Sunday 30 July 2023

Ford AA With New License Plates

Back in April 2022 I finished my rebuilding and repainting of a Ford AA recovery lorry. By mistake I had designed the car's license plates a tad too small. As I ordered decals for the Land Rover's license plates, I had new ones made for the Ford lorry. It was a quick job cutting and sanding a pair of new and larger pieces of plasticard for the plates. With a quick pass of a brush with gloss black paint they were soon ready to receive the decals from 'Skilteskoven'. 

I may be a minor detail, but in my view it looks better with true to prototype sized license plates. Here the recovery lorry is parked next to the lorry loading ramp in Nystrup.

The old license plates were carefully removed and the new ones fitted with AC-glue. Small scratches in the paintwork were repaired with a fine brush and black paint. As most car owners kept license plates resonably clean I didn't add any waethering to them.

The lorry is equipped with a warning sign looking pretty much like the Ukrainian flag. Hardly a coincidence as I finished the model merely a month after the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Having to revisit a model to make small changes or correct minor mistakes isn't unusual for me. It's seldom something I write about on the blog, though. But it's a common practice as there is always something extra that can be done to add extra finesse to a model. Not least in a large scale like 1/19.

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Land Rover in Service

As mentioned in a previous blog update I have been working on my Land Rover model. From the beginning it was my plan to decal the car as belonging to a farmer or a foresty official. In the end I decided to provide the car with markings from the Danish National Forest District 4 that took care of the large forests between Nystrup and Skovby. The district was subordinated to the National Forestry Authority placed in the Danish capital Copenhagen and as the authority had a central vehicle administration the Land Rover is carrying Frederiksberg (a district in Copenhagen, Denmark's capital) license plates (denoted by the 'A' on the plate).

The Series 1 is a small vehicle as illustrated by Nystrup Gravel chief mechanic Petersen posing in 'victory parade style'.

I've had the Minichamps Land Rover Series 1 in my collection since autumn 2021. It is fairly standard that car models spend some time on my shelves before they get the treatment that allows them to take active part in the Nystrup Gravel story. The treatment consisted of several stages with the first being application of decals printed by 'Skilteskoven' in Odense. With a very glossy surface on the model the decals went on nicely. I made two license plates from plasticard, painted them glossy black and once dry applied decals there as well. Once dry the license plates were AC-glued to the Land Rover.

Straight from the package without tarpaulin fitted. 

With decals in place, I began painting some of the smaller parts on the car to enhance its realism. A few underside parts were in bright metal that needed to be toned down and many other small details had a new cover of paint - exhaust pipe, doorhandle and rearview mirrors to mention a few. I used Vallejo acrylic paints for detail painting.

The Land Rover on the worktable having the first weathering applied.

I like the vehicles on my layout weathered as well as everything else to make them blend in realistically. In contrast to the heavily weathered Ford AA with crane the Land Rover received only light weathering. The 'Landy' would be a rather new car in the early fifties and usually Danish state institutions kept their equipment well maintained.

A heavily thinned light earth acrylic paint was painted over the tires' tread area. Once dry I sanded off the paint on the tires' top, leaving paint only in the grooves. A little paint was applied to the sidewalls of the tires followed by a thin misting with the air brush using the same colour. The underside of the car had a thin spray of light earth as well. Carefully I also sprayed a little light earth on the areas of interior areas that would collect dust.  To illustrate wear on the seats a light colour was sprayed very sparingly in the middle of the seat cushings. The engine and engine bay had a light spray of dark grey, manifold some rust and the bay treated with a engine grime wash. The tarpaulin had a wash with a thin mix of black oil paint and turpentine.

Finally the whole vehicle had matt varnish airbrushed over it in varying intensity. I avoided spraying glassed areas by covering them with masking tape. Headlights and other smaller details I wanted to keep glossy were simply covered with a finger tip.

Side view of the finished Land Rover. I really like the writing on the door with the Royal crown insignia masterfully created by decal producer 'Skilteskoven'.

The doors open on the model and allows for a variety of scenes to be created on the layout.

With windscreen, door tops and tarpaulin removed the basic, rugged lines of the Series 1 is clearly visable. In this form it's more a utility vehicle for agriculture, forestry or industry than a car.

As a vehicle from the forest services the cargo bay should naturally have a saw or an axe and maybe even one of the petrol powered chainsaws emerging in the Danish forest business in the early 1950's. Until I find (or get to scratchbuild) 1/19 scale versions of the tools, I have simply placed a red oil can to avoid the rear of the car looking empty.

What's missing? An early design chainsaw of course!

As the Land Rover is such an iconic car I'm quite amazed that my modelling colleague at Sundborg doesn't have a Land Rover post on his blog, that has detailed descriptions of many less well known car models in H0 scale. Perhaps time to change that, Mr. Sundborg?

Monday 3 July 2023

Historic Skip Photo

One of my primary sources of inspiration for modelling projects are old photographs of real prototype industrial railways. Recently I got an e-mail containing the image below. A lovely train of skips pulled by an internal combustion engine locomotive in a design obviously inspired by surrealist art. The location is Løsning gravel and stone works owned by Henriksen & Kähler, a large Danish company best known for supplying construction materials as well as owning several ceramics factories. The company wasn't nervous branching out into other business areas as they also had a factory producing gas measuring devices and to end a long list of diverse enterprises: a fishing net factory.

Overgrown track, a characteristic IC loco, loaded skips, a row of telegraph poles and an assortment of metal scrap in the foreground. A well composed photograph and rich source of inspiration for a modeller.

In the photo the wooden framed skips for 785 mm gauge stand out. A simple, square frame of timber bolted together with rough steel brackets and added wheel bearings. The V-tub rests and tips on three cross struts held in place by a combination of brackets and chains. The type was relatively widespread in Denmark, primarily being used by gravel companies and contractors with 785 mm gauge. I have often wondered if the type could be adapted to my prototype gauge of 600 mm.

The locomotive is most likely one from several series produced by Henriksen & Kähler themselves in work shops at their larger gravel operations.