Saturday 30 December 2017

A Review of 2017 (1/35)

2017 has been a year of much varying activity modelling wise. I was off to a great start with several finished models and a module being completed. May was spent entirely on the 700 mm gauge heritage railway I volunteer on. I picked up modelling again during summer and started some new projects. I had great running sessions on my modules during September and October. Since then I have only managed to finish one project. The number of blog posts reflects that quite clearly: My blog is leaving 2017 with a count of 35 posts. Compared to the past four years where the blog has very consistently been reaching into middle or late 40's it's considerable less. Fortunately you readers have been faithfully following the blog as the visitor statistics aren't showing any decline. Probably the blog's many old posts are still found interesting enough to be read.
I had the chance to play trains for quite some time this year. The Fowler was given some intensive running on the 3.2 m railway I'm the proud owner of. Here the Fowler is operating outside in the garden on a temporary module set up. A huge advantage with modules: you can bring them everywhere!

I finished my fourth module representing the bakelite factory in Nystrup. The idea was to represent the section of the gravel railway winding itself through Nystrup's small industrial district. With the room I have available for modelling and storing models and modules a model of that section in 1:35 scale can of course only be of a very short length. I like the contrast to my more rural modules and I have now begun to wonder how my next module is going to look.
The Land Rover from Nystrup's volunteer fire brigade parked in front of Banke's Bakelite.

I had for a long time searched for the elusive Roadcraft Land Rover fire tender kit. I found it and finished building it in 2017. A great kit with a great potential for extra detailing. I built it mostly out of the box, though, only adding a fire man's helmet and other small parts. One week later I had the locomotive jacks from Blitz finished and delivered by heavy load trailer to the loco shed in Nystrup.

In the beginning of the year my model of an old Danish Alpha E 10 loco rolled off the worktable. A peculiar loco and not remotely connected to 'Danish design' so famous for its "simple, elegant and pure characteristics". Although in the case of the E 10 'simple' seems to fit! With a huge '1' on all four sides it clearly shows itself as Nystrup Gravel's first loco.

This year I had the great fortune to help celebrate two anniversaries at the heritage railway where I work as a volunteer. One was the 40. anniversary of the railway itself in May and the 50. anniversary of the closure of the last Danish sugar beet railway in December. On HVB we are fortunate to have a small selection of locos and rolling stock from the sugar beet railways and could form a small train of open beet wagons. Two trains followed the beet train, allowing visiting enthusiasts to take part in several photo sessions along the line.
The sugar beet train is on its way home after the 50. anniversary running. The sun is setting and the train is fitted with petroleum lamps and the small red rear end signal.
Mentioning railway enthusiasts I created my own two enthusiasts visiting Nystrup Gravel in 2017. I thought it appropriate to honour the first enthusiasts that have documented so many things gone today. Whether you are a surviving pioneer or a complete newcomer to the railway hobby I wish you a Happy New Year and all the best in 2018!
"Wasn't it around three o'clock the train was due here at the loco shed?" Well, you never quite knows with industrial railways. Surely the two enthusiasts will see something interesting if they wait long enough.

Friday 8 December 2017

Nystrup's East German 'Twin' (1/35)

I've been somewhat quiet modelling wise for a few weeks. Some of the time has been spent on going through the papers and photographs of Nystrup Gravel's cheif mechanic Thorleif Petersen. Some of the information made me want to build a model from an East German company - the VEB Klinker- und Ziegelwerke "Ernst Wollweber". Thorleif had a special affiliation with that company and visited it many times during his trips to DDR.

Box top illustration of Balaton Modell kit no BM3545. The Wollweber company had a Soviet built tractor with dozer blade of the DT 74-type.

The resin kit is well designed and cast. A look at the one-piece casting of the tractor's engine should confirm that. 
The parts of the tractor are well cast: no air bubbles and very limited mould lines. The majority of them separate well from their casting sprues. What I find amazing is the fit of the parts. It takes very little work to make the parts ready for assembly. The suspension assemblies fit together with no preparation straight from their sprues - just like a high quality plastic injection kit. Currently I'm ready to fit wheels and suspension units. 

Frames and final drives assembled and ready for suspension units and wheels. Two suspension units to the left.

Individual track links during assembly into track runs. The fit of the links are next to perfect. 

Judging from some of the papers Thorleif's travelling to and from DDR had to do with his memebership of the Danish Communist Party. As a young man Thorleif went to fight in the Spanish civil war as a volunteer. He kept his socialist preferences and was part of a communist resistance group fighting the Germans around Nystrup. He attended several party schools in DDR and took some engineering courses in Karl Marx Stadt as well.  

Among Thorleif's stuff I found this small badge from the 1959 May 1 celebrations in DDR - the communist German Democratic Republic. Inside the same envelope was a letter from the top management of the Baustoffe und Klinker Kombinat wishing him a 'socialist May 1'.