Loco no 6

Loco no 6

Monday, 5 October 2015

A Visit From Down Under

Most Europeans my age know the song 'I come from a land Down Under' by Men at Work. Australia has always held a special place in my heart. Why is a long story and completely irrelevant to model railways (and not being the least royalist it has absolutely nothing to do with Denmark's crown princess being of Australian origin). Late last year I had an e-mail from a fellow railway modeller in Australia asking if he could come visit Nystrup Gravel - "of course" was my answer - and my self confidence as a modeller jumped a point or two higher on the scale.

Having moved house not long ago and having had to spend time on a lot of the follow up work that entails, I hadn't had my modules set up for running in the new house. It turned out that my garden shed could easily accommodate Nystrup Gravel in its current form - without fiddle yard at least. 
Nystrup Gravel's four modules set up in my garden shed. On the left is the factory building of Bankes Bakelit still in white foam board.
The visit was as relaxing and informal as expected. Although informal there was an exchange of gifts as I was fortunate to receive a semi-built Hesketh & Snoodyk fuel pump on a skip chassis and an issue of 'Narrow Gauge Down Under'. In return I offered cold beer from a Danish micro brewery.
Here is a finished fuel bowser 'harvested' from the web site of Hesketh Scale Models. I plan to build mine just a little differently. I can't resist making small changes to a kit.

Much too soon the time set aside for the visit had expired and we had to say good bye. Hopefully my Australian friend is now home again on the other side of the planet.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Frame Detail on Alpha-loco

The frame on my Alpha-loco is now fitted with axle boxes, frame ends and couplings. Everything is made from plastic card and profiles. I'm struggling a bit with the many types of materials in the frame of the loco - choosing the right type of glue seems to be critical. I will be fitting a backing piece to each axle box to 'beef' them up (they seem to be lacking depth) which will also help to keep them more safely attached to the frame.

End plates and axle boxes during construction. I used Tichy Train bolt heads on the axle boxes.

Test 'running' past the loco shed. Apart from thickening the axle boxes I will have to work a bit more to get the loco's frame adjusted to level. Surely I can work a bit with the lights over my modules too...
The images and drawings I have of locos from Frederikshavn Jernstøberi show very primitive couplings not unlike those on a skip. I wanted to have something a bit more sturdy and have fitted my model with a homemade design. Possibly the original coupling was too weak and was replaced by the gravel company? I will paint the end plates/couplings a contrasting colour to the black frame to high light them as a later addition.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Trailer from Solvang Construction

The trailer from 'Solvang Entreprenørforretning' (Solvang Construction) is almost finished. It still lacks the final weathering, which will only be applied when I unite the trailer with the Bedford O. Both kits are from MMK-models.

I added hand rails from brass wire and a wooden board to divide the tool holding area over the saddle from a piece of plastic card. The black spot at the rear is a plastic repair of a damage I made while distressing the boards with a steel brush. The resin was ultra thin at the spot and didn't stand up to my rough treatment.
Trailer primed. I still need to fit mud guards to the trailer's wheels. To ease the painting of the tires I will only fit the mud guards after the tires are painted. The cab is finished and primed, but other than that not much progress on the Bedford.
Trailer painted and weathering of the load area in progress. The paint is Vallejo 'Silver Grey'.

I will not portray the trailer as a worn out vehicle, but the load area of trailers take a serious pounding and paint has a hard job clinging to the timber floor. First I scratched the floor with the tip of a scalpel and followed up with a wire brush. After a coat of grey paint I worked the worn areas with oil paint in several colours and added scratches with different grey and light brown acrylics.

The trailer mud guards had some flimsy resin parts to hold them attached to the axle. I made my own replacements from brass profiles. They can be seen in front of the decal'ed trailer together with a heap of stuff to be added to the trailer.
Mud guards fitted to the trailer. Track panels ready for the transport of a loco. The specially designed decals are from my usual supplier - 'Skilteskoven' (Forest of Signs) from Odense, the birth town of H.C.Andersen.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Screaming wheels and clanking coupling chains

Sunday August 30. trains of skips were added to the running of the two usual passenger trains on Hedelands Veteranbane (HVB). Beside the 16 regular departures of passenger trains a short train of five skips made several trips to Rubjerg station. Once again the old gravel pits around Hedehusene filled with the sounds of skips being propelled over narrow gauge tracks.
Petrol mechanical M 2 from 1943 racing through Brandhøj station with a train of five skips and a crew of three.
Fitting in an extra train in HVB's usual Sunday traffic is not the easiest of tasks. Everything went according to plan and all procedures were adhered to. Quite a few enthusiasts had shown up and could be seen from the train taking up positions to achieve good photos of the day's varied traffic.
M 45 (Jenbach, 1967) crossing the day's last passenger train with Da 7 (Henschel 18449/1921) on Sølund station.
From a modelling perspective the day surely provided a lot of inspiration. Having served on a 1:1 skip train makes it so much easier to attempt to recreate one at home in 1:35 scale.
Most of the crew had dressed for the occasion. Here is one of them on the platform of the train's braked skip.
Not directly inspired by the above image, this photo from Nystrup Gravel nevertheless resembles a bit..
A view over the skips as the train passes through a birch forest. A fine day!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Spares Box - What Would I do Without it?

In many of this blog's posts I have mentioned that I used a part or a decal from the 'spares box'. Most modellers have one or more boxes or drawers where parts that go unused in a kit - or rescued from a scrapped model - are kept for future projects. Plastic sticks from lollipops, packaging band and parts from old printers are also held in my boxes. Some of my friends even donate odd plastic bits or kit parts they know they'll never use for my supply of spares. Thanks a lot!

This is why a spares box is a good thing. Missing and broken parts in a resin and white metal kit replaced with objects from the spares box: steering wheel from a scrapped ZIS-5 lorry, levers from an Italeri Bedford QL-kit while the little box is the unused battery from ICM's Opel Kapitän.

I wouldn't last long without my collection of spares. My cardboard boxes have saved a project so many times I have lost count. Sometimes I can even complete a little project with nothing but parts from the boxes, as when I built a load for my Fordson 7V lorry. Recently I found a 1:35 concrete telegraph pole among my spare parts - just what I needed for a new factory building. You'll have a hard time finding a post on this blog that doesn't mention parts from the spares box.

Found in the spares box. With a little modelling putty, a few minutes of sanding, three new brass insulators, some paint and I had a new feature for a little factory complex.

Unfortunately it is not easy to guess what one might need for a future modelling project. As a consequence I have tended to save close to anything in my boxes. Even though I often use parts from the boxes, they seem to grow endlessly. As I obviously cannot keep everything I recently cleaned out one of my boxes. I didn't have the nerve to get rid of much, but I judged some parts (über extraordinarily) unlikely to be of any use and I got some parts of their kit sprues. That created a little more space in the box.

Two card board boxes with spare parts. The parts are not sorted or filed in any particular way. If I need a part I simply start looking!

The great thing about the spare parts is that they are basically free, as they would otherwise be destined for the dust bin. Good for my wallet and a step towards 'sustainable modelling´ where no part is allowed to go unused?

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Experience Skip Trains on HVB August 30.

Most trains of skips these days are run on model railways. Full scale skip trains are mostly a thing of the past. At least in my part of the world. But Sunday August 30. Hedelands Veteranbane (HVB) is running special trains of skips between the Sunday's ordinary passenger traffic. That means two passenger trains and one train of skips on the line most of the day. Train crossings will be taking place at several stations along the line.

HVB M 12 with a train of skips. Some of them spilling a little of their content as they bump their way through the point. The skips are from Oldebjerg brick works (not that far from Nystrup, by the way!).
On Nystrup Gravel skip trains are the most usual type of train. Taking gravel from the pits in skips may not be among the most glorious train services performed in history, but it was what the railway was supposed to do and it did so reliably for many years with a minimum of cost.

Nystrup Gravel no. 8 with empty skips crossing the stream. These 1:35 scale skips are from Hesketh & Snoodyk.
The skip trains on HVB will run to a tight schedule to fit in between the passenger trains. Skip trains leave Hedehusgård station at 11.50, 14.05 and 16.05 and Rubjerg st. at 12.55 and 15.10. If you have had a plan to visit HVB August 30. will no doubt be an exiting day to do so. There is even a chartered extra passenger train running before the usual traffic starts. See info on how to come to HVB on the railway's website.

Shunting skips in a siding at HVB. It's not yet decided what locomotives will be doing service in the skip trains.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Drums and Power Pole

While I had the air brush out to paint the interior of a lorry cab, I took the opportunity to also get some drums painted. They had been primed in Games Workshop 'Chaos Black' in advance. I gave the drums a quick blast of colour, not being particularly concerned if the paint covered equally well everywhere. I added a bit of rust on some of them.
Freshly painted drums. They will be used at Bankes Bakelit for transport and storage of the chemicals used to make bakelite. Below is a concrete pole that will carry power lines to the bakellite factory. I dug it out of my spares box. Research showed it to be made by the French company Ironside. How it came into my possession is a mystery - I have never bought an Ironside kit.

After drying I gave the drums a wash of heavily diluted burnt umber oil paint. I mounted them on some wood profiles. In that way they are easy to place at different locations and vehicles.

Drums washed with a thin mix of oil paint and turpentine. To ease handling the barrels are mounted with double sided tape on a wooden stick. New Year's morning sticks from fire works rockets are strewn across the streets in Denmark and while I take a walk to clear my head I can easily pick up a year's supply of sticks - for free.
Five of the drums fitted to a few boards (so as not to scratch the lorry's load bed).

Ready to depart to the bakelite factory with a full load of chemicals.
While the oil paint dried on the drums I sanded down the prominent mould lines on the pole. The pole is 20 cm. long, meaning it would be 7 m. when enlarged 35 times. After sanding and a little Humbrol putty in the worst sink holes, I applied a rough surface to the pole. I covered a small area (half a length on one side) at a time with plastic glue. I left the glue to soften the plastic for about a minute and then worked the area with an old tooth brush. It left a slightly rough surface without it looking out of scale. After priming and painting the result looks as below.

I drilled holes in the top of the pole and mounted three nice Part insulators. After painting and a little weathering I consider the pole ready to mount next to the bakelite factory building (must finish the construction of the building first, though).
Pole fitted with turned brass insulators and weathered.

A close up of the insulators. Now I just need an insulator enthusiast to tell me I have used a type of insulator not used in Denmark!