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!


  1. I have enjoyed your blog since the beginning -- keep it up please.

    Happy New Year!

    Bill Uffelman
    Ocean View DE

  2. Hi Claus. First of all it is nice to see your splendid work. It seem we both are interested in Danish Army vehicles. I have also built a lot of those. Perhaps we could help each other out. I have lots of pictures and other kind of info.
    Best regards Brian Brodersen Stubbekøbing (the Guy who has written the article you have been refering to regarding Danish Army licenseplates

  3. Hello Brian
    Thanks a lot for your kind words on my modelling. I think we have been communicating on Danish army vehicles before. You helped me with images of a Staghound armoured car. Your license plate article helped me and 'Skilteskoven' to make decals for my army lorries. Thanks for the contribution.