Loco no 11

Loco no 11

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Fowler Driver Finished

Last blog post left the Fowler driver ready for primer and paint. In this post the driver will be painted, weathered (yes, I apply weathering to figures too) and placed in the Fowler's cab.
I mentioned that I built the Fowler driver while making figures for my Opel bus. Here they are all four of them before primer.
Two figures with primer. To avoid fumes from the primer I bring items for priming outside the house.

Main colours have been brushed on the figures. I have used Vallejo acrylics. The paints don't smell, they flow well from my brushes and are easily cleaned from the brushes with tap water.
Painting finished. The three figures for the bus are ready to be glued in place. Minor adjustments still needed on the loco driver as he stands out more in the Fowler cab. After the photo was taken I painted a little dirt on the driver's coverall and used pastel chalk to make his boots appear dusty.

Loco driver in position in the cab.
Working on figures can be a modelling adventure in itself. I try to have a relaxed attitude toward figure modelling and have no ambitions of reaching anything near the military modellers' accomplishments that are stunning. My model figures are there to help locomotives and vehicles appear realistic and give a hint of size. I set off 1-2 effective hours of work for modelling and painting each figure. In my opinion that is a good compromise between the horrific prefinished figures you can buy for Gauge 1 (1:32 scale) model railways and the masterpieces from military modellers.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Fowler Driver

As I was in the proces of constructing three figures for my Opel bus, I took the opportunity to build a driver figure for my Fowler diesel. The figure is the first stage in a series of tasks I will perform on the Fowler in the months to come.

Even though 1:35 scale is supplied with a good selection of figures useful for a model railway like mine, there is no escape from scratch building if I want to add a realistic driver to my model  locomotives. The following images show how I built a driver for the Fowler loco. I used parts from four figures from the MiniArt set  35009 'Soviet Tank Crew at Rest' combined and suitably modified.
Legs from two figures modified and combined to fit the Fowler's floor.

Before the glue fully dried, I placed the leg assembly on the foot plate to check for a good fit.

With Miliput I built up the coverall on the leg fitted with a high boot. I tested two different upper bodies for the most natural stance of the driver.

Upper body and head fitted. A little unusual for a 1950's Danish worker are the steely look a'la 'Hero Soviet Worker' and no cloth cap. I decided to live with that.

Arms fitted and my putty and Miliput conversions painted to check for errors. To soften up the figure's  'Soviet Super Man' appearance I added a pipe in his left hand. (Please don't mention that Stalin smoked pipe!).
With the figure finished the next stage is priming and then painting. I will illustrate that process with a series of images too.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Bright City Lights

Well, some may argue that I'm taking this post's head line a bit to far! Nystrup isn't a city and the lights are merely some dim lamps in a few industrial buildings. No matter what I like the atmosphere they create. I hope to develop the modules further in that direction to underline the difference between the dark woods around the gravel pits and the lights of Nystrup town.
It's after dark now and the lights are out on the first floor of Banke's Bakelite. Still plenty of other lights in the small industrial district in Nystrup.

While there is probably a way more advanced for controlling lights in buildings, I'm still attracted to the simple mechanical method of using toggle switches. I've wired the lights in the factory building through some small plugs. That enables me to still 'pull out' the interior of the building despite the considerable number of wires for the lighting.
Cut out in the module's front for the recessed panel holding the switches for light in the factory building and the grounded goods van. Looks a mess in this photograph!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Back to the Work Bench

After a week long break I'm now going back to modelling. I have been quite busy with paper work for the heritage railway you probably know I'm involved with. To be allowed to operate, any heritage railway in Denmark will have to meet certain standards and document their safety procedures. It's a lot of paper work even for a small narrow gauge railway. With most of the work done I should now be able to do a little modelling again.
Not paper work for a narrow gauge heritage railway's traffic permit, but an image of busy civil servants from the time when Nystrup Gravel had a hard working industrial railway - with hardly any government concern over the possible dangers involved in skips and gravel transport.
 Conveniently enough I received the decals for my Opel bus the other day. I'm now in the process of varnishing to prepare the model for the markings - which are spartan and modest. 
Here is the small decal sheet for my blue and orange 1:35 Opel bus. Produced by 'Skilteskoven' in Odense for a modest sum of money. Can't wait to fit them to my model!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Optimizing Loco Running

As I have my modules set up for operation it is only natural to work on some of my locos' running qualities. While my two Billards with BullAnt drive units are perfect, slow runners I still have some trouble with loco 78 also fitted with a BullAnt. I'm cleaning wheels, adjusting pick ups, checking for clearances to the loco body and adding a little more weight. Until 78 runs as smooth as the Billards and is fit to star in a run past film clip, here are two photos from one of the test runs.
It's early morning at the loco shed. Billard 23 is having an oil filter changed while 78 is waiting for its gas generator to heat up and produce enough gas to start the engine. The workers are probably having their morning coffee inside.

After a somewhat slow start and some refuelings of the generator no. 78 has managed to pick up a train of empty skips and is now pulling them east to the gravel pits where they will be filled with freshly dug gravel.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Main Building at Banke's Bakelite Finished

After a long construction period the contractor (me) has finally finished work on the main building at the 1:35 scale bakelite factory in Nystrup. Not because it's been difficult or boring, but because I work on several models simultanously.
The main building at Banke's Bakelite is now finished. My next task is to glue it solidly to the module and blend it into the surrounding ground work.
While waiting for decals for my Opel Blitz bus, I took the opportunity to work on the factory. The main parts of the model are laser cut from MDF and card board by a friend of mine. Interior and roof was cut from foam board in 4 and 6 mm. thickness. Some of the work has been the subject of an earlier blog post.

Previously I had fitted light to the ground floor rooms and I did the same to the single first floor room. I then painted the interior walls on the first floor light grey and made a removable floor. That allows me access to the ground floor lights if they should need any attention in the future.
Installing light above the first floor in the factory building.
Testing if everything works. The difference in light levels is caused by the temporary lack of a rear wall on the upper floor. I'm glad to see that there are no 'light leaks' in the building (not counting the missing rear wall, of course).

I built the roof from two sandwiched layers of foam board covered with self adhesive surgical tape. The tape is my preferred method of modelling tar paper. The tape is slightly 'furry' and when painted retains a nicely textured surface.
Foam board roof with wooden edging fitted to the building.

Surgical tape covering the roof. Pencil marks helped me to position the strips of tape with a minimum of regularity.

After having painted the building I cut a rear wall to enable the model to be closed up and hold the removable interior in place. The rear wall is only kept in place by its tight fit and is easily removed to allow the interior to slide out of the building. Wires from the lights are run under the module surface inside the building. The wires are arranged to allow the lights to be switched on and off in all three rooms independently.
A view across Nystrup Gravel's track towards Banke's Bakelite. Now work on getting the building fit into the surrounding ground work can begin
A full view of the factory module. Despite the work involved in the factory building it is only a back ground feature. Although with a module width of only 40 cm. the term 'back ground' is open to debate.
Building the model has taught me that buildings in 1:35 scale are quite large. I have only built a small segment of the prototype building and even then the model has tested my work area's size. Any future building just a little larger will have to built on the work bench in the shed, where I usually work on lawn mower, bikes and other 1:1 scale real world items.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Old Movie Clip From Nystrup

During my vacation I visted a nice, old couple with family ties to Nystrup. They had photos to show and stories to tell. Much to my surprise they also showed me a short length of 35 mm. film with interesting scenes from Nystrup and the country side around the town. Most of the scenes were actually shots of trains on the gravel line.

The film was said to be shot in 1945 and 1946. The above shot must be taken in late September at the earliest as it shows Billard loco no. 23. The loco and its sister engine only arrived a few days before 23 September as described by a period news paper. 

Even if the scenes are short I'm looking forward to show more in the future. Surely the old colour film is a fantastic find!