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Ballyfin and Danielstown

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I've always been interested in the connections between Scotland and Ireland, for all kinds of reasons. Over the last year I've been thinking about that relationship in railway modelling terms, as I've been enjoying books like "Rails through the west" and videos like this one:




So after many years of lurking on sites like this I've decided to have a go at building a layout which might allow me to run my small collection of both Irish and Scottish stock - ie a single transferable layout. The single main line is common in both the west of Scotland and throughout much of Ireland, especially recently, but I'd like to build something that could pass either for a situation in southern Ayrshire in the late 1960s, or somewhere in the western part of Ulster, in an imaginary location and time period in the late 1940s or 1950s, where CIE (1945-) might meet NCC (-1949), GN (-1958) and SLNC (-1957) stock. But I'd also like to run a few CIE things from the 1960s. So three possible scenarios in two countries on one layout!


Over the last year I've been collecting lots of Provincial Wagons (Leslie has been great with providing advice and sourcing older wagons) and buying the odd locomotive, gradually replacing my older stock of LMS items. I've also started to build a goods shed with Wills sheeting - my first attempt at that. And I've planned two stations for a U-shaped layout in the loft, which might eventually be turned into a loop, with hidden sidings behind some kind of cliff face constituting the loop section.


One of the stations will be entirely fictitious, but the other is based on something in county Galway. I'll post more when I can get some images up, but for now I just want to say thanks to everyone for sharing inspiration on this site.

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions.


Kirley, yes I have been looking closely at Colm's work on the RMweb site (as well as your own goods shed project on this site, which was first class). I haven't been up here long enough to see his work in person, but can't wait to do so.


JHB, thanks: and yes, I have put a corrugated iron roof on the goods shed I'm trying to build. I'm trying to figure out how to finish off the project and especially get the stone work matching the Bachmann station and engine shed that it will sit beside.


I've drawn a lot of inspiration from Patrick's layout on this site in terms of overall design shape. The smaller station is imaginary but the larger one will look a bit like the Gort station illustrated in "Rails through the west."


Here's a few photos of progress so far.

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This is the overall shape of the layout:




This is the smaller station, on the right hand side of the layout above:




This is the signal box on the smaller station:




Here's the station building:






Here's a shot of the track plan of the larger station:




Here's the goods shed currently being built:




All tips and suggestions welcome!

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Thanks, David. I'm not inventing an entirely new land-bridge between Scotland and Ireland, though - just trying to build one layout that can, at different times, host different rosters of stock. It won't be authentic, but hopefully the 40 watt bulbs in the attic will cover a multitude of sins!

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On another matter - I've ordered two Ratio coach kits, which I think bear a passing resemblance to coaches in Coakham's "Irish Broad Gauge Carriages", Ratio kit 610 corresponding to the GSR 4 compartment First no 302 (p. 13), and kit 613 corresponding to the GSE brake third no 36 (p. 15). Obviously I need to think about how to make these 4 wheel coaches kits look like their 6 wheel prototypes. But that's for another day. What I need in the short term is some advice about paint colours (again!). Has anyone had a go at finding suitable greens out there for the 1950s vibe? Thanks!

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And another thing - has anyone had a go at making an Irish Pullman (Coakham, p. 37)? I understand that when appearing in green these were used for 3rd class travel.


I had a thought that a green Pullman, the two Ratio kits and one of the Mark's Models Dapol green coaches might make a passably convincing rake for a 1950s theme train without pushing me into brass kits, which I don't have the experience for just yet. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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cg - a few answers, hopefully. The follow up to "Rails Through the West" will be another odyssey through 1960s to 1990s Black and Tan country, with a well known but comparatively obscure cross country route featuring. Expect some green as well as b'n't.


With regard to your Ratio coaches, I think I know the ones you mean, ad they do indeed pass a reasonable resemblance to some GSWR types. The GSWR had only a few clerestory roofed coaches, and fewer still would still have been in traffic in the fifties, do you might consider flat roof replacements if the ones you buy are clerestory. If it is the bow-ended model, this means WLWR origin, as this is the only Irish railway company to have curved lower ends on carriages (as opposed to sides, of course!).


As for livery. If it is set pre 1955, you could have an occasional GSR liveried coach. The few pics I have seen of such things show the maroon faded to a pinky reddish brown (covered in soot and brake dust, no doubt) by this stage. Most, though would be painted the new (1945) CIE green, with full light green lining above and below windows, this plus snails and numerals edged in gold. The light green cane later, so if you are post 1955 or so, only older wooden carriages are still this dark shade.


On the West Cork system, a few old CBSCR coaches acquired plain dark green with no lining, and two snails instead of one. At least one appeared to have its snails in white instead of light green.


Post 1955, any wooden carriages being reprinted acquired the livery currently on the RPSI's Dublin heritage set, or DCDRs TPO. That us, a lighter green with a thinner and even lighter green unlined waistline, and unlined numerals and snail. A few were turned out without snails.


Chassis were black. Ends were black - never green of either shade. Roofs were dark grey.


Pullmans remained dark green to the end. It would have been interesting to see what one would have looked like in black n tan!

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I had a go at those Ratio kits today - I used Halford's Ford green, which was about as close a match as I could find to the Mark's Models Dapol coaches they'll be running with. I stuck on some Railtec transfers, trying to match what I saw in the Coakham photos. Anyway, this is the result ...








The paint doesn't look quite as bad as it does in the photos, though it's not perfect. And we're a wheelset short on both coaches. But this is my first attempt at building a kit coach ...

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I've made a bit of progress in the last couple of months, mainly in terms of trying to find appropriate stock, some of which was in kit form, and in trying to scratchbuild a good shed to look something like the others which can be seen on this site. I'd value comments and suggestions as to whether the consists look historically plausible - and whether that good shed is just too tall. Thanks!


Danielstown 3.jpg

Danielstown 1.jpg

Danielstown 2.jpg

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Here are some other things at the other station


Ballyfin 3.jpg


Back to the first station again


Danielstown 4.jpg


Goods 1.jpg


And lastly I fancy having a go at making one of those Ratio GWR coach kits be a starting point for this NCC 6 wheeler. Any suggestions as to which Halfords car spray might come close to the colour? NCC 6 wheel coach.jpg


Thanks everyone and apologies for the camera phone.

Ballyfin 1.jpg

Ballyfin 2.jpg

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The layout and rolling stock is coming along very well, I've never thought about modifying the ratio kit to make a NCC 6 wheeler (although ive built one in UTA colours) that's a very clever idea, as for the halfords spray, it's LMS crimson you want and I'll find it now which halfords can is a suitable colour now for you.

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Nelson - Thanks - that's brilliant and I'll look into getting some on Monday!


Glenderg - Thanks - I'll have a go at that though it'll mean recutting the archway. The shed sits at platform level on the loading side but extends fully to the ground on the far wall side. Should I just drop it altogether?

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Managed to get on a tablet CG let me explain. The scale of your goods shed is bang on, they were enormous compared to their station brethren and i think you've captured it wonderfully. The problem is that the station building is one of the lowest on the network and makes the shed seem out of scale, when its not! If you can cut out the mdf section of platform and drop down the building, it will work. I think ballybrophy has something similar.


I know it's a hoor cutting wills sheet, but you should only have to do it on the entry/exit arches, and these generally have about a 4mm clearance from the top of steam locos cabs to the arch, so i hope its not a chore too much. A couple of pieces of scored balsa wood to represent sliding doors over the 3 opes would finish it off nicely.


Btw, the two six wheelers with cattle wagon and goods van behind scene is superb. This has great potential to be a "timeless" layout. Richie

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cg - that's fantastic stuff, looks really well. Small point, in a constructive spirit - GNR goods stock would have body-colour metal strapping etc, ie grey... Don't be fooled by "Ivan" at whitehead!


Well done.... and incidentally the LMS a toon you have on the 6 wheeler does indeed look about right.

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Thanks, everyone:


Nelson, I'll take a look for the Rover Damask Red spray today (if the shops are open!) and post pictures if the project turns out in passable fashion.


Jhb, thanks for the tip on the wagon body strapping. It might be hard to get an exact match for the grey, but I'll have a go, and spray the undercarriage grey too. That's exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Glad you think the old Airfix 4F respray without a number passes form at 40 miles an hour and very low lighting!


Glenderg, ok, I'll have a go at lowering the good shed! It's my first ever attempt to scratch build anything so very much appreciate your encouragement.

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Kirley - thanks for the encouragement. Your model of the Clonmel goods shed is the inspiration for this smaller (and rougher) version. I can't remember whether you suggested ways of mimicing the paint effect of the Bachmann models though. All tips appreciated!


Also - I'm about to start a SSM GNR brake van. It's my first attempt at working in brass - what's the best way of cutting out the pieces from the etchings? I'm a complete novice. And does superglue work as well as solder? Sorry if these are silly questions.

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Some photos of stock I'm working on for the layout. I've just noticed that I've lost a door of the cattle wagon, somewhere on the lawn ... it's likely lost forever now.




Here's a basic attempt at that NCC 6 wheeler, done by painting the Ratio GWR kit Rover Damask Red (thanks, Nelson!). Still to be lined. Does anyone know where I might get suitable transfers for this?


NCC 6 wheeler 2.jpg


Another work in progress is the GNR brake van:


GNR brakevan in progress 2.jpg


And a reminder that the best-laid schemes of mice and men ...


GN van problem.jpg


How would you correct that last?


And an older, still unfinished, couple of projects, using the same kit to try to evoke a CIE feel:


CIE 6 wheeler 2.jpg


Do these have the right kind of look and feel for a northern non-geographically specific kind of theme?

NCC 6 wheeler.jpg

CIE 6 wheeler.jpg

GNR brakevan in progress.jpg

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