Wednesday 19 April 2023

Progress Near Loading Ramp

Thanks to a couple of quiet weekends during Autumn some very basic ground cover on the loading ramp module and around the wooden building was fixed in place. Then the layout was left untouched for most of the Winter, but has now finally been given attention again.

With the ground still wet from the mix of glue and water, some of the containers and small bags of scatter material can be seen. Most of it supplied for free by mother nature. The injection needle is perfect for applying the glue/water mix in a controlled manner. Other means of application may be faster, but I've very seldom been hampered by deadlines in my modelling.

During Autumn I had most of the ramp segment of the layout covered with a mix of used coarsly ground coffee, sieved gravel and commercial ballast products, dried birch leaves and small twigs and stones. Only the small footpath leading down from the loading ramp work platform was missing. With dyed toothpicks and scraps of wood I fabricated the front reinforcement of the steps and building up the body of the steps with dyed plaster. I covered the surface with fine gravel and small stones.
Work on the primitive stairs leadning to/from the loading ramp. It's Spring and I work outside in the sun.

When I applied grass and shrubbery under the loading ramp I learned that in 1/19 scale it is very important to detail the ground cover beneath the grass. Due to the larger scale the grass is best left with a certain spacing between the single grass fibres and quite a lot of the ground below consequently shows through the grass cover.

With the finished relief building being made ready to be permanently fitted to the layout, I also began the landscaping around it. Current status is that the ramp segment is fully covered with earth scatter material with some basic grass tufts placed near and in the track. The grass tufts are the ones I bought from Spain last Summer. Near the loading ramp itself, a short section of track has also been ballasted. 

A close up of the ballasted section near the loading ramp. In addition to the grass tufts placed in the ballast I will add further tufts on the ballast surface as well as adding static grass later.

Next stage in the development of the layout will be adding of static grass on the loading ramp segment and more ground scatter on the main part of the layout. 

Tuesday 4 April 2023

Danish Model Railway Union Exhibition 2023

The Danish Model Railway Union's annual model railway exhibition was held no more than 1000 m from my doorstep. Usually I pass exhibitions like this. This year a broken finger kept me away from my main railway activity: the 1/1 scale 700 mm gauge Hedeland vintage railway. So for the first time ever I was going to visit the DMJU exhibition.

 A Danish themed modular layout exhibited showed a famous industrial facility well known from a movie in the Olsen Bande-series. Also a location I have lived quite close to for the first 20 years of my life.

The DMJU is a society organising most Danish model railway societies. As their main public event the DMJU hosts an annual model railway exhibition. Some traders are invited, but the exhibition i centered around layouts and modelling rather than trading. As expected no 16 mm gauge layouts showed up, but I could enjoy som great German narrow gauge modelling of a high quality. A short length of industrial railway with a skip was also spotted on a H0 layout.

The layout 'Unteres Pressnitztahlbahn' in H0e was my favourite of the exhibition. Simple, well designed and executed model of a charming prototype.

The style of buildings was particularly well captured. That included railway buildings as well as the area's general architecture.

Another H0 layout included a lovely scene with a charming DDR-era Barkas B-1000 van. 

Despite the absence of anything scale and theme related to my own railway modelling the visit was enjoyable. I got to see some layouts 'live' that I had previously only enjoyed online and had a chat with modelling friends that I usually only communicate with on different online platforms. I took a few ideas with me from exhibited layouts as well. Just because a layout isn't industrial narrow gauge in 1/19 scale on 32 mm gauge it can be good and inspiring after all.

An integral part of the DMJU's annual exhibition is a diorama contest, where the audience gets to vote for what they think is the best diorama. The vote I cast was for this little gem in 1/32 scale. The text in Danish says: "The little coal thief".

Apart from the diorama's qualities of choise of shape, use of space, placing of objects and use of text to set the scene, it employs a wide variety of modelling methods. In the small scene we see resin casting, 3D-printing, laser cutting as well as old fashioned modelling with wooden sticks and brushes combined with use of material from the aquarium hobby trade.

Model locomotives in 1/32 scale are impressive and particularly when they are weathered. Here a Danish State Railway class E.

As Denmark is surrounded by 7.400 km of coastline a habour is not an unusual thing on a Danish layout. But the boats are seldom as detailed and well-built as this H0 scale one. Although still in primer this hand built model is a pride to any harbour it visits.

With more than 4.000 visitors the exhibition is a nice attraction for local businesses supplying food and drinks. The local mayor turned up and opened the exhibition saturday morning, mentioning that Taastrup more or less owed its existense as a modern community to Denmark's first railway opened in 1847. Carrying on how much railways, both large and small, have contributed to the municipality I was glad to hear the Hedeland vintage railway mentioned as well.

Many modellers use a lot of money at the traders' stands. I only used a small sum on a few tools and materials as well as some books for my railway library.

Kurt Scheelsbeck, the mayor of Høje-Taastrup municipality, handing over a price to a manufacturer for good services to the Danish modelling community.

Four halls were in use during the exhibition. Here is a view over one of them illustrating the nice turnout.

Will I attend another DMJU exhibition? Perhaps. Going to exhibitions will probably never become a favourite activity of mine. Railway wise I'm more interested in running a real vintage railway and modelling wise I take more pleasure from modelling than exhibiting or being a spectator,