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Progress! Nearly off the work bench.

Still in primer, but I think I shall keep it in grey. Had to paint the smokebox, wish I hadn't! But I needed to know what it would look like. Details next :-) but I don't think I shall take it much further, apart from DCC.,,[attachment=:name]

Mike 84C

Mike 84C

 

Home for the Railway Part 6

An interesting couple of weeks converting the office to a guest room served as a spur to get things sorted out on the Narrow Gauge layout and move most of the work shop items out to the work shop strange that .   Some interesting things turned up long lost drill sets and other tools together with odd pieces of rolling stock.   The Narrow Gauge layout originally ran across the top of a computer desk and scanner printer.   Eye level is great in theory but it was difficult to work on and you could not see the trains when they passed into the cutting beside the engine shed.   I dropped the layout down cutting a recess in the baseboard for the printer, replaced and painted the fascia.       We might even have a C&L engine back in service soon No 8 can manage the curves on the Tramway after modifying the bogie to a swing link arrangement, she is a tad faster than the Dingle locos having the same drive but larger driving wheels.       One of the next jobs is to motorise or at least get the turntable working, it started life 9 years ago as a Peco N Scale table was converted to 3' gauge then got a replacement Peco HOm deck. The signal is built from Model Signal Company then Sprat & Winkle parts bought at the Brighton exhibition after my first week working in London in 1986.   [attachment=:name]   Cattle special leaving town the buildings are built from Wills material packs, the shed roof is from a Ratio coal shed kit, the signal cut down SSM.   I have used Micro trains N Scale couplers but I am looking at Kadee HOn3 as the operation is not reliable enough.   John

Mayner

Mayner

 

850 Still on the workbench!

She"s coming on I posted the pictures before undercoating so its obvious what additions and what bits I removed. The complete front running plate and the belpair firebox top and the cab roof are from a Dapol Prairie tank any white parts are made from plasticard. I did think it would be easier than it has been to do this conversion. but thats always the way!!

Mike 84C

Mike 84C

 

Home for the Railway 5 even more drawn out than Harry Potter's schooldays

I had great plans to strat building baseboards and finishing various modelling projects over the holidays but ended up painting windows and making a set of doors for a shed started over a year ago.   The modelling highlight was testing out some 21mm stock over the Christmas mainly adjusting Kadee couplers and getting the AEC railcar set running.   Having gotten over that bit of excitement there was a major move in shifting the 4mm dock layout to the shed and moving the N Scale American from storage in the shed into its place in the office.       This was intended to be a temporary set up but could make a nice layout with some tweeking, I never got to properly display the diner and filling station on the old N gauge in Ireland.   Then move some of the 4mm stock into a new display case (Christmas present from wife) in the office.   [attachment=:name]   I am not sure how this will fit in with the idea of a small station on the borders of Mayo and Sligo, a bit too similar to the American layout, possibly a scenic fiddle yard?   John

Mayner

Mayner

 

Home for the Railway 4 Test Track

The fit out of the railway room/workshop is going well with most of the trackwork complete to the G Scale storage sidings and the 21mm test track.   The 21mm test track is basically a section of double track with a crossover and a short section of track with a reverse curve to detect buffer/gangway locking locos and bogie coaches.   The curved track varies between 2'6" & 3' and the crossover is an A5 (approx 3' radius) which would generally only be used where space is tight.       The test of the pudding pushing a rake of wagons through the crossover The track is a mixture of Atlas Code 82 and Peco Code 75 flatbottom rail soldered to copper clad sleepers. Next stage wire up the crossover and try out with a loco hopefully everything stays on.   The wagons are a mixture of scratch and modified Parkside kits       Standard CIE covered H Van (red oxide) and ex-GNR Bagged Cement (dark grey) both from the Parkside BR Plywood sided van kit.   The CIE van is supposed to be a fitted van hence clasp brake shoes and should have handwheels to apply the hand brakes.   The CIE van body were subtly different to the BR version with plywood ends, different strapping and self contained buffers (MJT).       Not my best efforts scratchbuit CIE 20T brake and KN long cattle both overdue for replacement. The brake is mainly plasticard with whitemetal Kenline strapping which is alas no longer available.   I am getting to the layout planning phase I am looking more at the Burma Road than the T&C both because of greater variety of stock and operation and I probably have enough suitable locos and stock to model both steam and diesel operation, though I need to add some Midland locos.   The stations tend to be more compact with less sprawl and simpler buildings and structures than the Midland, I am thinking in terms of fitting in two stations possibly based on Kiltimagh and Charlestown with end to end or continuous run operation, but I need to do some thorough testing of locos and stock first.   John

Mayner

Mayner

 

Home for the Railway 3

The building work is nearly complete I fitted a pair of windows, finished most of the internal capentry and painting the walls over a long weekend last week. There is still some external work to complete but at last we are getting into longer days drier weather.     5:37 pm 3X2 treated framing in place.     8:30 pm tracks 1&2 fixed in place 3&4 roughly in position.   The Irish layout hopefully will be U shaped with the track approximatley 4' above floor level to give a partial eye level view, the big question is whether to continue in 4mm on 21mm gauge or try 7mm Scale those Tirconnell loco and coach kits are mighty tempting.   I am planning to carry out trials in the next few weeks to see how my locos cope with curves and grades, 3' is probably the minimum for 21mm tender loco with bogie stock though I dont know how my kit built locos will handle grades.   If its successfull I am thinking in terms of a multi level layout to get a decent length of run.   John

Mayner

Mayner

 

More work on the basket case

Further work has been done on the GP40X from a previous blog Mainly detail wise.           Next up was adding wipers to the cab. Athearn RTR locos (and some Genesis locos too) don't with wipers. I added some very fine Cannon ones here, which are put beside a hair so you can see how fine they are!       Comparison with an Atlas loco. It's wipers seem very chunky in comparison. Maybe these Cannon ones could be nice fine replacements for 141s and 071s?   [attachment=:name]   That's all for now, more detail and repowering to come!

Warbonnet

Warbonnet

 

Against the Grain - building and repairing US Grain cars

After a prolonged period without a computer I cracked on with a couple of projects to keep me amused. One was the building of some Accurail covered hoppers. I bought a pack of three CNW hoppers in differing colours a few weeks back and nailed a couple together.   What you get       Added detail           So some Kadee replacement trucks were acquired and fitted, weights that had sheered loose glued back in, end detail bent out and roof walkway fixed. I had to remove some of the ladder detail but it doesn't look too bad.I may look into getting a replacement part or get out the plastic strip at a later date. Some weathering will help give it an in service battered look too.           [attachment=:name]

Warbonnet

Warbonnet

 

Home for the Railway 2 The BoreR Strike Back

This week was mainly spent preparing and lining the walls on two sides. While there was little sign of rot or insect attack I got a nasty shock when one side of a stud broke away while I was nailing in bridging or nogs to support the bottom edge of the plaster board. Treated the area around the affected stud for borer (similar to woodworm) but otherwise very little sign of attack. My basic reasoning is that if the garage has survived for 80 years it will probably last longer than a modern building with a design life of 15-20 years.         Ready for lining the timber is probably rimu a very slow growing hardwood that was once widly used for just about everything, very durable unless subject to constant damp.   The garage probably dates from the 1920 no bridging, I installed nogs to support the edges of the sheets.       Sunday Afternoon GIB fixed and joints taped two sides. Fixing the boards horizontally is a good time and timber saver for lining older buildings with framing at imperial centres and cuts down on the amount of taping and jointing.   The square opening in the far end is for the connecting track from the garden railway, the Irish Layout will be based out immediately above basically along the horizontal joint in the plasterboard. I am looking at a metal stud shelving system with adjustable shelf brackets.   [attachment=:name]   Next weeks challenge to clear this and get ready for wall lining. Its mainly a mixture of baseboard framing, G Scale track, fixings and goods knows what.   John

Mayner

Mayner

 

Kiss of life time - Detailing a Athearn GP40X

After previewing the two locomotives I'm working on in my last blog, I thought it would be a good idea to take you on the journey on one of the rebuilds from start to finish. I have been into trains for a long time, but it's only recently I have looked at detailing and rebuilds. It's also coincided in me developing an interest in American railroads, and thankfully it's a match made in heaven.   I've sung enough about the detail and quality of American models in the past, but another area in which they excell is the after-market detail parts business. Companies like Details West, Detail Associates, BLMA and Cannon and Co. (to name but a few) offer great products to improve older and less detailed locos, as well as making the newest stuff even better. Another advantage is the brilliant spares department offered by the likes of Athearn and Kato, making getting parts for locos so easy.   As I stated in my previous entry (giggidy) I bought three relatively modern but badly treated locos from Dave who took them as part ex at a show. He stuck up pics on the 1st yuku site (seems so long ago now) and how we all laughed at them. However, I fancied my chances as doing them up, or at least acquiring them for spares. They were nice and cheap and I decided that once the horrific paint came off them there was plenty of potential. On top of that if I made a mess of them in my novice ways I wont be down too much money, far cheaper than trying similar detailing on a brand new model!   The third loco I ended up with was an Athearn RTR GP40X high-hood. Out of the three I bought this was in the worst condition. It was orignally an 'undecorated' loco, which is basically a kit form which comes with lots of additional parts for you to fit. All additional parts were missing, the paint was dreadful, it was missing a bogie sideframe and the additional bogie parts, and it was a bit of a lumpy runner.       I then got to work researching parts and listing out what I need before ordering from online retailers and Athearn's parts department. One nice and easy job was to install the grab irons front and rear as none were ever attached. I got a big back from BLMA and got to work.   [attachment=:name]   Also added were brass horns, MU hoses and couplier cut bars (which I'm not sure about being correct, despite someone telling me they were the right ones to use. I may well replace them.)   Next to go on will be the ploughs and other small detail parts.

Warbonnet

Warbonnet

 

New Home for the railway

Despite a burst of activity in May and June I have done very little on the modelling front in recent months, not sure whether or what but things were just not conductive to modelling.   When we moved to Hamilton I initially concentrated on the garden railway to get something running but had no permanent home for my Irish Models.   We initially planned to build a new hobby room/studio as the garage appeared to be in poor condition and all the rooms in the house in use.   I set up a temporary storage yard and shelving for the G Scale in the garage and negotiated a space for my workbench in a spare bedroom and eventually the office.   I unearthed and started to work on a narrow gauge layout started in Auckland and to build a broad gauge layout on a bookshelf.   The narrow gauge occupies two sides of the room above a computer desk and you neary need scaffolding to access the storage/display shelves above the layout.   So maybe the problem was more to do with the lack of a proper layout room than anything else Kirleys shed inspired me so maybe it was time to have a close look at the garage.   Although the garage was leaning over at an angle and the floor was damp, most of the framing and weatherboard was sound, my tools and electronic equipment stored there were showing no ill effects of damp   The big advantage of timber over brick and block is that its easy to level and repair an old structure.   The wooden piles that supported the framing had rotted away causing one side to sink and the whole structure to lean over. Levelling the garage and replacing the piles was fairly simple, the biggest problem was that the ground was waterlogged after two months of heavy rain (St Swittan?) when I was replacing the piles it was basically a race against time to dig out, install and concrete the pile before the hole filled up with water.   The repairs were simple enough the biggest job was moving everything out and putting it into storage.   At this stage I have installed a false ceiling and started to line the walls with plasterboard, with 3-4 weeks work to complete.   This should give me a room approximately 17' 6" x 11' mainly for railway use and a workshop.   The basic idea is to have the G Scale storage sidings on one side with a U shaped Irish layout on the next layer at a height of approx 4' and storage shelving display cases above and a workbench in the middle.   I hope to base the Irish layout on the Burma Road or North Kerry from early CIE days up to closure/end of traditional freight working, getting some track down should be a good incentive to sort out the running with my locos and stock.   The only confounder is to find a space for ladders, powertools etc without having to build an extra shed

Mayner

Mayner

 

The diesel shop - getting out the turd polish!

'You can never polish a poo', was the sage advice given to me one night by a mate as we discussed the important topic 'Does make-up on women really make much of a difference?' Anyway, I shoud've listened as now I have got myself caught up with some Athearn basket cases.   These came from a consignment of horrors liberated Bracken's castle in Raheny. Some clown decided to paint up some US locos in CIE colours with a yard brush and some white tape. A right state they were. I have already given a Kato SD40-2 the kiss of life and brought it back as a Conrail unit as you will have seen on the old site. However, these other two needed a bit more work.       The GP40X was a real dog; it was an undercorated kit which basically had none of its additional parts added. Has had a good bit of detailing done to it. I'm currently working the chassis where I have ripped out the old Athearn motor and replaced it with a much smoother and quieter Kato unit. I have taken plenty of pics along the way so I might do a blow-by-blow account on what I did to try to improve it. Although American stuff is not of interest to most on here it might give you ideas and tips to try out. You could give me pointers too as it's all about learning! On top of that, these EMD locos have a lot of similar detail features to our own locos, so you may want to have a closer look at some of that.   Before       Still a long way to go, updates as soon as I have them. I also have about 7 or 8 locos ready to hit the bench too to be dismemebered and rebuilt, so those long winter nights should be filled pretty easy!

Warbonnet

Warbonnet

 

Building an Atlas Trainman 40ft boxcar

Another day, another pretty straightforward American boxcar kit! I was keen to give the new range of Atlas Trainman kits a go to see what the quality is like. Atlas make some of the nicest stuff on the market, American or otherwise and I certainly wouldn't hesitate in buying any of their products.   The 'Trainman' line is their budget range, a bit like Hornby Railroad, only erm, better! Locos get proper all wheel drive, rolling stock is as free running as anything this side of an 1980s Lima Mark 1 coach. The only real difference is that compared to their premium range the additional detail is a bit limited.   The kits are a very recent development, with Atlas taking over the Branchline range and re-releasing them under their own banner. I was keen to pick one up and see what they were like, so plumped for a late 1930s Santa Fe 40ft AAR Boxcar from model junction. Nice and cheap at £8.99.   Here's what you get.       I started off by attaching the nicely detailed underframe to the floor of the car. Must say the detail was very nice, but took a bit of fettling to get it to all fit right.       Unlike the Accurail kit (and nearly all the others I've nailed together over the past couple of years) the Trainman kit comes with metal wheels, and they are lovely free runners too. Happy days!       I attached the bogies (or trucks as they're known in Yankee Doodle land) to the car as it began to take shape       Then the ends went on, to stop you getting them the wrong way around, one end has four lugs, the other has five. Fitted lovely, then glued into place to make sure they stay there.       After that the doors were put in place, there was a mechanism that allows you to have opening sliding doors if you wish        

Warbonnet

Warbonnet

 

Dun Laoghaire Show

What a wonderful day for a exhibition! A scorcher of a day saw the crowds come out in force for the MRSI show in Dun Laoghaire. The town centre is a great venue for such a thing, with easy access via car, DART and bus. The amount of people there was very encouraging which is great to see, especially with a lot of youngsters there too. There's some life in this hobby yet!   I was keen to finally have a look at the forthcoming Murphys 071s, and man I was not disappointed! Pretty much all of the planned locos were there, so I was able to fight the crowds and swim through their drool to have a look.       Since the pictures came out I was excited but a bit apprehensive at the same time. The overall shape of the loco is bang on, it certainly looks like an 071. I was bothered by that bodyside radiator grill though, it looked a bit coarse and protruding. I looked at some of my American GM locos with a similair pattern grill and they looked much better when moulded in plastic.   However, when I looked at them today they didn't bother me nearly as much as I thought they would. They most certainly are not a deal-breaker.   I have a feeling that 082 would be on my shopping list, the real one is a real screamer and I love the look of the nameplate on the model, it's a superb bit of printing. It was pointed out to me though that 082's cabside numbers should be white with a black shade, not the other way around. I have since looked this up and it appears that the info is correct. The IE logo also looks a little big on the side, but I'm no expert. I hope it's not too late to correct them!       It is a good solid base but needs a lot of work to bring it up to the standards of the latest releases.   Was also great to meet some guys from the board, catching up with fellow mods Anthony and Dave, meeting new faces like Glenderg (and seeing him at work!) and ttc0169 and others. Also ended up manning a MRSI table for a while, Dave saying I'd be fine and not too busy. Ended up selling some of the 50th wagons, helping countless vote for their favourite layout and reuniting a lost child with his parents!   Hope the show is on again next year. Well done MRSI and the council, roll on October.

Warbonnet

Warbonnet

 

Yankee Doodles and stiff upper lips - My US and British blog

I thought that a blog might be in order. It will mainly contain small bits and pieces that I'm working on to fill time before I finally get some sort of layout sorted. I have the stock, now I just need some track and some space to run it all on! Someday soon hopefully.   Anyway, I'll be mainly working on American stuff, with some British and maybe even some Irish stuff thrown in along the way. My first port of call is centring around two box car kits. One is a Accurail 50ft Conrail boxcar and the other is an Atlas Trainman 40ft Santa Fe boxcar to fit in with some of my older motive power. I'm not really one for sticking to one era or railroad, but the right stock will have to run together at the same time. I couldn't have steam running past some SD70s and GEVOs!       The body of the boxcar was bowing inwards so although I knew the chassis would help reshape it, I added some plastic-card bracing too.       Underframe detail is quite sparse, with the bare minimum added. It could be further enhanced with brass wire to replicate tubing etc at a later date, but there's also day to day handling, and as I want to build up rakes of cars for longer trains I can live without it for now. This can also be said for removing moulded detail like grab irons and installing wire replacements. Maybe I'll eventually get around to that as a fully fettled car can look fantastic when kitted out and weathered.   I did do some upgrades, replacing the godawful plastic couplers and wheels with Kadee products.           This was my first Accurail kit and I would defo buy some more. I'll be keen to try the Atlas one too to see how good it is. If it is anything like their RTR line of stuff it should be lovely. More on that another time.

Warbonnet

Warbonnet

 

Yankee Doodles and stiff upper lips - My US and British blog

I thought that a blog might be in order. It will mainly contain small bits and pieces that I'm working on to fill time before I finally get some sort of layout sorted. I have the stock, now I just need some track and some space to run it all on! Someday soon hopefully.   Anyway, I'll be mainly working on American stuff, with some British and maybe even some Irish stuff thrown in along the way. My first port of call is centring around two box car kits. One is a Accurail 50ft Conrail boxcar and the other is an Atlas Trainman 40ft Santa Fe boxcar to fit in with some of my older motive power. I'm not really one for sticking to one era or railroad, but the right stock will have to run together at the same time. I couldn't have steam running past some SD70s and GEVOs!   [ATTACH=CONFIG]2204[/ATTACH]   Anyway, first up, the fairly simple Accurail box car, based on a car from the 1970s.   Here is the kit as it comes, American kits are nice simple affairs, easy to sling together when you're watching telly. Here's the kit, you get a choice of doors to suit your modelling period.I went with the later ones.   [ATTACH=CONFIG]2205[/ATTACH]   The body of the boxcar was bowing inwards so although I knew the chassis would help reshape it, I added some plastic-card bracing too.   [ATTACH=CONFIG]2198[/ATTACH]   Then the steel weight was glued to the chassis, and the doors were added to the body.   [ATTACH=CONFIG]2199[/ATTACH]   Underframe detail is quite sparse, with the bare minimum added. It could be further enhanced with brass wire to replicate tubing etc at a later date, but there's also day to day handling, and as I want to build up rakes of cars for longer trains I can live without it for now. This can also be said for removing moulded detail like grab irons and installing wire replacements. Maybe I'll eventually get around to that as a fully fettled car can look fantastic when kitted out and weathered.   I did do some upgrades, replacing the godawful plastic couplers and wheels with Kadee products.   [ATTACH=CONFIG]2200[/ATTACH]   And the finished product, went together nice and easy, very good quality parts. Okay, so it's very basic kit building, but for a novice who is looking to gain some confidence they are perfect to start with, and I find them therapeutic. I have a 30 litre storage box full of such kits from Athearn, Roundhouse etc. to keep me going!   [ATTACH=CONFIG]2201[/ATTACH]   [ATTACH=CONFIG]2202[/ATTACH]   [ATTACH=CONFIG]2203[/ATTACH]   This was my first Accurail kit and I would defo buy some more. I'll be keen to try the Atlas one too to see how good it is. If it is anything like their RTR line of stuff it should be lovely. More on that another time.

Warbonnet

Warbonnet

 

Sligo Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway

[attachment=:name]Just joined the group & keen get info on the 'Sligo'. Am building a 7mm scale, 36.75mm gauge model of the once proposed line into the Arigna coal mining area - mainly to enable a terminus fiddle yard set up, rather than end to end. Currently ok for coaches, wagons [mostly] & buildings, thanks to the Alphagraphix kits, which am using as colour plans to scratchbuild the actual models. Likewise have two of the Northstar kits of the small 0-6-4Ts, plus a J26 0-6-0T. What I'd also like to do is build a model of 'Sir Henry', one of the second batch of larger 0-6-4Ts, but so far unable to source a drawing. similarly anything on the articulated railcae would be good, so am hoping there are knowledgeable folk out there!

David Holman

David Holman

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