired in.

       I have also made the panel for the UTP getting ready to hook up the new NCE DCC system

Panel layout with thanks to Big John.

    And the main line track has been installed in the town Cimmeron.

    More turnout motors and track feeders to install this coming week and we might just get a train running for Friday when the lads arrive.

Thanks for dropping by.


Trackwork begins

Thought I would start the track-work

     Whilst the weather hasn't been conclusive to spray painting I though I should make a start on getting some track down.
    Some months back I started adding my pre stained wooden ties to Fast Tracks paper turnout templates so they would be ready for when I got the bench work completed.
    I wanted to start laying out the town of Gunnison where I had already laid the 3mm cork sub roadbed. I made this by stripping a sheet of cork approximately into 25mm strips and then stuck then down one on each side of the track centre line using No More Gaps using a colour not too dissimilar to the cork.
    So off I went slowly at first as it is a long time between drinks for me and I needed to get myself in the right mood.
   So this is where I am after a time at the layout for parts of the past few days.

     Having the turnouts pre made by Big John and the templates completed has saved a ton of work.
Still a way to go however pleased to get underway.

Thanks again.


A different water tank

 Saw this tank in a publication

     Whilst paging through a couple of books on loan from a good friend I saw where the  Durango & Silverton Loco was taking on water at Tank Creek.

      This sparked my interest so at a recent train show I purchased a second hand HO tank car to start work on one for my Monarch Branch.
     The HO version was way too long so after seeing where cuts were needed out came the trusty Razor saw and my smallish mitre box.
     This is how she looked after all the trucks, under-frame and ladders were removed and sliced into five pieces.

     Cutting into five allowed me to keep the center section and remove enough so I would finish up with a car measuring a scale 27 feet.

    Then using copious amounts of plastic cement I was able to join all three into a nice square piece aided by the strong under-frame that I had previously cut to length.
    Next job find my old stash of Squadron putty that must be 30 years old to fill any gaps in the rejoining process. Lots of sanding to remove cast on funny looking weld lines and seams and after a light spray of Tamiya Surface primer she's looking okay

     I know, there is a screw sticking out the bottom of the tank. A bloke has got to hold it somehow.

    Whilst wrestling with a bit of a bug I also made the small trestle to traverse the creek that feeds this tank.

     I made the abutments by using balsa and once the size and shape was set I flooded them with super glue to toughen them up. A quick coat of concrete paint and a bit of weathering and they were done.  
     I am looking forward to getting these new scenery items on the RR when the time comes.

Thanks for popping by.