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David Holman

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Everything posted by David Holman

  1. David Holman

    GS&WR 10 ton Brake Van

    Any chance of this little gem appearing in 7mm scale?
  2. David Holman

    Bantry Town Station 1950's

    Bit like a London bus, recently - nothing for ages then several at once. Worth the wait though! Scenic wizardry.
  3. David Holman

    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...
  4. David Holman

    Clogher Valley Project

    Saturday 10th November.
  5. David Holman

    Clogher Valley Project

    Those of you on the other side of the water need to get to Cultra this year, where Andy is showing Castlederg. Super layout, accurately portraying a delightful prototype.
  6. David Holman

    Clogher Valley Project

    Fettling and finishing touches It is now less than a week to Fintonagh's exhibition debut at Uckfield next weekend. Not the largest show in the country, but definitely one of the finest in terms of layout quality. Manager Adrian Colenutt has become a past-master at fitting a lot in the space available, while the hospitality is very good too. However, this means the layout has to not just look right, but it must run well too, hence the last few weeks being spent in trying to iron out all the faults! I've written elsewhere that this is very much a problem with hand built stuff - or at least it is for me, for I am no expert, but I do work at things in the hope of getting them right, while experience helps too and I have approaching 100 shows under my belt now. Fettling essentially involves running the operating sequence over and over again, making notes of where things go wrong, then investigating the cause in the hope of putting things right. Faults manifest themselves in various ways: Derailments - mostly these are down to back to backs on the wheels. I use 4mm fine scale standards, which means 19.3mm b2b and not much leeway either. Less than 0.5mm out and wagons in particular derail on either the point blades or the crossing vee. Easily solved with a vernier gauge, thankfully Hesitant running - mostly cured by compensated/rocking axles on locos, plus pick ups on all wheels. Couplings - I'm using Kadee No 5s and though they are fairly reliable, they do need careful setting up, especially as I'm also using small 'rare earth' magnets for uncoupling. Practice also important too, stopping trains within a 5mm space requires a degree of concentration. On top of the above, one also has to create a sequence that works simply and effectively, for as well as running the layout, it is always enjoyable talking to visitors and they have paid to come in, so you owe it to them to put on a decent show. In addition to the above, there is of course Sod's Law, which can strike at any time - usually when there is a video camera operating! When [not if, note], this happens, then you just have to grin and bear it, though it is just as well visitors can't hear what I'm thinking! At them moment, the layout is running at about 95% efficiency. Derailments are now only operator error and the locos [as long as track and wheels are clean] are running nicely - even Blackwater, which has had large amounts of lead added to enable it to pull a short coach and two wagons [!]. The problem is it has 30:1 gears as opposed to the 40:1 in sister Erne and it makes quite a difference. Blackwater has caused further headaches, by repeatedly suffering from a loose wheel nut [hopefully now cured with some gloss varnish in the threads] and a broken lead on the motor. The first class bogie coach has caused much head scratching and many rude words, because in one direction, it was derailing on the point entering the station. No amount of wheel checks could sort it, but eventually cured it, by reversing the bogie, so the troublesome wheels were in the inside, not the outside. Fingers crossed now ok. The photos show some of the small details that I've been adding: A small [dummy] ground frame on the platform to operate the points A small section of point rodding [along the platform] and boarding elsewhere to cover the rest, which I really don't want to do! Figures, including a rakish fellow outside Forbes Bar, a flagman guarding the exit from the station and a lady promoting the Temperance Movement outside the tea rooms. Road vehicles are mainly from Arigna, including donkey cart, small lorry and Austin 7 saloon, plus the Model T Ford truck seen earlier. In addition, there has been organising packing and transport, with new stock boxes and trial fitting in the car. Talking to Christopher Payne [also at Uckfield with Pyn Valley Railway [in latest RM], he opined that a layout probably shouldn't be exhibited until it has done at least three shows, to iron out the faults that only ever occur away from home. Difficult, but I know what he means! Wish me luck, or better still, come along and say hello. Uckfield really is a great show.
  7. David Holman

    barrow street

    What an extraordinary edifice that is. Must be one of the larger/est 4mm scale buildings made in recent times. And the ideal view blocker at the end of a scenic section too ☺️
  8. David Holman

    Glengarriff + my former Irish models/layouts

    Nice work, Ernie. Reminds me of stuff I did in much the same way and nicely illustrates what can be so enjoyable about doing 7mm NG.
  9. Andy Cundick has been doing this on Valencia Harbour and latterly Courtmacsherry for years. Have had the pleasure of operating Valencia and the system works perfectly well. A pleasure to operate. Meanwhile, my own Fintonagh does exactly the same, albeit 7mm scale, but to 21mm gauge for 3' gauge. I've used 1mm flangeways on 900mm radius points, with 19- 19.5mm back to backs. What I have found is that, using 4mm finescale wagon wheels on code 83 flat bottomed rail is that there is a lot less margin for error than on Arigna Town, where Slater's 7mm scale wheels work really well on code 100 FB track. Derailments are virtually unknown, even though the gauge varies by up to +/- .5mm. This with a back to back on loco axles that Slater's quote as 33.98mm! On Fintonagh, tolerances are much tighter (using EM standards, as outlined by Mayner), so back to backs cannot be out more than 0.5mm max, or derailments occur on point crossings (frogs). However, apart from a degree of fettling to ensure tolerances are kept within these limits, all works well. The moral of the story, as Andy will tell you, is that 21mm gauge does NOT require P4 standards. EM/4mm finescale is fine! You still need to lay track carefully, but otherwise, it is no harder that doing 00. Whether your models are capable of running with wheels at 19mm back to backs is another matter, but 21mm gauge (or indeed 36.75mm in 7mm scale) looks so much better and if that appeals, this is so worth pursuing.
  10. David Holman

    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.
  11. David Holman

    Worsley Works kits

    Very good advice above! The world is full of half made kits started by enthusiastic but inexperienced modellers and Worsley Works stuff are not an easy job. In fact, they are really just an aid to scratch building, saving you having to cut out the major body parts from sheet metal and in that respect they work well. However, Eoin's list shows just how much more you need to source, while the fact that there are no instructions means you need to know a lot about the prototype to put the model together. A decent outline drawing and lots of photos essential here. As the others have said, try something simpler and build up from there. Wagon kits always good as in many ways, coach kits can be harder than locos, because of all the fine detail.
  12. David Holman

    Derry Road Runabout

    While knowing nothing of the models in question, there are a number of basic factors which can help improve the running of any loco. 1. Cleaning and oiling. Shouldn't be a problem on a new model, but stray paint might have got on the wheel treads. Arigna Town locos are cleaned before and during every show. 2. Pick ups. Are they in contact with the wheels? If not, a bit of gentle tweaking should help. Test by inverting the loco and putting fly leads (I use crocodile clips from my ancient H&M controller) on different pairs of wheels to find the culprit. Pick ups can also be too tight and limit running. Check to see if the motor is getting warm. 3. Add more pick ups! Spread the load over as many wheels and as much length as possible 4. Weight and balance. 4-4-0s can be a problem. Certainly need weight over the driven wheels, but front bogie probably needs springing too. Weight in the tender bearing down on the drawbar to the loco (and hence the drivers) can help. 5. Wheels. Check the back to backs, should be the same. Is there any sign of wobble? Are crank pins ok? If the loco stops, at low speed, at the same point (eg 3 o'clock), quartering may be the problem, or the crank pin holes may need opening out a little. The above are the common ones when kit building, but take nothing for granted. Having run ok for several days of testing, one of Fintonaghs's locos became rough. Turned out a wheel nut had worked loose. On another occasion, a lump of foam from the scenery had somehow got into the mechanism! Sod's Law applies at all times!
  13. David Holman

    barrow street

    Not just a maker of fine buildings then. Not surprised! Evergreen strip has got very expensive of late - about 50p per piece/£5.00 a pack. Potentially cheaper to buy laser cut windows than make them yourself in 7mm scale. Trouble is, you can't always get what you want, as Sir Michael once sang.
  14. 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?
  15. David Holman

    Arigna Town - this week's scenery

    Thanks chaps! Next outing in a couple of weeks at Fareham, then High Wycombe and Warley in November. Warley probably it's last show for a while as new layout, Fintonagh, makes its debut at Uckfield in October. Can I'll afford to have two layouts doing the rounds and Mrs H would not be pleased either!
  16. David Holman

    Painting Code 75 Rail

    Most of my stuff is with enamels, but if you have one, the airbrush method is best. Quicker and doesn't ruin your brushes
  17. David Holman

    Painting Code 75 Rail

    As above, but with Humbrol 53, gunmetal as well. Study photos, as rails vary according to location: oily where locos stop (and on fishplates), more rusty (because of brake dust) where trains slow and stop, darker in sidings etc. I do much of the above with weathering powders. If you can get it, a spray can of track colour (Humbrol or Precision), makes painting sleepers easier. Weathering powders and/or airbrush good for local colour as for rails. Colourpoint books great for fine track details.
  18. David Holman

    Derry Road Runabout

    That chimney was a bit of a give away! Glad I'm not the only one... Great to see things running.
  19. David Holman

    Tools and Equipment

    All looks good to me. One piece of advice I was given in my early days of modelling was to always buy the best tools I could afford - something I'm afraid I haven't always kept to! Where I have been lucky is in acquiring old tools from modellers who have given up the hobby. My current favourite is a gauge for measuring thickness of wire, metal sheet etc. Dimensions are read from a clock like dial and it measures down to 0.1mm. Not sure how I ever managed without it.
  20. David Holman

    Analogue sound

    On both Fintonagh and Arigna Town, I've long fancied having a push button diesel horn & steam whistle, just to add the extra dimension of calling the signalman to change the points for running round. Seems nobody does one, unless it involves DCC sound chips and I do not want to go along that route. Mylocosound used to do something, but were expensive and seem no longer available. Maplins once did a rather cheap and nasty sound kit, but they have gone to the wall too. Any ideas?
  21. David Holman

    Analogue sound

    Interesting. Many thanks chaps.
  22. David Holman

    barrow street

    Only the sixth floor?! Thank goodness I only have room for three! Splendid, as ever.
  23. David Holman

    Derry Road Runabout

    Been there, got a drawer full of T-shirts! A pain, but necessary for future enjoyment. Sounds like it's going well though.
  24. David Holman

    21mm Gauge rtr track

    Fairly sure there is no 21mm rtr out there DC. Be good if it was! Worth giving Marcway a call (advert in Railway Modeller). They do custom track in all gauges and at reasonable prices. Points will be 30-50% more than Peco, but if you made plain track yourself, it could balance out. I've been very impressed with their service.
  25. David Holman

    Derry Road Runabout

    Presume the point motors have their own internal switches for directing track current? Peco points have always been poor at directing current, even O gauge ones, so the extra shove from the motor will no doubt help keep blades in contact with the stock rails. Always good to have a couple of spare motors, as they will go wrong - they can lead a hard life! Nice story in the Gauge 0 Guild manuals. They made test machines to check the capacity of various motors. Most were pretty good, even the cheap ones, but the Tortoise motor actually wore out the test rig! That is not to say they are perfect though, internal contacts can get dirty and fail, while they are expensive too and need about 10cm vertical space below the baseboards. Stick with what you have, then when you start your next layout in a few years, you will know from experience if any changes are needed. Who know, everything could be holographic by then!

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