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.


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



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?

Back on the main track

Pantograph under my thumb (or index finger, actually) getting depressed.

After a lot of distractions, my autumn ambiton is to focus on completing my Westinghouse electric engine.
Made some progress on the pantograph today, this is the last big obstacle before painting and weathering.

I now actually have a working pant, the first picture shows my fat finger testing the springing. It actually looks like the darn thing would work.
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Cabin Fever

My workbench away from home

Easter means a trip to the mountain for many Norwegians. For some bizarre reason we follow the receeding snow up the mountainside as it melts. To get the most out of the winter, many of us have cabins (US) or cottages (UK) so we can spend some more days in the snow. Strange, but that´s us.

But what do you do inside when the skiing is done for the day? Usually I pack a serious block of books and do some intense reading in the afternoon and evenings. But this year I was more frustrated than usual with the lack of modelling progress during the winter. It is limitited what you can do on a kitchen table in a small cabin, so I thought it was best to set simple goals. I decided to build some mockups of buildings for the layout of the model railroad club in Trondheim. So I packed up sheets of cardboard, some steel rulers, a cutting mat and a stanley knife with plenty of fresh blades. And not to forget, my trusty old powerbook. No Internet in the mountains, but with all my prototype photos and digital drawings, it is a very valuable modelling tool.

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It is gold in them thar hills!

This weekend it was time for another out of town experince. Some friends have a cabin in the mountains very close to the mainline between Oslo and Trondheim.

A bonus in addition to the great food, wine, company and general scenery is that that the area is very interesting from a modellers point of view. It might in fact be one of the most spectacular stretches on the Norwegian railway network. A lot of classic images like this have been taken in this mountain pass:


The locations around the actual railroad are very familier to me, but I have never drifted very far from the railroad tracks.

So I was totally taken by suprise when we came by this old roadbridge when we went for a little hike today:

Bridge over troubled water
Sort of looks like a Colorado narrow gauge railroad bridge!

You can´t carve this, individual stones is the only route to go, me thinks.

Concrete abutement
The other abutement is cast concrete for variety, the builders knew how to please a modeller!

Nice bridge, but would we like it even better with a set of rusty, narrow gauge tracks? Oh, yes we would.

It´s time to check the drawers for Grandt Line NBWs!

This bridge of course cries out to be modelled. Fortunately, the local Model Railroad club has a large scene that is based on this area. Maybe I will pass this one on to a fellow clubmember, but then maybe I will not…

Another project started

I have the attention span of a gnat, so I launch new projects at an alarming rate. Of course, few of them are ever finished.
One of my future projects is a saloon coach in 0m gauge:

The Royal Coach

Since the main focus will be on the fantastic interior of the coach, the mechanism must be strictly under the floor.

I found some inspiration for how to approach the problem of building powered trucks on the website of the excellent british modelling collective, Clag.
I have a bit more space to play with than these 4mm scale (1/76 ) modellers, so I began toying with the idea of using a somewhat larger Faulhaber precision motor with an integrated gearhead.

I purchased an 15mm X 12mm motor (Including the gear!) from an german company named Lemo Solar to test the concept . The plan is to use up to 4 traction motors just like the prototype.

The size of the motor looks just right besides the wheelset it is supposed to power:


But what about sound? For some reason I suspected that such small gearheads could be real whiners, and I did not want to invest in 4 of the little buggers just to find out that they screamed like a choir of banshees.

So I recorded the sound of the engine and compared it to the engine I used for the mechansm of my Westinghouse engine. That engine is whisper quiet and a really smooth runner.

Here are the results:
Sound recording of 1512 motor (.waw)
Sound rcording of 2224 motor (.waw)

The sound of the geared motor is not that bad, remember that the mtor was placed almost on the top of the microphone. The second recording sounds quite noisy, but in reality, that engine as mentioned above is really quiet.

This might seem a strange subject to make such a fuzz about, but I am planning to run my models “al fresco” with no artificial sound added, so I want the model motors to sound nice on their own. No sound decoder in other words.

But if these tiny babie really work in practice remains to be seen. I will get another 1512 motor, and make a working dummy. Not a lot of parts involved to make a working boggie, really. Four pulley wheels, four teflon bearings and two sideframes.

Sounds like something even I should be able to finish!