Friday 16 August 2013

A New Danish 1:32 Narrow Gauge Railway (1/35)

The number of industrial narrow gauge railways in the scale range 1:35-1:32 is growing in Denmark. The increase is an impressive 100 % ! With a continued growth rate of that size, scale and theme will soon outgrow H0 in Danish railway modelling. Well, the facts behind the story is that the number of operations has gone up from one (my own) to two! For me it is great not being all alone in my hobby. (And just because the owner of this new narrow gauge line and I share surname we are not related, more than 260.000 Danes bearing the surname Nielsen.)

On a 1:32 Gauge 1 home layout far away from Copenhagen a small narrow gauge line is steadily growing. The line is owned by a standard gauge railway company and used primarily for transport of wood and coal to supply the standard gauge locomotives. The line is different from most of the very short systems with that task. This line runs from a wooded area where firewood is collected to the loco depot covering a distance far longer than most depot serving narrow gauge lines. The line has several unique features: a level crossing with a standard gauge siding and a small bridge over the point rodding to a point on the neighbouring standard gauge line, besides crossing a major road. A wooden loco shed has recently been erected.
A view over most of the narrow gauge line. The line ends by the buildings in the background. The wooded area will materialize later in the right hand side of the image. Photo: Arne Nielsen.

The DG 26 with a short 1:32 scale train of small flats and a Bachmann skip. The DG 26 saw service on my modules at the exhibition near Odense in 2012 and is an excellent slow running loco. Photo: Arne Nielsen.
So far there is one Henschel DG-26 diesel loco from Asoa and a few wagons on the railway. More may arrive in the future if traffic on the line increases. The narrow gauge line is being built with clever use of cheap materials. The tread plate ends on the Bachmann skip based flat wagons are made from scraps of packaging band (free) and the loco shed built from coffee stirrers (basically free, too). It proves that narrow gauge modelling in a large scale doesn't have to be expensive.

The loco shed during construction. Notice the neat wooden cladding possible with simple coffee stirrers. Scale lumber may be more exclusive but not necessarily much better looking. Photo: Arne Nielsen.
The newest information from the narrow gauge line indicates that major investments are due. A new loco, a bogie flat and a closed goods wagon are among what the company plans to deploy on the little line. Several sidings awaits construction. Unfortunately the supply of PECO 016,5 points in Denmark seems to have been completely exhausted. Hints on where to shop both new and used points are most welcome - please leave a comment.
The modest loco facilities of the little narrow gauge line. Photo: Arne Nielsen.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Gas Generator Schöma (1/35)

New technologies are constantly changing what is possible in modelling. Years ago resin casting gave modellers a lot of kits and detail parts that would never have been available otherwise. The etched metal kit or detail part then made it possible to even further expand the number and quality of kits and parts available to us. Now 3D printing makes it possible to print models from a computer generated drawing. Like any (new) technology there is  improvements to be made. 3D printing doesn't differ from any modelling technique when it comes to compromise. All modelling involves some kind of compromise to be practical, so don't expect miracles.

While 3D-printing has been around for a few years, I only recently made up my mind to try a 3D-printed model. Not one I have designed and drawn myself (I have no skills for that), but one bought from the website of Shapeways.
Image from the Shapeways site showing the Schöma built KML5-loco. See the loco and more on Shapeways.
My first 3D model is a 1:35 model of a Schöma loco fitted with gas generator. The loco was built in Germany during the second world war when normal fluid fuels were primarily reserved for military use. The gas generator turned wood into gas that fueled the engine. The loco is of the type KML5 (Kriegs Motor Lokomotive) built by several manufacturers and based on the O&K type MD2. A preserved loco of the type can be seen today at the Oekoven museum near Köln.

Schöma 933/1946 type KML5 in the shed in Oekoven, Germany back in 1997 on my first visit there.
The 3D model came from Shapeways covered with some oily substance. I removed the grease with warm water, soap and some Ajax windows cleaner. What the greasy stuff does in the printing process isn't clear to me, but it has to be cleaned off before any painting can begin.

My first printed model. I ordered the loco in Shapeways' best quality material called 'Frosted Ultra Detail' (FUD). Despite a slight crookedness on the cab right side and some raised lines on cab front and rear I'm quite pleased with the model. The roof will need some work too, but most of the faults will be easily sanded away. 

With the complicated piping of the gas generator unit definitely not an easy model for printing. The quality of the piping is most impressing, nevertheless.
Despite the small faults I'm looking forward working with this model. I now have to find a power unit to drive the loco. Maybe a Bull Ant from Australia will fit?

Sunday 4 August 2013

Jung Driver (1/35)

I like to equip my locos with drivers. Having a large scale open cab loco running unmanned along the track isn't very realistic. You may get away with it in the smaller scales, but in 1:35 it looks quite odd! The figure also helps to make the scale more obvious. With a figure, the loco's small size immediately shows and my model isn't taken for a larger loco in a smaller scale.

The figure fitted in the cab. A snap shot on the garden table after a quiet afternoon of modelling in the sun.
The figure in the Jung is dressed in denim overalls and made by MK35 in France. I have used several of MK35's figures and most are great value for money. I have quite a few still in their bags for future use. I chopped off the figure's tennis shoes and fitted a pair of more appropriate leather shoes. To make him fit in the cab I had to performe extensive surgery to his leg and pelvis region. It involved some brutal sawing followed by glue and reshaping with Miliput. I also changed the position of the figure's arms.
Image from MK 35's web site showing the figure in original condition. Photo: MK35
My version of the MK35 figure before painting.
The problem with large scale figures is that they are hard for me to paint well. I keep on trying. The result this time is not much better than last time I tried. But I'll keep on trying!

With a driver in the cab, the U-Models' Jung ZL 114 is now finished.