Wednesday, August 29, 2007

DG in disguise.

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Once again a long pause since the last entry, partly because I was having a break with the family and whilst it was great there wasn’t much time for me to sit at my workbench: I was far too busy telling stories, helping the biggest learn to ride a bike (He's a bit wobbly still), driving model cars, makinf forts in the woods, and playing hide and seek around the flat when it rained.

I did, however, manage to get one concentrated go at model making, and bodged a centre buffers to go around the DG couplings on one of the wagons, as seen here:

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I had a slight panic when I tested the thing, as I found it can be a bit unreliable, but after some online questioning, it was suggested that I just need to make the loops bigger and all will be well. I’ll need softer metal to do that though, so further couplings may be put on hold for a bit.

Never mind: I've got plenty of other things to do.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I’m still here.

The lack of entries in the last week is ironically despite reasonable progress on the model. The three chassis are now mounted on bogies/trucks, and I’m experimenting with a Black Dog Mining wagon. I’ve also found a German supplier for plasticard after kind German speakers on the 'Gnatterbox' took pity on struggling Brit (again) and explained the correct name for it.
All this has made me realise that the layout really needs to be built or my display track will start looking like Barry Scrapyard on a busy day, so I was had a serious recycling session, and went around asking local shopkeepers for their used cardboard. Fortunately one of these shopkeepers stores his stock in our garage and as he usually has to take cardboard away for recycling, he cordially invited me to take the stuff away by the armload.

Trouble is, cardboard is hardly the most exciting subject for photos, and after careful research I can verify that it looks exactly the same in Germany, so I don’t think you’ll be wanting to see a picture of the stuff. Those wanting visuals will have to wait until I actually do something with it...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Developing 'Spitzenwald'

Carl Arendt emailed to suggest the plan I came up with for “Spitzenwald” would be impractical because the siding at the front blocked the fiddle yard. (I’m not claiming he reads the blog, I emailed a copy to him.) I could see his point, so if this siding is built it will now disappear into a low-relief building instead, giving access to the fiddle yard from the front and at the same time increasing the possible traffic this shed can take- I can now run open wagons into there and load them up with wood by hand for example, and then if I feel the desire, it can become something completely different with a change of sign. With that change I can just use the building as a scenic break which in turn dispenses with the overbridge and allows me to have a couple more buildings if I feel up to it… Thoughts and feedback welcome.

If you’re wondering, there is a lot more going on than drawing track plans on the Gimp: there are three wagon chassis on bogies and frames cut for a fourth, and as soon as the rain stops I’ll make a picture of them…

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Grand Day Out

My wife has this funny idea that we should go out in the fresh air occasionally, so yesterday I was dragged away from building wood wagons and we went off to the Killisberg Park, which is a bit like an arboretum in the UK, or a city park. The difference being that German cities are much more serious about keeping their parks in good condition.

In the 1930's the
city government found it had a derelict quarry on a hill with superb views over the valley and inside the city limits, and sensibly made a garden out of it in time for the national garden show for 1939. Better still they included a railway, built to 15 inch gauge, or 381mm which seems unusually illogical for Germany but it would make modelling it easy enough in 09. Mind you, it’s a bit clean for some narrow gauge enthusiasts, not a speck of rust to be seen, and the track is really smooth, but if you can live with that, it’s a good 2.4km run.

“Schwoabapfeil” (Diema, 1992) All 6.5 tonnes of her, emerges from the woods

“Schwoabapfeil” and train seen from the Killisberg tower. (Shadow of tower bottom left) Much of Stuttgart in the distance.

The 48hp “Schwoabapfeil” hauling a full train around the former quarry rim, now known as the "Rosental" (Rose Valley)

Workshops and sheds , home to “Tazzelwurm” und “Springerle”, the two 4-6-2 Liliput locomotives built by Kraus Maffei in 1950

Friendly driver with Tobi and Mummy after journey's end. Hold the cursor over an image for more pictures.

If you like engines with clanky bits then they run a steam service on Saturdays in summer, weather permitting. It’s easy to get there so I’ll try and nip over on a weekend and take some pictures. May be a while though as it’s pelting it down at the moment…

Postscript: The gloomy wet weather also means I can't post the repainted coach, the wagons under construction, or some nice 09 kits I got from Black Dog mining yesterday, but rest assured as soon as there is enough light all will be revealed...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Production line...

The Ostfildern Wagon works have finally completed their first wagon contract. -sort of. (They claim they managed it some time ago but the official photographer was't around.)

It still needs railings, transfers and weathering, but that can wait a bit until there are enough transferrequirements to make a whole sheet, and I’ve finally found a possible brake handle in the form of some plastic press-studs so I’ll experiment with these later. There are reports of several chassis under construction construction: hopefully they will eventually become a pair of wood wagons and another van, which should turn out like a later version of the sliding-door van on the Rhaetian Bahn.

The wood wagons are still being designed, but as the KÖB are going for maximum flexibility from their freight stock, so they will probably be designed to carry roll-on containers as well as wood.

There are also rumours of some heave-duty frame being fabricated, possibly for another wood wagon, and one of the RJR Branchline's carriages was seen entering the paint shops for some "Livery Testing". Photos promised "in a few days". or maybe next week...