Thursday, 24 July 2014

Interior for Oil Engine Loco

In spare moments on my vacation I have built most of the interior on my oil loco. I have not tried to replicate anything in great detail as very little of it will show on the finished model. I have installed a rough presentation of the one cylinder engine, gear box and the most visible levers. We have had a wonderful summer in Denmark and all modelling has been done outside on a garden table. You can actually work on your tan while railway modelling!

Beginning the interior: Closed gearbox, engine mount and flywheel. All from scraps of plastic exept the flywheel that is a converted Panther tank roadwheel from my sparesbox.

Most of the interior in place. Engine built up from plastic and resin bits from the sparesbox. Brake handwheel from TichyTrain - gearshift handwheels will be leftovers from a gun kit.
I have also begun modifying the MK35 figure that will become the driver of the little contraption. Until now I have been cutting heavily into the figure's legs to make him fit in the cab. He will be fitted in the cab by brass pins through the floor to make him removable.

This is what you see of the interior through the only opening in the loco body. Even without a driver it is rather little. The body itself is ready for its 'outer skin' of thin plasticard to be fitted.
I hope to be able to present a finished loco at the next Gauge 1 exhibition in November. Even with other projects going on. I think it is a realistic deadline.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Decauville Skip

During my vacation I had the chance to see a Decauville skip. It was rather a coincidence, as I simply turned up at the gasworks museum in Athens, Greece. Apart from the Greek railway museum and a preserved Liberty ship (Hellas Liberty) in Piraeus, the gasworks museum is the only major industrial museum in Athens. The gasworks museum is a really good one, with several good exhibits. Even the air in the retort building still had an unmistakenly smell of burned coal. Nice! See the museums website.

Cast axle box on the Decauville skip in the gasworks museum in Athens. Although the skip body is a reconstruction the skip really is a Decauville product. I have seen several skips being labelled as a Decauville product by misguided museums curators.  The gasworks used the skips to transport coal to the retorts. The skips were manhandled and the gasworks never had any locos.
The gasworks in Athens was built by French investors, opened in 1857 and only closed in 1984. The old retorts were still used until closure and fired in the same way as when the gasworks opened. It must have demanded a good deal of Greek flexibility towards environmental and health and safety standards! See a few images from the museum at my Flickr-album.

You don't have to go to Greece to see historic Decauville skips as the Dutch Decauville Spoorweg Museum has several. Visit the museums website.

Back home I have enjoyed some quiet outdoor modelling in the summer cottage. There is some progress on the oil loco to report - more on that later.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Narrow Gauge Progress at NLB

Some time ago I mentioned that a ‘companion’ to my Nystrup Gravel is slowly being built in another part of Denmark. Although this narrow gauge industrial railway is in 1:32 scale (as it has to match the owners’ Gauge 1-layout called 'New Langeland's Railway' - Ny Langelandsbanen in Danish) I consider it very much a ‘partner’ for my own 1:35 railway as they share both gauge and theme. Recently there has been much progress on the layout. Not least around the narrow gauge line. My friend and his wife has done a lot of track laying and landscaping. While there is still some work left before the line is finished (will it ever be?), I thought I would share a few images with you. Notice that there is still being worked on the layout.
An overview of the narrow gauge terminus at 'Broløkke Halt'. From the woods around Broløkke firewood is assembled and stored to be transported to the standard gauge railway loco depot by narrow gauge railway. The difference in gauge is striking. Photo: Arne Nielsen.
The railway's single loco pulling a newly constructed tank wagon and two flats for firewood. The Henschel DG 26 is the ASOA-model in 1:32. The model has recently been re-released by ASOA with a new chassis from sb-modellbau. The standard gauge halt with its characteristic reinforced concrete building can be seen in the distance. The building is carefully scratchbuilt from a prototype on the Danish railway 'Langelandsbanen'. See photos from the real Broløkke Halt here. Photo: Arne Nielsen.

An innovative scenic break: A wood lined avenue separates the Broløkke area from the main station on the layout: Arnborg. Photo: Arne Nielsen.

The Henschel approaching the ungated crossing. Low speed and much vigilance from the loco driver are necessary when crossing the road. Photo: Arne Nielsen.
With the progress on the owners' home layout I wonder if they will have time left for work on their narrow gauge modules? Their modules can be attached to mine and share my fiddle yard as one end of our common line. We hope to make contact with a standard gauge module in the other end of the line. We are not co-running our modules often, but will be running trains of skips together at the next Gauge 1 exhibition in November.

Gauge 1 exhibition 2012: Almost 7 metres of industrial narrow gauge railway. Closest my fiddle yard (still very exposed and unpainted), next my three modules and in the distance the three modules supplied by my friend. I hope we can present a little more coherent look in November. At least I promise to paint the fiddle yard!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Holiday Modelling

Before vacations there are always some last minute things to take care of at work. Nystrup Gravel is no different. The loco shed has been cleaned out and the floor swept thoroughly. Now the spoils are ready to be taken to the company's refuse dump in one of the old gravel pits.

With its engine idling the Sala loco no. 3 waits outside the shed. The Hudson skip has been loaded with floor sweepings and garbage. Now the little train only needs the workers to finish their beers before it can depart for the refuse dump. The workers at Nystrup Gravel enjoyed the luxury of a complete shut down of the company for two weeks, where all staff - blue as well as white collar - were given paid vacation.

As usual I will try not to miss out on the chance to do a little modelling while on vacation. The last few years I have begun special vacation projects - most of them taking a lot more time than the vacation could provide. This year I simply carry on the projects I have on my workbench.
The oil engine loco is slowly progressing. The basic shape of the body being built of 0.75 mm. plasticard will be covered with a 'skin' of thin plasticard. Thus the door opening will receive its proper (smaller) size. Hopefully the loco will develop further the next few weeks.
The body of a Frederikshavn-loco during shunting at HVB earlier this month. The frame is not original. The body's different panels have reacted different to the elements and would represent an interesting weathering task in model. My model will not be weathered to this extreme degree, I'll promise! 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Diversion in 1:1 Scale

Well, it is actually the 1:35 scale modelling that is a diversion from my railway building in 1:1, but never mind. Last week Hedelands Veteranbane (HVB) took delivery of more than 700 new sleepers from Sweden. They arrived by truck and were unloaded from the trailer by an almost heritage worthy fork lift. The sleepers were loaded on three pair of low transport bogies for transport to different sidings along the 5 km. long HVB. If you care to follow the work done on HVB by its volunteers check the members' blog - it is usually updated at least once a week.

No chance Nystrup Gravel will ever run trains like the one below. When replacing worn out sleepers, Nystrup Gravel usually used untreated fir or oak sleepers sawn locally. They weren't bought in large quantities, but in small batches when they were needed. Steel sleepers were used on straight, level sections of the line were the load on the track was low.

Sleepers being unloaded from the truck/trailer combo of 'Palms Åkeri' from Sweden.

Almost 600 sleepers being transported through the lush green of Hedeland. The sleepers came in 40 piece 'packs' wrapped with steel bands.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Progress on Ancient Motor Locomotive

Work on Nystrup Gravel's first locomotive continues. Last post on the building can be found here. With the main dimensions established (through a combination of measurements taken from the preserved upper body, dimensions scaled from photographs and 'modeller's license') I began to cut plasticard for the 1:35 scale version.

Top and bottom in the upper body of the loco have been cut. Drawings and photos hang on the magnetic strip over the work area. I haven't made a 'proper' scale drawing, but rely on several sketches and my measurements from the full scale upper body. The BullAnt poses on the small box with further parts for the loco. 
Having made a start on the model I was pleasantly surprised when I received an e-mail filled with copies of manufacturer's drawings from the local historical archive in Frederikshavn. Not all relevant for the type of Frederikshavn-loco I'm building - the 'Alpha' E 10 - but very interesting and helping to clarify what certain gadgets on the loco do. The drawings made it clear to me, that particularly the interior on my model had to be redesigned. Fortunately the e-mail arrived before I had the chance to glue anything together. Now the model will feature a more or less full interior.

Front view of a 10 hp. Frederikshavn loco of the E 10 type. The loco is probably photographed in the factory yard immediately before delivery. The box held to the loco body by the two metal straps (one strangely out of level) is for oil, while the funnel above is for water for the cooling system. Notice how the funnel has a cut out that fits a bucket. It is probably the only concession to user-friendliness on the loco. A loco with no suspension, a cab filled with a huge one cylinder engine and a two stage open gearbox, nowhere to sit and tiny port holes for windows surely wouldn't please a health and safety inspector today! Photo: Image B 60650 from the local historical archive in Frederikshavn.
One of the first things I consider when building a locomotive model is how to fit the chassis. I have yet to take the plunge and construct a chassis from scratch, so any loco building at my workbench involves a chassis with motor and drive line built by someone else. That leaves me the task of either ordering a chassis that fits my model or making my model fit the chassis. Usually, however, I do a bit of both, as I try to select a chassis that I know will be able to fit the model I'm about to build within certain tolerances. Once the chassis arrives the initial fitting of the partly built model or placing on a scale drawing will show if I have to adjust my plans and the amount of detail I can show in a certain area.

BullAnt fitted to the first basic shapes that will eventually become the loco's frame. Parts for both frame and body are being worked on. 
With the newly gained knowledge of the loco's interior I have set out to hide the parts of the BullAnt that protrudes into the cab area. I will not make a fully detailed interior, just enough to give a busy impression when looking through the left door, half of which I will leave open. There is no need to model things that can't be seen on the finished model.

With the new knowledge from the drawings I had to reduce the asymmetrical position of the wheels under loco slightly. I simply added 6 mm. to the length at the front end. I also fitted a cardboard mock up to test height and clearance for the interior. The driver will have to be reduced in height to fit the cab. I'll probably chop off his feet as they can't be seen through the open half door.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Kits from Brazil

Tomorrow the World Cup in football (or soccer to Americans) kicks off in Brazil. I probably won't see many of the matches as I'm more into cycling. I will probably be having a little Brazilian flavour to my summer anyway.

Last week I received a package from Brazil containing parts for two road vehicle projects I'm about to start. The resin parts are home cast by Fabio Melo whom I got in contact through Marcos Serra, a talented Brazilian military modeller with a fancy for odd and unusual military prototypes. No usual Panther tanks or half tracks from Marcos. Two of Marcos' projects caught my attention and fortunately Fabio was able to provide resin castings to get me started. The mouldings are rough and will need a lot of work with files and sanding sticks. But they will eventually make unique models to fit into the Nystrup universe.

Two resin castings from Brazil. The amount of flash is clearly visible. The Ford 3000 van is a complete kit with chassis and wheels, while the double cab is a replacement part for the ICM-kit of a Ford G917T.
Enjoy Marcos Serra's models of the two lorries here:

I understand that Brazilians play football very well and may even end up winning the tournament. I sure know they grow some good coffee. At work I drink my coffee from a classic enamel cup - decorated with the Simca brand.  A fitting companion to my recently finished Simca car.

My Simca cup. In the background you can see a cast iron gearbox lid from a Danish built Titan lathe that I use as a letter press. Not that there is much paper to be kept from flying around in Danish public administration anymore.