Saturday 28 July 2012

The Story of Nystrup Gravel's Two French Locomotives (1/35)

After some research into why two French locomotives ended up in rural Denmark on Nystrup Gravel's little railway, I have finally found some information. A news paper article from 1946 outlines the story of how the engines came to Denmark. I have attached a copy of the article below. To see how my models of the Billards were built go to Flickr.

To sum up the history, the two Billard T75 locos were originally built for the French army for use on the Maginot Line. As France fell to the Germans the locos were sent to Denmark in 1941 or 1942 and used on some of the huge construction projects (bunkers and air fields) the Germans undertook in Denmark during the occupation 1940-1945. Not far from Nystrup the Germans were constructing an air field, but never managed to finish it, although it did operate some planes, primarily night fighters. Most of the plant were left behind in huge dumps when the Germans left Denmark in May 1945. The equipment at countless such dumps across the country were auctioned off by the Danish authorities to contractors, brick works etc. From the article it seems the two Billards were aquired by Nystrup Gravel at just such an auction in 1946. Equipment of a more military nature were taken care of by the British military - a few planes and radar devices being taken to the UK for evaluation - the rest being scrapped.

Article from Nystrup Folkeblad 1946 on the story of Nystrup Gravel's two new locomotives. Not completely without faults (journalists, you know...) as the locos are mentioned having Renault engines.
The two Billards have arrived at Nystrup Gravel. The same photo as in the article, only in better resolution. On the rear side of the photograph is written 'New Locomotives, 1946'.
 Photo from Skovby Local Historical Archive.
The close proximity of the air field probably also explains why two massive Soviet tracked tractors ended up in Nystrup Gravel ownership. I hope to find out more.

Sunday 22 July 2012

1932 Fordson and thresher (1/35)

After some very enjoyable painting sessions the model of my grandad's Fordson is ready to go into action with the Marshall's thresher. Painted in 'French Blue' from Humbrol the tractor has been subject to some paint fading with white oil paint and dirtying with black and umber oil washes. I applied rust, also with oil paint, before I gave the model a coat of matt varnish. Then the model received a layer of dust with heavily thinned paint from the air brush and some pastel chalk. I finished by adding a few scratches and worn areas with a soft pencil.

More photos of the building process on Flickr and for further information on the tractor check out the previous blog post. My next project is a model of Nystrup Gravel's small covered speeder.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Grandad's Fordson (1/35)

As mentioned in a previous post, my grandad worked on several types of machinery during his life. At one point he worked on a cooperatively owned thresher. The threshing machine was pulled by a Fordson tractor of some unknown early type. Back in january I finished a Model Tractor Co. Marshall's thresher. A great kit designed with care and of good moulding quality.
My Marshall's threshing machine from a threshing company from Nystrup. More images from the building process on my Flickr-site.
To have a 'road train' matching my granddad's I picked a 1932 Fordson N from Model Tractor Co. It is catalouge no. T83 Limited Edition (mine is issue no. 65 of 150 made). I haven't any photos of my grandad's Fordson so I have no way of knowing if it is the correct version. The Model Tractor kit is primarily of white metal with some etched brass and vinyl tires.

The kit assembles with ease, despite some fiddly parts. But take care as the instructions can be a little unclear. Having a lot of Fordson images helped me during the build. I built my kit in four days of vacation between many other activities.

Kit contents.

Assembled kit almost ready for primer.

A situation that cries out to be modelled: Cranking up an iron wheeled early Fordson.

And no - I have not left the Ford lorry on the shelf. It is almost painted and ready for decals.

The lorry during painting and with masking tape.