Monday 30 September 2019

Petrol Pump and Brick Shed

For my future small 16 mm scale indoor module I'm currently testing out some structures to get a feeling of how much space they will occupy. As with everything in 16 mm scale there is a lot of structure in even a tiny little brick shed. That's both the great thing about the scale and the challenge it poses. Particularly as I plan on beginning my 16 mm adventure indoor.

The small brick shed is a resin kit from Kippo Models named 'plate layer's hut' found on eBay. While the scale is presented as 1/22 it doesn't seem to pose any practical problems when placed next to rail and road vehicles or figures in 16 mm scale. The brick shed is the first building I assemble in the scale. Needless to say the assembly proces takes up quite some space on my modestly sized workbench.
The front casting and one of the sides. The castings are surprisingly flat. I had expected them to be prone to warping due to their size, but perhaps the thickness helps them stay in shape. The mortar courses are probably a little thin in this scale.
Rear wall segment and a side test fitted together with a piece of masking tape. The finger joins takes quite a lot of sanding to fit. I hope the final result isn't affected too much.

The model is fitted with a slate roof. Slate roofs are not uncommon in Denmark, but slate was never used on humble sheds like this one. I will be fitting the brick shed with a wooden roof covered in tarpaper.

I don't know if a petrol pump is large enough to be called a structure. But I can't imagine having a layout without a charming fuel pump. I don't know if this Pennzoil pump from Hong Kong manufacturer Yat Ming will remain for long on my layout. It depends if I succeed detailing it sufficiently. The pump is a pre-assembled 1/18 model of metal and plastic. While some of the pump's parts are very nice, others are over-simplified and the chrome plating does nothing to hide it.

Petrol pump, brick shed and figure.

A quick way of identifying old gas pumps. From the website of producer of aluminum gangways and loading racks. 
While I carry on assembly of the brick shed I will see if I can make some minor alterations to the petrol pump. More will follow here shortly.

Friday 20 September 2019

Two-Way Diversion

I have just finished 4 models in an entirely different scale than 1:19. I have been working in 1:87 scale, building two-way excavators as part of a project at my work. We have provided the client of one of our large scale station refurbishments with a H0 scale model of that particular railway station. On several of the station's tracks some of my tiny models will remind our client who did the work. See a short reference on the 1:1 project here.

Østerport Station in lasercut cardboard. The original was built in 1897 and a 1:87 twin now resides in the customer's headquarters. 
As available models of two-way excavators are rather limited, the basis of my modelling is the Kibri kit of a Liebherr A 922 (kit nr. 11264). The Kibri model is not of the exact same types of Liebherr machines we currently use in the company, and as far as I know there isn't a 1/87 model of one of the contemporary Liebherr two-way excavators.
Aarsleff Rail 70225, a Liebherr A 924 FD, levelling ballast. The machine is 'FD' - friction drive to avoid the rubber tires touching the rails. On sections with ERTMS signalling only the rail wheels are allowed to touch the rails.

User's manual for a Liebherr A 900 C ZWFD. Useful for getting aquainted with how a two-way excavator works.
I started with the ambition to at least provide the models with two-seater cabs, but as I could not find any resin or 3D aftermarket sets providing a fitting cab, I decided to build the kits straight out of the box. Despite being very small, the kits are quite detailed with a lot of parts. I assembled the excavator arms as per the instructions and managed to get all four of them workable. To ease painting I glued them in position after having positioned them. As the finished excavators will live glued to the tracks next to the station under an acrylic hood no one is likely to appreciate the arms being movable.
Work is progressing. 4 chassis assemblies and excavator arms painted and fitted with decals. Cab interiors to the far right.

Bodies and cab tops in orange ready for gloss varnish. Having recently changed from modelling in 1:35 to 1:19 scale I certainly found it a challenge to adjust to 1:87. 
One of the excavators ready for final assembly.
The Aarsleff Rail colours are rather characteristic and I feared it would be a challenge to find a good match in my preferred range of paints from Vallejo. It turned out that Vallejo 70.910 'Orange Red' and Vallejo Air 71.005 'Intermediate Blue' fitted the colours pretty closely. In my eyes, at least

I ordered decals from my usual supplier 'Skilteskoven'. It was fun ordering decals many times smaller than I usually order for use in banners, prints and logos for vehicles.

Now my work on some 'real' models can continue. On the other hand it's been great fun to be able to utilize my modelling network in my professional career.

Bird's eye view of the model. It's a lovely model built by a talented designer and builder. My small contribution of model excavators is not designed to draw away attention from the excusite building.

The model placed inside its prototype building with old photographs of Østerport Station on the wall. The model is equipped with hardwood edging, steel legs and acrylic hood.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Lister History

In a recent post I mentioned that I had found a letter with info on Nystrup Gravel's Lister locomotive. From the letter it seems Nystrup Gravel was searching for a locomotive in the 4-5 t. range, but had to contend with a Lister. The steel and machine trading company P. C. Petersen informs the shop manager at Nystrup Gravel, Torleif Petersen that they have two locomotives on their site, but advise Thorleif not to buy them due to their deplorable condition. Instead P. C. Petersen's salesman suggests acquiring the Lister.

In the letter posted Friday June 18 1948 (obviously sent in a hurry as it remained unsigned) the salesman writes that the Lister has been taken as partial payment in a recent exchange of goods with another customer and that Nystrup Gravel can have it for a price of 637 Danish kroner. The salesman writes: "...we need immediate response from you as the rail tractor is the object of much attention from other potential buyers".

The salesman describes the Lister as "... built on a frame of steel profiles with a one cylinder engine under a light bonnet. The driver's position is open and the tractor is equipped with ballast weights and buffers and couplings both front and rear". The letter confirms old workers' reports that the Lister was a mid-thirties model bought second hand after 1945. The Lister was mostly used for light shunting duties at the gravel works in Nystrup and the occasional light permanent way train.

Saturday 7 September 2019


In the early fifties a private car was still something many people could only dream of. Public transport and bikes were used by those that had a longer distance to work than they could walk. Scooters became popular as they provided a good deal of flexibilty, were comparatively fast and relatively cheap. It is no surprise that I had to have at least one scooter on Nystrup Gravel.
Scooters were popular among both young and old. Here three children are enjoying the Danish summer outside Odense in 1954 on a sidecar equipped scooter. Archive: Fynske Billeder.
My model is a Welly 1/18 scale model bought on eBay from China. It is marked as a Vespa 125cc 1953 model. I suspect the model to be an earlier model as the 1953 model saw the headlamp move up between the handlebars. No matter what the model fits the period I'm modelling.

Right out of the cardboard box and onto my small stretch of smooth country road for a posed photo. The Piaggio company originally designed the Vespa to cope with poor post-war roads in Italy. Once a producer of military planes Piaggio went on to produce millions of scooters for those not wanting to spend a small fortune on a car.

Despite being a relatively cheap diecast model most of the detail present on a real 1953 Vespa is represented on the 1/18 model. Some of it a bit soft and clumsy, but nevertheless there.
My Vespa will have brake and gear cables fitted, minor details repainted and will be equipped with license plates. I presume the scooter is owned by one of the younger workers at Nystrup Gravel, having seen the Vespa's obvious sex appeal in the 1952 movie 'Roman Holiday' starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

Vespa posters on a fence in Nystrup. Perhaps a meeting place for the local Vespa club? Vespa enthusiasts will notice that the Vespa World Days poster is way out of the usual timeframe in Nystrup being from the St. Tropez 2016 meeting.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Inspiration - No Bicycling!

With access to a large number of images from Danish industrial railways I'm flooded with scenes, structures and vehicles begging to be modelled. Currently I'm looking for inspiration for my future 16 mm scale module. In that proces I stumbled over an image from Vindø Brickworks.
No bicycling! As if any sane cyclist would want to cycle uphill into a clay pit? No matter what the image is full of character and atmosphere. I'm quite sure I will try to incorporate a model of the sign on a post near the track on my model. Photo: IBK archive.

Vindø Brickworks is one of the few surviving Danish brickworks. Founded around 1850 it is today a modern fully automatic brick factory with a production of 25 mio bricks a year.
Aerial photo of Vindø Brickworks 1946. A lovely Fordson 7V is visible just where the ramp meets the white building in the upper right corner of the image. The ramp took the narrow gauge track onto the 1. floor of the building where clay was tipped for mixing and homogenisation. Image nks_04499 in the Royal Danish Library.
The brickworks' narrow gauge line was rather short, but ran through a beautiful wooded area close to the fjord. On the aerial image from 1954 below there seems to be a building halfway between the brickworks and the clay pit. Probably a dry storage building for loaded trains of skips.
Thanks to the Royal Air Force photo mission in May 1954 we can see Denmark from above in 42.700 images. Here Vindø Brickworks and clay pit.
A long story just to help remind myselt that I must remember to include the sign in my planning of my coming 16 mm scale module.