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Obbekaer & Ribe Skibbroen - P87

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I'm having guilty visions of being ostracised from these portals for making only one post this year, so to make up for it, here's a brief Yuletide update from the RGVJ.


Progress has been limited of late, with the focus being on developing a plan for additional rolling stock. This is mainly to provide better coverage for Obbekaer on the exhibition circuit, but also for some additional variety at Ribe Skibbroen, as and when that becomes operational.


First off is the small 3-axle B&W diesel featured before in these pages. This is a scratchbuilt effort, which has required a considerable amount of research and design work before artwork could be prepared for etching. Even then, some of the parts have had to be redesigned, either for a better fit or a more simple assembly, but that's actually a part of the whole process that gives me a good deal of satisfaction. So, after well over a year of effort, sometimes sporadic and at other times hectic, I'm only just at the stage of having a working chassis.


The final loco comprises three sub-assemblies - chassis, footplate and body - which all screw together. All are made from nickel silver. The chassis is sprung, using CSBs from steel wire running through handrail knobs. High Level hornblocks carry the axles and the wheels are from Alan Gibson. A Mashima motor is mounted centrally, driving through North West Short Line UJs to two identical High Level gearboxes on the outer axles.


The basic footplate structure has been completed, with buffers and screw couplings. Springs have been fitted to the w-irons, but the axleboxes (white metal castings from Rumney Models) will be fitted after the remainder of the soldering is complete. There's an array of additional fittings and pipework to be attached before then, and I'm only just beginning to come to terms with what it all does! Brake gear will follow later.


Anyway, here's a photo of the unit as it stands.




Away from the rolling stock, I've completed a small 'ledvogterhytte' for the level crossing over the main street (Overdammen) at Ribe Skibbroen. It's all plasticard, apart from the cobbled paving surface, which is actually a photograph printed onto a textured watercolour paper.




You'll also see from the background that the track gang has started to lay sleepers in the station at Ribe Skibbroen. These are laser cut, with two stuck together to give a full thickness sleeper and a small countersunk head brass tubular rivet inserted in the top layer, to which the rail plates and rails will be soldered. That simple description doesn't do justice to the boring job of putting them all together!


Anyway, that's it for now. Hopefully more updates in the New Year, but in the mean time from all the Directors and staff at the RGVJ, a resounding GOD JUL to everybody!





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Just to follow on from the Christmas Eve post, I've now finished the crossing keeper's hut for the Overdammen level crossing. 


This is of a fairly standard Danish design, with dimensions taken from photos found on the internet and a drawing prepared in CAD. The basic structure is in plasticard, with etched windows and door. The chimney stack uses my standard method of producing brickwork with strips of .011"x.022" Evergreen strip, with the vertical joints cut with a scalpel.


The base was originally cut from scribed 2mm MDF, but I couldn't get the right combination of colours for the cobbles. In the end I hit on the idea of using a Noch pre-printed sheet, which has been scanned in, adjusted to reduce the size of the cobbles to match the prototype street, and then printed onto 250g/m2 grained watercolour paper. This has a delicate rippled surface, which takes the ink well and removes the flatness of what would otherwise look just like a photograph. A small amount of weathering with powders gives further variation to the colour.




The fence is made from microstrip and the large edifice to the left is actually the warning gong for the level crossing.


Crossing keeper Mouritsen (one of Modelu's excellent products printed at 3.5mm scale) is anxiously looking at his watch. The afternoon mixed from Gram must be running late today!




With the hut finished, I can now turn my attention to the rest of the crossing, which will have two booms across the street. At this stage I haven't decided whether this will be a manually operated crossing (in which case the winch mechanism will need to be added to this scene), or whether it will be one of the new fangled (for the late 50s) electronic crossings with flashing lights. Watch this space!





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Another few months have slipped by, and what a strange period we are experiencing. Because of my wife's vulnerable status, we have effectively been in lockdown since early March. Ordinarily, one might have expected a ramping up of modelling activity, but with care and social visits severely limited, modelling has had to play a poor second fiddle to head cook and bottle washer duties.


The other impact has a potentially much longer term effect. Obbekær's next exhibition outing was due to be in September, but that is looking increasingly unlikely, even if lockdown is eased significantly for others, so thoughts have turned to having something to build and run in the limited space I have in the workshop.


I have however made some progress on the wagon fleet for the RGVJ, including the rewheeling of a line of Hobbytrade and Fleischmann vehicles. The more recent offerings from Hobbytrade have bodywork in laser cut wood, such as the Carlsberg beer van and the DSB 4-wheel postal van in the picture. Only about 5 more wagons left to do, which will have to wait until suitable waterslide transfers come back from the printers (whenever they start working again).


With that in mind, and in view of the fact that Skibbroen is designed primarily as an exhibition layout and consequently too big to be erected at home, there is likely to be a bit of a pause in activity for a while. Thoughts are turning to a new p4 project, which will take me back to my previous subject of the Cromford & High Peak Railway. But that's a different story, to be told on a separate thread of this forum!



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