Saturday, 8 December 2018

Traction Engine Progress

The Garrett traction engine is the focus of my attention for the moment. I'm waiting for a delivery of hexagonal plastic strips from the UK for fitting my Lister locomotive with some much needed bolt detail. In the meantime I'm busy assembling the traction engine.
Many parts have raised lines presumably to help decal placement. I'm sanding the lines off. Pipes coming from nowhere and endning on the middle of the water tank are dealt with at the same time. New pipes with proper functions will be fitted later. The sanding is mentally soothing. Nothing really to think about, just make sure a piece of plastic is worked into a flat surface. I'm using files and really cheap sanding sticks from the make-up section of my local super market.
I had a few title on the shelves of my library to help me get in 'traction engine mode'. Despite the books there are still a gadget or two on the model I don't what's for.
The wheels aren't fixed yet, but I've got the water tank and front wheel suspension glued in place. The cylinder assembly is glued, but can still be separated from the boiler. That will ease assembly of the motion and gears.
The Nystrup pixie finally caught on a photopgraph? No, it's one of my 1:35 figures posing with a 16 mm scale figure and traction engine to show what my change of scale means size wise.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Hansen's Traction Engine

The local haulage contractor Hansen in Nystrup had a long history, even going back to owning a large number of horse drawn wagons and a traction engine. Their Garret steam tractor was the only from that manufacturer in Denmark and unusual in being service until after World War 2. The last year of operation is unknown, but the boiler inspector approved it for last time in Feburary 1950. When I saw a fellow 1:19 modeller assemble a 1:16 kit of a traction engine, I immediately started looking for a kit myself.

I was fortunate to win a kit on an auction on Ebay. Considering what I have seen other winners pay for their kits, I seem to have been lucky. Some of the prices seen are horrendously high! The kit from Japanese manufacturer Bandai is an ancient kit and much indicates that my particular kit was issued before 1978 (when I was in 2. grade). A historic kit in more than one sense!

Despite being an old kit the instructions are quite good and well laid out, although the assembly sequence is a little odd.
The kit had been started and some of the major components was glued together when I opened the box. A few of them will need separating as I will not build the model as a showman's engine with generator, roof and colourful paint scheme, but rather as a worn haulage contractor's machine. The kit is a fraction too large for my scale of 1:19, but that will only help to make the model more impressive.
The lid is off and I can begin to sort parts into those I will use and those I can donate to the bin. The kit is in several colours and one sprue is even gold plated. 
In addition to the build on the Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling Online forum, I have also found a series of images on a Canadian blog. The Canadian traction engine is much like how I want mine to look, only without the lengthened chimney.
The main assembled parts: frames, fron suspension, front wheels, water tank and boiler incl. smokebox.

I'm currently assembling the large rear wheels. I will be building the kit in a different sequence than prescribed in the instructions. I will build the model into a large structure first and then add the details.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

3D Printed Figure Painted

My first 16 mm scale Modelu figure arrived and created mixed feelings. I was impressed by the pose and the overall impression was good, but detail was soft in many places. Particularly the facial detail was bordering on the unacceptable considering the large scale.

I cleaned up the figure with file and fine sandpaper. That treatment got rid of most of the very small attachment points from the printing proces. What took more effort was sharpening folds and demarcations between e.g. trousers and shoes. I managed to create a little difference of height in the worst spots.

The figure was primed with Games Workshop's 'Chaos Black' and painted with Vallejo matt acrylic paint. Folds in clothing were accentuated with darkened colours in the bottom of the folds and lightened paint on the tops. I highlighted  nose ridge, cheeks and chin with lightened skin colour. All skin areas had a very thin wash with rust oil paint to give the figure a tan matching an outdoor working guy.

On the figure's left arm was a weakly defined wrist watch. I tried to paint it as best as I could. For the watch's dial I punched a circle of ordinary white A4 paper and fitted it with clear varnish.
As good as it gets with my painting abilities. After a covering with matt varnish had dried, I added wear on the trousers and dust on the shoes with different colours of pastel chalk.

Even with matt varnish the waitscoat still seems shiny. Wear or a fancy fabric?
The figure now goes on one my shelves. There is a little more room as I after a remarkable fast proces have now sold and shipped a number of 1:35 locos and wagons to modellers around Europe. Less than 24 hours after having released a list of models for sale, most of the models had found new owners. Some was even sold before the list was released. I have been sent images of my models on their new owners' layouts. It's great to see them in action and serving their new owners well.
Ex. Nystrup Gravel skips now in use on the 600 mm gauge line on Langeland. Here seen parked at the sidings at Broløkke Halt blocking the way for a VW-bus. Photo: Arne Nielsen.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Nystrup Gravel Equipment Sale UPDATED

With my focus now on the 16 mm scale version of Nystrup Gravel I am currently going through my collection of 1:35 scale models and have decided to sell the items below: (Updated November 19 with models no longer available marked).

Loco No 2. Extensively rebuilt Fleischmann Magic Train steam loco. In running order. € 170.

Loco No. 3 resting in front of the loco shed.
Loco No 3. Sala-loco from Log Cabin Works, Sweden. Fitted with decoder and in running order, but rather erratic. Comes complete with custom built driver figure and wooden storage box. € 140. See the loco being built here.

Loco No 5. Scratch built on a Tenshodo metal motor bogie. Fitted with decoder and in running order but somewhat erratic. Comes complete with removable custom-built driver figure and empty replacement seat. Wooden storage box included. € 140.

Loco No. 8
Loco No 8. Scratch built on a Faulhaber-equipped drive unit by Otto Schouwstra. Fitted with decoder and in running order. € 170.

Loco 23 pulling empty Scale Link skips.
Locos 22 and 23. Billard T75 resin kits from 13’eme Dragon fitted to BullAnt motor bogies. Fitted with decoders and in running order. Both locos fitted with driver figures. Preferably sold together in wooden storage box. Two locos in box: € 280. Single loco without box: € 170. See the locos being built here.

Loco 78. 3D printed gas generator loco with BullAnt drive unit. Fitted with decoder and in running order. € 170. See the loco taken into service here.

9 skips, one with brake from Hesketh & Snoodyk. Built by Bernard Snoodyk. Unpainted but blackened. Comes complete with wooden storage box. € 170. See the skips here.

6 skips, one with brake. Scale Link skips rebuilt, painted and weathered. All six loaded with gravel. Comes complete with plastic storage box. € 90.

3 wooden skips. Rebuilt from Grandt Line kits. Comes complete with wooden storage box and two spare wheel sets. € 90.
Loco No. 2 pulling empty wooden skips.
2 bogie carriages. Daniel Caso laser cut body kits on scratch-built frames and Scale Link WD-bogies. Includes detailed interior and three figures. € 150. See the carriages being built here.

2 bogie flats. Built from David Provan etched bodies and fitted with bogies made from Scale Link skips. Comes complete with load of sacks and wooden storage box. € 120. See both wagons here.

Loco 78 pulling 4 stone wagons.
4 flat two-axled stone wagons. Built from Scale Link skip frames. Comes complete with wooden storage box. 90 €.

A single bogie flat wagon with stanchions. Scratch built from brass profiles and bogies from Scale Link skips. 70 €. See the wagon being built here.

2 O&K MD2 etched kits from Hesketh Models (one open and one with cab). Kits unbuilt, in original boxes and with instructions. € 120 for each.

All locos and wagons are to 16.5 mm gauge and in running order (unless otherwise noticed). Prices are my suggestions. I’m open to suggestions and will give discount to buyers taking more than one lot. I will add shipping cost to the order. Payment by PayPal.

A list of road vehicles and construction equipment for sale will show up here before Christmas.

Send me a message on if you are interested.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Lister Progress

The Lister is progressing slowly. The kit's corner reinforcements glued in place with two component epoxy were too small and too thick according to prototype photos and drawings. I decided to tear them off and replaced them with homemade ones from plasticcard.
Short and stubby rather than low and long. The wheels are oversize by something like 2 mm and that doesn't help on the little Lister's appearance. Perhaps the large end ballast weights and buffers will help when they are fitted? The seat box for the driver is prototype no 2 from foam board.

As the assembly progresses it is clear to me that the model's measurements isn't exactly prototypically. While I have reduced the frame width to an acceptable degree of scale, the small bonnet is far too wide. With almost correct frame width the bonnet's size now look massive compared to drawings in The Review. I was able to sand off a millimetre or two, but it's still too wide. The front isn't moulded true to prototype, but as this is an experimental build I'm not taking the trouble of changing major kit parts. I assembled the bonnet and to increase the assembly's strength I added a plasticcard bottom in the bonnet.
Rear floor and front ballast weight being glued. My entire supply of solder wire keeps floor parts under preassure.

I have been experimenting with the driver's seat arrangement. Originally I intended to fit the RC receiver there, but as my battery arrived I investigated if it would be possible to fit the battery in the box. A foam board prototype turned out far too high, so the battery will have to be fitted below the rear floor. A new, lower box was knocked up in foam board. The prototype will help me pick the best size of the wooden box.

Wires were soldered to the electric motor and the motor itself glued into the U-shaped metal frame. After the glued had dried, I tested meshing and running. Everything worked fne and the running gear was put aside. I'm currently thinking out the sequence for the coming stages of the assembly.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

16 mm Scale Loco For Nystrup Gravel

Well, it's only a heap of parts that will eventually become a 16 mm scale locomotive. And you could argue that it isn't even a loco, as it is a Lister Rail Truck, not a smart locomotive with cab and proper superstructure. The small Lister locos have been favorites of mine since I saw pictures of the type in the first British books about industrial railways I laid hands on as a teenager. I never managed to model a Lister in 1:35. Now it's going to happen in 16 mm scale.

Parts for my Lister model. Delivered by I. P. Engineering. Workbench cleaned in advance of the new project. On your marks, ready, go!
The Lister loco was born out of the Lister auto truck, a small one wheeled motor unit designed to be coupled to a variety of trailer units. In 1928 the first Lister Rail Trucks left the Dursley Works factory to serve narrow gauge industrial railways with a need for an ultra light locomotive. Most trains on Nystrup Gravel's railway were too heavy for the Lister, but for light shunting duties at the gravel works in Nystrup and an occasional light permanent way train the loco was sufficient. I have never seen a picture of Nystrup Gravel's Lister, but old workers report it to be a mid-thirties model R. When the Lister arrived at Nystrup is not known, but it was most likely bought second hand after 1945. Searching for images of R-models I found Arnoud Bongaards' images on Flickr of the Lister in the collection of Decauville Smalspoor Museum in the Netherlands.
A preserved Lister type R from the Netherlands. I immediately became inspired to model this particular Lister with luxuriously driver's facilities as I can use the wooden box to hide my loco's RC equipment. Photo: Arnoud Bongaards.

A view showing the full package of extras for that unique comfortable driver's experience. The loco is Lister L873/1928 preserved by the Decauville Spoorweg Museum, Nederland. Photo: Arnoud Bongaards.

The I. P. Engineering's Lister is a simple kit. Casting quality is acceptable, but many details are rather soft. Some boltheads look more like rivets. On the other hand the kit isn't expensive and I think the balance between price and quality is pretty fine. It may also be unfair to expect the same level of detailing on a loco that is meant to live on a garden line to a loco that spends every day inside on a layout. The loco is powered by a very simple mechanism designed for battery power. It seems that other modellers have managed to build models that move from the parts so I'm optimistic. I will be fitting the model with battery power and RC equipment. Something that will no doubt stretch my abilities to the limit!
To allow use on both 32 mm and 45 mm gauge (and to fit a standard AA battery) the kit is designed wider than Listers built for 600 mm gauge. As I use 32 mm gauge and will not be using AA batteries, I could narrow the frame by 7 mm to something a bit more prototypcal for a 600 mm. Lister. According to drawings in Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review the frame's new width of 55 mm is still a few milimetres too wide, but with the supplied wheels the width can't be reduced further.
No sooner than a kit arrives, I start cutting bits off it! The kit's excessive width is reduced with a junior hacksaw. All other parts mounted across the frames are reduced in length too.

Current status on the Lister. Frames glued with AC and two component epoxy. I will be adding more parts in the coming weeks while I source parts for power and RC installations.
Once I get the model's running tested and the wiring designed, I will add extra parts to the kit. Most will probably be imitations of bolts and nuts. With my decision to abandon 1:35 scale I look forward to finishing my first locomotive in the new scale.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

A New Beginning for Nystrup Gravel

Having built models in 1:35 scale for more than 15 years, creating my little piece of a Danish 1950's gravel industry's narrow gauge railway, it's now time for a change. Not of  theme, period or company, but of scale. In the coming years I will be building locomotives and rolling stock from Nystrup Gravel in 16 mm scale - 1:19,05. Currently I don't know if I'll build a small indoor layout or perhaps use a corner of the garden. Time will tell. What is important is that my motivation for the new scale is high. I'm looking forward to new challenges.
One of the pleasures I have had in 1:35 scale has been the mix of different materials and cooperation with other modellers. The skips are from Hesketh & Snoodyk, the loco is 3D-printed fitted on a BullAnt with decals from a friend in Denmark and etched builder's plates from a German modeller. The bridge is completely built from scratch.

Nystrup Gravel No 2 is pulling an empty train to the pits while No 1 pauses outside the shed. It's easy to populate a layout in 1:35 with detailed figures. It's the painting that's hard!

Schöma-locomotive being transported on a heavy trailer. An absolute abundance of road vehicles are available as kits in 1:35 scale. I have had much fun building and rebuilding plastic and resin kist fitting the needs of Nystrup Gravel as well as other companies and individuals in the town.
I'd never thought I'd be leaving 1:35 scale, but despite my conservative modelling attitude, keeping to one scale and theme for many years, I felt I needed to move on to something new. Even if I'm holding on to the Nystrup Gravel universe, the choise hasn't been an easy one. I've grown very fond of my 1:35 models, but will now begin a process of disposing of them as keeping them in boxes in the loft isn't a viable option. I will gradually offer some of the models for sale either here or on some of the forums I'm a member of.

I have even had the joy of building several excavators for Nystrup Gravel. My Ruston & Bucyrus is a resin kit from Accurate Armour. As on all my models I added a few details.  

The large Fowler was Nystrup Gravel's first diesel locomotive. I bought the 1:35 model from a modeller in Australia.

The joy of building modules is that one can bring them into the garden. Photograph them, enjoy them while barbequing or building on them outside as I have done a lot in recent years. Here is a Daniel Caso coach outside the shed one late evening.

1:35 has been a great scale for me and has brought me much enjoyment. I hope more modellers will discover the many possibilities the scale offers. It's a great scale for scratchbuilding, manufacturers are increasingly offering railway related products in the scale and regarding figures and road vehicles 1:35 is way ahead every of the other larger scales. Opportunities are almost endless.

The evening sun is setting as the last train of the day bring fresh gravel from one of the pits.
Should you have an interest in a particular model feel free to contact me with a proposal on price. You are welcome to mail me at the company e-mail