The Convention may have a focus in N scale, but there were many non scale specific clinic topics, as well as some world class modelling to keep the delegates entertained. Quite good retail support, with Peter Boorman's Workshops, Pallas Hobbies, and Badger Bits to name a few. Clinics that I attended included NSW stock yards, plug casting, weathering USA freight wagons, styrene buildings, lightweight module design and an interesting one from Greg Edwards on some of the background into the color images in the recent "NSW Railways in Colour" book. The highlight though, for me, and most others was Ross Balderson's Newcastle 1899, which although not yet finished, actually had moving trains
|Excellence in N scale - Ross Balderson's Newcastle 1899 has taken 7 years of construction to reach this point, but every building, vehicle (and ship) is a faithful representation of the original, many constructed based from period photographs
One of the side benefits of the convention, was I was able to purchase 2 x 1KG packets of N scale ballast (Bombo quarry), some will get used on Bethungra. I even won a brand new "Micro Trains" USA N scale boxcar as a lucky door prize - although I don't have a loco with the right coupling to immediately test on Bethungra. Micro Trains (USA) was a major sponsor of the convention.
The next N scale convention is in Sydney in 2021.
Benchwork construction for the extension of Bethungra was a little challenging. Unlike most exhibition layouts where module sections are bolted together, I needed a rise in elevation of the tracks on the extension. The tracks would also cross the section boundary not on the flat - one track would have a falling gradient, the other a rising gradient. Anyway, best I illustrate the process with pictures.
|After adding the extension, here is the view from the current benchwork
|Another angle. The bolt is tightly forced into the T nut - it is unlikely to work loose in the few times the layout will be unbolted.
|I did not want to introduce an vertical "kink" in the join across the benchwork. A metal ruler allowed me to see any variation. The "down" track has not yet been attached
|Buried in one of my boxes, I had a pair of N scale through deck girders. (Could be Peco). A section of 0.040 thick styrene was added, and I had my deck bridge. Tested for size. Both the upper and lower track was not secured at this time.
|On the workbench, some simple abutments were cut, again from 0.040 styrene sheet
|After a bit of timber sculpting, the bridge is in. The lower trackbed is still floating, as I wanted the upper track fixed first. There is a 40mm clearance.
|Cork added to the extension. I cut my HO cork down the middle, which allows me to bend it to tight radius, AND allows me to align on the previously made pencil line radius - thus retaining the original centerline geometry
Until next time. Happy modelling