Friday 28 February 2020

First Pedershaab Run

I have run my 16 mm scale Pedershaab loco for the first time. The model is still in a very early stage, but the running test worked out alright.

This is the test configuration for the first run of my 1/19 Pedershaab on 32 mm gauge. With wires attached the motor is running and the Lister is acting as a brake to keep the one day to be finished-model in the same spot to be photographed.

Rather than using a double installation of 2 3.7V 650 mAh batteries as I had planned, I used a single 3.7V 2800 mAh Li-ion battery. Even with generous space under the bonnet for battery and motor, the double battery plan took up too much space. A single battery simplyfies the circuitry and with a much higher mAh-value the single battery will probably outlast the double battery solution in endurance anyway.

I had planned to fit the battery in a fancy battery holder bolted to a plasticcard bracket, but in the end I exchanged it for a simple construction of five pieces of plasticcard and a cable tie. I soldered tabs to each pole on the battery and attached cables to them.
Plastic bracket and battery holder before I chose a much more primitive solution. No need to complicate things.

Running is nice and slow even with no RC-gear fitted. The delrin chain transfers drive to the second axle and adds a realistic sound of chain clutter. I will definately fit RC-equipment to the model, but perhaps a simple on/off switch and directional change switch would be enough to get realistic running?

With my own interest in locomotives from Pedershaab I was thrilled to see a Danish loco builder having 2 series of standard gauge Pedershaab locos in 1:32 scale in progress. On standard gauge the Pedershaab locos were used for light shunting duties - one loco being immortalized for starring in a 'Olsenbanden' movie. More info on the models can be found here - in Danish.
Parts for 1:32 scale standard gauge Pedershaab shunting tractors on a Danish modeller's work bench.
Parts for several 1:32 scale Pedershaab shunting tractors await final assembly.

Wednesday 19 February 2020

New Historic Image from Nystrup Gravel

Always on the lookout for historic facts about the railway and company that I try to recreate in model, I am happy to have found proof that Nystrup Gravel had not one, byt two very early Danish built internal combustion locomotives. The newly found 'dinosaur' is a Kramper & Jørgensen single cylinder loco probably built in 1910.
'Nystrup May 1912' says the pencilled text on the back of the picture. We see a full train of skips pulled by two horses, a Kramper & Jørgensen loco and some empty skips. Part of the work force posing in front of the equipment. A young girl  has managed to get herself immortalized with her puppy.
The image above comes as no surprise, as rumours have long had that Nystrup Gravel owned two early oil engine locos from two different manufacturers. A brief post on what I currently know about the Nystrup Gravel history can be found here.

Since years it has been documented that Nystrup Gravel experimented with an early internal combustion locomotive from the Frederikshavn Iron Foundry. I finished a 1:35 scale model of that particular loco in 2017. Now I'm thinking of making a model of the Kramper & Jørgensen in 16 mm scale. It will no doubt make an impressive model in the large scale.

More research is needed before any work can be done, and several other projects have higher priority. I look forward to the design and build process of this unique piece of Danish railway history.

Monday 17 February 2020

Peco Track Experiments

Having reorganised my library and modelling room, I have gained enough space to model a small segment of Nystrup Gravel's facilities in Nystrup in 1/19 scale. Before I begin cutting wood and building, I'm simply playing trains on my empty shelves with some Peco track panels. This allows me to test ideas and the mechanical properties of track in 1/19 scale.

Warning: This post later develops into what could be considered 'rivet counting'.

Two skips parked on a length of Peco 'SM32' SL-600-track. The height of the rail and the heavy rail fixings are obvious.
In comparison with my scratchbuilt track panel with light (Code 100) rail the Peco SL-600 flex track with its Code 200 rail is of a much more sturdy impression. As the track is designed for outdoor as well as indoor use it's hardly a surprise.

In this close up af a rail joint, the high rail head is visible. The Peco fishplate is only gripping the feet of the rails.

Compared to a real Vignoles rail profile, the Peco Code 200 rail has a rail head far too large and square and a foot lacking in size. It looks a lot more like a Bullhead profile rather than a Vignoles profile.

While sturdiness is probably a fine thing there are a few things about the Peco track that I'm less fond of:
  • First the rail is of a heavy profile not reminiscent of the majority of the rail used at Nystrup Gravel. The rail height is 5 mm matching a 22 kg/m rail in 1/1. It's a bit too substantial for Nystrup Gravel. Painting and weathering may help to disguise that. 
  • Second, the rail is of a weird profile not matching a typical Vignoles profile. While you can't see the profile clearly the way I plan to install the track, the very high head of the profile is obvious also when seen from the side. 
  • In addition the type of rail fixing is different to what was usually used on Danish industrial railways. I could perhaps change that, either by 'sinking' the track in ballast or by exchanging sleepers and fixings.
The Peco track is working like it should. The rail fixings are solid and the rail flexes comparatively easy considering its dimensions. I have been cutting rails with my standard angle grinder and a cutting disc. Cleaning up was done with usual modelling files. The supplied Peco rail joiners fits like a glove and hold the rail segments well. The points work well and the spring loaded mechanism holds the tounge rail in the right position. In other words: There is nothing functionally wrong with the Peco track. It's the looks I'm unsure of.
Peco track panel from above.

Knowing that I run the risk of getting dissatisfied if I install the Peco track without having tried something else, the hunt is now on for some rail profiles of a smaller size and some rail spikes. Having built track in 1:35, in real life in 700 mm gauge and working for a railway contractor, I do tend to like track that's looking good prototypically.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Pedershaab Variety

I haven't had much time for modelling lately. But I have managed to adjust the 'sit' of the plasticcard frame on the power bogie by fixing layers of plasticcard cut offs inside the frame. There may still be some minor adjusting to do, but the frame's height above top of rail is almost right. The frame's edges and corners were worked with sanding sticks and sand paper. The rounded appearance of a Pedershaab frame is now almost there. The ballast weights to be fitted on each end were made from plasticcard and Miliput. Sanding produced smooth rectangles of fairly square shapes.

Pedershaab frame with ballast weights still unglued. The skip to left has had three holes drilled in the bottom. The holes were drilled to test how best to drill through the quite tough metal body.
The D-series of Pedershaab locos I'm building a model of all seem very uniform at first glance, but once you get closer they exhibit all sorts of differencies. I'm not building one particular loco but a wartime built model FD with large ballast plates resembling the preserved M 2 on HVB.

Below is a series of images from a user of a large number of Pedershaab locos clearly showing their variety and important work. During the German occupation of Denmark 1940-1945 every part of society was lacking ressources. The Danish cement producing industry was cut off from its usual coal supplies and what little Germany could provide didn't meet the needs. Consequently the cement industry sought new types of fuel. In the large peat bogs south and north of the cement industry's epicenter in Aalborg the companies began harvesting peat to burn in the cement ovens. The peat extraction was a huge operation using a large number of machines, considerable manpower and both narrow and standard gauge railways.
Open cab Pedershaab no. 15 positioning wagons for loading at a peat excavator. No 15 was powered by natural gas to save on the limited amount of petrol available. The gas was extracted from local underground deposits by drilled shafts and delivered in pressurized tanks to the users.
Workers getting a ride on a Pedershaab on their way to work. Could I perhaps completely skip modelling the top part of my Pedershaab and just fit 12-14 scale figures? 

Pedershaab fitted with a snow plough posing between heaps of peat. Notice the black out fitting on the front lamp. It was war time and a nationwide black out was in force to make navigation for allied bombers as difficult as possible.

Pedershaab no. 13 equipped for fire fighting duties. No 13 is fitted with netting over the exhaust to prevent igniting the highly flammable peat bog. The netting couldn't catch every ember from the exhaust pipe, but was reasonably effective preventing bog fires.  

Pedershaab no. 3 with pressurized tank for natural gas and closed cab on the large ramp used for loading lorries as well as standard gauge wagons.
Last image is a great line up of 15 700 mm gauge locomotives. 13 from Pedershaab and 2 locos from Kastrup Machineworks. All locos seem to be fitted with natural gas fueled engines.
The series of images can be found on the great public Danish online archive to be viewed for free. The website is a great ressource when modelling Danish prototypes.