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David Holman

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Everything posted by David Holman

  1. Port Cumtha - P4 21mm

    Unbelievably retractive prototype and why it doesn't appear to have been modelled before is beyond me. Visited in 2016 and the setting seems perfect. Quayside at the front, village street forms the backscene and even the engine shed to hide the hole in the sky to the fiddle yard! Not sure Andy is one for posting pictures, but do know the layout is booked for Warley this year.
  2. Bray late 50s and Hill

    And no sign of any track yet. Just like the real thing!
  3. Port Cumtha - P4 21mm

    Great to see there are more!
  4. Port Cumtha - P4 21mm

    And just to add, that means we now have a new addition to correct gauge layouts: 3mm - Ballyconnel Road 4mm - Valencia Harbour, Courtmacsherry and new P4. Adavoyle too. S - Paul Green's layout 7mm - Castle Rackrent, Arigna Town Not many, so great to have a new addition!
  5. Port Cumtha - P4 21mm

    Star! Am guessing that, trackwise, P4 21mm is no harder than finescale 21mm and flangeways will undoubtedly look better. From what other people have said here, it seems that loco and rolling stock conversion is the main barrier to going 21mm, though Andy Cundick gets on well enough. So, all power to your elbows, good sir. It has the look of a very good layout and can only be enhanced by being correct gauge. Am really looking forward to seeing how you get on.
  6. Metal Baseboard Frames

    Part of me thinks that if it was that simple, why haven't we all been doing it for years? Then again, maybe you have hit on something really interesting.
  7. Bantry Town Station 1950's

    A real beauty - full of character.
  8. Clogher Valley Project

    Things seem to have gone a bit quiet on the layout and workshop fronts lately, so here is the start of my new project - a layout based on a Clogher Valley Railway theme. Arigna Town still has plenty of life left in it, but I have a shelf space above it which gives me approx 2m long x 45cm deep and 30cm high. Initially, I draw out quite detailed plans of a small through station, with no loop, but two sidings [see pics below]. This would have been worked from turntable fiddle yards at each end. However, though I was happy with the design, in terms of operating, it would have kept two people very busy, for the 4-5 trains would have meant a sequence lasting no more than 10 minutes or so. Now, like the SLNCR, the CVR was a through line, with no branches, but I had a rethink to see if a terminus-fiddle yard layout could be done in the space available. The answer lay in a layout called Loose End, which I build around 20 years ago. This was a standard gauge, roadside line, based on the Wantage Tramway, where [in 7mm scale] the track plan for Wantage Town station is a mere 2.3metres long. Add in the fact that the train shed is very similar in appearance to the one at Fintona AND the latter is only about 10 miles from Clogher & you can easily see where my mind was going. Looking through Patterson's book on the CVR, it seems there were early plans for a line from Fintona to Armagh [long before the CVR was built], while the improbable Ulster & Connaught would have seen a line to Newry, via Keady. So, things were now starting to fall in place & with a proposed name of Fintonagh, my terminus could be a town in either direction! Have attached a plan I've been working on. The track work is fairly well inked in at the moment. It will be 21mm gauge [of course!], using hand built track with [probably] code 75 rail and copper clad sleepers. Am toying with the idea of making it DCC, so I can control the points without a control panel and [just maybe] introduce a bit of sound - though not sure on the latter. Probably use Kadee couplings and electro magnets for shunting. Stock most likely a couple of Sharp Stewart tanks, the railcar & 'Unit', while Branchlines coaches and wagon chassis will provide much help with the rest. To give you a flavour of what I hope the overall scene will look like, have included some photos of Loose End. This was set in Kent, where there is indeed a village called Loose, just outside Maidstone, though most of the buildings come from another small town nearby called West Malling. Overall, I think the layout was probably the most visually well balanced of the dozen or so projects I've built, so am hoping to repeat the process, with an Irish flavour. With a couple of trips planned to come over the water this year [including Cultra in November], there should be no excuse for not getting the flavour right. Am intending to get started on the baseboards soon, so watch this space, as they say...
  9. Paul's Workbench

    Good for you and hope you get lots of satisfaction from this project. It deserves to do well.
  10. Ballyercall (New Irish Layout

    Quite simply, it is! Previous Peco was a 'universal' track system, playing as much to HO as OO. The new stuff follows British practice, with correct sleeper spacings. So, still not the right gauge, but a big improvement.
  11. Clogher Valley Project

    Thanks for the positive comments, folks - much appreciated, as always. In answer to some of Paddy's questions, below are some of the things I do to try and make my layouts seem bigger [& especially] deeper. The latter is a real issue in 7mm scale, as there is often very little space outside the tracks, so you have to resort to low relief modelling and painted back scenes to create depth. First of all, another of my 'Bibles'. John Ahern's book on model railway buildings first came out nearly 70 years ago, but still has enormous value today and should be available second hand. The chapters on low relief and painted backgrounds are invaluable & I have adapted that street scene on pretty much every layout I've built [and am now into double figures]. Check out the photos of both Fintonagh and Arigna & am sure you will be able to spot where I've done this. The first picture of Fintonagh shows that Forbes Bar is only about 2cm deep. However, along with the store on its right, it is tucked into the corner of the layout, so the viewer can only see it from one direction. Hence the painted houses to the left of the bar can follow a road which also goes left into the back scene & the view is then cut off by the bicycle repair shop opposite Forbes. The next picture, taken from the other side of the Bicycle Shop shows how that road has gone behind it & we now see the rear of the buildings. These then disappear behind painted and low relief trees, until we meet the next view blocker, which is the Tram Inn. This building is removable, as it hides most of the baseboard joint in the back scene. The church spire covers the rest and a lighting bracket will act as an alignment clip to keep the edges of both boards parallel. In this picture, you can see a pronounced gap, but when both boards are closed up, there will just be a line that will look like one of the angles on the spire. The other side of the Tram Inn is the Temperance Hotel, just across the road. This road is part of the painted back scene, with a row of shops at the end, supposedly on the same road that branched off at Forbes Bar. As this is a very narrow view [only about 15cm], I have just painted the front of the shops with just a hint of a second side on the chimney stacks. The second face of the Temperance is only about 2cm deep, so I have tried to suggest it is deeper by painting a narrow strip on the back scene. Because the view down the street is so narrow, I can just about get away with this, though I may well disguise it further with a lamppost on the street corner. Further down the street to the left, we have the other back corner of the baseboards & here is a bit of the John Ahern trickery again. Before then, both the Fintonagh Metalworkers and Coakham's shop are also only a couple of cm deep, so in an effort to give the roofs some depth, part of this aspect is just painted on the back scene. A Mansard roof line helps with the shop & I really like to try and avoid having a gable end just appearing as a 'flat'. However, to make sure viewers will only be able to see this scene from one angle, the large warehouse at the front of the layout hides the hole in the sky, while a large tree will be put to the right of this to ensure the perspective can only be seen from one angle too. In the picture below, the shop roof is just painted on the back scene from a line level with the base of the chimney stack. Mix your paint carefully and the joint is hardly noticeable from a couple of feet away. Note that this aspect still needs a bit of tidying up. Other pictures below show the same effects on Arigna. Depending on the angle of the camera, they may well look wrong, but from the viewing angle I want you to have of the layout at shows, hopefully, they look ok and add to the depth of the scene - which is where I came in.
  12. Clogher Valley Project

    The simple answer is John Ahern's book Model Railway Buildings, Paddy. First printed in the 1950s when cow gum was the norm and 'Seccotine' was high tech adhesive! There are excellent chapters of low relief work and backscene which I have copied for years. The main problem is disguising the false perspectives and ensuring the viewer can only see from one direction, otherwise things like chimney pots would have three sides on view. Putting in view blockers mostly does the trick and a large tree will be planted to do that on Fintonagh. Will take some more pictures and hopefully explain a bit more.
  13. Bray late 50s and Hill

    Already starting to look very convincing, while the way it is being built follows prototype practice with engineering coming before track laying, which adds a little extra to the story.
  14. New Irish Lines

    Mine just appear in the email box and seems to contain something for everybody. Real history buffs will relish in detailed articles on stock numbering, but for me there are two significant highlights. Firstly a well illustrated article of Killybegs in 10mm scale. Stunning pictures of what is clearly a very classy model. Second, a 7mm scale model of the proposed SLNCR Garrett. Well it would tickle my fancy, wouldn't it? Also there is an interesting article on Clogher station, so Christmas has clearly come early for me. Congratulations to Alan & his team on yet another fine magazine.
  15. Richard Chown

    Just noted on RM Web that the great Richard Chown has passed away. Obituaries are accumulating for the pioneer of Irish broad gauge in 7mm scale. Castle Rackrent was very much the inspiration for my Arigna Town layout, but Richard started his back in the early 1970s when there was less than nothing available & everything was built from scratch. The system eventually grew to over 200' in length with eight stations and was very much operated to prototype practice. It was a delight to meet him at Manchester back in December and a complete honour to run his model of Lissadel [in early SLNCR livery] on my layout. Innovative in all sorts of ways, his obituaries will be well worth reading, not least because he was by all accounts a lovely man and a real character.
  16. Clogher Valley Project

    Baseboard 2 developments Start with the background and work forwards is what most art teachers recommend and it is much the same with model railway scenery - after all, there is little point in trying to work beyond something you have already planted. So, recent work on Fintonagh has been focussing on the low relief buildings making up the rear edge of the layout and trying to incorporate them into a painted back scene. More snake oil than tromp l'oeuil and it is not quite right yet, but the photos hopefully show what I'm aiming at. The latest creation is the Fintonagh Metalworkers building. On the actual Clogher Valley line there was 'Fivemiletown Industries', so this exercise, little more than a 'flat' pays homage to that. I'm assuming a local co-operative offering wrought ironwork, welding, brazing and the like, with the rather OTT clock an advert for some of their work & small weather vane likewise. Both came from Scalelink etches, though the clock needed rather more work than just chopping out. The windows are laser cut jobbies from York Modelmaking. The next work will be to fill in the gaps between buildings with DAS clay and make good the paintwork, then I can add paving stones, drain & manhole covers etc, before working outwards into the front part of the layout. There will be a long stone wall between the railway and road, while a large tree will hopefully hide some of the liberties I've had to take with perspective on the back scene. What might look ok in the pictures is not necessarily so as you move along the layout. The tree and the mill/animal feed warehouse [haven't decided which yet] will both hide the hole in the sky where the layout disappears into the back scene.
  17. Glover's workbench

    No expert on the prototype, but that is certainly a good piece of modelling.
  18. A Railway Evolves

    Definitely one to watch.
  19. Am now at the stage where 'ground cover' is being added, so decided to start from the fiddle yard end. Hopefully the tree and garage help to hide the exit to the train turntable. Relied heavily on the writings of Barry Norman, Tony Hill and, especially, Gordon Gravett, who's new book, 'Modelling Grassland and Landscape Detailing' deserves to be the reference book of the next few years. you do need an electrostatic grass 'planter' though. Will add some more notes in my blog. The garage is still not finished and the close ups of the petrol pumps expose the crudity of my hand lettering. However, while the Classic Commercial castings and transfers remain unavailable will have to do for now. The pumps are [like pretty much everything else] scratchbuilt and came from doing an internet search for pictures. the choice of Esso was down to the 'head' being the simplest shape, though have since found that headless examples were quite common in Britain, so presume the same occurred in Ireland?
  20. Robert's Workbench

    That's going to be a very impressive rake.
  21. Track Laying

    Looks very thorough to me. The only thing I would add is to consider drawing out the whole thing full size on wall paper lining, though if ready made track is used, this is probably not so important. Gettting down to eye level to check for alignment is also important
  22. Arigna Town - this week's scenery

    Thanks everyone. If you go on RMweb, there are pictures of yours truly - not for the faint hearted though!
  23. Laser Cutter

    Would be a liar if I said I had no scars (picking up a soldering iron at the hot end is a bad idea too). However, provided the blade is really sharp, then you don't need to apply too much pressure and hence the knife is less likely to slip. Have used craft knives with snap off blades for years. As soon as the tip starts to wear, simply snap off a new one. (Mostly) works for me, though the Olfa gizmo certainly looks good.
  24. Trackwork Underlay

    Ballasting is undoubtedly a pain, but a necessary evil that just has to be done. Agree re underlay, the sound deadening effect is minimal. Hence for station boards not worth it, but on mainline sections where there is a 'cess' beside the track, underlay lifts the rails enough to create this.
  25. Finding old kits

    The Ragstone kit of the Clogher 0-4-2T that I bought at the Reading Trade Show on 1st December last year is still in its box, as I am concentrating on buildings for Fintonagh. Apart from when I bought the two Sligo small tanks and one remained in its box for six months, that is a record for me - I've always got on with what I buy straight away. Most modellers I know are the opposite though. A standing joke at the Chatham club is to mention the Pressflow cement wagons. Half a dozen on these 7mm scale kits were bought about 20 years ago and shared among members to build. So far, less than half completed... Mayner is right about the Impetus kits. They were state of the art when Robin Arkinsall was producing them many years ago - probably the equivalent of Judith Edge kits today. Am sure I would not have been able to resist and likewise all those juicy Backwoods Miniatures. Had they been done in 7mm scale, I might well have been doing both Swilly and Donegal instead of the Sligo.

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