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.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Two-Way Diversion

I have just finished 4 models in an entirely different scale than 1:19. I have been working in 1:87 scale, building two-way excavators as part of a project at my work. We have provided the client of one of our large scale station refurbishments with a H0 scale model of that particular railway station. On several of the station's tracks some of my tiny models will remind our client who did the work. See a short reference on the 1:1 project here.

Østerport Station in lasercut cardboard. The original was built in 1897 and a 1:87 twin now resides in the customer's headquarters. 
As available models of two-way excavators are rather limited, the basis of my modelling is the Kibri kit of a Liebherr A 922 (kit nr. 11264). The Kibri model is not of the exact same types of Liebherr machines we currently use in the company, and as far as I know there isn't a 1/87 model of one of the contemporary Liebherr two-way excavators.
Aarsleff Rail 70225, a Liebherr A 924 FD, levelling ballast. The machine is 'FD' - friction drive to avoid the rubber tires touching the rails. On sections with ERTMS signalling only the rail wheels are allowed to touch the rails.

User's manual for a Liebherr A 900 C ZWFD. Useful for getting aquainted with how a two-way excavator works.
I started with the ambition to at least provide the models with two-seater cabs, but as I could not find any resin or 3D aftermarket sets providing a fitting cab, I decided to build the kits straight out of the box. Despite being very small, the kits are quite detailed with a lot of parts. I assembled the excavator arms as per the instructions and managed to get all four of them workable. To ease painting I glued them in position after having positioned them. As the finished excavators will live glued to the tracks next to the station under an acrylic hood no one is likely to appreciate the arms being movable.
Work is progressing. 4 chassis assemblies and excavator arms painted and fitted with decals. Cab interiors to the far right.

Bodies and cab tops in orange ready for gloss varnish. Having recently changed from modelling in 1:35 to 1:19 scale I certainly found it a challenge to adjust to 1:87. 
One of the excavators ready for final assembly.
The Aarsleff Rail colours are rather characteristic and I feared it would be a challenge to find a good match in my preferred range of paints from Vallejo. It turned out that Vallejo 70.910 'Orange Red' and Vallejo Air 71.005 'Intermediate Blue' fitted the colours pretty closely. In my eyes, at least

I ordered decals from my usual supplier 'Skilteskoven'. It was fun ordering decals many times smaller than I usually order for use in banners, prints and logos for vehicles.

Now my work on some 'real' models can continue. On the other hand it's been great fun to be able to utilize my modelling network in my professional career.

Bird's eye view of the model. It's a lovely model built by a talented designer and builder. My small contribution of model excavators is not designed to draw away attention from the excusite building.

The model placed inside its prototype building with old photographs of Østerport Station on the wall. The model is equipped with hardwood edging, steel legs and acrylic hood.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Lister History

In a recent post I mentioned that I had found a letter with info on Nystrup Gravel's Lister locomotive. From the letter it seems Nystrup Gravel was searching for a locomotive in the 4-5 t. range, but had to contend with a Lister. The steel and machine trading company P. C. Petersen informs the shop manager at Nystrup Gravel, Torleif Petersen that they have two locomotives on their site, but advise Thorleif not to buy them due to their deplorable condition. Instead P. C. Petersen's salesman suggests acquiring the Lister.

In the letter posted Friday June 18 1948 (obviously sent in a hurry as it remained unsigned) the salesman writes that the Lister has been taken as partial payment in a recent exchange of goods with another customer and that Nystrup Gravel can have it for a price of 637 Danish kroner. The salesman writes: "...we need immediate response from you as the rail tractor is the object of much attention from other potential buyers".

The salesman describes the Lister as "... built on a frame of steel profiles with a one cylinder engine under a light bonnet. The driver's position is open and the tractor is equipped with ballast weights and buffers and couplings both front and rear". The letter confirms old workers' reports that the Lister was a mid-thirties model bought second hand after 1945. The Lister was mostly used for light shunting duties at the gravel works in Nystrup and the occasional light permanent way train.

Saturday, 7 September 2019


In the early fifties a private car was still something many people could only dream of. Public transport and bikes were used by those that had a longer distance to work than they could walk. Scooters became popular as they provided a good deal of flexibilty, were comparatively fast and relatively cheap. It is no surprise that I had to have at least one scooter on Nystrup Gravel.
Scooters were popular among both young and old. Here three children are enjoying the Danish summer outside Odense in 1954 on a sidecar equipped scooter. Archive: Fynske Billeder.
My model is a Welly 1/18 scale model bought on eBay from China. It is marked as a Vespa 125cc 1953 model. I suspect the model to be an earlier model as the 1953 model saw the headlamp move up between the handlebars. No matter what the model fits the period I'm modelling.

Right out of the cardboard box and onto my small stretch of smooth country road for a posed photo. The Piaggio company originally designed the Vespa to cope with poor post-war roads in Italy. Once a producer of military planes Piaggio went on to produce millions of scooters for those not wanting to spend a small fortune on a car.

Despite being a relatively cheap diecast model most of the detail present on a real 1953 Vespa is represented on the 1/18 model. Some of it a bit soft and clumsy, but nevertheless there.
My Vespa will have brake and gear cables fitted, minor details repainted and will be equipped with license plates. I presume the scooter is owned by one of the younger workers at Nystrup Gravel, having seen the Vespa's obvious sex appeal in the 1952 movie 'Roman Holiday' starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

Vespa posters on a fence in Nystrup. Perhaps a meeting place for the local Vespa club? Vespa enthusiasts will notice that the Vespa World Days poster is way out of the usual timeframe in Nystrup being from the St. Tropez 2016 meeting.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Inspiration - No Bicycling!

With access to a large number of images from Danish industrial railways I'm flooded with scenes, structures and vehicles begging to be modelled. Currently I'm looking for inspiration for my future 16 mm scale module. In that proces I stumbled over an image from Vindø Brickworks.
No bicycling! As if any sane cyclist would want to cycle uphill into a clay pit? No matter what the image is full of character and atmosphere. I'm quite sure I will try to incorporate a model of the sign on a post near the track on my model. Photo: IBK archive.

Vindø Brickworks is one of the few surviving Danish brickworks. Founded around 1850 it is today a modern fully automatic brick factory with a production of 25 mio bricks a year.
Aerial photo of Vindø Brickworks 1946. A lovely Fordson 7V is visible just where the ramp meets the white building in the upper right corner of the image. The ramp took the narrow gauge track onto the 1. floor of the building where clay was tipped for mixing and homogenisation. Image nks_04499 in the Royal Danish Library.
The brickworks' narrow gauge line was rather short, but ran through a beautiful wooded area close to the fjord. On the aerial image from 1954 below there seems to be a building halfway between the brickworks and the clay pit. Probably a dry storage building for loaded trains of skips.
Thanks to the Royal Air Force photo mission in May 1954 we can see Denmark from above in 42.700 images. Here Vindø Brickworks and clay pit.
A long story just to help remind myselt that I must remember to include the sign in my planning of my coming 16 mm scale module.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Nystrup's Lister Finished

With a servicable Lister available I only had to perform a mild weathering job on the loco before I could call my first loco project in 16 mm scale complete. As I had decided not to fit a canvas to block the view from the back of the bonnet, I began by painting the electrical equipment and wires matt black. If they can be seen by anyone, they will now appear more like parts of the engine. To the untrained eye at least! The battery sides were also covered with matt black.
Nystrup Gravel no. 3 on a solo trip on a section of the line with light rail.

The little locomotive then received a rather standard light weathering with scratches applied with a very fine brush, oil washings, acrylic paints and graphite powder covered with a layer of matt varnish. Dust was then added with air brush and chalk powders, a bit more oil wash and a final light covering with matt varnish. Wet oil spots were lightly represented with gloss varnish.

Apart from finishing the Lister model I found a letter from the company that Nystrup Gravel bought the Lister from. I will scan the letter as it is interesting and shows that Nystrup Gravel was quite lucky in acquiring locos and rolling stock.
I added home made coupling chains both front and rear. Standard chain with lengths of equal size just doesn't look like prototype coupling chain.

A rear view shows how little of the electrical equipment and wires is visible under the bonnet.

Lister coupled to a short train of skips ready to a trip to the gravel pits. Perhaps an urgent order for foundry sand needs to be filled. Usually the Lister didn't pull regular gravel trains as it wasn't strong enough.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

New Loco Project

While putting the finishing touches on my first 16 mm scale loco I'm already in full swing planning my next loco project. I have several locos listed that I would like to build, but my choise fell on a loco from the largest Danish narrow gauge loco manufacturer Pedershaab Maskinfabrik (Pedershaab Machineworks).

Pedershaab loco with 'semi-closed cab' at a major road viaduct project in Haderslev, Denmark in 1952. Photo: Historisk Arkiv for Haderslev Kommune B5921.
Pedershaab Maskinfabrik was established in 1877. After a major reorganisation in 1915 the company concentrated on equipment for the cement and concrete industry. In 1925-1926 the first narrow gauge loco was produced resulting in a production of close to 500 until the last loco was delivered in 1963. A small number of locos were exported to primarily Norway and Finland.

Pedershaab also produced excavators, cement mixers, gravel handling machinery, concrete formwork and road rollers. The factory in Brønderslev is still active designing and producing machines for the concrete industry as a part of HawkeyePedershaab. Advert from 'The Engineer' 1943.

Gravel sorting, storing and loading facility supplied by Pedershaab to the Hans Jørgensen gravel company on the Danish island of Fyn. To the left of all the cars a Pedershaab locomotive is parked with its rear end facing the photographer. Photo: IBK archive.

As Pedershaab quickly built up a good reputation and had sales channels to contractors and gravel companies, a large number of Pedershaab's production initially went to them. Later other companies looking for a dependable and solid little locomotive became faithfull customers.
Pedershaab's first locos were named type HSL after the designer H. S. Lindhardt. This HSL was built 1930 for Taastrup Brickworks (only 500 m from where I live). Photo from a film about brick production. See the film below.

Film from 1940 showing brick making at Taastrup Brickworks. Instructed by H. Andersen and filmed by Axel Ørsted. From the Danish film site 'Denmark on film' containing more than 1000 films from 1899-1995. Available for non-commercial use free of charge.

With the type PCM in the early 1930's the Pedershaab locos reached maturity and through the next 10 years about 100 locos of the type PCM and PM-F were built.

Pedershaab's next type of loco was the PCM - here VBV (Danish State Costal Protection Department) No 9 (PM 124/1934). IBK archive.
In the late 1930's Pedershaab introduced type D. With a sturdy welded deep frame and solid bonnet with rounded top, the type was the most numerous Pedershaab loco and with minor changes the type that ended the company's locomotive production. Even today type D locos are in service making valuable transport support for the Danish peat producer Pindstrup Mosebrug. Primarily in the Baltic countries, but a single Pedershaab is still available for peat transport on the Fuglsø Mose facility in Denmark. It's been rebuilt with modern drive line etc., but 65-70 years of service is nevertheless quite impressive.
600 mm Pedershaab loco with open driver's position at the German refugee camp at Oksbøl, Denmark. The crew is mostly made up from youngsters in leftover military coats. With 35.000 refugees the camp was the sixth largest 'city' in Denmark in 1946. Most Pedershaab locos were delivered without cab. Photo: Blåvandshuk Lokalhistoriske Arkiv.

The Pedershaab type D was delivered with a range of different engines. With a Ford-engine the locos were labeled type FD, with a Danish built BurWain-engine BWD and with a Fordson-engine the type was called FDD. Advert from 'The Engineer', 1942.

Pedershaab-loco at Fuglsø Mose, 2014. Probably built in the 1940's this loco is still in service. See more on this blog post from 2014
Modelling wise I have aquired a Swift Sixteen 'adjustable length power bogie' to ensure my Pedershaab model becomes as trusty a loco as a real Pedershaab. More on that and on drawings in a later blog post.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

A Danish Hudson-Hunslet

I have been fortunate to be able to acquire what must be a small part of the Nystrup Gravel company archive. In previous posts I have shown some of the old documents. The documents, newspaper clippings and pictures have been a huge inspiration for my modelling.

Due to the overwhelming succes of Danish manufacturers of small internal combustion narrow gauge locos foreign locomotives are comparatively rare in Denmark. We have had a fair selection of German locomotives from Gmeinder, O&K, Jung and Deutz. British locos, on the other hand, were few and far between. In a small advertisement from P. C. Petersen, Aalborg a brand new 3.25 ton Hudson-Hunslet with 20 hp is mentioned being for sale in 1947. There is currently no evidence as to where the Hudson-Hunslet loco went from P. C. Petersen, but the demand for locos was great after the war. It's unthinkable a brand new loco wouldn't be a prized item for any gravel company or contractor.
The advertisement is a scan from the newspaper 'The Engineer' 18. July 1947 found in a box with Nystrup Gravel documents. It also mentions 20 new British 600 mm gauge skips. Nystrup Gravel had British skips but bought from the Danish dealer V. Spøer.

In the Nystrup Gravel archive I have also found half a list of the company's skips. The British skips are simply mentioned as being of 'British type'. From photos we know they were of the Hudson 'Rugga' type. The list of skips was originally mentioned in a post in April 2013.
A torn off upper half of a list of skips at Nystrup Gravel dating from 1951 and 1952. Six skips of British type are listed numbered 47-48, 50, 52 and 54-55.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Lister Power Supply

With no electricity to pick up from the rails my new loco in 16 mm scale relies on battery power. As I'm still a novice regarding battery power and eager to get the loco rolling, I have equipped my Lister with a single cell standard camera type battery. Battery technology and the associated circuits is a new game for me, so to cut down on mistakes, loss of hard earned money and avoid getting myself too challenged I chose a type of battery I'm used to handle.
Lister on its side. From left to right: Battery under rear foot plate, wires for receiver in seat/figure, motor and transmission (big word for such a simple thing!) charging socket and two pole switch mounted under/in bonnet.

The battery is a Li-ion Japcell JC123R 3.7 V 650 mAh.  It may not be cutting edge technology, but the battery has turned out to be able to provide power through my helplessly executed circuit to the Lister's motor and actually make the loco move. I consider that a success.

While I was shopping batteries I bought a BC-4123 charger as well. Battery and charger set me back 35 €. Not much for starting a gentle learning curve and should I continue using JC123Rs or other 16340 type batteries, the charger will see plenty of use.

'But if you have installed the battery permanently under your loco, how do you fit it in the charger' the attentive reader may ask. The battery is permanently fixed and it will not fit in the charger. To be able to charge the battery in the loco a socket is installed under the bonnet. A matching socket's two leads were soldered to a pair of crocodile clips. On one of the four stations in the charger I soldered small brass tabs on the contacts. I can now easily attach the crocodile clips to the tabs on the charger and charge the battery via the socket under the bonnet. May sound very old fashioned but it does really work.
Soldered tabs from scrap brass on one of the charger's four stations.
Crocodile clips are now easily attached. Charging can begin.
With a fully charged battery all I have to do is to flip the 2 pole switch next to the charging socket from charge mode to work mode, switch on the Tx-22 controller, select loco no. 3 (my only one so far), turn the speed knob and the loco moves. And I don't have to clean rail heads or wheel treads!
All the bits that make my Lister run.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Equipment for Lister

When modelling I often try to personalize a kit. If I don't rebuild or change the kit I like to at least add some other special feature to it. I like the manufacturers' support, but if we all build the same kits the same way we may end up with very little variety. Adding a bucket, a bracket with extra coupling chains or fitting a spare can for petrol avoids models that look the same, even if they are otherwise built right out of the box and painted the same colour.
A 1:35 scale Billard T 75 fitted with a detailed jack. I had two Billards and adding small differences to them made it a lot more fun having to identical locos on the layout. The two Billards have been sold to a modeller in Luxembourg. 
With the Lister running and painted I looked around for a small addition that would set my Lister apart from others and make a realistic impression. On eBay I found a few manufacturers selling detail parts for car modellers in 1/18 scale. Many of them useful for my purpose.
Detailing parts to be fitted to my version of the I. P. Engineering Lister. The jack may be slightly oversized for the Lister?
My white metal parts came from Dioramaparts in Germany through eBay. Their range of parts is large and one could easily spend a considerable sum of money on parts from their selection. The jack is a very fine casting and I only removed the cast on handle with a file. No mould lines were present and an extra, extended handle was supplied. I added both lower and upper handle on the jack from brass wire. The oil can had some mould lines which I removed with a few strokes of file and sand paper.

Nystrup Gravel probably bought the jack on an auction over German military equipment left on a nearby air base after the war. The gravel company didn't bother covering the late war German standard paint for armoured vehicles, but took the jack into use immediately. I painted the jack a 40/60 mix of Vallejo Air 71.078 Gold Yellow and 71.028 Sand Yellow. Once dry I washed the jack in heavily thinned brown oil paint and added scratches in the yellow paint with a fine brush and dark grey oil paint. The oil can was painted gun metal. It had been my intetntion to fit a canvas cover on the open rear end of the bonnet, but it really isn't easy to view under the bonnet and see the electric components fitted there, so I decided to spare me the trouble fitting the canvas cover.
Well, the jack is definately oversize for the Lister. I'll have to build another locomotive for the jack.
Having decided what to fit and what to leave out, the Lister is now ready for weathering. In addition I will have to design a charging method via the socket mounted under the bonnet. I have an idea utilizing a cheap battery charger.