Monday 29 December 2014

2014 in Review (1/35)

The past year brought me much enjoyment with Nystrup Gravel. My little piece of 1950's rural Denmark received new road vehicles (amongst others a Fordson 7V, a Simca and a little scooter) built or rebuilt from kits of various quality. One of the more unusual was my Ford delivery van built from a Brazilian resin kit. A new loco also arrived: a Schöma gas generator loco from a 3D-print. I also spent time working on my modules and got them quite presentable with added grass, flowers and a few new trees. Doors were built and fitted to the loco shed (long overdue). The loco shed also had welding light installed and the point finally got its point lever - built from a very nice German brass kit.

I didn't manage to finish my two Hudson bogie flats started in 2013 nor did I finish my 1:35 interpretation of an ancient Danish one-cylinder internal combustion loco. I also hadn't time to dig deeper into the binder with parts of the Nystrup Gravel archive. I hope to be able to tackle both wagons and loco as well as a little research in the coming year.

As far as my model of an ancient Danish built one cylinder oil engine loco progressed during the year. A rudimentary engine and gear box fills the interior almost to capacity. More on this model in 2015!
Three things that stood out in 2014 were my new Dolberg skips, my work with a 3D-printed loco and the Gauge 1 exhibition.

New skips
I have written about skips a lot. Not really a surprise as I model a type of railway where skips were the predominant type of rolling stock. In 2014 I received new skips of the type most used in Denmark. Quite out of the ordinary I didn't build the skips myself, but ordered them built. Although unpainted I took them into service immediately and they performed well. Resorting to paying another modeller to do work for me was a rather large decision. Not least because I like to model myself. But realizing that we are all better or faster at something made it easier to 'out source' a bit of the work on Nystrup Gravel. It may not be the last time I choose to do so.

Not one of my new skips! Work on the 700 mm. heritage line 'Hedelands Veteranbane'. Me and a friend waiting for a large 785 mm. gauge skip being emptied of branches, old leaves and snow before fixing chains to enable it to be lifted out of the shrubbery. The skip is now resting in doors with four similar skips. Photo: Steffen Lyngesen.
Gauge 1 exhibition
Getting out and meeting other modellers, seeing their work and discussing methods is good. Even if scale and theme is different. This year I had again packed my modules up and moved them west to the Gauge 1 exhibition in Rolfsted. I had a lot of people visiting the gravel line and I really enjoyed talking to visitors and fellow modellers. Quite a few Germans turned up showing that what could be taken for a rather local exhibition actually attracted visitors from afar. Nystrup Gravel also featured in two articles in a German web magazine with very nice pictures - some shots from angles I hadn't even discovered!

I wasn't only showing Nystrup Gravel at the exhibition. Some of my tractors and my thresher were allowed to be placed on some of the standard gauge layouts. It is great to see one's models come to life in a nice setting.
I saw a few nice products, received good feedback and advice and contributed myself with advice to those asking. I really hope a new loco project will materialize based on discussions started at the exhibition. You'll be the first to know.

Trying out new methods and technologies is something many modellers do. I'm probably among the more conservative and only tried out 3D-printing this year, when I finished a Schöma gas generator loco printed by Shapeways. While the technology seems promising it is not a method (in my opinion, anyway) that can stand alone. You can't expect to buy a 3D-printed model, attach it to a drive unit, paint it and drive off. You will have to invest considerable time and effort in cleaning the print up, sanding and preparing the surface before painting. Attaching a homemade bottom plate with chassis fittings is also necessary before your model is ready to serve you. Adding details and personalizing the model is a must for me too, so 3D-printing isn't going to take the modelling out of 'model railways' or mean the death of scratch building. Not if you like a detailed model that hasn't 'furry' or 'striped' surfaces.
The real Schöma gas generator loco in service at Nystrup Gravel in 1944-1946. One of the few photos I managed to dig out of the archive this year. Because of legal discussions over the ownership of the loco after the liberation the gas generator wasn't removed until autumn 1946.
The blog is shortly entering its fourth year. The number of posts have been remarkably consistent through the last three years and will probably remain so in 2015. The number of pageviews have stabilized on 2-3.000 a month. I have no plans for big changes, but should you have anything you'd like to see on the blog, please let me know.

Happy New Year!

Sunday 28 December 2014

Christmas Citroën (1/35)

My move has progressed so far that our new house is now also a home. And a place to host both Christmas and new year's parties. Nystrup Gravel hasn't yet moved in, being still taken good care of by a friend. Most modelling tools and some unbuilt kits have been located, though. No workbench is erected, so this Christmas' modelling will have to take place on an other table - and cleared away when other needs are deemed more pressing.

The kit that will be the focus of my holiday modelling is the Tamiya Citroën. I already have a model of a Citroën in the shape of a French resin kit, but of such an iconic car two examples surely isn't one too many!

My second 'traction avant' will be fitted with a gas generator and driven by a Nemrod-figure.
Before starting the model I had the chance to play with skips on HVB again. We were salvaging large 785 mm gauge skips and placing them in one of the railway's sheds. Cool, fresh air in abundance!

Large steel skips (2,5-3 cubic metre) being placed on one of the multi-gauge tracks in the shed. Lovely winter weather!

Monday 15 December 2014

Nystrup Gravel in German (Updated) (1/35)

The appearance of Nystrup Gravel at the recent Gauge 1 exhibition meant that it was exposed to a visiting German language Gauge 1 web magazine. Now my little Danish gravel line has been published in two articles on the web magazine Spur 1 Info - with readers in 71 countries. See the first article and the images here and the second here. The Spur 1 Info is partly based on payment and you will have to be a paying reader to get the full coverage of Nystrup Gravel on the site.

Nystrup Gravel No. 6 pausing outside the shed. Photo: Friedhelm Weidelich.
While industrial narrow gauge modelling in 1:35 isn't where most readers on Spur 1 Info have their main interests, it is nevertheless fun to see one's modelling written up by a professional on a site visited by far more readers than my own little blog. What thrilled me the most, however, were the photos. I hadn't imagined my modules would look so different when photographed by someone with better skills than myself. Notice how, on the photographs, the skin of my MK35 cow even seems slightly 'furry' - nice!

A look into the little shed that served the gravel company well, despite the very narrow service pit. Always disliked by heavier members of the staff but nevertheless useful for the skinnier apprentice. Photo: Friedhelm Weidelich.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

New Skips in Service (1/35)

I received new 1:35 skips shortly before packing for the Gauge 1 exhibition. That meant that very little testing could be done. I brought my new skips to the exhibition anyway, thinking I could perhaps get time to fiddle with them if necessary.
Loco 23 with a train of Hesketh & Snoodyk skips emerging from under the road viaduct. Despite the skips being unpainted and the coupler chains still bright metal, I think the little train makes a rather good impression. So thought many visitors at the Gauge 1 exhibition.
I can report that the skips ran very well without any need for major adjustments. I bent the cradles that takes the skip bucket a bit on a few of the wagons. That helped the body to stay upright during travelling over Nystrup Gravel's uneven track. Otherwise I didn't need to fix anything. The skips keep the track well and manages the gap between modules (where there is bound to be some distance between the rail ends) without problems. I had very few derailments - none of them due to the skips themselves.

Real skips rock and sway as they travel over uneven track. Here skips loose a little gravel as they pass through a point. Hedelands Veteranbane, March 2014
No one at the exhibition commented on the skips being unpainted (they are only blackened) and one visitor even commented that he thought I had been really good at weathering the skips. I had to tell him that they were in fact not even painted - which he found hard to believe even after taking a closer look.

In my opinion the skips passed the test. Not only do they run well they also look good. Some of the visitors (obviously as fascinated by skips as myself) had no trouble distingushing between the different types of skips in service and had very favourable opinions on my new ones. I like them too!

See info on the skips and assembly instructions here.

Friday 21 November 2014

Nystrup Gravel is Moving (1/35)

As if a trip to the Gauge 1-exhibition near Odense wasn't enough, the 1:35 version of Nystrup Gravel is now preparing for permanent relocation.  Having resided in its little corner of a two storey townhouse for 9 years, Nystrup Gravel will be housed in a slightly bigger wooden house in the years to come. Consequently modules, models, materials, tools and documents are being packed in boxes for transport. Not to mention my book collection and archive that seems awfully large whenever I have to move.

Some of my unbuilt kits packed for moving. The boxes with my 13'eme Dragon kits of Pechot wagons seems rather dusty...
I'm glad to have made foam lined wooden boxes for many of my scratch- and kit built models. It certainly makes it easier (not to mention safer) to make them ready for the move. Fortunately the move isn't a long one and the amount of damage that can happen to Nystrup Gravel stuff must be limited. The distance between my current house and the future one is a mere 1,5 km. It is still too early to predict if the move will allow an enlargement of the gravel company's activities. The move isn't made with the primary target of expanding Nystrup Gravel. But I do sense certain new possibilities...

All the modules and most of the models I brought to the Gauge 1 exhibition were unloaded at a friend's workshop. My stuff wil remain in store there until it's safe for them to return to their new surroundings. It is great to have friends ready to help out in situations like these - even without being asked! The conclusion must be that whenever you think you can help a fellow enthusist just ask. It helps keeping more people attached to the hobby.

Before the modules went into storage I managed to set a new record for the longest skip train on Nystrup Gravel. In the photo above loco 23 pulls 20 skips with no trouble. Pushing the same number of skips is only possible with some care from the driver. A case where 1:35 skip trains behaves pretty much like a real train of skips - especially with loaded skips coupled between unloaded ones. Now modules and skips are safely packed away.
A very long skip train at NSS at Valkenburgse Meer in the Netherlands. More than 50 skips made up this train at the Internationales Feldbahner Treffen in 2011 - a record I can't challenge! Notice the variety among the skips - not least in colour.
The railway being packed away will put a stop to most modelling activities for a while. And surely getting a new house up and running is far more important than gluing small objects together. The next few months will probably see this blog rather more quiet than usually.

Monday 17 November 2014

A Nice Trip to Rolfsted (1/35)

Nystrup Gravel and I spent three days at the Gauge 1 Exhibition in Rolfsted, near Odense. I got a lift from a friend and as he had just acquired a new van, space wasn't a problem. Being a rather small 'thing' Nystrup Gravel was quickly erected and connected electrically. Nystrup Gravel was connected to my friend's three modules with very little fuss. I did a few last minute adjustments, cleaned rails and did some tests. All worked well, except from my Zimo digital unit that seemed rather reluctant to accept new locos. Thus traffic had to be handled by my trusty Billard locos.

Nystrup Gravel ready to be erected.

The exhibition management's planning model laid out for traders and exhibitors to follow.
Despite the digital troubles I got trains running. With my new supply of skips from Hesketh & Snoodyk I could show a wide variety of skips. I actually had quite a few questions this year about model skips. Maybe fellow participants and visitors are planning their own industrial narrow gauge railways?

A train of Hudson skips on its way to the pits for gravel.

Despite digital troubles the gas generator Schöma managed to pull a train of surplus stones along the line.
Almost 1100 paying visitors attended the exhibition that also had the benefit of being in the evening news on the regional TV-station. Both exhibitors and traders thus had the chance to reach a wide audience for our modelling activities. Reporters from a German web magazine (Spur 1 Info) were also present during the entire exhibition. I was surprised that a large number of Germans turned up, many with a good knowledge of industrial narrow gauge modelling. I made several new contacts and refreshed old ones and I'm quite sure that some of the discussions we had during the exhibition will materialize into models. I would also like to thank those of you readers who turned up to say hello and gave me the impression that what I write isn't only enjoyable to myself.

To me the biggest change from last time I participated was the landscaping that had taken place on most layouts. Many layouts now sported basic green grass and shrubbery and provided a much better background for the detailed locos and rolling stock. Many layouts had also brought along brochures to enable the visitors to learn more about scale, theme and models. I too had made a small flyer to give info on Nystrup Gravel and it really worked in engaging the visitors in conversations about narrow gauge railways.

A small goods train pulled by a shunting tractor. On the TD-flat wagon I had the opportunity to show my model of a Marshall thresher. A rarely seen load on model railways.
I don't know when the next Gauge 1 Exhibition will take place, but I would be glad to participate if invited. See a few images from the exhibition on my Flickr-site.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Getting Ready for the Gauge 1 Exhibition (1/35)

Having done many of the small tasks on my little railway that I have been neglecting for long, I'm now almost ready to take part in the premier exhibition for model railways in 1:32 scale in Denmark. In two weeks Nystrup Gravel will be located on the island of Fyn.

A snapshot from above showing the small stream where I hope to pour 'water' before the exhibition. While grass and plants have been spreading there is still a lot of room for progress. First of all the sharp borders between the different colours of grass needs fading.  
Some would say that exhibiting a little industrial narrow gauge line in 1:35 scale at a Gauge 1-exhibition where it's all standard gauge stuff running on modules devoid of any landscape is a little odd. I don't agree. I like to show what can be done in a comparatively small space, and have had quite favourable feedback from fellow exhibitors and visitors. And from what I know there will be several nicely landscaped Gauge 1-modules at the exhibition this year.

I couldn't resist putting a few of my new skips on the track. They aren't coupled though, something the observant reader will notice at once. Seen from this perspective there is no need to pour water into the stream...
At the exhibition in 2012 a friend of mine with narrow gauge interest supplied three modules to add to the operational interest of my modules. We'll be teaming up again this year. He and his wife have been landscaping the modules during the last few weeks - in addition to working on their primary standard gauge modules.

Ground cover almost complete on one of my friend's modules. Lots of stuff can still be added, but a huge progress from how the modules looked at the last exhibition where my friend called his modules 'The Barren Ground'. Photo: Arne Nielsen.
I'm looking forward to some interesting days. Should you happen to drop by Rolfhallen in Rolfsted south of Odense please visit me and Nystrup Gravel to say hello. I'm located in the hall opposite the restaurant.

Thursday 30 October 2014

New Skips (1/35)

Skips are what makes the little railway at Nystrup Gravel earn its living. After having ordered a batch in the beginning of the year, the railway has now taken delivery of 9 new skips - one of them with brakes. The skips are built from the Hesketh and Snoodyk 1:35 scale etched brass kit launched last year and produced from drawings of a German Dolberg skip.

Nystrup Gravel's newest item - a 1:35 Dolberg skip from Hesketh & Snoodyk.
Yesterday I received a package from Australia with the skips. I was excited as I had not only bought kits of skips. Rather than build them myself I had ordered them in built condition. It is the first time I have paid someone to assemble kits for me and it will most likely not be a thing that will happen often. I love modelling myself, so why pay someone else for the fun? But the bending and soldering of nine skips occured to me as something I might find both somewhat difficult and perhaps a little boring. Consider me spoiled if you like.

I ordered my skips unpainted but they arrived chemically blackened to avoid oxidation. While they don't look too bad unpainted I will eventually paint my skips later. 
I have yet to examine the skips in more detail and test run them on my modules, but from my intial handling of them and pushing them over a test track everything seems to be in perfect order. On some of them I may adjust the fit of the skip bucket in its cradle just a little. Otherwise I can't think of what I could add to these skips except paint, weathering and a tiny drop of oil in the bearings.

The skip with bucket tipped.

Bucket pulled off the skip frame. Even on my hurried snapshots the fine detail can be seen.
I have previously sought different ways to make up realistic trains of skips. I bought my first skip kits in 1999 from Scale Link and added minor details myself to change them a bit. I continued buying Scale Link skips as they were what was available and looked most like the skips most used on Danish industrial railways. In addition to the Scale Link skips I acquired six Hudson skips from Slaters Plastikard. Quite satisfied with both the look and running of the Slaters skips, the type was however, never in widespread use in Denmark. Consequently I couldn't bring myself to buy more of them. Mark Hesketh and Bernard Snoodyk have now provided exactly the skips I wanted and I'm seriously contemplating if I should order more.

I will now have to consult the Nystrup Gravel archive for that missing half page of their inventory of skips. When numbering my new skips I would like them to carry correct numbers according to Nystrup Gravel practice. I have the top half of the document but I suspect the company's Dolberg type skips to be listed on the lower half of the document...

Sunday 26 October 2014

Point Lever (1/35)

Preparing my modules for the November exhibition I have fitted the only point with a point lever. I have been searching for an appropriate example for some time. Price, availability, type and size have been subject of my considerations. I finally decided for a point lever from the German producer Wenz-Modellbau. Not sure if the 1:32 scale point lever was too big, I also ordered the 0-scale item. While I decided to use the 1:32 scale lever I have saved the 0-scale one for future use on a point with steel sleepers.

A scan from the instructions showing an exploded view of the kit's contents. The parts are a mix of cast brass and etched nickle silver. Some changes in the kit have taken place since the instructions were made, as my example has a different parts make up - with cast brass making up the main parts rather than the mix of cast and etched brass in the instructions.
Assembly of the lever went fine after some minor sanding to make the parts operate smoothly. Instead of priming the parts I tried to chemically blacken them. Primarily to avoid too much paint hampering easy operation. I used a German product made by Klever and sold by Ballistol. The parts took on a nice dark brown/black colour after being repeatedly brushed with the liquid. After cleansing in water and drying, I brush painted the lever carefully with thinned acrylic paint. I used Vallejo 'Fire Red' and 'Pale Sand'. Much to my relief  the lever still worked flawlessly after painting.

Point and environments being readied for the lever to be fitted. I may have to rebuild the PC board connection later, but at the moment this solution will have to do. I'm getting ready for an exhibition and a few splashes of rust paint will hide my rather clumsy work.
The Wenz lever is of a typical German prototype, but I have seen it used in several locations in Denmark on both public and industrial railways.

Point lever in place. Although the Wenz instructions mention that the lever is a scale model, not a working lever for changing points it actually works well. Later I will fit a proper mechanism below the base board  to change the point, but for the time being finger prodding will have to suffice. I'm glad I used 'Pale Sand' for the lever head rather than pure white, as white would have been much too harsh a colour.

Friday 17 October 2014

Fuglsø Moor Revisited

There are not many narrow gauge industrial railways in service in Denmark today. Many were dismantled in the 1960’s and 1970’s while most of those that remained were gone by 1990. A few has temporarily sprung up during building of metro lines in Copenhagen and minor tunnels here and there.
The most charming of those few remaining today surely must be the 600 mm. peat railway at Fuglsø Mose. Last week I had the chance to revisit the moor at Fuglsø and its little railway. I was glad to see, that the railway was still working and in better condition than when I last paid a visit. Three locos work the 4 km. line from the peat extraction areas in the moor to the lorry loading facility.

From left to right: Peat plough, '257' built by Danish Pedershaab in the 1940's, '305' Schöma 3405/1972 newly overhauled with new cab and last is '304' Schöma 3336/1971.
The moor has previously been supplying a peat briquette factory in Stenvad with peat and during the second world war the moor also held several smaller production sites for peat with a very motley collection of locos and wagons.

The old loco shed - now without track connection and out of use.  
The loco shed while it still housed locos. Here '305' is climbing up from the loco shed to much admiration from the surrounding enthusiasts. Photo from my first visit to the railway in 1985 with an excursion by the Danish Industrial Railway Society. 
You can see images from the 1990’s on the Industrial Narrow Gauge Railway-website and more from my latest visit to the moor on Flickr.

Much inspiration from visits like this one is useful on one's little model railway. I have always liked the loco shed built from a variety of materials on a slope with doors in both ends, each originally serving different gauges. Even the workers at Fulgsø Mose must have some interest in the building, since it has not yet been demolished. The shed doesn't seem to serve any purpose today and heavy machinery for a quick 'clean up' is in great supply at the lorry loading facility.

Saturday 11 October 2014

The Ever Expanding Book Collection

This week saw the arrival of yet some railway books to take their place on my hard pressed shelves. It wasn't a planned acqusition (yes, I have a plan for my railway book shopping) but a friend from Holland was selling part of his collection as he is clearing out in advance of a move. Several good and rare titles were available and I was fortunate to be able to get some of them.

My latest book shopping. I'm particularly fond of the Argentinian book on the potato railways. 360 km of 600 mm gauge railways for transport of potatoes with stock and locos from both British, US and German military railways. Now why didn't I take Spanish in high school?
My modelling is quite focused on the industrial narrow gauge railway theme in a Danish 1950's timeframe. My book collection has a much wider focus, although I suspect some railway enthusiasts would find it quite narrow and uninteresting. I have few books on 'normal' railways (if a normal railway is a standard gauge one with passengers, tickets, timetables and transport of a variety of goods etc.). The majority of my railway books are about narrow gauge railways, most of which only ever carried one type of freight and seldom any passengers.

Having to choose between a book on a standard gauge railway and a book about excavators I would most likely choose the book on excavators. Or tractors. Or ropeways. Or steam ploughing, I could go on.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Welding in the Evening (1/35)

The Nystrup Gravel loco shed was tasked with daily maintenance of the company's locos. Now and then a repair was so urgent that work continued into the evening. The next day's gravel transport had to be performed to schedule. In such a case the chief mechanic had to work late - sometimes helped by one of the loco drivers. On an old film I found a short sequence showing welding one evening at the shed. The quality isn't the best, I'm afraid.

Interior light was installed when I built the loco shed years ago and now I have fitted a little welding light gadget. The trick is probably rather 'old hat' but fits my taste (not being completly convinced that animations, advanced light effects and sound will enhance anyone's experience of my modules). 

The welding light unit. While sold by Micromark it is actually made in the UK. Image from the Micromark website.
The welding light unit was bought from as item 83648. It consists of a print board with the components and two LEDs. In addition to the usual blueish welding-effect it includes a red 'hot glowing metal effect' LED. You have to supply wire for the installation yourself.

As I wanted to install the LEDs hidden from view inside an object being welded I thought the LEDs rather on the large side. For that reason the object being worked on had to be a large one. I used a piece of plastic pipe, fitted plasticcard ends, drilled a few holes in it and fitted a bit of metal piping in one of the holes. I guess it could be part of a (very) large exhaust unit or a fuel tank. The LEDs are fitted inside the pipe and the flickering welding light comes rather nicely out the holes creating a discrete effect.

A view from above: The welder and the item being worked on. I still need to attach a wire to the welding object. Without a connection to the power source from the welding unit seen to the left no welding is possible.
From conversations with other railway modellers I know that there is a lot of work going on in advance of the Gauge 1 exhibition near Odense in November. I look forward to participate.

Monday 29 September 2014

More Loco Shed Work (1/35)

After the large front doors were fitted, I thought the rear door in the loco shed didn't quite match. I made a new from plastic card. The door is a tight push fit in the door opening. In that way I can remove the door if I need to take photos from that angle. I think some good shots could be made through the door and into the shed.
A rear view of the loco shed. The light indicates that the sun is setting over Nystrup  - and earlier and earlier now fall is approaching in Denmark. The door is new, as is the water tap to the right, I have been planting more grass and some Noch plants to the far left. The bike is from Scale Link.

The sides of the roof received a new layer of light green paint and a little weathering to match the new doors. The underside of the roof was painted black. While I worked on the shed, I drilled a hole for wires and LEDs for the welding light unit through the workbench (a resin part from a work shop set from Verlinden).

I added a bit of grass and plants around the shed. Being several years old now, some of the old grass was in for replacement (some tends to loosen and get lost during vacuum cleaning and general use of the module) and here and there a little more 'green' was needed. I used a few laser cut plants from Noch. Some of them are fine (the yellow and red/blue flowers) while others are not that good. I have placed them accordingly around the modules.
Laser cut paper flowers from Noch. A fast way to get some planting done, but not exactly cheap. At the current rate the amount on the price tag in Danish kroner corresponds to 10 €.

Friday 26 September 2014

French Track Panels at Nystrup Gravel (1/35)

Two weeks ago I received some of the Blitz Models French army track panels. I have now built a few of them. Building went smooth and while the resin rails in the kit are in the correct length for a standard 5 m. track panel I replaced the resin rails with standard code 100 rail, primarily to get more structural strength. I drilled holes in the rail ends and fitted the sleepers. They slided on quite easily, but two of the eight sleepers had to be worked a bit with a scalpel, to enable a PECO code 100 rail to slide between the rail clips.

To fit the sleepers in the correct position, I made a sketch from a Cenac-drawing of French army track and assembled my track panels on it. I used AC glue to fix the sleepers in place. I'm building some 2,5 m. panels later so both lengths are marked out on my scrap of paper.
From Blitz Models I also received a small wagon turntable. The casting is well done, but there is noticable shrinking of the resin in the middle of the turntable. I don't think it will be very visible after painting. All the work I did was some minor flash removal with file and sandpaper as well as drilling holes in the rail ends. 

The single turntable casting right out of the small zip lock bag. The centre shrinking does show on the image.
Both track panels and the turntable was primed and then given an air brushing of light brown. A layer of Vallejo light rust was applied with variation so the rust appear as full covering in places and lighter in other. The turntable received a light spray of blue grey on the turning plate. Turntable and track panels were then painted with burnt umber oil paint heavily diluted in turpentine. In places it was supplanted with a little black oil paint. I used a soft pencil to add the look of worn running surfaces on one track panel and on the turntable.

The track is used by Nystrup Gravel on occasions where a temporary track is necessary. Track from the western front in World War 1 did come to Denmark, as the track panels on Hedelands Veteranbane testifies.

Old French army track at Nystrup Gravel. It probably came from the German airfield at Mellemaaen where Nystrup Gravel acquired both locos and machines after the war. It looks like the turntable has been in use recently judging from the worn running surfaces. Notice the immaculate track standard on Nystrup Gravel's line on this spot.

For those who wonder how a turntable looks on the inside, here is a photo. With the turning plate lifted the steel balls that makes turning easy can be seen. Other types of turntables used rollers while the most primitive had neither. Photo from the closed and abandoned Holzwollefabrik und Sägewerk in Hammerunterwiesenthal, 2013. More images on this Flickr album.

Sunday 21 September 2014

Loco Shed Doors - Finally Finished (1/35)

For a long time my loco shed has been unable to provide much shelter from the Danish weather. With no doors the autumn storms would have easy access to play havoc with both employees and machines. The doors have been on my to do-list for several years.

The basic doors I made in the beginning of the summer were fitted with a frame structure of wooden balks on the rear side. I made hinges from brass rod and nickle silver strips. The rods were drilled and glued into the walls of the shed and the doors hung in place. I left a gap below the doors to make them clear the uneven ground outside the shed.

One door fitted to the shed. I will have to fit a 'hat' to the chimney on the roof.
To hold the doors open I drilled holes for two lengths of rail to be solidly burried in the ground. They work as anchor points for the doors when open and make sure a sudden gust of wind doesn't slam them shut.

The doors were primed with 'Chaos Black' from Games Workshop and painted the same green as the roof sides and windows. Fortunately the light green Humbrol paint had survived the many years in storage (it was probably last used in 2007).

Both doors built and fitted on the shed. The photos proves that I have actually made them work. More mechanically adept modellers would probably have made them DCC controlled and servo driven. Beyond me. At the moment, at least. Carpenters might shake their heads from the way the doors are framed, but that is how the guys at Nystrup do it.
When I was at work around the shed I fitted two water taps outside the building. They are included in the 'German Fuel Drum Set' from Tamiya. I recently got a set from a friend who didn't need it, thanks a lot!

Nystrup Gravel's loco shed with doors. I my eyes the building has gained much in realism by having doors fitted. Sometimes a little work can make a considerable difference. The Jung ZL-114 is a resin kit from French U-Models fitted on a BlackBeetle.
With the doors in place I'm now in the process of fitting a Micro-Mark welding light unit. The rear door of the shed will be replaced and the roof's sides could use some fresh paint as well. A model railway is never finished!

Friday 12 September 2014

Blitz Models: Track from the Great War (1/35)

The anniversaries of World War 1 are here. The war that started in 1914 was know as the Great War before the new global conflict from 1939-1945 gave the war the name it is best known by today: World War 1. In the next 4 years we will probably be exposed to much 'celebrating' and ceremonial remembering of the huge battles taking place during the 1. World War. I hope to build a World War 1 inspired model each year for the next four years. As I have a rather full programme for most of this year, the first one will be very modest - a few track panels with steel sleepers and a wagon turntable from Blitz Models of France. 

Through the years I have built a few models of WW1 subjects - of both narrow gauge and non railway subjects. Here is my model of a long wooden wagon built in French army workshops behind the front line. The model was built from drawings in Christian Cenac's "La Voie de 60 Militaire de la Guerre de 14-18 en France". The French officer is in white metal from Scale Link.
As track panels from The Great War actually found their way to Denmark it was only too obvious that Nystrup Gravel should have some as well. Recently Blitz Models have brought out some 1:35 track elements and a Campagne loco tracteur. More models have been announced on their web site. As I have already built a Campagne from scratch I only ordered a little track to test the quality.

Plastic bag and a printed label constitutes packaging and information. A single pack is 6,5 € from the Blitz Models' web site.

Contents of one bag laid out on my cutting mat. The flimsy resin rails are destined for my waste basket.

A single steel sleeper close up. It fits the 1:35 drawings in the Cenac books.

A length of PECO code 100 rail fitted on three Blitz Models sleepers.
The Blitz Models resin is flexible and with heat from boiling water or a hair drier I suppose you could straighten the warped resin rails. As the sleepers fit standard code 100 rail I will simply slide the sleepers on some PECO rail and super glue them in place. The metal rails will add strength to the assembly. Something I think the resin rails will not be able to. I will use my sleepers primarily for a few loose track panels. For working track on the Nystrup Gravel line I'd rather use the Coldicott track panels as they are designed to take the strain of running trains.

I hope to finish some French track panels in the coming weeks - not forgetting my mission to finish the doors for the Nystrup Gravel loco shed.