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  • Latest Posts

    • jhb, I have to take my hat off to you, it's a great idea.  The argument for modelling 21mm and not 16.5mm is as valid as re-painting British outline wagons and slapping a G N transfer on the side.
    • I have just finished my Ballast plough van.The only problems I encountered was with the roof which is difficult enough to fit.I put s few bits of lead inside the body for a bit of weight.Some photos of the build won't upload for me for some reason.
    • Good for you, JB, all power to your elbows! John-r, the answer to your question is a scale 1 foot two inches. 00 track is a gauge of 16.5mm in 4mm to the foot scale [1:72]. In this scale, the correct gauge should be 18.83mm for 'standard gauge [4'8.5"]. In other words 00 track is around 7 inches too narrow. Irish track being 5'3, to use 00[16.5mm] gauge track means you are modelling at 4'1 inch gauge, or 14 inches too narrow.  Now, I sincerely hope I don't offend anyone here, not least because so many on this site have been incredibly helpful and complimentary to my own modelling. However, I do find it extraordinary that apart from the late, great, Tony Miles' Adavoyle, I do not know of a single layout built in the island of Ireland that is to the correct track gauge of 5'3, in any scale and it seems to be a handful of people in Britain who have flown the flag. Please tell me I'm wrong!  Indeed, I will hazard to opine that railway modellers in Ireland prefer to find excuses not to work to the correct gauge, rather than attempt to do the right thing. I find this doubly strange when there are clearly many talented modellers out there, as this website illustrates so well, with many real sticklers [rightly in my opinion] for getting everything else right, yet happy to work in a gauge that is 25% too narrow!  Now, I very much appreciate the reasons why folk might stick to what is available - commercial support and ease of modelling, the latter especially important to those who are not confident at building locos or adapting mechanisms.Be that as it may, I must stress that I was not born with a silvered soldering iron in my mouth. I have no formal training in wood or metal work and am essentially self taught. By that I mean reading widely and having a go - not being put off by failures [and there have been a few, believe me], plus talking to those who have succeeded to find out how it is done.  I am sure for most that the hardest thing in contemplating 21mm gauge will be the combination of making track and widening the wheels to suit. In 7mm scale, the latter is a piece of cake. You go on the Slater's website and order the appropriate loco axles, while the wagon and coach wheels simply get pushed out to the wider gauge. In 4mm scale, I can't see that track should be a problem for anyone willing to have a go. C&L do point kits with ready assembled crossing vees and machined blades. All you have to do is slide chairs on to the rails and then weld them to the plastic sleepers with solvent. The only soldering will be to add the tie bars. The single issue is that of a track gauge. It ought not be too difficult to get a 21mm roller gauge turned up somewhere. C&L may be able to do one on request. Alternatively, talk to Marcway [phone number in their advert in Railway Modeller]. They  do custom track for pretty much any scale or gauge, using soldered, copper clad sleeper construction. Plain track is easy to do: make a simple jig using card to get sleeper spaces. Solder one rail in place, then put this half track on the layout and then solder the second rail, using a 21mm gauge. On Arigna, my 36.75 [ish]mm track gauge is a piece of flat aluminium I filed up. The layout has never suffered from derailments because of this, while the Marcway points I commissioned have been superb and the layout has its 30th exhibition outing in January.  Now, I have no experience of building 21mm gauge locos or rolling stock, but I am fairly sure I've read in several places that replacement wheels/axles for Murphy's diesels are little more than a drop in. However, if not, then this is probably where the main barrier lies. A wagon kit [or indeed regauging a proprietary wagon] should not hold any terrors. Chop off the narrow gauge W-iron/axlebox castings and fit new ones wider apart. If 21mm axles are not readily available, buy some brass/steel/nickel silver rod of 2mm diameter [an internet search will soon find you some] and cut some yourself. This is what I have done on Fintonagh, using 2mm brass wire/rod and making 'pinpoint' ends [to go in the bearing cups] by spinning the rod in my fingers while holding it against a slitting disk in a mini drill. It takes less than a minute...  The issue with a locomotive is that [if steam outline], the wheels need quartering, to ensure they turn smoothly when the coupling rods are attached. Not the case with diesels & I would think that something similar to the wagon exercise could be done - you just need to make sure the main gear is a good fit. However, I'm sure this must be the heart of the problem - where do you get 21mm loco axles from, that are easily quartered [like, say Romfords] because they have square ends? Fear not though, because the Scalefour Society website tells you how to do it with plain ended axles & it is very simple. It must be, because I've done it several times. If a kit of your chosen loco only comes with narrow frames, note that , by fitting the wheel bearings back to front, you get the right spacing, without the need to resort to making new frame spacers.  I could go on & no doubt some of you will be thinking 'its alright for him, he has years of experience'. Remember though, I started with zero knowledge and zero experience and has simply persevered and learned as I've gone along. What I do really isn't that difficult - otherwise I would have given up years ago.   Believe me when I say I am in no way criticising those who want to stick with 16.5mm track. It is your hobby, to do with as you wish & as long as you enjoy it, so much the better. I guess what does disappoint me though is that there appear to be so few people doing 5'3 [in any scale] & it really would be wonderful to get a few more on board. Currently, its lonely out here! It does look rather splendid after all & makes the extra effort so worthwhile.  There, I've said my piece and sincere apologies if I've offended anyone.
    • Yes please need help bad .to late for this Xmas?? However I'm trying to create the yard I've lots of Irish locomotive trains and rolling stock all extremely old stuff but a joy to admire I would really like to get things rolling..No pun intended. The guy sold me old switching track motors useless anyway I do I make contact with you I'm in South county Dublin area 
    • Beautiful work Paul. Well done.
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