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11 hours ago, David Holman said:

or an example of the strange ways my mind can work, I'll leave others to decide!

I generally follow your work out of a morbid sense of curiousity 😜

 

Seriously though - looking good, and it is a nice sense of satisfaction in creating something from nothing!  Wagons are coming together nicely, however I suspect there is some work to go - I find you make great progress initially and then things slow down as the detail starts to build.

 

Quick query on your axles - are you splitting & sleeving to get the "correct gauge"?  I may need to do this now as i have ran out of 28mm axles, and cannot remeber where I got thiem from.  Have loads of 26mm, so may split & sleeve to continue building.

 

Will follow this with interest as I have another SSM GSWR convertable kit to complete, and I would like to build one or two DSER version also.

Regards,

Ken

 

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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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Sister's wagon and coach axles plenty long enough, Ken. I just move the wheels out to the correct 33.98 back to back and there is still enough to go in the bearings.

 As for pace of work, that pretty much sums up scratch building in this scale, indeed any scale - though the larger to model, the more the detail than can be incorporated and hence the time it takes. On a short sabbatical at the moment, while domestic chores/decorating take over - it helps to keep the domestic authority happy!

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 A little more work on the strapping. More 60 x 80 thou strip, but a little more tricky, especially the end profile below the roof. One photo shows the pieces used. They have fitted quite well, but suspect a coat of primer will reveal some filling is needed. The diagonal strapping on the sides also needed a little thought, but in the end simply marked and cut them in situ. The black pieces you can see inside the van bodies are profiled so that they can provide roof supports either side of the canvas/corrugated central roof section.

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Less than a week ago I wrote of how adding micro strip strapping to wagons could be therapeutic. However, since then have been doing little else and it is quietly driving me nuts. The two MGWR vans only have about 80 [!] pieces between them, but the plates that hold everything together add up to over a hundred separate pieces for each van, while there are over 200 rivets too.

 Take the small plates that go round each length of strapping - often two or three to each - it involves five separate pieces [four of them just 1.5mm square] with three rivets - plus two of the small squares have rounded ends. Ok, it only takes a few passes with a file to do the latter, but believe me, it all adds up!

 Thus far, I think I've got all these bits done, along with what appear to be two metal vents on each side - each of these comprising another five individual parts and four rivets - but there still remain two louvres on each side, with one more each end. Had I thought ahead a bit more, I really should have resin cast the body work, for even with just two of each van, making just a side and end for each would have cut the work by 75% AND I could have made my fortune marketing them to other 7mm scale broad gauge modellers. Well, maybe not the latter!

 Oh well, slowly getting there and, fingers crossed, the GSWR vans appear much simpler. The photos hopefully show what I mean and include some pretty cruel enlargements of some of the detailing.. There is also my GW model rivet press, without which this work would be a lot  harder. This really is a quality piece of kit and if you use the added table can not only churn out straight lines of rivets less than 1mm apart, but [if your maths is up to it] create circles of them too.

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David,

Seriously impressive detail, and I'm with you on the "should I mould & cast" as I thought the same with the wagons on the armoured train.  I ended up making both from brass, and perhaps it worked out better as there is a much better weight in the wagons.

These will make (already are) very impressive wagons - well done.

Ken

 

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Lovely job David. Nice to see them coming together. I do know one 36.75mm modeller who may have bought a few.....! I’m thinking of the resin route myself when I get round to wagon building again. The sheer amount of bolts, rivets and brackets required to produce a single wagon only becomes apparent when you start trying to model them....

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Finally managed to finish the two wagons. Has taken around 24 hours modelling time for the pair, so not too bad I guess, given the number of pieces and amount of work. Most of the final stuff was making the louvres and then it was a case of fitting the roof. A small moment of inspiration here came from a photo of a converted turf coach, where internal boarding resulted in thicker than usual sides. Seemed to me this idea would be useful to help fix the roof better, so added 100 x 40 thou strip all round, then filed this to the profile of the roof. Hence got a good area for the D-Lemonine to do its welding.

 This solvent really has been useful. It may take longer than MEK or similar solvents, but the evaporation is much slower, allowing plenty of time to position the roof, whereas MEK evaporates like mad, so much so that if you left the lid off the bottle I suspect most of it would be gone in an hour. Anyway, an all round scrub with the glass fibre pencil, then a wash in warm water & they were ready for priming. Actual painting and lettering must wait until I've done the two GSWR vans first though.

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Nothing fancy, because there were on!y two slats on the side ones and just one on the ends. Used 60thou square section for the outside frame and 20 x 80 for the slats, fitting them in situ. Applied solvent and then held the slat in place with fine nosed pliers for 30 seconds till the solvent grabbed enough. Did a single in each position around both vans, by which time the solvent had gone off enough to add the second.

 Noticed that Warb was making his louvres for his church on the workbench, making half a frame and adding the slats to that, while Archers, the transfer rivet folk, have louvres in their catalogue, which could be very handy if they had the size you want. Otherwise, louvres are a complete pain, I think, including the fact that the spellchecker here insists on calling them lovers!!!!

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Just when I thought I'd finished building the MGW vans, was looking through Ernie Shepherd's bible on the railway and discovered the lovely photo which Roger had clearly used as part of his planning for the Alphagraphix card kit. Up till now, I'd been using the latter, along with a rather grainy photo of the prototype, which I now know is a copy of a print of a copy etc, etc.

 As the cropped details show below, there was not only the bracing between the axles to add, but the canvas roof [and associated fixings], along with some hooks and brackets to hold the doors open. Hence spent a couple of hours this afternoon, faffing around with all manner of things from plastic strip brass wire, tiny eye rings [from the Dingham couplings etch], masking tape and thin cotton to create all of the above. Hopefully you can work out what went where from the photos.

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Hi David

Just had a look at the thread WOW!! great work. 

Stop scaring the newbies and just where do you find the time.

From a much earlier page how big is the tram bar it looks pretty small compared to other buildings you have done I rather like it

regards John

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Thanks John and indeed everyone for the kind and positive remarks. Retired these days and Covid 19 certainly enables plenty of spare time. However, even when working [I was a primary headteacher and then schools advisor], doing 80-100 hour weeks in term time, found that a bit of modelling time was very important for my well being in what was an often stressful job.

 Much of this type of modelling is essentially fairly simple and repetitive & like most apparently complex things, breaking them down into easy stages is half the battle. I guess that is where experience counts, though believe me, I regularly still get things wrong.

 The Tram Inn, see pics below, is indeed fairly small - mainly because it is only half relief and designed to blend into the painted back scene. As you can see, it is made from 5mm foam board, covered in watercolour paper and then painted to look like render. Have turned it upside down, partly to show the construction, but also to show one of my favourite dodges for making guttering, where I just use 80thou plasticard, rounding one edge to look like half round. From a normal viewing angle, it can't be seen & is very quick and easy to do.

 Buildings are a good way into making something from scratch, because they don't move, so you can concentrate on making them look nice. Would say making wagons is probably a good first step with rolling stock, but coaches and locomotives do require a fair bit of skill, however there are some nice kits out there to get you started, while there are some excellent threads on this site with folk adapting ready to run models to Irish prototypes too.

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Hi David

Thanks for your reply your alter ego isn't by any chance a war-games player that's how they do a lot their buildings and that's easy. 

I never thought of that as a model railway thing, due to the low detail war-gamer's seem to prefer for avoiding damaging them during play.

regards John

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On 9/8/2020 at 8:38 PM, David Holman said:

Finally managed to finish the two wagons. Has taken around 24 hours modelling time for the pair, so not too bad I guess, given the number of pieces and amount of work. Most of the final stuff was making the louvres and then it was a case of fitting the roof. A small moment of inspiration here came from a photo of a converted turf coach, where internal boarding resulted in thicker than usual sides. Seemed to me this idea would be useful to help fix the roof better, so added 100 x 40 thou strip all round, then filed this to the profile of the roof. Hence got a good area for the D-Lemonine to do its welding.

 This solvent really has been useful. It may take longer than MEK or similar solvents, but the evaporation is much slower, allowing plenty of time to position the roof, whereas MEK evaporates like mad, so much so that if you left the lid off the bottle I suspect most of it would be gone in an hour. Anyway, an all round scrub with the glass fibre pencil, then a wash in warm water & they were ready for priming. Actual painting and lettering must wait until I've done the two GSWR vans first though.

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Love it. Always enjoy watching a master at work. 

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GSWR vans

 Two more vans based on an Alphagraphix card kit. Built in the same way as the MGW versions, but thankfully with a lot less strapping and gingerbread. Hence got them built somewhat quicker.

 My 'mixed fish' train for the J19 only needs three wagons, so one of the GSWR models is going to be painted in original [black] livery and with a canvas roof covering the central section. The 1950s version has gained a sheet of wiggly tin for this bit, in this case Slater's plastic. The wagons run on 3'7 spoked wheels, which means they sit fractionally higher at the buffer beam, though the roof line is still lower than the MGW versions. Couplings still need to be added.

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23 minutes ago, David Holman said:

GSWR vans

 Two more vans based on an Alphagraphix card kit. Built in the same way as the MGW versions, but thankfully with a lot less strapping and gingerbread. Hence got them built somewhat quicker.

 My 'mixed fish' train for the J19 only needs three wagons, so one of the GSWR models is going to be painted in original [black] livery and with a canvas roof covering the central section. The 1950s version has gained a sheet of wiggly tin for this bit, in this case Slater's plastic. The wagons run on 3'7 spoked wheels, which means they sit fractionally higher at the buffer beam, though the roof line is still lower than the MGW versions. Couplings still need to be added.

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Truly wonderful wagon modelling 

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 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 acrylic ink. Rather than just use weathering powders, I wanted to give the vans a more detailed treatment, taking my cue from Martyn Welch's bible on the subject. Many of these vans were long lived, so I wanted to give them a well worn and slightly battered appearance. The key stages were as follows:

  • First add some rust to the [many] metal plates and strapping. When you think about it, rust comes through from below the paint, so using a fine brush I gave all the metalwork a covering with the standard black/bauxite/gunmetal mix.
  • Similarly, I wanted the woodwork to look like the paint was wearing off and that a few individual planks had been replaced, but left unpainted. To represent the latter I carefully painted a few planks with a mix of 'natural wood' and grey [Humbrol 110 and 64]. Other areas were splurged with the same mix and then the vans put aside for a couple of days for this paint to harden.
  • Next I painted over the rusty metal work and worn wood with Humbrol 64 and again left this for a day to harden.
  • Now comes the clever bit from Martyn's book. Using a small glass fibre pencil, you abrade the grey paint covering the rusty metal work, allowing the latter to show through. The other trick is to use plastic solvent - the strong stuff, not DL Lemonine, and dab this onto the overpainted grey areas, which causes this top coat to craze and peel. More work with a craft knife and abrasives ends up with the rust and bare wood appearing underneath.
  • I also used the glass fibre pencil on the lettering - especially the large GS ones, so they likewise look worn and faded.
  • The final two stages involve a wash of the weathering mix over the whole of the bodywork - with heavier applications from the chassis, becoming lighter towards the roof. Once this is dry, a dusting with weathering powders follows - rust for the axle box covers, springs and brakes, then grey over the whole of the body and roof, to tone things down.

 So, there we are, a longer term project that started with the J19, then the MGWR 'hearse' [both etched kits], followed by the glasshouse brake and the three vans. The final picture shows the train in full, with some close ups of the three new wagons, which hopefully show up the detail and weathering nicely.

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And now for something completely different.

 Those of you who follow my ramblings will know that I have been interested in 'turf wagons' for some time. Considered building a couple for Arigna Town, but being next to a coal mine that didn't really work. However, Belmullet is not far from two major peat deposits that have been exploited since the middle of the last century and my 'Black Sod Bay Distillery' is deemed to have been peat fuelled since the start of the Emergency. Now, in the chosen 1950s period, turf is still brought to the distillery in a couple of the last remaining converted six wheel coaches. Well, that's the theory, anyway.

 After the endless bits and pieces that went into the MGW & GS&W vans, I decided to go back to doing some resin casting. At the moment, I'm only planning on building two vans, but such is the amount of panelling on these vehicles,  it seems easier to just produce one side and one end [as opposed to four or each].

 The first stage is to produce a couple of masters. The end is simple enough, just a suitably shaped piece of 60thou plastic sheet, with some micro strip to provide the panel lines. The side though, is more complex and follows the guidelines in David Jenkinson's book: 'Carriage Modelling Made Easy' - another one of those seminal tomes that is increasingly well thumbed over the years.

 First up, you make a simple inner side out of 20thou plastic, with just the window cut outs made. Not all of them are necessary, as these converted coaches have extra panelling on the outside, covering the some of the windows. However, the tricky bit comes next - a lattice cut out of 10thou plastic, which represents all of the original panelling. The GS&WR, annoyingly had panels with curved edges, so these are much more complicated [and tedious] to cut out than the Midland, who had mainly square edged panelling.

 Anyway, this takes quite a while to draw out and even longer to cut out, because all the curves need filing out with a rat tailed file - and there are lots of them. This is where making just single master helps, because you can concentrate on getting things right, safe in the knowledge that you don't have another one/three/five/etc of the damned things to do as well.

 Once completed, this lattice is then welded to the 20thou piece - carefully lining up the window openings. These vans were all boarded up on the inside, so a sheet of 40thou, suitably scribed with planking is welded to the first two sheets. finally a few extra planked boards are added to the outside.

This is what is covered in the first three pictures. The next two photos show what I use for the moulding and casting. I get my stuff from 'Easy Composites', who are quickly found on an internet search and provide a next day service. What looks like a paint tin is the silicon moulding material. The little bottle next to it is the setting agent, which you add in the ratio of 5:100. A cheap set of measuring cups and paper cups from the local pound/euro shop come in very handy for mixing. The picture with the two bottles is of the resin casting material, which you mix 50/50. The latter sets in around half an hour, but the silicon mould takes 24 hours to cure.

 To make the mould, I fix the master to a piece of 80th plastic sheet and then build a wall round it with plastic strip. Obviously, it pays to make sure the master is as good [and clean] as possible, because any imperfections will show up on the castings. So, the silicon mould mix is well stirred and then poured onto the walled up master, then left for 24 hours to set. Over the years, have found this material has improved in quality, especially in terms of how easily any air bubbles float up to the surface.

 Once set the mould can be peeled away from the master. If there is any 'flash' [same as on plastic kits, but rubbery], this can be pulled off with your fingers, otherwise, the mould is now ready for use. The casting resin is mixed together and poured in. Half an hour later the casting is ready to have the mould peeled from it and you can start on another immediately. 

 The last few photos show the results thus far. There are a few bits of flash to clean off, while the backs of the castings will need sanding down so there are all the same thickness. After such a lot of preparation time, it really is very satisfying to be able to produce multiple copies at will in fairly short order.DSCN3756.thumb.jpeg.8cd4da3f8dd4efb3bb1c94fc9c98b2ed.jpeg

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A few pictures showing how the turf vans are progressing. Most of the work has been around cleaning up the resin castings and enabling the corners where the ends and sides meet to lock together nicely. Just occasionally I do actually plan ahead a little to help myself!

 The bodies, once assembled sit on a sheet of 40thou plastic, with everything held in place with Rocket super glue - the most liquid type, which I'm still getting off my fingers. Everything was going well until I realised I'd put one side in upside down, which was a bit of a bummer to say the least - and I did say a lot more that is best not shared in polite society.

 The under frames came next, with 80 thou plastic used for the buffer beams and sole bars. Before the axle box castings [JPL Models] were added to the latter, I soldered up and fitted Alphagraphic 'Cleminson' type etched axle holders. These include brake gear and are simply bolted to the floor, once made up.

Wheels are Slaters, that I got from the Richard Chown estate a couple of years ago. Was surprised to find that the back to backs are set to 35mm, rather than the 33.98mm recommended by Slaters themselves. The Castle Rackrent system had curves down to 4'6, I believe, but am guessing that Richard used a tighter back to back to improve running through points and crossings. Maybe someone can enlighten?

 Found what I hope are some suitable cast white metal buffers in my stores and have added a door handle each side. These vans are purporting to represent brake coaches, with the guard's van doors left in place to help with unloading.

 Plenty of work still to do, especially in terms of painting & weathering, but getting there.DSCN3780.thumb.jpeg.236c49ddffdc3a307f15d8ec6b051c4b.jpeg

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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 standard weathering mix. For the body work, am guessing that as emergency conversions, any new woodwork would not have been painted. Hence both inner and outer planking was done with a mix of Humbrol 110, 64 and matt black.

 The main body colour has been described as 'faded maroon', so delved into my collection of tinlets and found a Precision BR Coach Maroon and Wagon Grey. Mixing these together in the ration of 3:1 seemed to give a reasonable effect, so two [thinned] coats were brush painted on and left to dry. After, the same weathering mix [heavily diluted this time] was washed on to the sides & then weathering powders were dusted on - rust around the under frames and a mix of grey and brown tones for the bodywork.

 For the load, decided that matchsticks, suitably chopped up, might work. Got a bag of 2000 of these many years ago, which have gradually been used for fence posts and the like, but several fistfuls have now been laboriously chopped into short pieces with strong scissors. A somewhat mindless task, but gave me the opportunity to think about how I might fix them in place.

 As can be seen from the photos, a false inner floor has been fitted to each van from black 60thou plastic sheet. This was initially covered with PVA and a layer of matchstick pieces sprinkled on top. Once this had dried, the rest were carefully piled in place & then a diluted mixture of PVA, black acrylic paint and a couple of drops of washing up liquid was dribbled all over using an eye dropper - same as ballasting or adding coal to a tender. The colour isn't right yet, but I figured that this way it stood a better chance of soaking into the wood. 

 Standing  the vans on newspaper proved to be a good idea, as, inevitably, some of the glue/paint mix worked its was through the bodywork and out the bottom. Suspect I'd better leave things as they are for a couple of days, to fully dry out before I attempt anything else. The weathered colours are not as dark as they appear in the photos, because there is more shadow on the workbench and I daren't risk moving them at the moment, having already made a puddle!

 

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 After a couple of days drying out, finally dared to pose the turf vans on the layout, though before doing so, added a wash of dilute 'track colour' to the loads to tone them down a little and make them less black. Let me know if more needs doing in this department, please.

 The vans are currently paired up with the H van and ex GSWR brake, though may swap the H for something different later. However, with the J26 up front, it makes for a neat little train. The idea is that the vans will be shunted by my Deutz 'G' class diesel down the harbour siding to the distillery, swapping with some sheeted opens.

 Am now close to completing the stock requirements for my 1950s phase of Belmullet, so hopefully attention will turn to something rather more colourful  [and cleaner!] in future, as work turns towards building up a fleet for early 1900s operation.

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A new direction

 My 1950s fiddle yard has been full for some time. There are seven tracks, which if you include the railcar and railbus separately means eight trains. A few photos of these will appear in the Layouts section shortly. However, to extend interest in stock building, Belmullet will also feature an early 1900s period, so that is what I am moving towards now.

 First up is a train for my 101 [J15] 0-6-0. The loco was built last year, but still needs its tender pickups wired to the loco, plus some weight to improve its haulage ability. Its train is deemed to be a 'private special', comprising a six wheel first [for the wealthy] and a brake third for the servants and luggage. Two horse boxes bring up the rear. The first and horse boxes have been around for a while so thought that the brake third would be a good idea to complete the consist.

 The coach in question is based on the GS&WR one which graces the cover of Desmond Coakham's book on broad gauge coaches. It is being made from plastic sheet. The most difficult bit has been the marking out and subsequent cutting out of the panelling. This was done on a sheet of 10 thou. The worst part was filing all the rounded corners of the panelling - the MGWR makes life so much easier by having square corners meaning you can just use micro strip.

 This lattice/doilly was then stuck to a piece of 20thou to form each side and in turn, these were further built up to create a space for glazing to be added after painting. The two sides took about a week in all to do, but progress since then has been fairly quick, adding ends, floor, partitions and seating, along with the usual flexible six wheel under frame and  springs/axle boxes. Ordered some Markits buffers from Roxey Mouldings this afternoon. Photos hopefully show progress thus far.

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