Sunday, 21 September 2014

Loco Shed Doors - Finally Finished

For a long time my loco shed has been unable to provide much shelter from the Danish weather. With no doors the autumn storms would have easy access to play havoc with both employees and machines. The doors have been on my to do-list for several years.

The basic doors I made in the beginning of the summer were fitted with a frame structure of wooden balks on the rear side. I made hinges from brass rod and nickle silver strips. The rods were drilled and glued into the walls of the shed and the doors hung in place. I left a gap below the doors to make them clear the uneven ground outside the shed.

One door fitted to the shed. I will have to fit a 'hat' to the chimney on the roof.
To hold the doors open I drilled holes for two lengths of rail to be solidly burried in the ground. They work as anchor points for the doors when open and make sure a sudden gust of wind doesn't slam them shut.

The doors were primed with 'Chaos Black' from Games Workshop and painted the same green as the roof sides and windows. Fortunately the light green Humbrol paint had survived the many years in storage (it was probably last used in 2007).

Both doors built and fitted on the shed. The photos proves that I have actually made them work. More mechanically adept modellers would probably have made them DCC controlled and servo driven. Beyond me. At the moment, at least. Carpenters might shake their heads from the way the doors are framed, but that is how the guys at Nystrup do it.
When I was at work around the shed I fitted two water taps outside the building. They are included in the 'German Fuel Drum Set' from Tamiya. I recently got a set from a friend who didn't need it, thanks a lot!

Nystrup Gravel's loco shed with doors. I my eyes the building has gained much in realism by having doors fitted. Sometimes a little work can make a difference. The Jung ZL-114 is from French U-Models fitted on a BlackBeetle.
With the doors in place I'm now in the process of fitting a Micro-Mark welding light unit. The rear door of the shed will be replaced and the roof's sides could use some fresh paint as well. A model railway is never finished!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Blitz Models: Track from the Great War

The anniversaries of World War 1 are here. The war that started in 1914 was know as the Great War before the new global conflict from 1939-1945 gave the war the name it is best known by today: World War 1. In the next 4 years we will probably be exposed to much 'celebrating' and ceremonial remembering of the huge battles taking place during the 1. World War. I hope to build a World War 1 inspired model each year for the next four years. As I have a rather full programme for most of this year, the first one will be very modest - a few track panels with steel sleepers and a wagon turntable from Blitz Models of France. 

Through the years I have built a few models of WW1 subjects - of both narrow gauge and non railway subjects. Here is my model of a long wooden wagon built in French army workshops behind the front line. The model was built from drawings in Christian Cenac's "La Voie de 60 Militaire de la Guerre de 14-18 en France". The French officer is in white metal from Scale Link.
As track panels from The Great War actually found their way to Denmark it was only too obvious that Nystrup Gravel should have some as well. Recently Blitz Models have brought out some 1:35 track elements and a Campagne loco tracteur. More models have been announced on their web site. As I have already built a Campagne from scratch I only ordered a little track to test the quality.

Plastic bag and a printed label constitutes packaging and information. A single pack is 6,5 € from the Blitz Models' web site.

Contents of one bag laid out on my cutting mat. The flimsy resin rails are destined for my waste basket.

A single steel sleeper close up. It fits the 1:35 drawings in the Cenac books.

A length of PECO code 100 rail fitted on three Blitz Models sleepers.
The Blitz Models resin is flexible and with heat from boiling water or a hair drier I suppose you could straighten the warped resin rails. As the sleepers fit standard code 100 rail I will simply slide the sleepers on some PECO rail and super glue them in place. The metal rails will add strength to the assembly. Something I think the resin rails will not be able to. I will use my sleepers primarily for a few loose track panels. For working track on the Nystrup Gravel line I'd rather use the Coldicott track panels as they are designed to take the strain of running trains.

I hope to finish some French track panels in the coming weeks - not forgetting my mission to finish the doors for the Nystrup Gravel loco shed.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Delivery Van from Hein & Hein

To run a railway with most of the locos and rolling stock being well used and of a considerably age a well-equipped work shop is needed. At least if you wish to avoid paying the local garage or blacksmith for the tasks.

The Ford van from Hein & Hein at the Nystrup Gravel loco shed. The driver has probably just handed over some spare parts and is now enjoying a beer with employees from the gravel company on the other side of the building.
Many of the tools and spare parts needed were supplied by the local hardware dealer Hein & Hein. Deliveries from Hein & Hein were normally carried out with the large Ford van. It was a regular guest at Nystrup Gravel. It sometimes even ventured down one of the small farming paths that crossed the 600 mm. line to pass urgently needed tools or spares for further transport by Nystrup's little speeder.

Chassis done and ready for primer. The one-piece upper body still needs some sanding and a few parts glued on, but the end is in sight. Seats are from the kit while the steering wheel is from the spares box.
In the last post on this little car I mentioned that I had been busy sanding. Well, I continued the process of applying putty and sanding - not until I was completely satisfied, but until I had exhausted my patience. I guess I will have to say the car is a model of a vehicle that has seen some hard use by its drivers.
Upper body ready for primer. The chassis has already been primed. I have fitted the head lights from the kit and a bumper I filed and soldered up from brass. License plate in plastic card. This must count among the poorest pictures I have shown on the blog.
With all major parts glued in place and sanding done, I primed the upper body and the interior was airbrushed Vallejo 6114 'Sky', a light blueish grey, with seats and steering wheel picked out in the appropriate colours. The exterior received a coat of Vallejo 70883 'Silver Grey'. Of course I spotted a bad moulding defect after having sprayed the silver grey and had to resand the area and paint again. Mudguards were painted black and I brush painted the red lining. The upper body was then covered with gloss varnish. The underside was kept in black primer while the wheels are gloss black with dark grey tires.
The driver is back and is now turning the car round on the small parking area in front of the shed. Not the easiest of task with a heavy van long before power steering.  
After decal application (from my usual supplier of costum decals; 'Skilteskoven') I toned down the glossy finish with some satin varnish and a little weathering. I fitted windows from clear plastic card - the side windows weren't as hard as expected. With windows in place I glued upper body and chassis together. I used slow setting two component epoxy glue as I wanted to have time to adjust the fit of upper body on the chassis.

This kit produced in very limited numbers by a fellow modeller in Brazil is more demanding than the usual kit you can get your hands on in the local hobby shop or online. Not only is it not advertised, the building is also a bit trickier than with a more standard resin or plastic kit. But I like a challenge and I think I made a rather decent model from the parts. Another unique car is ready for service on Nystrup Gravel. Visitors to the Gauge 1 exhibition in November will be able to see the car together with other road vehicles.

My only model from Brazil so far fitted with a left over chassis from a Ukrainian made kit, painted with Spanish paints (with a German airbrush) and custom made Danish decals. These days it's a wonder nothing Chinese went into the model! 
The name of the hardware dealer Hein & Hein is a tribute to a family that has produced two good narrow gauge friends with whom I have had lots of fun - not forgetting all the good times I've had with the rest of the Hein family.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A New Bedford O - With Trailer

Having had much fun building Roadcraft Models’ 1:35 Bedford O tipper and really fond of the little lorry’s looks, I have acquired another Bedford O – this time with a heavy load trailer. When I will have the time to build the kits remains to be seen... While the trailer isn’t capable of carrying the heaviest of loads it will be sufficient for most normal tasks around Nystrup. My new 1:35 Bedford and trailer are from MMK from the CzechRepublic. I bought my kits directly from the MMK-website and had them on my door step two days later.
The kits comes in solid card board boxes. No damage was found when I checked the parts.
A few parts: Trailer frame, cab and etch for the lorry. As usual for resin kits, there will be a lot of flash to remove.
As the Bedford is pretty much nothing but chassis and cab it could be a good starting point for a conversion if you should want a Bedford O yourself.  Judging from the parts’ quality it shouldn’t be a difficult kit to build.

I’m looking forward having another Bedford for Nystrup. With a trailer it will no doubt make a good stage when photographing a loco or some skips arriving to Nystrup Gravel. I may have to build a stretch of road for photography of road vehicles in the future. There is not much road on my modules and I’m not currently planning for more modules.
The Bedford and trailer will be marked as from a local contractor. When really heavy loads had to be carried, the British trailer wasn’t enough. A phone call to another contractor with more solid equipment was necessary. It is known that Nystrup Gravel sometimes used the services of contractor Hougaard and his old German army tank transporter trailer. 

A cut from an 1950's advert for contractor O. M. Hougaard and his heavy equipment hauling service. Both truck and trailer are probably 'spoils of war' equipment that didn't made it back home to Germany when Denmark was liberated in May 1945. The truck is a Faun ZR and the trailer a Sonderanh√§nger 116. The excavator is most likely a model (L2 or L3?) from Orenstein & Koppel.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Resin Delivery Van

Recently I bought some resin parts for two road vehicles from Brazil. One car is now on my workbench and in the process of becoming a delivery van for a hardware dealer in Nystrup. The kit is sold by a Brazilian modeller, Fabio Melo, and made from home cast hard, brittle resin. The quality is below what you normally get from the resin companies, so there is considerable work involved getting the parts prepared and united into a model. I like, however, to struggle a bit now and then instead of assembling a ‘walk in the park, out of the box-kit’.

The main part in Fabio Melo's Ford van kit. While the resin is thick and there are signs of mould slipping basic shape is good and in places the surface is as smooth as would be expected from one of the major resin companies.
Opening up windows and wheel arches took a lot of hard work with a mini drill. The resin dust and debris was flying and if a safety conscious modeller I would probably have put on breathing apparatus and safety goggles. After most of the surplus resin was removed I had to apply some Miliput to repair a few damages, air bubbles and to fill the indentations for the spare wheel and rear license plate. More sanding followed. While taking a break from the sanding chores I made up a new chassis from spare parts and plasticard. Despite being able to pull out a chassis from the spares box it took some fiddly work to accomplish.

Windows roughly opened up with mini drill. Damage on rear mudguard repaired with Miliput. I have further sanding ahead before I can prime the upper body.
My new chassis for the Ford. I dug it out of my spares box. I think it started as a Soviet armoured car. The chassis was lengthened to fit the body, a spare front axle was fitted and a new floor made from plasticard. The engine top was brutally cut off with a cutting disc in the mini drill. The wheels are from the original Fabio Melo kit.
 I won't spend much time on the interior. Not much can be seen through the small windows. I will fit the two seats and a steering wheel.  For good measure I will glue some boxes in the back to block the view through the car.
I have been working with the exhaust piping on my oil loco, but haven't finished anything yet. I have been able to dump two miserable attempts in the waste basket, though.

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 spares box.

Most of the interior in place. Engine built up from plastic and resin bits from the spares box. 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.