Loco no 14

Loco no 14

Monday, 8 January 2018

First Progress in 2018

Having done little modelling up to the end of 2017, I'm now beginning to make progress on the tracked tractor from Balaton Modell. I have the suspension units and running gear in place and have readied all track links for fitting. Engine and drive train is also ready to be fitted.
The DT-74 on all its 16 wheels sitting on my somewhat scarred cutting mat. Unfortunatly I should have paid better attention to the instructions and my archive material...I misplaced two of the suspension units. Despite the fault I'll carry on the build. I guess it would be possible to fit the units wrong in real life.


An educational poster of the DT-75's running gear. On the DT-74 a single suspension unit could be used on all four positions on the tractor. A way to cut down the number of unique parts in the tractor and simplify construction and logistics. Also a way to confuse modellers how to hand the units as I mixed up the front suspension units.

To overcome the dissapointment of not being able to assemble a simple kit correctly, I turned to painting a few 1:35 figures. They have been tucked away for years in a box without getting worked on. Now they are finally in a process of being finished.
I started the figures in December 2013 as part of a military lorry project. Contrary to the lorry I never finished the figures. Both are from Ultracast (figures 35011 and 35036).

Saturday, 30 December 2017

A Review of 2017

2017 has been a year of much varying activity modelling wise. I was off to a great start with several finished models and a module being completed. May was spent entirely on the 700 mm gauge heritage railway I volunteer on. I picked up modelling again during summer and started some new projects. I had great running sessions on my modules during September and October. Since then I have only managed to finish one project. The number of blog posts reflects that quite clearly: My blog is leaving 2017 with a count of 35 posts. Compared to the past four years where the blog has very consistently been reaching into middle or late 40's it's considerable less. Fortunately you readers have been faithfully following the blog as the visitor statistics aren't showing any decline. Probably the blog's many old posts are still found interesting enough to be read.
I had the chance to play trains for quite some time this year. The Fowler was given some intensive running on the 3.2 m railway I'm the proud owner of. Here the Fowler is operating outside in the garden on a temporary module set up. A huge advantage with modules: you can bring them everywhere!

I finished my fourth module representing the bakelite factory in Nystrup. The idea was to represent the section of the gravel railway winding itself through Nystrup's small industrial district. With the room I have available for modelling and storing models and modules a model of that section in 1:35 scale can of course only be of a very short length. I like the contrast to my more rural modules and I have now begun to wonder how my next module is going to look.
The Land Rover from Nystrup's volunteer fire brigade parked in front of Banke's Bakelite.

I had for a long time searched for the elusive Roadcraft Land Rover fire tender kit. I found it and finished building it in 2017. A great kit with a great potential for extra detailing. I built it mostly out of the box, though, only adding a fire man's helmet and other small parts. One week later I had the locomotive jacks from Blitz finished and delivered by heavy load trailer to the loco shed in Nystrup.


In the beginning of the year my model of an old Danish Alpha E 10 loco rolled off the worktable. A peculiar loco and not remotely connected to 'Danish design' so famous for its "simple, elegant and pure characteristics". Although in the case of the E 10 'simple' seems to fit! With a huge '1' on all four sides it clearly shows itself as Nystrup Gravel's first loco.

This year I had the great fortune to help celebrate two anniversaries at the heritage railway where I work as a volunteer. One was the 40. anniversary of the railway itself in May and the 50. anniversary of the closure of the last Danish sugar beet railway in December. On HVB we are fortunate to have a small selection of locos and rolling stock from the sugar beet railways and could form a small train of open beet wagons. Two trains followed the beet train, allowing visiting enthusiasts to take part in several photo sessions along the line.
The sugar beet train is on its way home after the 50. anniversary running. The sun is setting and the train is fitted with petroleum lamps and the small red rear end signal.
Mentioning railway enthusiasts I created my own two enthusiasts visiting Nystrup Gravel in 2017. I thought it appropriate to honour the first enthusiasts that have documented so many things gone today. Whether you are a surviving pioneer or a complete newcomer to the railway hobby I wish you a Happy New Year and all the best in 2018!
"Wasn't it around three o'clock the train was due here at the loco shed?" Well, you never quite knows with industrial railways. Surely the two enthusiasts will see something interesting if they wait long enough.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Nystrup's East German 'Twin'

I've been somewhat quiet modelling wise for a few weeks. Some of the time has been spent on going through the papers and photographs of Nystrup Gravel's cheif mechanic Thorleif Petersen. Some of the information made me want to build a model from an East German company - the VEB Klinker- und Ziegelwerke "Ernst Wollweber". Thorleif had a special affiliation with that company and visited it many times during his trips to DDR.


Box top illustration of Balaton Modell kit no BM3545. The Wollweber company had a Soviet built tractor with dozer blade of the DT 74-type.


The resin kit is well designed and cast. A look at the one-piece casting of the tractor's engine should confirm that. 
The parts of the tractor are well cast: no air bubbles and very limited mould lines. The majority of them separate well from their casting sprues. What I find amazing is the fit of the parts. It takes very little work to make the parts ready for assembly. The suspension assemblies fit together with no preparation straight from their sprues - just like a high quality plastic injection kit. Currently I'm ready to fit wheels and suspension units. 

Frames and final drives assembled and ready for suspension units and wheels. Two suspension units to the left.

Individual track links during assembly into track runs. The fit of the links are next to perfect. 

Judging from some of the papers Thorleif's travelling to and from DDR had to do with his memebership of the Danish Communist Party. As a young man Thorleif went to fight in the Spanish civil war as a volunteer. He kept his socialist preferences and was part of a communist resistance group fighting the Germans around Nystrup. He attended several party schools in DDR and took some engineering courses in Karl Marx Stadt as well.  


Among Thorleif's stuff I found this small badge from the 1959 May 1 celebrations in DDR - the communist German Democratic Republic. Inside the same envelope was a letter from the top management of the Baustoffe und Klinker Kombinat wishing him a 'socialist May 1'.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Trainspotters Spotted Near Loco Shed

Trainspotting was in its infancy in Denmark in the early 1950's. No railway society existed and people (well, men) interested in railways met in model railway clubs. Most railway enthusiasts didn't care much about industrial narrow gauge railways. Some of those early pioneers must have had a particular interest in narrow gauge, though. Below are images of two gentlemen engaged in some intense exploration at the Nystrup Gravel loco shed.
This must be a particular well off enthusiast. Equipped with a 16 mm. film camera (probably a 1940's Maurer) he must have had considerable means to spend on his hobby. Being dressed in sporty plus fours and gloriously striped yellow socks he is well equipped for cross country trainspotting.

Dressed in a rather less dandy-like fashion, the other visiting trainspotter is bringing a classic Rolleiflex and a sturdy bag for notebook, maps and pencils.

Waiting for Nystrup Gravel's steam loco to pass the loco shed? Hopefully the two spotters will get good shots of what they see.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Railway Enthusiasts Visiting Nystrup Gravel.

With all the images from my little gravel railway you'd sure expect it to have been visited by photographing railway enthusiasts. Although the workshop manager Thorleif Petersen was a very active photographer, many images and film sequenses from Nystrup Gravel were shot by some of the first Danish railway enthusiasts. I wanted to have a few of the pioneer trainspotters on my 1:35 railway.


Before painting. I still need to go over both figures with sand paper and file once more before I prime them.
My two trainspotters began as a US military cameraman from Plus Models and a MK35 man in long jacket (figure F176). The cameraman had his trousers carved into a pair of plus fours Tintin style and fitted with a head from a MK35 figure. I removed all military insignias and made some subtle changes on the beret. The figure's arms were positioned to operate the camera. As the camera tripod is quite a flimsy construction in 1:35 scale I placed it on a piece on thin brass sheet together with the figure. After painting camera and figure I will cover the brass sheet with ground cover and a few grass tufts.

A Plus Model's image of a painted cameraman assembled straight from the box.

I'm looking forward to see these guys chase the trains on Nystrup Gravel.
The enthusiast in the long coat took much less work. All I did was to build a simple model of a 1950's Rolleiflex 2.8A. I used a piece of plastic stock and detailed it with a few slices of plastic tube and some spare etched metal. The camera's sling was cut from copper foil.

Before I sat down at the worktable, I cleared the shed from my layouts. It takes only 10 minutes to dismantle the layouts. So while I'm certainly not anywhere near being a good woodworker, I have nevertheless made something that actually works.
The intermediate backdrop (a roll of heavy paper) has been removed and the modules ready for dismantling.
Last module standing. A moment later all four parts of the Nystrup universe were moved out of the garden shed and back on the shelves in my study.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Railway Exhibition and Back Home to Nystrup Gravel

Last week saw me attend a railway exhibition in the Swedish town of Jönköbing. Not a model railway exhibition, but Nordic Rail, the largest railway exhibition in Scandinavia. As part of my responsibilities in the Danish railway contracting company where I work, I took part in the exhibition to present all the good things the company is capable of doing.


New equipment on Hydrema's stand at Nordic Rail.

On my way back home to Copenhagen and a looming deadline I managed to visit the little town of Ohs, where a 600 mm. heritage railway is situated. The railway is a long time favourite of mine and I have visited it several times. This Wedensday morning two volunteers were busy working and I had time to help them a little, chat and watch them do some shunting. Visit the Ohs Bruk railway here.
With a heritage worthy Volvo BM front loader two volunteers from OBJ are getting ready to place a frame on a pair of bogies.


It's half past nine and the Deutz locomotive idles quietly among the tank wagons in Ohs.

OBJ loco 30 (Deutz 57095/1961) shunting in Ohs. The loco worked at the Halmstad steel works before being retired to OBJ.

Back home I have now started dismantling my module set up in the shed and getting the modules back on their shelves in my little study. A major cleaning of my cluttered work table is needed before I can get back to modelling.

Ferguson parked next to the tractor repair shop in Nystrup. Judged the nice condition this tractor is probably waiting to be picked up by its owner after an overhaul. I built the tractor from a White metal kit from The Model Tractor Company.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Autumn Is Here

In Nystrup autumn has arrived. The weather is getting colder and before long the trees will loose their leaves. Some of the last trains with steam traction are now running. Soon loco no. 2 is once again put back into storage as the demand for gravel is back to normal.
Steam loco no. 2 pulling a train of empty skips. On the road in the background you can see a Danish army Scammel recovery vehicle pausing while a soldier watches Nystrup Gravel's little train pass under the viaduct.


A sure sign that autumn is coming are the military manouvers taking place around Nystrup and Skovby. When the farmers had their crops safely harvested from their fields, the army took the opportunity of roaming the Danish countryside at will during an annual exercise. Around Nystrup that meant large numbers of army vehicles on the narrow roads, lorries parked everywhere, squaddies in barns and foxholes and officers checking maps and battle plans.
The recovery lorry have found a place to park. It is one of a few Scammel Pioneer SV/2S lorries that the Danish army acquired from the British after the 2. World War. They served the army into the fifties. My model is built from a 1:35 Accurate Armour resin kit.