Sunday 10 January 2016

A 1:35 Fowler Model (1/35)

In 2015 my research documented that Nystrup Gravel took delivery of a Fowler diesel loco in 1934. Now I'm in possession of a model of that particular little Fowler on my 1:35 model of the gravel line. It is great to dig up the history of the gravel company's railway and almost simultaneously be able to develop my own 1:35 scale version of it.

While I enjoy building models, I haven't all the time in the world to build nor the talent for every task. Nystrup's 1:35 Fowler has thus been built in a work shop in Australia and flown half way around the planet to Denmark. The model is built from an etch developed, prepared and produced in Australia by Brian Millar and the model was also assembled and painted by Brian - himself a professional narrow gauge loco driver. Members of the narrow gauge yahoo-group FS32NG and the Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling forum have been able to see images of the loco during its construction.
My new model of Nystrup's Fowler posing behind the coal baskets.

The model is fitted with micro ball race bearings on both wheel and jack shaft axles. The front mounted gearbox is a Slater FD01 3:1 and it drives the two axles through the side rods. The motor is a 12 mm. x 10 mm. gear head motor. Each axle box is fully sprung using springs from disposable cigarette lighters. An ingenious use of a product never before (to my knowledge, at least) made useful for railway modelling!

One of the workers from the gravel company has brought his daughter to see the new British locomotive.

The full scale Fowler at Nystrup was originally meant for a customer in the tropics using Imperial measurements. Archive photos from Australia reinforce the assumption that the Fowler from Nystrup Gravel was originally intended for an Australian sugar mill, where almost identical locos worked. That my model also has a firm connection to that great far-away country is only fitting.

"Will such a heavy locomotive ever work on our narrow tracks?"

I have only test run the loco on direct AC and will in the coming months be touching up some worn paint, fitting a decoder and do some minor adjustments as advised by the builder. I will also fit some of the modifications added by Nystrup Gravel. Numbering will of course also be added according to Nystrup Gravel practise.
Ready for challenging tasks on Nystrup Gravel.

Friday 8 January 2016

News From the Archives

Hard work on e-mail and telephone finally produced a blurry image of Nystrup Gravel's Fowler locomotive. Following a lead from a lorry interested friend I contacted a local historical archive on the Danish island of Fyn. In the collection of a late heavy lorry driver I finally found a photograph of the Fowler. Not a good one. But so far the only available one.

The Fowler outside the loco shed at Nystrup. Probably a photograph from the mid 1930's before the loco received its number - 11. Photo: Beldringe Local Historical Society.

Sunday 3 January 2016

Fuel Transport Modernised (1/35)

In the early fifties Nystrup Gravel constructed a primitive wagon for fuel transport. A standard steel skip was cut down and brackets to hold a 200 l. oil barrel fitted. A hand pump was mounted on a simple stand welded up from steel profiles. The building and painting of the model was described in an earlier post.

The Hesketh Scale Model fuel bowser ready for service on my 1:35 scale model of Nystrup Gravel.
After having painted the little model in Vallejo acrylic paints I gave the frame and hand pump stand a wash with heavily diluted rust coloured oil paint. I concentrated the application of rust to the skip frame and wheel sets to give impression of them being the oldest parts in the construction. The barrel and hand pump had a  wash with black oil paint, while the handle was treated with white oil paint. Then the whole wagon was spayed with matt varnish. After drying I gave the complete wagon a very thin wash of black oil paint. I then sprayed a very light layer of thinned sand colour on selected parts of the frame and wheel sets to make the wagon look a little dusty. Fuel spills where touched up with black oil paint and when dried marked with gloss varnish to appear wet.
The little fuel bowser is a great way to create a little variety on a model railway mainly running trains made up from skips. 
I added coupling chains to the skip from brass chain links. To make coupling easier both end links in the two chains were home made from brass wire wound around a drill of a suitable diameter larger than the standard chain links. In this way it is far easier to couple wagons in 1:35 with prototypical chains. I use a pair of tweezers to manipulate the chains. The chains was chemically blackened with 'Ballistol' before being hung in place.

The fuel skip photographed outside the loco shed.