Wednesday 26 March 2014

To the Scrap Merchant (1/35)

Usually I write at great lengths of all the building and investing I do for my little railway. Recently I did something rather unusual. I scrapped a flat wagon. I decided it didn't live up to the quality of my other models and that it needed to go. As I'm not one that usually throws away anything, the wagon was first stripped of what I thought could be useful in the future. The rest of the wagon went to the scrapper - well, the local municipality waste treatment facility. I trust the wagon has now been consumed in the high temperature oven and helped create hot water for heating homes - perhaps my own?

Wagon no 47 was built in 1994 to carry the Ransomes MG6 tractor. The wagon was my first experiment with narrow gauge in 1:35 along with a never finished conversion of a Lima diesel. The wagon was made by simply putting a new and wider floor on a cut down H0 wagon. Having served for many years, the wagon has now been written off. But consider the idea of taking a string of old, surplus or second hand H0 wagons and converting them if you want to find out if railway modellling in 1:35 is something for you. They may end up serving you for 20 years!

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Gravel Extraction Today

Nystrup Gravel closed many years ago. The company finally closed in the late 1970´s (although no gravel had been extracted for several years by then) from a number of reasons. The company was generally well led, but the fundamentals of gravel business had changed by the late sixties. The management of Nystrup Gravel never took modern machinery into consideration and investments had gone down. The major stock owner, director Holm, wanted to retire and was interested in pulling out his money for retirement in sunny Spain.

Other companies continue to supply gravel in Denmark and several new areas has been opened for extraction, even though for environmental reasons permits are much harder to get. On the outskirts of greater Copenhagen a large gravel deposit has been exploited since the 1890´s. Originally the centre of the extraction was Hedehusene, but today the areas exploited have moved west and south. This week I took a bike ride through the area to see what modern gravel extraction looks like. Here are a few images of what I saw.

I would like to see this Volvo excavator with its arm fully extended! 

A view into the active part of the gravel area. Roskilde is in the horizon.

Lorry with a load of gravel coming through the tunnel once used for a conveyor belt. 

Partly dismantled conveyor belt. Its role now taken over by lorries.
Another loaded lorry leaves for a construction site. Old gravel pits as far as you can see.

Traces of gravel workings not used for almost fifty years: Old and overgrown open topped gravel silos. 

785 mm. tracks ran under the silo through this tunnel. Sleepers with spikes can still be found inside the tunnel.

Inside the tunnel you can still see levers and the chutes used for loading skips.

Often seen in model on layouts and dioramas - the old, left behind oil drum. Seldom seen dumped in real life as they of course costs money and are thus usually not thrown away. Here is one, though. Notice the splash of colour provided by the blue cooler in the background. Spoil from an other age.

Not a part of the lifted Nystrup Gravel line, but the foundation for the expansion of a very living railway in the old gravel workings south of Hedehusene. In a few years Hedelands Veteranbane will be running steam trains here - the only place in Denmark where you'll have a view to vineyards from a train.

Friday 14 March 2014

3D Schöma with motor! (1/35)

In a few days I will add a fourth dimension to the 3D-printed gas generator Schöma KML-3 loco - movement. A BullAnt from Australia with 28 mm. wheelbase and 12 mm. dia. wheels arrived last week. Fitted with an ESU V4 micro decoder the running qualities are expected to be smooth and controllable.

During the week I have been making a floor for the 3D-printed loco shell from 1,5 mm. plasticard. The floor is fitted with two nuts to take the M2 bolts that keeps the BullAnt in place. The floor was glued to the loco with two component epoxy glue. Getting a mechanism to fit can be difficult. Height wise you'll want the best resemblance to the prototype while considering how to leave room for cab detail or the possibility to show an engine on the model. With a closed cab model the task is a little easier and the small size of the BullAnt contributes to a good result.

BullAnt as delivered from Hollywood Foundry and the plasticard floor with cut outs to fit in the loco body. I have not yet drilled holes for the two mounting bolts. In front of the plasticard floor is my cardboard test floor. I often make test pieces of cardboard as the material is cheap and easy to cut.
The BullAnt takes up just a little room inside the Schöma, so I was able to fit a very rudimentary interior to the cab.  I made a firewall to separate cab and engine compartment. It helps to hide the decoder and the colourful wiring from view. I fitted the firewall with a few gauges, but as the cab on the real loco is a rather 'naked' affair and not much can be seen through the windows, I didn't spent time on small details.

A little of the interior can be viewed through the cab window in this shot. I made the gauges by punching holes in a piece of plasticard with a punching tool. The loco body is only temporarily fitted to the BullAnt.
On the outside I fitted handles on the doors and a few brass sheet and pipe details. Not much is needed as the printed model has an amazingly high level of detail. I drilled out the exhaust pipe and the hole for the starting handle that goes through the gas cleaner on the loco's front.

The model is ready for painting. After a renewed washing I will give it yet another layer of primer before I airbrush it dark grey. Notice how the BullAnt provides an almost unobstructed view between the axles.

Before leaving you for giving my loco a wash in hot water and window cleaner I have to share an old advert for Imbert gas generators (the type fitted to the Schöma).

If you thought the idea of driving on wood fuel has disappeared this website will prove you wrong:

Friday 7 March 2014

Bath Tub and Planting Flowers (1/35)

I haven't done much work on my modules for a long time. One of the last days in 2013 I started planting grass on my bridge module around the small stream. I'm not quite finished yet and the work continues. While I was 'gardening' I dug out an old kit of flowers and assembled a few to plant here and there on the module. I have done that on the two other modules with a nice effect, I think. The flowers are from Busch and made for H0, where they must be way out of scale. I think they fit great in 1:35. I'm not putting small white flowers everywhere, but just a few clusters here and there to create a little variety.
The Busch 'Margeriten'. I have never seen daisies this size - perhaps the figure is very small or the flowers are of the type Chrysanthemum Maximum which grows to 50-100 cm?
Loco no. 23, one of Nystrup Gravel's two French diesel locomotives, passing the wooden bridge over the small stream before squeezing past the fence around Bankes Bakelit, the Bakelite factory in Nystrup. The slope to the left has been grassed and the layout is beginning to look little more exhibitable. Much work remain, though.

The MK35 cow that grazes on the small hill overlooking the bridge has been given an old bath tub to drink from. The bath tub is from Plus Models, that must have the best range of small details to enrich every layout in 1:35. The bathtub is painted with a mix of white and light sand from Vallejo and weathered lightly with oil paints. On H0 layouts I have seen scenes with whole herds of cows. I haven't room for that, nor the money for dozens of resin cows.

Cow and bath tub on one of those grey and over cast days that makes up most of the Danish summer. A few Busch daisies seems to have caught the cow's attention.
In November I'm bringing Nystrup Gravel to a Gauge 1 exhibition. I'll be bringing the same three modules as last time I exhibited, so I would like to finish them and add some new features. Not too much sense bringing the same unfinished stuff twice. A long list of things to be done is being scribbled down at the moment. Expect to see more...

Last time I exhibited Nystrup Gravel: The guests are beginning to show up. I'm now working to landscape the bridge module and add a lot of smaller things to finish all modules in advance of the next exhibition.

Monday 3 March 2014

Making the Most of Left Overs (1/35)

Never throwing away anything I have a treasure trove of parts from kits that have generated unused parts. Sometimes small projects can emerge solely from the spares box. I wanted a load for my recently built Fordson 7V. The unused resin wheel sets from the many Pechot wagons I have built over the years, made it possible for me quickly to assemble a load of new wheels for Nystrup Gravel. No, I haven't built my wagons without wheels! The resin ones were replaced with metal wheel sets running in brass bearings.

As the Fordson lorry is from a haulage contractor in Sundborg,  I imagine the wheels must have come from a small foundry in that city or from even further away, having travelled by rail to Sundborg.

I drilled four holes in each Pechot wheel to make them more reminiscent of the typical loco wheels used for small locos. They are fitted to two pieces of lumber and held in place with fine copper wire. I used cyanoacrylate glue to glue the wheels together. My supplier of CA glues through 15 years closed and I'm now testing other brands. I still haven't found a good replacement, though.
The load is primed with Vallejo Acrylic Primer from a spray can. I'm not too keen on that particular primer, but for a low risk project like this I don't mind using it. In that way I hope to use up the can. I don't like to throw out anything - a sort of sustainable modelling approach - and good for my wallet, too.
The wheels painted Vallejo 'Light Rust' 71129 and fitted with address label. 
The Fordson lorry from Sundborg backing into the loco shed at Nystrup Gravel. The lorry is barely fitting in the shed. The chain hoist fitted under the roof of the shed helped to quickly unload the new wheels. The 8 wheels are for the two Billard locos that had badly worn wheels due to a faulty setting of the wheel sets in the frames. A lot of work at the lathe now awaits shop manager Thorleif Petersen and his small crew to prepare the new wheels for the axles.