First cuts

tb_skjaring_modell

In the last post I mentioned my first experiments in carving rocks for a TB diorama. Even if I am not entirely happy with the results, I thought it might be interesting to see the development of the scene. The rocks are first modelled in wet, but fairly firm plaster. When the plaster has set enough I change from spatulas to knives and chisels.

The rocks are not painted, I just mixed some black paint into plaster.

This work was done with rather little reference material, but I can not blame the results entirely on the lack of good pictures. But when you have the prototype within visiting distance, it is just stupid not to do some research.

Creating rocks this way is a rather subjective process with a certain artistic element. I think tou can compare it to drawing a landscape. You have to practise a lot, and trying to “paint by numbers” will just not cut it.

So I hope to share some better work with you in the not to distant future!

Field trip!

tb_landskap_w_16

Those that have read most of the posts on this blog have probably discovered that I divide my modelling time between the freelanced H0 layout of the TMJK, and my efforts to produce some bits and pieces of the Thamshavn Railway (Thamshavnbanen).

Recently I decided to try my hand at carving some plaster cuttings for a TB-diorama. You would think that after several trips to the TB I would have plenty of images showing rock faces along the right of way. So did I, but after a long search through my not very well organized collection of images I found very little. I plunged ahead anyway, but the results were not what I had hoped for.

Trying to imagine what cut rock really looks like is not easy, so I decided it was time for a field trip.

One of the attractions of the TB is that it is just under a hours drive from where I live. If the mood strikes I can just grab my camera, notebook, yardstick and head out.
So last sunday I just left the lawn uncut and headed for the Orkla valley.

I really enjoy hiking along the old right of way, even if the the TB is an operating museum there is almost no activity along the track. So I could explore some of the cuttings undisturbed, except for a few very curious salmon fishermen!

A couple of hours later I could head home with more than 200 reference photos and a nice tan.
So now I have no excuses for not getting those rocks right!

Layouts vs. dioramas

I have always considered myself more of a diorama person than a layput person. But a layout can offer some great opportunities for dramatic depth in the scenes.

Here is a shot of the warehouse in the far background. In the foreground you can see the abutment for a road bridge.

With the bridge in place over the cutting it should be possible to frame the warehouse. Focus stacking will be a must!

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Putting things into context

image

The warehouse is going to be part of a scene on the model railroad club of Trondheim (hereafter referred to as TMJK), so it was interesting to stage an image of it in it’s future surroundings. Even if the scenery is far from finished, it gives an idea of how it is going to look. Personally, I think it is going to look quite good, especially if I get those rock faces a decent paint job!

Still at it! Progress on the big red one

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote that progress on the big red one is going nowhere fast. How true…

But more work has been carried out than a quick glance might reveal. 

The roof took a lot of work, not to mention the gutters and drainpipes! And those emergency stairs took quite a few hours to get right. 

Also worth mentioning (in my opinion at least) are the plaster parts. Those are abutments for the annex in the back and the drywall front of the loading dock. 

Ok, enough talk, show us the images! Here goes: 

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Closeup of gutter and downpipe. The gutter is from Teknobygg of Sweden, the downpipe is a 1mm brass rod: 

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I also built a little bumper for the siding serving the building. I would have prefered a finer track for the siding, but thee building is to be palced on a club layout where we use Peco code 75 for all track, so thats what I used. 

 

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The warehouse at its future location: 

 

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Ok, lets hope for more posts & better progress in 2014!

 

 

More modelling than blogging

My ambition to update this blog on a regular basis have failed miserably. Those few people that have visited from time to time have probably given up a long time ago.

Fortunately, at least some of the time not spent on the blog have been spent on modelling.

Since finishing my Om engines (see below) I have focused more on H0 scale. I am  a member of the local model railroad club here in Trondheim (Norway), and we are in the process off building a fairly large layout. My main interest is the buildings, and this autumn I have been working on a modl of large warehouse/tramway terminal.

As usual, I underestimated the amount of work it would take to finish this building. The model has a substructure of lasercut plywood clad with board-by-board panelling.

And it is of course the panelling that takes time… I have used more than 150 12″ lengths of Kappler 2″X6″ so far, and in additon some walls have a board and batten cladding made from scribed siding with 1″X4″ battens.  But I am quite happy with the results, and hope to find some time during the holidays to finish the woodwork, at least. A photographic essay follows.

Lasercut plywood substructure
Lasercut plywood substructure
Etched windows
Etched windows with lasercut framing. (Later substituted with stripwood framing)
Finished window
Finished window
Board and Batten Wall
Bored by battens…
Main facade
Main facade, temporarily erected for the photo.
The whole complex
The whole complex

Bob B vs. Bob B


There seems to be an awful lot of Bobs in the field of model railroad publishing. Today we will compare the efforts of Bob the American editor and Bob the English. Bob Brown is the grand old man of Narrow gauge and Shortline Gazette, and probably the longest serving editor of a model railroading publication. Bob Barlow of the Narrow Gauge & Industrial Modelling Review is probably better known for his work as an editor for the Model Railway Journal. The current isse of NG&IMR is only hos second as an editor.

I have been reading NG&SLG on and off since the early eighties, and I have a lot of respect for the effort Bob Brown has put into creating this very beautiful magazine.
But as my interest in actual modelling drifted from American prototypes to Norwegian ones, I expanded my search for good modelling information.
Only a couple of months ago I discovered the NG&IMR. I really do not understand how I could have missed this magazine for so long. As I have said, I am a magazine junkie, and I discovered the Model Railway Journal years ago. I have also been mostly interest in Narrow Gauge modelling, so the NG&IMR is really up my alley. But better late than never, I have now been a subscriber for the last two issues, and I have also bought all the issues back to no. 70.

So how do those magazines compare?
Both are high quality publications with excellent print and paper quality. Maybe NG&SLG is a notch better, even if they have compromised a little bit on the paper quality lately.

I might be a bit unfair in comparing the two magazines. Reading the NG&SLG for so many years have given me an overdose of everything Colorado related, but I have not seen enough of the NG&IMR to feel the same about the Welsh slate haulers. But I have a sneaking feeling that if I get my hands on all the back issues, that could happen!

But the magazines are quite different in important aspects.
Bob the American Editor is very hesistant to print any “foreign” material, while Bob the English Editor is quite interested in printing material on non-GB material.

I think this say more about the readership of NG&SLG than Bob Brown. I think that Bob personally would have loved to print more material based on non-US railroads. But for me as a reader, the reason is not important.

To me, the prototype for the modelling is of far less importance than the quality of the modelling. And a magazine that is open to all kinds of prototypes has a much richer vein to tap into.
Not only does the NG&IMR embrace a wider variety of prototypes, it is very clear that the editors look to other fields of modelling than just model railways for inspiration. A lot of the techniques are clearly inspired by the military modellers. This is a type of cross-pollination that very probably will propel NG&IMR even more ahead of the NG&SLG in the future.

But don’t take my word for it. Pick up both the magazines and head for the armchair. And then let us know what you think!

A tribute to Bob Hegge

I think that most of us can point to quite concrete influences for our choices in modelling. To me, starting to read Model Railroader in 1979 changed everything.
Especially the september issue that year is a major mileestone for me as a modeller. The coverstory in that issue was a big, rugged boxcab electric in 0-scale built by the late Bob Hegge. This model had a tremendous heft and precence that really hit home. Bob´s no-nonsense modelling techniques both in brass and wood made his work look exciting even in the construction phase.
I may have failed to keep things as simple as Bob did, but I still regard him as maybe my biggest influence.

Even if it is more than 30 years between that MR cover and the finishing date for my own boxcab!

Mission accomplished

Failure was definately an option, but this easter I managed to finish the Westinghouse boxcab electric I have been working on and off on for almost ten years.

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I will not even try to hide that I am happy to the point of gloating. After all it is not that often I finish something this complicated.

Some statistics on the model:

Scale: 1:45 (0-scale)

Gauge: 22,2 mm

Weight: 540 g.

Length (coupler to coupler) 184 mm

Tip of the hat to Erik Olsen that made those beautiful spoked wheels, and respect to the people at Chempix that did the etchings from my artwork. Credit is also due to the fine craftsmen at the company formerly known as Korea Brass. They did a fine job on journalbox/leaf spring castings (master by yours truly). They also did the wheel center castings from Erik Olsens masters.

So bring on that ASEA engine!

Gone, but not forgotten

As 2012 is fast approching, I got the inspiration for a post on a favourite modelling related topic: Documentation. And my message regarding documentation is simple: Things change. Do it now. Tomorrow it can be too late.

Small sawmill at Solbuøy

Bjørgen

Rognes

Østlandske Stenexport

The images might be a bit melodramtic, but these are all buildings that were measured and photographed in time. A couple of them has already been built as models in 0 and H0 scale, and another is well under way (stay tuned for another blogpost!).

If you find something worth documentation I suggest that you at least take pictures from all sides of the object. If you dont have time to measure it in detail, at least take a few key dimensions horisontal and vertical. Or include a yardstick or something similiar in the pictures. If you have images taken from all sides straight at the object, you should be able to make pretty precise scale drawings from the images.

And share your information. Documentation like this has a big cultural value, but most often the commercial value is zero. What goes around comes around. Sharing information might inspire others to do the same.

So how´s that for a new years resolution?