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Tales from the carriage shops

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Last years New Resolution not to start any new projects and concentrate on finishing my long list of un-finished projects kind of backfired, to make matters worse one of our cats Beeze took up residence in Keadue station, an eye level layout is very attractive to the feline species.

I have removed the buildings and stock until I get a chance to install a lighting pelmet above the layout to complete the proscenium arch effect to disguise the awkward exit stage right at the Arigna end of the yard.

The year before last we made the mistake of adapting two kittens 6-8 weeks apart who are now unable to share quarters and our office has become by default a cat bedroom.


I did manage to complete the detailing and painting of some 4mm scale 21mm gauge stock but have not gotten around to commissioning/ordering decals


The Ruston 88DS is a very old Impetus kit similar to those used by the Sugar Company the rest of the train is my own design, I hope at some stage to have a mail train suitable for the GSR and CIE green & black and tan eras.


And so this New Years Resolution to tidy up the workbench and start something new for a change 9_9

Prototypes for CIE MK1 & 2 Flat wagons, 650 class patterns and a pair of hooded vans for my mail train.

The Unimat SL is set up for turning between centres for new axle centers for one of the Large Scale   locos. The large scale storage yard and loco yard sit below the baseboards for either an American N or Irish 4mm layout if I ever get round to building either.

The baseboards and backscene for the new layout were installed about 3-4 years ago, I am a slow worker and getting slower by the day.IMG_4082.JPG.4b78fee0e731bd9691225ad79faedf3c.JPG

Close up of lost wax spring hanger masters for flat wagons. The MK2 flats on the left are slightly lower than the standard CIE 20' chassis in order to carry 8'6" containers throughout the system. The MK 2 flat will have to be re-mastered to simplify assembly.


Lost wax wagon spring and 650 Class loco castings, these were cast using a cold casting process from the original brass masters. The castings will then be used to produce a mould for casting in pewter once I have completed cleaning up the castings



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9 hours ago, Broithe said:

Every station should have a cat.

Try to instil a sense of duty by making the position official.


Beeze had being doing a good job patrolling the line without disturbing or de-railing anything for about a month before he accidently knocked over the goods shed which fell to the floor. Our other little monster Bushka an absolute Ja Ja Garbor of a cat made short work of the crossing gates at the end of the yard and has a penchant for de-railing N Scale trains, keeps a close interest but hasn't tackled the Large Scale trains

His favourite nesting spot was in the cutting between the loco shed and the roadside tramway section though I havent a photo

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One of this years New Resolutions was to start some new builds along with finishing my un-finished projects. Top of the list were a pair of hooded vans for the mail and passenger trains as I did not keep any for myself when I released the vans in 2013.


Following Eoin's example made a simple jig or fixture to temporary clamp the parts together while soldering the sides to the floor and ends. In this case I screwed the floor to a sheet of MDF and used a piece of stripwood to clamp the sides against the floor and ends until soldered in place. The ends on the JM Design 4w vans are designed as part of the floor and fold up into position to speed assembly, rather than assembled as separate parts.The doors are designed to fit into the recess, solder is locally sourced 139° with dilute "Ranex Rust Buster" (phosphoric acid solution). I usually use an Antex 55 W TCS Temperature Controlled Iron but I have recently graduated to a Hakko Soldering Station

The vans were built on Bulleid Triangulated chassis with the usual Inchacore bufferbeam arrangement with the flanges facing outwards, tricky to form from flat metal parts. Designing a workable arrangement for the underframe was tricky as the axleguards/W irons usually fit behind the underframe channels, designing a headstock/buffer beam that would fold up easily was challenging to say the least.


1 Solebar one buffer beam.                                                                                                                                                 Folding up solebar flange in vice


The finished article                                                                                                                                                                                       The head wrecking stuff folding up the buffer beams! 


     Fold 1                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fold 2


                                               Completing the channel/fold 2                                                                                          Completed buffer beam in position


Van with solebars and buffer beams soldered in place.                                                                                                                           Solebar folded up and held in position for soldering





An evenings work.  Next stage running and brake gear





Edited by Mayner
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