29 December 2008

More trackwork at Rise

The track on the north side of Rise is now in place and all wired up. The freight car to the left is a christmas gift from my girlfriend. It sure beats ties and socks! :)

17 December 2008

The first train to Rise has arrived!

It was a big moment when the first train arrived at Rise. This isn't actually the first train, but it gives a good impression about how things are going to look like eventually. I'm not sure about the track plan, so all the tracks and turnouts will not be fastened until the first operating session has been held. Then it'll be easier to make changes if that's needed. The turnouts will be operated manually until this.

In this area the turntable and engine shed will be. The track to Grimstad is to the right in this picture, and the track for Arendal (hidden staging) is directly above it.


The track has now reached the left side of the peninsula and is nearing Rise fast. The switch in the middle of the picture will be for a small spur for loading timber.

14 December 2008

Fascia at Rise

I completed the fascia at Rise today. Everything looks much more finished with this in place. I've also test-fitted some curtains underneith. This will hide shelves with tools and materials.

Rise station

The base for Rise station is now complete. It's only 32 cm. wide, but that'll be enough for 3 tracks and a relief of the station building. That leaves a comfortable 62 cms of isle space. Some of my operators might need that ;)

The track around the peninsula has been connected to Rise, so now I need to head down to my shop to pick up some track!

08 December 2008

More benchwork

Today me and Halvor started on the last remaining benchwork for my layout. The station, Rise, will be the link with the Grimstad Line to the line that goes south to Arendal, and north to Nelaug and the rest of the norwegian rail network. Nelaug will be a unscenicked staging yard used only for operating sessions and will be mounted to the left in this picture. The line to Arendal will be represented by a stub track to the right that'll be hidden behind a background or scenic divider.

28 November 2008

House - part II

I'm still honing my scratchbuilding skills in preparation for the station building. The house's three walls are now complete. The back will be up against the layout end - hence only three walls.

18 November 2008

The little house

The little house I'm building is coming along nicely.

14 November 2008


I've managed to stay focused since my last post, and have worked at the same section of Grimstad. I'm currently scratchbuilding a small and very typical southern-Norway wooden house. Some grass and flowers have also started to appear.

Making scenery is pretty messy...

This house still exists in Grimstad today, so I've started building this with the help from a few pictures I took the other day.

27 October 2008

Grimstad station area

I'm jumping from project to project, and I now have a ridicolus amount of half-finished stuff. But I guess that's the way most of us modelers work. At least that's the way I've come to accept things are. So onto the next project then. The main focal point on my Grimstad Line layout/modules will be the area around the station building, and the station building itself. I've contacted the norwegian railway museum, and I'm hoping they can provide me with pictures of this lovely building.

Overview shot of the area. The track has been spraypainted with Tamiya TS1 Red Brown.

The track in front of the station building ends in a stone wall. There will be a old wooden tie on here to protect the wall from the buffers. The wall has been painted with LifeColor paints.

A T3 wagon visiting :) Next task is is ballasting and painting of the areas around here.

25 September 2008

T3 wagon

Every railroad needs a lot of rolling stock. The typical norwegian railroad cars used in the 50's and 60's has to be built from brass kits so it will be a lot of work (read: fun) to get a decent amount of them on the Grimstad Line. Here is the first one I've built. It's a type T3 from Scandinavian Miniatures. Now it's complete with decals and weathering. I'm just waiting for some flat clear paint to arrive. The chains are Weinert 9318.

24 September 2008

Grimstad's second outing

Some of my regular blog-readers might already have realized that the Grimstad Line layout consist of both a fixed part and a sectioned part, the station area in Grimstad, with FREMO-module standard. That meens that I can take these sections with me to various FREMO-meets both in- and out of the country. This is very interesting as the station here sees action it normally doesn't see at home, and I get to test it thoroughly before laying down ballast. It's also very rewarding to experience other modelers "playing" with my modules, and to see high levels of traffic on them.

A couple of weeks ago, a large FREMO-meeting was held in the neighbouring town of Kristiansand. It was a modern era meet, so modern rolling stock could be seen at Grimstad for a change. Everything went smoothely so now I really need to get going on the ballasting and painting of tracks. I will soon post more pictures from the meet on our local club website : arendalmjklubb.blogspot.com

The short line down to Grimstad was in an adjacent room to the main part of the layout. Here a NSB Di5 with a local freight is waiting for the express to pass.

Grimstad in the distance. That's me lurking around on the left, and Truls Slevigen as station master on the right.

The only scenicked part of Grimstad is acutally outside the station itself. It's a small module I've made with a signal that's controlled from Grimstad.

Not much scenery yet, but one can already get a feel for how the overall look will be.

26 August 2008

Time for scenery again

There's nothing like a little pressure to get things going. With a Fremo-meet coming up in Kristiansand I thought I'd at least try to make my Grimstad modules look like something more than plywood painted green.

Here the basic landscape contours are in place, and the platforms are beginning to take shape.

12 August 2008

Crew Lounge - part 2

And here my lounge area is finshed. Not the biggest or fanciest I guess, but it should make a nice area to retreat to for the crew after a strenous work-day at the Grimstad Line :)

25 July 2008

Crew lounge - part one

My main goal with my layout is to be able to invite good friends around for realistic operating sessions. As the Grimstad line is a small and quiet short line not all of the crew members will be active all the time. Therefore I've thought about a way to create a nice place for crew members and visitors to sit down, and a place to put magazines and coffee cups. We've all seen pictures in Model Railroader of large "crew lounges" with comfortable couches and a large table with magazines and such. I have no room for this in my room, but I intend to use the space I have. Here are some pictures from the construction of a small fold-down table I've constructed.

We've had 25-26 degrees the last few days, so it's a good idea to take the messy work outside. An old table top I had lying around is cut apart.

And here the table is in place. Because of the door behind me I had to make it foldable...

... so it can hang down out of the way when it is not in use. Next project is to paint this table, the doors and hang up some nice pictures and railroad related signs :)

30 June 2008

Freight depot

I've decided to start working at the area around the station in Grimstad. After all this will be the area of most importance, and a signature scene on my layout, so I'd better get it going now :) A couple of days ago I received a freight depot from the dutch company Artitec (the yellowish building in the center of the picture). This is one of two buildings for the Grimstad Line I don't have to scratchbuild, the other being Rise station. It all looks a bit "toy-like" in this state, but it helps to visualize the whole scene before anything is glued down. Even the track is still not glued down so if I need to make any changes - this is the time.

20 June 2008

Changes in concept... and a new loco

The real Grimstad Line was closed down in 1961, but already in 1959/60 there were talks with private interest to take over the line from the Norwegian State railways (NSB). Sadly this never happened. But in my world everything is possible, so I've fast-forwarded my model clock a little bit, and now it's suddenly 1965 in my loft, and the railway is now on private hands as it was in the start from 1907-1912. And it's yet again called Grimstad-Frolandsbanen (GFB). This opens up a lot of possibilities for me with regards to rolling stock, so until I get enough correct pre 1961 NSB equipment, this will be the story.

This opens for use of this lovely steamer from HobbyTrade, which was owned by the Danish State Railways (DSB). Pure coincidence this loco was in real life taken out of service in Denmark in 1965. So the story goes that it was sold to GFB where it found good use.

I will modify the loco so it looks more norwegian with a different lighting arrangement, and with black paint on the smoke stack. It will also get it's own GFB number.

07 June 2008

Trees, trees and more trees

I've started planting some trees now. I think correctly coloured trees in great quantities can really make a layout stand out. So I'm hoping to be able to add hundreds and hundreds.

06 June 2008

More scenery III

Whoops! How did this happen? Wasn't the hill only brown two days ago? Well... I got a little inspired. And this is just a very small area that's complete. Let's recap tonights events.

I started out coloring all the rock castings using Woodland Scenics pigment colors. They are great for making good looking rock faces, and it's very easy to get a good result.

I then added som basic greenery by using Woodland Fine Turf in two different shades; blended green and burnt grass.

Then I added some low bushes, tufts and static grass. Starting to look ok now...

And this picture, and the one on the top shows how it looked in the end. Still I haven't added the trees and all the twigs and branches on the ground that comes with the trees.

04 June 2008

More scenery II

Now it's about time I get some color on this layout! I started to paint everything a light brownish color, but made sure I avoided the rock castings. It's easy to get tempted to paint the areas where there's gonna be grass eventually a green base color, but a brown color makes it easier to achieve the right look in the end. And after all, the stuff under the grass in real life is not green...

While the paint was wet, I sprinkled on sand I collected from a pile of sand outside my house. Where there are big holes in the foam I put small stones which I picked up from my backyard. At this stage of the scenery construction, there are a lot of useful scenery products to be found right outside your door. And it's free too!

The hillside on the end of the peninsula as it looks now. The next task is to color the rocks with Woodland Scenics pigments, and then multiple layers of greenery.

20 May 2008

More scenery work

I've shaped the construction foam and added several rock castings from Woodland Scenics and some home made ones. It wont be long now until I actually can start adding color to this area of the layout.

My main goal as of now is to more or less finish the scenery at the end of the peninsula seen here, so it'll look nice and "tidy" when you enter the layout room. The room is in the center of my loft with bedrooms at either end which means I can't close the door to the layout room to hide all the clutter. Therefore it's important to make the layout as nice as possible so it'll play a part as a "furniture" in this room.

18 May 2008

Prototype scenery

I took this picture early this morning of a norwegian class 69 railcar set on it's way from Arendal to Rise on the Arendal line. The picture was taken just some hundred meters from the station Rise where the Grimstad Line ended, and it shows the kind of scenery I will try to replicate on my layout.

14 May 2008

More mountain work

After the foam had dried thoroughly over night, it was very easy (and fun) to start making the basic shape of the hill.

Then I added more foam to the top of the hill.

And for fun, I had to test fit one of the two wonderful small signals for Rykene. They are scratchbuilt for me by modeling friend Jon Einar Vistad.

A foam mountain

For my basic scenery I'm trying out a new technique with styrofoam covered with insulation foam. This stuff expands to 3 times it's initial size when it's dry. After it's dry I'll cut away the excess and add rock castings.

17 April 2008

Scenery test

I've laid out some styrofoam sheets to get an idea how things will look when entering the layout room. I have to try to figure out a way to visually seperate the two lines going very close to eachother here to avoid it feeling like the same place. It doesn't look right like the way it is now I think...

10 April 2008

A water spout for Grimstad

Today I've built a water spout for Grimstad. It's from a kit I sell in my model railroad shop; www.togbutikken.no. Well actually it's not really available yet, but it'll be ready very soon.

Grimstad didn't have a water tower, so this water spout is the only means to refill water for the steam locomotives. The prototype picture is from another station in Norway; H√łnefoss. As you see there are still a few details missing, and I also need to get the correct decals for the signs on the top of the thing. The chain is from Weinert.