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David's Workbench

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David Holman

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...jasus richie, the stuff in the glass - i gave a sample of something similar to my doctor last week:rolleyes:


will give you a bell tomorrow when the coast is clear!


Only just stopped laughing...


Is that a sample or it the latest product of the still? As a cocktail, could add a dash of Birchwood Casey gun blue, a smear of Vaseline and maybe a smidgen of flux paste. Light the blue touch paper and stand well back.


Speaking of funny, check out the link below to RMweb. A small piece of genius in response to an MRJ article using EM profile wheels to make P4 running more reliable. The title says it all:



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  • 2 weeks later...

With a nice new workbench, the impetus has been there to finish off a couple of projects started back in the summer.

First up is an SLNCR parcels van. Did my own drawing from photos in the Coakham coaches & Sprinks Sligo albums. Mr Desmond helpfully provides livery details [faded maroon], so my usual procedure of plasticard bodywork & whitemetal underframe saw a basic model completed in fairly quick time. Painting took somewhat longer...

A full weathering job meant an initial coat of brown/grey 'bare wood., then got to work with the Maskol. this is the purple patches in the photo. Maroon was then painted over this & left to dry. After, the Maskol was peeled off, leaving nice patches of bare & flaking paint. All as described [better than me] by Martyn Welch in his seminal 'The Art of Weathering' [Wild Swan]. Then got to work with fibre glass pencil, additional washes of grime & a final dusting of weathering powders & talc.


Next comes a new rake of coal wagons. I'd batch built the bodies a while ago, then found they were too short for the GSR & GNRI prototypes I had in mind. However, waste not want not & devised a spurious history which sees the Arigna Mining Co ordering a mix of 4 & 6 plank opens as 'Private Owner' jobbies - rare if not unique for coal wagons in Ireland, I assume. These have been given the same weathering treatment as above & you can hopefully still see the faded lettering beneath the grime & peeling paint. The have detailed interiors, as wanted to create both loaded and empty trains, so one picture shows a removable load. The coal is the real McCoy, from Arigna itself, when I visited last year. Spotted a couple of lumps lying around, so they duly came home with me & were broken & then ground up to make a pretty authentic load - even if the wagons themselves are a bit suspect. You might notice the heftier than usual brake gear. Lark brings the loads down from the mine & the gradients are steep...











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  • 2 months later...

It has been a while since I last contributed anything, but I have been busy coach building, with a rake of three Midland Great Western six wheelers. These will form my excursion/pilgrim train, to be hauled by the G2 2-4-0 I am about to start.

One of the coaches is a Tyrconnel etched kit; the other two are scratchbuilt in plastikard, based on Alphagraphix card kits, using their brass 6 wheel chassis kits. The latter are slightly more basic than on the full coach - this has a fully sprung chassis, which though simple is very effective. I tried to be clever on the scratchbuilds and cast my own axlebox units from resin. My advice would be DON'T. It took far too much time, they are far less robust than whitemetal and there is little if any saving in money either.

The photos show the finished models [i will leave you to decide which is the etched kit & which are the scratchbuilds], plus a few from the construction process. The techniques are the ones outlined by David Jenkinson in his book 'Carriage Modelling Made Easy' and essentially use a basic plastic shell upon which the outer panelling is built up. Very straightforward and satisfying - if you can mark out and use a scalpel or craft knife, coach building should not hold any fears. Also included is a shot of the new Sligo parcels van, complete with a full weathering job











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The panelling is not too bad, because it just uses microstrip. This works fine when you have square panels, but if they are curved then you have to carefully cut out a complete bodyside [usually 10 or 20thou], which is can be a pain - rude words have been uttered in the past!. With these coaches, the worst bit was cutting out the window apertures, especially as the tops are curved, so all needed careful work with needle files to get the shape right & then the edges were lined with 10x30 microstrip to represent the beading. Seems to work, as long as nobody gets too close...

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Hi David


Lovely work, they are coaches I am looking at doing. I had a part built Tyrconnel kit in my hands only 3 hours ago- having a look at a fellow modellers work. It had a raised roof across the middle. You've now put the idea of scratch building them in card in my head....



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I like the coaches David could be on an excursion to the seaside at Strandhill or a Gaelic Football match at Sligo or possibly Croke Park. Even in the late 1950s 6w coaches were pressed into service on quite long distance excursions often diesel hauled.


CIE also seem to regularly hire ex-MGWR 6w coaches to the SLNCR there is a photo in Neil Spinks SLNCR photo pictorial of one of the large tanks Enniskillen hauling 3 6 wheelers two lavatory composites and a third, a pair of H Vans and an SLNCR goods brake. Two of the coaches appear to be in the late 1950s green with single eau-de-nil stripe at waist level, 1 & 2nd class numbers on the doors, the other coach in plain green no stripes or numbers. None of the coaches had snails.

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Thanks John - and everyone too. The plain green livery makes life easy, though the lack of even a number seems odd. I'd been looking at the Sprinks album, along with the MGW history book and Des Coakham's one on coaches, plus the GSR album too. The paint I've used is Ford Laurel Green, from an automotive spray can. It seems to match the shade on the Tyrconnel kit's box, so fingers crossed it is about right.

Like the Gaelic Football specials idea. I also had in mind a pilgrimage to Knock, via Claremorris, which seemed to host a lot of these. Maybe one to Croagh Patrick too - both down the Burma Road. Have always seen my bit of fiction as a joint project with the Sligo being backed by the MGW, with the latter having running rights. Hence the J26 on the coal trains & eventually a G2 on an excursion. Gives me an excuse to build more stock & maybe a new project in a few years time. Lots of photos of G2s at Sligo, so hopefully doesn't stretch reality too far.

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I've never been one to keep a load of unmade kits, so the Tyrconnel G2 has been in the drawer for far too long, as I bought it well before Christmas! As much for my own amusement as any, have decided will try to record how the project goes and log how many hours it takes.

First up then - what do you get for your £140? The first pictures show the box & its contents. We have some very nice looking etches, together with a bag of whitemetal castings for buffers, chimney, dome etc. However, as with most kits, you then have to buy motor, wheels & gears. On 7mm scale these are not cheap - you are looking at £20 per axle for Slater's drivers, plus £14 per axle for tender/leading wheels. The motor gearbox is from Premier Models [using a Mashima 1833].DSCN1311.jpg.


The instructions suggest starting work with the tender, so on Friday afternoon, spent an hour cutting out the etches, filing off the cusps and labelling those that did not have numbers etched on them, ready for construction. I use a Weller 100 watt iron and 140 degree solder.

A session on Saturday afternoon [listening to the footy on the radio] saw the chassis come together, brake shoes laminated & fitted and a start made on the body. The centre axle is intended to float on 0.9mm wires, though this might need tightening up a bit. Must have another read of the instructions! A couple of hours further soldering this afternoon and the body was completed, with whitemetal axle boxes cyano-ed in place - a total of just five and a half hours work. When I informed my wife that 'my tender parts were soaking in the sink', for some reason she gave me a very odd look...

Course 'finished' is a moot point. The corners of the raves need filling, the solder needs tidying up, there will be a bit of filling to do & then it needs painting, lettering & weathering, so am thinking at least the same amount of time again will be needed. Nice to get something done this quickly though.









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JHB has just been pointing out to me that the 6w coaches are really far too dark a colour. The green really fades & is not the colour on the Tyrconnel kit's box. That will learn me not to look further! Seems the solebars should be black too. And the roofs. So , before I get round to weathering them, there is more work to do. A couple of pics show what the problem is, with the basic rake on the Sligo, as per Mayner's note.DSCN1318.jpg


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Excellent pics - you can see the colour scheme in the bogie stock, which would be the same as the six-wheeled carriages. A filthy grey engine just caps it! The SLNCR's black locos looked a lot smarter.


In the black and white picture the lining on the second and third coaches is clear, but hardly discernible on the first. As Mayner mentioned, no snails, though all would have had their running number, almost always on the left. Class numbers on doors were used most times, but not always on these ancient relics; both versions are clear.


Incidentally, the two bogies in the colour pic are GSWR vehicles of 1915-20 period, while the MGWR six wheelers are two firsts with a second in between them. The leading first, like many at that stage, has been demoted, hence no class numbers on the doors. This trio date from the mid 1880 - mid 1890 period, therefore they could have been up to forty years older than the bogies in the other picture!

Edited by jhb171achill
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JHB has just been pointing out to me that the 6w coaches are really far too dark a colour. The green really fades & is not the colour on the Tyrconnel kit's box. That will learn me not to look further! Seems the solebars should be black too. And the roofs. So , before I get round to weathering them, there is more work to do. A couple of pics show what the problem is, with the basic rake on the Sligo, as per Mayner's note.[ATTACH=CONFIG]17084[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]17085[/ATTACH]


Hi David, could you tell me what publication those images appear in?

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A G2 will fit perfectly on your layout, David.


The SLNCR purchased two second hand locos from the GNR at one time, and these ran for some years until the company could afford (to such extent as it ever could!) replacements / railbuses. Maybe, just maybe, using artistic licence, they have a G2 on long term loan from CIE on your branch line........

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