One of the advantages of coming to Brisbane is it has given me the opportunity to organise most of my collection and make some plans for the next couple of months.
I brought down the majority of the stuff I had in Longreach - some which is now, a few days later, heading back - so I could put it all together and get some sense of where I was at with providing for the various interests I have. As it turns out, I needed both more time and more room to do this!
The first thing I learnt is, I don't have enough stock boxes to make a coherent plan. My ideal situation is to have things organised by region and era - particularly with coaching stock as this has a greater impact on setting the scene than goods stock does - but I found I was about 4 storage trays short of doing this effectively. On one hand, this is annoying as it means I will have to get the materials and make some more, but on the other hand it is useful to know before the big move so I can budget for this stuff in advance.
The second thing I learnt is trying to organise goods vehicles is a bit of a mugs game. In the end I am putting them in three categories - fitted, unfitted and shunting. The last is those wagons which are fitted for hands off shunting. My present system is to use the Peco couplings, the lifting arms and electromagnets, but having tried DGs I am a bit of a convert so I can see a mass re-fitting program taking shape which will probably see all the Peco wagons progressively be replaced with Farish ones. This has its benefits as the Farish ones are better looking and more accurate. The down side is replacing 60 wagons! There will be a time when both are being used I am sure.
Lastly I was able to gather up all my BR Blue era locos (along with the 04 Trams) with a view to fitting them all with chips for DCC operation. There are quite a few to do - some, like the 37, are plug and play. Others, like the Poole Farish and most of my 73s are not so this will be an adventure. First thing is to work out which chips to use. So research coming up.