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  1. Certainly seems to be a media feeding frenzy at the moment. Never mind toilet paper and pasta though, have you got enough solder and solvent to build all those unmade kits stashed away in drawers?
  2. Good to see this mentioned. Those who pay to attend have a simple choice. For those exhibiting, it is more complex. If you are taking a layout, can you still get enough operators? Mine is front operated, so will be right next to the public and there may be a smell of meths if I decided to wipe the barriers from time to time. How many layouts dropping out does it take to make the show questionable? Traders meanwhile pay a lot of money to attend. Can they still get enough staff? Meanwhile, if attendance falls significantly, will they make enough money to cover their expenses? I don't envy the organisers in their decision making, but exhibitors also face the responsibility of deciding if it is worth the risk attending on health and/or financial grounds, which is a lot more to think about than simply paying on the door.
  3. Haven't logged on here for a while, so apologies for not responding. The drawing I used is included in the Alphagraphix card kit E25 [p18 of2019 catalogue], which is the CVR tractor unit. Costs the princely sum of £4.
  4. Atkinson-Walker Steam Tractor Fintonagh has a new piece of motive power, in the form of the much maligned AW steam tractor. The prototype never turned a wheel in revenue earning service, but seemed ideal as a yard shunter for my new project. Add in a set of Worsley Works etches and a suitable RTR chassis [both from ExpoNG] and a fairly straightforward construction resulted. The WW etches are actually for 'Pheonix', which Henry Forbes converted the tractor to for the Donegal. Hence I had to make a couple of adaptations to the bodywork, while the chassis actually 16.5mm gauge, needed new 17.5mm wheels and regauging to my 21mm track. New pick ups too, but it has a flywheel, drives on both axles and with plenty of weight runs well with a Gaugemaster HH controller. A basic interior has been fashioned from various odds and ends to represent the vertical boiler and two cylinder 'engine', while livery is Halfords grey primer. Lettering is by hand, using a dipping pen and white ink, with weathering powders adding a touch of grime.
  5. Uckfield By and large, Fintonagh's debut went well, though not without a couple of early problems. Setting up was quick and easy, but trying to run trains was a different matter, with a short as soon as power was applied. Not good when there is less than an hour before Joe Public arrives... Happily, the problem was soon traced to two tags behind the controller socket touching each other. A quick tweak and all was well; am guessing I must have pushed them together when carrying the layout to/from the car. However, no sooner that problem solved than the turntable stopped working! Lots of noise, but no movement. Fortunately the gearbox is easy to dismantle and just putting it back together again cured the problem. So, third time lucky and we were away. The only problems after that were down to the couplings. The rare earth magnets largely work well with the Kadee No5s, but are not perfect. The main issue is sighting the uncoupling points obliquely from either end of the the layout, which is front operated. The 'window' is probably less than 5mm, so it is as well that all the locos run nicely, though there was a bit to much to-ing and fro-ing to begin with until we got our eye in. One or two wagons were reluctant to couple up, so I guess things were about 80-90% efficient. Equally, as a first experience of operating from the front [with 90+ shows under my belt], it turned out not bad at all. Sitting on high stools certainly saves aching feet at the end of the show. The LED lighting strips, one towards the rear and one just under the front pelmet, seem to give just the right amount of illumination, with the 'cool white tones' giving a good colour balance too. Meanwhile, as a small layout, just eight trips are needed to/from the car and much to our surprise, we were driving away just 15 minutes after the show ended. There are only four trains at the moment, but the plan is to add a couple more locos, to provide a bit more variety and a degree of insurance in the event of any failures. Lots of people took details, so looks light Fintonagh will be out and about over the next few years.
  6. Had the privilege of being invited two years ago with Arigna Town and if there is a finer venue anywhere for a model railway show, I've yet to see it. Utterly fabulous to be surrounded by real engines and met 100s of lovely people. SE England to Belfast for a one day show was quite an adventure, but so worth it. The museum itself is stunning - add in a quality model show and you have a super day out.
  7. Thanks, Adrian - very much looking forward to the showy Fintonagh is my take on the Clogher Valley Railway in Northern Ireland. The prototype never had and branches off its 'mainline' from Tynan to Maguiresbridge, but to fit the space I had available, I've created one, with shades of Fintona, of horse tram fame. 7mm scale, 21mm gauge, it is also in the style of my 'Loose End Tramway', which appeared at Uckfield too many years ago, in that it is a cameo town centre scene, with the railway hemmed in by buildings. The CVR locos were all 0-4-2Ts, with tramway skirts, that always went cab first. There were also two diesels, a tractor unit and Railcar No 1, which went to the Donegal when the line closed in the early 1940s. Here are a few more pictures.
  8. Have only ever used ordinary Halfords grey or red spray primer. Most of the time it works well, but edges can suffer from wear, chipping etc. One way around this that works well on black locos is before spraying on the primer, first use gun blue [or other metal black], then go over this with a black spirit marker pen. Seems to work well. not my idea - comes from a Martyn Welch article in MRJ.
  9. Excellent show - we were very well looked after. Many thanks to all the team.
  10. Chatham & District Model Railway Club regrets that it will not be holding its annual exhibition in 2019. This is because our organising committee [already rather stretched] has had two members step down, so it was felt we currently do not have sufficient personnel to plan the next show. We hope the situation is only temporary and that there will be new exhibitions in the future. There will however, be no exhibition in June next year.
  11. Thank you, but there are a set in the kit, including an outline drawing.
  12. Looking good, John - some nice 'gingerbread' detail in there!
  13. At Guildex last weekend, I was fortunate to acquire a J15 kit from the remnants of Richard Chown's estate. It is etched brass [no castings] and comes under the label of TDM and Studio Scale Models. TDM stands for Terry McDermott of Dublin. The etchings are actually dated 1985, but the kit is 1998 as this is the date of the letter Terry sent to Richard with the kit, reminding him he still owed £2.50 P&P! Any info on this kit would be most welcome, especially any thoughts on where to source castings for buffers, springs, axle boxes, safety valves, cab detail etc. At the moment, all I have is a chimney and dome, though there is a nice outline drawing included.
  14. A bit of an Irish theme this year, with two layouts depicting 'over the water'. My own Arigna Town [sLNCR] and Tony Ragg's Stanfording [mostly NCC]. Alphagraphix there too as the main trader in all things Irish, so if you are tired of the move to RTR, come and say hello.
  15. Indeed they were. Jonathan Beaumont's splendid book shows No57 at Westport, in original condition, with the double smokebox doors. Lovely! If you can blow the etches up to 7mm scale, I'll certainly buy one.
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