Been some time since this has had an update...life gets like that sometimes. Its been a fairly busy last few months, with the young family slowly getting older, and as their lives get busier, my modelling time usually gets either less, or later!
So whats new for me...
I'm happy to announce that planning is well under way for the next Australian Narrow Gauge Convention, to be held in Melbourne over the Easter weekend 2013 (March 29th, 30th, 31st). I've taken a role on the committee for this one, and things are starting to fall into place. We are expecting a good number of new layouts to be available for this convention, and have spoken with a few of the usual traders whole will be happy to collect all our hobby dollars once again! Shaping up for a great show, with plenty of early interest, and offers for some new and exciting clinic/workshop topics. There will of course be a well contested modelling competition again, so get the creative thinking caps on and whip up some great pieces for display. A special category has been introduced to the competition again this year..."The Mantle Piece Challenge", a restricted footprint style diorama display thing, which should test a few creative limits. More details will be on the convention website shortly, which is under construction at present http://ccng.org.au/ozngc2013
Going back a week or so, we took the family for a few days holiday around the Dandenongs and Healesville region, ie Puffing Billy country, so took them all out for a day on "Puff". It was a typically damn cold Dandenongs winters day, but luckily the heavy rains held off. We ventured from Belgrave to Emerald behind 7A, with plenty of kids hanging out the windows to take in the amazing scenery, with Mountain Ash and blankets of tree ferns shadowing the tiny train. A bit for lunch at one of the cafes in Emerald, and my wife even turning trainspotter (I was mighty impressed when she noticed, and named, the Garratt that was simmering away at Emerald station!). G42 was our home bound hauler late in the afternoon, and made easier work of the grades than the smaller Na loco's. Nothing like a bit of steam and smoke up the nose to get the creative modelling juices flowing again, and the kids had an absolute ball as well.
Try this link for a 360 view at Emerald station: http://360.io/HYGNx9
Most recently though, I was up at Stawell for the annual Grampians Model Railway Exhibition, showing as part of the "Art of the Diorama" display, alongside good modelling mates John Hunter, Laurie Green and Grant McAdam. John and Laurie hosted their Outback Model Company trade stand, while Grant and I took care of diorama duties. Laurie also had his new little layout on display for the first time, "Grizzly Flats" (On30), which made for a great display it some classic Laurie Green styling. As usual for the Stawell weekend, bloody cold and -1 on the Saturday morning. Makes it kind of hard to sit and model with frozen fingers. The day eventually warmer up a bit, and plenty of feet came through the door. I had "Splitters Gorge" on display to favourable comments once again, and plenty of discussions about how to build some trees (always come home a bit hoarse). We also held our monthly NMRA meeting at John's place on the Saturday evening, which was very well attended (around 30 odd members), and made for a very enjoyable evening.
So back home again, and enthusiastic after a bit of Puffing Billy and a good exhibition, I need to squeeze in some more time to get some of these ideas out of my head. Plenty of good things happening, and plenty more coming up in the near future.