August has turned out to be one busy month. Still trying to find the time for a million different projects that were waiting for me on return from a week's vacation, Denise and I were at least able to put everything aside for the weekend to take my layout down to the 2018 Stafford Heights Baptist Church Model Train & Hobby Show.
|The view inside the 2018 Stafford Heights Baptist Church Model Train & Hobby Show.|
Stafford Heights is a suburb located on the north-side of Brisbane, and since 2014 the Stafford Heights Baptist Church has organised it's annual model train show to be held inside the Church building, with the adjoining cafe and common areas hosting some trade stands, model boat and aircraft displays, second-hand sale tables and a cake stall. Despite being one of the smaller model train shows held in south east Queensland, the show is unique in that it is held over the Friday night and Saturday, with Sunday obviously being out of the question as the Church building is needed for the congregation.
Heading south on a Friday afternoon for the short trip down the Bruce Highway, our road trip playlist this time consisted of country artist Dierks Bentley's latest album The Mountain. Our view from the car window was of the Glasshouse Mountains, and the usual gridlocked traffic heading north in the opposite direction for the Friday arvo exodus from Brisbane. We on the other hand, arrived and were set-up with trains running well before the 6 pm opening time to the public. At first, I wasn't sure what to expect for a Friday night model train show. When 7 o'clock rolled around however, the Church building was filled with a good sized crowd. Visitors dwindled noticeably by 8.30 pm, and the show's organiser, knowing that Denise and I were travelling back to the Sunshine Coast that night, kindly offered for us to turn off our lights and head home early. We gladly took up his offer and were home by 10 pm.
|I hadn't seen the Beauaraba Siding layout on display for years. It was there at Stafford Heights.|
The next morning we up bright and early to once more head down the highway with Dierks playing in the car. Arriving early gave me the chance to have a wander around the other layouts and pick up something small for myself from one of the trade vendors, while my wife drove to nearby Westfield Chermside to buy a gift for our daughter. I was pleased to see Beauaraba Siding once more on display. I think it had been a number of years since I last saw this layout exhibited.
|Once more, I exhibited Philden with the back of the station building facing the viewing public.|
While Friday night was spent running my new Auscision Models 20' foot side door containers on a short string of NQTY wagons behind my 421 class, for Saturday I ran 3518 at the head of a 90's era cement train, all while the 2 car Xplorer that was featured on the cover of this month's Australian Model Railway Magazine racked up even more scale miles. And all weekend long, I donned my Glenapp Boys cap that was kindly sent to me by Rob and Dennis Sibson, the two blokes responsible for maintaining the Glenapp Signal Hut that featured on the cover of my book Last Train to Grafton and can be found on the Brisbane Interstate Line down near Border Loop. I promised them both I'd wear it at future model train shows. Thanks boys!
The show reached its busiest point on the Saturday between 10 am and lunch time, while behind the scenes volunteers from the Church ran the busy cafe inside and manned the sausage sizzle that was taking place outside the main entrance. Their service and enthusiasm was faultless. If Denise and I wanted a cup of tea or coffee, one of us would leave to order and moments later it would be delivered on a tray to our layout. The Church even arranged for a small HO scale model railway layout to be given away by random draw to a needy family, while a second HO scale layout was their silent auction fundraiser. Along with the gold coin donation collected from each admission, the Church will once more use the monies raised over weekend to help out those in need in the community. And for that reason, I was glad to have played a small part by bringing my layout down to this year's model train show.
With the layout back home safely in Caloundra once more, I'm taking the opportunity to do some more work on the beach extension while it is not assembled and standing against the wall. After straightening the beach extension, the overpass disguising the no. 2 mouse-hole entrance has been rebuilt, and the platform stonework finished for the new station. (I'm still trying to find a new home for the 46 class loco and stanchions from my abandoned plans to add an electrified section here on eBay, that will allow me to throw a pre-order Auscision's way for some RUB cars, if anyone is interested). This weekend should see me complete the scenery on the new extension, leaving only the modern Countrylink Travel Centre to be completed. The week after, Philden will be packed in the car once more, and again head south down the highway. This time for the Redlands Model Train Show on the 25th & 26th August. It's a pity that I'm not quite going to have the new extension finished in time for the Redlands Model Train Show, but then again, neither will I have finished the million other things I have waiting to do. Ah, that's life. Until next time, happy modelling!
See also; Exhibition #5 Toowoomba 2018