I tried to bore everyone to death on the old Newsgroup with a series of threads about a small Narrow Gauge layout I started eight years ago as "quicky" project to maintain interest when we first moved to New Zealand.
I have been working on the current phase for two years and last night I finally got something moving my little Bemo Tractor http://www.bemo-modellbahn.de/produkte/schweizer-bahnen-h0m.html?tx_userbemocatalogue_rubriclist%5Bitem%5D=182&tx_userbemocatalogue_rubriclist%5Baction%5D=show&tx_userbemocatalogue_rubriclist%5Bcontroller%5D=Item&cHash=d92143e96b8cec56fbf9375ebd7b014c
The basic idea is to model a fictional extenssion of the Cavan & Leitrim in its final years complete with decrepit locos and stock.
The mainstay of the loco fleet are a pair of Dingle 2-6-0T and a pair of C&L 4-4-0T backed up by a pair of Donegal railcars and said Bemo Tractor.
Before leaving Ireland I had fitted the two Dingle engines with DCC Decoders which seemed to work fine, but prooved too unreliable so back to DC control on this one.
I finally finished the wiring on the two station sections plugged in the controller and action, the Dingle engines made it from one end of the line to another but for some reason would only push not pull a train. Time to have a serious look at the pick ups.
The railcars faired even worse, one an Anbrinco whitemetal model of the final Donegal caars 19 &20 with a butchered Fleischmann drive refused to run at all, so I have placed an order for a new Bull-Ant drive from Australia.
The motor of the other car a Backwoods Miniatures model of the earlier No14 literally went up in puff of smoke, which did not appear to bad after nearly 20 years, but the replacement motor was nearly 1/3 the cost of a Bull-Ant.
All appeared well when I fitted and tested the replacement motor, but later noticed the drive would sometimes jam.
The Backwoods chassis is similar in principal to the Bull-Ant and old Minitrains OO9 drive a near bullet proof system, where with spur reduction gearing between the motor and a layshaft that transmits the final drive to the wheels.
On closer inspection the lay shaft was flapping around between the frames, one of the bearings that supports the shaft had come loose and wore an oval slot in the ssupporting frame spacer, maybe I wouldd have been better to order another Bull-Ant or take up stamp collecting.
At thiss stage the tractor is the only thing that runss reliably I am not sure to dresss it up as one of the GSR Drewry Railcars http://www.worsleyworks.co.uk/Image-Pages/Image_NG_Irish_WCR.htm or possibly something like Phoenix http://www.madeinpreston.co.uk/Road/atkinsonsteam.html
Modified RTR Dapol/Mainline Tank Wagon
Probably the crudest conversion I wanted a couple of traditional Private Owner tank wagons the only problem was the need to cut the chassis in two!
Crude as ! runs fine not sure what i will do with this one.
Parkside wagon Conversions
SSM & the S4 Society introduced W irron assemblies suitable for 21mm gauge in the mid 1990s together with frets for the traditional Irish single shoe wagon brake.
Cattle wagon chassiss with SSM W Irons & MJT axleboxes and springs.
These wagons are permanently coupled in pairs with automatic couplers at the ends, due to their short length these wagons have a tendency to accidentally uncouple when propelled over an uncoupling magnet, coupling these wagons together in pair with 3 link couplers basically eliminates the problem.
Ian Suter MGWR Open
Ex GNR Bagged Cement Wagon all went to CIE the main difference between the British and irish vans was the absence of end ventilators on the Irish wagons and different brake gear, the Irish wagons were unfitted with independent either side brakes.
The Pallet Wagon CIE last new traditional wagon design used for sundries traffic, a lot of detail difference between batches in door and end design
GSR/CIE 10T Open
Scratchbuilt in plasticard with etched brass and whitemetal strappings and angle iron details. Built around 93-4 the body is basically an open topped plasticard box, with the planking scribed using an Offra cutter, after nearly 20 years there is no sign of the plasticard warping or twisting, but the superglue bond between the brass and plasticard parts are breaking down.
Hornby bogie with plasticard bolster
Probably the simplest and most effective flexible bogie. The bogie performs in a similar manner to the BR Loadmaster and American 3 Piece bogie in that the bolster takes up the movement between the side frames.
The plasticard bolster has stood up to about 15 years use, I have also converted Lima MK3s to 21mm using KS Metal brass strip as a bolster.
I have never attempted a blog before, GSWR101s thread seems to have stirred up considerable interest in the practical side of 21mm gauge modelling so I though I would write up my experience with rolling stock conversions and leave the locos to a later date.
I first tried my hand in 21mm in the early 1980s but it took about 10 years to develop the necessary experience to achieve half decent results.
I was an MRSI member, some of the more influential members were starting to modify or scratchbuild Irish locos and stock but most of the more senior modellers were interested in the Big Four, American or Continental railway.
At the time the standard of British rtr just did not compare in detail or running quality with Fleischmann, Trix, Liliput, Marklin or even Athearn.
Having a contrary nature scratchbuilding and doing your own thing appealed more than following the crowd and my pocket did not stretch beyond buying plaasticard and the odd Lima Loco.
There was very little information or models available at the time Tim Cramer published a series of articles and drawings in Model Railways, the occasional drawing and article appeared in the Modeller and Constructor.
Around this time articles on Richard Chowns O Scale WLWR layout, Iain Rice's series on Tregarrick and the original Advaoyle prompted me to have a go in 21mm.
Little or no information was available on wheel or track standards at the time Tim Cramer quoted a 19.5 wheel B-B dimension in an article in the moddeller in the 1970s, David Malone produced a detailed how to article on modelling to S4 Standards in Practical Model Railways.
I work to use a set of TMD 21mm gauges with a B-B of 19.5 with EM profile wheel sets although 19.3 is recommended to deal with Romford/Jackson and other coarser wheel profiles allowable in EM.
There were few suitable kits and no rtr models available, Terry McDermott introduced a MGWR tank loco kit and the Model Wagon Company Ardrossan a GNR(I) cattle wagon. Des McNally started to introduce the range of MIR whitemetal kits of then contemporary wagons a bit modern for the late 1950-60s period.
My first train was made up of an ex MGWR Achill Bogie with a Lima 4F tender drive, & a pair of ex MGWR coaches all in plastciard very pretty but it did not run very well or even stay on the track.
Suitable axles and suspension units were not available at the time, wheel sets ran in home made inside bearings, wheels were simply pushed out on their axles to the correct Back to Back.
Most of my locos and stock are fitted with EM or NMRA RP 25 profile wheelsets, however, I have a few vehicles with the very good solid brass Jackson wheels supplied with Parkside kits, Bachmann and an odd profile brass wheel supplied with PC Coach Kits, thanks to John Rednup I cleared out Puffer's stock of these wheels at a substantial discount in 1988.
For me the big break through was Mike Sharmans huge range of loco, bogie and tender wheels all supplied with extended axles which the user cut to length.
I could at least build 21mm locos that could run even if they looked pretty bad
Suitable coach and wagon wheels were still a major problem although Alan Gibson advertised 21mm wheel sets with 28mm axles, he does not appear to have been prepared to supply, however Ultrascale supply their excellent wheels in 21mm to S4 or EM tyre profile.
Another way around the problem is to cut and sleeve a standard 26mm axle with 2mm ID brass tube from Eilleen's Emphorium.
Hornby Stanier bogie with .060" bolster, PC wheelsets axles sleeved with 2mm brass tubing
The nasty bit Dapol solebars packed out with 1mm plasticard
The break through in 21mm modelling came with the introduction of by the S4 Society and Studio Scale Models or suitable W Iron assemblies.
MJT produce a very usefull inside bearing unit originally designed for fitting compensation to RTR Models http://www.dartcastings.co.uk/mjt/2291.php
Ratio LNWR open converted to 21mm with MJT inside bearing units I think the wheelss are Gibson or Magib OO or EM wheelsets pushed out to a 19.5 Back to Back
MJT also produce a coach compensation unit that can be adjusted out to 21mm gauge.
MJT CCU packed out to 21mm