Loco no 6

Loco no 6

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Finished Fence

The fence around Pedersens Maskinforretning (Pedersen's Machine Shop) is now finished. I dug out the remaining wood to finish it during the week. The three fence modules were primed in grey primer and treated with oil paint (rust and dark brown) and a steel brush when everything was dry. A quick and pretty acceptable result. It's not exactly Marcel Ackle-standards (see his 'Feldbahn Kreuzt' diorama here), but it could be worse.
Now the fence is in place grass and bushes are beginning to spread on the module.
With the fence in place the module is beginning to look like I wanted. With Nystrup Gravel's track passing between the brick wall and main building of Banke's Bakelite and the wooden fence of the small back yard of the machine shop. A little railway making its way through a small town's industries.
While the fence is still unpainted in this shot it was basically this kind of view I set out to produce on this module. A lot of work still has to done, though.

Pedersen's Machine Shop undertook all sorts of jobs. Repairs on tractors made up a significant part of the work during certain parts of the year. Here an old Swedish made Volvo tractor with gas generator has found its way into the shop's backyard.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Good Weather Modelling

In traditional thinking the modelling season ends when temperatures rise and provides opportunities for outdoor activities. That is not the case for me. I bring a module with me outside in the sun.
Model building and barbecuing in process. 

Modules of the size I have room for and in my scale of 1:35 may have many disadvantages. Scenic potential is limited and the space available for all the things I could dream of creating will obviously always be in short supply. But on a sunny day I cherish the flexibility of  my modules. Today I had an afternoon all by myself for outdoor modelling.
As far as I got with the fences.

The fences around the back yard of the machine shop was the objective of the day's work. Unfortunately my supply of wood wasn't quite sufficient. In stead I turned my attention to prepare to install the van body on the module.
Wooden blocks as foundation for the old van. The hole is for the wires feeding the interior lights in the van.

Fixing ground cover around the van's foundations.
Surely an afternoon like this is to be counted among the most pleasant and relaxing.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Working on Solvang Construction's Commer

As I parked the MMK Bedford O on stand by I knew I had to find a substitute lorry to pull Solvang Construction's heavy load trailer. I chose the Commer Q 2 from Wespe Models, Romania. I have built models from Wespe before. They are not terribly detailed and benefit from some extra detailing with home made parts. But Wespe kits are simple and comparatively easy to assemble if you have a little experience with resin kits. And where else can I get a Commer in 1:35 scale? Nowhere.
A solid card board box protects the few parts during transport.

A low number of parts primarily caused by the fact that chassis, cab floor and seats are cast as one unit. It would not surprise me if the number of parts I add myself will be higher.
Assembly of the frames and wheels presented no particular challenges. I fitted only one fuel tank as I believe two tanks were a military feature. The resin tank missed a fuel filler cap so I made one from a few discs punched out with my punch and die set.

The lorry is on its wheels. It is always a satisfaction to see a resin kit rest solidly on all wheels.
How Solvang Construction came in posession of a Commer tractor is not known to me. But many British lorrys roamed the Danish roads in the early fifties. A major user of the Commer Q 2 was the British Royal Air Force, so it may be fair to assume that Solvang Construction's example had a military past.

A RAF Commer pulling an aircraft trailer carrying a stripped down Hurricane fighter. Sudan 1942.

My Commer mated to the MMK-trailer. The models' proportions fit each other reasonably well. Only a few more parts to add to the lorry's chassis and it is ready for primer.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Draining of the Factory Yard

In smaller scales it is usually only very few modellers who take the trouble of fitting gully grates in streets and yards. In 1:35 it is a thing I think is important to remember. As model railways are still seen mostly from above, details on the ground are easily seen - or missed. Particularly in a large scale as 1:35.

In the factory yard of Banke's Bakelite I have fitted a single gully grate to help drain the area.. The grate is from a set in etched metal produced by Epokemodeller in 1:32 scale. I raised the ground around the grate slightly to achieve a little depth under the grate and a slight gradient of the yard towards the grate. Few will ever notice the space under the grate but I like to have the three dimensional effect. The hole under the grate was painted black and the grate itself dark grey after it had been blackened.
The Epokemodeller etch. The supply will probably be more than adequate for even the most unlikely expansion of my 1:35 model of Nystrup Gravel.

Ground being built up from scraps of plastic card and plaster. 
Most of the yard itself is covered with a layer of fine, dark grey sand picked up from a sandy trail near my in-laws' cottage.

The factory yard covered with gravel. Soon the brick wall can be glued in place.
I still have to add a little gravel around the grate and weather the grate itself. 
The yard of the bakelite factory. The wall is fitted and I have placed the power pole to test its position. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Track Painted and Ballasted

Having tested the track on the factory module for a while with a variety of locos, I turned to painting track and sleepers. Rail and steel sleepers were given a coat of Humbrol 113 'Rust'. When dry some sleepers were painted with Vallejo 71.129 'Light Rust' to create a little variety. The top of the rails were then wiped clean. After a few days I gave rails and steel sleepers a wash of heavily diluted burnt sienna oil paint. The top of the rails were wiped clean again.
A length of steel sleepered track painted and weathered.

The few wooden sleepers on the module were treated with an very thin mix of several oil paint; primarily black and burnt umber. After painting the track was left alone for a few days and then tested again. I wanted to make sure the track still worked flawlessly before starting ballasting.

It seems to me that modellers are divided as to when to ballast track: before landscaping or after. I like to have the track finished before gluing down grass, buildings and other scenic features, but after all the 'dirty work' with plaster and power tools. Ballasting on Nystrup Gravel is done with gravel. Surely no surprise there. The gravel company hadn't much money for track maintenance, but gravel was never in short supply. I am using sieved gravel from a bucket I acquired when the pavement was laid down around my old house. Before use the gravel is sieved through an old kitchen sieve.
Lumps of grass glued in the track. I use small pieces of grass mats from Heki.

Tufts of grass are glued in the track before ballast is applied. Most industrial railways never fought grass and weed in the track and consequently a generous amount of vegetation shot up between the rails and sleepers. I also placed litter and garbage before I ballasted. I figured that the short part of the line passing between the brick wall and wooden fence would be a place where litter accumulated. I placed some old bricks (Preiser), an empty oil can (Plus Models), some rags and card board (home made from copper foil) and some empty bottles (Plus Models).
Grass and litter in place before ballasting. I have never tried to add litter along the line so I am curious to see the result when the ballast is in place.

I sprinkle the sieved gravel over the track with a small spoon. The ballast invariably getting stuck in the grass is removed by working the grass tuft with a tooth pick (the glue used for the grass must be completely dry by this time). I adjust the sprinkled ballast with a soft brush, making sure rail and sleepers are free from ballast particles.
The dry ballast is now in place. The last pieces of ballast on sleeper tops and rail still needs to be removed with a soft brush.

I use standard white PVA glue thinned with tap water to glue the ballast in place. I add a few drops of washing up soap to remove the surface tension of the liquid. The glue is applied with a standard syringe. Many articles mention that the ballast is wetted with water and and a few drops of washing up liquid, but I have always skipped that part and gone directly to application of glue. I have never had problems with glue penetration in the ballast.
After the glue has been applied the track needs to dry thoroughly before being worked on again. I apply the thinned white glue with the syringe in the foreground.
Once the glue has fully dried I clean the track of loose gravel with a vacuum cleaner. Then it's time to clean the rail heads again. I use a soft cloth with acetone followed by a wipe with a Q-tip dipped in window cleaning fluid.

The glue has dried and all that remains is some minor adjustment and a little air brushing.

Ballasting done. The module progresses slowly. The end tipping skip is left on the track.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Wall

The long brick wall separating the bakelite factory yard and Nystrup Gravel's 600 mm. track is a an important back ground feature on the factory module. I was inspired to build the wall from the white painted brick wall in my back garden. The brick wall at Banke's Bakelit was probably erected in 1942 after one of the company's lorries toppled the old wooden fence.

I built the brick wall from elements cast in plaster using a mould from Diorama Debris. The elements were glued to a piece of foam board. I filled the transitions with plaster and a thin mix of plaster was also used to cover most of the wall to represent a plastered wall. A few spots were left without plastering to show the bricks. On the rear side of the wall I glued Tamiya brick paper as the wall will not be viewed by many from that side.

The plaster castings that makes up the main parts of the wall.
The wall assembled, plastered and painted.
I painted both sides of the wall with thinned white acrylic paint. After the paint had dried I covered the wall with matt acrylic varnish from a spray can. I sprayed the wall with varnish twice to make sure I got a good covering. The varnish provided a safe foundation for the final treatment with oil paint. A thin mix of turpentine and raw umber was washed over the wall. I made sure to get the treatment heaviest near the bottom of the wall. A little green paint was used to represent algea growth near the ground.

Applying oil paint to the wall.
Ground up chalk pastel was brushed on the bottom of the wall with a short and stiff brush. Although the pastels need a protective cover of flat varnish, the wall is now basically ready to be fitted to the module.

The wall seen from the bakelite factory yard. This is the side that will not be seen by many, as it is facing away from the module's front.
The wall's front side. Although inspired by my own garden wall, this one is much dirtier.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Rebuilding Bankes Bakelit

I'm currently rebuilding the factory building at Bankes Bakelit. Quite an accomplishment as I never managed to finish the first version of the building. The upgrade from card board mock up to foam board building was planned. Now the building has (due to the unforeseen intervention from good friends of Nystrup Gravel) progressed to laser cut 4 mm. MDF. In fact several friends came up with ideas for improving the building. I really like getting suggestions and advise. I consider it the main benefit of this little blog. Thanks a lot.

Per Møller Nielsen, the owner of Epokemodeller, a small Danish producer of all sorts of useful accessories in scales from H0 to Gauge 1, offered to laser cut both walls and windows. Sketches with the main measurements were mailed and the finished parts delivered only a week later. I paid Per a small sum for the service, but surely the result merits the investment.
The building from Larsen's Toy Factory I'm using as inspiration for my bakelite factory. Workers beside a pile of the wooden toys they were making inside for more than 60 years. Too bad I can only build one end and a single row of windows. I can see that H0-modellers have one advantage over my 1:35 scale...
I assembled the three main parts (front and sides) with white glue. The parts came chamfered and they fitted perfectly together. I added a small rear reinforcement of foam board. The major rear foam board wall of the building will be integrated with the internal structure and interior.

I filed the lower window edge to allow for the mounting of a window sill. On the prototype the sills are quite prominent and I didn't want to leave them out. The sills were fabricated from plastic card and painted a rusty red to match the window frames, although you from the old photo above can see that they originally were white.

The outer walls of the building were covered with a layer of white glue that was worked with a short and stiff haired brush while drying. This gives the wall a three dimensional structure which I think is necessary in 1:35 scale. After two layers of white paint I fitted decals with the company name. I had those made years ago by my usual supplier of decals 'Skilteskoven' in Odense.
Ready for paint. The covering of dried white glue is vaguely visible.
White paint added and decals fitted. Gloss varnish provided a smooth surface for the decals but it still took a considerable amount of decal solution to make the decals conform to the irregular surface.
Foam board interior during construction. Grain of wheat bulbs test fitted - one in the front room right and two in the office left.
Lights on in the front room. I plan to fit the lighting so I can turn on the light in each room individually.
The windows were also laser cut by Per in thin card board. I carefully assembled the windows with thinned white glue. After the glue had dried, I gave the windows a cover of Vallejo matt varnish on both sides to protect the surface and provide a little extra stiffness.
Each window is made up from five parts. Here they are in company with an assembled window. Clear plastic card will be glued on the frames' rear as glass.
The interior is currently being glued up from foam board in the form of a 'drawer' that can be pulled out of the building. Two rooms on the ground floor (office and front room with stove) and a single room with tanks and piping on the first floor.