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 nystrupgravel@gmail.com 

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. 

Sunday 7 October 2018

Finished Ffestiniog Brake Van

After a long time, part spent working hard with preparations for the InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin, I am finally able to present my fourth finished 16 mm scale model. The I. P. Engineering kit of an early Ffestiniog brake van.
Smoke from steam engines have made the little brake van quite dirty. The staff in the work shop have welded together a short track panel. Nystrup Gravel's first 32 mm gauge track.

The model was built out of the box except for a minor reconstruction to allow body and chassis to be separated for maintenance and the adding of small details here and there. I added lamp brackets, bolts on the brake stand, door hinges and the large square bolt heads on both ends. I also rebuilt the buffers to be fitted with underslung coupling chains. The chains and hooks will be added later.

Cloth cover being glued on with diluted white glue.
Primed and ready for the cover paint.
After fixing the roofs and adding tissue paper as cloth cover, I primed the whole upper body with Chaos Black and airbrushed it with Vallejo Air 71036 'Mahogany'. I added the decals from the kit, but used only the FRC and number. The decals needed much work to fit snuggly into the grooves between the planks. I had to cut the decals along the grooves to assist the decal fluid in making the decals fit.

I then used a wire brush to remove paint from worn areas and followed up with acrylic and oil paint as well as chalk powder to add weathering.The mahogany paint is gloss so I had to give the completed model a final covering of matt varnish. The varnish also helps protect the weathering.
The mahogany paint is on and the roof is painted dark grey. I almost managed to avoid overspray, but you may notice a little grey in the upper right corner of the wagon.
In this image it seems like the work shop staff have wiped the lettering clean from dirt. In reality it is some kind of reaction between my decal solution, paint and varnish I haven't seen before. Every model teaches me something new.

Not being too familiar with the real brake vans I have nevertheless spotted some differences between drawings, different models and images of the original and the FR's new replica. Drawings of van 1 and 2 in Narrow Gauge and Industrial Modelling Review 38 and Steve Holland's build article of a Triassic Modelworks' kit in Review 78 helped during my build. Despite my doubts if the model is correct in every detail I think it is a good kit and will recommend it, not least because of its easy construction. Should I wish for one thing it would be the exchange of the wooden handrail on the brake platform with a metal part. I may fix that on my own model sometime in the future.

To add a splash of colour to this post's rather brown and dark grey impression, I have included two images from InnoTrans 2018. My part of the exhibition was concentrated mainly on relevant permanent way equipment and consequently a lot of my pictures are of yellow vehicles.
A Linsinger rail milling vehicle.
Two-way quad bike. A handy little thing for those small surveying tasks along the line.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Larger Scale, Bigger Models

My new adventures in 16 mm scale provides me with lots of surprises. One of them is the size! I still have to get used to the size of the models as they are very large compared to 1:35 (which is itself considered a large scale). Recently I had the request to place a skip next to an object of known size for comparison. I went to the refrigerator, picked out a can of beer and placed it on the worktable next to a few models.
Hudson skip from Binnie Engineering, Ffestiniog wagon from I P Engineering (in progress) and figure from Modelu (just arrived) next to a can of beer.
The image provides an idea to everyone not accustomed to 16 mm scale, how large the models are. I predict I will have to keep a more tidy worktable to handle my future projects in 16 mm scale.