Wednesday 16 December 2020

Road Vehicles Around Nystrup Gravel

Anyone having read more than a few posts on the Nystrup Gravel blog will have noticed that road vehicles play a large role. While it is the narrow gauge railway that is the main focus in my modelling, road vehicles are a great way to set the railway in the right period. Many Danish industrial railways used the same loco and skips for a period of 40 years. Apart from new damage, a fresh paint job or more dirt and wear, a train could look pretty much the same in 1979 as it did in 1950. On the contrary, road vehicles changed design almost constantly and are consequently a much better indicator of which span of time my little railway is set in. And let's face it, some road vehicles are almost as cool as trains and help create nice little scenes on any layout.

A new delivery of coal to Nystrup Gravel. Delivered in a much rebuilt Ford-lorry in 1/35 scale.

Experienced exhibitors also mention that visitors that are not hardcore railway enthusiasts enjoy non-railway layout features as much as the railway stuff. I think I'm like that myself. When I considered changing scale from 1:35 to 16 mm scale I made sure that a decent selection of cars from the first half of the 1950's was available. I wouldn't think of testing a new scale without checking out if any cars were available.

I know other railway modellers with a keen interest in road vehicles. I'm always exited to see what stories the Sundborg-blog presents, as the author does well researched posts on cars from the 1950's. The number of Sundborg-posts on cars is even larger than on my Nystrup Gravel-blog. It's a great inspiration and has more than once been a deciding factor on which cars to run on the narrow roads around Nystrup.

While I was modelling in 1:35 scale many commercial vehicles could be converted from the wide range af military soft skinned vehicles available as kits in injected plastic or resin. Some civilian vehicles also surfaced with regular intervals, as the scale developed from a pure military focus.

A Bedford O tipper from Vognmand Hansen crossing the viaduct taking the road over the Nystrup Gravel line. The model is a 1:35 scale kit in resin and white metal from Roadcraft Models.

A Commer tractor unit with trailer loaded with Schöma locomotive. The Commer is a resin kit Wespe Models, while the trailer is a resin kit from RB-models. Both kits were detailed and fitted with custom decals.

Cars weren't as widely available in 1:35 scale as lorries, but I found some quite good kits and they provided me with many opportunities to create Danish cars from the first half of the 1950's.

A tiny Tamiya Simca 5 built basically out of the box. A lovely kit and very easy to assemble.

My little Cushman scooter built from a Plus Models resin kit. A rather fiddly kit, but looking great on a summer evening.

Contrary to 1:35 scale most car models in 1/19 scale are diecast and sold pre-assembled. Actually most of the cars are 1/18 scale, but they can be used in 1/19 scale without any noticable disadvantage. They are detailed in varying degrees and they all benefit from a certain treatment with added details, Danish license plates and detail painting and weathering. The custom designed decals with company names and license plates help set the scene for Nystrup Gravel by building up a community with local businesses and personalities.

The best known clothes washing business in Nystrup was Lützows Lyn-Vaskeri with the characteristic two bolts of lightning on the sides of their vehicles. Here on a green Chenard & Walcker van from French maker Norev.

A good looking Volvo PV445 from BoS still without Danish license plates or other added Danish specialities.

With my current very small layout I have too many car models already. I'm planning for a Ford A lorry to be able to show a lorry being loaded with gravel at the ramp. Apart from that I may put my road vehicle expansion programme on hold for a while. Let's see if that is possible!


  1. Thanks for the shoutout to my blog! Actually, I have deliberately kept the number of articles on road vehicles down lately as I have noticed that they are among the least popular among my readers. There is little doubt that people come to our blogs for the trains. Anyway, I already know that I cannot keep the cars and trucks down forever, so they will soon be back on my blog with a vengeance. Since I read your article about the French van from Chenard & Walcker I have been on the lookout for vehicles like that when going through old pictures from 1950s Denmark. I have not come across that particular model, but there definitely were similar vans in the country at the time. Here is a link to a nice French van from “Lollands Exportgartneri” and here is a link to what appears to be a milkvan: (Mælkemand Adler Møller foran læge Agners hus, Munkebovej 5). Keep up the good work and looking forward to following your blog in 2021 😊.

  2. I'm only glad to share the joy of old cars with another railway modeller. I haven't seen any images of a Chenard & Walcker CPV van in Denmark. The company was taken over by Peugeot and they continued to market and develop the van as the D 3. Maybe some of those came to Denmark? Thanks a lot for the links to great shots of Danish vans from the 1950's. is a great source for inspiration. The milk car is definately a Renault van, but the market gardener's van could be a D 3? I thing 2021 may be a productive year. With track work started, a lot of other tasks on the small layout can finally tackled. I'll be checking your blog out as well.