Thursday 27 December 2012

Grandad's lorries

During the Christmas holidays I had time for a little research in the family archives. The result is as series of images showing some of the lorries belonging to the brick works where my grandad worked during the 1940's. I have mentioned my grandad in previous posts. See him drive a 600 mm loco or take a look at my model of a thresher and tractor - also inspired by my grandad's work in rural Denmark.

Grandad posing in front of lorry number 2 from P. Bolvig (the owner of the Orebo brick works). The lorry is equipped with a gas generator and from the writing on the filter box behind the cab it seems to be a 'Vulkan'. Grandad is wearing the characteristic apron worn by many lorry drivers. Photo from 1940-1945.

Another P. Bolvig lorry ( E 1734) shortly after the war. The lorry (a Ford AA?)  is hauling peat to be used as fuel in the brick oven. A few years later my grandad left the brick works to become a full time lorry driver for one of the peat factories around Bodal, hauling peat by lorry to Copenhagen.

Grandad and one of his colleagues in front of lorry no. 5 ( E 1789) during the war years. Note black out-lights, gas generator and the general worn down appearance of the lorry.
I'm not a lorry expert and identifying the lorries will take help frome someone more into those matters. Anyway, I'm slowly working up plans for a model of one of my grandad's lorries. The most likely candidate to be modelled is the one that I suspect is a Ford A. The basis will probably be either the Eastern Express Soviet GAZ-AA or the new MiniArt GAZ-AA.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Looking Back on 2012 (1/35)

Although by all means busy work vise 2012 still turned out to be a productive modelling year. Perhaps a busy work life requires relaxing at the work bench? And no, you won't see me write a best seller for the management bible-section titled '101 railway modelling tips to further your career' or 'Big Bucks - How toy trains made me realise my business potential'. I'd much rather spend my spare time modelling. At the moment I'm nearing the stage where my Ferguson tractor is ready for primer paint.

Looking back on 2012 I really cannot complain. I've been exhibiting Nystrup Gravel, finished a record high number of models, visited several narrow gauge railways abroad, 'researched' the history of Nystrup Gravel in almost forgotten archives - and started this blog. Recently I have begun studying the blog statistics and I'm amazed that so many visitors drop by and from such a variety of countries.

Most of what I built during 2012 is described on the blog - so by running through the posts anyone with enough energy and patience (or nothing better to do) can see how I spent my modelling year. The three things I count as most important are Nystrup Gravel's participation in the Gauge 1 exhibition in April, the work with both old and new skips and my research into the history of the gravel company and it's railway.

The exhibition was great because I rarely have my modules set up for running. All the comments and questions from the visitors gave me a lot of inspiration and motivation. Running trains for days almost non stop is quite fun and I approach retirement (in 30 years time) with no fear of boredom.
Nystrup Gravel with an interested visitor allowed behind the scenes to inspect rusting scrap behind the shed. It's me in the background so graciously made unrecognisable by the visitor. I 'harvested' the photo on the web. I beg the photographer to forgive me - and I will not hesitate to remove the photo or credit the photographer.
My work with skips is also on my top 3 because they are such an integral part of a Danish industrial railway. Even to the extent that skip is part of the Danish popular word for an industrial railway 'skip railway' ('tipvognsbane' in Danish). And because skips are plentiful, normal and boring they should be the foundation of any model of a small Danish railway like Nystrup Gravel. Many (modellers and others) are drawn to subjects that are unique and colourful, but my model railway is supposed to look like the prototype did in the 1950's - dull, boring and normal.
Long lines of loaded skips at a chalk quarry on Sealand, Denmark. Most likely Sigerslev chalk quarry. Nystrup Gravel never had quite so many skips. From the archives of Bent Hansen.
The unearthing of Nystrup Gravel's history is important in many aspects. I have always liked to know the history behind what I model and it is my impression that readers of the blog easier will be able to tie my different modelling projects together when there is a history of the subjects. The history of the gravel company and the surrounding countryside will be as boring as skips and reality. 
One of a few folders I have had the opportunity to check in my quest for information on the little gravel line. This contained a spare parts list for an O&K excavator type L 3. If any excavator of that type actually worked at Nystrup Gravel is still to be determined.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Monday 17 December 2012

Blisters and Ferguson (1/35)

I have yet to get blisters from modelling, but volunteering on HVB (a real railway with 700 mm. gauge) has often provided me with blisters - large ones! This week I did another half day's work of moving snow to open up HVB for the christmas trains. And managed to get a blister from the shovelling. But work was great and fighting snow drifts two feet high isn't something I get to do everyday. See a pictorial on HVB's blog.
Last week's sunny weather didn't repeat itself...
Home again and with feet warmed up, I got to do some minor work on my Ferguson model. I fitted axles, engine details and the patented Ferguson three point linkage. Next up is brakes and steering system.
It begins to look like a tractor!

Sunday 9 December 2012

Clearing Snow

Well, not on Nystrup Gravel of course. 'My' other and much more important railway is in 1:1 scale (700 mm gauge) and needs a lot more work than a 1:35 railway. On Hedelands Veteran Railway (HVB) christmas trains run every weekend in December. Points and guard rails at road crossings needs to be cleared from snow. If not done properly there is a risk of derailing - and on a 1:1 railway that is far more serious than at home.

Sunny, blue sky and a nice cover of white snow. Clearing away snow in guard rails at a road crossing.
Before the first train's departure I took off as part of a small team at 8 o´clock to clear the line. After the first ten minutes of work, you don't feel the cold anymore! We hadn't much time for the work as we had to clear the line for the first passenger train. Fortunately the snow was fresh and powdery and didn't take much effort to remove.
The sun rises above the hills around Hedeland and makes for some spectacular morning views.
The working on a 1:1 museums railway gives a great sense of achieving something important together with likeminded enthusiasts - and providing great expiriences for all the visitors. And having a railway at hand to provide knowledge of how things work in reality gives great possibilities for a modeller to enhance the realism of the little railway at home. Consider if you could make a contribution to a heritage railway near you. You will make a lasting difference, meet great people and bring home lots of inspiration to your model railway.

Da 7 (Henschel 18449/1921) pulls out its string of wagons for the second departure of the day. Steam in a snow covered landscape is something quite special.
Follow the christmas traffic on HVB through this blog. It is updated 2-3 times a week in Danish language. For non-Scandinavians probably 'all greek' but the images says more than a thousands words.

Saturday 1 December 2012

The Ferguson - A Tractor Icon (1/35)

To me the most iconic tractor ever built is the grey Ferguson. No Danish model railway in the fifties should be without one (or two or three). And naturally the small roads around Nystrup will not be without their example(s). My Ferguson is a kit from Tractor Models Co. in white metal. I think you can have pre-assembled models of Fergusons from Britains and other producers, but none with detail or definition that matches the kit. And assembly is quite straight forward, really.
As far as I got without instructions. Now I can begin fitting all the lovely details. The Ferguson badge is from a scrapped tractor - not part of the package from Tractor Models!
I started my Ferguson TEA-20 kit some time ago, but didn't dare to proceed too far as I had somehow mislaid the instructions. Normally not being overly sensitive following manuals (any!) or assembly instructions, in this case I didn't want to risk messing up a Ferguson. Luckily Model Tractors supplied a new set of instructions without fuss.

Commercial from 1959 on the virtues of the Ferguson-tractor. The local dealer of the tractors is labelled as the farmer's friend (as if the dealer wasn't there to make money...)
When choosing which period magazine clipping or old commercial should illustrate this post I almost couldn't make up my mind. My archive is full of images and clippings - not to mention all the stuff available on the internet. The Ferguson was the first tractor I learned to drive as a boy. Having recently visited one of my university's experimental farms I was treated to a ride in a GPS-controlled tractor. Even though the ride was great (and somewhat scary: driving through a field not touching the steering wheel is sort of unnatural) it wasn't half as fun as the Ferguson.