New Directions

I spent yesterday in Sydney at the Aus7 Modellers Group twice yearly O-scale Modellers Forum. I had a great day and spent my time talking, drinking coffee and shopping. These days have a great feel and a lot of good information is shared. It’s a bit of an effort to get to the Forums but I think it’s well worth it to get involved with these events. I saw and got to talk to a couple of first time attendees who qualify as “young”. Young is a relative term but in a room full of people, most of whom will never see 60 again, it’s good to know that the hobby can still attract a few younger modellers. One of these young blokes started chatting to me about what he was doing and he seemed really keen. We cool young dudes need to stick together 🙂

I got home today and decided that there was nothing to be gained from putting off the direction I’d decided to take my layouts so it was time to start reversing the work I’d done over the last six months as I’d worked towards making Morpeth and QW a permanent layout. The first thing I needed to do was remove the turntable from Queens Wharf where it had so recently been installed. I got a friend to help me shift the module I wanted to work on out to the garage and after an hour or so’s work I had got the section back to looking something like it had looked before I started work on it after the March ExpO. It took a lot longer to get there than it took to reverse it, I can tell you!

This photo shows the result of about 90 minutes work with a saw and screw drivers. I've removed the lead to the turntable, the tutntable itself and the fascia. I've also chpped the backdrop to the same width as the layout. This makes it much easier to manouver on my own and it will be easier to store for the next few years while the new train room is being built.

This photo shows the result of about 90 minutes work with a saw and screw drivers. I’ve removed the lead to the turntable, the turntable itself and the fascia. I’ve also chopped the backdrop to the same width as the layout. This makes it much easier to manoeuver on my own and it will be easier to store for the next few years while the new train room is being built.

The decision I’ve made about the layouts is that I plan to go back to working on Morpeth as a portable, exhibition layout. I’ve asked a friend if he might be able to look after QW for me in the mean time and the work I’m currently doing on this layout is to make it more easy to store at his home. A few months ago I’d decided to set QW up in my modelling room and work on it over the next couple of years but I recently began to question what the purpose of this would be when I had no absolute way of knowing what size space I would end up with in my new home. Queens Wharf’s days as an exhibitoon layout are well and truly over:  if had any use at all it was only ever going to be as a part of a bigger permanent layout. So I decided the best strategy to adopt was to do exactly what I’ve done reasonably successfully for the last 10 years; put my plans for a permanent layout on hold and build an exhibition layout. So its out with QW and in with Morpeth. QW will stay pretty much as you see it in this photo till the house is built and I can determine whether it will fit into the next layout. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

After spending time bashing poor old QW about (again) I decided to spend a bit of time working on my current rolling stock project, an O-Aust BWH. I’ve been making slow but steady progress on this wagon and things really started to come together today. I got the ends in place and with the bogies under the wagon it’s really starting to look like something.

This shows the prgress I've been making on the BWH. The wagon canppoy isn't attacjed yet but with it in place it really starts to look the part. The next step is the hopper doors and more details.

This shows the progress I’ve been making on the BWH. The wagon canopy isn’t attached yet but with it in place it really starts to look the part. The next step is the hopper doors and more details.

I’ve really enjoyed building this kit, it’s turning into a really fine model of one of my favourite prototypes. I scratchbuilt one of these wagons quite a few years ago which I subsequently sold due to a number of complicated reasons. It’ll be good to have a BWH back running on my layout. Well runnning might be a bit of a misnomer for the next couple of years but it’ll be ready to roll when the layout is up and running again in a couple of years.

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