Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Project Pedershaab

While finishing a few smaller projects I have been building up a stock of some of the things needed for my planned model of a Danish built Pedershaab locomotive. With parts ready, I have now finally started building the model on the basis of homemade sketches in 16 mm scale based on prototype drawings.

Original main drawing from Pedershaab with measurements in mm. Drawing no 59287 from Pedershaab.
The main part to be sourced was the power unit. I decided to try out the adjustable length power bogie from UK-based Swift Sixteen. As my Lister the Pedershaab will be powered by battery. I plan to fit two Li-ion Japcell JC123R 3.7 V 650 mAh batteries in the engine compartment and RC equipment under the driver's seat. The model will feature one working headlamp on both front and rear to make running in the dark a little less dangerous. Micro LEDs were bought cheaply from the far east. The head lights were found on E-bay from German producer Dioramaparts that makes extra parts to add on car models. I will need to rebuild them into functional head lights.

The brass channel in the Swift Sixteen power bogie was cut with a Dremel fitted with a cutting disc. The cuts were cleaned up with files. I had wrapped the motor in masking tape in advance to avoid small metal bits entering the motor interior. The supplied bracket for joining the two parts fitted well and helps to create a solid unit. I soldered the frames together and despite a soldering iron a tad too small, I managed to get the solder flowing alright. The supplied delrin chain for powering both axles was shortened as per the instructions. Despite the large scale, the joining of the chain proved quite a fiddly task for me. Finally I managed to join the chain and much rejoicing followed. Guess what? The chain was one link too long...Well, at least I now had experience!

The main parts from the Swift Sixteen adjustable length power bogie. The wheelbase is decided by how much of the brass channel is removed.

I cut out a considerable length in total to obtain a wheelbase of 46 mm.

From scrap brass I bent up two brackets for fixing the loco body to the power bogie. The brackets were soldered on. 

For the basic construction I have decided to rely on a design of well braced plasticcard. More plasticcard, brass, nickle silver and 3D-printed parts are planned to be used for details.

I cut a cardboard template for the frame top to help decide where to place holes for motor, wires and bolts for joining power bogie and loco frame. After a little shuffling back and forth with cardboard I could cut the first 5 pieces of 1.5 mm plasticcard.
Basic frame assembly glued and ready for height adjusting and test fitting on power bogie. Later corners and edges will be rounded off with files and sandpaper.

With nothing looking much like a Pedershaab locomotive yet I have added a short film clip from the Pedershaab factory in Br√łnderslev. At around 0:23 finishing work is being carried out on a NG locomotive with wooden cab.

Pedershaab Scenes


Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Pennzoil Petrol Pump

Back in October I bought a petrol pump for Nystrup Gravel. The pump from the American oil company Pennzoil is made by Hong Kong manufacturer Yat Ming and is a pre-assembled 1/18 model of metal and plastic. While some of the pump's parts are quite passable, others are over-simplified and the chrome plating does nothing to hide it.

The pump as delivered. High capacity plastic fuel hose and shiny chrome parts.
The pump is most likely made to fit the many die cast car models in 1/18 scale. As some of the cars, the pump is also suffering from thick and toy-like parts. The basic structure is dimensionally alright and I decided to correct some of the worst shortcomings. With a little care I would be able to fix the pump and make use of it until I find something better.

The fuel hose would need replacing and I also wanted to dispense with the bracket used to hang the hose on when not in use. Other parts needed mould lines removed and a repaint. I also chose to make a new mounting plate and the top of the pump's concrete foundation.


The petrol pump with loose parts removed and new parts readied for use.

I carefully prised to top lamp off the pump's glass tank and tore off the fuel hose. I covered the clear plastic part with masking tape before I used file and knife to remove mould lines on the pumping handle. I cut off the bracket for hanging the hose on and replaced it with a much more modest bracket from brass wire. I added bolt heads from plastic profile along a gap between two parts of the pump, making the gap look like a a parting line between two plates. The thick fuel hose was replaced with a length of electrical wire. Two slabs of 1,5 mm plasticcard represents the pump's mounting plate and the top of the concrete foundation. The four bolt heads were cut from octangonal plastic stock.

All freshly added parts were painted and weathered before the pump received a layer of matt varnish to tone down the shiny toy-effect. The masking tape was removed and the top lamp fitted again. The fuel hose still need some careful bending to hang just right.
Front view showing the new fuel hose clearly.


Side view.  Along the parting line down the pump's side I have painted scratches and worn metal with small amounts of rust.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Old Photograph from Nystrup

Always on the search for information about Nystrup Gravel's history I have finally managed to get hold of an image of the company's little Lister locomotive. I found the picture in a newly donated box of pictures at the Skovby local historical archive. I'm in regular contact with the archive and in 2019 they have even begun to contact me if info on the gravel company shows up.
A slightly blurred black and white photograph from Nystrup Gravel's main yard in Nystrup. Pencil writing on the back of the image says: "Nystrup, 1950. Where Poul worked 1947-1951."

A copy of the image has been in my possession since August. The image shows the Lister at the petrol pump near the wooden loco shed in Nystrup. There is a clear view over a field to farm buildings in the background. Nystrup town is just out of sight behind the brick shed to the right. It seems to be autumn or very early spring judging from the leafless trees.

The new picture was what prompted me to build the brick shed and to buy a model of a petrol pump from the 1920's. The brick shed is finished and the petrol pump is on my workbench being modified at the moment.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Railway Modelling

I'm celebrating New Year with a special blog update about railway modelling. Not the usual type of modelling. This time it's the type of modelling that actually involves models. Yes, real living human beings in scale 1:1. And real full sized narrow gauge industrial railway equipment.


It's 1962. Faxe chalk quarry is visited by several models and photographers in a quest to show the latest fashion in open air. Here a model has climbed into skip 362, one of Faxe chalk quarry's large 785 mm gauged wooden side tipping skips.

Two modelling colleagues in front of an excavator bucket, the heavy machinery contrasting nicely with the 1962 fashion's call for narrow width dresses.
Despite an intensive search for more of the same kind of modelling on narrow gauge industrial railways I haven't found any. It seems that the fashion business wasn't too keen on narrow gauge railways anyway.

10 years or more before the above shots were taken, an amateur photographer had the opportunity to catch four young ladies posing on a 600 mm gauge 1930's model Pedershaab loco. Again it's a chalk quarry only this time near M√łnsted.
The cut of the dresses is more practical in this shot. The ladies seem to be having a good time nevertheless. Is that granddad lurking in the background making sure the girls are alright? The loco's cab is most likely a local addition to a standard open topped PM-loco.
I look forward to a new year full of challenges and accomplishments with the kind of railway modelling done with knife, wood, soldering iron in a scale 19 times smaller than the real world. I wish every reader a productive 2020 modelling wise.

Friday, 27 December 2019

2019 in Review

2019 is drawing to a close. Nystrup Gravel employees have been enjoying the Christmas and a few days of vacation. They are now back working as the warm weather this winter allows gravel extraction. Usually frost puts a stop to the production of gravel at this time of year.
A brief pause while unloading overburden along a road. The relatively warm weather is reflected in the light clothing worn by the men.
2019 was characterized by being my first full year as a modeller in 16 mm scale (or 1/19.05). I'm slowly getting used to the scale and learning to handle the larger objects now on my work table. 2019 has been a relatively productive modelling year and I like to think I have built a solid base of experience for Nystrup Gravel's coming expansion.

In 2019 I managed to add no less than 8 skips to my collection and triple the skip fleet of Nystrup Gravel. I can now run trains of skips with a decent length and combined the skips will make up a train a full meter in length. During the summer I added two Hudson Rugga skips complete with weathering and prototypical coupling chains to the two already in service. The Hudson skips are made from kits brought out many years ago by Binnie Engineering.
4 Hudson skips parked on the Nystrup Gravel main line. All the skips have had minor alternations and extra detail built into them. Decals supplied by one of the small businesses (in this case Skilteskoven) that cares for modellers with special needs.

As skips are what makes the little railway at Nystrup Gravel earn its living, I knew I had to have more than 4 Hudsons. Quite satisfied with both the look and running of the Binnie Engineering Hudson skips, the type was however, never in widespread use in Denmark. Consequently I couldn't bring myself to buy more of them. Fortunately I was able to aquire 6 skips of a standard German type in the autumn bringing my skip fleet to a total of 10. The 6 new skips will have to be painted, numbered and weathered. A task for 2020.

2019 also saw me finish the first Nystrup Gravel locomotive in 16 mm scale. A somewhat rebuilt I. P. Engineering Lister R was taken into service during the late summer and has turned out a very reliable machine. Just what scale the kit is actually made to is an open question though, as the proportions doesn't fit any of the drawings I have had access to. I tried to improve a few things here and there and cut off no less than 7 mm in width to almost match my scale drawings. No matter what it's a great little locomotive.
Lister close up from above. The oil can seems to have leaked a bit.

I have been testing if my library and workshop room could house a small 16 mm scale indoor module. After some reorganizing it turned out that it is possible to cram in a few meters of track and structures on some shelves. It will not be a large layout, but I think I might just squeeze in two points, a small engine shed and perhaps even the legendary flimsy lorry loading ramp over which surprisingly huge amounts of gravel slided down into waiting lorries. At the moment I'm playing around with Peco points and track panels. While it's convenient to be able to aquire track from a quality manufacturer the look of the track isn't particularly to my taste. In 2020 I will have to decide if I will use the Peco track, rebuild it or make my own track from scratch.

In addition to modelling 600 mm gauge industrial railway equipment I enjoy building and modifying road vehicles that fit my modelling theme and period. In 2019 I finished several road vehicles. I managed no less than 4 cars and one steam tractor. In contrast to my old scale 1/35, road vehicles in 16 mm scale are almost exclusively available as diecast models. I have only seen a few 3D-printed vehicles available for 16 mm scale. Consequently I have been modifying, detailing and weathering die cast cars rather than building full kits as before.
A Tempo Hanseat lorry showed up near Nystrup during 2019. Banke's Bakelite was a small company employing several lorries for transporting raw materials and finished products.

As usual I visited several narrow gauge railways and museums with industrial heritage content. Visits like those are an important inspiration. In 2019 I joined friends from my heritage railway for a trip to the Internationaler Feldbahnertreffen in Ilmenau, Germany.
An O&K Montania loco passing the remains of an ore loading facility near the 'Voller Rose' flour spar mine at Ilmenau.

2019 wasn't the most active year in the Nystrup Gravel blog's existence with two full months without any postings at all mainly due to work obligations. I must have been making up for the missing modelling in other months and followed up with posts as the year's 'production' of blog posts managed to reach a respectable 40. The statistics says the visits are again averaging 2.500-3.000 page views pr month after having taken a dip in the beginning of the year. As me, the readers might have taken some time for adjusting to the new scale.
A new scale takes some time to get adjusted to. Here's a photo to show the size of two 16 mm scale models in comparison with a well known and standardized object to the right.
I hope you enjoyed the stories from Nystrup Gravel in 2019. I wish you a happy New Year and hope to see you again in 2020 for more modelling, fictional history and prototype information.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Brick Shed Finished

Back in october I finished  the main assembly of the brick shed destined to become my first 16 mm scale building. I had covered the brick walls with a thin layer of polyfilla to represent a rendered surface. Even before I added doors and roof I began to wonder what colour to paint the building. My initial thoughts centered on light off-white or sand tones, but in the end I decided to experiment with a red building with green doors and fascias. 
Prototype shed with charmingly odd angles painted dark red. One of several buildings convincing me that the Nystrup Gravel building complex had to be red. The shed is located in Albertslund close to my home.

I used the original wooden doors from the kit. I fitted home made hinges and handles with AC glue after having distressed the door planks with a sharp knife and steel wire brush. The doors themselves were tacked in place with AC glue but permanently fixed in place with standard DIY silicone. Moving up in scale to 16 mm has enabled me to use many of the tools I usually use for house maintenance in model building.
Rendering finished, paint testing in progress and the first home made lamp works. 
The roof is cut from 6 mm foam board and covered with surgical tape and painted dark grey. The tape was my favourite material for making tarpaper in 1:35 scale. In my new scale the tape really ought to be much wider and I'm now looking for a wider variant.
Red paint on the wall, roof from foamboard in place and door painting in progress. Minor variations in red to create different tones of colour. Further weathering will tone down the almost pink appearance.
Lights over the two doors were constructed from left over parts from 1:35 kits, brass tube and small 12 V bulbs. Wires from the bulbs were routed into the shed and from there extended with longer wires to be positioned under the future layout's surface.

Plasticcard was used to fabricate fascia boards along the roof's edge. I distressed the boards with knife and steel wire brush before painting them in a light green colour matching the doors. With both red walls and green doors and fascias dry, I began to pick out a few bricks in brick red. Not too many, just a few ones here and there particularly around the doors where oil and fuel cans would hit and knock off rendering and paint. The mortar courses were picked out in grey-brown paint.

The doors and fascia boards were given a wash with heavily diluted brown oil paint. The same mix was applied to the lower parts of the building. When dry the exposed parts of the bricks were treated with brick red powdered chalk. Small amounts of rust were added with oil paint around hinges and metal parts on doors and lamps. A covering of matt varnish finished the work on the shed for the time being. When I place it permanently on my future layout I will add further weathering with earth and dust tones to help it blend into the surroundings.
Front and right side of the brick shed with lights on. For safety reason I will probably add signs on the doors warning about the contents of fuel and lubricants.

Left and rear side of the brick shed. My favourite Vespa posters added to the side. The rear side may be fitted later with brackets to carry a ladder.
The shed will now await construction of my small indoor layout. I'm still planning and testing track plan and how tightly I can bend my track and still expect safe running.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Seasons' Greetings

As we are getting closer to Christmas and preparations are intensifying it is time for wishing every reader of the blog a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All my best wishes go out to every reader even if you don't happen to be culturally or religiously inclined to celebrate Christmas.

At this time of year I always take time to appreciate how fortunate I am to be able to have spare time and money to play with model railways. My thoughts go out to all those around the planet struggling to make ends meet, provide for children and basically just survive another day.
My first attempt at a season's greetings image. And a miserable one.