Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Ferguson TE 20 at Nystrup

You may be excused if you think you have read this story before. In fact I have a Ferguson on the 1:35 scale Nystrup Gravel, and with the tractor being such a nice and classic piece of agricultural machinery, my new 16 mm scale version of Nystrup shouldn't be without one.

Right out of the box. I can't help thinking it is a fine model for the money spent.

My new Ferguson is a Schuco 1:18 model which I aqcuired from ebay, making quite a good deal for 36 €. Having seen the model go for prices as high as 160 € I'm considering it worth the trouble creating a ebay-account.

The model is a quite an accurate representation of a Ferguson TE20 with low mounted exhaust. All the parts are there, placed in the correct locations. The wheels turn and the hood can be tilted to expose a detailed engine, petrol tank, radiator and battery.
Right side view of the Ferguson. There is some detail painting to be done, particularly the exhaust pipe will need some attention.
Hood tilted to show petrol tank, engine and radiator.
This rear view shows some of the downsides of die cast and pre-assembled models: gaps I would have filled and sanded on any model I built myself are quite visible.
There is some work to be done on the model in the future. Primarily some painting and weathering and the fitting of the characteristic circular, green license plates. I look forward to the task ahead.

Monday, 8 October 2018

First Figure In 1/19

I have been slightly worried over the quality of figures available in 16 mm scale. With the excellent figures available in 1:35 scale I have been disappointed to find that in a larger scale, where the potential for detailing should be considerably better, most figures were looking deplorable. Last week my first 16 mm scale figure arrived in the mail.

I ordered a figure from Modelu of a young guy with cloth cap and waistcoat. Perhaps a little too 1930's to fit into Nystrup Gravel's 1950s. I liked the stance of him, though, looking slightly down and standing in repose. I want figures in relaxed poses that doesn't suggest them moving, which in contrast to the trains, they don't. Below the figure is nevertheless making a full turn.

The figure arrived safely packaged in a small cardboard box. Opening the box revealed the figure 9.2 cm in height and printed in a light grey plastic. The figure is completely devoid of the usual sign of 3D-printing: the narrow ripples from each of the thin layers of material deposited by the printer. There are a few places where a knife and file will be needed to remove a small dimple of plastic, but clean up will be minimal.

In comparison with the high quality resin cast figures in 1/35 scale the figure is a little disappointing. Facial detail is very soft and I predict a difficult painting task here. Detail around the shoulders and the boundary between waistcoat and shirt in that area is soft as well, leading to a weak demarcation between the two garments. The buckle on the lower rear part of the waistcoat is almost invisible. I will try some corrective surgery to sharpen the soft detail. Perhaps the manufacturer can work on sharpening the detail on future figures?

As mentioned I like the natural stance of the figure. In real life the figure would correspond to a person 175 cm in height which is a tiny bit higher than the average Danish male at 18 years of age at conscription in 1951. Choise of clothing is excellent and the soft facial details aren't too noticable due to cloth cap and position of head. So despite the soft detail I think the figure is acceptable and it is certainly light years ahead of most other figures in 16 mm scale. I plan to aqcuire more figures from the manufacturer. 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Finished Ffestiniog Brake Van

After a long time, part spent working hard with preparations for the InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin, I am finally able to present my fourth finished 16 mm scale model. The I. P. Engineering kit of an early Ffestiniog brake van.
Smoke from steam engines have made the little brake van quite dirty. The staff in the work shop have welded together a short track panel. Nystrup Gravel's first 32 mm gauge track.

The model was built out of the box except for a minor reconstruction to allow body and chassis to be separated for maintenance and the adding of small details here and there. I added lamp brackets, bolts on the brake stand, door hinges and the large square bolt heads on both ends. I also rebuilt the buffers to be fitted with underslung coupling chains. The chains and hooks will be added later.

Cloth cover being glued on with diluted white glue.
Primed and ready for the cover paint.
After fixing the roofs and adding tissue paper as cloth cover, I primed the whole upper body with Chaos Black and airbrushed it with Vallejo Air 71036 'Mahogany'. I added the decals from the kit, but used only the FRC and number. The decals needed much work to fit snuggly into the grooves between the planks. I had to cut the decals along the grooves to assist the decal fluid in making the decals fit.

I then used a wire brush to remove paint from worn areas and followed up with acrylic and oil paint as well as chalk powder to add weathering.The mahogany paint is gloss so I had to give the completed model a final covering of matt varnish. The varnish also helps protect the weathering.
The mahogany paint is on and the roof is painted dark grey. I almost managed to avoid overspray, but you may notice a little grey in the upper right corner of the wagon.
In this image it seems like the work shop staff have wiped the lettering clean from dirt. In reality it is some kind of reaction between my decal solution, paint and varnish I haven't seen before. Every model teaches me something new.

Not being too familiar with the real brake vans I have nevertheless spotted some differences between drawings, different models and images of the original and the FR's new replica. Drawings of van 1 and 2 in Narrow Gauge and Industrial Modelling Review 38 and Steve Holland's build article of a Triassic Modelworks' kit in Review 78 helped during my build. Despite my doubts if the model is correct in every detail I think it is a good kit and will recommend it, not least because of its easy construction. Should I wish for one thing it would be the exchange of the wooden handrail on the brake platform with a metal part. I may fix that on my own model sometime in the future.

To add a splash of colour to this post's rather brown and dark grey impression, I have included two images from InnoTrans 2018. My part of the exhibition was concentrated mainly on relevant permanent way equipment and consequently a lot of my pictures are of yellow vehicles.
A Linsinger rail milling vehicle.
Two-way quad bike. A handy little thing for those small surveying tasks along the line.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Larger Scale, Bigger Models

My new adventures in 16 mm scale provides me with lots of surprises. One of them is the size! I still have to get used to the size of the models as they are very large compared to 1:35 (which is itself considered a large scale). Recently I had the request to place a skip next to an object of known size for comparison. I went to the refrigerator, picked out a can of beer and placed it on the worktable next to a few models.
Hudson skip from Binnie Engineering, Ffestiniog wagon from I P Engineering (in progress) and figure from Modelu (just arrived) next to a can of beer.
The image provides an idea to everyone not accustomed to 16 mm scale, how large the models are. I predict I will have to keep a more tidy worktable to handle my future projects in 16 mm scale.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Renault Station Wagon

When I ordered the Chenard & Walcker van I also bought a 1:18 Renault Juvaquatre model 1951 station wagon. The station wagon was only introduced in 1950 a considerable time after the sedan Juvaquatre was launched in 1937! The model is made by French company Norev. As a metal diecast model it is quite heavy and makes a very sturdy impression. In this large scale diecast models can be made quite detailed and while small scale diecast models often have unrealistically soft details I don't think it is too obvious in 1:18. The car has interior detail, three opening doors and the bonnet opens too, revealing a detailed engine. 
A French model of a French car: the Renault Juvaquatre station wagon.

The car has good ground clearance and with the ability to carry some extra cargo in the rear compartement I thought the car would fit in as the local veterinary's vehicle. Being located in a rural area a veterinary would have enough work to do in Nystrup. 
Open driver's side front door showing interior detail.
 As opposed to the Chenard & Walcker van the Renault has no French features to be removed to fit in around Nystrup. Only the license plate will have to be exchanged with Danish ones. A slight toning down of chrome parts, and a light weathering of underside and lower sides as well as a few bags in the cargo area and the car should be ready for service.

As part of my testing if 16 mm scale is a viable scale for me to work in I have ordered a figure. In my view figures are a weak point of the scale, and the majority of the figures in the scale would never make into my ownership. I'm looking forward to see the figure as it may be a deciding factor if 16 mm scale is going to be a future scale for me.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

British Skips for Nystrup Gravel

Nystrup Gravel bought brand new skips a few years after the 2. World War. The old skips had taken a beating during the occupation when traffic on the little gravel line had been very heavy. The new Hudson skips came from Great Britain, in those years the primary supplier of things mechanical to Denmark. After the war it was difficult for Danish businesses to get permission to import goods from abroad. Nystrup Gravel must have been lucky to be allowed to buy new skips.
Two new skips. Here seen in the state they had developed to after a few years of service.

The new skips are to 16 mm scale and quite a bit larger than those I have previously built in 1:35 scale. In an earlier blog post I finished the basic work on the frames. While working on the frames I had decals made that matched those on the 1:35 scale models.

The skips in the garden before I started the painting proces.
The skips from Binnie Engineering are basically sound models with a potential for adding details. The edges of the skip bucket seemed rather wide to me, so I sanded them down a bit and rounded off the corners. I shaved off the rivets on the end edges and added a plastic card reinforcement strip. The rivets were glued back on again with AC glue. It was exiting if I would be able to keep the loose rivets from disappearing and I managed to reuse all but two.

On the frames I added bolts to the brackets holding the axle boxes to the frame and the grease bolt on the front of the axle boxes. I used bolts from TichyTrain. The coupling horns are modified nails bent appropriately and with the heads filed in shape.

I primed the skips with my usual black primer and decided to apply decals and weathering directly on the primer. The weathering was applied in several stages consisting of acryllic and oil paint, pastel chalk and graphite from a soft pencil.
Skips with decals and preliminary weathering applied.
The two Hudson-skips with buckets tipped. The holes drilled in the bottom of the body is barely visible. Any sensible skip owner drilled holes to allow rain water to seep out.
Nystrup Gravel skip 50 in 1:35 and 1:19 scale side by side.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Ffestiniog Early Brake Van

As part of my 16 mm scale testing programme I also bought an I P Engineering laser cut Ffestiniog early brake van. Totally irrelevant in a large scale 1:19 Nystrup Gravel scene, but a wagon with lots of character and charm. Perhaps it would even qualify as 'cute'. Having seen it at Boston Lodge on my recent visit to the Ffestiniog Railway, I couldn't help buying a kit. I shopped at I P Engineerings own website and found the packet on my door step a week and a half later.
The I P Engineering kit built, but still unpainted. Not my model, but an image from I P Engineering's website.
The majority of the parts are from laser cut wood. The wood is nicely cut and only minute tabs keep the parts attached to the surrounding fret. Metal wheels and brass bearings are included as well as a few white metal castings that make up detail parts like buffers, iron strapping and door handles. Decals are included in the kit.
The complete kit laid out on the garden table.

The kit is designed for the frames including wheelsets to be permanently glued to the body. That is not a design that appeals to me. I like my models to have the running gear and the body as separate parts. In 1:35 scale that has helped when servicing the models, doing repairs or replacing broken parts. I assume that approach will also prove helpful in 16 mm scale. Very little work produced an easy to disassemble model.
Added wooden stop to enable the body to rest on the frames.

I made a hole for a bolt to enable the frames to be separated from the body. In the other end the buffer assembly keeps the frames firmly in place. Here the wheels' running surfaces have been masked off in preparation for priming.

Current status on the brake van. Size comparison with an in-progress Hudson skip.