Tuesday 28 August 2012

The Forgotten Skip (1/35)

I never thought that I would have so many models, that I could forget what I had on my shelves. When I recently gathered my skips to load half of them, I found a forgotten skip. A British Hudson skip in white metal from Bantock & Lantz. Going through old photo files I can trace the skip back to around 2001 and after having built and painted it I must have forgotten that I had it. Perhaps because it was one of a kind?
The new found model was immediately lightly weathered and fitted with half a load of floor sweepings and crushed building materials. The 1:35 loco shed workers seem to have claimed the skip for carting away rubbish to be dumped in part of the emptied gravel pits.
The rediscovered Hudson skip in front of the loco shed near Nystrup. In addition to it's number 74 the skip has 'remise' (Danish for loco shed) written on it.

The skip seen from the shed's roof. Half filled with rubble, floor sweepings, old leaves and an oily rag.

A mixed rake of continetal 'DIN' type skips and Hudsons at Mønsted Chalk Quarry in the 1950's. The train is pushed by a loco from the Danish manufacturer Pedershaab Machine Works.
A few Danish industrial railways used the Hudson 'Rugga' skip, although the German DIN (Deutsche Industrie Norm) skip was the most usual. Apart from Mønsted Chalk Quarry I have seen 'Ruggas' at Gram Brick Works. I thought that Nystrup Gravel should have more than one Hudson skip, as they are still available in kit form. Today it is Slater's Plastikard that sell the model - in an upgraded version with injection moulded plastic skip body. I bought six skips and they will make up a third rake of skips in the inventory of Nystrup Gravel.

The old white metal Bantock & Lantz skip and two packs of three skips each from Slater's Plastikard. Nicely packaged and with good and clear instructions - including a history of this type of skip. Can't wait to get started!

Thursday 23 August 2012

Progress on The Speeder (1/35)

My model of Nystrup Gravel's little speeder is progressing. The upper body is assembled and fitted with window frames. The sides are made from two layers of plasticcard. The outer layer is grooved 2 mm sheet from Evergreen with a thickness of 1 mm. while the inner layer is 0,5 mm. With bracing in the corners this makes a comparatively sturdy construction. The laser cut window frames are cut to size from the original size. The wooden window frames are secured in place with two component epoxy glue. The two sliding doors were cut from 1 mm. plasticcard and glued on the outside of the speeder. Plasticcard is glued with my standard thin plastic glue 'Contacta' from Revell.

The wooden frames of the speeder are made from simple profiles of wood and epoxy glued to the lower bottom plate of the model. The frame will be fitted with strengthening bands modelled from plastic strip and fitted with Scale Link axle boxes. Couplings will be a simple metal plate, a 'horn' and some chain links. Mainly to enable the speeder to be coupled to a train and pulled, as the speeder's engine wasn't sufficiently powerful to pull anything but an empty skip or a flat with a crate of beer.

Parts for one side of the speeder. At the top an example of the laser cut window frames I used for the build. I don't know what scale they are produced to, but bought them as I thought they could come in handy. So they did - but not in a building as I imagined. I have plenty more, so some might find their way into a larger structure one day.
Rear wall in the speeder fresh out of a sheet of plasticcard. This is one of the things that makes scratch building so great: A plain sheet of plastic made into something you've created yourself. And even the cut off piece above will probably be built into a model some day.
Current status on the speeder. The wooden frame is still way too long and will be cut back. The square (well, almost...) hole in the middel will house the radiator for the engine that was transversly mounted under the central seat. You even had to fill the fuel tank from inside the speeder!
See the finished speeder.

Saturday 18 August 2012

The Nystrup Speeder (1/35)

Although a small company with only two short lines in operation, Nystrup Gravel was nevertheless in possesion of a little covered speeder. The speeder was used for inspection tours, urgent repairs, spare parts delivery and for a 'joy ride' with business partners, government officials or with the press, whom the company sought to please whenever possible. When and where the speeder was built is unkown. In inventory lists the speeder is mentioned as far back as 1936 and seems to have originally been fitted with a motor cycle engine. A new(er) and bigger engine was fitted in the late forties. The speeder fell out of use due to faulty transmission and was scrapped in the mid 1960's.

In northern Germany two narrow gauge lines have several closed speeders that resembles the speeder from Nystrup Gravel. See some of my photos on Flickr from Dagebüll and Nordstrandischmoor.

My pathetic attempt at catching the main measurements of the speeder from a blurry photo from a news paper article. As the speeder wasn't photographed much, I'm quite sure no rivet counter will ever be able to prove that I didn't get everything completely right. One good thing about modelling elusive prototypes.
My model of the speeder is being built on a Black Beetle motor bogie from the Australian manufacturer Steam Era Models The frame will be made from wooden profiles and the closed cabin from primarily plastic card with details in metal and wood. The window frames are laser cut wood and the first laser cut parts I saw (and promptly bought) at an exhibition in Germany back in 2004. They surely must have matured to a good, dry quality! Axle boxes will be Scale Link skip axle boxes that I have surplus from the brake skip project.

The very first steps in the construction of the speeder. Black Beetle with lower bottom plate fitted. It is still a most splendid summer in Denmark, so I have moved my modelling out in the sun.

See the finished speeder.

Saturday 11 August 2012

Skips Full of Gravel (1/35)

For far too long the skips on Nystrup Gravel have been running empty. I have been wondering if the loads should be fitted permanently or be removable. I knew from the start that I wasn't able to construct skips and loading/unloading equipment to enable real gravel being loaded, transported and offloaded. Some of the modelling experts have done so - Otto Schouwstra of the Netherlands to name one - but I'm not in that league.

A train of loaded skips. More or less the look I'm tying to achieve on my skips. Image from http://www.frogx.dk/skive50/ The site has primarily images from the Danish city of Skive. Do check in, though, as there is a few more with skips although you have to do some 'scrolling'. 
I decided to load half my skips with gravel permanently. I think it is easier to make the gravel load look realistic when it is permanently glued to the model, rather than than if made removable. The skip body is fitted with a piece of lead covered with foam material. The foam allows the load to be comparatively light. The lead compensates for the weight of the covering gravel 'high up' over the rails. I wasn't interested in skips derailing because of a too high center of gravity. With the weight placed low the skips keep the track much better. Lead is glued with contact adhesive, while the foam material is glued into the skip body with white glue - but only after the contact adhesive has fully cured. If not you'll find that the foam material slowly evaporates! The gravel is fitted in the same manner as I lay ballast. I shape the gravel in the skip while dry. When I'm satisified with the load I glue it down with thinned white glue mixed with a few drops of liquid soap.
Strip of lead in the bottom of the skip.

Skip 14 and 12 with foam inserts glued with white glue.

Loading gravel - different kinds of gravel, thinned white glue and injection needle.

Six skips with their gravel loads drying on my very well weathered garden table.
My box of loaded skips after some minor adjustment of the foam padding to accept the brake skip. Also notice that I have 'de-weathered' the garden table. Sanded down mahogany with oil looks better that dried out wood.
The gravel is supposed to look freshly dug - right out of the excavator shovel. The gravel is thus mixed with stones in different sizes. In one of the skips there is a little tuft of grass - the excavator driver obviously got too close to the pit's edge. The gravel loads were given a thin wash of dark earth arylic paint, as freshly dug gravel often has a darker tone than dry gravel (due to the freshly dug gravel's higher content of water).

Friday 10 August 2012

Two Braked Skips - at Last! (1/35)

Having had plans for a braked skip in each of my two rows of skips for some time, I have finally finished the task. During the proces I enjoyed myself so much that I forgot what I was building and the braked skip turned into a stone wagon instead. This time I managed to stay focused and braked skip no. 2 ended up just like planned: a skip with brake.

Skips 12 and 115 on my somewhat messy work table. No. 12 has the number air brushed on with the help of stencils from Stencillit. No. 115 has a normal transfer - some 25 years old from a 1/72 ESCI German Panzer IV decal sheet. Always collect and never throw away!

Sunday 5 August 2012

Relaxing with Modelling (1/35)

One of the joys of modelling is the total relaxation it brings. No stress or dead lines, no corporate manuals, no need for long memos - and forget the dress code.

This sunday afternoon I grabbed a few tools and finished two skips and started preparing some small items for a little scene on one of my modules. After 12 long working days without any time off it was really great to do something just for myself.

Scale Link skips. Both of them rebuilt a little.

A few items for a little scene on one of my modules.

While I have been totally engulfed in work, my friends at HVB have finally managed to get the 'branch cruncher' working. With great results. It really resembles modelling in 1:1 scale. See the machine and it's great achievements on:

First operational test of the 'branch cruncher'

Second day of operation - now with added crew facilities: a seat.