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David Holman

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David Holman last won the day on December 5

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About David Holman

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday June 18

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  • 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

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  • Location
    SE England

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

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  • Occupation
    Retired primary headteacher and schools advisor

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  1. Code 75 track and the low viewing angle really pays off in these photos. Well ballasted and weathered track certainly adds to the realism too. Nice one.
  2. Slowly adding details and refining some of the scenics. I spend as much time staring at the layout from various angles as I do actually modelling, it seems! The long grass and weeds between the shed and the turntable have been given some brambles. Dead easy to do - a tuft of postiche, sprayed with fixative and then sprinkled with fine crumb is all that is needed. A few brambles have also grown up around the buffer stop by the shed. Have since given the ground around the signal box the static grass treatment too. There is a robust fence around the cabin now, it is recycled from Arigna's cattle dock, but seems to look the part. Meanwhile, the distillery building has been set into the ground and some more work done on the harbour branch track, including two gate posts - again ex Arigna, this time the level crossing. I see the harbour branch as a private siding, lightly laid, that is awaiting a working horse [!]. Lark and/or the G2 will cover the duties for now... You might also be able to spot the start of a scots pine. Straight out of the Gravett book on conifers, it is based on a piece of 12mm dowel and thin wire. More on this later, as it develops.
  3. There is a one minute video from Peco on YouTube. Seems simple enough - there fixing points to glue to the underside of the TT and the motor is fixed to them. It's a stepper motor, supposed to be very quiet and operated by push to make switches, one for each direction. £65 - reasonable value, I suppose, though the Kitwood Hill motor was being sold for a tenner and the Freezinghall one about twenty.
  4. You must be one of the first to buy one of these. They have been on the Peco website for about a year, but only just become available it seems. So, how does it work and how does it attach to the table, plus would it be strong enough to turn a loco weighing a kilo or more? Indeed, how is is powered and controlled? In other words, any chance of a review, please?
  5. Fun with Nochenstoffen One of my favourite modelling tools, has to be the static fibre machine for doing grass. A few years ago, a square metre of grass involved all sorts of convoluted stuff, anything from glueing down lint and ripping it away when dry, to planting individual tufts of teddy bear fur and could take several days to achieve a less than convincing finish. Now, with a static grass machine, this sort of space can be done in a few hours and looks much more convincing too. Before I started with the greenery, a bit of time was spent toning down some of the ground colours. After, diluted PVA [about 60/40 with water] was painted on to the areas in question and given a good covering of static fibres. I used a mix of 4mm and 6mm lengths in two or three different greens, leaning to the yellow end of the spectrum. While this makes a dramatic improvement to bare ground cover, despite the range of colours used, it still looked too uniform, so the next day, I set about clearing some areas, like the edge of the ash siding and round the turntable rim, before going over them again with some short and medium dry grass fibres, to represent where it would be trodden down by footfall. Once this was dry, I then went over some areas again to make the grass longer in places and blend everything together. However, this still can look a bit flat, so what can really lift a scene is to add an impression of weeds and other leafy plants. Doing this is simplicity itself. A light brush over the tops of some of the fibres with that dilute PVA again, then a sprinkling of fine crumb [Woodlands Scenics darker green], with a few different textures mixed in and half an hour later, the whole area is looking a lot more interesting. I'll probably add a bit more later - perhaps some nettles and flowers, but it really does make a difference, I think.
  6. Shedwork As much layout as workshop, but this is work in progress, which is why this update is here. Had Belmullet existed, then the loco shed would have been a busy place and no doubt bigger than my modest affair here. In the late 19th & early 20th centuries, potentially four different companies might have visited - MGW, SLNCR, WL&W and GS&W. No doubt each would want coal and water, so it seems appropriate to include a MGW 'fortress' style coal stage. Presumably, the station master [or shed master?] would hold the key and crew would be expected to sign a chitty before they got any coal or water? The coal and water will be on the next baseboard though, so the subject here is an interesting pair of structures I spotted in a photo in Kevin McCormack's wonderful album 'Irish Railways in the 50s and 60s'. Athlone shed has what looks to me like a sand drying installation, with a small coal bunker one side and a large 'shelf' on the other where sand would be spread to ensure it was dry. Am assuming heat from the coal furnace circulated under the sand shelf to do that. That, at least is what will happen at Belmullet!. Next to the sand drier at Athlone is a shed or bothy, so with so many visiting engine crews, it makes sense to have something like this as well.. Both structures look quite narrow and ideally fit the space available. The models are very simply made from card and foam board, with Slater's plasticard for the corrugated iron roofs. Detailing is taking more time than actual building, with stuff like a small pile of coal and a larger pile of sand - the latter being chinchilla dust mixed with weathering powders. A fair bit of time has also been spent on general ground cover & this is still work in progress. Various colour photos in the McCormack book has been studied, looking for colour and texture. The base layer is Polyfilla, mixed with PVA and black acrylic, to get a fairly smooth, somewhat oily finish that you see around sheds, with the ground cover coming above the sleepers. Once dry the whole area is being painted with acrylics - essentially using just black, white and brown - but with added texture from talc and weathering powders. There are also some piles of ash. There is an ash pit in front of the sand drier, so crews can empty the fireboxes. This stuff seems to usually have been fairly light grey in colour, but of mixed size and shape. To create this I mixed at least four or five colours and size of ballast in with a tablespoon of Polyfilla, so it could be set in various sized piles between the two tracks, the front one of which will have an open wagon posed, waiting to be filled. I imagine the SLNCR would be happy to the it away and use as ballast somewhere. More weathering powder and talc is still needed to get the scene looking right, while there also needs to be a further pile of darker ash from the loco smokeboxes. The green scatter material you can see is just the foundation for static grass, still to come, but I find it does help with visualising the wider scene. Meanwhile, the loco shed itself is on a separate sub-board, because I want to enter it in my club competition, so it will not be finally bedded in until the end of January. The back scene behind the shed has been cut to the shape of the low relief buildings, with a temporary 'skyboard' slotted behind. Have still yet to decide if this will be MDF or a length of roller blind. for the whole layout. The photos show the developing scene and include the signal box and signals to help set the scene thus far.
  7. Fun is what the hobby is all about. Well, mostly!
  8. A lesson in perseverance, skill and vision. So, what's next? Moving it on, with some of the stock suggests a change of scale or direction maybe?
  9. Name dropping of a grand order. Not that I'm in any way jealous, you understand... Exhibiting does enable you to meet some talented and lovely people though, including some very familiar names. We didn't always talk model making either, they are all very interesting as people too.
  10. The little film is great fun and the loco runs well too. Did I detect a bit of gear whine? If so, is the 'box well oiled? That, along with more running in, usually cures it.
  11. Thought the first series was just about ok, until the final, which was way more about people than modelling. This series has little to do with model railways, just a lot of naff effects added to a train set. Calling an Airfix model plane going by stuck to a stick was NOT 'great engineering'! At the end of the day, it is Bake Off, with trains, though talking to Andrew Burnham, there has been a big upsurge in interest, so for no other reason the show has been a success. Next step should be 'Celebrity Model Railway Challenge'(!). Rod Stewart v Pete Waterman v Jools Holland? Somehow doubt it, but am sure there are 'celebrities' out there who we've never heard of who would certainly play trains for a fee...
  12. Very nice. There was an article years ago about how to 'tinker with Linka...'
  13. Another thought - is scribing really necessary? Even in 7mm scale, it is arguable that brickwork is best represented by printed, rather than embossed, paper, let alone scribing DAS clay. If mortar lines are around 2mm deep, then when reduced by 1/43rd, that equates to around 0.05mm, so in 2mmFS, that will be barely 0.01mm, or 10 microns! However, it is also arguable that sometimes we need to exaggerate certain features, in order to make them appear more realistic - artistic licence, as it were. Overall though, for quite a few aspects, across the scales, it is worth considering whether they are better represented by a printed sheet, rather than scribing lots of fine lines - it can save quite a bit of time and still look just as effective from the normal viewing distance of 60-100cm away. Having said all that, I will still be scribing stones and bricks when I build my new coal stage, but there are times when I find myself thinking 'do I really need to go to all that trouble, or is there a quicker, simpler way?'
  14. That will learn you - scribing stones in 2mm scale... Taking shape nicely!
  15. Fintonagh got 'best layout' in show today, which was nice, especially as the prize was two bottles of wine! Good to know Eurotunnel was working properly. Am afraid it is usually British Customs who make it slow.
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