Thursday 31 May 2012

My grandfather

Why mention my grandad in a blog primarily about the model of a little railway? Well, my granddad drove small locomotives on an industrial railway. And having made you put up with a lot of photos of a plastic lorry, I thought I should treat you to some serious industrial narrow gauge railway.

Those small black and white photos of my grandfather on locos in the old albums I found in his drawers, actually spurred my interest in industrial narrow gauge railways, old lorries, excavators etc. My granddad worked at the small brick works at Orebo near Soroe on the Danish island of Sealand. He worked primarily as a driver of things – lorries, locos and the bucket and chain excavator in the clay pit. In the photo my grandad thrones high on the small 600 mm gauge loco built by the Danish manufacturer J. Willemoes. The photo was made during the German occupation af Denmark 1940-1945 as the loco is fitted with a wood burning gas producing generator. To fit the generator and gas coolers the loco’s rear plate has been removed and the rear puffer plate refitted to the front puffer. The gas generator is a ‘Vulkan’ made in Holbaek some 20 km to the north of Orebo.
Advertisment for 'Vulkan' gas generators, 1941.
My grandad’s rather dressed up appearance is most likely the result of his varied duties at the brick works. Lorry drivers at Orebo were responsible for receiving payment for the brick load and this task seems to have demanded a somewhat more formal dress code. On the day the photo was shot, I imagine my grandad taking the loco and skips for a few trips to the pits before getting into the cab of a Ford-AA lorry or (much to his pleasure) the large Danish built Triangel. Normal working clothes for my grandad when at the brick works premises would have been quite equal to his mates to the right – no vest or cap.

My grandad passed away almost 10 years ago aged 93. He told me a lot of stories from his working life in rural Denmark and I have several modelling projects planned from his stories and old photos. Expect to see more on this blog – if you are patient!

Friday 25 May 2012

Finishing the Chevrolet (1/35)

After painting and weathering, the new resin wheels were fitted on the rebuilt axles. Not entirely without problems, but rebuilding old, half-built kits is never easy. The frames and underside of the lorry were weathered before I fitted the wheels.

I sprayed gloss varnish where the decals had to go. Costum made decals were fitted and covered with a spray of matt varnish. Danish license plates were mounted fore and aft and the deployed right turning indicator painted white with a red dot. All decals were from the small company 'Skilteskoven' ('A forest of signs'). In designing the license plates the Danish website was a great help. It contains detailed information on the different legal and design features of Danish license plates from 1903 to the present times. The site is in Danish and as not many abroad models Danish vehicles it probably doesn't matter...
This photo served as an inspiration for my Chevy model - and for the placing of the license plate. Photo from a small gravel company in Jutland. More great images on 
Apart from the floor of the cargo bay, the upper parts of the lorry received only a very light weathering. Weathing was done with oil paints to make the paint appear as faded. Some 'pin washes' around doors and windows were also added. Finally the weathering was sealed with a coat of satin varnish.

Finally finished after 7 years on the shelf. Here seen on the bridge over Nystrup Gravel's narrow gauge line. The driver is a slightly rebuilt figure from French MK35.
Next on the worktable is another braked skip and the ICM Ford V3000S that will be built as a lorry from the company 'Bankes Bakelit' as a tribute to a late member of the Danish Industrial Railway Society.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Cement Mixer and Wheels (1/35)

The cement mixer is almost finished and the lorry's wheels are weathered.

The cement mixer is made to look well used. The kit is rather well made, although care is advised during assembly as some of the parts are quite fragile. The weathering includes caked on concrete from modelling putty, stippled paint and a thin layer of air brushed paint.

The mixer is built.

Painted and weathered
Wheels during weathering
At the moment the lorry is receiving decals and weathering. More images coming up in a few days.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Chevrolet lorry (1/35)

Back in 2005 I built a Chevrolet lorry from the classic Tamiya ‘Long Range Desert Patrol’-kit. I added a cab from an Italeri GMC 'hard cab' and rear fenders from an Italeri Opel Blitz. I scratch built the cargo area from plastic card and some left over etched parts. I got it primed and painted in the basic colours, but never managed to finish it. The vinyl tires are a weak point in many kits and this model is no exeption. The rear wheel tires were already beginning to fall apart in 2005. This winter I finally had decals made for the lorry and bought replacement resin tires from Armo in Poland.

2005: Lorry kit bash finished.

Lorry as originally painted and assembled. Notice the split rear tyre.
After a much needed dust off, I removed the old wheels and axles from the model. New fixings for the front wheels had to be made as I damaged the old ones beyond repair. I found that parts of the frames had to be repainted as well. I did that while the paint on the tires dried.

The Plus Models cement mixer is in resin with photo etched detail parts.
The lorry will be fitted with a few gas bottles and a cement mixer. The gas bottles are from Danish manufacturer Epokemodeller. They produce a lot of useful accessories in 1:32 that can be used in my scale as well. The cement mixer is from Plus Models.

Next is weathering of tires and wheel wells, fitting of decals and small details.

Sunday 6 May 2012

On tour

I had the pleasure of being out exploring narrow gauge railways this weekend. With friends from the Danish Industrial Railway Society (IBK) I visited the 600 mm. gauge railway from L├╝ttmoorsiel to the tiny island of Nordstrandischmoor in northern Germany3 km. of narrow gauge railway straight out to sea on a narrow stone dam. The inhabitants’ only means of land transport is the railway and they have a range of colourful speeders at their disposal. The German costal authorities also use the line when carrying out costal protection works. For this purpose they have four locos and an assortment of skips and flat wagons.

Boarding the small train

Two speeders and a wagon parked in front of the small hotel on Nordstrandischmoor. A splendid way to arrive!
The small speeders are dwarfed by the vastness of the sea.
More photos from the railway on my Flickr site.

I’m sure I will have a hard time resisting building a covered speeder like one of those I saw on this charming little railway acting as the island’s lifeline to the mainland.

Less than 30 km. to the north at Dageb├╝ll is an even longer 900 mm. gauge line serving two islands in a similar way. The speeders on that line is a testemony to the creativity of the islanders.