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

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?

Enough with the 3D-printing, let´s do a classic build!

I had great hopes for my 3D printed ore car, but due to some disappointing results I have put it on the backburner.
Instead I have been toiling away on the local MR-club layout. Mostly carpentery, but also some real modelling. You might remember the wooden bridge presented in an earlier post, and belive it or not, I have completed a H0 model based on it! It is slated for a *very* prominent spot on the club layout, so I had to make an as detailed a model as I was capable of. The fun thing is that it was built entirely with basic handtools. All the cutting was done freehand with a single edge razorblade. The holes for the NBW´s were drilled with a pin wise. I used Kappler wood and Grandt Line NBWs.

A full write up will be published in the Norwegian magazine “MJ-bladet”. Maybe I will translate the full article to english in the future, but this is all you get for now. And some images of course!

Closeup of one end of the bridge
Closeup of one end of the bridge
The full Monty
The full Monty
All the tools you need
All the tools used

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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Fordson Grader in 1:48

Fordon grader
Fordson grader in 1:48

Here is another “distraction” , a Fordson Grader built from an McKenzie kit. The model has been “pimped” with an scratchbuilt cab and toolbox. The fuel drum at the back is also a personal additon. Its a resin casting from some military diorama detail provider. I also added a smokestack of my own design. With the spoked front wheels and huge rear wheels it looks like a sort of vintage dragster, me thinks!
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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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