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  • 3 weeks later...

Much fun had at St Albans over the weekend, including meeting some lovely people. It was a real pleasure to talk with Tony Wright & an absolute privilege to have him do some photos of the layout.

 New loco Sir Henry made his debut, performing faultlessly on both the excursion and mixed trains. Hopefully, by Pontefract at the end of the month, he will have a train of his own. Unfortunately, the G2 was damaged when I knocked its box over. Only fell a short distance, but impact was enough to skew the chimney, dent the smokebox and mangle the can around the left hand spectacle plate. A few repairs required [!], though suspect the paint work will take the most time. At least Tony's photos cheered me up, so here are a couple of my favourites. Very much a case of 'did I really build that'?!

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Arigna Town's fiddle yard has 7 roads, which equals two railcars and six trains. The latest addition now means it is full, as not only do we have Sir Henry, but a couple of coaches for him to pull. These are SLNCR 6 wheel saloon brake number 4 and bogie number 10. The latter is the infamous 'day coach', so called because it did not have any electric lighting.

 Both coaches are scratch built in plastikard and microstrip. The 6 wheeler runs on a Tyrconnel etched brass chassis, while number 10 runs on cut down Slater's bogies. They are finished in very faded, peeling paint, as per the photograph in the Tom Ferris' second volume of Irish Railways in Colour. Indeed, several different shades of Humbrol brown were used, as the colours fade & peel more the higher up the sides you go. The peeling effect is done by first painting a base coat in 'weathered wood' [Humbrol natural wood + grey], then [when dry] Maskol is dabbed on in appropriate places. When this is dry, the top coats were put on. Finally, when this is dry, you use tweezers to pick at the Maskol & the peeling paint effect appears. Not my idea, but well documented in the painting' bible 'The Art of Weathering' by Martyn Welch - probably one of the most important modelling books every written.
 Sir Henry is shown with the train, though at St Albans last week, he/it gravitated to the mixed train, where more shunting is involved. Hence, Fermanagh will probably take over this train in future.
 Meanwhile, the repairs on G2 2-4-0 are complete. The squashed cab was flattened with blunt nosed pliers, while the smokebox & chimney were re-attached & a bit of filler used to cover the dent. These only took a few minutes, though the painting required a lot longer. Bare brass needed masking off so primer could be resprayed, then the top coat was 'stippled' on. This does your brush no good at all, but is a useful technique for applying weathering & done carefully is almost as good as spraying.

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It's one of those rare occasions when 'like' seems inadequate. What wonderful modelling. I love those coaches, and I suspect that to achieve that kind of distressed look is even harder than to get a pristine finish.

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Lovely modelling, not sure what else I can say!

I can ask a question though, I would love to see Arigna Town, do you have any further exhibition appearances coming up?

 

Many thanks,

Dave.T

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Loads, DT!

Next up, this weekend is Pontefract, then St Neots on 12/13 March, Alexandra Palace the week after. Crawley is 9/10 April, then the Reading Large Scale Show on 7th May. In the autumn, have Croydon in October, then East London Finescale on 5-6 November, Cultra in N. Ireland on 12th Nov and finally Manchester on 3-4th December.

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Absolutely stunning modelling!  Many thanks for posting the pics etc on RMWeb.

 

I hadn't see this work of art before, so it was a real pleasure to see such outstanding work.

 

Is it just me though?  Every time I see Arigna, I read it as Angina..... :O

 

I must get my blood pressure checked...

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Many thanks to everyone at the Pontefract Club for an excellent show at the weekend. Wonderful Yorkshire hospitality, rich local accents and dry humour made for a lovely weekend. 

 It was a delight and honour to be given the 'Best in Show' award, especially when looking at previous recipients, which include Pempoul and St Merrian. 

 Next two outings are St Neots on 12/13 March [actually the Wood Green Animal Centre near Huntingdon] and Alexandra Palace the week after.

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  • 1 month later...

Fine time had at St Neots this weekend. Many thanks to Jackie and her team for a very professional set up. Fencehouses right gets the accolades, but nice to get a couple of mentions on the exhibitions page. Visitors seemed both interested and knowledgeable - not always so at every show - so it was lovely to talk to everyone.

 Sir Henry has run well on its first two outings, but like everything on the layout, will be getting and extra bit of attention before Ally Pally at the weekend, when BRM are doing a few photos for a future article. Arigna Town and Valencia Harbour both flying the flag for 5'3 gauge and we are not far from each other in the main hall, so please come and say hello if you are visiting.

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  • 3 months later...

 A nice surprise this afternoon, with news from BRM editor Ben Jones, that Arigna Town is featured in the July issue. Can only say that have made a super job of editing my notes and made a very nice track plan from my sketch. Tony Wright's photos, taken at St Albans earlier this year, are just stunning & leave me wonder if I really made all that.

 Many thanks BRM, much appreciated.

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  • 1 year later...

September 30th 1957 saw the closure of the GNR route through Enniskillen to Omagh & Derry. As a result, the Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway promptly perished too because its sole line from Sligo to Enniskillen now had nowhere to go. There were proposals to keep the line from Enniskillen to Omagh open as a [very] long siding, to enable the SLNCR to still have an outlet, but this came to naught and of course would not have lasted for long as Omagh lost its railway in 1965.

 In my version of the SLNCR, the railway would almost certainly have had a future for many more years. Between 1902 & 1914, the railway considered various proposals for a line to tap the Arigna coalfields. Nothing happened of course, but my model assumes a line was built, jointly with the Midland Great Western. Running south-east, then south from Dromahair, it skirted the shore of Lough Allen, before turning west to reach Arigna. A short branch to the foot of Kilronan mountain [meeting an aerial ropeway from the coal mines] would have no doubt scuppered the Cavan & Leitrim's narrow gauge branch. 
 However, being wholly in the Republic the SLNCR Arigna Branch may well have survived the 1957 closure of the mainline. Indeed, from 1959 onwards, Arigna coal was sent to a small power station on the shore of Lough Allen & given the Arigna branch would have gone past its front door, it seems safe to assume the railway could have survived until the power station closed in 1991.
 Now, Arigna Town's fiddle yard is actually full & has been for some time, but I still have hopes of doing a diesel period one day. Maybe the mine engine, 'Lark', would have kept going long after the end of steam on the branch. Alternatively, a G Class [Deutz] diesel could have been just the thing. Any mixed freight would presumably have been in the hands of C class or 121 diesels, while one would hope Railcar 2B would have stayed on to deal with local passenger. Having a DCC controller, I could even add sound - assuming someone does a chip for for a Deutz and a Gardener diesel that is.
 Anyway, to commemorate the anniversary, I've taken a few new photos, from slightly different perspectives. The usual 'exhibition' trains all feature, though some are a bit longer than normal, as I don't need to be limited to five wagons and a brake in this instance. Depending on what order the photos upload, there is the map of the system as I imagined it [which now comes up on a Google search for SLNCR!], then the mixed train, cattle train, excursion, MGW excursion, coal train, stores train & the railcar.
 The SLNCR was a fascinating, unusual & highly individual railway, so this is my tribute 60 years after closure.
 Arigna Town's next outings are Farnham, Brighton & Bexley this year, then Egham, Lincoln, Derby, Chatham, Guildex [Telford] & Warley in 2018

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Always welcome more photos of this layout, and thanks very much for the history lesson.

Sounds like the railways of Ireland were messed about by their governments just as much as BR was.

All the best, Dave.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

 Arigna Town has a new locomotive, in the form of a G Class, Deutz diesel shunter. I must admit to have long coveted one of these, so when I found at set of etchings on the Worsley Works stand at ExpoNG, they were too much to resist. Unusually for me, they were initially put to one side, but then with the Reading Trade Show coming up, it seemed like a good time to make a start. In fact, the etchings went together in an afternoon, although I then discovered that they were of the later version and I really wanted the G 601 series. The two main alterations were cutting out the two big windows [front and rear] in the cab & replacing them with smaller ones cut from brass sheet; cut outs above the front steps also needed filling in the same way. 

 After that, it was a case of sourcing bits and pieces from Reading - a nice set of Markits sprung buffers, a less good set of axles box castings [cut down, but still too chunky], plus a horn. Folk on the irishrailwaymodeller.com website were very helpful in providing photos of the cab interior, soon fettled up from plasticard, while various bits of wire complement the handrail knobs - the loco is well sprinkled with them.

 The paint job [CIE silver] is from a Halfords spray can [aluminium], the heavily weathered, as all CIE diesels thus painted quickly became very dirty. As it happens, the photos don't really show this, but if you are able to visit the Bexleyheath show tomorrow [sunday], you should see the loco in action. It is replacing my J26. Nothing wrong with it, but I had to pinch two of the axles as Slater's don't have any at the moment.

 

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 Arigna Town has a new locomotive, in the form of a G Class, Deutz diesel shunter. I must admit to have long coveted one of these, so when I found at set of etchings on the Worsley Works stand at ExpoNG, they were too much to resist. Unusually for me, they were initially put to one side, but then with the Reading Trade Show coming up, it seemed like a good time to make a start. In fact, the etchings went together in an afternoon, although I then discovered that they were of the later version and I really wanted the G 601 series. The two main alterations were cutting out the two big windows [front and rear] in the cab & replacing them with smaller ones cut from brass sheet; cut outs above the front steps also needed filling in the same way. 

 After that, it was a case of sourcing bits and pieces from Reading - a nice set of Markits sprung buffers, a less good set of axles box castings [cut down, but still too chunky], plus a horn. Folk on the irishrailwaymodeller.com website were very helpful in providing photos of the cab interior, soon fettled up from plasticard, while various bits of wire complement the handrail knobs - the loco is well sprinkled with them.

 The paint job [CIE silver] is from a Halfords spray can [aluminium], the heavily weathered, as all CIE diesels thus painted quickly became very dirty. As it happens, the photos don't really show this, but if you are able to visit the Bexleyheath show tomorrow [sunday], you should see the loco in action. It is replacing my J26. Nothing wrong with it, but I had to pinch two of the axles as Slater's don't have any at the moment.

 

Excellent work, as ever, David. I thought you might like this photo of a rather sad-looking G601 at Carrick-on-Suir in 2004:

 

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David

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 Spuds are they are intended to be, but [whisper it quietly] are actually a couple of 4mm scale Merit GPO sacks from the spares box. The Deutz builders plates are actually from an 08 shunter detailing kit and read 'Built in Derby'...

 

 Bexleyheath today.

 

 The new G Class, Deutz diesel acquitted itself very well today, in somewhat trying circumstances. Nothing wrong with the show, or indeed the hospitality, but the weather highlighted the problems of a winter show. The day began in pouring rain and 1c, soon turning to snow, so by the time I reached the venue at 8am, there was an inch of slush on the ground and it was snowing hard. Not the best recipe for getting a layout 50 yards from car to halls, especially when other exhibitors vehicles blocked the way necessitating sackbarrowing the boards across more mud and slush. 

 With the doors open, the hall was pretty damned cold, but unfortunately it stayed that way as this was the entrance and, there was NO heating! Arigna Town lives in what was once an integral garage, but now my workshop, complete with central heating, so it does not enjoy the cold. Axles boxes seem to tighten, meaning the two small tanks especially suffer from wheel slip, while the turntable also tends to catch the coping stones around its edge. Add in a broken toggle on one of the points [meaning the wire in tube could only be push/pulled using pliers] and it was a more trying day than usual, with a fair bit of remedial work needed for the next outing at the end of January.

 Equally, such things are all part and parcel of the exhibition scene. Layouts lead a hard life on the road, with 7-8 hours of intensive use each day, so you tend to expect stuff to happen from time to time. If only it hadn't been quite so cold!

 However, the little G did itself proud, substituting for the J26 on the stores/coal trains. It could probably do with a bit of weight in the bonnet to help the four wheel drive, but has proved to be a smooth, slow runner, ideal for such duties. By packing up time, at least it had stopped snowing and the roads were mercifully clear on the way home.

 Many thanks to Harry and his team for their hospitality today in such challenging circumstances.

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  • 2 months later...

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