Time to launch another project

As the wooden mineral wagon is drawing to a conclusion, it is time to launch another project.
The subject this time is a steel mineral wagon from our favorite meter gauge railway. These steel wagons are sort of the signature wagons for this railway and I sometimes wonder why I did not tackle them first.

Many years ago (note the yelllowing styrene!) I tried to scratchbuild one, but this is as far as I got:

The hopper is not too shabby, but the underframe leaves something to be desired. And a competely scratchbuilt wagon is not the way to go as I (the superoptimist as always) want an entire train of them. At least 10 wagons.

So I am contemplating a resing casting for the hopper. The underframe will be etched parts as for the wooden wagon, but I will design a few brass castings to speed up construction.

If anyone have opinions on how to make a kit for this wagon, please feel free to comment!

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Almost done!

My main project for the last two years has been a wooden mineral wagon to go with my Westinghouse engines. Two of  the wagons are now about 95% ready except painting, lettering and final weathering. Here is one of them:

The underframe is mainly built from etched parts, with some brass castings for the leaf springs and  journal boxes:

I really dread the painting of the underframe, but I just have to muster the courage…

Bumping the blog

With no posts in nearly two years and seven views the last week, it might seem a bit pointless to try and relaunch the blog, but  here we go anyway!

The lack of postings doesn’t mean I have given up on modelling, far from it. But my time has been been divided between working on my 0m models and publishing the members magazine for the Norwegian society of model railroaders, MJ-Bladet.  I have also spent more time on forum postings instead of the blog. You just can’t beat the instant feedback of the forums, and I can really reccommend the RMweb forums  and the Narrow Gauge Modelling Online forums.

when it comes to Modelling I have divided my time between my meter-gauge models in 1/45 scale, and standard gauge models in H0. But it is more and more clear to me that it is the 0-scale models that are closests to my heart, and if it had not been for the camaraderie of the local model railway club, I would have dropped H0 scale entirely.

So be warned, what you are likely to encounter on this blog is scratchbuilt models of a rather obscure character. With the occasional digressions, of course!

Distant cousins

I feel that there is a kind of common denominator between all vintage railroad equipment running under overhead wire, regardless if the equipment operated in downtown Chicago or the middle of Norway.

I love all sorts of modeling, regardless of scale and prototype, but there is something special about 0-scale equipment with trolley poles or pantographs!

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A very fine example is this scratchbuilt 4-truck articulated trolley freight locomotive. The model was built by William J. Clouser in the sixties. Clouser was a fine-scale pioneer, and the model is built to Proto:48 standards. It stands up to the best of today’s models, and it is a good reminder that even with all our high-tech tools, there is really no substitute for good craftsmanship.

(William J. Clouser photo, Eric Bronsky Collection.)

First cuts

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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!

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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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