Loco no 6

Loco no 6

Friday, 20 November 2015

Roof, doors, windows and a chimney

No, it is not a house I'm building but an ancient internal combustion engine locomotive. After having finished most of the tasks on the frame, I progressed to the upper body of my Alpha E 10 loco. I decided to make the roof from plastic card despite my worries that it would turn out too fragile. I threw all caution to the wind, cut a piece of plastic and stuck it to a can of spray paint with tape and rubber bands. The can was repeatedly doused with boiling water followed by cold water from the tap. The plastic card took on the can's radius and fitted quite nicely on the loco. It was glued to the roof ribs with my standard Revell plastic glue and held in place over night with a generous amount of tape while drying.

Here is the loco seen from above before the roof was fitted. The many holes in the plate under the roof supporting ribs allow the fumes from the plastic glue to escape. Without holes there is a risk of the glue flumes distorting the plastic. The buffers are not yet fitted in this picture.
Roof and yet another chimney fitted. Some door strapping added. The window frames are turned brass port holes from Polish company RB-Model.
Left side of the loco with one of the two front 'port holes'. The upper body is only fitted temporarily on the frames and the brass window frame just push fitted in the hole.
In my last post on the loco I mentioned that it had a tendency to 'lean forward'. I added thin shims of plastic card under the front attachment point on the frame and gradually I got the loco to sit level to the rails. The shims were glued to the frame while making sure gears and wheels still turned freely.
A ghastly sight! My model seen from below before painting.
To fit a driver figure I glued a small platform below the open top door on the inner left side of the loco. Through a hole in the platform I can fix a bolt (my standard M2, of course) into a nut glued into the figure. This enables the amputated figure (mentioned previously on the blog) to be removed when the loco is parked idle. It may seem an awful lot of work, but I really think driver figures have to be removable in 1:35 scale. If not they attract far too much attention. Parked locos aren't supposed to be crewed by vigilant drivers!
The driver's platform can be seen above the door opening. Some of the loco body's internal structure is visible as well.
Close up af 9 mm. RB-Model brass port hole (item 04809) fitted in a front window.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Models Coming Apart - UMSLTPS-Syndrome

This is not about glue malfunction rather the result of 'Unintended Mechanical Stress Leading To Parts Separation'. I have finally begun to repair the damage inflicted on some of my models during my move last December. The damage list was as follows:

  • Menck excavator - broken off stabiliser on the bucket wire
  • Scammel recovery lorry - broken off left rear etched brass mudguard assembly
  • Bedford Q - broken off right rear view mirror
  • Skip loading chute - completely shattered (repair not possible)
  • Steam roller - roof and small details broken off

Two Danish army lorries ready for repair on my workbench.
I had expected worse things to happen. I wouldn't hesitate to conclude: the move has been kind to my modelling. What's even more important the list isn't showing a single loco or piece of rolling stock. Most of that is kept in foam lined wooden boxes and as such are much safer to move. I think it shows that good quality boxes for one's cherished models is a good investment.

My home built loading chute beyond repair. A new one will now have to be designed and built.
Repairing wasn't too difficult. Only the steam roller repair presented  a fair challenge. After the fallen off pieces were united with their models again I touched up with a little colour where paint had fallen off or glue had seeped out. The problem is to remember exactly what paint I used when I built the models.

My South Eastern Finecast white metal kit of an Aveling & Porter steam roller suffered some damage during the move to a new house.
With the damage repaired the roller is back in action again. Here seen outside Banke's Bakelite

Friday, 6 November 2015

Armoured Car 'V 4' of the Nystrup Patriots

In the months leading up to the liberation of Denmark in May 1945 a group of the local resistance movement north of Copenhagen built their own improvised armoured car. They named it 'V 3' (a reference to the German 'Vergeltungswaffe' V 1 and V 2). Not known by many, another armoured car was built by a group of resistance fighters from Nystrup and neighbouring Skovby.

Two shots of V 4 in the early hours of May 5, 1945. The armoured car is ready to move out of Nystrup toward the German air field. Both images are from Nystrup Gravel employee Thorleif Petersen's family archive.

The resistance movement probably expected fighting around the large German air field at Mellemaaen. It turned out that the air field presented no problem, but V 4 saw action when it stopped a car full of fleeing 'Hilfspolizei' HIPO at a check point. The HIPO was manned by Danes in German service, spreading terror and fear in the last years of the German occupation.

An image from May 5 1945 of V 3 having returned from a raid against a platoon of HIPOs. The homebuilt armoured car is preserved at The Museum of Danish Resistance in Copenhagen. The V 4 that I built a model of was scrapped in 1946/1947, probably considered too heavy for preservation - all the more reason for me to honour it with a model!
The group must have been in contact with the designers of V 3 as the cars' layouts are very similar and the Nystrup car was named V 4. In some ways V 4 was more advanced, taking advantage of a three axled lorry to carry more weight and thus better armour. In places the armour was spaced to provide better protection for the 5 man crew.
Front view of my 1:35 model of V 4. The loudspeaker is in resin from Plus Models.

The left side of V 4 was completely devoid of markings on May 5. In the days that followed the crew added another Danish flag and the slogan 'HIPO killer' to celebrate their successful (for them) encounter with a car full of HIPOs.
My model of the V 4 was built completely out of the box - the spares box! I used an old GAZ-AAA lorry chassis and the front mud guards are leftovers from a ICM-kit that came with two sets. The rest is basically plastic card with only the hatches added - again from the spares box. Armament consists of two German MG34's and a British Lewis machine gun.

The Lewis machine gun is a Scale Link kit. I made the sandbags on the roof from Miliput. The plastic sheet is to avoid the Miliput sticking to the roof.

In contrast to V 3 the V 4 was elaborately camouflaged with green and brown dots on a light grey background. As the unit building it was a combined conservative/communist group it sported both the British colours of the resistance movement and a red star - along with the Danish flag. With such prominent markings the idea of camouflaging it escapes me, but I suppose the painters had a lot of fun!

Here I'm half way through hand painting the markings. I marked out the Danish flag with pencil before starting to paint.

V 4 during construction. Most of the build is from plain plastic card - the rest is from the spares box. The gas torch marks on the plates were made with a hot needle.

The crew manning the car had fighting experience, a rare thing in the Danish resistance movement. A period newspaper mentions that two of the communists had fought for the Republic in the Spanish civil war, while one of the conservatives had been in Finland in 1940 to help defend the country against the Soviet attack. Another from the conservative group had fought in a British financed Danish 'private army' against the Soviets in Estonia in 1920 (it's his Lewis on the roof). 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Marking Module Legs

Last time I had my modules set up I got the legs mixed up during assembly. As I have built all legs and some of the modules myself they are not perfectly identical. In other words: Not all legs will fit under every module. As a consequence of my limited precision wood working abilities I have now marked all sets of legs to clearly indicate where they fit.
The risk of grabbing the wrong set of legs for a module should now be seriously diminished. From back to front the Danish words means: tree, bridge and Banke's (as in Banke's Bakelite).

I expect my next 'setting up session' will take less time with the legs marked. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Updated: Placing Buildings now with original documentation

My post on construction profiles from June has been updated with an original document from Maribo sugar factory. The document shows how little clearance a particular steam loco had in relation to buildings and telegraph poles along the line. The document can also be viewed below:

Scan of the document from Maribo sugar factory with notes of distances from the new loco to stationary objects near the track. The document mentions a farm building on the Bukkehave-Nebbelunde line where the remark in brackets says (translated to English): "The windows must be closed when passing."

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Alpha Driver Figure

In my last post you probably noticed a somewhat cut down figure among the two fitted with a full set of limbs. The image used by Frederikshavn Jernstøberi in an advertisement for the Alpha E 10 had inspired me to fit my 1:35 scale version of the loco with a similar driver figure. In a box I had a MK35 kit (F072) of a suitable subject for conversion. I wanted to show a bit more of the driver, so I placed him square in the door opening.

Fitting the driver in the cab wasn't easy. There is very little room for a figure because of the way I designed the loco's upper body to make it removable. The interior takes up a lot of space, too. Consequently the figure had to have its legs cut off above the knees and the top of the hat sanded off to fit in. I donated a new left arm to the figure from the spares box. Other than that he received nothing but my usual average attempt at a paint job.
The rebuilt MK35-figure fitted in the cab. The loco is progressing but I have been temporarily stopped because I used up my supply of appropriate plastic strip.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Figuring it out

Perhaps the greatest challenge for me in 1:35 scale is the figures. They are large enough to be models in their own right. Anyone with ten minutes to spare can assure them self of that by visiting a military modelling web site like Missing Lynx. The miniature figure work there is not any good for my modelling ego...

15-10 years ago you had to convert military figures in 1:35 if you wanted more than two or three civilian figures on your layout. Today you have a good supply of civilian figures of excellent quality. Even considering that I prefer figures in static poses I still have a large selection to choose from.
Unpainted figures assembled, but still undergoing modifications. The white Preiser figure photographs a lot worse than the two others. I received the Preiser figure as a part of a set of 5 from a friend. The detailing is not as good as the two other figures, but you get five Preisers for the price of 1½ MK35's.

This week I have been relaxing building a few figures. All three of them part of the gravel company work force - one of them slightly amputated to fit my Alpha E 10 loco. The loco driver (from French MK35) had his legs chopped off and his left arm replaced by a spare part. The relaxed worker (from German Preiser) had his leg remodelled with Miliput. The grey figure (from SKP Models) has featured in this blog before and was assembled as per the instructions.
A snap shot of the figures during painting. The white paper acts as a palette for my paints. I used acrylic paints from Vallejo and topped up with some very light washes of oil paint.

Almost done. I still need to paint the rubber boots a green colour. I haven't attempted to paint any facial details. Instead I used different hues of paint to highlight parts of the face and hands combined with a very restrained wash of heavily diluted burned sienna oil paint. I marked the eyes with a tiny line of black oil paint.

The slightly chubby relaxed worker from Preiser beginning to look finished. Shoes still needs paint. As the facial details are not as sharply defined as on the SKP Models-figure it is much harder to paint properly. There are no crevices for the thinned oil paint to flow into. Despite the soft detail nevertheless a charming figure that looks suitably different from most of my figures that have a surprisingly 'fit' look to them.
You have probably seen much better painted model figures (and I'm not sure these two are among my best results) but this blog isn't written to make me look a better modeller than I am. Perhaps my figure painting will have improved with a few more years of practice. I'll then be able to link to this post and show my progress.