Tuesday 23 March 2021

Charming Train Of Skips

It probably comes as no surprise that I find the image below extremely charming and inspirational. A short train of 5 skips, a rugged 600 mm gauge industrial locomotive, rolling hills and a quiet fjord in the background. The image is a lovely view of a small enterprise extracting fine grade sand for metal casting purposes placed in a tranquil landscape.

A Pedershaab-locomotive, 5 skips and two workers on their way from pit to the sand treatment facilities at Ørbyhage. There doesn't seem to be any crops on the fields, though most of the trees have leaves. Perhaps it's spring - early May? Photo: Crop from Royal Danish Library image OD00406_003 from 1951. 

Here you get the full picture. A classic aerial shot of a Danish farm. A dog barking in the front yard and the farmer's wife standing in the doorway gazing at the low flying plane. The sand treating facility can be seen to the far right. Photo: Royal Danish Library OD00406_003 from 1951. 

The image is a good illustration of the Danish economy before industry took over the leading role. The farmers' fields points to agriculture's major role in Denmark's economy until the 1960's and the water to my country's long time history of shipping and trading. In fact even today Denmark is the world’s fifth largest maritime shipping nation – Danish shipping companies around the world controlling approximately 2,100 merchant ships

Almost the same view as above only 2 years later looking more or less directly south. The sand works' pier for loading the sand in barges and small ships is visible in the fjord. Photo: Royal Danish Library AAL_00113_024 from 1953.

Many years after the aerial photos were taken, I visited the location with a friend. At the end of the narrow road the sand works were still standing, although they were completly derelict and overgrown. Beneath shrubbery and caved in buildings we found track, skips and a locomotive. The pier for loading barges and small ships had long since been removed or destroyed by ice and a turnout was hanging precariously over the water's edge. Current sattelite images of the site show ruins still in place with a single new barn having been erected by a neighbouring farmer in addition.

A look into the wooden loco shed that hasn't stood up well to 30-40 years without maintenance. The loco inside wasn't made by any major producer of industrial locomotives and seems to have been built by a local black smith or garage. In 1990 I was a young, poor student and using 35 mm film, I have only a few pictures from the site. Today I would probably have shot 70 digital images - minimum. 

Friday 12 March 2021

Pedershaab Axle Boxes and Maker's Plate

In my last post on the Pedershaab-loco I mentioned the drawing and design work being performed for me by a professional railway modelling supplier. Now I have taken delivery of 4 complete axle box units each consisting of 4 separate parts printed in a clear semi-translucent plastic. The results are no less than impressing - to my eyes at least.

Close up of a complete axle box assembly made up from parts directly out of the printer. The items have had no clean up or sanding whatsoever. 

View of the complete order as delivered right out of the bubble wrap. The material is a semi-translucent plastic with a certain flexibility providing vulnerable parts a good chance of surviving the rigours of distribution.

The axle box assemblies are without a doubt the most complex parts on a model of a Pedershaab locomotive, and it is a joy to receive parts in such a high quality literally ready for use. My investment has been modest in relation to the quality of the prints. No matter how long and intensely I worked at the worktable I couldn't hope to produce parts of the same quality. The images should speak for the quality and make it clear that, although having known designer and draughtsman Per Møller Nielsen from Epokemodeller for many years, I'm not giving unsubstantiated praise to his service. 

A distinct advantage of design in the digital age is the ease with which drawings and designs can be shared and commented. Particularly when living in a country where 94 percent of homes are connected to broadband with download speeds of at least 100 Mbit/s.

In my last post I also mentioned a possible Pedershaab-surprise and I have added an image of it below: A brand new works plate for a Pedershaab locomotive. The plate was developed due to a friend of mine celebrating his 50. birthday. He is in the process of restoring a Pedershaab locomotive to running condition. The perfect gift for a man having pretty much everything is of course two new works plates for his locomotive. The loco was found without plates and once the right digits and letters have been stamped into the metal, the plates will make a perfect 'icing on the cake' for a well restored Danish-built locomotive. I wouldn't be surprised to see an equally detailed 1/19 version in the future.
Etched works plate from Pedershaab made on the basis of a scan of an original plate. An exclusive, limited series was produced and serious enquiries for obtaining a set of plates can be e-mailed to nystrupgravel@gmail.com

Sunday 7 March 2021

Pedershaab Progress

As I mentioned in December, I finally got time for further work on my Pedershaab-locomotive project. I found full scale size axle boxes, springs and other parts from a Pedershaab-locomotive and measured them. Measurements and photographs were e-mailed to a friend of mine with his own part time modelling business Epokemodeller. He was willing to help me transforming notes and images to actual scale objects. I have tried to illustrate the process from measuring, over drawings to ready-to-print file with four images.

Taking measurements of a spare Pedershaab axle box at the Hedeland vintage railway.

The first drawing of a complete axle box assembly from a Pedershaab D-type from the 1940's. Drawing: Epokemodeller, Per Møller Nielsen.

3D-illustration of the parts' relation in the completed axle box assembly. Drawing: Epokemodeller, Per Møller Nielsen.

Four axle box assemblies set up for 3D-printing ready to be sent to the printer. Drawing: Epokemodeller, Per Møller Nielsen. 

Why not just build the axle boxes in an old fashioned way from plasticcard and brass strip? Well, I didn't really fancy making four exactly identical objects, and as I have previously built 8 Pedershaab axle box assemblies in 1:35 scale I felt like having exhausted my motivation for the task. With the external help I am even able to have further copies made should I decide to build another Pedershaab in 1/19 - or in any other scale for that matter.

Talking of the external help: While I did pay a sum of money for design and prints, I'm quite sure I wasn't charged the amount that would be required to cover my friend's full outlay of time, effort and talent. Something a lot of good hearted and enthusiastic semi-professional suppliers to the model railway trade are guilty of - making their trade a dangerous undertaking. Remember that no one's time and talent are free when they work as professionals. If you want their services available tomorrow, you have to pay for it today.  

I'm now looking forward to receive the printed parts and get on with building my Pedershaab locomotive. Perhaps a little Pedershaab surprise could be unveiled at the same time?

Thursday 4 March 2021

New Locomotive

Recently a new locomotive arrived at my doorstep. An Accucraft Baguley-Drewry with 32mm gauge fit for service on the little railway of Nystrup Gravel. The loco came to Denmark due to a relatively good bargain on eBay. My shopping was highly motivated by my recent discovery of a 1949 Baguley-Drewry delivered to the 700 mm gauge sugar beet lines around the sugar factory in Saxkøbing. Later a full story will run through the indicative evidence for Sakskøbing loco E 10 and its seemingly short-lived career at Nystrup Gravel.

My new Baguley-Drewry on the photo plank. There are several issues to be handled: loose and badly fitting glazing and couplings quite unfit for small skips. Most importantly is a conversion to battery and remote control.

A very large loco in comparison with a standard skip. The loco is a perfect machine for a future garden line, though, particularly in Sakskøbing's attractive livery of off-white body, light blue frames and handrails with the added attraction of red warning lights arranged in a triangle on the cab sides.

Extra details and parts for the loco are already arriving to go into storage, waiting for the Baguley-Drewry loco to appear on the worktable. Several projects have a higher priority so don't hold your breath!