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Obbekaer - P87





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#1 Middlepeak

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 17:50

I've been following various topics on here for several months, including the famed Mr Harrap's treatise on 'Quai 87'. I can't match the quality (or eccentricity) of that, but I thought you might like a peep at what is slowly emerging in the railway room. I call it a diversion, because after 25 years modelling the same subject in P4, I felt that I needed a change. For various reasons, Ribe in western Jutland is now something of a second home to us, and you may recall an article in CM back in 2004 about my project 'Ribe Skibbroen'.

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.

Geraint Hughes
Ely

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#2 barrowroad

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 18:09

Looking forward to some more photos over the next few weeks.................I assume the scotch is operational :)

Where are you exhibiting?

Cheers,

Robin

#3 Middlepeak

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 19:49

Hi Rob,

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.

Cheers,

G

#4 Alex Duckworth

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 23:28

Hello Geraint,

nice photo, the railbus is most impressive. See you soon.

Alex.

#5 NGT6 1315

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:47

That's just about my idea of how rural Denmark must have looked a few decades ago. Very nice, thanks for showing us! :)

#6 Horsetan

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:52

Mmmm....P87. Lovely.

#7 Trevellan

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 13:39

Welcome to RMweb chuck. About time too.

At least I now know what the switch on the control panel marked "Scotch" is for. Shame it's not something for the benefit of operators...

#8 Middlepeak

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 20:42

Thanks all for your comments.

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 ....

Geraint

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#9 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:43

Superb work, I look forward to seeing more. Very nicely taken photographs too. Lovely!

Edited by Jon Gwinnett, 31 January 2012 - 08:26 .


#10 davknigh

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 15:20

Very nice! I'm guessing but is the rail code 55?

Cheers,

David

#11 Re6/6

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 15:29

Lovely work there Geraint. I very much look forward to seeing it at a show.

#12 Middlepeak

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 20:12

David,

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.


John,

Thanks for your comments - seems a long time since you saw the layout at the P87 Convention in Utrecht! Things are progressing - albeit slowly!

Geraint

#13 Brian Harrap

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:59

quote:- I can't match the quality (or eccentricity) [of QUAI:87]. Nice to see Obbekaer on here Geriant, looking very good as usual. Its nonsense of course that you can't match for quality, but I will own to a little bit of eccentricity. Obbekaer is superb, and having visited the area (Ribe) I can vouch that it captures the feel of the place wonderfully. Brian.
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#14 Allegheny1600

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 13:34

Hi Geraint,
I well remember seeing the start of your project in CM in 2004! I only wish I had the fortitude to stick with a project for so long!
Congratulations on that, you've done an excellent job and I'm following with interest.
Cheers,
John E.

#15 Middlepeak

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 20:33

In one of the previous replies I mentioned the fitting of servos to various bits of moving equipment. Well we're not quite there yet, but one of the other bits of kit that will operate is this water crane.

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!

Regards,

Geraint

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#16 swisspeat

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:40

Geraint,

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.

Kind regards,

Peter

#17 Re6/6

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:48

No 3 visits 'Quai 87'! ;)

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#18 davknigh

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 14:47

Given the scarcity of P87 drivers I have to ask, are those homemade, modified or commercial?

Cheers,

David

#19 Middlepeak

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 20:32

David,

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.

Regards,

Geraint

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#20 Brian Harrap

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 17:12

No 3 visits 'Quai 87'! ;)

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and very welcome it was too, don't get much visiting stock on QUAI:87 which is a shame. Gerco van Zetten lent me some of his marvellous Dutch P87 wagons to play with once which was very nice. Brian.

#21 Middlepeak

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 18:10

It's been a while since I posted something on here, but we're currently in the throes of getting the layout ready for an outing at the Crawley show next month, and (as they say) "time is slipping by"!

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!

Regards,

Geraint

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#22 davknigh

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 19:50

Geraint,

Is this done with the Mk 1 eyeball or are you using some optical assistance? Whichever, it looks brilliant.

Cheers,

David

#23 Middlepeak

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 20:30

Thanks David. The trick is in the grid which is drawn on the paper template, which you can see on the top half of the unfinished tower. The horizontal lines mark the courses, and the verticals are spaced at half-header intervals. They are drawn to scale to represent Danish bricks, which are smaller than English ones.

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.

Regards,

Geraint

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#24 mog

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 20:52

Very very nice work. And an interesting subject. I'm pretty sure i remember that article, visited Ribe many years ago (used to stay with family on Romo) and have fond memories of the area. On the modelling front, this is the kind of work that I either aspire to or makes me say 'I give up!'

#25 Trevellan

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:10

I hope I will be forgiven for reproducing the image below, dating from February 1991, for it shows the maestro at work and using the techniques described above. On this occasion the subject was Saffron Walden station building and Geraint was one of several members of the S4 Cambridge Area Group present, as well as the Pampisford layout.

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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...