Tag Archives: ireland

A Pair of CDR ‘Twins’

Paul Titmuss

 

The twins: the van on the left is from Ninelines, that on the right (and next to the loco in the next photograph) is the Alphagraphix/Inscalemodels combination

The "twins:" the van on the left is from Ninelines, that on the right (and next to the loco in the next photograph) is the Alphagraphix/Inscalemodels combination

Maybe surprisingly there are two kits available for the County Donegal Railways 1893 Oldbury vans in 4mm scale. One is the ‘heritage’ plastic kit by Ninelines, introduced around 1989, the other a card kit by Alphagraphix from around 2002. I’d built the Ninelines kit many years ago when I had first started in 00n3. Very straightforward as you would expect and it is a shame that with the demise of Ninelines it may no longer be available. I was fortunate to acquire the card kit for this van as I wanted to use it for the Inscalemodels brass chassis kit designed for this van (and as a replacement for the basic Ninelines chassis).Care is needed in cutting out the parts for the card kit. I find the corners of the framing the most challenging. I followed the instructions provided. In 4mm scale I would not advise any backing of the timber framing with scrap card, everything seems to fit well without. The painting of the card edge can also be tricky. I used Humbrol enamel paint, applied along the edge, from the back, with a fine brush. It would be helpful to have a suggestion of suitable paint colour to use in the instructions as I’m very poor at colour mixing. With a range of greys in front of me I eventually opted for Humbrol Slate Grey, No 31, which seems a near match for this kit. Other kits will vary.

I’d already soldered together the frames, etc provided by Inscalemodels. They needed shortening a little at each end to fit the van body. I backed them with balsa wood so that they could be stuck to the mount board that formed the floor of the van. The masters of brass out there would do a more professional job I’m sure. I finished the chassis using 10.5mm diameter wheels from Alan Gibson. The roof is made from corrugated plastic-card glued to a balsa former and is removable. The vacuum pipes were completed with brass wire, wrapped around with iron wire for the hose, acceptable at a glance. A brass pin soldered to the pipe fits through a hole drilled into the end of the van and, glued from the inside, will hopefully hold the pipe in place without causing damage to the card if it gets knocked.

Shunting at Lispole... now how did two CDR vans get this far?

Shunting at Lispole... now how did two CDR vans get this far?

Close-up of the Alphagraphix kit

Close-up of the Alphagraphix kit

The Alphagraphix card kit takes much longer to produce and I’ll let the reader judge whether it’s been worthwhile! I find building three card kits a year is enough, though there is something addictive about them and they definitely should not be discounted. I’m currently building the CDR bogie wagon by Alphagraphix, and there is that wonderful combination of a card kit with soldering to tax one’s skills!

[Paul also tells me that his  Annascaul, Lispole and T & DR web sites have gone down with the expiry of his freeserve web address. The preamble from Freeserve said this would not happen, but then it became Wanadoo, and then Orange so he assumes that the rules have changed. At some point in the future he hopes to resurrect them, in a superior format.  Ed]

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Some Irish Conversions

Denis Grimshaw

 

Whilst these models are not built to fine-scale standards, and certainly not to a professional level, they do reasonably represent the classes modelled. In any case, using 00-gauge track at in 4mm scale gives much larger discrepancies than slightly inaccurate driving wheel diameters or axle spacing. The WT-class 2-6-4Ts Nos. 4 and 57 are Hornby Stanier locos, modified with Comet tank and cab sides, the bunker rebuilt in plasticard, outside steam pipes and a top feed. Painting is in post-war NCC style, rather than UTA (albeit incorrect for 57: I must get round to renumbering this engine to the 1-10 series). The VS 4-4-0 is a Hornby Schools, with a new brass sheet cab and other modifications in plasticard. The GNR SG3 0-6-0 is a Mainline LMS Class 4 with a new brass sheet cab and firebox, and other alterations (particularly the tender) in plasticard. It needs a new dome with a rounder top. The GSR B1a 4-6-0 is a Mainline Royal Scot, with modifications in plasticard, and repositioning the dome. All are hand-painted – some better than others! As my main interest is in operation rather than precise modelling, they give an adequate effect at relatively minimal effort! Whilst most of my models are NCC (with a layout based on Coleraine and Portrush) some poetic license has allowed other railway’s trains to occasionally visit! Scenery will hopefully be improved once I retire and have a bit more time at home.

GSR B1a Macha

GSR B1a 'Macha'

GNR(I) VS class No. 210

GNR(I) VS class No. 210

GNR(I) SG3

GNR(I) SG3

NCC Jeep

NCC Jeep

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Converting the Murphy-Bachmann 141 Class Diesel to 21mm Gauge

Denis Bates

 

The General Motors 141 Class diesel of CIE was introduced in 1962, and for over 40 years has been among the most successful of the Irish diesels.  So it was not by accident that Murphy Models chose it for their first foray into a completely designed Irish model (the previous Woolwich Mogul and the NCC Jinty were of course repainted versions of the English models).  So, although my main interests are in steam days, and particularly the BCDR, I couldn’t resist purchasing one, with a view to re-wheeling it to 21mm gauge and P4 standards.  The prototype is described and drawn in two of the model magazines: by Tim Cramer in Model Railways for March 1977, and by Shane McQuillan in Practical Model Railways for June 1986. The latter article describes also the building of one, from a kit by the Model Irish Railways group. Comparing the Murphy model with the drawings, I could find nothing amiss – except for the buffer spacing. The buffer centres should be at a spacing of 6’3”; on the model they are at 23mm (5’9”). I presume that is to match the spacing of other Murphy-Bachmann models, at English spacing.

I first determined that a P4 wheelset would fit between the bogie frames, and it does, just. My main mistake was to dismantle the loco as far as possible – this is not necessary, as the bogie frames can be levered off. They are similar to those of the Bachmann Class 20 diesel (described by Keith Norgrove at http://www.norgrove.me.uk/index.htm). A screwdriver is used to prise out the frames, which appear to be identical on the two bogies. The wheelsets can then be prised out of the bogies. Each wheelset has an offset plastic gear wheel, two brass bearings which are a push fit in the sideframes, and brass wheels with insulating sleeves. Measure the distance of the gear from the ends of the axles, before tapping out the wheels and sleeves using a small drift and hammer. The gear wheel can similarly be tapped off the axle.

If the model is to be converted to EM gauge, all that is necessary is to cut 2mm steel rod to the appropriate length, and put the gear and wheels on. Although there is a spline on the original axle for the gear, it seems tight enough on a plain rod (a smear of loctite could be used to anchor it firmly). To keep the axle laterally in place, two brass sleeves, or an appropriate number of washers, should be added between the gear and the bearings (or between the bearings and the insulating sleeves (see figure). For conversion to P4 and 21mm, the original brass wheels can be used, but have to be turned down to receive P4 rims (these are obtainable from Alan Gibson on special order). It is also possible to turn down the existing rims to P4 standards. For those without a lathe, it may be possible to purchase P4 wheels to suit. Before finally inserting the wheel sets, the pickups need to be adjusted so that they bear on the backs of the wheels. On the Bachmann wheelsets, the hub projects further out than the rim, and does not fit easily between the sideframes. However, the insides of the frames can be filed out (about 0.5mm or more) to give clearance. I used a cylindrical dental burr to do this, held in a drill press, and hand held the frames. Once finished, the loco ran just as well as it had done on 00 track. Now to try it on Adavoyle Junction, out of period though it be!

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Something New; Something Old

David Malone

 

Several modellers have had a go at fitting sound chips into the Bachmann-Murphy 141 although some seem to be using slightly larger speakers than I did. To replace the unusable round one supplied. I did no filing, just snipped the corners off the oblong speaker’s plastic frame, and soldered the wires from the cut off speaker to the new one. I did not know that there were speaker terminals on the lights board. I have fitted my two, black 141 and 181, with Ultrascale wheels, to 21mm gauge. The wheels are intended for the BR “Western” class, and feature protruding hubs. I removed these using a chisel shaped hobby blade, wider than the tyre diameter. They can then be shaved off, using the outer tyre face as a limit stop, a few minutes work per wheel. I had to reduce the supplied axles length by 0.75mm.  The little gear wheel sits on a splined bit of the axle, and slides on the 2mm axle, but a touch of Locktite is all that is needed to secure it. I made the mistake of mounting the gear central on the axle, it should be slightly off set to fully engage the gear in the bogie, I will tweak mine over.  The pick up phosphor-bronze strips need bending out to touch the back of the wheels, and act as a side control spring. Now came the big test, would it run? It worked fine on my 3’ length of straight track, but what about my 5’ length, with a reverse curve 4’ 6” into 4’radius, with rail depression in excess of 1mm staggered in the curve: how would the rigid axles cope? Well, much to my pleasant surprise, they stayed on the track, no problem. Since then I decided to file about 0.5mm off the inside of the side-frames, just to provide a little extra clearance, and reduce the chance of the paint on the wheel disc wearing away.  Looking at the removed wheels, I think the protruding rim of the tyre could be turned off until the tyre is scale width, and then the flange could be turned down to P4 or EM profile, thus avoiding a twelve week wait and the expense of Ultrascale wheels.

Treated and untreated bogies. The untreated one is my CIE Supertrain liveried 181

Treated and untreated bogies. The untreated one is my CIE Supertrain liveried 181

Two versions of the 141 on 2mm gauge track

Two versions of the 141 on 2mm gauge track

I am now doing a bit of weathering on my 141/181s. I overdid the exhaust staining on the roof of the orange one, fortunately using acrylic so it washes off. On the sound chipped ones, I removed the grey bridging plate, and turned the speakers over, so they are face down into the
flywheel void, thus creating a sound box. It does seem louder, even with the hearing aids turned off. A dab of black acrylic on the silver speaker back makes them all but invisible through the grill. The next job is to fit all the plumbing to the “Pilot”, and try to combine the very neat etched coupling links with Exactoscale bits to form a strong coupling. The supplied ones are extremely neat, but I don’t think the little plastic pins would last long in service.

The J15 is finished, at last. I started it in 2006, having had the kit since 1985!!!  I found that the tender spring hangers that I mentioned were on the fret all the time. I thought they were the loops that some tenders had around the springs. A case of read the instructions.  In the RAF and civil aviation, the instructors always gave advice before you went into any written exam: “Read the d*** questions!”  Translated into model building this becomes: “Read the d*** instructions!”

J15 on 21mm gauge track

J15 on 21mm gauge track

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GNR Butter Van

Alan O’Rourke

 

In the days when everything went by rail, some companies found it worth while building highly specialised vehicles for perishable traffics, which attracted premium rates, even if it meant those vehicles must have spent half their time running empty. One such traffic was dairy produce, and the MGWR, GSWR and GNR all built special “butter vans.” In the era before electrical refrigeration, these vans employed various cooling mechanisms like double roofs and  multiple small vents in the body, presumably to make full use of the draft when in motion. I have not seen detailed plans of the internal layout of these designs, but I am guessing that they may have been “double-layered” with ice between two skins of planking, or may have used some sort of system where the evaporation of water from a porous surface (as in the older type of terra cotta milk or wine cooler), by taking latent heat of vaporisation from its surroundings, could effect considerable cooling.  I seem to recall a school physics experiment which demonstrated this phenomenon rather well. It involved bubbling air through ether in a copper beaker, the beaker sitting in a small pool of water on a wooden block. By the time all the ether had evaporated, the whole apparatus was so cold that the beaker was frozen to the block by a lump of ice! Alphagraphix now make a 7mm and possibly a 4mm kit for this vehicle. I am grateful to the IRRS archives and Mr Brendan Pender for access to the GNR drawing and permission to reproduce it.

GNR butter wagon

GNR butter wagon

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Lineside Details: GSWR Mileposts

Alan O’Rourke

 

Irish railways used a number of methods to mark distances: the symbolic steel sheet squares, diamonds, triangles and arrow-heads of the MGWR were probably the most original design. Other companies used metal, stone or wooden markers. The GSWR used substantial granite mileposts on its original lines, but later, and on the absorbed WLWR routes, used the smaller cast iron patterns shown here.  These diagrams come from drawing in the IRRS archives. I am grateful to the Society for permission to reproduce this and Brendan Pender for his help in accessing the archives.

Quarter-mile marker

Quarter-mile marker

 

Half- and three-quarter-mile posts

Half- and three-quarter-mile posts

Side and front elevations of the top section of a whole mile marker

Side and front elevations of the top section of a whole mile marker

Side and front elevations upright. Height from bottom surface of base plate to lower edge og the numeral plate is 3ft 4.5in

Side and front elevations upright. Height from bottom surface of base plate to lower edge og the numeral plate is 3ft 4.5in

GSWR stone milepost and cast iron quarter milepost, both from near Nenagh

GSWR stone milepost and cast iron quarter milepost, both from near Nenagh

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Norwich to… Cultra?

Steve Rafferty

 

Of all the numerous visits to model railway exhibitions I have made, only once have I been rewarded with sight of an “Irish” layout (Adavolye at Epsom). Putting my faith in providence, my money on a budget airline ticket and my reliance on a relative to provide one night’s sleeping accommodation, on Saturday 15th November 2008 I travelled to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum at Cultra to see the ‘Friends of Cultra’ model railway day. I was in search of something Irish, and I was not disappointed. There were thirty-three layouts and stands to view amongst the magnificent setting of the main hall at the museum. The “hook” for many younger visitors was no doubt “Ffarquhar,” the very original Thomas the Tank Engine layout built by the late author of the books. There was a wide variety of other layouts, British, American and Continental themed, all of a very high standard, but as my quest was for something “Irish,” it is these layouts that I wish to comment on. 

For me personally the most interesting layout was “Killagan” (OO gauge). Why? I trust our fellow member Colm Flanagan will not be offended if I say it was a “basher’s” delight. I have no skill when it comes to working with kits or etched brass, etc. Therefore I tour the swap- meets looking at second hand carriages with a view to “now what could I hack that into?” The standard of Colm’s work I consider both exceptional and inspirational. The sight of the Mogul and the Jeeps hauling near ‘true’ UTA stock, as well as the MPD’s, the MED and the ‘Class 70’ set, all running in a credible Irish setting, were on their own worth the trip. It demonstrated to me just what can be done with proprietary coaches and a flair for imagination to achieve a real “Irish” looking product. Did I mention the “North Atlantic” set – delicious!

For the narrow gauge enthusiast, Alan Gee’s “Donegal” (OOn3 gauge) is a must see. The very accurate replication of Donegal town station and the CDRJC trains is complemented by the moving road vehicles system which forms the back drop. This year’s show was the first outing for the North Down MRS’s “Ballymoney” OO gauge layout, featuring not only a credible representation of the original broad gauge station, but also the 3’ Ballycastle Railway. Moving to a larger scale, Norman Bailey and John Pollock’s layout “Ardkrowin and Duncluchan Town” (O gauge) was impressive. While Duncluchan Town is fictitious, Adkrowin is loosely based around the layout at Ardglass as it was. Another ‘first outing’ was Paul Green’s “Kilbrandon” (S gauge),  an exceptional example of not only going “Irish”, but back to a time before any of us were born – April 1900. The layout is inspired by and based on Killorglin on the defunct Valentia Harbour branch, with the addition of an imaginary branch line to increase operating interest. The whole layout (mainly scratch-built) is to a very high standard.

A simple yet entertaining layout was the South Dublin MRC’s “Rosslare Strand” (OO gauge). The end section scenarios, especially the Bray Head one are a demonstration of how three distinct scenes can be accommodated within the strictures of a small (-ish!) layout. Another small, yet interesting, layout on show was Jim Poots and Gareth Hutchinson’s “Slieveroe” (OO gauge), based on an imaginary border location in modern times. Moving back to the narrow gauge, “Ballynure-Doagh” (OOn3 gauge) is a commendable effort by the Ballyclare High School MRC. Although not built as an “Irish” layout, “Ballyrichmond” (OO gauge) is a layout built by the Model Railway Society of Ireland as a Southern Region branch line. However,  with the use of some Irish rolling stock and a few judiciously placed features, I think it just about succeeded in masquerading as an Irish location. Lastly it is fair to say I was in awe at the superb modelling standards demonstrated by the (static) display of 7mm scale models built by Messers Mulholland, Aspinwall and  Crockart. Shame they were not actually running. Together with all the above, Allen Doherty of Worsley Works and Des Sullivan of Studio Scale models were on hand with trade stands. A very large selection of Irish railway books was also on sale.

Was it worth it for just one day and a return air flight? You bet. I, for one, will be attending next one. My thanks to those exhibitors, especially Colm and Ian, who took time to answer my questions, and to the Friends of Cultra I say: “well done.”

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