Loco no 11

Loco no 11

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Bright City Lights

Well, some may argue that I'm taking this post's head line a bit to far! Nystrup isn't a city and the lights are merely some dim lamps in a few industrial buildings. No matter what I like the atmosphere they create. I hope to develop the modules further in that direction to underline the difference between the dark woods around the gravel pits and the lights of Nystrup town.
It's after dark now and the lights are out on the first floor of Banke's Bakelite. Still plenty of other lights in the small industrial district in Nystrup.

While there is probably a way more advanced for controlling lights in buildings, I'm still attracted to the simple mechanical method of using toggle switches. I've wired the lights in the factory building through some small plugs. That enables me to still 'pull out' the interior of the building despite the considerable number of wires for the lighting.
Cut out in the module's front for the recessed panel holding the switches for light in the factory building and the grounded goods van. Looks a mess in this photograph!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Back to the Work Bench

After a week long break I'm now going back to modelling. I have been quite busy with paper work for the heritage railway you probably know I'm involved with. To be allowed to operate, any heritage railway in Denmark will have to meet certain standards and document their safety procedures. It's a lot of paper work even for a small narrow gauge railway. With most of the work done I should now be able to do a little modelling again.
Not paper work for a narrow gauge heritage railway's traffic permit, but an image of busy civil servants from the time when Nystrup Gravel had a hard working industrial railway - with hardly any government concern over the possible dangers involved in skips and gravel transport.
 Conveniently enough I received the decals for my Opel bus the other day. I'm now in the process of varnishing to prepare the model for the markings - which are spartan and modest. 
Here is the small decal sheet for my blue and orange 1:35 Opel bus. Produced by 'Skilteskoven' in Odense for a modest sum of money. Can't wait to fit them to my model!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Optimizing Loco Running

As I have my modules set up for operation it is only natural to work on some of my locos' running qualities. While my two Billards with BullAnt drive units are perfect, slow runners I still have some trouble with loco 78 also fitted with a BullAnt. I'm cleaning wheels, adjusting pick ups, checking for clearances to the loco body and adding a little more weight. Until 78 runs as smooth as the Billards and is fit to star in a run past film clip, here are two photos from one of the test runs.
It's early morning at the loco shed. Billard 23 is having an oil filter changed while 78 is waiting for its gas generator to heat up and produce enough gas to start the engine. The workers are probably having their morning coffee inside.

After a somewhat slow start and some refuelings of the generator no. 78 has managed to pick up a train of empty skips and is now pulling them east to the gravel pits where they will be filled with freshly dug gravel.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Main Building at Banke's Bakelite Finished

After a long construction period the contractor (me) has finally finished work on the main building at the 1:35 scale bakelite factory in Nystrup. Not because it's been difficult or boring, but because I work on several models simultanously.
The main building at Banke's Bakelite is now finished. My next task is to glue it solidly to the module and blend it into the surrounding ground work.
While waiting for decals for my Opel Blitz bus, I took the opportunity to work on the factory. The main parts of the model are laser cut from MDF and card board by a friend of mine. Interior and roof was cut from foam board in 4 and 6 mm. thickness. Some of the work has been the subject of an earlier blog post.

Previously I had fitted light to the ground floor rooms and I did the same to the single first floor room. I then painted the interior walls on the first floor light grey and made a removable floor. That allows me access to the ground floor lights if they should need any attention in the future.
Installing light above the first floor in the factory building.
Testing if everything works. The difference in light levels is caused by the temporary lack of a rear wall on the upper floor. I'm glad to see that there are no 'light leaks' in the building (not counting the missing rear wall, of course).

I built the roof from two sandwiched layers of foam board covered with self adhesive surgical tape. The tape is my preferred method of modelling tar paper. The tape is slightly 'furry' and when painted retains a nicely textured surface.
Foam board roof with wooden edging fitted to the building.

Surgical tape covering the roof. Pencil marks helped me to position the strips of tape with a minimum of regularity.

After having painted the building I cut a rear wall to enable the model to be closed up and hold the removable interior in place. The rear wall is only kept in place by its tight fit and is easily removed to allow the interior to slide out of the building. Wires from the lights are run under the module surface inside the building. The wires are arranged to allow the lights to be switched on and off in all three rooms independently.
A view across Nystrup Gravel's track towards Banke's Bakelite. Now work on getting the building fit into the surrounding ground work can begin
A full view of the factory module. Despite the work involved in the factory building it is only a back ground feature. Although with a module width of only 40 cm. the term 'back ground' is open to debate.
Building the model has taught me that buildings in 1:35 scale are quite large. I have only built a small segment of the prototype building and even then the model has tested my work area's size. Any future building just a little larger will have to built on the work bench in the shed, where I usually work on lawn mower, bikes and other 1:1 scale real world items.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Old Movie Clip From Nystrup

During my vacation I visted a nice, old couple with family ties to Nystrup. They had photos to show and stories to tell. Much to my surprise they also showed me a short length of 35 mm. film with interesting scenes from Nystrup and the country side around the town. Most of the scenes were actually shots of trains on the gravel line.

The film was said to be shot in 1945 and 1946. The above shot must be taken in late September at the earliest as it shows Billard loco no. 23. The loco and its sister engine only arrived a few days before 23 September as described by a period news paper. 

Even if the scenes are short I'm looking forward to show more in the future. Surely the old colour film is a fantastic find!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Where do you keep your modules?

...is a question sometimes popping up when I talk to other railway modellers. Finding room for a model railway is a challenge for many modellers - me too. There is so much you and your family like to use the available space for. Most of it (let's face it) more important than a model railway. For storage my modules are simply placed on IKEA shelves of the Ivar-type. Being 80 cm. long my modules fits exactly on the shelves (no wonder, as that's why the modues are 80 cm. wide). The modules are placed along one of the the walls of the room where I have my work table. Some of my railway books are stored on the shelves not taken up by the four modules.

The combined modelling room and library also works as a quiet study .

I can't run trains on the modules when they are placed in the book shelves. For running purposes I erect the modules in our living room or more often in a garden shed of ours. While set ups in the living room are naturally very brief, Nystrup Gravel can have its quiet existence in the shed without too many comments from the family. As the shed is uninsulated and unheated it is only during the warmer months I can set up the modules for any considerable length of time. It is not a big issue for me, as I enjoy building models much more than running trains.
A humble shed in the garden houses the gravel line during running set ups.

Modules being erected in the shed. The railway has to compete with a variety of other items for space. You'll probably know all about that.
With marked module legs it took no time getting the modules assembled, wires were quickly connected and trains were running after no more than 15 minutes of work.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Varnish Water

Although the Danish summer so far has been nice and warm, the little stream running under Nystrup Gravel's 600 mm. line has been filling with water during July. Not a lot, but enough to give the impression of a trickling stream during summer.

A view along Little Stream from south.

Having for too long considered what commercially available product to use for water in my little stream, I have finally taken the plunge. Having read of all kinds of trouble with several brands of model water and having witnessed other modellers' challenges I decided to simply use gloss varnish. I had a few small containers with left over Vallejo gloss varnish that I could use up on the project. 
The bridge over Little Stream seen from the north. The waste outlet on the right is from Banke's Bakelite. Water from the factory is let out untreated, which now and then cause a lot of dead fish down stream.

I brushed on 8 rather thick layers of varnish over the gravel bed. As the varnish wasn't quite clear anymore (I think the varnish discolours over the years if not used) the dried 'water' took on a rather pleasing, slightly muddy look. I managed to apply 2-3 layers in an evening, leaving sufficient time for the varnish to dry before the next layer was applied. Originally I had intended the water to be somewhat deeper. Now I like the look of the almost dried out stream and besides, with thin layers of varnish deep water isn't really possible.
Vallejo gloss varnish just brushed on has a whitish foggy look. It dries clear and gloss after a while.