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Nearly there  The J19 is almost finished, with just a few things like cab window glazing and wiring the tender pickups to the motor. It will also need some lead weights in the boiler and some run

The vans have now been through both the paint shop and the weathering process. First step was a spray of Halford's grey primer. Next came the lettering and numbering, using a dipping pen and white acr

The turf vans have progressed through the paint and weathering process and now await final detailing.   Started with a coat of grey primer, then the wheels and under frames were treated to the st

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 Not a lot to show for quite a lot of effort over the last few days. The witness coat of primer turned out mostly as expected, with a few gaps around the footplate and boiler/smokebox joins. What I hadn't seen was the mess I'd made of the dome, where I'd been somewhat over enthusiastic in trying to reshape it, plus a far from perfect fit on the boiler top. Oh well...

 So, it was out with the filler again and while I was at it, added some cubes of 60thou Plastikard to the smokebox door to simulate the fixing clips, though still needs some 0.5mm wire for the handles.

 A second witness coat was then applied, followed by a bit more fettling around the dome and middle splashers and what I now hope will be the final squirt of primer.

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 The J19 has become very, well... black. Must confess that I don't actually like this bit of loco construction much, as it is really more of a necessary evil, for me. You go from a gleaming brass model, through a grey one, with lots of filler, before eventually giving it the top coat - Halford's 'go faster' matt black in this case. It is however, very black, though a small positive in this case is that the model seems to wear it well, especially from the front three quarter view. On the other hand, one of the next jobs - painting the buffer beams red, is always a bit of a pain because Humbrol red really doesn't cover well and needs at least three coats.

 Another issue at this stage of the model is that, though it feels like it is nearly finished, it is anything but. I made a 'to do list' yesterday and it's grown to at least 18 separate items, ranging from making some mock inside motion, through fitting couplings, painting the back head, adding crew, numbers, vacuum pipes, cab glazing, coal, tender pickups and the all essential weathering in order to soften the overpowering blackness. First stage of the latter has been to put a coat of Humbrol 27004 [metalcote gunmetal] on the smokebox. Unfortunately, it probably a bit too grey - but would make a fair representation for GSR battleship methinks.

Still, getting there.

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Absolutely beautiful model - very well done as always! In terms of colour, what you've put on the smokebox does look about right. I had a look in my records to see if there's any mention of a J19 gaining the black in the last few years - as you know, SOME CIE engines did.

It seems that ONE J18 was repainted black very late on. I don't know yet which one, but it had just the pale yellow number on the cabside - I don't think it had a "snail" on the tender (or anything!). But I haven't found any J19. I will delve and see if I can find one in actual black. One of the last steam engines painted, in Cork in 1962, was a J15 which had the normal grey, but uniquely with a black smokebox. Not a good choice for a widespread livery, as it did that winter's beet, and was withdrawn nine months after being painted!

Edited by jhb171achill
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Thanks JB, and everyone. My chosen loco is 603 and have a rear three quarter colour picture of it in Keith Pirt's Colour Portfolio. It is at Sligo in 1961 and in black. Cleanish too and the buffer beam looks newly painted, so maybe it hadn't been black for long.

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10 minutes ago, David Holman said:

Thanks JB, and everyone. My chosen loco is 603 and have a rear three quarter colour picture of it in Keith Pirt's Colour Portfolio. It is at Sligo in 1961 and in black. Cleanish too and the buffer beam looks newly painted, so maybe it hadn't been black for long.

There ye go! So, you've a genuine black prototype. Does it have a "snail"? Tenders got swopped.....

If it is black in 1961, it could even have had it several years - 2 or 3 anyway. That one remained until the end of steam in February / March '63, when it would have been formally withdrawn. It will certainly not have been painted after 1961, so it will have had perhaps five or six years in black, in traffic.

Excellent find!

Edited by jhb171achill
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603 was a pilot engine at Athlone (1960 it replaced 600). It was one off 3 engines sent to Athlone. By late 63/64 2 were still there. One was steaming when 186/131 went to Westport. It could have been 603. That means 2 Midland engines lasted until 1964!

Amazing

MM

Edit it was not 131 but rather 130 and these are CIE engines not GNRI.GNRI had N at the end.

Edited by Midland Man
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Nearly there

 The J19 is almost finished, with just a few things like cab window glazing and wiring the tender pickups to the motor. It will also need some lead weights in the boiler and some running in. 

 Was tempted to give it a heavy weathering job, but the in the colour photos I have, it seems fairly clean, if a bit dusty in some areas. Hence has mainly been worked on with weathering powders. The numbers are HMRS pressfix from their LSWR/SR sheet, while the coal continues to be that from a couple of lumps I liberated from a traction engine rally many years ago!

 As I've hinted at elsewhere, 603 needs a train and given that it has to be for my 1950s period, am thinking that some sort of mixed might be fun. I have a kit of the MGWR 'hearse' van, which later got used for fish traffic, so will add some 'semis' to that [as they seemed to also be used for fish]. Bringing up the rear will be a MGWR 'glasshouse' brake van. As you can see in the Questions section, one was used on the Achill branch, so my theory is it got used on a 'mixed fish' train to Westport. Tenuous at best, but there you go.

 The final picture attempts to show three of Mr Atcock's finest on shed at Belmullet.

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Lovely stuff.

Although my favorite Midland 0-6-0 would be a MGWR B or H class the L/LM were really good engines and were the power horses around Sligo and Galway. You have a proper trio of Midland engines. All amazing made by a certain profesional modeler.

MM

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As others have said, David, just wonderful.

You need an extra crewman, by the way, if your trains run in late 1950s / early 1960s.

The late and revered Robin (Bob) Clements spent many days each week out on the Midland with various crews he knew. We can produce photos of the great man and you can get 3D figures guys to produce you a 7mm version!

His diaries in the IRRS Archives tell endless tales of firemen struggling with an engine reluctant to make steam.

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17 minutes ago, leslie10646 said:

As others have said, David, just wonderful.

You need an extra crewman, by the way, if your trains run in late 1950s / early 1960s.

The late and revered Robin (Bob) Clements spent many days each week out on the Midland with various crews he knew. We can produce photos of the great man and you can get 3D figures guys to produce you a 7mm version!

His diaries in the IRRS Archives tell endless tales of firemen struggling with an engine reluctant to make steam.

An absolute gentleman he was, and it was a very great privilege to have known him. He gave me much assistance with many details for the Achill book........... he was undoubtedly the greatest expert on the Midland, on Irish locomotives, and many other aspects of Irish railways, that ever lived.

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By co-incidence I just read Bob Clements article on the Armagh Disaster which questioned some of the technical aspects of the Railway Inspectors report and undermines criticism of the driver and fireman of the ill fated excursion train.

I once met Bob Clements at an IRRS meeting in the early 1980s, as far as he was concerned J19s rebuilt with X Superheated boilers like 603 were really Southern engines.

He later gave me a diagram and photos of the L Class following their early 1900 rebuild with conventional cabs and saturated belpaire boilers, most touching bit was a hand written letter with his dogs paw prints.  Hopefully I still have that letter somewhere.

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Thanks George, and indeed everyone. Just checked and only started the model on 29th May, so has taken just a month. What with lockdown and the domestic authority going easy on decorating and chores (did most of that stuff early on), probably averaged at least a couple of hours a day, say 70 hours overall. Not bad for a tender engine and very much down to it being a well thought out and interesting kit to build.

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Back to the H and something new

 Thanks to those who recommended the Archer's transfer rivets, which eventually arrived the other day. The first picture shows what you get - a small sheet, but plenty packed in there. Time wise, I don't think they will be any quicker than a rivet press, but if you need to retro fit rivets, or put them on thicker material, then I'd say they beat cutting 0.5mm cubes and floating them on with solvent any day. You'd be hard pressed to see them on my H, but they are there on the brass chassis. After that, it was a quick clean up, then spray with rattle can primer, followed by Humbrol 64 brush painted on. Lettering is mostly by hand, using white ink and a dipping pen, though the circle in the flying snail is a 'zero' from a methfix transfer sheet that I found in my box. The fact that some of the transfers have a 'Home of 0 Gauge' sticker on them gives some idea of their age, but [mostly] they still work ok. 

 The van has been finished off with a dilute weathering mix [Humbrol gunmetal, bauxite and matt black] on the chassis and weathering powders on the body. I like the look of the H vans, and if anything as utilitarian can be described as handsome, then they are in my book.

 So, on to something new, which am sure Galteemore will recognise. It is a Tyrconnel etched brass kit of the MGWR 4 wheel hearse van. This is a very nice little kit, though as the other David found, the etches for the sole bar channel demand care and I was glad I read his postings before I started! Solebars apart, it only took a couple of sessions to build the kit, but am sure that painting and weathering are going to take longer. However, for those of you like bright shiny brass, a picture of progress thus far is included.The ice lolly sticks, by the way [see the parts photo], are for thickening up the buffer beams! 

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More haste, less speed

  So much for progress! The last week seems to have been spent correcting mistakes. In the case of the 4w van, only noticed the error when I started masking the body for the eau de nil stripes. Turns out I had the sliding doors set about 2mm low, hence had to unsolder the doors and reposition them. Didn't take too long, but then other problems followed, namely the Halfords rattle can I bought was metallic paint AND the wrong shade. Of course, only realised this AFTER I had used it...

 If anyone wants a barely used can of metallic Rover British Racing Green, let me know.

 Eventually, did a Galteemore, by using two different shades I already had, though before anyone questions the shade, the van is going to get the full weathering treatment, so what you see in the photo will soon be covered in a layer of grime, representing a vehicle that is ten years out of the paint shop with little in the way of any cleaning since.

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Hi David,

If not already seen it Archers do a video tutorial on how to apply their rivets.

The technique is not earth shatteringly novel but using it makes applying the rivets much simpler.

 

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 Well, can only say I made a bit of a pig's ear of the paint job. The model looks alright-ish from the statutory couple of feet away, but enlarge the picture and it is eminently clear that the eau de nil stripes are pretty horrible. Did my best to tidy things up this morning, then this afternoon got out the compressor, air brush and spray booth. I used the standard weathering mix of equal parts matt black, gunmetal and bauxite, but things continue to go awry with this van and the first pass looked like it had been attacked with a muck spreader. Faced with the choice of stripping it all off back to bare metal, or making the model even dirtier, I chose the latter on the basis that I could still do the former!

 So here is 56M, a long time away from the paint shop and just as long from seeing a cleaner's cloth. Based it on the state of many a BR parcels van, whether it passes muster for the far west of County Mayo, I'll leave to others to decide.

 Then had a go at the J19 because when I tried to put a coat of matt varnish over then weathering powders the rattle can seemed to simply blow all the dusting away. Fortunately, made a better job of the loco than the van & it has also been highlighted with a light dusting of powders on top of the weathering mix.

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Van looks suitably grungy and careworn, David! Think you have got away with it and managed to make a purse - to continue the pigs ear metaphor!  Loco is spot on - just like an F W Shuttleworth photo. Nice to see a Leitrim class just poking into shot...

Edited by Galteemore
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  • 5 weeks later...

Back to modelling at last

 After what seemed like an age doing various household chores, along with a refresh of the workshop, I was rather hoping that the MGWR 'hearse' van might have improved in my absence. Sometimes this can work - you put aside a model you're not happy with, but when you look at it again several days/weeks/months later, it turns out to be not so bad. Unfortunately in this case it was more like how wrong can you be.

 Indeed, when I dug the van out again, the weathering job I'd done on it looked truly 'orrible. So, what to do. First thought was to buy some paint stripper and start again, but then I remembered one of Martyn Welch's techniques for using T-cut. This automotive paint restorer has many uses and last time I got it out was to work on cleaning up Richard Chown's 'Shannon'. This time, it came in very useful in removing the 'muck spreader' effect I'd used when being way too heavy handed with the weathering.

 The process is fairly simple and actually quite therapeutic. Dip a cotton bud in the T-cut and then gently work away at the paint surface. Depending on how much needs removing, this may need several goes, but one aspect of rubbing away the grime is that deposits are left in all the nooks and crannies, along any beading etc - just as would happen in the carriage cleaning crew had a go at it. Fingers crossed, it now looks like an old and well worn van, where the under frame hasn't had a clean in decades, but the body panels have had a bit of a rub down from time to time, albeit none too enthusiastically.

I  can recommend T-cut for other paint jobs too. For example it can get rid of the 'orange peel' effect from being over enthusiastic with the airbrush and can also help reduce/remove paint 'sagging' too. Well worth keeping a bottle handy, plus plenty of cotton buds too!

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Thanks for your kind remarks - both before and after. Sometimes one gets the realisation that something simply hasn't worked and needs addressing. In this case the solution was simple and a lot less time consuming that stripping down and repainting, so most of the credit goes to Martyn Welch and his wonderful book 'The Art of Weathering'.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Following on the from the hearse/fish van and glasshouse brake, have now started on some vans to complete the train for the J19. Apart from a few GNRI vans, most of my wagons are SLNCR, so seems appropriate to add some from the MGW & GS&W railways. Alphagraphix do a card kit for a 'semi' from each company, so have used these as drawings to scratch build two of each. For those who might be interested, will do a stage by stage account of how I build them - though whether any of this is good practice, or an example of the strange ways my mind can work, I'll leave others to decide!

  • I use 40thou [1mm] plastic sheet for van bodies and 80thou for the floors. Sides and ends are drawn out, complete with any planking lines, which are then scribed prior to cutting out all the pieces.
  • Assembling the box is straightforward, so you soon have a basic shell.
  • I added the under frames next - 80thou strip for the sole bars and buffer beams, then cast white metal W irons fixed on with cyano, with the wheels going in at the same time. The important thing here is to make sure the axles are parallel.
  • Whitemetal castings likewise used for the buffers. I used ones supplied by Alphagraphix in their wagon chassis packs and interesting to note that of the five packs I bought, there are three different types of buffers. When I first started modelling the Irish scene, this would have worried me a little, but photos seem to show that variety was indeed the spice of life on many old wagons, with some having different types on each end!
  • The rest of the model is about adding detail and the two MGW vans I'm doing at the moment were very 'strappy'. However, there is something curiously therapeutic about building up such detail with micro strip. I used 60 x 125 and 60 x 60 for the corners, then 60 x 80 everywhere else. The doors are 60 thou sheet - black because that was all I had available, though have since found a sheet of white - of course...

 So, photos show progress thus far, about 10-12 hours work, which also includes some 20 thou overlays on the solerbars, which have been riveted where appropriate. Lots more riveting to do as the vans are festooned with additional plates and strapping, so probably only about halfway in terms of time taken thus far.

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