Tuesday 31 August 2021

Dramatic Near Miss at Loading Ramp

No, it's not a newspaper clipping about an incident at Nystrup Gravel, but archive photos from a local Danish archive showing a near miss on the loading ramp at a clay pit in 1964. The location is north of Copenhagen in rural Blistrup where a nearby brick works had a clay pit some distance away from the works. From the pit a short narrow gauge line took the clay to a loading ramp for lorries for transport to the brick works.

The loco is hanging precariously over the loading ramp's end. 7 loaded skips indicate the train having come from the clay pit for unloading. The first vehicle from the rescue service 'Zonen' has arrived. The loading ramp is built on high brick pillars and incorporates a small office and a room for the workers' lunch breaks. Photo: B18576, Gribskov Archive.

A more powerful crane has arrived and the loco is now back on the rails. A daring driver has entered the loco and is now preparing to put it in reverse and return to the part of the ramp where tipping the clay into the waiting lorry will commence. The loco is from Danish manufacturer Jens Willemoes' Efterfølger, Esbjerg. Photo: B50785, Gribskov Archive.

Obviously the well known proces of running the train of skips up the ramp didn't work out as planned. Whether it was caused by faulty brakes or simple boredom from running back and forth on the same short length of track isn't known today. No matter what the usual routine at the clay pit was interupted. Fortunately the rescue vehicles managed to get the locomotive back on the ramp's tracks. No one seems to have been hurt and work probably continued soon after the rescue service had left the scene.

The images remind me of the need to fit the Nystrup Gravel loading ramp with a solid stop at the end of the track to prevent a train continuing over the edge.

Monday 16 August 2021

Enthusiast Package from the UK

My first order from the UK based modelling industry for a long time has arrived at my doorstep. The package held 3 figures from Modelu printed in a hard resin material. Two of the figures are railway enthusiasts carrying 1950's era cameras and dressed in typical clothing for the period. The third figure is a sitting man posed as if driving a locomotive. 

Two mates on excursion. Modelu figures straight from the package.

When I finished the Citroen Traction Avant with 1950's Copenhagen license plates I had the idea to let it be the car of a group of railway enthusiasts. In 2017 I created a team of railway enthusiasts in 1/35 scale and wondered if I could somehow do a new effort in 1/19 scale. As there where no obvious figures appropriate for conversion and as there is enough to do on Nystrup Gravel besides family, work and volunteering on the 700 mm gauge 1:1 scale HVB, the idea sort of slipped my mind. In the hectic month leading up to my summer vacation I saw an announcement from Modelu introducing a series of railway enthusiast figures. They fitted my idea of the early pioneers capturing the 1950's narrow gauge industrial railways on film. Without further ado two figures and an extra was in the online shopping cart and paid for.

The figures are 1607 'Photographer with Box Brownie', 1673 'Photographer with Leica Mk 2' and 1452 'Seated workman'.

Modelu figure 1607. A man with a simple box camera trying to find the objective through the viewfinder.

One of the more disappointing features with figure 1607 is the camera front without any detail. I may be spoiled, but a camera with no lens? I'll add details to the camera front myself.

The figures in their small ziplock bags arrived relatively safely packaged in a small box with two pieces of bubblewrap as protection. The package had been almost a month underway, most of the time sitting in various customs facilities.  

The quality is the usual large scale quality from Modelu. While the Modelu figures have outstanding realism in their poses and the figures produced fit absolutely perfect for my modelling theme their details are a little soft and sometimes missing altogether. It seems some figures suffer more than others, so I can only speculate as to the reason. In the past I have modified the figures (usually by carving/sanding and adding detail parts) and that will be necessary for all 3 figures in this shipment as well. 

Finger on the shutter release button and keeping the camera steady. I really like the figure's complete attention to the photographic task in front of him. Not only has the pullover crept up, the hair is in disarray and only the potential image is in focus.

The driver figure is an obvious candidate for a job on my Pedershaab-locomotive (one of my long drawn out projects).

Brexit have led to a sharp decline in my trading with the UK and I now source all but the most specialised modelling products from EU-countries. With a little ingenuity and effort that is quite possible, and I wonder why I didn't before. Modelu figures are so far alone in caring for some of my specialist needs as a modeller despite the recent upcoming of a German manufacturer. Perhaps this was my last Modelu purchase?

Sunday 8 August 2021

Loading Ramp #4 and End of Vacation

My three weeks off from work is coming to an end. With the corona situation still fluid in many countries me and my family decided to stay in Denmark and enjoy the fact that restrictions here are almost all lifted due to the large number of Danes vaccinated. I managed to visit one vintage railway and a few locations of industrial interest.

LJ M 11 running round its train on Bandholm Station on Denmark's oldest vintage railway Maribo-Bandholm. M 11 was built by Frichs in 1937 as building number 283.

My vacation also left me a little time for modelling in the garden and in the cottage. Progress on the loading ramp was accomplished and with all parts ready for building track on the loading ramp, work has now stopped. As I began to experiment with making rough grass from unwound sisal rope, it occured to me that with track on the ramp it would be very difficult to fix grass and plants under the ramp. Consequently I'm now examining how best to represent grass in 1/19 scale. A new (although not unexpected) challenge for me.

Current status on the loading ramp module: Ready for more ground work and ramp construction.


A view up the ramp with the first half ready for track building. A walkway for the workers tipping the skips will be installed to the right.

I had brought the damaged model of the Ford A salvage lorry with me to the cottage, and managed to replace the damaged rear axle assembly as well as fixing the crane assembly. Next stage in the model's progress is removing the printed on markings, detailing and painting.

A new rear axle assembly was fitted in place of the heavily bent one. The crane assembly was removed for work and to gain acces to the screw holding the rear axle.

The bent crane almost straightened and ready for detailing. The wiring will be rerun as per prototype. As supplied the winch wouldn't work as intended.

Everyday life now returns meaning long days at the office and all the usual activities associated with running a home and family. I can't complain thoug, as I have a pretty good life with ressources to spare for volunteering on a vintage railway as well as modelling.

Working in the field photographing the company's new tamping machine some months ago. The next month will see me behind a desk writing tenders for domestic as well as Norwegian and German infrastructure owners. Photo: Aarsleff Rail A/S.

Hope every reader of the blog have had a good vacation and I wish you a good return to daily life.