Friday, May 17, 2024

Another Day Out, on another garden railway belonging to another friend and fellow MRC member

Since I had to bring my own garden railway to a closure I really appreciate that members in my MRC regularly invites to running sessions on their garden railways. It is a really social happening and get-together as well. 

Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
My friend has a really large garden railway  and it is fully scenic:
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
For me this was also an opportunity to take my new 'railway ferry' for a run as a local Heeresfeldbahn freight for the Sturmpionere:
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Following are some few impressions from our running session:
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
I also brought my W^D livesteam locomotive (by Roundhouse) and let it haul the 'Combat Engineer Ferry'
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Trains & Coffee:
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
This is from an earlier running-session, but catch the author in a familiar position documenting one of our running sessions:
Garden railway. Running G-scale trains in the garden. LGB Military train. G-scale military train
Thank you Gylmer for inviting us to run on your awesome garden railway and for your hospitality. 


Friday, May 10, 2024

Loading a ferry onto a narrow gauge train (not the other way around) - An easy model you can build

This modelling project did not actually start with a boat or ferry model, but with a railway wagon. It seems like 'Murphy's Law of Combat' also strikes when coming to modelling military railways. The LGB starter set I used for making my Heeresfeldbahn was originally a starter set for a German narrow gauge railway from the Frisian island of Wangerooge. It was a nice livery, but it didn't seem that LGB had much other rollingstock from that island railway except for those in the starter set itself. So the decision to repaint it and make it into a Heeresfeldbahn was easy. During a weekend trip to the German town of Kiel last autumn, I visited a small model railway shop there; Scharly's Lokshop. It deals mainly with second hand items, and in the shop I saw a very beautiful LGB model of an open goods-wagon from, off course, Wangerooge (!). If I'd knew that LGB had made more models from this particular railway, I would have considered not to convert the starter set in the first place. -But that was just too late now, so I ended up buying the Wangerooge-wagon anyway, just to repaint it grey so it would fit the rest of my 'ex Wangerooge  Heeresfeldbahn-livery'.

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

The Prototype

Since it was an open wagon, it would improve the look if some load could be added to it.
While I was searching for paint-schemes and information about the Sturmboot 39 in connection with modelling them as a load for my G-scale Heeresfeldbahn, I discovered that these Sturmboots also were used to power German military pioner ferries - Flosssackfähre, which were made up of a couple of large inflatable rubber dinghies - Grosser Flosssack 34, with wooden beams and deck between them. They could carry infantry, motorcycles and small PKWs.

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Boxart from Dragons very nice kit of such a ferry. Too bad for me it's only made to 1:35 scale, as I needed one in 1:19 scale

The Model

I made the Sturmboot 39 originally as a homage for my son who had recently done his service in the Norwegian Coast Guard, where he was operating fast patrol boats.

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

Now he is studying to become a 'First Mate', and last summer he took a summer-job as a 'Mariner' at a ferry in Northern Norway to finance his studies. This inspired me to make those Sturmboot 39s into the propelling part of a (pioner-) ferry; a 'Flosssackfähre' by adding the rubber dinghies and wooden beams and decking as train loads in my new wagon.

I found a free STL-file of a Grosser Flosssack 34 at Wargaming3d, which I resized to 1:19 scale. The process form 3D-printer til ready for painting can be seen in the April Workbench update. Since the originals are made in rubber, I decided to use the real thing and cote mine with black rubber as well. I used some black plasticote spray found at a car accessories shop. This worked very well to cover the layer lines in the print too (which were printed in a medium resolution).

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

Now I found out that this wouldn't fit the ex-Wangerooge wagon after all, so I purchased another flat-wagon of the same type as was in my LGB starter set and I used for the Sturmboot 39s in the first place, to use for the 2 newly printed Flosssack 34s. 

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

Since it was looking the same (all black) I painted it slightly different...

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
...and got fancy and downloaded and 3D-printed a brakeman's cabin to add to it.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

Bringing the painted flatcar, brakeman's cabin and the 2 Grosser Flosssack 34s together:

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

Then I could use the ex-Wangerooge wagon for the wooden beams and decking needed to make the ferry complete. First I had to mock up the ferry it self so I knew how many pieces of wood and in which lengths was needed to be cut to complete it...

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
...-and then it had to be stacked and loaded to the wagon. I chose to make a removable floor to the wagon to attach the load according to my last blog post, so I can choose to use the wagon for other loads if I wish.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

Together with my earlier 'Sturmoot 39', the 2 rubber dinghies and the wooden beams and decking makes up a complete Flosssacfähre. 

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

When the complete German military pioner ferry of the Flosssachfähre-type are loaded onto railaway wagons it looks like this:

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

And loaded on the train 'the ferry' doesn't look so much like a ferry anymore (unless you've seen the prototype). But it shows that's possible to model a large scale car ferry and load it onto a narrow gauge train in a prototypical way. 

First run on a 'day out' (in a friend's garden as my own garden railway is temporary out of service) transporting a group of Sturmpioneren:

Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.
Making an easy model of a German military ferry - Flosssachfähre. Making a G-scale ferry and using it as carload for garden railways.

This 'military load doesn't look so offensive, neither does any of my other loads on my Heeresfeldbahn. Initially I optet for more offensive loads like armoured cars and fighting vehicles, but I've not seen pictures of such so I think my loads seems credible for a narrow gauge railway.

Friday, May 3, 2024

End of the Line - The Garden Railway Closure (!)

My Garden Railway is perhaps the 'smallest large-scale' garden railway in Norway. Usually by this time of year it get prepared and ready for the season, but not this year. It's been operative since 2016, but now it's  reached the 'end of the line', and it's time to shut it down...

small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image

Due to required drainage work around our house, digging to change the old drainage-pipes are needed. Some of those pipes are unfortunately located in the ground below the garden railway, so it's going for a closure and the rails needs to be lifted. 

It provided great fun and good times for the whole family through it's years in service. Here is a throwback:

small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
Some of the Troops did not age well since they were deployed in 2019. I guess they are considered Veterans now.
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image
It's not the end of the hobby and the interests for model- and garden railways though, and I'll keep on modelling military trains in large scale.

I guess I'll just have to run my trains at my friends' Garden Railways in the meanwhile until the drainage-work here is completed and I can start rebuilding some garden railway here again.
When some doors closes, another's opens; so we'll see what kind of 'layout' in the garden the future brings. This will give space for something new eventually
small garden railway, smallest garden railway layout
Click photo for larger image

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

A May Workbench update - just preparing some miniatures for painting

I've been finishing off some few small projects that's been on my workbench for a while, and they will show up in an update later this month. This month I'm also involved in a 'modelling project' that's not on workbench it self, which I will describe closer in a blog-post on friday...

It's a battle to get time for doing my hobby-things right now as daily life is quite busy. But in busy times I find panting miniature quite therapeutic, and it's been a while since I've been painting miniatures. So I found some figures I've been laying around for a while and started to prepare them so I eventually can start painting them. I thinks it's nicer to game with painted miniatures rather than those without.

Workbench updates on The Hobby Blog for Model railways, Wargaming and Military modelling.
Being China-copies they were made with small bases which made them wobbly. I've 3D-printed some bases when making the 'Ape Army' and had som spares which I superglued onto these figures.
Workbench updates on The Hobby Blog for Model railways, Wargaming and Military modelling.
I made minor changes to a couple of them by trimming a hat down, and adding some 'green stuff'. This is the very first time I've been using green stuff.
Workbench updates on The Hobby Blog for Model railways, Wargaming and Military modelling.
Next I'' wash them and they will be ready for some priming. Earlier I've been using Mod Podge to sealing miniatures, but this time I will follow a tip from James at Quantrill's Toy Soldiers and use Mod Podge for priming as well as the plastic they're made of is very oily and soft.

I've got some few ideas how to paint them, but suggestions to get me further inspired are welcome in the comment section below.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Recruiting new super cheap troops to the collection

In most countries, but Norway, the spring time seems to be 'the season' for toy soldier markets, swap meets, toy soldier conversions and so on taken all the different adds popping up on Facebook and reviews posted on blogs and YouTube. As earlier mentioned in this blog, this is not a big business or market in Norway anymore, so 'finds' are rare and often 'over-priced'. So I was really surprised when visiting our local toy shop earlier this week and saw they were offering super cheap bags of army men. They are clearly 'china-copies', but not to that worst sub quality often found. I decided to grab a couple of different bags to have closer look at them.

cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image

Bag 1

For only £5,2/ $6,4 or €6 you get 100 army men in 2 different colors (50 each side) close to 54mm size in 8 different poses. Enough troops to form 4 Platoons or a Company. They are molded in fairly hard plastic, and the details are fairly crisp. The mold lines are not disturbing and there are no flash. They are not as 'flat' as many 'china copies' often are, but the 'sculpts' are typically china-copies though. Anyone recognizing the originals?
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image

The army men seems to decipts 'modern' US soldiers with 'old' kevlar helmets. They are armed with AR-styled rifles, and one has a SAW machine gun and one seems to have a shotgun (with magazine?). One rifle is undefined, and a couple of the troops looks to have older paratrooper M1 helmets.
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image

Bag2

For only £2,2/ $2,75 or €2,6 you get 72 army men in 2 different colors (36 each side) in 40-45mm size in 12 different poses. Enough troops to form 3 Platoons. They are molded in the same color and fairy hard plastic as their bigger counterparts, and ok details. These are more what you can expect from cheap Chinese copies and are flater, stranger propositions, have larger mold lines and more flash, and have useless bases. Due to their size and they're are so skinny, they feel small. They have clearly poorer quality than their bigger counterparts.
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
They clearly decipts some kind of modern troops of more generic type. They're mostly armed with some AR-looking rifles and there are no heavy weapons in this set either. One is armed with something appears to be a 'butter knife' (!). What's nice about them is that of the 12 different poses 4 are equipped with boonie hats, 4 with caps and 4 with kevlar helmets of the old type. I have not seen these poses before, so I wonder if any recognize these origins as well?
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image
cheap army men
Click photo for larger image

Conclusion

I'm currently busy with other modelling and gaming projects, and have no plan how to use these figures yet. -But as the availability in Norway are very limited, not buying them for this reasonable price was actually not an option. 
Time will show....

You may also be interested in: