Wednesday 28 January 2015

Traction Avant with Gas Generator (1/35)

I modelled occasionally on the dinner table over the Christmas holidays. The Citroën is now almost fully assembled and painting is under way.

The Blitz Models' gas generator is a nice little kit in itself. One has to be careful during assembly, though. A lot of dry fitting is advised to get the correct position of a all gas generator parts. If not the gas generator equipment will not fit the car properly. I had to insert a piece of plastic in the gas pipe leading to the engine to achieve a good fit. Beside the need for patience and test fitting the gas generator is very good. The parts are finely cast and very easy to separate from their mould gates. The instructions could be a little clearer, though.

The resin parts for the gas generator, scrubber and pipes. Appropriate for the Christmas season the parts were photographed on a red napkin (unused).

The modifications needed to fit the gas generator: Opening up rear panel and one small hatch in the bonnet. Cutting off the rear bumper and fitting gas generator mounting bracket. 
The gas generator kit is accompanied by replacement wheels for the car. They are not fitted with hubcaps and makes a nice difference to the kit's wheels. I chose to fit the Blitz Models' wheels to make my second Citroën even more different. The kit's axles were shortened a few millimetres to fit the resin wheels. The Tamiya kit of the Citroën is easy to assemble. See a full review of the kit here.

Interior painted and weathered. Not much of this will be visible when the model is finished, so I have kept my ambitions restrained. I will, however, make a sack or two with wood fuel to place on the rear seat. Beside that it's time for the air brush and gloss black paint.
I had bought a set of etched brass from Aber (set PE 35231) to refine the model, but I will use very little from the set. Not much on the fret will make the model look any better in my eyes. Should have been wise enough to have saved my money there.

Monday 26 January 2015

A Fowler at Nystrup Gravel

Ever since I first heard about Nystrup Gravel there have been persistent rumours about an early British built diesel loco being owned by the company. I have been digging into the binder with old documents from the gravel company and found proof that Nystrup Gravel did buy a Fowler diesel in 1933. Much indicates that it was a loco Fowler failed to sell to the company that originally ordered it.
A preserved narrow gauge Fowler at the Campbelltown Steam and Machinery Museum in Australia. From plans in the Nystrup Gravel company archive it seems that Nystrup's loco looked very much like this loco. Photo: Chris Miller, 2009.
The Fowler at Nystrup was probably meant for a customer in the tropics using Imperial measurements. The gauge on the loco was in fact 2 feet (610 mm) while Nystrup Gravel used 600 mm gauge. The Fowler was consequently slightly 'over gauged'. I have attached a document from the Nystrup Gravel archive showing that the fact was discussed with a local engineering company. They predicted that the standard of Nystrup's tracks could well accommodate a loco with 610 mm. gauge, although they advised careful running through some of the better point work. There is no indication that the loco ever derailed more than any of the company's other locos. Unfortunately there is no images of the loco in the binder from Nystrup Gravel, although an old news paper clipping shows that the arrival of a diesel loco was noticed by the local press.

In Denmark only three other Fowlers are known. Despite a lot of marketing to open up a new market in Denmark, Fowler only succeeded in selling a six coupled 700 mm gauge loco to a sugar factory in 1948 and two standard gauge shunters in 1952 to a railway in northern Jutland.

One of many adverts sent to Nystrup Gravel from Fowler to promote their products. Read about the history of John Fowler & Co, Leeds here.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

New Work Table (1/35)

Finally I have an operating work table again. Since moving into the new house I've been doing what little modelling I have had time for on the dining table. Suitably well covered with papers and cutting mat preventing any unintended damage.

My new work table is a bit bigger than my previous work table. The old one was small and placed halfway into an open shelf system while the new one is placed in front of a window to allow for lots of natural light. The work table is very simple: a purpose cut piece of plywood fitted to some recycled legs. The work surface is painted white and the rear part of the table is fitted with sides to diminish the number of objects finding their way to the floor. The floor is natural wood so no ‘carpet monster’ here (although parts occasionally do go missing even without a carpet!). The floor immediately under the work table is covered with a protective plastic mat to avoid damage to the floor - both from falling knives, paint spatter and wear from my chair.

Still some things to do before the work table is completely organized. Modelling is already in progress, though.
Despite having a relatively generous amount of light coming in through the window, I have fitted my work station with a number of different lamps. Living in Denmark with rather depressingly dark months in good supply there is no way I can model by natural light here! Generally I have started laying out the work table pretty much like the old one. No need to redo things that have proven their worth. On my left is mini drill, vice and airbrush while on my right steel ruler and calliper are ready for action. Also within easy reach is a collection of the most used profiles in both metal, plastic and wood as well as brushes and glue.

The work bench is still being fitted out as I write, but the first model has already been worked on. No doubt the work table will gradually evolve into a more mature piece of furniture as time passes (read: become messier and messier).
A snap shot of my old work table. Here seen in a messier than usual-mode. Compared to my new surroundings a lot more cave-like!

Monday 12 January 2015

Lanz Tractor (1/35)

I'm still without a real worktable for modelling due to my recent move. I still manage a little work on my gasgenerator Citroën now and then. Before I get a post done on that topic here is a few lines on a 10 year old model.

On several occasions I have used parts from Plus Model's comprehensive range of small diorama accessories in 1:35. The Czech company also does a few vehicles, including a pair of tractors. Plus Models supplied my first resin tractor kit - a Lanz Bulldog. Until then all my tractors had been white metal kits.

The Plus Model kit is a very fine kit of the legendary Lanz Bulldog HR 7 with 30 hp. engine. It is a kit that really has more in common with a normal plastic injected kit than with most peoples' idea of a resin kit. This model isn't hard to build. Other modellers besides me must have thought highly of the kit, as it was awarded the title 'Modell des Jahres' by the German modelling magazine Modell Fan in 1999. I finished my kit in 2004, but have recently fitted it with a license plate to make its appearance unmistakeably Danish.

My Plus Models Lanz tractor parked outside the loco shed. The tractor is from one of the farms surrounding Nystrup and the driver may have dropped in for a visit. According to the top digit on the green license plate the tractor is registered in police district 4 encompassing Roskilde and surroundings (Roskilde Købstad, Ramsø-Tune Herreder og Lejre Herred). Nystrup seems to be placed somewhere between Roskilde and Sorø if other license plate observations are to be believed.
The kit is still available as is a very interesting tracked version. At least one tracked Lanz worked on the Danish island of Lolland in the fifties. As the island is well known for its clay rich and heavy soil a tracked tractor would probably be useful there in wet conditions. According to my late grandfather a Lanz Bulldog was capable of running on any relatively flammable fluid thinner than porridge! More info on Lanz tractors on this German website.

An advert on the virtues of the Lanz Bulldog tractor. From a 1940's German farmer's magazine.