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David Holman

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David Holman last won the day on October 7

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About David Holman

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday June 18


  • Biography
    Former primary headteacher.
    Active modeller for 30 years, last 20+ in 0 Gauge [Guild Member]. Several articles in Railway Modeller around layouts Hawkhurst & Cranbrook town [both 0n16.5], and Loose End and Eatonswell [standard gauge], plus one in Model Railway Journal on Wantage well tank.
    Long term interest in Irish Railways, for reasons can't explain, other than their obvious charm. Now working on 36.75mm, 7mm scale model of a Sligo, Leitrim & northern Counties railway proposed branch line


  • Location
    SE England


  • Interests
    Model Railways, bird watching, walking, most sports.


  • Occupation
    Retired primary headteacher and schools advisor

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  1. Just goes to show what you can learn from being a railway modeller. Looks like I have some remedial work to do on my tank now!
  2. There was an article in Model Railway Journal, by John Birkett-Smith last year, where the back scenes were in layers - a profiled piece of MDF fixed direct to the baseboard, then a separate skyboard, set a few mm out, behind it. The effect looked really good. On both Arigna and Fintonagh, I use quick mounting plates to hang pelmets, fascias etc and they work very well.
  3. Not just any old crossing vee! Lovely touch and authentic details like this really bring a model to life.
  4. Thanks guys, though no peat fire ash? Sifted garden soil works well too, apparently. We used to have a multifuel heater, before gas arrived in our street and I used phurnacite ash quite a bit for ballast. Gives off a pretty sulphurous smell when mixed with dilute PVA though! Several of our neighbours still burn the stuff, so I may well go calling.
  5. Another thought, check the balance of the loco - does it pivot on the centre axle? If not, you'll need to add more weight to the other end.
  6. Further to the above, just back from a walk in a local country park, where the paths are made of crushed stone, most of which was around 1-2cm across. In 7mm/1:43 scale, that equate to around 0.5mm, so about 0.3mm in 00. Woodlands coarse cinders and ballast is around 1-2 mm in size, representing something around 7-15cm in real life. Makes you think and certainly wouldn't want to run over a 10cm rock in my car.
  7. Modelling clay, Polyfilla, etc are what I have in mind, keeping additional scatter material to a minimum. Depends on the scene being depicted of course, but sometimes get the feeling that what at best should be fist sized pieces, ends up as almost boulder sized ones. In 7mm scale, even a 1mm diameter piece of grit represents a two inch diameter stone, when most yards would have their largest bits only half that at best. Woodlands Scenics fine ballasts (crushed coconut shell, I believe) are about 0.5mm or so, and nominally sold for N gauge. Many 4mm scale modellers use the fine stuff though and I've always been happy with their fine ash in 7mm scale. On the same principles, it is arguable that printed papers are all you need for brickwork, as mortar lines would have little, if any indentation when scaled down 72, or even 43 times, while the same applies to tarmac road surfaces - talc on paint, or 400 grit wet n dry is enough in 7mm scale for me. However, scaling everything down ad infinitum doesn't always work and a bit of over emphasis can help fool the eye into thinking something is right, when it isn't and indeed vice versa, as per not putting in track fixings at all. Where is this rambling heading? Not sure, except maybe it is simply a case of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though as my art teacher always said: 'Paint what you see, not what you think', so maybe careful observation remains the key.
  8. Cleanliness comes well before godliness in all aspects of model railway running. Is the track clean? Are the wheels clean? Try putting two wires direct to the wheels, rather than the track, to see if the pick ups (some or all) are working. Try taking the body off, if you can, and put wires directly to the motor. It is all about trying to eliminate what might be wrong, until you find the thing that is. Good hunting, and keep us appraised.
  9. Track and ballast As promised, a look at treatment of track, old and new. The third picture shows original Arigna track, heavily weathered and toned down with talc and weathering powders, but without any cosmetic rail fixings. The second picture is new track, still needing more coats of paint on rails and sleepers and with no weathering or toning down of the Woodlands fine ash ballast. Note how dark the latter is and what a difference a dusting of talc makes to all the colours. The talc was never fixed and has survived without problems for over thirty shows, including being vacuumed before each one. The other two show various attempts at representing the FB rail fixings. Slivers of micro strip are used at the right hand end of picture four, while the other 'fixings' are simply blobs of acrylic paint put on with either a screwdriver or cocktail stick. Both need some weathering or further paint/both, but it is views of the general impression I'm interested in. Arigna got away without any rail fixings, but I'm thinking Belmullet would benefit from a general impression of them, but without going to the trouble of drilling and fitting up to 3000 Peco track pins. Yes really. The actual fixings were a thin plate held down with a bolt & nut. Note this is 7mm scale, 36.75mm gauge track, using copper clad sleepers and Code 100 flat bottommed rail. The granite ballast is also from Woodlands, being three different tones of their fine grade again. So far, am only thinking of doing the short stretch exiting the layout into the fiddle yard, though may yet do a bit more of the 'mainline' into the station platform, not least because when the layout is operated in early 1900s guise, the ballast would still have been fairly clean - though ash was used extensively in station sidings. The final two pictures are a couple of my favourites. The first is at Leiston in Suffolk and shows the siding to Garrett's engineering works, while the second is the approach to Wantage Town station. It is this effect that I'm looking to replicate on the new harbour branch on Belmullet. To my eyes, it is very noticeable how fine the ash ballast looks - even finer than Woodlands, so will be trying a mixture of talc, polyfilla and chinchilla dust to try and replicate the texture. Eventually...
  10. Lovely! The right track really lifts it to another level too.
  11. There is so much satisfaction to be gained from these kind of projects. Ok, it may not be absolute dead scale, but if it captures the look and feel of the prototype, fits it with the rest of the fleet etc, then all is well. As in many of these things, the final finish and coat of paint makes all the difference. Most of all it is yours, by your own hand and not just taken from the box. Long may you prosper!
  12. There we are, if Eoin likes it, it must be good - he knows more about such things than most.
  13. You might need to open up the bearings a little on the non powered axles, so they spin freely. If a bit more weight doesn't solve the stickiness, consider opening the bearings even more on one axle, so they are oval, in the vertical plane. A millimetre or so will be enough. What you can do then is to have a price of wire, say 1mm nickel silver or brass, soldered to a chassis spacer and bent to bear down lightly on the centre of that axle. This will add a small amount of compensation, which should improve both running and pickup. Not sure the other axle needs this treatment, as it might over complicate things. Also, even if it goes wrong, the worst thing you'll need to do is fit new bearings, but use this type of compensation on my Clogher Valley 0-4-2Ts and it makes a real difference.
  14. Great fun. Seems to run well and that is half the battle.
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