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David Holman

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Everything posted by David Holman

  1. David's Workbench

    Am starting a new & on-going thread, in the style of many of you to encompass future projects - rather than have a different one for each model. Don't know if the moderators want to merge the Railbus into this, but happy to let it stand alone, as still want to add a couple more pictures. First up in the new thread is the ticklish subject of signals. Well, ticklish to me that is & this is putting it mildly. I confess to an innate issue in putting together anything that is 'handed' [flatpacks a nightmare], so with the signal in question having 3 arms on two dolls, with an arse-about-face additional problem of operational bits being upside down underneath the baseboard surface. Simple structure, but a nightmare to make work. The pictures show firstly 'one I made earlier' - an LNER lattice post two doll starter, built using Wizard Models components about which I cannot speak too highly. The second picture shows the bits I am using to build this model, alongside a picture of the prototype. The final one is progress thus far. The two whitemetal main posts have been connected with laminated 60x250 thous plastic strip, then pinned and expoxied together. A Wizard Models slotted post kit caters for the two arm main post, with all three arms coming from the Tyrconnel Models etch available from Alphagraphix. The arms need to be painted before being fixed in place. This only took a couple of hours, but then linking the operating rods [0.7mm wire] to the balance weights and then below the baseplate to the operating mechanism took the whole weekend, amid much cussing and swearing. Signal operation is a peculiar science which I often think is akin to iceberg theory in that 90% of the model is below the surface. The Wizard models idea works on a wire in tube format that allows the whole signal to be removed from the baseboard for transport an maintenance. L shaped 'paddles' pivot to give the up & down movement to the balance weights. This part seems to be working ok, but will be some time before I can install it on the layout as the baseboard needs a hole cut and the operating links fitted to the underside.
  2. Milton Keynes Model Railway Show

    Saturday 10th February sees another chance to see 67% of current Irish Broad Gauge exhibition layouts when both Valencia Harbour [4mm scale 21mm gauge] and Arigna Town [7mm scale 36.75mm gauge] feature. Well within range of many in middle earth [aka the south Midlands].
  3. UTA 2-6-0 Ex-NCC 'Earl of Ulster'

    And that is the joy of our hobby. Some folk like collecting, others like operating, some get a buzz from the electronic side of things. I quite enjoy operating, but making things is what I really enjoy and while some specialise in locos, or buildings or scenery, I enjoy all aspects because of the diversity and challenge it offers. All I would say to anyone is don't be afraid to have a go. We all had to start somewhere but as Henry Ford once said, 'If you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right!'
  4. Interesting article 'Clifton and Lowther' using something called fiNetraX code 40 plain track. British sleeper spacing and looks stunning. Thought it was 2mmFS, but actually just N gauge. Definitely food for thought for anyone contemplating Irish N and we'll worth a look.
  5. Milton Keynes Model Railway Show

    Excellent news! A station very much in need of modelling and can only look forward to seeing it develop. Photos soon?
  6. David's Workbench

    Not surprised to hear that about Norman Johnson, while modellers and historians are forever in his debt. The likes of Des Coakham, E M Patterson, JC Boyd etc to name but a few as well. In mainland Britain, there were a great number of people recording the railway scene. Indeed, probably a book or two on pretty much any subject you could wish for. Researching the Irish scene nowhere near as easy, so we must also be thankful for the IRRS, Neil Sprinks, Tom Ferris and JHB of this parish of course. Thank you all!
  7. David's Workbench

    Correct, JB and next door is Patterson's chemist. Not sure what 'Edward M' was a doctor of, but I like to include these pioneering authors where I can. When I went to college, beer was 14p a pint, though with a friend behind the bar you could get 7/8 of a pint of McEwan's Export with a [pint] bottle of Newcastle Brown for 22p. Guinness was available for a while, but the suppliers insisted on a minimum of one nine gallon barrel a week, which proved a bit much with only 4 of us drinking it on a regular basis.
  8. Handrail Bending - Methods?

    I've got one of these, Noel and find that, with a bit of practice, it works well. Won't produce those handrails that wrap around a locomotive smokebox though. For me, only trial, error and [a lot of] rude words eventually produces results.
  9. Patricks Layout

    Classy models in a lovely setting - a bit of weathering eventually?
  10. UTA 2-6-0 Ex-NCC 'Earl of Ulster'

    Have to agree with the others, a 4F is way better than a LSWR 'Black Motor', however nice the model & prototype are. I have every sympathy for 4mm, steam outline, modellers - there is not a great deal to go on, though the Woolwich Moguls don't need much work. There is however some merit in Mayner's ideas of 'might have beens' - or indeed, even a bit of freelancing. At the end of the day, you do what you like with your own railway and if a model runs well, so much the better. However, trying to make things a realistic as possible is what works for me, which is why this forum is so useful in terms of improving accuracy.
  11. David's Workbench

    A new building I've probably said this before, but what I love most about our hobby is that it takes you in so many different directions and after the self induced stresses of the railcar, it seemed something different was appropriate. Hence another building for Fintonagh - 'The Tram'. Yet another pub/bar, this one slightly different in that it will not be fixed down, as it covers the baseboard & back scene joint. Very much freelance, inspiration came from some of my own pictures, plus one or two in the Alphagraphix catalogue. Construction is around a foam board core, though the rendering is more simply done than before, using good quality drawing paper stuck down with PVA. The paper has a degree of texture and can be cut & folded into window & door apertures, saving quite a bit of time compared to covering with DAS clay. This works even better in smaller scales & when painted [Precision 'weathered rendering'], it seems to enhance the textured surface a little too. Windows & doors are plasticard sheet & strip, the former built on clear glazing to give the correct rebate you see on sashes. The roof is mounting board, covered with strips of drawing paper snipped with scissors to give 18" x 12" slates. Guttering is my usual 80thou plastic, with the outer edge sanded round and 80thou plastic rod for the down pipes. Two layers of masking tape, cut into thin strips represent the mounting plates. Other details included some etched door furniture [Scale Link], a cast white metal chimney pot, tissue paper for net curtains and coloured paper for the main curtains. The pub sign is a colour picture reduced from the one in the Ragstone kit of the Sharp Stewart 0-4-2T, while the name board was done on the computer. Painting is mostly Tamiya acrylics [apart from the rendering] , plus Precision 'slate' for the roof. Needless to say, a fair amount of care was taken with the glazing! A bit more weathering is still required - I imagine this will a local more on the seedy side of life. The fact that the curtains are drawn on the bar, even in daytime, suggests something nefarious is going on inside, perhaps. Eventually, while groundwork will be built up around the base of the building, much of it will be hidden by a 6 foot stone wall that will separate the railway track from the road, while an extra tree should hide the right hand side where it meets the back scene..
  12. Chetwynd Viaduct

    Fascinating thread, on an extraordinary structure.
  13. The Biggest Little Railway in the World

    Mmm, despite purporting to make railway modellers appear as normal human beings, not sure everyone involved is a good advert for that [ok, takes one to know one!], though the Colonel certainly gives it some street cred. Star of the show for me is the loco & well done to Roundhouse for taking a risk in their product. If I had a garden line, I know what my first engine would be.
  14. Galgorm Hall

    That is one very fine signal box. Have built a few in my time and for me, they are always one of the more challenging buildings to get right & that is before you realise you have to fit the interior.
  15. Dirt

    A lot of skin - it makes up the majority of household dust. That looks like several years of not being used, while are the middle wheels missing their treads? Fairly horrible & crude flanges by the look of them & are they traction tyre or is that rust on the wheel treads? Either way, cleanliness before Godliness where model railways are concerned - track, wheels and mechanisms. There is absolutely no substitute if you want good running.
  16. UTA 2-6-0 Ex-NCC 'Earl of Ulster'

    I would say it is a fair way short. The NCC moguls had 6' driving wheels, the 76XXX were only 5'8. The footplate on the latter is noticeably higher, while the NCC loco has very different dome & chimney. Add in the front footplate, smokebox door, handrails, buffers and all sorts of plumbing and it looks like a lot of work. However, all these would be doable I suppose if the key dimensions match up: wheel spacings and boiler diameter especially. Otherwise, however much you do, it will still not look like it is supposed to. Depends how accurate you want it to be.
  17. Thought for the Day

    As a way of modelling wide open spaces, scale length trains etc, N gauge is great. However, 2mm finescale looks and works a whole lot better, so would hope that any RTR stuff would be capable of conversion to 10.25mm gauge. If so, I could be very tempted. But then I would say that, wouldn't I?
  18. NCC Harland & Wolff kit

    Judith Edge kits are always good quality and go together well. Definitely worth a look.
  19. Popeye's Workbench

    Looks pretty darned good to me. I have limited prototype knowledge of these coaches, but they certainly look the part. Ratio kits must hold the record for being converted into something else and it just goes to show what can be achieved, with a bit of care and skill. Lovely job
  20. David's Workbench

    Nice thought, but I have to agree with Andy. It is ok for signal spectacles and similar small, round holes, but not these apertures.
  21. David's Workbench

    Thought I'd better show you what is bugging me about the railcar... The glazing at the rear was missed when I put the roof on. As you can see, there is a gap at the top. Measure twice, cut once etc. The rest of the glazing is just poor workmanship I'm afraid. When I eventually rebuild the trailer, I must make it so the roof is removable and the glazing pants can slide in after painting. However, from a distance of a couple of feet or more, the model is ok, while if you are looking at the photos on a laptop screen, then the model is at least 4x life size [it is actually just 7" long]. At least it has captured the character of the prototype and hopefully I can keep that when it is eventually rebuilt.
  22. David's Workbench

    Thanks chaps, but were you able to see closer you would note that: - there are gaps where will glazing does do not fit properly on both ends of the trailer - half the panes are stained on the inside by solvent; - the trailer sides go inwards at the waist, I think this happened when I was filing the roof and squeezed the body; - there is paint on the inside of the glazing that I can't get to to clean off It all stems from my decision to fix the roof on before filing it to shape. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I hadn't noticed all the issues with the glazing. This is sandwiched between inner and outer layers, so with the roof fixed on is impossible to replace without a complete rebuild. The trouble is that once you know something is there, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Oh yes, and the paint job may look alright in the pictures, but is nowhere near like you get from an air brush or spray can. At least the positive comments make me feel better, so many thanks for that. Am sure it will be fine for a while and with a compensated chassis, plus pick ups on the trailer bogie, should run well, but if I have time before the Uckfield show in October, the trailer will get rebuilt. The audience are very close at this venue and given they pay good money to come in, I always feel I owe folk to do the best I can. Should be able to salvage the bogie, seats and roof, while the tractor unit is (fingers crossed) fine. It may even benefit from simply being left alone for a bit while I do something else. This has worked before, but I'm not holding my breath! I had (proper) flu in early December and the lyrics of David Crosby from the great hippy anthem 'Almost Cut My Hair' on the Déjà Vu album come to mind: "Because I had flu at Christmas, I'm not feeling up to par, It increases my paranoia, like looking in the mirror and seeing a po-lice car." Well, I know what I mean. I think!
  23. Paddys Works

    Soldering white metal - proper job!
  24. David's Workbench

    Back to the CVR Railcar. After the diversion of the G class diesel, I thought I'd better get back to my Clogher Valley project and Railcar No 1. It was mid November that I last did any work on it & had got as far as completing the tractor unit; over Christmas, I've been doing the trailer. This has been a total scratch build, apart from the wheels. The body is plasticard and the bogie is brass. It has proved to be quite a challenge, especially around the entrance doors, as there are all sorts of odd angles and curves, plus the trailer has to articulate from the tractor unit [just like a big lorry]. There was a lot of trial and error! The roof was also a bit of a pain & in the end I made it permanently fixed to the body. It is several layers of 80thou plastic sheet, laminated together and filed/sanded to shape. With hindsight, that was not a good idea, because I really did not do a very good job with glazing the windows & have no way of putting in new 'glass'. Eventually, I can see me doing a mark 2 version, or maybe buy the Worsley etches, because the paint job hasn't worked out as well as I'd liked either. I brush painted, using Tamiya acrylics and the finish is not as good as using an air brush. A bit of work with T-Cut has improved things a little and overall it is ok as long as you don't look too closely. For the lettering, I bought a handwriting set [dipping pen with a variety of nibs] and did the letters by hand using white acrylic ink. Then went over this with a fine tipped dark yellow felt tip pen, before adding black shading with a 0.01 permanent marker. Have also been doing a bit more work on the Unit. This did not have any lettering [so used the same method as above], plus needed a load in the pickup truck type body, to cover the nut which fixes it to the chassis. Found a few parcels in the spares box, plus some more Merit mail sacks, the latter masquerading a spuds. Much will depend on how the rest of the project goes, as I am on a deadline for the Uckfield show in October. If all goes well, then a new trailer is certainly on the cards. Both still need weathering, but here a a few photos of progress thus far.
  25. The importance of toy train sets

    I think we already know, Noel. While there are still train sets available at reasonable prices & in a variety of themes, railway modelling is mostly the preserve of the older generation. Add in the fact that a 4mm scale locomotive can cost well over £150 and one can see why a disposable income certainly helps too. The rise of electronic games, computers etc means that a model railway has not been top of the list to Santa for quite a few years. Another issue is the 'throw away/ephemeral nature of many toys and games. For example, one of these days, I am going to weaken and buy a small radio controlled helicopter for 20 quid or so, but I also know that after a couple of hours I will be bored with it - assuming it doesn't break beforehand. In my primary headteacher days [late 90s -early 00s] I used to like asking the kids what they had got for Christmas. One assembly, I had to actually ask if any of them had got any toys, because all the answers involved computers, Xboxes, clothes & music players. Paints, crayons & cuddly toys were in similar short supply. Like the rest of my teaching career, the school was in a tough area and though rarely short of material goods, the kids did not all get the adult attention they needed at home. The ones that did, really stood out, because they were SO much easier to work with. However, the benefits of model railways don't stop in childhood. There is a growing amount of anecdotal evidence that railway modeller are significantly less likely to develop dementia, because the hobby keeps the brain active. High blood pressure, resorting to drink, excessive bad language etc another matter of course!

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