Obbekaer - P87
Posted 29 January 2012 - 17:50
What I thought would be a fairly straightforward exercise has proved anything but! I suppose those of us who model in P4 these days take for granted the fact that we have so much available in terms of the basic necessities - track, wheels, rolling stock kits, etc. So to have to go right back to first principles in P87 came as something of a shock, and I have had to learn a number of new skills along the way.
So along came Obbekaer, which started out as a test track to hone track building and other skills, but which has now become a stand-alone layout that is due to make its initial exhibition appearances in this country later this year. The real place is a small village just outside Ribe, and the layout shows a small country station (simply a loop and a siding) on what is supposed to be a fictitious 'private' railway connecting the west coast line and the main line to the east - the Ribe-Gram-Vojens Jernbane (RGVJ).
So as a taster, here's a photo of a busy scene at the station in the mid-1950s. At the platform stands a DSB Litra MO railcar (no.1828) on a stopping passenger train to Ribe, whilst alongside is the RGVJ's Triangel railcar shunting a covered van alongside the pig pens. The MO is a much altered Heljan model, whereas the Triangel is a scratchbuilt effort, using my own etchings.
Hope you like it, and if time and circumstances allow, I will add to this thread over the coming weeks with a few more thoughts from my little bit of Denmark.
Posted 29 January 2012 - 19:49
One of my next jobs is to fit servos to the operating accessories - scotch, signal arms and the water crane.
Shows booked for Crawley in April and Ely in May, then we'll take a view on whether it's a viable exhibition layout. There is an invitation for Scaleforum as part of a P87 display, which is now likely to be 2013.
Posted 30 January 2012 - 20:42
Here's another shot to reveal a little more of the project. It's mid-afternoon now and the school train has just arrived at Obbekaer taking the children from the villages home from school in Ribe. The motive power is a 'skinnebus', a product of the Scandia factory in Randers and a common sight on many Danish private railways from the early 1950s onwards. They could run singly, pulling a trailer, or in multiple, and this example has roof and front and rear luggage racks. The front rack is folded down ready to pick up some supplies at one of the local stations.
The model started off as a resin casting from Tikob, with scratchbuilt chassis and wheels (6mm dia!) courtesy of the company's sister railway , the ZOB (thank you Mr Harrap!). After many long years in the making, the last 6 months has seen two 'off the peg' versions of these available in Denmark, from Heljan and Epoke Modelle, so I'll just bite my lip and say that I enjoyed building it!
The shot also shows the station building (more on construction of buildings at a future date) and the two-arm signal that controls entry to the station.
Until next time ....
Posted 31 January 2012 - 20:12
You're right, it is Code 55 rail, soldered to my own etched railplates, which in turn are soldered to rivets in the plywood sleepers. This all makes for very sturdy trackwork, and gives you the opportunity to adjust each joint to 'fine tune' the running.
Thanks for your comments - seems a long time since you saw the layout at the P87 Convention in Utrecht! Things are progressing - albeit slowly!
Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:59
Posted 06 February 2012 - 20:33
The prototype is from one of the private lines in North Jutland, and was located on a rather isolated bit of line that crossed a river by a low girder bridge. The water crane was fed by a pump in a small cabin, with a feeder pipe from the river - too quaint and obscure to pass up on really, so here it is!
The crane is scratchbuilt from numerous bits of brass tube and washers, all fettled up with files and 'turned' in an electric drill. I really love this kind of project because it's literally straight out of the scrap box. The arm of the crane will be motorised to swing out over the tank of the loco, hence the servo. A friend pointed out to me that two adjacent switches on the control panel, for the protection on the loop and the crane, were labelled 'Scotch' and 'Water', which does not mean I'll be running a bar during exhibition hours!
The loco is worth a word or two. Built by my good friend Ian Thompson, it started off life as a Fleischmann 'Black Anna' 0-4-0T, and has undergone various levels of mutilation to produce a wonderful representation of the 0-4-0T from the Lemvigbanen. Not much capacity in the well tanks of this loco, hence the need for the water crane!
Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:40
I too recall seeing the article in CM about the genesis of this layout. I have kept the article in my "Magazine articles worth keeping" box hoping that some day I wolud see the later stages of the layout in print. I was therefore very pleased to see that the layout is still WIP.
It looks jolly good to me. Thanks for sharing it with us on this forum and I look forward to seeing more in the future.
Posted 07 February 2012 - 20:32
The perennial problem! If I recall, these are the originals from Fleischmann subtly 'transformed' in the lathe, and doubtless with fingers firmly crossed! Ian has the benefit of the appropriate machinery, and indeed since then has performed similar miracles with a Roco Bavarian Mallet - see picture below.
As I mentioned earlier, the wheel problem, particularly for steam outline locos, is a difficult nut to crack. Fortunately I have been able to get round this by astute purchase of Gibson P87 or Sharman P4 types for most of the models I'm likely to make. Operating a few diesels from the transition era (Epoch III) helps to relieve the situation, as these are easier to turn, even if you don't possess the best equipment.
This all brings back memories of early days of P4, when folks speculated long and hard about the availability of driving wheels - something we now of course take for granted.
Posted 11 March 2012 - 18:10
Anyway, I thought you might like to see some old shots showing how the transformer tower by the level crossing came to be. These are typical of many rural locations in Denmark, but each area electricity company seems to have had its own design. Scouring the net produced one or two photos, but I had some difficulty in scaling them up correctly. This is where my good friends in the Ribe Model Railway Club came to the rescue. Claus Riber is a wonderful modeller and a local architect to boot - still continuing his profession way past the time that most of us have thrown in the towel. I mentioned that I was looking for good photos, and within weeks he had found a surviving tower in Sonder Hygum, photographed it and produced a scale drawing! No excuses now then!
My buildings are all produced in plasticard, and the first stage is to draw out a kit of parts on TurboCAD, with the printed version then being stuck to the plasticard with MEK and the parts cut out carefully. The advantage of this method is that you don't have to transfer dimensions, and you can include a basic grid on the drawing to indicate the brick courses.
The 'under construction' photo shows the lower part of the tower complete and the upper part being assembled on top. The brick courses use strips of Evergreen 22thou by 11thou (HO scale 2"x1") stuck on and aligned with a scalpel point. A few minutes later, when the bond has started to harden, I go along the row making two parallel cuts with a sharp blade at each vertical mortar joint and 'flicking' out the small piece in the middle. Finicky I know, but remarkably relaxing and it's fun to watch the wall 'grow' before your eyes. The paper between the bricks and the base wall actually helps the bond, and the result is a very sturdy structure, with all the appropriate bonding patterns faithfully reproduced. I have also used this method for herringbone brickwork - now that did fuzz up the brain somewhat!
The final structure is then sprayed with Humbrol grey primer for the mortar colour, and the bricks then painted with different shades of acrylics.
The second photo shows the tower in position, waiting to have the power lines connected up to the pole on the other side of the track. Hopefully I can have that finished for the show!
Posted 11 March 2012 - 20:30
After that, it is down to the Mark 1 eyeball, aided by the magnifying lamp.
Here's another picture, this time of the first row of houses for Ribe Skibbroen, which is the 'ultimate' layout. These are models of the houses along the quayside in Ribe.
Posted 11 March 2012 - 20:52
Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:10
One unfortunate aspect of this image is that I neglected to tell Geraint I was about to shoot and his concentration was such that he jumped as the flash fired. I don't think any permanent damage was caused to Geraint or the building, nor did I receive any injuries from flying scalpels, although ISTR that aspersions were cast on my IQ and parentage...