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David Jackson

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  1. For some time I have been looking for a suitable chassis to use for an Irish Rail 20ft flat wagon. Despite having already collected a few, I had decided not to use the ubiquitous Airfix/Dapol Prestwin Cement Wagon chassis for a number of reasons, the main one being that it is too short. I came across a Wrenn Hopper Wagon chassis, which, despite turning out to be too long at 86mm, fitted the bill. The wheelbase was spot on and the brake gear acceptable. The fact that it was die-cast metal meant there would be no need for extra weight. The down side is that the chassis is not open frame, and would always require a container, or some sort of floor to conceal this fact. Basic unfettled casting. The first task was to reduce the length of the chassis. This entailed removing metal from each end to give a new chassis length of 78mm. Once the ends had been tidied up, and the Wrenn coupling mounts removed, new buffer beams made from 1mm plasticard were glued on. This made up the length to the correct 80mm. Buffers were made up using turned down Hornby DMU buffer heads and fitted with a sleeve 1.5mm long X 2.75mm in diameter. Insulation from domestic household lighting cable proved ideal. Buffer shanks were made from 3.15mm diameter plastic tube. Wrenn plastic pinpoint axle bearings are obtainable to purchase, but I decided to make my own using 1.5mm plastic strip, and Romford shoulderless brass bearings. A 2mm hole was drilled through the plastic strip and the bearing pushed in until it was flush with the surface. The strip was then turned over, and the excess brass sticking out of the back was filed off. The strip was then inserted into the bearing slot, it should be an interference fit, and, and with wheels fitted, adjusted for height. Once all is satisfactory, the bearing strips can be secured with a small drop of superglue. To complete, NEM coupling pockets were glued in place. Completed chassis ready for painting. A coat of Halfords red primer to finish off for now. I have done six chassis so far, and all in all, I am very pleased with the end result, extremely free runners. I may have to get some more.
  2. MIR, Ian MacNally, currently only sells on eBay under the handle of sylvimcnall-0 If you have a look at what he is currently selling, you could send him a message about what else he has got.
  3. I had a similar problem with a lifting section on a display layout in a local museum. The layout was already built and wired (crudely) by the time I got involved. Unfortunately there had been a couple of incidents where trains had been running when the access hatch had been opened, with the expected results, even though there was carpet on the floor. The layout has three tracks with seven trains running, only three at any one time. They run automatically for three to four minutes after a punter presses the start button. Because this was an 'add on' feature, and it would take too long to try to explain the complications of the electrics, I decided that the easiest way to stop trains was to interrupt the supply from each controller to each track, which meant that all trains would stop where they were on the layout, regardless of which direction they were travelling. To do this, three microswitches were fitted, one for each track, with the feed to that track connected to it. When the hatch is opened, the switches cut the supplies and the trains stop. Simples, 100% reliable, and because the switches are recessed, nothing to get damaged. .
  4. Since starting this thread, I have acquired a couple of MIR’s Drop Side Cement wagon kits. I am pleased to say that pre construction repairs required for these wagons are minimal, and nowhere near the number required for the curtain sided kits. However, as the instructions are a bit vague regarding how the end detail is supposed to be laid out, I did some online research, and not only found the answer to my question, but also discovered that both the drop side and particularly the curtain side wagon kits are severely lacking in end details. I also came across a number of variations in what I thought were relatively standard wagons. Different length chassis, curved roofs, and end bracing not unlike the double beet wagons. Unfortunately photographs online are fairly uncommon, apart from the standard drop sided versions. The curtain sided wagon construction has now taken a back seat, while the drop side build is proceeding with existing end detail being improved, and new detail being added where necessary. Pictures to follow.
  5. I don't think it is necessary to extend the MIR chassis. During my hunt for end details for both the curtain sided and the drop sided wagons, I noticed that some wagons of both types have a longer underframe at one end, and others do not. There is a clip of a rake of bagged cement wagons being shunted on the video 'Rail Freight Today, Ireland', about 15.00, which shows both versions of the chassis. There do seem to be other variations as well. The pictures my link above refers to, shows a curtain sided wagon with a curved roof, not flat as the majority seem to be. I am sure someone with better knowledge of the subject than me will be able to put us straight on that.
  6. I too am in the process of building some MIR kits. These have been put on ice for the time being due to lack of detail available for the ends. However, I have just found some pictures on Ernie's Railway Archive which are a great help. https://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswissernie/5768567030/in/album-72157626825629406/
  7. I recently invested in four Model Irish Railways CIE Curtain Sided Pallet Cement Wagon kits. Examination revealed a number of edges that were chipped or damaged, particularly on the ends of the bodies. I decided that it was not worth the hassle of returning the kits, and set about rectifying the faults. There were a couple of places on the underframes that required rectification, mainly due to poor casting, so the bad bits were cut out and replaced with inserts made from plasticard. Two repairs. The edge of the solebar to the left of the brake V bracket and below the R/H axle box. The vertical struts on the ends of the bodies have raised edges which stand out about 0.35mm. About half of these struts had damage to one or both edges. In a couple of cases, the broken edge was still attached, and was repairable with an application of a small quantity of superglue applied with the point of a needle, after carefully straightening and aligning the edge. For those struts that could not be repaired, I decided that, with care, the whole edge could be cut off with a ruler and a very sharp craft knife. The edge would then be replaced with some 0.25mm x 0.75mm plastic microstrip. This was found to be more difficult than expected, and only one repair using this method turned out to be acceptable. It was then decided that each strut should be totally removed using a craft knife with a chisel blade, and a slot cut in the top horizontal edge to recess a replacement strut. Struts were made up using 0.4mm x 1.5mm microstrip, with 0.25mm x 0.75mm microstrip stuck on each side with solvent, to form a flat U section. The U section strips were cut to length, slightly over long, and fixed in position with superglue which was run down each side using a needle. Once the superglue had hardened, the top and bottom of each strut was trimmed flush. Just noticed in the above L/H picture that the wagon on the left which has not had a repair done, has got a chip at the top of the third strut from the left which will have to be repaired. The left hand wagon in the R/H picture has had a repair done to the right hand strut, using the first experimental method, by cutting off the strut edge and replacing with microstrip. The underframes have now been completed with brake gear added, wheels fitted and adjusted for smooth running, bodies attached and everything tidied up prior to applying a coat of primer.
  8. Still here. Still modelling, although not turning out as much as you. Should not be too difficult to add spring hangers, but not something one should have to do, given the price paid for the loco in the first place.
  9. Nice loco. Shame about the missing tender spring hangers though.
  10. Found an article on the L&LSR online which on P30 refers to not being able to turn the two 4-8-0 locomotives on L&LSR turntables without detaching the tenders, as the turntables were only 30 feet diameter. http://www.irrs.ie/eJournal/IRRSeJournal001.pdf
  11. I have to agree with Jeremy, the roof profile is not quite right, it is too rounded.
  12. There is a picture in Norman Johnston's The GNR in Colour, on P73 which shows BUT Trailer 114, an L13 Brake 3rd. All windows seem to be clear except for the boiler compartment which looks opaque. There is also a picture on P67 in which the boiler compartment window looks different to the others.
  13. Found a drawing in my collection of the modified D5
  14. It turns out that there was another UTA half cab bus that had an experimental front door fitted. This one was a PS1, A7845 GZ6073 converted in 1953, but lack of co-operation from the unions put paid to OMO as they insisted a conductor had to be part of the crew. Apart from fitting the front door, and panelling over the rear door, unlike MZ1929, the body was otherwise unaltered. There is a picture in 'Buses in Ulster Vol 2. The Ulster Transport Authority 1948-1967'.
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