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Tales from the carriage shops

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Mayner
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3 hours ago, David Holman said:

Great work John and as ever, not just fine models, but historical detail too. Never knew the coach partitions were cream, while that looks to be a classic train for the J26.

Cream was a standard sort of interior colour used by - at least - the MGWR, GSWR, DSER, GSR and CIE.

The DSER, from Senior's memory, had its carriage insides mid-brown to waist level, and cream above that. I think CIE might have done that too on some 6-wheelers, but I've no proper info.

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8 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

Cream was a standard sort of interior colour used by - at least - the MGWR, GSWR, DSER, GSR and CIE.

The DSER, from Senior's memory, had its carriage insides mid-brown to waist level, and cream above that. I think CIE might have done that too on some 6-wheelers, but I've no proper info.

My first train ride was on a Summer afternoon in a non-corridor coach from Killiney to Tara Street around 1968-69 after taking the bus from the City Centre to Dalkey and walking along Vico Road with my mum her sisters and my cousins on a big day out!

Don't remember the colours but the partitions were matchboarded possibly cream, the coach part of a Summer rake of GSR/GSWR coaches hauled by a black diesel that was leaking oil all over the place, my first impression of a CIE train.

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  • 6 months later...

Its a long time since I did any personal modelling, I recently started working on my Irish narrow gauge stock a useful distraction when New Zealand recently went into lockdown.

I decided to focus on my narrow gauge stock as most of the locos are due for repairs as they are getting long in the tooth and I have some unbuilt wagon kits.

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I started with my T&D locos as they do most of the work on the layout. 6T lost one of her cylinder wrappers and the couplers require replacement. Model parts tend to disappear when the fall on the floor so far the chimney from Keadue Goods Shed, a section of wall, a coach roof and one of 6Ts cylinder wrappers have disappeared without a trace despite a thorough search of the floor and under the furniture, our neighbourhood's version of the Bermuda Triangle.

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A couple of years ago I acquired 4 Foxrock Models C&L Cattle Wagons and 2 C&L Open wagon kits to form a Cattle Special and strengthen on of the Arigna coal trains. The bodies are high quality resin castings with a fairly complex etched brass chassis, the Backwoods wagon chassis although very good are relatively un-detailed by comparison.

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First job was to dismantle 6T to her main sub assemblies (but not dismantle the chassis!), so I can fabricate a new cylinder wrapper and modify the chassis to fit the new couplings.  

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The new wrapper is formed for a piece of 0.20" brass (kit scrap), the scribed line is the wrapper width.

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I used a GW Models rivet tool to emboss the rivets, good practice if I ever get round to building a CVR Sharp Stewart 0-4-2T!

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The marks on the right are from the tools clamping bolts.

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I cut the wrapper to the correct width using a tin snips gradually cutting away strips parallel to the line the finishing with a fine file much easier than a piercing or razor saw.

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Cut waste material distorts while wrapper stays flat, one more cut to make before finishing with file.

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Wrapper dressed in place, I started at running board level dressed the wrapper round the cylinder ends then gradually trimming to the finished length.

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Starting to look like a loco again wrapped temporarily positioned with Blu-tac.

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The kit was designed with L shaped frame spacers fore and aft, which leaves insufficient room between buffer beam and spacer for a Kadee HOn3 draft gear box. I had originally fitted my T&D locos with Microtrains N Scale loco couplers which have a short draft gear box that just about fitted, but gave trouble in service.

The first step was to partially remove the vertical section of the frame spacers, by first cutting notches with a piercing saw. 

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Then snapping off the vertical section, the notch section cut leaves a narrow vertical section in place at both ends to avoid weakening the chassis.

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The kit was designed for scale chopper couplers and I had already formed a cut out in the buffer beams for the N Scale Kadees which were slightly widened for Hon3. 

6T was overhauled and appears to have been painted black before sending to the C&L in 1957 and ran with a hand written 6T on the buffer not the traditional shaded transfer.

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Coupling problem seems to be solved, loco and wagons now have matching coupler heights and knuckles!

The next challenge is fixing the coupling at the cab end. The chassis fixes to a captive 6BA bolt/stud under the cab floor, it looks like I may have to secure the coupling mount box with a 12BA bolt drilled and tapped into the body securing bolt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So to the wagon chassis assembly:

The chassis kit is designed to capture detail variation that existed between individual C&L wagons and wagon types during the railways history, including variations in wheelbase and ironwork.

The first job was to solder a reinforcing strip along one edge of the fret, as recommended in the instructions. The strip minimise distortion while opening out bearing holes & packing pieces(with a tapered to broach) to clear top hat axle bushes.

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I used a strip of scrap brass, soldering clamps are by Micro Mark.

I use phosphoric acid flux (Ranex Rustbuster diluted with distilled water https://www.bondall.com/ranex-rustbuster/ not sure if anything similar is available in Ireland or UK) with DCC Concepts 145° solder.  The solder basically runs into the joint by capillary action avoiding blobs of excess solder.

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Bearing holes opened out and reinforcing strip removed

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The next stage of the assembly involves assembling a number of small parts. The square washers are packing pieces which fit on the inside of the (not quite) W iron assembly, the packers with spring attached fit on the outside of the W iron assembly

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I found the simplest way to assemble the units was to solder the bearings and packing pieces to the W irons before folding the units into a U shape. This was easy to do with the fold lines facing down and the bearings facing up, a hot iron flux and minimum solder on the tip of the iron.

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I then soldered the 2nd layer of the spring/w iron in place.

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Folded W irons waiting to be soldered to the chassis

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The chassis is designed for the longer cattle wagons and short opens. Shortened by breaking off at the half etched lines and the solebars by folding.

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The "W irons" fit between the solebars, the holes in the w irons align with holes in the chassis and can be set up for a 7' or 7'6" wheelbase. I omitted an additional spring axlebox layer which fits below the solebar.

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The main reason for the complexity.

On the Cavan & Leitrim and the majority of Ulster's railways (broad and narrow) wagon the Axleguards were bolted to the outside of the solebars with axleboxes and springs on the inside unlike the "Southern" Companies and the GNR

The kit includes 3 alternate sets of cosmetic axleguards to cover the more common variations between C&L Wagons

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Cosmetic axleguards soldered in place. I will remove excess solder with a fibreglass brush before painting, in this case solder acts mainly as a key for paint.

The kit includes axlebox covers and brake gear, but that's another days work!

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One that I assembled earlier for comparison, I did not realise I used different axleguards on the wagon on the left.

The standard of detail, pattern making and casting of the wagon bodies are exceptional for a resin cast model. The resin is quite flexible and delicate parts unlikely to break off during normal handling and use.

The C&L had a small fleet of cattle wagons 81-100 that could carry 10 2 year old cattle one more than most contemporary Broad Gauge wagons (13'6"-14') because of their greater length.

Wheels are from my surplus stock and may require replacement its difficult to maintain a consistent back to back gauge as they tend to slip on their axles (even with Locktite)

I will probably use these wagons for Fair Specials as there is a photo  of a train of these wagons is CIE days, 4 and a van is a bit short, 5 and a van just about fits in the fiddle yard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I fitted the brake levers and vacuum cylinders to the wagons but gave up on the brake hangers, shoes and linkages as they were a bit too fiddly for my eyesight and fingers to assemble.

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Chassis superglued to bodies, I even mislaid a couple of vac cylinders which might turn up some day.

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Cut of cattle wagons in grey etched primer. I first sprayed the wagons with an "Adhesion Promoter" (automotive wax and grease remover) before spraying with primer, this minimises the risk of paint flaking off both the brass and resin substrate.

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3/4 view of cattle wagon, I still have to fit the axlebox covers!

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Standard small C&L open wagon, this wagon appears to be base on the original Metropolitan 40--5Ton wagons introduced for the opening of the line in 1887, the C&L appear to have added an additional 18 wagons---6T wagons before the large scale introduction of 'foreign' open wagons by the GSR & CIE to cater for the increasing coal traffic  from the mid 1930s to the late 1950s.

 

 

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6Ts re-assembly, cylinder covers replaced, coupler mounting plates fitted to the chassis fore and aft and chipped/damaged paintwork treated with Carrs Metal Surface Conditioner and Metal Black, the loco body needs to be washed to remove dirt and chemical residue.

I am un-decided whether to simply touch up the chipped worn areas or try a light coat of my new weathered black mix which I use for wagon roofs. 

Colour photos indicate that 6T was painted black before she arrived on the C&L in the Spring 1957 and appears to have remained in reasonable condition while working in the railway.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last weekend was something of a milestone: I had been planning to replace the worksurface of the outdoor work bench/large scale loco maintenance area with a sheet of ply for some time but was delayed when our 25 year old Honda CRV was written off in a crash, getting a replacement vehicle sorting out a roof rack and 2 week Covid lockdown in Aug.

I bit the bullet and bought a sheet of ply to protect the garden railway before the tree surgeons arrived to remove a dead tree, trimmed it down and installed the new worktop on Saturday.

Its said the larger the scale the nearer it comes to operating and maintaining a full size railway and 1:20.3 scale for modelling 3' narrow gauge on 45mm (Gauge 1) track becomes pretty close with track and trackbed requiring regular maintenance and replacement as parts wear out or decay.

I had to replace the ties (American for sleepers) on half of the main circuit and yards after 6-7 years use as a result of UV damage to the original plastic sleepers and a recent inspection indicates that the remainder of the main circuit is due for renewal after 10-11 years use although the original section installed 12 years ago is still good. Fortunately the rails are probably good for another 10-15 years.

More pressing the ties and crossing timbers on the turntable/loco yard turnout at the main yard on the outdoor section are becoming over-due for renewal.

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The turnout was handlaid using yellow cedar timbers as an economy measure compared to buying ready assembled switches, the timbers were milled to match the Accucraft Narrow Gauge track used on the main line which did not match available ready made 1:20.3 switches.

This was my first hand laid 1:20.3 switch was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain as the timbers were no longer holding the spikes due to splitting and some of the timbers had started to rot.

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Replacement timbers laid out beside existing switch

I had decided to replace the cedar timbers with Sunset Valley plastic timbers several years ago but had not gotten round to it, being a service track speeds are low and heavy locos usually re-rail themselves without too much fuss.

Replacement timbers appear to be a mixture of Sunset Valley Gauge 1 and Narrow Gauge!

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Replacing timbers between crossing & switch components.

Rather than completely dismantling the turnout in order to maintain gauge and the relationship between the switch and crossing components.

I drilled out the holes for the spikes with a 1.2mm drill, punched home with a hammer and nail punch.

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Existing cedar timbers removed in switch and toe area, new headblock timbers fitted.

The turnout is resting on packers to allow the spikes to be pushed home as they project through the timbers.

The next stage of the assembly is to turn the turnout over bend/clinch the projecting ends of the spikes against the bottom edge of the timber, not the easiest thing to do with blackened steel spikes.

I left out the timbers under the switch rails as I need to fabricate and solder new slide chairs/plates in position before installing the timbers.

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Mock up with crossing and switch timbers fitted.

Approx. two afternoon's work to get to this stage a new Narrow Gauge No 4 Switch would cost approx. $100us plus shipping.

I usually use No 6 switches for running lines with No 4 switches for secondary trackage or tight spots were a No 6 will not fit

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6T is back out on the road working coal traffic following her repairs, I completed the kit in the late 90s so hopefully she should be good for another 20 years!

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Passing Keadue with a laden coal train for Boyle or possibly Sligo. Prototype C&L coal trains usually loaded to 10 wagons & a van, though staging roads will only take 5.

There is some snagging to complete I am not happy with the rear coupling mount and front spectacles require re-glazing with Crystal Clear, need to sort out a front vacuum pipe and above all a crew.

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Although the original paintwork wasn't bad I gave the loco a quick re-paint and finished the loco with the last of my stock of Testors Dullcote, the loco was still in reasonable cosmetic condition after its 1st years service on the C& L but the sheen had gone off her black paintwork.

I used HMRS Presfix LNER loco transfers as the numerals are similar to those used by CIE, the biggest challenge was forming the letter T from an E!

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The coal wagons are my own resin castings from a brass master with custom lettering by SSM 15L has developed a distinctive sag from overloading/pulling out of the mould a bit too soon.

The horsebox in the background is a refugee from the Clogher Valley, I will have to build a matching passenger brake and a Sharpie to go with the horsebox and my two CVR coaches.

No progress to report on the cattle wagons and new opens, will have to order couplings, wheels and lettering.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Back to Large Scale work, I finally completed the refurbishment and re-installed the Loco Yard turnout and carried out maintenance to switchstands as part of the Spring maintenance programme (the absolute bare minimum to keep trains running.

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Refurbed turnout with all ties spiked in place. 

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Underside of turnout all projecting spikes clenched/bent over. This was the most difficult/painful part of the whole operation, the spikes have needle sharp points, bent over using a small pin hammer and a short piece of rail as an anvil in the web of the point rails.

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Refurbish turnout installed on layout ties (sleepers) on plain track is due for replacement later this year.  The ties on the main running line and siding trackage (running loops) to the left of the photo were replaced 3-4 years ago as part of an upgrade of the yard.

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The last of the handlaid turnouts with yellow cedar ties and modified barrel bolt Ground Throw in the freight yard, the ties on the plain track are due for replacement, but the switch continues to operate flawlessly 11-12 years after its installation.

 

 

The Switch Stand targets work on the same principal as disc signals used on the early railways, If the disc is visible stop, if the disc is not visible the line is clear,

 

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The switch in the foreground is set for the siding or diverging line, approaching trains in either direction are required to stop before proceeding through the switch at reduced speed (15mph max)

The switch in the middle distance is set for the main line Disc is no visible the Fan Tail indicates that a train can proceed through the turnout without stopping at reduced speed.

 

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Not the sharpest the switch in the foreground is set for the main line , the switch in the mid distance set for the Wye Track.

While the cast brass switch stands have been quite troublefree the targets have been an on going maintenance problem the section of shaft above the top of the casting is a brass tubing and easily damaged by pets and unfamiliar operators who try to change the point by twisting the target rather than lifting the lever.

The shafts on both targets were damaged and eventually snapped off at the top of the casting. I repaired the targets by trimming back and boring out the damaged ends of the tube to take a steel pin (galvanised nail with head removed) and reduces the risk of accidental damage as the pin is pressed into rather than rigidly fixed to the casting. The fantails are an etching that's superglued to the target.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Some modelling projects large and small scale as part of the seasons festivities. Although we have been blessed with the weather we decided to take it easy and enjoy Christmas and the New Year at home.

I had been struggling with arthritis and hearing loss for several weeks, this week my symptoms suddenly eased and I have some energy at least for a while thanks to some new medication.

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Re-building the Loco Yard Jackson City. 

The loco yard was over due for a re-build the two road Loco shed was too close to the freight yard lead and the shed roads too short to comfortably fit the K27 2-8-2 locos that work the road freights.

After lifting the track the 1st step is to install longer bearers or transoms to support the re-configured yard and shed.

The baseboard is basically open frame with 100X50 treated joists on timber piles supporting the bearers and wire mesh that supports the 100X25 trackbases and ground cover. 

All timber is CCA treated, though after 14 years there is some rot in the cut ends of the bearers.

The turntable is simply a piece of treated timber that pivots on a coach screw and galvanised washers, the pit is fibre glass resin built up in situ.

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I decided on a concrete grain elevator for North Wharf based on the Kathryn Farmers Co-Op Elevator on the North Dakota prairie, though I got the shape of the storage bins wrong!

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This was my longest most ambitious print at 18hrs and we ran into problems with the resin sticking to and pumpturing the PF film during the final stages of the print, fortunately I use a screen protector so there is no permanent damage to the printer.

Printing horizontally rather than at an angle produced a good representation of the 'lifts' from the concrete formwork at the expense of a PF film, the object is close to the maximum size that can be printed on the Anycubic Photon X printer.

The remaining section of the elevator is a similar size and shape with the addition of a Head House which towers above the elevator.

The elevator is similar in height to the Distillery Tower building at the opposite end of the layout to provide vertical balance.

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I acquired some C&L Cattle and Open wagons in a partial swap for a loco kit, SSM produced custom decals to finish the rake, the wagons are still an unfinished project as I need to order Kadee HOn3 couplers when UPS resume shipping to this part of the World, add weight and possibly replace the wheels as the wagons are quite unstable, though the train makes a pretty picture.

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90L & 95L fortunately I have a copy of P J Flannigan's Pan paperback book (one of my favourites) bought around 1970-72 which includes a reasonably comprehensive stock list!

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1L, 8L built from Foxrock Models kits and 14L from my own resin casting on a Backwoods Miniatures chassis.

We paid a lot of attention to getting the Tare and load information correct, but forgot to specify a size for the panel on the Cattle Wagons

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The wagons were spray painted in a satin/gloss grey before fitting the decals and finished with Gunze "Mr Super Clear Flat" aerosol https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Super-Clear-Flat-Spray/dp/B000W30PIW as Testors Dullocte is no longer available.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mayner
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Good progress with my first 2022 modelling project re-modelling the loco depot on the garden railway.

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I decided to use timber decking for the entire loco yard area rather than my usual combination of weedmat on welded mesh and decking for the track support.

The track is a combination of new material with aluminum rail and salvaged material from the old yard. Aluminum rail is cheaper than brass and challenges with power pickup irrelevant as I no longer use track power. I used damp proof course as packing at the turntable end.

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The K27 "Mudhen" 2-8-2 are too long to fit completely inside the shed useful for accessing the on-off switch at the rear of the tenders

The short spur road is useful for parking the "Motors" but may extend at a later date to connect with the yard,

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I ballasted the yard tracks with quarry screenings locally known as Gap 8 Metal (max. 8mm screen or sieve).

The material is drying out the darker areas more recently placed.

The material tends to 'set" at once compacted once there is a certain moisture level.

I usually seal or glue ballast with concrete bonding agent (Pva) which works effectively for 1-2 years before starting to break down, so the loco yard is pretty much intended as a trial on how the metal performs as loose ballast without a bonding agent.

The water tower is a mock up it usually lives beside the main line in the Depot area, I am planning a vertical coal tower to the right of the water tower and some sheds to detail the area.

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The depot at capacity with 2 K27s for main line freight diagrams and RM4 for the Mail & Passenger

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Some early survey/location work on the Utah Extension to use up my stock of timber and track.

The timber is Rimu a native hardwood salvaged about 10 years ago from a pergola, so little chance of warping and twisting compared to the treated pine roadbed used on the rest of the railway.

The Utah Extension is extended to serve a coal mine like the Denver South Park and Pacific Ohio Creek extension which petered out a some coal mines failing to make it to the State Line with Utah let alone the Pacific Ocean. 

The Extension will be worked by a small 2-8-0 based at Jackson City while the K27s work the freights to an from the RGS and DRGW connection, these days 1 train out and back daily during an operating session unless traffic is extremely busy.

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15 minutes ago, David Holman said:

All rather splendid - and summer too!

Weather been abnormally hot and sunny over the Christmas/New Year holidays after a cool wet spring, better not complain about the heat.

The good weather has been a great incentive to carry out improvements catch up with maintenance on the garden railway which has been neglected with very little maintenance or running during the past 12 months.

Next big project is top replace the roller shutter doors on the garage/railway room workshop with something more suitable and fit for purpose.

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  • 1 month later...

After a very dry and hot January we were hit by the tail end of Cyclone Dovi last week which brought down trees and blocked roads. 

it did not do too much damage to the railway apart form bringing down a branch of a Tasmanian Blackwood (which had been suffering from drought) and knocking over the Utah Junction coal tipple.

I removed the station building and water tower before the storm. 

The ironical thing is that the Blackwood has established itself as a replacement for a large Gum Tree that had fallen over about 15 years ago when the ground became saturated as a result of heavy rain

 

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Some debris on the deck  but fortunately nothing fell on the loco shed or water tower.

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A week later services restored and tipple replaced, I still need to cut up and the fallen branches.

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  • 2 months later...

I though it would be useful to post my experiences assembling the SSM (TMD) MGWR E 0-6-0T kit due to recent interest in the kit on the forum. The SSM MGWR 0-6-0T was a relatively early etched kit and a pioneering model as the first Irish 4mm etched kit.

The design of the kit has more in common with pressed metal kits such as the Leinster Models O gauge kits, basically a set of scratchbuilders parts to assemble into a locomotive as opposed to the more complex later kits like the SSM/TMD J15 which featured slot and tab assembly, half etched relief detail (rivets, beading), overlay parts and assembly jigs.

The kit was originally supplied with a brass chassis with fold up frame spacers etched from the same thickness of metal as the body. The chassis had hornblock cut outs (slots) as opposed to bearing holes which simplified assembling the kit with a sprung or compensated chassis. Some modellers experienced problems with derailments when they assembled the kit with the rigid chassis as the frames twisted when the chassis was bolted to the body at the front and rear frame spacers.

The kit was later supplied with an nickel silver chassis which incorporated beam compensation on the leading and driving (middle) axle rather than conventional bearing holes.

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553 assembled 1985/6 rebuilt in CIE condition1993.                                                556 completed 2021.

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 553 Brass Chassis Sharman wheels 40:1 Sharman gearbox Anchorage DS10 motor                 556 N/S Chassis Gibson Wheels, Branchlines 2 Stage Multibox 80:1

    state of the art 1985                                                                                                                           Motor and gearbox state of art 1990s Sharman wheels no longer available!

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Underside 553: Chassis compensated all wheelsets removable for maintenance and cleaning, retained by keeperplate/brake pullrods, chassis and keeperplate retained by 8Ba nut and bolt at rear buffer beam only. Chassis is fitted with wiper pick ups which bear on top of wheel thread. Tight clearance between crankpin nuts and valence/steps 21mm gauge. I appear to have replaced the original cast buffers with sprung brass buffers during 1993 re-build.

Ideally I should replace Anchorage motor and 40:1 gearbox with a drive train similar to 556

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553 top view:  Wiper pick ups mounted on PCB sleeper strip largely concealed within sidetanks and splashers (extremely effective). Brass wire behind flywheel retains motor!

I have no plans to convert my 21mm gauge steam locos to DCC! having tried it on my T&D 2-6-0Ts its simply not worth the hassle.

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Keeper plate removed exposing bearings and axle slots. I formed hornblocks from strip brass to prevent the bearings rotating in the slots, the leading and middle axle are free to move up and down in their slots while the rear axle is fixed to provide the 3 point compensation effect.

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Chassis with leading and central axle removed showing hornblocks and compensation beam. 

Chassis could do with a strip down and repaint not bad after almost 30 years since last major maintenance.

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556 Nickel Silver Chassis. Integral beam suspension leading and middle (driving) axles. Bottom mounted wiper pick up, looks messy but work.

I have fitted threaded crankpin bushes to the leading and trailing axles to improve clearance between crankpin and front and rear footsteps, the Gibson OO/EM profile wheels are marginally wider than the Sharman OO/EM profile wheels used on 563.

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556 showing compensation beam. The axle holes in the mainframes are slotted and the axles run in top hat bushes that slot through the frames and are soldered to the compensation beams. 

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It was necessary to fit washers between the flange of the axle brushes and main frame to prevent the brush jamming in the axle slots.

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556 top view the motor mounting plate is a piece of scrap nickel silver, the motor is bedded in silicone.

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My preference is to build locos in sub-assemblies with removable wheelsets. The driving axles on the 52 class run in Hi-Level (Kits) hornblocks which are accurate compact and easy to assemble.

Modifying the SSM nickel silver chassis to accept hornblocks is likely to be challenging its possible that the High Level J72 chassis may be an option as the overall size of the loco, wheel base, wheel and boiler diameter is very close to the MGWR E Class. https://www.highlevelkits.co.uk/product-page/lner-j72

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Galteemore said:

Excellent @Mayner I have just acquired several sets of HL Hornblocks for a project. How did you spring them, please? 

No springs are required with a compensated chassis.

In its simplest form the driven axle is fixed, the floating axle/s are free to move up and down/rock from side to side supported by a compensation beam.

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There are more complex alternatives including springing  http://www.clag.org.uk/41-0rev.html#section15 but beam suspension works fine for me.

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9 hours ago, Galteemore said:

Thanks John. I have used a simple beam before, but on this occasion I will have to use horn blocks on a driven axle, which will require CSB of some sort, I fear….

I have not used it myself, but some builders and chassis kits use what's described as "rigid beam suspension for all axles" using the swing axle arrangement. Highly recommended by CLAG for 0-6-0, 04-2, 2-4-0 and the most suitable for a 2-2-2

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The High Level Dean Goods chassis and Arthur Kimber NER Tennant 2-4-0 use this arrangement, the leading (non driven) "swing axle" with the gearbox driving on the trailing or middle axle.

I use the 'swing axle" with a fixed driving axle for compensating 0-4-0s and 4-4-0 tender locos.

 

 

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I commissioned Railtec Transfers to prepare a decal set for the Ranks Ireland Grain wagons, the biggest challenge was to get the transfer film to bed neatly around the raised rivet detail on the wagon bodies. 

The first attempt soaking the decal in water and using Humbrol DecalFix as a setting solution as recommended in the instructions ended in disaster, requiring a complete strip down and re-paint.

Second attempt I used DecalFix both as a soaker and setting solution for the larger decals, soaking smaller decals in water.

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The wagons are part of an batch of 8 in both the red and grey schemes each with individual running numbers 100% of the Ranks Ireland Wagon fleet!

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I applied the "Ranks" "Ltd" and "(Ireland) decals separately. 1st applying/floating the "Ranks" decal into place using a fine paint brush to separate from the backing paper, aligning with the brush and tooth pick before using a paper towel as blotting paper to remove excess solution, I then left the Ranks decal to set for several hours before applying the Ltd in approximately the correct position followed by the (Ireland) before finally aligning the Ireland & Ltd.

Its important not to touch or disturb the decals for several hours after application as the Decalfix appears to form a slippery film between the decal and substrate until it completely dries out or you risk loosing the decal!

I soaked the Tare, Limerick & Clara and No4 markings in water with DecalFix as a wetting agent. 

I will leave the model for approx. 1 week to completely dry out before applying a clear flat lacquer to seal the model, to minimise the risk of fogging or blistering as a result of trapped moisture between the decal film and substrate. 

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They look great in the red.

what type of paint did you use ? it seems to have a slight sheen to it.

And would the grey be more of a matt finish?

59 minutes ago, Mayner said:

I commissioned Railtec Transfers to prepare a decal set for the Ranks Ireland Grain wagons, the biggest challenge was to get the transfer film to bed neatly around the raised rivet detail on the wagon bodies. 

The first attempt soaking the decal in water and using Humbrol DecalFix as a setting solution as recommended in the instructions ended in disaster, requiring a complete strip down and re-paint.

Second attempt I used DecalFix both as a soaker and setting solution for the larger decals, soaking smaller decals in water.

IMG_3414.jpg.40cb164567bfe0004da699babe86a9cc.jpg

The wagons are part of an batch of 8 in both the red and grey schemes each with individual running numbers 100% of the Ranks Ireland Wagon fleet!

IMG_3415.jpg.eb25cb4f40073678b52bda73a167b8ed.jpg

I applied the "Ranks" "Ltd" and "(Ireland) decals separately. 1st applying/floating the "Ranks" decal into place using a fine paint brush to separate from the backing paper, aligning with the brush and tooth pick before using a paper towel as blotting paper to remove excess solution, I then left the Ranks decal to set for several hours before applying the Ltd in approximately the correct position followed by the (Ireland) before finally aligning the Ireland & Ltd.

Its important not to touch or disturb the decals for several hours after application as the Decalfix appears to form a slippery film between the decal and substrate until it completely dries out or you risk loosing the decal!

I soaked the Tare, Limerick & Clara and No4 markings in water with DecalFix as a wetting agent. 

I will leave the model for approx. 1 week to completely dry out before applying a clear flat lacquer to seal the model, to minimise the risk of fogging or blistering as a result of trapped moisture between the decal film and substrate. 

 

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1 hour ago, popeye said:

They look great in the red.

what type of paint did you use ? it seems to have a slight sheen to it.

And would the grey be more of a matt finish?

 

The red is a custom mixed automotive satin aerosol (matched to a Duplicolour Ford Red which was out of stock.

I usually paint models in a gloss or satin before applying waterslide transfers/transfers, then finish with a matt or satin clear spray lacquer.

Transfers/decals adhere better to a gloss or satin than a matt base and helps make the decal film look less obvious by reducing light reflecting between the film and the model substrate.

 

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3 hours ago, Galteemore said:

Excellent John. I think MicroSol would also work well in this scenario - it’s especially formulated to get transfers sitting well around raised surface detail etc.

Railtec recommend DecalFix for applying their transfers on surfaces with raised detail advising that "MicroSet and MicroSol are best avoided", a statement which I found to be true!

Railtec transfers appear to be less permeable than conventional waterslide transfers or decals with Micro Set or Micro Sol applied on top of the transfer having little or no effect. 

The other point to watch is that its important to remove excess DecalFix from a model as it can result in staining/streaking particularly if applied on a matt or satin surface, one of the reasons for stripping down and re-painting the red-Ranks wagons. 

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Interesting. Three or four years ago I used DecalFix, bought specially, on some Cambrian Railways wagon transfers from the Welsh Railways Research Circle - it was a disaster. The transfers wouldn't adhere let alone conform to details. Not sure who the decals were printed by, though, but they responded far better to MicroSol. The DecalFix left a nasty sticky residue as well, and I haven't used it since!

I do realise it's a case of what you get on best with!

Cheers,

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Wagon Works has (almost) completed the rake of Ranks wagons, with the painters finishing the grey (post 64) version of the wagons last week, just to make things interesting the wagons are individually numbered (just about readable in 4mm)

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Wagons 1-8

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3-4 Late 1940s onwards red.

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Wagons 8-1!

Models are finished in with an aerosol flat clear which also protects the decals.

I started using Testors "Dullcote" for finishing American N Gauge locos and stock (after repaint and decals) during the early 90s and use an aerosol in preference to varnish (air-brush application) for 4mm and large scale models. I settled on Gunze "B523 Mr Super Clear UV cut as Testors 'Dullcote" is no longer available.

 

 

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