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DiveController

Irish Railway Models 21mm Conversions

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On 1/18/2016 at 6:08 PM, Glenderg said:

There is an interesting development for the 21mm'ers. The wagon as you know is designed to prototype so it means the leaf springs and axle box are out to their original locations. We haven't squashed them in to suit underscale track.

There is a little collar, about 2mm deep, like a piece of a cotton bud shank just outside the bearing itself. Removing this from either axle box will allow clearance for a 21mm wheelset, which should pop into the bearing behind. No need for top hat or brass bearings :)

I was wondering if anybody has already converted the IRM ballast to 21mm and how easy it was to remove the collar and fit new 21 mm wheel sets? Where were they sourced and what was the final running quality? 

I haven't done this on my own ballasts as I am waiting to see if CIE ones will turn up so the the IE ones remain untouched in their boxes 

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I have converted a ballast wagon to 21mm. It was not easy. Removing the plastic collars gave an extra 4mm of width, perhaps this would be enough for the thinner wheels used by P4 modellers? 

    I had to dismantle the model to put in plasticard spacers and enlarge the axle box interiors and fit brass bearings. The pictures attached may explain more. I used one of my last Gibson 21mm gauge wheelsets but Maygibs would work just as well. The existing IRM wheels cannot be used as one side is non insulated and integral with the axle. I also filed the back of the axle boxes to thin them to give a little extra space. It runs really well and I am converting a second wagon at present. I make the axles myself using 2mm steel rod and a mini drill and file the pin point ends. 

   I have re-gauged 3 cement wagons and these did not need dismantling but still needed the axle boxes thinned and modified.

I am looking forward to the Taras and the pull out wheelsets.

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Superbly executed 21mm conversion. Looked like quite a bit of work. Very neat.

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IRM state that their wagons are Compatible with 21mm gauge Track* - what does that actually mean when your conversion clearly requires a degreee of reconstruction of the underframe?

Stephen

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Stephen,

                 Hopefully the pictures tell a story. IRM have taken on board comments I made and I expect future wagons will be easier to convert to 21mm gauge. 

   The most disappointing part was the IRM wheelsets. I do not like wheels and axles that can't be dismantled. I was unable to reuse them for 21mm gauge of the same wagons but I have kept them and may use them on kit built wagons instead. Murphy's coaches had the same problem and an even shorter axle length, but I used them to replace HO scale wagons on some Marklin wagons I purchased.

I have attached a picture of a bubble converted to 21mm gauge. Note how thin I have filed the axle boxes to provide enough clearance.

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Hi Brendan,

Thanks for your feedback.

Regarding the W-irons, with the ballast wagon we were constrained by the fact that we did not have direct control over the manufacturing process until a very late stage (documented elsewhere). When you contacted us in relation to the W-irons on the ballast, we listened and made adjustments to the bubble chassis. However, we were again constrained by the fact the same chassis design was required for the bubble, as well as minimum manufacturing tolerances. If we had made the W-irons any thinner, the structural integrity would have been compromised and they likely would have warped while the plastic cooled after exiting the mould. We used the same method to accommodate re-gauging of our Accurascale 24.5t hoppers and customers report being able to drop-in EM and P4 wheelsets with little or no adjustment required  - the difference being we had complete control of the design process for this model from the outset.

Regarding the wheelsets, the recognised tolerances for 21mm gauge are governed by P4 standards, which means that RTR RP25.100 OO gauge wheelsets are incompatible and require replacement in any case. As you say, the the Taras, etc. have wider axles and it should be possible to fit P4 wheels directly to them.

Regards,

Patrick

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I haven't touched mine the ballast requires significant alteration to convert to 21mm gauge, while 21mm wheel sets will fit between the w irons of the cement wagons.

Sourcing 21mm wheel sets and suitable axles is an issue at the moment as Ultrascale have ceased to accept new orders apparently due to a significant backlog of work, business previously worked on a 9-12 month lead time.

The Scale Four Society used to supply suitable axles, wagon w irons and track gauges, but I am unable to comment on the current circumstances.

North Yard in New Zealand may supply a 28mm 2.03mm brass pinpoint axle. northyard.co.nz item no 471 catalog. 

I have used a combination of Ultrascale 21mm gauge wheelsets expensive but very high quality and Gibson wagon and coach wheels on 28 mm axles from various sources and 26mm pin point axles extended to 28mm by cutting and sleeving with 2mm bore brass tube sourced from  Eileen's Emporium https://eileensemporium.com/

Personally I find it a lot simpler to assemble a kit to run on one of the wider gauges (I went through a BR EM gauge fad) than to modify a rtr wagon to a wider gauge. The issue with wagons with skeletal framing like the ballast and cement bubbles is a bit more complex as there is no floor to hide the w irons and compensation units which provide the free running.

Some conversions I did earlier.

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CIE Pallet Van from a Parkside BR kit solebars moved out 1mm each side brake gear lined up with tyres.

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H Van improvised from Parkside BR ply van kit SSM 26mm w irons one axle compensated. Gibson wheels axles extended to 21mm by cutting in two and sleeving with 2mm brass tube.

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SSM Irish Railway Clearing House standard open wagon. Gibson wheels axles possibly sourced through S4 Society sales officer.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Brendan8056 said:

I have converted a ballast wagon to 21mm. It was not easy. Removing the plastic collars gave an extra 4mm of width, perhaps this would be enough for the thinner wheels used by P4 modellers? 

    I had to dismantle the model to put in plasticard spacers and enlarge the axle box interiors and fit brass bearings. The pictures attached may explain more. I used one of my last Gibson 21mm gauge wheelsets but Maygibs would work just as well. The existing IRM wheels cannot be used as one side is non insulated and integral with the axle. I also filed the back of the axle boxes to thin them to give a little extra space. It runs really well and I am converting a second wagon at present. I make the axles myself using 2mm steel rod and a mini drill and file the pin point ends. 

   I have re-gauged 3 cement wagons and these did not need dismantling but still needed the axle boxes thinned and modified.

I am looking forward to the Taras and the pull out wheelsets.

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That looks really well but a lot of work for a rake of 12 or more. Beautiful job, though. I'd plan on P4 wheel sets if I did this, I think to cut down on the time/labor. Thanks a lot for sharing this and the excellent pictures. That's been really helpful! @Brendan8056

The bubble conversion look easier thankfully. Again I have a rake of 12 orange bubbles to potentially convert and another 9 ivory livery to mix in with them for a later timeframe. The axle boxes certainly need a lot of thinning and P4 wheel sets may help make this easier and cut down on time even if it is a little costlier.

Patrick, thanks for weighing in on the thread. That explanation was very helpful and important for people to understand why there are difficulties in created a truly 21mm compatible product. If I understand you correctly the proposed CIE ballasts, blue and bauxite Taras and other Project 42 wagons such as the fertilizer wagons should be compatible for drop in P4 wheel sets, correct? @Garfield I am planning on buying rakes of these

 

Edited by DiveController

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21 minutes ago, DiveController said:

Patrick, thanks for weighing in on the thread. That explanation was very helpful and important for people to understand why there are difficulties in created a truly 21mm compatible product. If I understand you correctly the proposed CIE ballasts, blue and bauxite Taras and other Project 42 wagons such as the fertilizer wagons should be compatible for drop in P4 wheel sets, correct? @Garfield I am planning on buying rakes of these

 

Hi Kevin,

The ballasts (and consequently the bubbles and plough vans as they share the same chassis design) are subject to the design restrictions I mentioned above, but the Taras and 42ft wagons have bogies with longer axles, so you can increase the width. However, if you're working to P4 standards you will need to remove the OO wheels and replace with finescale versions.

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So the CIE ballasts will come with an identical chassis to the IE versions and require modification as above in Brendan's post above? I don't mind doing the CIE ploughs as it's only two vans but a long ballast rake to be modified a above is a whole different deal @Garfield

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11 minutes ago, DiveController said:

So the CIE ballasts will come with an identical chassis to the IE versions and require modification as above in Brendan's post above? I don't mind doing the CIE ploughs as it's only two vans but a long ballast rake to be modified a above is a whole different deal @Garfield

Hi Kevin,

We understand that but the other option would be a retool of the chassis which would likely incur a significant price increase I'm afraid.

We can investigate it nearer the time of production but we have plenty of other stuff to get through first.

Cheers,

Fran

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One small point some of us model 21mm gauge using EM standards,in fact 100% of 21mm gauge layouts on the exhibition circuit are so constructed.Its very simple to make pinpoint axles using just 2mm rod a mini drill and an emery grit block.Stick rod in drill grind point on one end he actual angle isn't greatly important then cut to length and do other end,simples!.About half the stock on Coyrtmacsherry are running on them quite happily.Andy.

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28 minutes ago, Andy Cundick said:

One small point some of us model 21mm gauge using EM standards,in fact 100% of 21mm gauge layouts on the exhibition circuit are so constructed.Its very simple to make pinpoint axles using just 2mm rod a mini drill and an emery grit block.Stick rod in drill grind point on one end he actual angle isn't greatly important then cut to length and do other end,simples!.About half the stock on Coyrtmacsherry are running on them quite happily.Andy.

Two small points, surely?

One each end...


😋

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8 hours ago, Brendan8056 said:

I have attached a picture of a bubble converted to 21mm gauge. Note how thin I have filed the axle boxes to provide enough clearance.

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Hi Brendan. Very neat again. Interesting you went for draft gearbox Kadee's instead of NEM Kadee's (e.g. No 18).  I've been thinking of doing similar, but interested in the reasons you went for draft gearboxs? Noel

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Noel,

           I used Kadee number 5's as I had a lot of them in stock, purchased very cheaply at a swap meet. They are very reliable. They are easy to get the right height and length from buffers. I keep my number 18s for my HO stock and Murphys locos and coaches. 

   Incidentally what has been said by others about 21 mm gauge is true. We are not all P4 modellers. I too model to finescale/EM standards and I was very pleased at Ally Paley show the other year when an 141 class I had re-gauged  using the existing Murphy wheels with longer axles ran perfectly on Valentia Harbour.  You should only use P4 wheels if you have track to P4 standards, otherwise the wheels may not go through points (though should be alright on plain track.) The flange and tyre widths on such wheels are very fine.       

      Brendan  

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11 hours ago, Warbonnet said:

Hi Kevin,

We understand that but the other option would be a retool of the chassis which would likely incur a significant price increase I'm afraid.

We can investigate it nearer the time of production but we have plenty of other stuff to get through first.

Cheers,

Fran

Thanks for the prompt reply, Fran. I can completely understand that a retool could necessitate a price increase. I'm new to 21mm gauge and trying to work out how much work would be involved particularly for a larger layout. Surprised by how much additional work would have to go into re gauging the rolling stock. I expected this to be extensive with the older Limas but thought it would involve little work for newer rolling stock. I'm glad to see several 21mm modelers replied to the thread with great advice but I think it does highlight how difficult it is to model in the true Irish gauge. There has been intermittent criticism of Irish modelers for failing to properly represent their prototypical railways which is somewhat harsh given the challenges involved. I'm going to drop some P4 (or maybe even EM standard) wheel sets into the bubbles just to look at the clearances (if I can source them as John points pout above). @Brendan8056 I may PM you regarding wheel sets in a ballast wagon in case a retool proves not to be commercially feasible going forward.

 

PS @WarbonnetFran, I won't be withdrawing my order for three plough sets and very appreciative of you guys doing the CIE plough in particular. Looking forward to the ferts though!!

 

7 hours ago, Andy Cundick said:

Just remember no one likes a smartarse,Andy

Ah come on, Jim's like the comic relief when it get  all hot and fiery around here .... which isn't infrequent 😀

 

6 hours ago, Brendan8056 said:

You should only use P4 wheels if you have track to P4 standards, otherwise the wheels may not go through points (though should be alright on plain track.) The flange and tyre widths on such wheels are very fine.       

Good advice, and many thanks for the ballast photos, enormously helpful :tumbsup:

Edited by DiveController

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For the sake of clarity, the 'new' IRM stock - ie: all items post the Bubble/Ballast/Plough chassis, are designed for 21mm.

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On 9/21/2018 at 12:05 PM, Mayner said:

...Sourcing 21mm wheel sets and suitable axles is an issue at the moment as Ultrascale have ceased to accept new orders apparently due to a significant backlog of work, business previously worked on a 9-12 month lead time....

Ultrascale are accepting orders again - lead time is now 10 months, so the situation is now "worse" than when they closed their doors to catch up with the backlog.....

Given that life is uncertain and much can happen in 8 to 10 months, I wonder if anyone has actually died whilst waiting for an Ultrascale order to be completed?

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I received my Taras today. They are everything I have wanted from an Irish RTR wagon, and more. Not only do the axlebox hubs turn but they are even fitted as per prototype, from the underside of the bogie frame. But even better, using my old bicycle chain puller,  I was able to easily convert them to 21mm gauge, using the existing wheelsets.  This saves modellers like me money and allows me to buy even more IRM items!

  The pictures show how easy it is. Ease off the flat plastic plate below the axle hub. Pop the wheel set out, remove the plastic axle hubs. Then remove the insulated wheel and put the axle in a chain puller (or a very strongly built wheel puller) and push it out against the non insulated wheel until a couple of millimetres short of the narrowed bit of the axle. Put the insulated wheel back in place, also a couple of mm short, checking the gauge back to backs. Refit the plastic hubs and pop the wheel set back in place. Adjust if required, otherwise replace the flat plastic plates and there you have it.  I have put a converted bogie beside a narrow gauge one to show the difference.

 

   Well done IRM team. I hope the A class will be as easy to do,

                                                                                                               Brendan

   

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