Sunday, 24 June 2018

A Short Stretch of Road

With countless road vehicles and modules with very limited road facilities (I'm building a model railway after all!) I have been missing a place to photograph my lorries and cars. Now I have built a short stretch of road to enable my road vehicles to be photographed on a proper length of macadamised local road.
First stage in the building of my simple 'road photo plank': a length of plywood with a piece of foambord for road surface. Disregard the workshop clutter, please.
With a roadside slope made from plaster the whole plank is painted black using my standard 1:1 fence paint. I did a little fence painting as I had the lid off the bucket. When dry I sprayed the surface with matt varnish from a spray can.
I planted grass in several tones along the roadside and added a few clusters of higher plants as well. When the glue had dried I placed a layer of gravel between the plants and road and fixed it with a mix of water, white glue and washing up liquid applied with a syringe. In this state the 'road photo plank' was ready for its debut acting as a scene for steam roller and living van.

I decided to fit some telegraph poles at the roadside although they are too close to the road to be completely realistic. That will however hardly be noticable on photos. On my shelves I found sprues with parts to make some 1:35 plastic telegraph poles. Not particularly detailed, but sufficient for this simple photo diorama. The poles are from Italeri (kit no 0404). The poles were assembled, painted and weathered. I mounted a length of brass wire in each pole to allow them to be easily planted in the 'road plank'. The brass wire also worked as a handle during painting.
There was barely light enough, but I managed to paint the telegraph poles before darkness.
The finished road plank carrying my model of an excavator transport on an old German Army Sonderanhänger 116 heavy load trailer pulled by a Faun ZSR tractor.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Slate on Nystrup Gravel

On my recent trip to Wales, I picked up a few pieces of slate at Ffestiniog. Some of them have suddenly appeared on some of Nystrup Gravel's 1:35 flat wagons. No slate was naturally present around Nystrup so the slabs are probably imports on their way to Ericsons Stenhuggeri (Ericson's Stone Masonry). It was a small affair some 100 m from the Nystrup tracks. It sometimes had stone slabs delivered via removable track panels.
Loco 3 made by Swedish manufacturer Sala with a short train of Welsh slate slabs passing Banke's Bakelite.

The train enroute to Ericksson's Stone Masonry. The stone masonry was accessed via removable track panels. Some of the track panels were owned by the stone masonry and were made completely from wood.

Friday, 15 June 2018

A Trip to Wales

I had never been to the British Isles with the specific intent to study railways. Last week I was on a four day tour of a small selection of narrow gauge railways in mostly Wales. Me and a few pals travelled in the company of a party from the Swedish Industrial Railway Society.

First stop was at Statfold Barn Railway where a fantastic display of locos were steamed up and running in addition to the static exhibits in the roundhouse shed. While I like small internal combustion locomotives the sheer number and standard of finish of the steam locos didn't fail to impress me.
Two locos waiting in front of the Statfold signalbox. Nearest is 'Lautoka' (Hudswell 1056/1914) and behind her is 'Liassic' (Peckett 1932/1926). Their shiny looks are representative of all Statfold locos.

An Erie type A steam excavator from 1915 in the yard at Statfold Barn. Probably the coolest machine at Statfold Barn. Why hasn't anyone made a kit of a machine like that in 1:35 scale?

Next on the programme was a visit to Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway including a very pleasant ride in a comfortable coach over some of the best track I have ever experienced on a heritage railway. My compliments to the permanent way team on the railway!
A view from the last coach travelling through the lush greenery of the valley.
Loco 823 (Beyer Peacock 3497/1902) taking water at Welshpool Raven Square.

We hadn't time for a trip on the Bala Lake Railway and arrived too late to see the last train for the day arrive at Llanuwchllyn station. We did see 'Holy War' (Hunslet 779/1902) and visiting 'Hugh Napier' (Hunslet 855/1904) from Ffestiniog simmering outside the loco shed.
Having heard horrid stories about Welsh weather I enjoyed four days of sun, clear skies and warm air. Nothing like a rain cloud in sight.

A railfan trip to Wales wouldn't be complete without a visit to Ffestiniog Railway. Our small party was treated to a behind the scenes-tour of the workshops and sheds at Boston Lodge. I was surprised by the amount of clutter and oil spillings in the workshop, but surely the results made there speaks for themselves. A marvellous railway I hope to visit again.
Double Fairlie 'Merddin Emrys' from 1879 rolling slowly through the pointwork outside the Boston Lodge workshops.
Welsh Highland Railway 143 built by Beyer Peacock in 1958 parked right up to the mountain side.

On the Vale of Rheidol Railway we travelled from Devil's Bridge to Aberystwyth. As on all the railways we visited on the tour, we travelled in our own reserved coach, allowing us to shift from side to side to enjoy a particular scenery on one side of the track, an interesting track layout on the other etc. A tour of the 2012 built workshops was included and made a most contrasting experience to the visit at the Boston Lodge works.
Last train of the day has arrived in Aberystwyth. The loco is about to push the train into the shed for safe storage over the night.
Also included in the trip's programme was a visit to the first preserved railway in the world, the Talyllyn Railway and the neighbouring narrow gauge railway museum. Being a 'track guy' I loved the variety of old rail and track at the museum. An aspect too often overlooked in museums. A point I will bring back home to the vintage railway where I spend some of my sparetime.
Plateway wagon on iron rails in the Narrow Gauge Museum at Tywyn Wharf station.

Talyllyn (Fletcher, Jennings & Co 42/1864) taking water at Dolgoch station. I love the weathering on the water tank.
The journey gave good inspiration to future intiatives on the Danish vintage railway where I work as a volunteer and I also picked up a few ideas for modelling projects in the future.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Budget Modelling Water Cart

Having finished the living van to accompany the steam roller I couldn't resist taking on building a two wheeled water trailer to be added to the road train. I couldn't find a Danish water cart that suited my taste, but a British one had caught my eye. Very simple and of a lovely 'art noveau'ish' style.

A British steam roller pulling a water cart. The wagon has been fitted with a seat but is otherwise simplicity itself.
My water cart is completely made from left overs from other kits, a few lengths of copper wire and plastick stock. A true piece of budget modelling! My model isn't a direct copy of the British cart, but rather my rough representation simply capturing the main shapes.
Slow transport on its way to the next work site. The sunny and warm Danish summer makes sure the steam roller driver isn't freezing in his exposed position.

Top: Without paint and details. Bottom: Detailed, painted and weathered. The wheels are from an old kit of a Soviet armoured car. Even the suction hose and rolled up firehose came from the spares box. Only the decals were bought for this little project.

The steam roller incl. its road train on my almost finished 'road plank' in the garden. I've fitted simple telegraph poles along the roadside.

"The county's road repair equipment enroute to the deplorable roads between Dimholt and Ubehage. About time." Image and part of the photo caption from an old Nystrup newspaper. 1949.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Old Machinery in Action

On the TimeWinder vintage rally in Northern Zealand 60 km from Copenhagen I had the chance to refresh my motivation to build models of all sorts of old machinery. As if I needed more...

What's not to like? A 700 mm gauge industrial railway locomotive passing an old Ford A car at TimeWinder 2018. Why isn't any of the kit companies bringing out a Ford A in 1:35?
TimeWinder 2018 was the second time this new vintage rally was held. It is a 'break out' event from the well established Græsted vintage rally. Sometimes vintage rally organisers (like everybody else)  have their differences and in this case they decided to split up. That means we now have two vintage rallies in the same weekend only some 15 km apart. Which can't be good for any of the rallies' business.

It was my first visit to TimeWinder and it was a very plesant experience. I comparison with the old location in Græsted the TimeWinder benefits from the beautiful grounds around the old manor of Grønnessegaard. An added attraction is the manor's landing strip for small airplanes and the view over the fjord. The airstrip was base for number of old airplanes during the rally.
One of a number of very old tractors present at the rally. As a possible consequence of the split of the old rally organisation the number of tractors was considerable smaller at TimeWinder in comparison with Græsted before 2017.

Two old steam engines pausing for a brief moment. The Foden steam lorry is a charming vehicle and I will research the relevant archives for the unlikely possibility that a vehicle like it was in service around Nystrup.
The most charming views could be experienced around the rally grounds.
In the years to come I will have tough decision to make wether to visit TimeWinder or Græsted in the hunt for close encounters with old machinery. TimeWinder's best cards must be the great surroundings allowing for a land, sea and air experience, the many foreign exhibitors and the fact that they even have their own 700 mm gauge railway. Perhaps I have to visit both rallys next year?
The 700 mm. loco had a remarkably local link being built in Hundested only a few kilometers away from the rally grounds. Almost like coming home!

Monday, 21 May 2018

New Doors for the Loco Shed

Four years ago I fitted doors to the Nystrup Gravel loco shed. I fabricated them from plasticcard and profiles. Even if I made them of a laminated construction I must face that they have now taken on some odd shapes lately due to warping. Consequently I have removed them from the shed and am now about to fit a new pair.
The warped doors in terrible close up. Such croocked doors have no place on my loco shed.

With a model railway approaching its 16. birthday it is no wonder that it takes some maintenance, but I must confess being a little surprised by the doors warping so soon. Despite my surprise I set about to make two new doors from wooden stirring sticks from coffee shops and wooden profiles.

The two old doors and the new ones in progress. Size and shape more or less the same except minor improvements.

The new doors fitted with recycled brass hinges from the old ones. The new doors have been test fitted and needs only minor adjustments before painting.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Finished Living Van

With a speedy delivery of decals from 'Skilteskoven' I have finished the living van to accompany my steam roller model. My delivery from 'Skilteskoven' also contained decals for the steam roller which is now recognisable as a roller from 'Sorø Amts Vejvæsen' (Sorø County Road Departement).  Building the van has been great fun and very cheap. Every part except from the decal came ready available from my shelves and spares boxes. A new cheap item is already on its way to join the steam powered road train.
The Aveling & Porter 10 t. steam roller pulling a medium blue living van along a shiny new macadamised local road near Nystrup.

Living van uncoupled and the steam roller is now able to do some road work.
A Fordson lorry slowly passes the work site.
The living van was weathered with diluted oil paints and air brushing after the decals were fitted. A ladder was hung on the brackets on the van's right side and I added a etched brass bucket on one of the rear brackets. I suspect the two rear brackets were used for petroleum lamps during the dark hours.

A rear view of the van. For the warning text on the lower part of the door to be of any use, the steam roller driver should probably remove some of the road grime deposited there.

Front end of the van with the double doors to the cargo compartment holding oil, the most necessary spare parts, fire wood and a small supply of coal for the steam roller.