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Clogher Valley

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Following on from my Arigna Town project, which is now largely complete, I wanted something new to build. Space exists in my workshop, above where AT sits, to create a small [2m] 'working diorama'. Much pondering has gone into what I might put here, but the launch of the Ragstone Models kit for the CVR 0-4-2Ts in the autumn sealed my decision. As far as the CVR goes, it is a bit like the Sligo Leitrim in that there is a good book on the subject [EM Patterson & Norman Johnston], with plenty of info & photos. Add in the fact that Branchlines do kits for both coach types and the standard wagon chassis, plus the Alphagraphix card kits for both Railcar and Unit & the basis of a 7mm scale layout is there. And yes, it will be to correct 21mm gauge.

 So far this year, I have had a go at building and open wagon & now the Ragstone kit is nearing completion. The former began as what I thought would be the simplest of scratch builds. How many parts are in a three plank open for goodness sake? Well, the initial 5 - a base two ends and two sides, expanded to nearly 200 separate parts. Many of these were individually applied bolts and rivets, while the photo in Patterson's book showed the steel strips and clips that adorned the tops of the wagon sides, so they had to go in as well. Future open wagons are likely to have tarpaulin covers, which should cut down the number of extras significantly.

 The Ragstone kit has been a pleasure to build. The etches bear the Alphagraphix logo and are dated 2006, but I think Ragstone have taken them on & provided a range of extras, including white metal castings for boiler fittings and some very nice lost wax castings for smaller parts. The whole thing goes together very well, with almost no need for any gaps filled anywhere. Maybe the instructions could have been a bit clearer in places and a couple of diagrams would have helped in getting some parts orientated, but nothing too onerous. The loco is as yet unpowered, and I am still pondering on whether to have a go at making the Joy valve gear work. Not much of it is visible above the footplate, but as the loco will in effect move like a Dalek [no obvious moving parts], then getting a bit of action on view is rather tempting.

 What the kit does produce though is a chunky little engine, that [to me eyes] really captures the character of the prototype. The only real issue at the moment is how to do the lettering, particularly the interlaced CVR logo used from the mid 1930s onwards. Ideas anyone?

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Funnily enough i've been testing CVR No6 on Castlederg today.The workbench looks rather like Auchnacloy yard at the moment with the last mortal remains of another Backwoods Clogher loco and a pristine unsullied one which will end up as No's 2 and 3.One thing to bear in mind is that the Donegal red vans started life on the Clogher and i thnk Roger does one you should also be able to use as a basis for the convertables,bearing mind that the Donegal replaced the chassis.The CVR monogram was done by Blackham,though bear in mind reliability over delivery.All the best Andy.

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Is that loco 4mm scale?

 

Impressed with both the kit and your very fine workmanship!!

 

K

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Thanks K and Andy too.

 The kit is 7mm scale. The CVR was the standard Irish narrow gauge of 3'. No reason why such a loco couldn't find work elsewhere of course!

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It's still very nice work indeed, whatever the scale.

 

Have you built the little 4W rail bus that ended up on the West Clare? I built the Branchlines kit about twenty years ago, and it makes for a very nice model, which I got to run very well too.

 

K

Edited by Nearholmer

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I didn't do that one, but did build the Colonel Stephens 'twin' unit, though that has long since been sold on. That was standard gauge though. 

On my 'Cranbrook Town' layout, I made a Selsey type twin unit with one Branchlines unit and then a 'rail lorry' using the body of a Corgi Liptons tea van. The two ran back to back and were probably the ultimate minimum for a mixed train! Much of the stock is still around - try googling for either Cranbrook Town or the High Weald Light Railway.

 Currently am also doing one of the Branchlines CVR coach kits. This is a real long term re-acquaintance as I made one back in the early 1990s. Must admit, it still stands up pretty well, though the builder is left with a fair bit of added detail to source/create. 

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Aha!

 

I've seen or looked at the HWLR before, and liked it, especially since I grew up in that area, and cycled every byway of it.

 

I transitioned through 7mm NG on the way from 009 to 15mm/ft, and have several unfinished Irish coaches in the latter scale, having got severely distracted into "retro" 0 gauge over the past five years.

 

Kevin

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Lovely job on the CVR loco, I will be following with interest.

Hows the coach coming on?

Cheers, Dave.

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Decision time on which livery to use taken over by simple availability. Halford did not have anything approaching bronze green, but did have Rover Damask Red, which is a pretty good crimson lake. So, Blackwater it had to be.

 Final livery for CVR locos was a real paint palette, for the two types were augmented by black skirts, footplate & smokebox, plus vermillion on the cowcatcher. In my transfers box found a sheet of press fix covering all the alphabet in suitably sized shaded sans serif, plus numbers and underscored 'No' too. Only problem is it has no indication of who made it...
 So, red primer as sprayed on as the first coat & with a coat of varnish wi;; probably do for the cow catcher. The skirts were masked off & the rest of the body sprayed Damask. A couple of days to dry & then matt black [with a little gun metal] was brush painted on the skirts and smokebox, plus the firebox area in the cab. Brass, steel and copper paint was also brush painted on various pipes and fittings as appropriate.
 The loco is still some way from being finished. The cab roof is not fixed, as crew and glazing are needed, plus coal while a mist of light weathering will be given too. Before the latter, need to create the interlaced CVR logo. Currently intending to draw it out large size, then reduce on the copier/printer & print out onto clear transfer sheet.
 While waiting for the paint to dry, made a start on the Branchlines coach kit. Am building it as an all 3rd. Considering the kit must be getting on for 30 years old, it stands up well, with the end balcony wire mesh etches particularly nice. Built as per instructions, the roof will be soldered to the body and the latter has been set up to bolt to the base. Photos show progress so far & with neither body not roof yet fixed shows how well things fit together.
 Have included a pic of the open wagon body too.

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Looking great!

Cheers, Dave.

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 Over the summer, have managed to build the two scenic baseboards for this project. Have decided it will be called 'Fintonagh'. The Clogher Valley [like the SLNCR] never had any branch lines, so I decided to invent one. The actual town of Fintona [famed for its horse tram] had a station building & train shed similar to Wantage Town & I've previously used the track plan for the latter on my Loose End Tramway, which I built [& subsequently sold] quite a few years ago. The concept of a town centre tramway worked well, particularly with  buildings merging into the back scene, so a similar track plan has been devised, which will be fed [eventually] from a turntable fiddle yard. Baseboards are each 1 metre by 450mm & were constructed of good quality 6mm birch plywood, as per Arigna Town. I have made new trestles, as I want the track height to be around 1.5m, but the same Iain Rice inspired 'ulysses' beam system is employed again. A small control panel is being built into the front frames, to include four switches to work the points, a single section switch and another to power either the track or the turntable. The latter is a Peco N gauge one, which will have a new deck & is actually just long enough to fit Railcar Number 1.

 Track work is hand made, 21mm gauge, using plans from Templot. As the 21mm gauge plans are for Irish P4, I used the 20.2mm 'Irish EM' [which I didn't know existed until then], but blown up on the photocopier to the correct gauge & enabling me to keep the 1mm flange ways, which I feel are more appropriate for 7mm scale. Track is made using copper clad sleepers and Peco Code 82 flat-bottomed rail, in order to make the permanent way prototypically lightweight. I am going to do without cork tile underlay this time, as am not sure there will be much benefit in terms of sound deadening, while ground cover will be mostly at sleeper tops and above, so extra layers will only mean more weight.

 

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Only just discovered this topic but very glad I have - the layout looks brilliant so far and I am looking forward to seeing it progress.

 

As the coordinator for the 7mm narrow gauge associations AGM & Exhibition at Burton on Trent each June, would you like to bring Fintonagh to our 2018 show please?

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Only just found this (thank you Neil!). Lovely modelling and looking forward to seeing this develop.

 

First discovered the CVR about twenty years ago when I was lent the first edition of Dr Patterson's book and found it enchanting, the range of kits available for the CVR in 7mm scale is most impressive.

 

Regarding the Ragstone kit, how much of the valve gear is included in the kit, is it just the parts you can see above the skirts or is it a full set of valve gear?

 

Thanks,

Andrew

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Very little valve gear, Andrew - just a flat etch of what appears above the footplate. Have tried all sorts of options to try and create some sort of movement, including extensive research on the Web to check out how Joy valve gear works. After a couple of failed attempts, in the end I decided to cut my losses, as the amount of movement visible would be very small. Indeed, with pretty much everything hidden beneath the skirts, am sure it would be possible to use a small 4mm scale rtr mechanism, especially anyone doing it in 16.5mm gauge.

 However, if anyone can work out [and illustrate] how to make a simplified set of Joy gear, so that movement above the footplate can be achieved, I for one would be very interested!

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Interesting, I hadnt realised ANY movement was visible above the footplate, and thought that all moving parts had to be covered.

 

I vaguely remember Guy Williams describing a simple rocking lever he used to actuate the outside valve rod on his GW Castle models, but I don't seem to have a copy of his book(s) at the mo.

 

Sorry, thats not very helpful.

Dave.

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Some adjustments made to how the buildings are laid out, together with the mock ups becoming more solid. DAS clay will feature on the buildings, so I can do scribed stone and brickwork, a la Gravett.post-25580-0-40554800-1483277202_thumb.jpgpost-25580-0-41226300-1483277204_thumb.jpg

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Winter is usually a fairly productive time for me in terms of modelling, especially if the weather is dull. Hence, some reasonable progress on Fintonagh - or at least one section of it.

 When doing a painting, you tend to start with the back scene & work forwards. With a layout, this is also the case, though with three dimensions, it is also a case of starting from the ground up. Ballasting came first, using Woodlands fine ash, initially toned down with talc, after the rails and sleepers had been painted of course.

 I then decided to focus on a specific area, namely the loco shed & its surroundings, including the water tank. I decided it was time to 'do a Gravett' and have a go with DAS modelling clay for what will be a mix of stone and brickwork. So far, it has worked well, though it helps if the clay is new and moist - half dried out stuff does not spread well on a building shell for some reason... Also used the maestro's tips on window frames - self adhesive address labels with the glazing area cut away with a scalpel. Easy to paint the frames with water colours, though in 7mm scale, am not sure there is enough depth using this method for sash windows, so likely to use micro strip here.

 Anyway, the loco shed was soon completed. I used DAS on the interior too, but left this inscribed as a rendered wall & did the same for the outside rear wall, which is largely unseen anyway. The other walls were scribed random stone, with brick window surrounds. Three of the walls were painted to simulate a whitewash finish, with just the front entrance wall coloured as random stone. The water tank was done the same way for its base, but the tank is plastic sheet.

 Wanting to set these in place, it was fairly obvious I would have to do the back scene first. The idea is to represent a town centre, with buildings crowding in on the station, so after a pale grey sky was painted on, I drew out a range of buildings, following ideas in John Ahearn's Model Buildings book [nearly 70 years old now!], which are particularly good for blending 2D into 3D. Once drawn in pencil, the larger areas [walls & roofs were blocked in with acrylics, then windows, doors, drain pipes etc were added with a mixture of pencils and spirit marker pens. As can be seen some trees were then added 'on top' of some of the buildings & then 'half relief' trees [using sea foam] help to make the transition from 2D to 3D.

 Once this was done, I couldn't resist extending the greenery by covering sections of track & the yard with static grass, crumb, postiche etc to create a run down, weed infested scene of a railway towards the end of its days.

 Pretty much everything in the photos is hand made from basic materials. The only 'bought in' items have been a set of exquisite etchings in the form of Severn Models workshop kit and a Peco N gauge turntable kit, which underpins the model you can see.

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Dave, just simply stunning! The backscene really sets off the layout nicely, and I am struggling to see where the layout ends and the backscene begins - superb job.

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As I said over on the Irish Forum, stunning modelling.

All the best,

Dave.

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As I said over on the Irish Forum, stunning modelling.

All the best,

Dave.

May I ask which Irish forum? Always keen to read more about Irish railways.

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Have started on a new project, namely the CVR's 'Unit'. The intention is to build both this and Railcar No1, so with the tractor units interchangeable on the prototype, the Unit seemed a good place to start.

 I acquired a set of etchings from Worsley Works. Designed as a scratchbuilding aid [no instructions, no castings or details], while they indeed provide a starting point, there are a fair few inaccuracies, compared to the 7mm NG Society drawing:

  • The chassis is about a scale 2' long at the front end
  • The bottom of the left hand window is higher than the right
  • The rear wall of the cab roofline is too low
  • The bonnet is too short
  • The inner sides of the wagon are one plank lower than the outer sides
  • The coupling rods are of a completely different profile - they should be fluted, not plain and the bosses are way too big
  • The strapping for the wagon sides is much too flat for 7mm scale

OK, none of this is disastrous and some of the errors are probably down to the fact that the etches were blown up from a smaller scale. At least the rods line up nicely with the axle holes, so there was no fettling needed to get it running smoothly.

 In fact, progress has been fairly quick. I found some frame spacers in my scrap box which were ideal for 21mm gauge [those on the etch are for 16.5], while the coupling rods were quickly altered with some judicious filing of the bosses and an extra layer [again from the scrapbox] to make them look fluted. Detail added so far has included sandboxes [filed down plastic], brake gear, inside springs, starter handle and various bits of strapping.

 For the bodywork, the bonnet sides had to be discarded and new ones cut from brass sheet. The top edge of the wagon body was levelled up with an extra plank [plasticard], while the strapping was made more meaty using brass strip and rod - the latter for hinges. The most challenging bit is getting the bonnet and roof right. These have both been filed & sanded up from laminated pieces of plastic sheet. However, these will actually be used as masters to make resin castings, because I have no wish to file up a second set when I build the railcar. 

 While I have plenty of photos of the interior of the Railcar, Have yet to find any showing the rear end of the wagon body, or its interior. Any thoughts on that would be welcome.

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  • The chassis is about a scale 2' long at the front end
  • The bottom of the left hand window is higher than the right
  • The rear wall of the cab roofline is too low
  • The bonnet is too short
  • The inner sides of the wagon are one plank lower than the outer sides
  • The coupling rods are of a completely different profile - they should be fluted, not plain and the bosses are way too big
  • The strapping for the wagon sides is much too flat for 7mm scale

 

Are you sure you've got the right kit ? ? ?

 

You've made a really nice job of the Unit, particularly considering the issues listed above.  What setup are you using to drive it?

 

Although "scratch-aid" kits are a useful "jump-start" to a project; would you recommend this one as a good place to start?

 

All the best,

Dave.

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 I would think you have the skills to manage the Worsley etches, Dave. If you are going to use them as another model for Bridport and are not too worried about total prototype fidelity, then it all makes up pretty quickly. The bits you need to add are fairly simple, apart from the bonnet and roof and as I'm casting these, let me know if you want any, it will be no trouble doing a couple more. 

 The bonnet sides were 10 mins work with strong scissors and thin brass sheet to produce two new rectangles. A couple of mins with a slitting disc shortened the frames - no cut & shut required thankfully. The window line was sorted with a bit of judicious filing, while the wagon body was just three bits of microstrip. Disappointing, but not disastrous.

 The drive unit is a Branchlines standard gearbox [40:1] and Mashima motor. Wheels are from Slaters on their 21mm gauge axles. 

 Overall, would say the etches are ok, and the two main ones which give the cab windows and footplate/wagon inners are a reasonable time saver. A matter of minutes to fold them both up compared to several hours cutting out from plastic sheet. Cost me £50, so make your own mind up as to whether that is good value. Worsley Works carries a huge range of stuff - in multiple scales too. Not sure it is possible to do everything to a high standard of accuracy - let alone build much of it to know if it goes together, but as a starting point they are worth considering if you like a challenge.

 When I build the Railcar, chances are I'll do it as a full scratchbuild, using brass for the chassis and plastic sheet/strip for the bodywork. I enjoyed doing the SLNCR railcar and railbus this way and have plenty of photos from visits to Cultra. I've got the 7mm NG Society drawings, plus the Alphagraphix card kit too. The latter has one or two useful bits I can use in the cab. Worsley do etches for the Railcar, but I'm not sure I want to trust them for what will be a more complex model, plus [for some reason], there are spare radiator louvres and grills left over from the Unit.

Hope this helps!

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