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.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Cars for 16 mm scale

As I'm quite fond of road vehicles I couldn't think of testing a new scale without checking out if any cars are available. I was pleased to find that you can get nice pre-assembled road vehicles in 1/18 scale that can be used in 16 mm scale. Most of the available models are modern or high-powered cars of no use to me. Nevertheless I found a rather good selection fitting within a 1950's Danish scene. I ordered a pair of nice, characterful French cars because I fancied them and was able to get them to a nice price.
Straight from the box to the garden for a snapshot.

One of the cars arriving in a very large box from France was a diecast Chenard & Walcker type CHV van from 1946. I'm not sure there ever was such a van in Denmark, but the design was taken over by Peugeot and vans of that type were seen on Danish roads. With a modest rating of 26 hp the van was most likely not exactly fast.

The manufacturer of the model is the French company Norev. Being made from metal it is probably the heaviest model I have ever owned! Despite being diecast and pre-assembled I find the detail very satisfactory. It must be the large scale that enables such fine detail to be achieved on a pre-assembled model right out of the box. The rear view mirrors on the doors look a little toy like, but I think a washing with diluted black oil paint will bring out the detail on the mirrors a little better.

I love the way the front doors open!
Most 1/18 car models probably end up as collectors' items in their boxes or in a cupboard. My lovely green van will be fitted with Danish license plates and I will try to remove most of the things identifying it as a French registrered car. It will probably receive some light weathering to enhance realism. It will make it completely worthless on the collectors' market, but I'm a builder and user of models, not a collector.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Skips in 16 mm scale

With an arm encased in plaster 16 mm scale projects have a clear benefit over my 1:35 ones. They are larger and more manageable with my restricted use of my left hand. Consequently, I have been working on two skips, as that is a type of wagon I’m quite well used to handle.
When I bought decals for my GVT wagon I also had two Hudson skips from Binnie Engineering sent to Denmark. I added metal wheels to the order. Both to enhance future running qualities and to provide some weight. Looking through the plastic bag of kit parts upon arrival revealed a simple, but basically sound kit, although with a little less detail than my 1:35 Hudson skips from Scale Link.
Instructions for the kit and the metal wheel set.
My first task was to fill some large sink holes in the skip frame. Located in the curved end parts of the frame, the holes needed several passes with putty and files to be filled. I drilled out the axle boxes for the brass top hat bearings, fitting them with AC-glue. Then I glued the 14 parts together, leaving out the plastic coupling horns. 
With putty and sanding I managed to remove the sink holes in the frame.
I intend to improve the skips a bit, adding detail on axle boxes, improved representation of couplings and enhance detail on the edges of the skip body.
Two Nystrup Gravel skips ready for detailing and final assembly.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Vacation And Obstruction

With decals arrived I could get on with the finishing touches on my 16 mm scale Glyn Valley wagon. A wagon I thought would make an easy and relaxing build to last me through my vacation. It even outlasted my vacation as I'm currently not completely fit modelling wise. During reroofing one of my sheds I had an incident on a ladder leaving me with a broken left wrist. No lasting damage, but enough to limit modelling for a while.
The decals from 'Dickies Decals' are in place. They work well with my usual decal solutions MR Hobby decal softner and setter. I chose no 157 on one side and no 130 on the other. You never see the wagon from both sides at the same time, so why not create some variety! I have picked up the trick from David Taylor and his 0-16.5 Charmouth layout.
Decals were fitted before my little accident and since I have been enjoying weathering the little wagon. Small heaps of granite chippings have been glued inside the wagon. Interior as well as exterior have been weathered with oil and acrylic paints, chalk colours and graphite from a soft pencil. It may need a little additional treatment, particular on the inside.
The 157-side of the Binnie Engineering wagon. I'm not in any way certain if there ever was a GVT wagon numbered 157 or 130. The kit was bought as I felt an urge, not after any deliberation at all or because I know anything about the GVT.

The 130-side of the wagon. A simple design fit for a primitive industrial railway.

The inside still needs some attention to blend the different colours together.

I'm sure wagon 157/130 isn't my last model in 1/19 scale. I like the physical presence of the large models and the relatively large trade support. I notice that the level of detailing isn't always to the standard I'm used to in 1:35 but then there's something for myself to add. Currently I have a Ffestiniog brake van in progress and two Hudson skips unassembled.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Different Scales

Having for the past 15 years or more not built a kit in an other scale than 1/35-1/32 I'm currently going completly bonkers. I have bought kits in two other scales. One well-known from many years ago (1/87) and one completely new (16 mm scale). I'm I loosing the interest in 1/35? Probably not as I know of a range of other modellers happily modelling in many different scales, so why not me?
1/87 two-way excavators for a project at work. Being a modeller can't be kept a secret for ever when working for a railway contractor. Some of these will probably be rebuilt with larger cabs and buffers. Proper painting and custom made decals will definately be needed.

16 mm scale Glyn Valley Tramway wagon from Binnie Engineering bought in the museum shop at Tywyn Wharf station. It sort of just fell into my hand together with a number of books.
While the small excavators are destined to become an Autumn project at the real work table, the granite wagon seemed like a good project for the cottage, where I can ony bring the most necessary tools.

Having never built anything in 16 mm scale and never even seen a 16 mm scale model in real life, I had no idea how large the wagon would become once it was assembled. I was baffled by the size! The wagon was close to four times larger than a 1/35 skip.

The parts were moulded without any flash and fitted well. Without any fuss the model was assembled in no time. I had planned to simply assemble and paint the model, but once started I couldn't help distressing a few planks and removing a bolt head and drilling a hole to represent a missing bolt. Decals were ordered (and a few additional 16 mm scale wagons mysteriously 'fell' in the shopping cart as well).
Most of the parts in place. My usual size rubber bands would hardly reach around the model without splitting!

Primed and with the first layers of paint on. As the Danish Summer has produced more than two months' worth of delightful warm days and evenings the model has been built exclusively out of doors.
Work on the wagon will now have to await the decals arriving. In the meantime I'll be checking out the great garden railway blog about the Peckforton Light Railway. I wish you all a happy Summer!

Monday, 9 July 2018

Heavy load trailer and tractor

I have had a few requests for more info on the trailer and tractor seen on 'road plank' in an earlier blogpost. Both are more than 10 years old now and both of them are suffering moderately from age.
Ruston & Bucyrus excavator

The trailer is a German army Sonderanh√§nger 116 with a 22 t load capacity built from a resin kit from the French manufacturer DES Kits. I built the trailer back in 2003 as part of a project to build the transport seen on the image below.
Danish contractor O. M. Hougaard transporting a O&K excavator with what is most likely former German army equipment left behind in Denmark after the occupation.

The trailer is ready for primer and paint. The DES Kits resin parts were thin and nicely cast with no warpage. Over the years the wheel axles have begun to warp a bit under the weight of the model. Perhaps it's time to exchange the model with a Tamyia trailer, where the injection plastic parts are mixed with an aluminium profile reinforced load bed.
Trailer in German Panzer Grey and tyres with basic weathering.
The Faun ZSR was a heavy tractor designed for the German army with a 150 hp engine. Special versions of the tractor could be fitted with railway wheels. I built the Elitemodell resin kit in 2004, replacing a considerable number of parts with home made ones. Contrary to the trailer, where there is now an injection plastic version available, the Faun is still only available in resin.
Quite a few home made parts in this view of the model in an unpainted stage. The cab has been detailed and painted.

A short break during the transport of an excavator. Possibly the crew (driver and helper) is checking if the Ruston & Bucyrus excavator stays safely on the trailer.

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.