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 S├Ągewerk in Hammerunterwiesenthal, 2013. More images on this Flickr album.


  1. These look excellent - lovely stuff - I wish there was a supply of similar parts in 1:72/1:76 for use in my model. Perhaps I should produce something myself!

  2. Thanks for your comment, James. And while you deplore the lack of similar parts in 1:76 (and it seems all you have to do is wait for WD-models to market them?), I find it sad that a lot of interesting things are not available in 'my' scale. Although scratchbuilding isn't difficult in 1:35 it is always nice to be supported by trade.