Sunday 21 July 2013

Nystrup Seen From the Air

In many years Denmark was home to photographers who made their living by taking pictures of farm buildings and industries from the air. The biggest and best known company was 'Sylvest Jensen Luftfoto'. A pilot/photographer made the image and later sales men would show up on the properties photographed to sell the images. Not many farms or smaller industries in Denmark lacked such a photograph. My grandfather had one of his small farm, framed and hung on a wall in the living room.

All this flying and photographing means that Nystrup Gravel was most likely photographed from the air - perhaps more than once. All the Sylvest Jensen-negatives (some are glass plate) are kept at the Royal Danish Library where I and a friend had the chance to view the collection almost 15 years ago. As the collection is huge and catalogued in a simple note book system it wasn't easy to research. The Royal Danish Library has just started to digitalize the collection which will make it easy to navigate. For now, though, only the island of Fyn is online - and still incomplete. Anyone with knowledge of Danish (effectively reducing the number of users to some 5 mio.) can search and view the collection at the Royal Danish Library's site: Denmark seen from the air - before Google.
A Sylvest Jensen-photo from the Royal Danish Library archive, image H07633_025 from 1956. The 'H' in the image number indicates that the image was made with a Hasselblad camera. The photo shows the gravel works owned by Hans Jørgensen & Søn. 
The image above shows a small gravel company with two pits in the background. A water filled and exhausted pit to the right and the pit currently being used to the left - complete with a bucket and chain excavator. In the centre of the image are the sorting facilities, a maze of narrow gauge tracks, some skips, two ramps for loading lorries as well as stocks of treated gravel. The farm building is probably being used as offices, canteen and work shop. What looks like a Bedford O lorry is arriving to pick up a load of gravel.

I can only sit and wait for that wonderful aerial photograph of the sorting facilities at Nystrup, the gravel pits themselves or maybe even a lucky shot of one of the small trains running along the tracks.

Saturday 13 July 2013

Fitting Works Plates On The Jung (1/35)

Having finished the U-Models Jung ZL 114 I wondered if I could fit works plates to the model. I was particularly inspired by Anders Runnholms thoroughly rusty ZL 114 that he seems to have fitted with photographic reproductions of Jung works plates. I wondered if it was possible to persuade someone to do a set of etched works plates for the kit. The U-Models kit is great and deserves that extra bit of detailing.

One evening I was looking at the parts for the O&K MD2-kit from Hesketh Scale Models in 1:35. Amazed by the fine etchings of the O&K-logo and works plates I wrote an e-mail to Mark Hesketh asking him if he could make some plates for me. Fortunately Mark Hesketh said yes and supplied with some photos of Jung works plates and measurements of the model's raised plate detail he took up the challenge. Despite Mark's busy schedule it didn't take long before I received an etch. Mark's own research also meant that he had included an example of an agent's plate (some locos were sold through agents that also fitted plates to the loco).

The U-Models kit has raised plates (without anything on them) several places. I should have researched my photos and books a bit more before I assembled the kit. It turns out that the model has more plates than usual for most Jungs. With my model all assembled and painted I decided to live with that and focus on getting some nice plates fitted. You can see the result below.

Nystrup Gravel no. 6 with etched works plate on the lower cab rear side.

After cutting the plate from the etched fret, I gave it a quick pass with clear, matt varnish. I then flooded the plate with thinned black oil paint. After some drying time I carefully wiped the plate on a stiff piece of card. After the black paint had dried completely I gave it another pass with matt varnish. The plate was fitted to the loco with two component epoxy. That gives you plenty of time to adjust the plate's position. I'm sure someone with more talent and patience could make the plate stand out even more.
Seeing the Jungs that have been assembled and those being built at the moment, it was logical for Mark Hesketh to make a few more etchings now he was at it. If you want a set for your own U-Models Jung kit you can see them here. I'm not affiliated with Hesketh Scale Models.
A photo of the etch I received from Mark Hesketh. The plates are drawn from images I picked up on the internet, and the works numbers are not checked for correctness on a ZL 114. The agent's plates in the lower right corner are from Oving, a Dutch agent and loco hiring company. If building the U-Models kit in the 700 mm. gauge version these plates would fit perfect! Photo: Mark Hesketh.

Friday 12 July 2013

Tracked Tractor (1/35)

In a previous post I mentioned my latest kit purchase - a Soviet S-65 tracked tractor. Two such tractors came to Nystrup Gravel after the German occupation. See my interpretation of the tractors' history. Having recently worked on two locomotive models I could hardly wait to get my hands on a tractor model, so I started building immediately after opening the box.

Frame with gear box and the two track assemblies ready to be joined.
The Trumpeter kit fits together well. The only challenge is the tracks that are made up of some quite tiny parts. Even though the tractor has only 32 track links in each track, the assembly seems to last an eternity (each track link having three parts). I made frequent breaks so as not to get bored - or getting sore eyes. Working on several models at a time is a benefit here, as I could switch from model to model as my mood suited me. When the challenge had been met, I was in possession of two workable lengths of track ready to go on the tractor.

Modelling in the summer cottage on the checkered table cloth. The tractor is test fitted with the workable tracks. The seat has been clad with kitchen aluminium foil to give some texture to the surface. I fitted a small tool box from a Fordson kit to the S-65. Other than that the model is assembled more or less straight from the box. I didn't fit any lights on the tractor as I imagined they would have been quickly lost on the tractor's way from Russia to Denmark.
The Trumpeter kit comes without an engine. As the huge engine is such a prominent part of the tractor, building the model with the louvered side panels on seems a shame - at least to me. I bought a resin engine (kit no. 35406) from LZ-Models. The engine is a little kit in itself containing 40 resin parts and 27 photoetched items. LZ-models has many interesting kits, among them some very detailed 1:35 standard gauge goods wagons.

Back home in my modelling cave the tractor was primed. The many parts of the LZ-Models engine are being cleaned up from flash before assembly. An easy job, as the moulding quality is excelent. 

Sunday 7 July 2013

Monorail in Mosel

Well, not really within the normal realms of this blog, where I (with a certain off topic drift now and then...) usually keep focus on a narrow gauge railway in 1:35 scale. During my vacation I visited the Mosel area in south-western Germany and was surprised to seee a large number of small monorail systems.

Being monorail you can't talk about gauge and not having two rails I don't know if they really count as railways. The vineyards of the Mosel valley are located on steep hill sides and to transport the harvested grapes, tools, fertilizers etc. the farmers use small monorail systems. The vineyards of the Model valley are quite small and owned by many different farmers. Each have a monorail of their own, so both sides of the valley are lined with monorail systems. From Cochem and 10 km. south I guess I passed more than 30 monorail lines. You can learn more of the monorail system and their 'trains' from the website of a manufacturer of these systems: Clemens in Germany.

Interspersed between the monorails a few more normal two-rail lines reach the few hundred meters from valley road to the top of the field. These spurs are operated as inclines. Without measuring the gauge seems to be in the 40-50 cm. range and the rails are L-profiles rather than usual rail profile.
A standard 'train' on a Mosel valley wine monorail. On the western side of the valley between Ernst and Ellenz more than 7 such monorails can be seen clinging to the steep fields.

On another monorail line the steep gradient is obvious.
During a little outing from the Mosel I got to see a bit of the Maginot Line in France. Unfortunately I was 30 minutes late for the daily guided tour of the fortress of Hackenberg. Too bad, as there is only one tour a day. I had to contend with an outside view of the entrance and a Pechot-wagon and two skips parked outside. As much as I love skips and Pechot-wagons it didn't really seemed worth the long drive...

The Pechot-wagon outside Ouvrage du Hackenberg. As most of the Maginot Line rolling stock it was fitted with Willison automatic couplings instead of the original WWI-coupling. Two locomotives from the Maginot Line came to Nystrup Gravel via German ownership. I have built a number of Pechot wagons in 1:35.