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Clogher Valley


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A bit of a hiatus in modelling [i like to keep things ticking over if I can], with decorating and school governor duties taking over for the last three weeks. I was also waiting for some casting resin to arrive - this not just for the Unit's roof and bonnet, but also to enable me to run off some wagon body sides too. The resin finally arrived last week, so was quickly able to cast both types of CVR cattle van, some goods vans and brake vans too. They will all go on the standard Branchlines wagon chassis, which is based on the CVR one - ideal for me.

 The Unit meanwhile is nearing completion. I dug out photos taken of the Railcar at Cultra to do the cab interior [mainly bits of plastic strip and rod], plus a driver [Peco seated passenger]. The roof isn't fixed yet as I need to do the glazing first. 

 Also added springs inside the chassis [just about visible], brake blocks [slaters plastic] and headlight [a filed down white metal casting of goodness knows what found in the scrap box]. An interesting challenge has been the pick ups as there is almost nowhere to hide them, particularly for the rear wheels. For now, have fitted wipers bearing on the backs of the wheels - the rear ones are soldered to small squares of paxolin epoxied inside the frames. These are pretty much invisible, but fancy I may need to substitute 0.5mm wire with 0.3mm to be more flexible.

 I had to do a fair bit of fettling on the bonnet casting - mainly to adjust the profile to what I can see in pictures. At least the resin is easy to sand and I've already cast a second set for when I get round to doing the railcar. 

 Photos show it in Halfords grey primer, which I fancy is a shade too light, but weathering may help this. There are also pics of the first of what will be four brake vans - unlettered as yet and definitely in need to weathering as well. At least I now have a proper train at last.

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The Unit has progressed through the paint shop, having had the roof fixed. Have used Humbrol 27 grey, which is just a little darker than the Halford's primer & likewise the CVR wagon grey. Lettering will be a further challenge before I do some weathering, while it will probably benefit from some ballast in the bonnet area and a load of some sort in the wagon body. Whitemetal castings maybe, so milk churns could be just the job.

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  • 2 months later...

It seems to have been a very long time since I started this pair of buildings and probably is. A combination of weather [far too hot in the workshop] and holidays, plus the fact that buildings like these, despite being low profile, demand a high amount of work & detail.

 Anyway, just about done now, so worth sharing.
 Initially, I made the shells for the pub and shop separately [from foam board], but once the DAS clay rendering began, I fixed them together, so they have been treated as a single unit since. The pub and shop windows/surrounds are all plastic strip, building up the profiles in layers, before eventually painting in enamels. The upper walls are just DAS clay, sanded smooth, then given a coat of cement colour [for the pub] and white for the shop. In fact, pure white looks too stark, so I toned it down a bit with a touch of ochre.
 Upper floor windows use a technique described by Gordon Gravett, where self adhesive address labels are stuck onto clear perspex, the glazing bars drawn on in pencil & then the window apertures cur out with a craft knife. It is then easier to paint the glazing bars with acrylics, as any paint on the glazing itself is easier to remove.
 I pondered long & hard about what I was going to do for the interiors of the buildings. The pub was fairly easy - a piece of card across the window to represent the back of a wooden settle; then everything else [bar, fireplace, clock etc] just drawn on another pieces of card which is actually the back wall. A few items printed from the CG Textures website completed the scene.
 The shop was more of a pain until I remembered good old John Ahern. His book on Model Buildings first came out in 1950 & my version goes back to 1970, but in terms of the basics, it really is the Bible. Sure enough, there is a chapter on shop windows, so once that was read, it was pretty straight forward. Both windows are simply layers of 'flats', cut from card & coloured with felt pens, crayons etc. The upper storey windows have simple curtains from coloured paper and nets from tissue.
 The pub name [Forbes] refers to Henry of course, though also down to the fact that this was the only name I could make from the raised letters I had available. Clogher Valley pictures show a general store run by David Graham, so a bit of work on the laptop soon produced my version.
 The two street lamps are Peco. Plastic mouldings, they are very delicate & for me, every bit as good as the white metal versions from other sources. Easier to make too. As yet they are unpainted, but will probably still end up green - unless JHB suggests otherwise!
 With the back part of the scene done, hopefully I can now turn my attentions to the station again, in particular the overall roof.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 While there is still some final detailing required [in particular figures, clutter, etc], Baseboard 1 of my Clogher Valley project, ‘Fintonagh’ is now complete.

 Recent work has centred around the train shed, ladies’ waiting room/toilet block and platform details, in particular trying to present them in a well weathered appearance with peeling paint, rust & so on. When the figures eventually appear, it is planned to include a couple of workmen engaged in repainting – the locoshed is fairly pristine, but the other buildings are awaiting their attention.

 With my surname, it seemed appropriate to add a touch of ‘Colonel Stephens’ [Holman Fred] to the scene, so this is the inspiration behind the ladies waiting room/gents toilet. Corrugated iron was a favourite with the Colonel and popular in Ireland too, of course. My fiction for the station is that, apart from the overall roof, no facilities were available when it first opened, but the locals soon petitioned for something better. The ladies’ waiting room has a toilet reached by an inside door, while the gents’ is accessed from outside, hence the full length awning. Under the train shed itself is a bench seat and also a chocolate machine, otherwise, passengers are perhaps better off waiting in Forbes Bar across the road!

 Construction was fairly conventional, using a mixture of Slaters [walls] and Wills [roof] corrugated sheet on a thick card frame. Like the train shed, painting and weathering was ‘inside out’, in this case starting with a coat of gunmetal, then two coats of white, let down with a hint of brown. Once this had dried hard, Liquid Poly was brushed on, causing the paint to blister. After letting this harden, the surface was attacked with various abrasives [wire brush, scrapers etc] to expose the gun metal beneath. Dry brushing with gunmetal, white and rust then help to highlight the raised & peeling paint surface.

 Before I go on to Baseboard 2, I’m thinking it will be good to ring the changes and do some rolling stock. At the moment, I have one loco, plus the ‘Unit’, as motive power, but only one coach, two wagons and a guard’s van. I really ought to do some test running before any more scenic work, so a bit more stock will not go amiss.

 In preparation for this, I’ve starting installing uncoupling magnets. I’m using Kadees, but don’t much like their ‘plank’ magnets which unless posing as a barrow crossing are a bit obtrusive. On RMWeb there are several entries on using ‘rare earth/neodynimium’ magnets, which are both smaller and stronger.

 Despite the exotic name, they are available quite cheaply and in a wide variety of sizes. I ordered some 3mm diameter, 3mm thick, rod type, on line & was pleasantly surprised to have them arrive in the post the next day. To uncouple Kaydees, their magnet polarity is perpendicular to the track. Using rare earth magnets, all I had to do was place one each side of the track centre in 3mm holes drilled in the ballast. I fixed them in place with Lazer glue, though on reflection, I would have been better off buying longer magnets [say up to 15mm], so they could have been let into the baseboard surface, but so far, my 3mm ones work fine and are almost invisible from normal viewing distances. you might just be able to see them in front of the van. As far as I can tell, I will need six pairs of magnets to cover all the shunting moves, so I may well use some of the other magnets to do things like hold loco cab roofs in place.

 Having half the scenic boards completed is certainly nowhere near half the project as a whole, for as well as needing to build the Railcar, another steam loco & the Atkinson Walker tractor, I also need two more coaches and a dozen or more wagons. Then there is the fiddle yard to build, plus fascia, pelmets, lighting & so on – so plenty to keep me occupied…

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Lovely modelling as ever Dave.

I love this style of "compact town" terminus, I'm a big fan of Wantage (and of Fintona itself) and have wanted to build the Bridport terminus of my Harbour Tramway for a while.

While I think of it, do you have (or know where I can find) a plan of Fintonagh ?  I've been trying to work out the track plan from the existing photos, but its not clear.  Most of the photos I've found online are taken from the same viewpoint, or show the track partly or fully lifted.

Likewise, the Dublin and Blessington Tramway is a fascinating oddity.  Most of the published photos are portraits of the locos, but a couple show glimpses of sheds and a yard.

Apologies for thread hijack!

Cheers, Dave.

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Fintonagh is booked for Uckfield in October 2018. Depending on progress, it might appear at the Chatham exhibition in June. However, as I keep reminding myself, completion is not a race - I'm supposed to be enjoying myself!

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Lovely modelling as ever Dave.

I love this style of "compact town" terminus, I'm a big fan of Wantage (and of Fintona itself) and have wanted to build the Bridport terminus of my Harbour Tramway for a while.

While I think of it, do you have (or know where I can find) a plan of Fintonagh ?  I've been trying to work out the track plan from the existing photos, but its not clear.  Most of the photos I've found online are taken from the same viewpoint, or show the track partly or fully lifted.

Likewise, the Dublin and Blessington Tramway is a fascinating oddity.  Most of the published photos are portraits of the locos, but a couple show glimpses of sheds and a yard.

Apologies for thread hijack!

Cheers, Dave.

Try either the Irish Ordnance Survey or our own equivalent, Dave. Being in Northern Ireland, Fintona might well come under the latter. www.oldmaps.com may get you something.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The passenger train is now is a bit more substantial now with the addition of a first class coach. Shorter than the 3rd/composites, I'd originally hoped that one would either make a short mixed train of at least two wagons & a van, or indeed the combo in the photo below. However, seems I did not get my measurements right & though the above will fit in the loop, they will foul the road to the turntable. So, either some additional shunting will be needed, or I have an excuse for an extra loco, so one will always be on shed and engines are swapped each time a train arrives. Anybody know where I can find drawings of the ex Castlederg loco which was bought by the CVR? 

 The coach is of course the Branchlines kit, still going strong at around 30 years of age now.

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Anybody know where I can find drawings of the ex Castlederg loco which was bought by the CVR? 

There's a drawing in the series of Railway Modeller articles on Irish NG locos and Railcars that David Lloyd did in the 1980s. It's in the May 1985 issue - I remember this, because it was the first issue of RM that I bought as a kid.......

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There's a drawing in the series of Railway Modeller articles on Irish NG locos and Railcars that David Lloyd did in the 1980s. It's in the May 1985 issue - I remember this, because it was the first issue of RM that I bought as a kid.......

you don't want that hideous thing! you want a burtonport extension 484T....

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  • 2 months later...

It's been a while, so here is an update on my Fintonagh project.

Not much seemed to get done over the summer, but a rake of wagons was started, using my own resin castings. These comprise six cattle wagons, half of which are in the Clogher Valley 'convertible' mode with their shutters closed to make them general purpose vehicles. However, their semi-open nature meant that it was not a case of assembling sides, ends and roof on a Branchlines chassis - there was a lot of additional work in terms of detailing & it wasn't until October that they were finished.  Slaters corrugated plastic sheet was used for the roofs.

 Mid October saw the annual visit to the splendid Uckfield show & a reminder that a year's hence, Fintonagh is booked to make its debut. So, a good reason to step up work a bit! Initially things have concentrated on the baseboards and infrastructure and at least the layout now has a fiddle yard, while  the purchase of two adjustable trestles from Screwfix, with the construction of two folding 3 metre beams a la Rice [the photos is from his book], means the layout has something to stand on at last. A full pelmet/fascia has been made too - hinged for transport and fitted with flush mounts for ease of setting up. A bit of work then went into the back scene on baseboard 2, plus improving the surfaces at the baseboard joint.

 However, with only one loco & the Unit as motive power, I've now started work on the Railcar. This was to become Donegal No 10, but before then ran over 300 000 miles on the Clogher. I built the Unit from a set of Worsley etches, but currently they are not available for the Railcar, so this particular project is a scratch build. While planning, I realised I'd built quite a few railcars in the past, starting with the Taurgem Colonel Stephens railcar set in EM, going through couple of freelance units in 7mm NG, along with the Branchlines Stephens unit. In standard gauge I scratch built a Waggon & Maschinbau railbus [just before the Heljan one appeared], while there have since been the SLNCR railcar & railbus.  So, while they ought to hold no fears, experience has taught me that they are often complicated beasts which can make a steam loco's superstructure seem quite simple by comparison.

 Thus far, I've made a simple chassis from nickel silver sheet, while a start has just been made on the cab using plastic sheet. The latter has been causing serious brain aches due to the many different angles and levels, while the chassis already needs a rebuild because I drilled the axle holes in the wrong place. Hopefully, the remedy should ensure it will run even better, as I will correct it by using hornblocks & compensation.

 Here are some photos to show progress over the last three months.

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Lovely layout, fascinating!

Any plans to build the Fintona Horse Tram?

Back in 1992 I built a model of the tram which was purchased by the Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra. I don't know if it is ever displayed but  I built in 00 and my good friend Norman Johnston also launched his book on the tram around the same period.

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  • 3 weeks later...

David, that is truly superb. I hadn't seen pics of Fintonagh for a while; without seeing it in the flesh, frequent admiration of the illustrations will have to do!

 

What's next! Mention is made above of a LLSR 4.8.4T....... and compact termini.

 

Not my place to interfere, but perhaps you might have considered a small terminus like Westport Quay? If you make it in Midland Great Western days, "flyaway" cabs plus an actual daily passenger service are possible. I have track plans if you're interested and I can direct you towards photos.

 

Sligo Quay is another, though less compact and no passengers.

 

The passenger service at Westport was typically a loco plus two six-wheelers - an ideal combination for such a small thing, and some of Arigna Road's wagons could make a guest appearance!

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