Saturday, 11 February 2017

Back For a New Year

I do know that we are six weeks into 2017. I have had a bit of a break from the little layout for a couple of months. The layout was really a planned extension of the larger layout based on the far south coast of NSW. I reckon that I am about 12-14 months behind schedule with the larger layout due to a major change in design. I guess as a result, the larger layout has become an extension of Billabong Marina. I should get around to updating the blog on that layout too.

Here is a quick review if you are new to the blog.

I started a small layout. One the track was down, not much happened. Work seemed to snow me under and I didn't touch my hobby. I decided to spend 15 minutes a day on the layout. The result was fantastic. Better than I had hoped for.

The first benefit was that the layout progressed. The second benefit was that it gave me fifteen minutes a day where I could relax for a little bit. Some days were written off and nothing happened. Other days I worked for longer. The sense of achievement made me feel better as well.

I didn't meet all of the goals of ten weeks of this challenge. The last week of work totally smashed me. Having the staff Christmas party at my place didn't help. However, I am pretty proud of what I achieved in the nine weeks. 

What's next? I would like to carry on, but... I also want to get the mainline of the larger layout laid and trains running. 15 minutes a day will need to be shared between two layouts. Having said that, one cool weekend could see the larger layout sorted.

One thing that I did learn from last year is to make a list of jobs to do. Some of them may require other tasks to be done first but creating a job list makes sure that you don't go to the layout and wonder what you are supposed to be doing.

Here is where I am now.

What needs to be done?

First up, the dairy needs finishing.  I want to put some lights under the awning. This will require a tube to carry the wires to beneath the layout. Then the platform can be glued in place with a couple of milk urns.

Next, the oil depot needs finishing. The building needs to be painted, the baseboard need covering. and if I can, a rear of a truck to be glued where the forklift can load drums onto it.

The loading platform needs a light. It also needs a bus shelter for passengers and a sign declaring it as 'Billabong Marina'. Then the steps can be glued into place.

The marina itself needs a couple of lamp posts, a couple more people eating fish and chips and maybe a person of two in the boats. I need to find and paint the oars for the row boats too. The interior of 'Fishy Mc Fishface' needs doing but I reckon that interiors can wait a bit.

The paddock to the right of the image needs a couple of rocks and swaggy camping. The campfire hopefully will glow. It also needs a good looking coolabah tree. Maybe a squatter riding on a thoroughbred too. It won't have a fence as a fence will crowd out the area. It is a micro layout after all.

The bakery can house two wagons when it is attached to the main layout. This still needs painting and windows and doors added. It needs a loading platform outside of the closed doors.

However, before that happens, I want to add a back scene along the left hand side where the layout will butt up to the main layout. It joins on the bottom level. the next level is 10 cm higher and the top level will be about 20 cm above. A back scene will provide some visual separation. It won't go the whole length of the side as there are two tracks at the front joining the main layout. One track joins the main line and the inner track is a siding, in theory for loading wheat hoppers. I'm not sure how that will work yet but that is a larger layout problem. The back scene will need to be affixed to the top of the baseboard and have a hole for the bakery wagons to go through.

Once that is done, I could add a warehouse front on the left side to make the little harbour area more impressive, as well as a couple of smaller buildings to hide the back scene brackets.

More cobblestones can be added but the final building will be the fish co-op for loading the huge catch caught by the two fishing boats every day. This is going to be scratch built as it will house two vans inside and two vans on the wharf. It will be narrow but hopefully give the impression of a larger building. Once that is in place the far side of the wharf can be finished.

The bollards (? I don't know what they are called. The posts on the dock edge to stop the boats hitting it.) can be added. When this is done the pontoon for the ferry can be secured in place then the water added and the marina jetties finally glued into place.

Down the front on the right is a cattle yard. There isn't much to see. I'm planning on a platform and a fence with a couple of gates. A ramp would be nice but there isn't much space.

Finally, it will be onto the station. Lights, fences, signs, hedges, seats and interior details.

That's a big list but I reckon that I can make a huge dent in it during the next ten weeks.

Tomorrow's work will be stripping all the moveable bits off and returning it to its proper place.

Until next time.

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