Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Three Wheeler from Banke's Bakelite

The small company Banke's Bakelite is known from previous posts on this blog. I have built part of the company's factory and one of their lorries in 1:35 scale. Now it's time for a 16 mm version of a lorry from Banke's Bakelite. The factory itself was located right next to Nystrup Gravel's track in Nystrup, but used lorries for transport of both raw materials and finished goods. Only on a few occasions due to flooding of roads did the bakelite factory use the 600 mm railway.

... und noch weiter! German advertisement for the Tempo Hanseat showing a Hanseat with a hefty tire pattern on its front tire.
The Tempo Hanseat in service at Banke's Bakelite is fitted with much a more relaxed tire pattern. The driver has left the cab and is obviously examining the little lorry. A mechanial problem, perhaps?

I decided to keep the vehicle in the colour as supplied by its manufacturer Minichamps. I only air brushed the rear end with yellow paint. This would enhance visibility and traffic safety of the little, slow lorry in the dark months of the long Danish autumn and winter. I had decals custom made using the same artwork as my previous decals in 1:35 scale. The decals were applied on surfaces prepared with gloss varnish. Mr. Hobby decal solutions helped get the large decals integrate well with the surface of the model.
I used a combination of Tamiya masking tape and a plastic bag to make sure I only got yellow paint where I wanted.

Decals being fitted on the lorry. Company name and telephone number. Rear license plate removed awaiting fitting of a new plate in line with my modelling period.
The plastic injected tarpaulin was also gloss varnished in preparation for the decals. After decal application the tarpaulin was air brushed with flat varnish. The tarpaulin was then treated with detail painting and diluted oil paints in very much the same fashion as when I paint clothing on figures. The model's original black license plates were exchanged with new ones made from plastic card, painted yellow and fitted with decals.
Decals are on and the tarpaulin is getting details painted and some general weathering added. The new license plates are glued in place. Next task is to paint details and add weathering to the rest of the little lorry.
I picked out a few details on the lorry with acrylic paint. Windshield wipers were painted with chrome and the head lights also got a shiny chrome ring to keep the lens in place. The exhaust was painted with a thick layer of acrylic paint stippled with a stiff brush while drying. That creates a nice 'ripple' effect on the exhaust looking like a layer of rust. The exhaust's texture was enhanced with a wash of rust coloured diluted oil paint. Several other parts of the engine was treated to somelight wrathering as well. The underside of the opening bonnet wase air brushed lightly with dark grey.

The doors were given an unfair number of dents and scratches to represent a victim of rather careless drivers. The load area was also distressed with both acrylic and oil paints using several sizes of brushes. I gave the car a few light passes with two tones of sand coloured paint to represent dust thrown up from the road surface. I will probably add a bit more later.
The Hanseat was primarily used to ferry finished bakelite products to the standard gauge railway station in Skovby. As most products were shipped out in cardboard boxes the tarpaulin protected them from the wetness of the Danish climate.

A splash of yellow helps to protect the slow Hanseat with dim lights being hit by faster cars on the dark roads around Nystrup.
The driver now seems to have given up all hope getting the Hanseat started again. He will now have to walk to the nearest telephone to phone for a mechanic to help him take his load of bakelite products to their destination.

The Tempo Hanseat is my fourth road vehicle finished as Danish cars matching the Nystrup Gravel universe. Now it's back to finish the brick shed and finishing the build sketches and design planning for my Pedershaab locomotive. And soon it's December with all the associated activities. After more than 15 years of modelling Nystrup Gravel, the company has not once sent out a Christmas Card. Perhaps it's about time?

Monday, 11 November 2019

New Skips

My early Christmas present for myself arrived the other day: 6 skips to enhance the carrying capacity of my 1/19 scale gravel line. The skips are of the German type in very widespread use in Denmark. In contrast to the British Hudson type that was only used by very few Danish industries.
Three new skips ready for a test run on some of Nystrup Gravel's temporary track.
A view from Mønsted Chalk Works in the 1950's. The skips are a mix of British Hudsons and German types. As countless German companies made V-skips of the same type regulated under the German 'Deutsche Institut für Normung', it's usually not easy to distinguish one company's product from another. Cropped image from
I have again been taking advantage of the falling value of the British pound in relation to the Euro. Consequently every item I have purchased from the UK in the last few months have been almost 20% cheaper than if I had shopped in e.g. 2015. I bought the skips on eBay and being the only bidder I got away with paying the minimum price set by the seller. The price for each skip consequently compares favourably with a new freight wagon in H0. Large scale railway modelling doesn't have to be expensive.

The skips are made in South Korea by Lik Enterprise Inc. for a US company called Car and Locomotive Shop to 1/19.2 scale. At least that is the scale printed on the small label on the box. Skips and a LKM NS2f loco from the same company were reviewed in Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review 57.

The skips arrived very professionally packed. Skip frame complete with wheel sets and skip body were separately packed in a zip lock plastic bag. Each of these were inserted into custom made foam shapes, keeping the skip parts safely in place in their solid cardboard box. In the box were also a small bag with two sets of coupling chain, each with 3 links and a small bag with moisture absorbing material.

New skip of German DIN 0.75 m³ type just out of the box compared with a Hudson 'Rugga' type.

With a length of 91,5 mm, a wheel base of 31 mm and a height of the skip body of 37 mm the 1/19 model correspond reasonable well with the measurements of a Orenstein & Koppel skip from 1949. The skips are well assembled and the surface is completely smooth with no trace of solder, file marks or other imperfections. The paint is well applied and small details like rivets show up nicely.
Drawing of DIN skip from Orenstein & Koppel dated 1949. The skip is of  'Leichte Bauart' a light version without e.g. a central steel profile providing lengthwise stability. For long trains and mechanical traction the light skip wasn't considered durable enough. My 16 mm scale skips have the central frame beam.
Being made completely from metal the skips are surprisingly heavy. The weight will help them to keep the track better even when running unloaded. The skip body is easily tipped with a push of a finger, but sitting stable in its cradle when running. The skips comes in three colours. My order was made up from 4 grey, 1 black and 1 rusty red.

I will be painting my skips in weathered dark grey/black after having drilled a row of holes in in the bottom of the skip body to allow water to drain out. It will probably last a while before I get to complete that task, as other projects are higher on the priority list. Until then the skips will handle the necessary traffic in their original liveries.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Visiting Clausthal

When in Germany and not too far away from Clausthal any sane person with my name knows where to go! Considering that the town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld in addition is home to the oldest mine shaft steel headframe in Germany and on the UNESCO world heritage list, a visit was quite unavoidable. I was on my way home from the international narrow gauge meeting in Ilmenau.
Mine shaft headframe from 1876.

The Ottiliae Schacht mine shaft headframe is not only the preserved oldest in Germany, but also appears to be the oldest in Europe. The headframe once served a mine shaft almost 600 m deep. The shaft served workings of lead and zinc and was taken out of service in 1930. Since the workings served as water resevoirs for water turbines. That use terminated in 1980 and in 1984 the shaft was filled with concrete and the buildings turned into a museum. A 600 mm line connects the museum with the former railway station in Clausthal-Zellerfeld.
B 660 tandem locomotive from Betrieb für Bergbauausrüstungen, Aue. The type was built from 1980 to 1990 when the production was closed down due to the collapsing economy of DDR. With a weight of 5.5 t it develops 8.4 kW.

Lots of interesting stuff to explore on the tracks near the headframe. To the left a compressed air powered locomotive.

The B 660 pulling 3 wagons having just left the mine museum.

The Clausthal area is hilly and mountainous and the B 660 has a tough job ahead of it, when returning uphill to the mine shaft. The mine museum is located in a very beautiful area

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Brexit and Modelling

I will not be going political here. Only mentioning that for a continental European there is currently a good exchange rate to the pound when shopping in the UK. With a lot of interesting products to 16 mm scale coming from Great Britain now is a good time to buy some of the stuff you think you might need. Without worrying about future risks for custom issues and higher prices.

This week I received a small parcel from Severn Models containing two WD class P kits in 1/19 scale. I'm not exactly planning anything in the way of a military railway, but the wagons' light construction appealed to me. I guess Nystrup Gravel used them for light permanent way work, taking materials and tools to work sites along the track. 
Flat packed kits of the WD class P. Quite an advantage as my kits will go into storage for while.

Kit contents unpacked. Etched brass for under frame and strapping, cast parts for detailing in plastic bag, plastic card for wooden parts and Slater's wheels.

See details of the kit on Severn Model's web site, where the kit can also be purchased. I tend to buy kits once I discover them, as I have previously found that waiting too long can result in sold out kits or the company disappearing. Perhaps you should consider that too?

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Van With Danish Markings

Last year I purchased a lovely French Chenard & Walcker van. The van is a charming vehicle in a nice green colour. Unfortunately it was adorned with French markings. Besides the French license plates it was also fitted with what I suspect to be regional markins from the Seine region. On its sides the car producer's name was written with large letters. To be turned into a believable Danish van the markings had to go and new decals fitted.
Straight from the box onto a small garden table for photography.
After adding new markings, license plates and weathering.

Removing unwanted markings without ruining underlying paint is a challenge. In this case there just wasn't any alternative. I chose to test the effect of acetone on an area of paint on the car's underside. It took several applications of acetone and a good deal of rubbing with a swab before I managed to get just a tiny amount of green paint showing on the swab. So far so good: the green paint held up to the effects of acetone pretty well. My hope was that the markings had been printed with a different kind of paint easy to remove without affecting the main colour.

It turned out that the markings dissolved quite readily when treated with acetone. I started with the blue and white 'Seine' markings, progressed to the painted on rear lights and rear license plate. With those markings off, I had developed enough confidence to remove the large 'Chenard & Walcker' lettering on the van's sides. Rather than using swabs I used a piece of soft cloth dipped in acetone. Using swabs to remove the lettering would have taken ages and I was afraid that too many passes with acetone could eventually damage the green paint.
'Seine' in blue and white is destined for removal. The French license plate will be covered by a new Danish one.

The marking is slowly dissolved and wiped away with acetone and swab.

The marking is gone with no damage to the green paint.

I fitted the van with yellow license plates according to the regulations for commercial vehicles. I have previously had the complete license plate made as a decal, but I always had troubles matching the size of decal and homemade plastic card license plate. Now my decals have only letters and numbers. I paint the correct colour (black or yellow) directly on the plastic card license plate and then apply the decal. Having removed the painted on rear lights I fitted a new rear light over the rear license plate. Except from light and license plates no further parts were added.

The large decals for the van's sides slided easily off the backing paper after 30 seconds in water. With the van's gloss sides the decals were also easy to position correctly. After treatment with Mr. Hobby decal fluids I covered the decals with gloss varnish to protect them and blend them into the van's surface. I may need more practice working on large scale glossy vehicles as I'm not quite satisfied with the result...
Snapshot from the worktable. Decals fitted and blended in with gloss varnish. The lower parts of the van air brushd with matt varnish and road dirt colours.

The car's lower parts were air brushed with matt varnish and a thin application of road dirt colours. Small details were picked out and I continued the weathering into cab and cargo hold to enable some realistic scenes to be set up with open doors.
Weathering of cab floor in progress.

Although not completly happy with the varnishing of the large decals on the van's sides, I like the van. It's convincingly Danish looking, fitting the Nystrup Gravel period and theme and isn't overwhelmingly large. Below are som outdoor shots of the van.
The road dirt is primarily done with air brushed matt acrylics with a few spots made with a thin brush. A few oily spots added with oil paint.

The van belongs to 'Lützows Lyn-vaskeri' which in English is something like 'Lützow's lightning fast washing'. A company with a reference to one of my railway friends - always keen on having clean work clothes.

Rear view with license plate and rear light.

Both rear doors open. The inside floor is weathered as well.

Driver's door open. The cab floor got its share of weathering. Apart frm using paints I also used ground up pastel chalk and graphite powder to weather the van.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Nystrup Gravel Track Plan

One of the blog's patient readers recently asked if I could provide a map of the Nystrup Gravel company's 600 mm line. I have through the years mentioned how the Nystrup Gravel line winded its way from pits to sorting facility and lorry ramp in Nystrup.  Now a sketch is finally available showing the railway's route. My sketch shows the gravel pits served by 600 mm. tracks with the lines converging east of the town.

The company 'Nystrup Grus A/S' was situated on the Danish island of Zealand, some 80 km. south west of Denmark’s capital Copenhagen. A short history of the company and its railway can be found here.

1 Nystrup Gravel sorting facility and lorry loading ramp
2 Old gravel pit and original 600 mm line
3 Loco shed
4 Gravel pit opened 1909
5 Gravel pit 1932-1945
6 Gravel pit opened 1951

A Lille Å (Little Stream)
B Mellemåen (Medium Stream)
C Old machine gun positions (from the German WW2 airfield to the north)

Nystrup Gravel's Menck 60 excavator photographed in the pit marked '6' on the map above. The pit remained in service until Nystrup Gravel closed. The area was subsequently aqcuired by a UK based consortium Conglomerated Aggregates and quarried until completely exhausted.
Through the blog's existence I have now and then had the opportunity to find some of the places where the railway was once located. One spot was where the gravel line squeezed between buildings and fences in the small industrial district in the eastern part of Nystrup. A part of the line that I liked so well that I made a small module in 1:35 of the scene.

The road viaduct east of the loco shed. The viaduct carried the road from Nystrup to Ubehage and Dimholt. Here seen with loaded skips pushed by loco no 5.
I'm currently planning to model a small part of the company's Nystrup facility in 16 mm scale. Just a few tracks, two or three points, some buildings and perhaps the ramp for loading lorries. With clever use of relief buildings and fences I hope to be able to make a credible model in a large scale in a limited space.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Brick Shed Building

After some sanding I had the four main pieces of the brick shed kit ready for assembly. I tack glued the pieces with AC glue to make sure everything lined up properly. When dry I built up a good glue seam from the inside with Araldite.
The front of the brick shed.

The kit is designed with a stone lintel over each door. An architetural element rarely seen on humble buildings in Denmark. I sanded the area smooth and fitted a line of bricks made from plastic card instead. As the mortar lines are rather thin I have chosen to build the shed as a rendered structure. I use Polyfilla filler to create the rendering. It's pre-mixed, easily applied with a coffee stirrer and can be sanded slightly to remove unwanted bits.
Rear side of brick shed with first polyfilla render smeared on. I will probably add another layer after a light sanding of the first layer.

Side of the building with rendering in progress. It's obvious that the corners need special attention.
I have made both floor and inner roof in foam board. It helps to reinforce the walls and keep the stucture square. The roof itself will be from foam board too, fitted with tar paper and fascia boards from wood.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

29. Internationales Feldbahnertreffen

Four days of trainspotting, more than 100 locos in 600 mm gauge, a guided tour in an old flourspar mine, good German beer and solid oldfashioned food from very large pots. That was the ingredients in this year's Internationales Feldbahnertreffen at the 'Voller Rose' mining museum near Ilmenau in Germany.
Adjacent to the mining museum is a large private collection with a particular focus on O&K Montania locomotives. Truely a unique collection. For those who can't live without steam three visiting locos made the meeting bearable. 

Each year enthusiasts that keep alive narrow gauge railways – almost all of them with an industrial connection – meet for the ‘Feldbahnertreffen’. A gathering of mostly continental, German speaking enthusiasts keep each other updated with their latest challenges and accomplishments. Apart from the networking and exchange of tips and tricks, a lot of train riding on the host society’s railway is on the programme. I enjoy these meetings immensely. Not only as a volunteer on a narrow gauge railway but also as a railway modeller. There is always inspiration and ideas to be picked up on the meetings.
A one cylinder O&K Montania locomotive type RL 1c with two wooden bogie wagons running slowly through a sunny spot in the wood.

The yearly meetings are a great opportunity to meet fellow enthusiasts from around Europe. Here a group of French enthusiasts are photographed together on their WW1 US Army speeder.

The wooded area allowed some quite realistic timber railway images to be made.

A trip into the flourspar mine 'Voller Rose' was made with a two wagon train pulled by a battery electric loco. The the adit was narrow and the speed high. The sides of the adit was no more than 10 cm from my knees, so one had to better keep arms and legs tight to the body. An exiting ride and one wonders how, when there is no end to silly rules applying to a lot of things less risky, a ride like this is allowed. Germans are obviously sensible people. A volunteer driver and guide gave a short tour of the underground workings showing how the pneumatic tools of the trade worked.
A train with mine tourists exiting the adit. The loco is a typical DDR-product from Betrieb für Bergwerksausrüstungen, Aue type 360.

A view of the narrow adit leading into the mine. As the track is 600 mm gauge the narrowness of the adit is made quite clear.
There were no end to the trains running on the circular track stretching for 1,5 km in the woods and on the valley floor. Mine skips, ordinary skips, wooden bogie wagons, open coaches made up the trains while steam and motor locos were used for traction, many running solo or in pairs as the number of locos far outnumbered that of wagons. On the final day of the meeting a train with 50  Montania locos pulling one skip was planned. The locos were started and lined up for the event, but somehow the train never got off.
Part of the loco line up in preparation for the extraordinary train of 50 locos and one skip.
Next year's meeting will be in the Netherlands at the Stoomtrein Katwijk Leiden. More images from this year's meeting are available in my Flickr album ITF 2019.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Petrol Pump and Brick Shed

For my future small 16 mm scale indoor module I'm currently testing out some structures to get a feeling of how much space they will occupy. As with everything in 16 mm scale there is a lot of structure in even a tiny little brick shed. That's both the great thing about the scale and the challenge it poses. Particularly as I plan on beginning my 16 mm adventure indoor.

The small brick shed is a resin kit from Kippo Models named 'plate layer's hut' found on eBay. While the scale is presented as 1/22 it doesn't seem to pose any practical problems when placed next to rail and road vehicles or figures in 16 mm scale. The brick shed is the first building I assemble in the scale. Needless to say the assembly proces takes up quite some space on my modestly sized workbench.
The front casting and one of the sides. The castings are surprisingly flat. I had expected them to be prone to warping due to their size, but perhaps the thickness helps them stay in shape. The mortar courses are probably a little thin in this scale.
Rear wall segment and a side test fitted together with a piece of masking tape. The finger joins takes quite a lot of sanding to fit. I hope the final result isn't affected too much.

The model is fitted with a slate roof. Slate roofs are not uncommon in Denmark, but slate was never used on humble sheds like this one. I will be fitting the brick shed with a wooden roof covered in tarpaper.

I don't know if a petrol pump is large enough to be called a structure. But I can't imagine having a layout without a charming fuel pump. I don't know if this Pennzoil pump from Hong Kong manufacturer Yat Ming will remain for long on my layout. It depends if I succeed detailing it sufficiently. The pump is a pre-assembled 1/18 model of metal and plastic. While some of the pump's parts are very nice, others are over-simplified and the chrome plating does nothing to hide it.

Petrol pump, brick shed and figure.

A quick way of identifying old gas pumps. From the website of producer of aluminum gangways and loading racks. 
While I carry on assembly of the brick shed I will see if I can make some minor alterations to the petrol pump. More will follow here shortly.