Last weekend saw me attend the 5th bi-annual New England Convention hosted by the New England Model Railway Club in Armidale NSW.
Andrew and I drove up on Friday afternoon and upon arrival, met up with a lot of familiar faces along with some new ones.
The event was held in the Armidale Bowling Club, utilising a large function room along with another three smaller rooms for the lectures and clinics.
There were three layouts on display, but my favourite was “Bullenbung Creek” by Alan Tarrant. I had seen this layout before, but am always impressed when I see it.
Below are a couple of pics I took.
I also took a short video to demonstrate the DCC sound from a typical branchline goods train.
Click here to watch it on YouTube.
I also had the opportunity to play with the NCE DCC system which was in use on Bullenbung Creek. I had always planned to use the EasyDCC system, but just recently discovered a limitation in how consists are handled. With EasyDCC, consists cannot be made or broken up from the handheld throttle, they must be done at the command station.
Some months ago, a mate showed me a photo of a triple 48 class working at Pangela (see below). Photo courtesy of Phil Collins.
In the photo, the single 48 class (the bank engine), has detached from the train and waits in the loop. The remaining 48’s will continue with their train. The single 48 will run light engine back to Willow Tree or Werris Creek.
I thought this operation would be cool to replicate on the layout. The idea is to have the three 48’s marshalled on the train in staging and when they reach Pangela, the lead engine will detach from the train and run light engine back to staging and wait for the rest of the train to also return to staging, where it will be reattached.
In replicating this operation, the detaching of the single 48 ideally should be done with the handheld throttle, but with EasyDCC, the operator would have to go to the Command station, break the consist, and then continue. With the NCE system, this can all be done from the throttle, which will be much easier. Admittedly, I only need to do this with this one train, but I think it will be better.
So, the upshot is, I have decided to change DCC systems. I won’t be rushing out to buy the NCE just yet, but at least I can now plan what I need to buy in the way of hardware.
I have also been quite busy with work continuing on the scenery in Temple Court.
The base scenery with the Sculpt-it has been 95% completed, and is nearly ready to start applying dirts and static grasses.
I have also been playing around with making plaster rock castings to try and replicate the large rocky outcrop as shown below. Photo by Mick Morahan.
More on the rock castings in a future post.
Compare the shot below with where it was up to on August 29.