Friday, 26 January 2018

Fiddle Yard Planning

As half my fiddle yard for Nystrup Gravel has been swallowed up by progress (being used to build Banke's Bakelite) I'm currently without anywhere to store trains with my modules set up in exhibition mode. Consequently I have been wondering how to design a new yard.
A full fiddle yard showing the very limited facilities. A new one doesn't need to be larger, but I consider adding a bit more protection in the form of a clear vinyl screen towards the viewing side.


My old fiddle yard was two naked 80 cm modules with four tracks fanning out from a set of points - a very primitive affair with trains stored in full view. At exhibitions I have observed that many visitors spent almost as long time at my fiddle yard as at my landscaped modules. While that could be due to my old fashioned landscaping abilities, I choose to think it's because they like to see the stored trains. As I wouldn't dream of hiding trains from viewers I have been playing with the idea of keeping my fiddle yard open for viewing. I have even thought of ballasting the yard to avoid my stock being photographed in the 'bare wastes of plywood'. As I like to have a firm connection to prototype practise, my problem was that I hadn't been able to find a Danish industrial narrow gauge railway with four long parallel tracks arranged like a fiddle yard. Until today.
Aerial photograph of 700 mm gauge holding tracks north of Saxkøbing sugar factory in May 1954.The tracks have an estimated capacity of over 200 bogie wagons, each track having a length of approximately 275 m. The tracks are nearly full as not many wagons were in use outside the beet harvesting season from September to January. This real life fiddle yard was accessed by a triangular track layout allowing easy pick up of wagons from two directions. The sugar factory was located south of the road in the bottom of the image.
With the four track fiddle yard from Saxkøbing in mind I will carry on planning my new semi-landscaped fiddle yard. I consider adding a vinyl screen to provide a mimimum of protection.



The aerial photo above is one of a total of 42.700 taken in May 1954 covering all of Denmark.  The images were captured with the best equipment available to the British RAF from a height of 4500 ft. The complete collection is easily browsable on the internet. Get your own view of Saxkøbing sugar factory here and notice how you can compare with a current air (sattelite) view of the same area.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Roller Bearings

Well, not really modelling stuff. But on second thoughts no respectable modeller tries to model an item without knowing how it works? Well I do sometimes, but mostly I try to get the basic facts clear. The research I invest in most of my projects is great fun and sometimes a challenge as big as the actual modelling.


Of course the internet and the nearest public library is of great help, but my own collection of books on old technology is also a valuable source of information. For those not obsessed with building up one's own library, many public archives are in the proces of uploading books and images online for free browsing. If in doubt you can always consult an online modelling forum for help. 

A book on SKF ball and roller bearings. A nice introduction to the multitude of products from the Swedish Company. My example is from 1958.

An advertisement for SKF ball bearings from a Danish engineering magazine, 1945.
Another SKF item. A black leather box...

...lined with blue velvet containing five examples of what SKF was capable of producing. I imagine the box has been presented to a particularly good customer by the SKF salesman. Not as useful as the book, but it makes me think of how much times have changed since the fifties.

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).