Loco no 6

Loco no 6

Friday, 5 February 2016

Building Bankes Bakelit

Last March I started planning Bankes Bakelit, the small bakelite factory just north of Nystrup Gravel's 600 mm. track. The factory has now progressed from a card board mock up to a proper structure of foam board. I adjusted the size of the building slightly as there was room for a little larger foot print on the module. As I wasn't aiming for a scale model of the factory building, I just enlarged the building as much as space allowed while keeping the proportions. The building now makes a more prominent presence. I didn't want trains to dwarf the building - rather the opposite.
Test assembly held together with pins from my latest shirt purchase.
The building is made from a double layer of 6 mm. foam board. Window openings in the inner foam board layer are a little larger than in the outer layer. In that way I hope to fit windows in a realistic depth in the wall. I still haven't found any suitable window frames to fit in the holes and I suspect I will not. I will probably have to build the window frames from plastic profiles.
Windows cut out, double walls fitted and all parts glued.
Floor fitted - still unglued.
Interior floor and dividers have been built to allow for lighting and a little interior detailing. With floors the building don't need bracing.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Narrow Gauge and Snow

In Denmark we've had almost three weeks with snow on the ground in January. Several trains have been run in the snow covered landscape. A train of skips went to pick up a load of small stones for a project in HVB's large shed at the Hedehusgaard station. Not too often one gets to take a train of skips through a snow covered landscape in Denmark.

On our way to Brandhøj station to pick up a load of small stones. We are pushing the skips - here on a piece of the line that had new sleepers fitted in the autumn.
Stone loading in progress. One of the younger members has become quite good with the excavator. M 12 was built in Denmark in 1943 and is still going strong.
Skips filled, we make our way back - here going down hill from Sølund station. 

In the head shunt ready to take the stone load into the shed. The setting sun is barely visible above the last skip.
Not all locos have stood the test of Danish weather too well. Here is what happens when you leave a steam loco in a park for more than 30 years. This engine is now going into storage. The train is moving slowly pulled by M 12 which has the lowest gearing while M 24 provides braking. Photo: Peter Hansen.
A lot of stuff had to be moved to allow steam loco No 3 to be positioned in the rear of the shed. Four diesel locos and an excavator was running when I took the photo. 
Running narrow gauge trains in full scale surely gives you a better sense of the practical workings of the prototype for your model railway. If you have a heritage railway in your vicinity consider volunteering and take part in the work there. You will no doubt be welcomed and you will ‘cash in’ on three ‘key performance indicators’: help run a real railway, pick up good ideas for your model railway and enjoy the good company of fellow railway men and women (probably mostly men…).

Monday, 1 February 2016

Kit Frustrations

Last summer I had endless trouble getting a kit bash of a lorry together. In the end I succeeded. I'm in a similar situation now with the MMK kit of a Bedford O. With vague or non-existent location points for the cab, front mud guards and bonnet I have decided to give the kit a break. Together with the instructions everything has been wrapped in tissue paper and stuffed in a card board box. I seldom pack a kit up like this once I have started, but this one had to go back on the shelf to mature. Hopefully things will go much better when we meet again!


As far as I got with the MMK Bedford O. The tipper in the back ground from Roadcraft Models was an easier kit to assemble. I'm confident that the lorry will end up a nice model. I'm not easily defeated!
I have no shortage of other models to build. After a little clearing out and book managing I'll be getting on with track laying on a module.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

A 1:35 Fowler Model

In 2015 my research documented that Nystrup Gravel took delivery of a Fowler diesel loco in 1934. Now I'm in possession of a model of that particular little Fowler on my 1:35 model of the gravel line. It is great to dig up the history of the gravel company's railway and almost simultaneously be able to develop my own 1:35 scale version of it.

While I enjoy building models, I haven't all the time in the world to build nor the talent for every task. Nystrup's 1:35 Fowler has thus been built in a work shop in Australia and flown half way around the planet to Denmark. The model is built from an etch developed, prepared and produced in Australia by Brian Millar and the model was also assembled and painted by Brian - himself a professional narrow gauge loco driver. Members of the narrow gauge yahoo-group FS32NG and the Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling forum have been able to see images of the loco during its construction.
My new model of Nystrup's Fowler posing behind the coal baskets.

The model is fitted with micro ball race bearings on both wheel and jack shaft axles. The front mounted gearbox is a Slater FD01 3:1 and it drives the two axles through the side rods. The motor is a 12 mm. x 10 mm. gear head motor. Each axle box is fully sprung using springs from disposable cigarette lighters. An ingenious use of a product never before (to my knowledge, at least) made useful for railway modelling!

One of the workers from the gravel company has brought his daughter to see the new British locomotive.

The full scale Fowler at Nystrup was originally meant for a customer in the tropics using Imperial measurements. Archive photos from Australia reinforce the assumption that the Fowler from Nystrup Gravel was originally intended for an Australian sugar mill, where almost identical locos worked. That my model also has a firm connection to that great far-away country is only fitting.

"Will such a heavy locomotive ever work on our narrow tracks?"

I have only test run the loco on direct AC and will in the coming months be touching up some worn paint, fitting a decoder and do some minor adjustments as advised by the builder. I will also fit some of the modifications added by Nystrup Gravel. Numbering will of course also be added according to Nystrup Gravel practise.
Ready for challenging tasks on Nystrup Gravel.

Friday, 8 January 2016

News From the Archives

Hard work on e-mail and telephone finally produced a blurry image of Nystrup Gravel's Fowler locomotive. Following a lead from a lorry interested friend I contacted a local historical archive on the Danish island of Fyn. In the collection of a late heavy lorry driver I finally found a photograph of the Fowler. Not a good one. But so far the only available one.

The Fowler outside the loco shed at Nystrup. Probably a photograph from the mid 1930's before the loco received its number - 11. Photo: Beldringe Local Historical Society.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Fuel Transport Modernised

In the early fifties Nystrup Gravel constructed a primitive wagon for fuel transport. A standard steel skip was cut down and brackets to hold a 200 l. oil barrel fitted. A hand pump was mounted on a simple stand welded up from steel profiles. The building and painting of the model was described in an earlier post.

The Hesketh Scale Model fuel bowser ready for service on my 1:35 scale model of Nystrup Gravel.
After having painted the little model in Vallejo acrylic paints I gave the frame and hand pump stand a wash with heavily diluted rust coloured oil paint. I concentrated the application of rust to the skip frame and wheel sets to give impression of them being the oldest parts in the construction. The barrel and hand pump had a  wash with black oil paint, while the handle was treated with white oil paint. Then the whole wagon was spayed with matt varnish. After drying I gave the complete wagon a very thin wash of black oil paint. I then sprayed a very light layer of thinned sand colour on selected parts of the frame and wheel sets to make the wagon look a little dusty. Fuel spills where touched up with black oil paint and when dried marked with gloss varnish to appear wet.
The little fuel bowser is a great way to create a little variety on a model railway mainly running trains made up from skips. 
I added coupling chains to the skip from brass chain links. To make coupling easier both end links in the two chains were home made from brass wire wound around a drill of a suitable diameter larger than the standard chain links. In this way it is far easier to couple wagons in 1:35 with prototypical chains. I use a pair of tweezers to manipulate the chains. The chains was chemically blackened with 'Ballistol' before being hung in place.

The fuel skip photographed outside the loco shed. 

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015 In Review

Usually when New Year is approaching we tend to evaluate the old year - did we accomplish what we had planned? I do that too - and not only in my professional life. Nystrup Gravel also gets its share of New Year's reflections. For a start one major factor has been influencing Nystrup Gravel in 2015: a change in location. While Nystrup is still situated in a semi-fictional spot in south-western Zealand some 80 km. from Copenhagen, my 1:35 model of the gravel company moved to a new wooden house in December 2014. As everything began to settle it turned out that the new house provided a bit more room and useful facilities for modelling. Consequently I now have a new module under construction and another in the planning.
Ah! The joy of modelling outside on the porch in summer! One of the new possibilities taken advantage of in 2015.
As usual I couldn't resist the temptation to add to my collection of road vehicles. I built a Tamiya Citröen 'Traction Avant' and added a gas generator from a Blitz Model's resin kit. A lorry kit with a resin cab from Brazil provided me with some challenges, but turned out a nice model after all.
Haulage contractor Hansen's Ford double cab manoeuvring in front of Nystrup Gravel's loco shed to deliver a load of brown coal. Photographed outside with some of the garden's shrubbery in the background.
In 2014 I had very little time for researching Nystrup Gravel's past. This year I managed to dig up interesting facts (though some historians will probably dispute my findings) about Nystrup's first diesel locomotive and two events along the gravel line during the German occupation of Denmark 1940-1945. I found evidence that at least two German steel pill boxes were transported on Nystrup Gravel's stone wagons to their destination. As the exact type of pill box was available in kit form, I just had to build a model of them.

I know of two Danish modellers with a narrow gauge industrial railway built in 1:35 or 1:32 scale (I'm one of them!). Possibly two others have models or layout in planning. That means most of my fellow modellers with an interest in industrial narrow gauge in 1:35 are from the rest of the world. The statistics of my blog points the fact our quite clearly: visits from Denmark makes up less than 20 % of the total number of page views. In July I had a visit from an Australian narrow gauge modeller. Four Nystrup Gravel modules were erected in my garden shed in advance of his visit. A few hours passes surprisingly fast when you meet someone with good knowledge of modelling, fellow modellers, interesting techniques and new ideas.
My four modules erected in the garden shed. Not a large model railway, but mine!
As I write these lines a new 1:35 scale model for Nystrup Gravel is on its way to Denmark from Australia. Several models stored in boxes await building and a lot of work still has to be done on the new module - not to mention the one still being planned. Consequently this blog will continue to report from rural Nystrup with news of both small and significant occurrences.
Diesel loco no. 8 crossing the bridge with a train of empty skips. Just a normal summer's day of hard work for the little railway.