Thursday 27 December 2018

2018 in Review

Before long 2018 will have passed and a new year begins. 2018 was a year of radical change for Nystrup Gravel. Not even the little model railway's move in 2014 matches the change that hit the gravel company in 2018. Having modelled in 1:35 for more than 15 years I had a sense that something had to change to keep my motivation as high as usual. Before 2018 had come to an end, I had switched scale from 1:35 to 16 mm scale - also known as 1:19,05 on 32 mm gauge track.
An illustration of the change currently in progres on Nystrup Gravel. A massive increase in size.
I began 2018 with finishing a 1:35 scale resin kit of a Soviet tractor with dozer blade. A great kit from Balaton Modell in Hungary. I fitted it with homemade decals for an imaginary East German brick works.
The Ernst Wollweber brick works tractor was my first finished model of 2018. It also turned out to be one of my last models in 1:35 scale.
An extraordinary amount of my modelling took place outdoor in one of the sunniest and hottest summers ever recorded in Denmark. No end to hot afternoons after work and lovely evenings to spend under the parasol modelling and sipping cool wine.
Approaching the limit for modelling in the garden. Darkness brings an end to detail painting. The birds stop singing and the bats begin their hunt for insects. The mind wanders and new projects are considered.

Some of the summer evenings were spent building a living van and a water cart for my steam roller. Both wagons were largely built from left over parts and plasticcard. Many years of modelling has enabled me to build up a large collection of parts (some of them in different scales) that can come in useful. That made the two wagons my cheapest projects of the year.
A steam roller road train on my road photo plank photographed in my garden in the warm Danish summer.
A trip to Wales made a profound difference for my modelling. In the shop at Tywyn on the Talyllyn Railway I picked up a 16 mm scale plastic kit. Under usual circumstances I would never have looked at or handled a kit in any other scale than 1:35 or 1:32. But as I had recently been lacking motivation in my modelling, my usual focus was probably disturbed. Holding the GVR granite wagon kit from Binnie Engineering in my hand I remembered the articles in Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review about 16 mm scale and the kit was placed on top of my heap of books on the counter. 
My double identity GVT wagon. It's numbered 130 on one side and 157 on the other.
I started the 16 mm kit while on summer vacation and had great fun with the assembly. The large size appealed a lot to me and it even allowed me to work on the kit with a bandaged broken left wrist. I ordered af few more kits to get a better feel of the scale and checked the availability of road vehicles and figures. It turned out that what I needed for a small layout was available and I started to wonder if a change of scale would be the right thing.

After much head scratching and consideration I decided it was time for radical change and as a consequence I now model in 1:19.05 scale. A selection of my 1:35 scale models have since found a new home on fellow European modellers' layouts. I will offer more models for sale before too long.
Loco 78 and a few skips in company with a 1:35 scale figure named 'Claus' on a German layout. I hope they will contribute to the develpoment of the local industry in the future. Photo: L. Behme.
It's a big task beginning from scratch and building up a new model railway. 2019 will be used to build up a larger collection of rolling stock and finishing my first 16 mm scale locomotive as well as buying my first length of track. I hope to start traffic as soon as posible as demand for gravel continue to be high.
Two models I'm currently working on: the Bandai steam traction engine and the I P Engineering Lister.More about them in 2019.

My best greetings to all you readers and contributors to the blog. Thanks for your input and ideas, regardless if made here, on Facebook or an online forum. All the best wishes for health, modelling and life in general. Happy New Year!

Sunday 16 December 2018

Traction Engine Motion

The most complex part of the traction engine kit is the motion, rods and crank assembly. I studied the instructions and the made up my mind to do things differently. I prepared the parts, some of them needing filling and sanding. Now they are assembled I can see I should have been filling and sanding even more...

Rods, crossheads, cranks and most of the motion ready for assembly and mounting in the frames.

The parts in their bearings in the traction engine's frames. Rather than a lot of sanding on an annoyingly bad assembly beneath the cranks I simply cut a thin piece of plasticcard and glued it in place.
Due to some unfortunate delays in the manufacture of the electronic components for the RC equipment I have ordered for my little Lister, I'm currently holding work on that model off. The good thing is that my supplier is keeping me informed of the delays. I consider that good service. Christmas preparations are underway and work on my full scale heritage railways is also keeping me busy.
Da 7 built by Henschel in 1921 is still going strong and pulling this season's Christmas specials on HVB in cooperation with Danish built dieselelectric M 25. No snow for the December trains this year.

Saturday 8 December 2018

Traction Engine Progress

The Garrett traction engine is the focus of my attention for the moment. I'm waiting for a delivery of hexagonal plastic strips from the UK for fitting my Lister locomotive with some much needed bolt detail. In the meantime I'm busy assembling the traction engine.
Many parts have raised lines presumably to help decal placement. I'm sanding the lines off. Pipes coming from nowhere and endning on the middle of the water tank are dealt with at the same time. New pipes with proper functions will be fitted later. The sanding is mentally soothing. Nothing really to think about, just make sure a piece of plastic is worked into a flat surface. I'm using files and really cheap sanding sticks from the make-up section of my local super market.
I had a few title on the shelves of my library to help me get in 'traction engine mode'. Despite the books there are still a gadget or two on the model I don't what's for.
The wheels aren't fixed yet, but I've got the water tank and front wheel suspension glued in place. The cylinder assembly is glued, but can still be separated from the boiler. That will ease assembly of the motion and gears.
The Nystrup pixie finally caught on a photopgraph? No, it's one of my 1:35 figures posing with a 16 mm scale figure and traction engine to show what my change of scale means size wise.

Monday 3 December 2018

Hansen's Traction Engine

The local haulage contractor Hansen in Nystrup had a long history, even going back to owning a large number of horse drawn wagons and a traction engine. Their Garret steam tractor was the only from that manufacturer in Denmark and unusual in being service until after World War 2. The last year of operation is unknown, but the boiler inspector approved it for last time in Feburary 1950. When I saw a fellow 1:19 modeller assemble a 1:16 kit of a traction engine, I immediately started looking for a kit myself.

I was fortunate to win a kit on an auction on Ebay. Considering what I have seen other winners pay for their kits, I seem to have been lucky. Some of the prices seen are horrendously high! The kit from Japanese manufacturer Bandai is an ancient kit and much indicates that my particular kit was issued before 1978 (when I was in 2. grade). A historic kit in more than one sense!

Despite being an old kit the instructions are quite good and well laid out, although the assembly sequence is a little odd.
The kit had been started and some of the major components was glued together when I opened the box. A few of them will need separating as I will not build the model as a showman's engine with generator, roof and colourful paint scheme, but rather as a worn haulage contractor's machine. The kit is a fraction too large for my scale of 1:19, but that will only help to make the model more impressive.
The lid is off and I can begin to sort parts into those I will use and those I can donate to the bin. The kit is in several colours and one sprue is even gold plated. 
In addition to the build on the Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling Online forum, I have also found a series of images on a Canadian blog. The Canadian traction engine is much like how I want mine to look, only without the lengthened chimney.
The main assembled parts: frames, fron suspension, front wheels, water tank and boiler incl. smokebox.

I'm currently assembling the large rear wheels. I will be building the kit in a different sequence than prescribed in the instructions. I will build the model into a large structure first and then add the details.

Saturday 1 December 2018

3D Printed Figure Painted

My first 16 mm scale Modelu figure arrived and created mixed feelings. I was impressed by the pose and the overall impression was good, but detail was soft in many places. Particularly the facial detail was bordering on the unacceptable considering the large scale.

I cleaned up the figure with file and fine sandpaper. That treatment got rid of most of the very small attachment points from the printing proces. What took more effort was sharpening folds and demarcations between e.g. trousers and shoes. I managed to create a little difference of height in the worst spots.

The figure was primed with Games Workshop's 'Chaos Black' and painted with Vallejo matt acrylic paint. Folds in clothing were accentuated with darkened colours in the bottom of the folds and lightened paint on the tops. I highlighted  nose ridge, cheeks and chin with lightened skin colour. All skin areas had a very thin wash with rust oil paint to give the figure a tan matching an outdoor working guy.

On the figure's left arm was a weakly defined wrist watch. I tried to paint it as best as I could. For the watch's dial I punched a circle of ordinary white A4 paper and fitted it with clear varnish.
As good as it gets with my painting abilities. After a covering with matt varnish had dried, I added wear on the trousers and dust on the shoes with different colours of pastel chalk.

Even with matt varnish the waitscoat still seems shiny. Wear or a fancy fabric?
The figure now goes on one my shelves. There is a little more room as I after a remarkable fast proces have now sold and shipped a number of 1:35 locos and wagons to modellers around Europe. Less than 24 hours after having released a list of models for sale, most of the models had found new owners. Some was even sold before the list was released. I have been sent images of my models on their new owners' layouts. It's great to see them in action and serving their new owners well.
Ex. Nystrup Gravel skips now in use on the 600 mm gauge line on Langeland. Here seen parked at the sidings at Broløkke Halt blocking the way for a VW-bus. Photo: Arne Nielsen.

Sunday 18 November 2018

Nystrup Gravel Equipment Sale UPDATED (1/35)

With my focus now on the 16 mm scale version of Nystrup Gravel I am currently going through my collection of 1:35 scale models and have decided to sell the items below: (Updated November 19 with models no longer available marked).

Loco No 2. Extensively rebuilt Fleischmann Magic Train steam loco. In running order. € 170.

Loco No. 3 resting in front of the loco shed.
Loco No 3. Sala-loco from Log Cabin Works, Sweden. Fitted with decoder and in running order, but rather erratic. Comes complete with custom built driver figure and wooden storage box. € 140. See the loco being built here.

Loco No 5. Scratch built on a Tenshodo metal motor bogie. Fitted with decoder and in running order but somewhat erratic. Comes complete with removable custom-built driver figure and empty replacement seat. Wooden storage box included. € 140.

Loco No. 8
Loco No 8. Scratch built on a Faulhaber-equipped drive unit by Otto Schouwstra. Fitted with decoder and in running order. € 170.

Loco 23 pulling empty Scale Link skips.
Locos 22 and 23. Billard T75 resin kits from 13’eme Dragon fitted to BullAnt motor bogies. Fitted with decoders and in running order. Both locos fitted with driver figures. Preferably sold together in wooden storage box. Two locos in box: € 280. Single loco without box: € 170. See the locos being built here.

Loco 78. 3D printed gas generator loco with BullAnt drive unit. Fitted with decoder and in running order. € 170. See the loco taken into service here.

9 skips, one with brake from Hesketh & Snoodyk. Built by Bernard Snoodyk. Unpainted but blackened. Comes complete with wooden storage box. € 170. See the skips here.

6 skips, one with brake. Scale Link skips rebuilt, painted and weathered. All six loaded with gravel. Comes complete with plastic storage box. € 90.

3 wooden skips. Rebuilt from Grandt Line kits. Comes complete with wooden storage box and two spare wheel sets. € 90.
Loco No. 2 pulling empty wooden skips.
2 bogie carriages. Daniel Caso laser cut body kits on scratch-built frames and Scale Link WD-bogies. Includes detailed interior and three figures. € 150. See the carriages being built here.

2 bogie flats. Built from David Provan etched bodies and fitted with bogies made from Scale Link skips. Comes complete with load of sacks and wooden storage box. € 120. See both wagons here.

Loco 78 pulling 4 stone wagons.
4 flat two-axled stone wagons. Built from Scale Link skip frames. Comes complete with wooden storage box. 90 €.

A single bogie flat wagon with stanchions. Scratch built from brass profiles and bogies from Scale Link skips. 70 €. See the wagon being built here.

2 O&K MD2 etched kits from Hesketh Models (one open and one with cab). Kits unbuilt, in original boxes and with instructions. € 120 for each.

All locos and wagons are to 16.5 mm gauge and in running order (unless otherwise noticed). Prices are my suggestions. I’m open to suggestions and will give discount to buyers taking more than one lot. I will add shipping cost to the order. Payment by PayPal.

A list of road vehicles and construction equipment for sale will show up here before Christmas.

Send me a message on if you are interested.

Friday 16 November 2018

Lister Progress

The Lister is progressing slowly. The kit's corner reinforcements glued in place with two component epoxy were too small and too thick according to prototype photos and drawings. I decided to tear them off and replaced them with homemade ones from plasticcard.
Short and stubby rather than low and long. The wheels are oversize by something like 2 mm and that doesn't help on the little Lister's appearance. Perhaps the large end ballast weights and buffers will help when they are fitted? The seat box for the driver is prototype no 2 from foam board.

As the assembly progresses it is clear to me that the model's measurements isn't exactly prototypically. While I have reduced the frame width to an acceptable degree of scale, the small bonnet is far too wide. With almost correct frame width the bonnet's size now look massive compared to drawings in The Review. I was able to sand off a millimetre or two, but it's still too wide. The front isn't moulded true to prototype, but as this is an experimental build I'm not taking the trouble of changing major kit parts. I assembled the bonnet and to increase the assembly's strength I added a plasticcard bottom in the bonnet.
Rear floor and front ballast weight being glued. My entire supply of solder wire keeps floor parts under preassure.

I have been experimenting with the driver's seat arrangement. Originally I intended to fit the RC receiver there, but as my battery arrived I investigated if it would be possible to fit the battery in the box. A foam board prototype turned out far too high, so the battery will have to be fitted below the rear floor. A new, lower box was knocked up in foam board. The prototype will help me pick the best size of the wooden box.

Wires were soldered to the electric motor and the motor itself glued into the U-shaped metal frame. After the glued had dried, I tested meshing and running. Everything worked fne and the running gear was put aside. I'm currently thinking out the sequence for the coming stages of the assembly.

Thursday 1 November 2018

16 mm Scale Loco For Nystrup Gravel

Well, it's only a heap of parts that will eventually become a 16 mm scale locomotive. And you could argue that it isn't even a loco, as it is a Lister Rail Truck, not a smart locomotive with cab and proper superstructure. The small Lister locos have been favorites of mine since I saw pictures of the type in the first British books about industrial railways I laid hands on as a teenager. I never managed to model a Lister in 1:35. Now it's going to happen in 16 mm scale.

Parts for my Lister model. Delivered by I. P. Engineering. Workbench cleaned in advance of the new project. On your marks, ready, go!
The Lister loco was born out of the Lister auto truck, a small one wheeled motor unit designed to be coupled to a variety of trailer units. In 1928 the first Lister Rail Trucks left the Dursley Works factory to serve narrow gauge industrial railways with a need for an ultra light locomotive. Most trains on Nystrup Gravel's railway were too heavy for the Lister, but for light shunting duties at the gravel works in Nystrup and an occasional light permanent way train the loco was sufficient. I have never seen a picture of Nystrup Gravel's Lister, but old workers report it to be a mid-thirties model R. When the Lister arrived at Nystrup is not known, but it was most likely bought second hand after 1945. Searching for images of R-models I found Arnoud Bongaards' images on Flickr of the Lister in the collection of Decauville Smalspoor Museum in the Netherlands.
A preserved Lister type R from the Netherlands. I immediately became inspired to model this particular Lister with luxuriously driver's facilities as I can use the wooden box to hide my loco's RC equipment. Photo: Arnoud Bongaards.

A view showing the full package of extras for that unique comfortable driver's experience. The loco is Lister L873/1928 preserved by the Decauville Spoorweg Museum, Nederland. Photo: Arnoud Bongaards.

The I. P. Engineering's Lister is a simple kit. Casting quality is acceptable, but many details are rather soft. Some boltheads look more like rivets. On the other hand the kit isn't expensive and I think the balance between price and quality is pretty fine. It may also be unfair to expect the same level of detailing on a loco that is meant to live on a garden line to a loco that spends every day inside on a layout. The loco is powered by a very simple mechanism designed for battery power. It seems that other modellers have managed to build models that move from the parts so I'm optimistic. I will be fitting the model with battery power and RC equipment. Something that will no doubt stretch my abilities to the limit!
To allow use on both 32 mm and 45 mm gauge (and to fit a standard AA battery) the kit is designed wider than Listers built for 600 mm gauge. As I use 32 mm gauge and will not be using AA batteries, I could narrow the frame by 7 mm to something a bit more prototypcal for a 600 mm. Lister. According to drawings in Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review the frame's new width of 55 mm is still a few milimetres too wide, but with the supplied wheels the width can't be reduced further.
No sooner than a kit arrives, I start cutting bits off it! The kit's excessive width is reduced with a junior hacksaw. All other parts mounted across the frames are reduced in length too.

Current status on the Lister. Frames glued with AC and two component epoxy. I will be adding more parts in the coming weeks while I source parts for power and RC installations.
Once I get the model's running tested and the wiring designed, I will add extra parts to the kit. Most will probably be imitations of bolts and nuts. With my decision to abandon 1:35 scale I look forward to finishing my first locomotive in the new scale.

Tuesday 30 October 2018

A New Beginning for Nystrup Gravel

Having built models in 1:35 scale for more than 15 years, creating my little piece of a Danish 1950's gravel industry's narrow gauge railway, it's now time for a change. Not of  theme, period or company, but of scale. In the coming years I will be building locomotives and rolling stock from Nystrup Gravel in 16 mm scale - 1:19,05. Currently I don't know if I'll build a small indoor layout or perhaps use a corner of the garden. Time will tell. What is important is that my motivation for the new scale is high. I'm looking forward to new challenges.
One of the pleasures I have had in 1:35 scale has been the mix of different materials and cooperation with other modellers. The skips are from Hesketh & Snoodyk, the loco is 3D-printed fitted on a BullAnt with decals from a friend in Denmark and etched builder's plates from a German modeller. The bridge is completely built from scratch.

Nystrup Gravel No 2 is pulling an empty train to the pits while No 1 pauses outside the shed. It's easy to populate a layout in 1:35 with detailed figures. It's the painting that's hard!

Schöma-locomotive being transported on a heavy trailer. An absolute abundance of road vehicles are available as kits in 1:35 scale. I have had much fun building and rebuilding plastic and resin kist fitting the needs of Nystrup Gravel as well as other companies and individuals in the town.
I'd never thought I'd be leaving 1:35 scale, but despite my conservative modelling attitude, keeping to one scale and theme for many years, I felt I needed to move on to something new. Even if I'm holding on to the Nystrup Gravel universe, the choise hasn't been an easy one. I've grown very fond of my 1:35 models, but will now begin a process of disposing of them as keeping them in boxes in the loft isn't a viable option. I will gradually offer some of the models for sale either here or on some of the forums I'm a member of.

I have even had the joy of building several excavators for Nystrup Gravel. My Ruston & Bucyrus is a resin kit from Accurate Armour. As on all my models I added a few details.  

The large Fowler was Nystrup Gravel's first diesel locomotive. I bought the 1:35 model from a modeller in Australia.

The joy of building modules is that one can bring them into the garden. Photograph them, enjoy them while barbequing or building on them outside as I have done a lot in recent years. Here is a Daniel Caso coach outside the shed one late evening.

1:35 has been a great scale for me and has brought me much enjoyment. I hope more modellers will discover the many possibilities the scale offers. It's a great scale for scratchbuilding, manufacturers are increasingly offering railway related products in the scale and regarding figures and road vehicles 1:35 is way ahead every of the other larger scales. Opportunities are almost endless.

The evening sun is setting as the last train of the day bring fresh gravel from one of the pits.
Should you have an interest in a particular model feel free to contact me with a proposal on price. You are welcome to mail me at the company e-mail 

Monday 29 October 2018

Workbench Cleaned!

On a Sunday where we had the first snow in Denmark this winter, I had several indoor maintenance projects. One involved some 1:1 interior painting and as I had the lid off the paint bucket and roller loaded with paint, I cleared my workbench completely and treated it to a new layer of white paint.
Workbench cleaned, painted and reequipped with tools and supplies. The snow melted away in a few hours. Next project on the bench is a 16 mm scale I. P. Engineering Lister-loco.
It is almost four years since the bench was painted last time. At that time we had just moved house and I was allowed to claim a larger area for modelling. Some will probably find my workspace cramped, but I like how on dark evenings, the darkness envelops me as I sit bent over a model in my little modelling cave.

As a consequence of my workbench clearing work I still have some indoor maintenance projects to do...

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Ferguson TE 20 at Nystrup

You may be excused if you think you have read this story before. In fact I have a Ferguson on the 1:35 scale Nystrup Gravel, and with the tractor being such a nice and classic piece of agricultural machinery, my new 16 mm scale version of Nystrup shouldn't be without one.

Right out of the box. I can't help thinking it is a fine model for the money spent.

My new Ferguson is a Schuco 1:18 model which I aqcuired from ebay, making quite a good deal for 36 €. Having seen the model go for prices as high as 160 € I'm considering it worth the trouble creating a ebay-account.

The model is a quite an accurate representation of a Ferguson TE20 with low mounted exhaust. All the parts are there, placed in the correct locations. The wheels turn and the hood can be tilted to expose a detailed engine, petrol tank, radiator and battery.
Right side view of the Ferguson. There is some detail painting to be done, particularly the exhaust pipe will need some attention.
Hood tilted to show petrol tank, engine and radiator.
This rear view shows some of the downsides of die cast and pre-assembled models: gaps I would have filled and sanded on any model I built myself are quite visible.
There is some work to be done on the model in the future. Primarily some painting and weathering and the fitting of the characteristic circular, green license plates. I look forward to the task ahead.

Monday 8 October 2018

First Figure In 1/19

I have been slightly worried over the quality of figures available in 16 mm scale. With the excellent figures available in 1:35 scale I have been disappointed to find that in a larger scale, where the potential for detailing should be considerably better, most figures were looking deplorable. Last week my first 16 mm scale figure arrived in the mail.

I ordered a figure from Modelu of a young guy with cloth cap and waistcoat. Perhaps a little too 1930's to fit into Nystrup Gravel's 1950s. I liked the stance of him, though, looking slightly down and standing in repose. I want figures in relaxed poses that doesn't suggest them moving, which in contrast to the trains, they don't. Below the figure is nevertheless making a full turn.

The figure arrived safely packaged in a small cardboard box. Opening the box revealed the figure 9.2 cm in height and printed in a light grey plastic. The figure is completely devoid of the usual sign of 3D-printing: the narrow ripples from each of the thin layers of material deposited by the printer. There are a few places where a knife and file will be needed to remove a small dimple of plastic, but clean up will be minimal.

In comparison with the high quality resin cast figures in 1/35 scale the figure is a little disappointing. Facial detail is very soft and I predict a difficult painting task here. Detail around the shoulders and the boundary between waistcoat and shirt in that area is soft as well, leading to a weak demarcation between the two garments. The buckle on the lower rear part of the waistcoat is almost invisible. I will try some corrective surgery to sharpen the soft detail. Perhaps the manufacturer can work on sharpening the detail on future figures?

As mentioned I like the natural stance of the figure. In real life the figure would correspond to a person 175 cm in height which is a tiny bit higher than the average Danish male at 18 years of age at conscription in 1951. Choise of clothing is excellent and the soft facial details aren't too noticable due to cloth cap and position of head. So despite the soft detail I think the figure is acceptable and it is certainly light years ahead of most other figures in 16 mm scale. I plan to aqcuire more figures from the manufacturer.