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David Holman

Arigna Town - this week's scenery

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There again, perhaps the line would have been left as an isolated section from mine to power station, with an G or an industrial diesel brought in to work it. Not much interest as a layout though...

 

If the Waterford & Tramore, or West Cork lines lasted until today, they'd have been the home of 2 or 3 identical two-car 26s or 28s. "Not much interest as a layout" occurs more and more the further we get into the modern era!

 

We can soup things up by adding things that we like, such as lots of GM's and carriages ranging from DDs back to laminates, but if anyone wanted to model Cobh station, for example, think of the contrast between an accurate model today, and one based in 1950!

 

And Rosslare, Derry or Larne!!!

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If the Waterford & Tramore, or West Cork lines lasted until today, they'd have been the home of 2 or 3 identical two-car 26s or 28s. "Not much interest as a layout" occurs more and more the further we get into the modern era!

 

I don't care what plastic yoke I'd be travelling on, crossing the Chedwynd, looking down over Halfway and heading through the tunnel would still be a rush :)

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I don't care what plastic yoke I'd be travelling on, crossing the Chedwynd, looking down over Halfway and heading through the tunnel would still be a rush :)

 

 

Tis very true, Weshty!

 

And I'd be in the seat behind you whinging about AEC railcars, Bandon tanks, and No 90! ;-)

 

....But I WOULD be IN that seat.....!

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This must be one of the most splendid venues for a model show anywhere. The main hall is huge and cathedral like - even down to the stained glass windows and concert organ. The second hall is not much smaller. Run by The Model Railway Club [note the 'the'], it is heavily sponsored, indeed show manager Nick Freezer [son of the great Cyril] said he actually had no idea how much it costs to hire for three days - and wasn't that keen to know! Given the sports halls for my Chatham Club's show are costing £6000 this year, one can only surmise it is something eye watering.

Because the halls are so big [and parking a long way off], exhibitors are allowed to drive their vehicles to their 'pitch'. Slightly scary when negotiating one's way between stands already set up. Everything from private cars to seven tonners too - there were some big layouts and trade stands - notably Bachmann and Warners [of BRM]. Organisation was generally very good & we were well looked after in terms of food & refreshments. Visitors were paying £12 to come in, so with a 9.30 opening, it was important to be there early on Saturday morning to ensure everything was in order. I'd actually set up over Friday lunchtime, when it was very cold in the halls. Same the following morning & as ever, the layout was a bit sticky first thing. My models live in centrally heated luxury & have decided they don't like the cold! All was well by about 10.30 though & overall everything ran properly from then on - apart from Lark, which developed a mechanical fault on Sunday afternoon. Turned out to be the cross head driven 'pump' was catching - but only in reverse! These things happen over a long day and doubt if many modellers operate intensively for 8 hours on the bounce at home without the occasional problem.

The only downside was packing up on Sunday. I had a 5.15 'ticket' to bring my car in to load up, but did not get there till 6pm - 90 minutes after the show closed. It only takes 15 mins to dismantle & the same to load up, so it was more than frustrating to hang around waiting for others.

If you check out the RMWeb pages on Allypally, there is a nice bit of video footage showing both Sir Henry and Railcar B in action. The photo below shows the layout against the vastness of the hall. There is as much behind the camera as in front...

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Ally Pally used to be my local show once upon a time and was within walking distance of me. Must go back next year and revisit some of my old haunts too!

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Seems that for the last umpteen shows, I have been using the wrong controller.

Have both Gaugemaster handhelds, the W and its feedback brother. Mainly use the latter, but with Mashima 1824 motors, a slight 'hunting' motion is evident at slow speed. Rang GM and turns out they do not recommend the feedback unit for higher quality Mashimas. Knew about coreless, but not these.

So back to the W. But not as smooth as I would like. Anyone got experience of other handhelds? No DCC thanks!

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I use the All Components Handheld on Valencia,they are to all intents a KPC Controller.We tried it on a layout which used a Gaugemaster and the difference was notable.It was nice to finally meet up at Ally Pally looking forward to the Arigna Rally at Southampton in January.Andy.

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Orbit panel mount controller is used on Belturbets broad gauge locos with Mashima motor .

 

Modelex handheld / panel mount is used with Lucan North and the T Trak group .Its output can be changed from 1amp to 5amp by Pat Ryan of Modelex .

 

PICtroller is a replacement ( saying it loosely ) for the Pentroller .

 

Morley controllers have a selection of controllers .

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Many thanks Andy and Joe. After a bit of research went for the All Components model. Interestingly were still issues with Fermanagh hunting/surging at moderate speed. However eventually traced the problem to a couple of poorly adjusted pick ups.

Overall the issue with feedback controllers seems to be any loss of contact causes the feedback bit to over compensate and hence the surge.

Am sure the more technical with have a proper explanation!

In some ways have bought a new controller when none needed. On the other hand, I like the light action of the AC unit and its toggle switch for direction instead of slide on the GM unit. The latter also shut down when hot. Will be interesting to see how the new unit gets on at Crawley/Horsham next weekend.

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The All Components controlled worked well at Horsham. The light action and toggle switch for direction made it just that bit easier to use than my Gaugemaster unit. Not sure if the loco control is noticeably any better than the GM unit - maybe just a tad - but then that might be just the fact I want to think that because it costs more!

The show itself was a nice to be part of, though being next to an outside door meant coats were on all day Saturday and extra layers put on for the Sunday. Equally, being in the smallest of the three hall, with never more than 30 or so visitors present, meant that it was possible to talk to them without raising my voice for once. It was also a pleasure to spend most of the weekend in the company of Gordon & Maggie Gravett - the former being my chief operator and yes, he operates as well as he models!

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This the Dapol/Airfix 00 kit, Paul, though heavily doctored to suit 7mm scale and 36.75 gauge.

The kit is an old plastic moulding, so lots of flash to clean up, but very cheap. Mine was £4.99

Basically, I used the base plate as it came, but reversed the girders so it became an underslung model. The out rider wheels that run on the circular track are 7mm scale from a lowmac wagon.

Operation is by a Frizinghall Models hand crank kit. This is made from Meccano plates and gears. Power to the track comes from wiper pick ups in the turntable well's wall, where rub on small brass plates on each end of the main girders, while alignment is simply by eye.

A bit of extra stability comes from the spindle passing through a piece of brass tube set in the baseboard surface. The unit as a whole drops down from beneath for maintenance.

In many ways it is simpler than it sounds and for me the only alternative would have been a Metalsmith version costing the thick end of £200.

Depending on your scale/gauge, suggest you check out the Peco 7mm narrow gauge turntable. It was a bit too big for my site but has very good possibilities for various scales.

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This weekend's Reading ALSRM show will be AT's last outing for a while, as its next shows are not until the autumn, starting with Croydon in October, the the east London fine scale show in November and Cultra a week after, with Manchester rounding things up in December.

Hopefully, the break will be an opportunity for a bit of remedial work on the layout. The turntable well's wall is starting to show outside the coping stones in places, so am hoping to increase the diameter a little to hide this. Maybe I'll add a catwalk on one side too - the drop from a loco footplate to the floor of the well must be at least a scale 9 feet...

Many of the trees could do with being re-foliated too. Indeed, I might even replace some of them with more detailed versions. Equally, despite attending over 20 shows in the last three years, most of the layout is standing up well.

However, the Chatham show comes first [only a month away now], so will be busy with the organisation for that and also checking out some of my 32mm scale models for the club's North Circular layout. Will keep you posted.

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Just heard from the editor of British Railway Modelling that Arigna Town features in the July issue, including a selection of lovely photos taken at the St Albans show earlier this year.

While I've had quite a few articles published over the years, there is always a real thrill to see your work in print and I very much encourage everyone with something to share to have a go.

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Just picked up my copy of BRM - what a lovely article about Arigna Town - you must be very pleased.

 

Stephen

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You bet, Stephen. Tony Wright's photos are just lovely, while they made a fine job of my layout diagram too. I especially like the BRM 'large photo' format. RM's often tend to be smaller and don't always do justice to the photographer's work I feel.

Either way, it is really nice to have something published and I definitely encourage everyone to have a go, for this site has much to offer.

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The last time Arigna Town was at a show was at Reading, back in May. At home, it occupies one wall of my workshop, often doing little more than gather dust. Much as I enjoy operating at shows, at home I am very much a builder and the new Clogher Valley project has taken all my attention. However, a trip to Croydon beckons this weekend, followed by East London Fine Scale Show in early November and Cultra [really looking forward to that] the week after, finishing the year at Manchester in December.

As ever there were a few things that needed attention from last time out, notably one of the signals wasn't operating properly. A couple of new washers sorted that one out [i hope], but a much bigger job was the turntable. The word 'refurbish' had been on my to do list for a while. It was working ok, but the top of the well 'wall' was showing under the coping stones in places. Fortunately the whole well can be unscrewed from underneath and be removed completely.

Trying to avoid a total rebuild, the best option seemed to be to trim the inner part of the wall and replace it with a new layer on the outside edge. That all went well, so feeling pretty pleased with myself, I was soon disappointed to find the hand crank mechanism was jamming somewhere. Eventually traced it to the coping stones around the top & despite some vigorous sanding it soon became clear that replacing them was the only option. The originals were 40thou plastikard, so replaced them with 20thou. Further tinkering seems to have got it running well again, but am resigned to the fact that, as a £5 Dapol kit, I will no doubt have to do a replacement eventually.

The scenic side of things was covered by a general tidy up, including touching up parts of the back scene, but also spent time on some new figures I'd bought a while ago. The long term aim has been to create an 'emmigration' scene, with a family gathering saying farewell to those going overseas. Have managed to get what I hope are some suitable figures [mainly S&D Models], but still want to find some appropriate luggage. A few large barrels also now adorn the platform - for the black stuff, of course.

If you manage to make it to any of the above shows, be sure to come and say hello.

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David you are an 'artist'.

 

That last photo is stunning. You almost expect a BBC TV director standing out of frame shouting 'action' to the actors on the platform.

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The last time Arigna Town was at a show was at Reading, back in May. At home, it occupies one wall of my workshop, often doing little more than gather dust. Much as I enjoy operating at shows, at home I am very much a builder and the new Clogher Valley project has taken all my attention. However, a trip to Croydon beckons this weekend, followed by East London Fine Scale Show in early November and Cultra [really looking forward to that] the week after, finishing the year at Manchester in December.

As ever there were a few things that needed attention from last time out, notably one of the signals wasn't operating properly. A couple of new washers sorted that one out [i hope], but a much bigger job was the turntable. The word 'refurbish' had been on my to do list for a while. It was working ok, but the top of the well 'wall' was showing under the coping stones in places. Fortunately the whole well can be unscrewed from underneath and be removed completely.

Trying to avoid a total rebuild, the best option seemed to be to trim the inner part of the wall and replace it with a new layer on the outside edge. That all went well, so feeling pretty pleased with myself, I was soon disappointed to find the hand crank mechanism was jamming somewhere. Eventually traced it to the coping stones around the top & despite some vigorous sanding it soon became clear that replacing them was the only option. The originals were 40thou plastikard, so replaced them with 20thou. Further tinkering seems to have got it running well again, but am resigned to the fact that, as a £5 Dapol kit, I will no doubt have to do a replacement eventually.

The scenic side of things was covered by a general tidy up, including touching up parts of the back scene, but also spent time on some new figures I'd bought a while ago. The long term aim has been to create an 'emmigration' scene, with a family gathering saying farewell to those going overseas. Have managed to get what I hope are some suitable figures [mainly S&D Models], but still want to find some appropriate luggage. A few large barrels also now adorn the platform - for the black stuff, of course.

If you manage to make it to any of the above shows, be sure to come and say hello.

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Just when you thought it couldn't get even better...I does..

I can't wait for Cultra, to see it in the flesh

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Hoping to make it up to the Cultra show to finally see this layout (and Paul Titmuss' excellent T&DR layout) the flesh. :)

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A visit to Sheffield Park in Sussex to admire the autumn colours also enabled a look in at the Bluebell Railway. Nice to see the S15 [Green King] and the Q 0-6-0 on duty, but also of interest were the stacks of old time luggage on the platforms. Took a couple of pictures & realised that it would not be too difficult to make some from plastikard.

Various rectangles of 60 and 80 thou were used, laminated to give different styles/types. A few cases were given additional bits of microstrip, for strapping and handles etc. Final touches were the painting, particularly touches of black to represent corner plates, hinges, locks etc. So, at last I have my 'emmigration' scene, just in time for Cultra next week.DSCN2084.jpg

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I would just like to say, I have read this thread throughout in the last few days and I'm so inspired I had to join the site. A fantastic representation of an Irish back water. I hope to catch up with the layout and Mr Holman sometime in 2017. Now to look up the workshop articles.

 

Paul 34F

 

p.s. Mike 84C will be pleased to know that I'm finally on here. I must arrange to meet you again.

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Hello Paul and welcome! Please pm me. I have got involved with the embryonic Sleaford club and we are busily building layouts for the next exhibition in 2017. Three months later four boards built, plan down and cork trackbed is being laid, it also looks a lot like Bantry =D .

But we had a bombshell last night; got to find new premises.

Mike

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Many thanks for the comments, Paul.

Arigna is booked at the following shows:

Manchester - 3/4 December

Southhampton - 28/9 January

Tonbridge - 18 February

Doncaster - 11/12 February

 

Also now due to go to Warley in 2018.

 

By all means come and say hello if you are at any of these.

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David,

 

Looks like I will be making a trip to Doncaster in February. The nearest show to my current location.

 

All the best for Manchester

 

Paul

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A thoroughly good time was had at Manchester, with the bonus of the fantastic Christmas Markets too.

Saturday was VERY busy, with well over 1500 people through the doors. Would guess well under half that on the Sunday.

Hence it was often four deep in front of the layout & I was busy talking to people when one gentleman casually asked if I was interested in running his 5'3 loco. I readily agreed, though slightly hesitant after Weshty's experience [turned out to be 32mm gauge] at Cultra. However, needn't have worried because another Lissadell appeared, this time in lined green with a polished brass dome. The visitor explained it was indeed a North Star kit, but adapted to early SLNCR livery & with new chimney & turned dome.

Fortunately, I had my camera with me & was about to enquire of his name, for inclusion on the website, when he said 'by the way, I'm Richard Chown'.

Now anyone who knows anything about modelling Irish railways will know that Richard began his magnificent Castle Rackrent project back in the early 1970s. It eventually grew to a vast empire, parts of which still get exhibited occasionally. He has also created several other model railways, including Norwegian 3'6 gauge and a big French layout with a 2 metre high viaduct - all in 7mm scale.

However, Castle Rackrent was very much the initial inspiration for me to try Irish modelling one day and though it took over 30 years before I got round to Arigna, many of the design features I've included in previous layouts have their source in Castle Rackrent. In my humble opinion, Richard's influence is on the same level as the likes of Barry Norman, David Jenkinson, Martyn Welch and Gordon Gravett. And there we were talking at length and watching his Lissadell in charge of the SLNCR passenger train. During this time, Paul Green also appeared, so at that point 60% of the active Irish BROAD gauge exhibition modellers were present in one place. Only the Ballyconnell Road team and Andy Cundick [Valentia Harbour] were missing, though if I've missed anyone out, many apologies, but do let us know who you are!

Needless to say, Lissadell ran beautifully for over two hours, while Richard visited the rest of the show, but [of course], eventually returned to reclaim it. For me, this was the highlight of the weekend and [alongside showing the layout at Cultra], was all I dared hope for as I was building it. Would very much like to meet Neil Sprinks one day too.

At the reception on Saturday evening, discovered Arigna had just missed out, by one point, on the exhibition trophy [judged by the club committee]. Given the winner was the fantastic Melton Mowbray North [N gauge], this was still quite an accolade for what is such a niche layout, but my prize was meeting Richard - very much a dream come true.

Now face a serious conundrum, as there is an invite to go to the Glasgow Show in February 2018. In reality, way too far to go & with it being a three day show, would mean 6 nights away. Then again, there might be a chance that some of Castle Rackrent's trains might appear on Arigna & just how cool would that be?

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Richard's 'Lissadell' looks right at home on Arigna Road, David. :)

 

...I was busy talking to people when one gentleman casually asked if I was interested in running his 5'3 loco. I readily agreed, though slightly hesitant after Weshty's experience [turned out to be 32mm gauge] at Cultra...

 

The look on poor Weshty's face when the loco fell between the rails will stay with me! =))

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Now face a serious conundrum, as there is an invite to go to the Glasgow Show in February 2018. In reality, way too far to go & with it being a three day show, would mean 6 nights away. Then again, there might be a chance that some of Castle Rackrent's trains might appear on Arigna & just how cool would that be]

 

Well! Life's not a rehearsal - go for it! I think that Arigna Road has most definitely taken its place among the all time greats like Castle Rackrent or Adavoyle....!

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Kind words JB, but 1500 miles on the road for two shows tempers enthusiasm somewhat. If I could have it transported and fly there, now that might be an idea!

Managed to dig out my 'preserved article on Castle Rackrent, not from Model Railways, but Railway Modeller. Only three pages, but have put in pictures of each, which hopefully are readable. If nothing else, the track plan bears scrutiny, not least for its elegant simplicity.

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In 7mm scale, less often is more, as (like Arigna Road), the "divil's in the detail". 0 scale can include all sorts of detail which can't be as realistically reproduced in 00, let alone N. Lettering and lining on vehicles is one good example, weeds and hedges are another.

 

Had I space, I would do an Achill terminus in 0. But I haven't!

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David,

 

Thank you for posting your preserved article on Castle Rackrent. I have never managed to catch up with it in the original format. I've seen articles on the expansion. Mr Chown's bridges are extraordinary and very slightly intimidating. I've no hope of making anything in that manner.

 

Paul

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Hi David,

 

Looking again at your layout, can I ask a question? What is the type of paint and the colour you have used on the 0-6-4?

It looks like the sort of shade I am looking for to paint the new locos on the Marshwood Vale.

 

Thanks very much,

Dave.T

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