28 November 2009

Scenery work at SjB

Last week I helped one of my good modeling friends, Steinar Jeppestøl, with some scenery work at his layout; Sjuskogbanen (SjB). All of his trackwork is now complete, and he has basic scenery in place. I'm lucky enough to be able to work at this wonderful layout from time to time, and I have "free hands" and can do what I like scenerywise. Here is the result of the scenery work we did this time.

17 November 2009

Operation ahead!

My main goal with building the Grimstad Line layout is to be able to invite some of my good model railroading friends and host nice and challenging operation sessions. I guess this is a result of reading too much Model Railroader from an early age, or maybe the influence from attending several Fremo-meets where prototypical operation is the most important aspect. I feel that prototypical operation really makes a layout come alive. A recent "Trains of tought" article of Tony Koester in MR spurred me on to make my layout operational as soon as possible. His idea is that the layout itself doesn't have to be ready or anything near perfect before the first operation session. As a matter of fact, it's better to just lay down the track you need, wire it all up, and then as soon as possible host the first op session. In that way I'll probably receive a lot of comments from my fellow operators, and I'll be able to more easily change stuff that doesn't work as intended before I spend too much time ballasting the track for instance. As a result of this idea, I now lay down track rather hastily witouht worrying about the tortoise switch machines at this stage, and without worrying too much about the track plan at Rykene (which has been a headache for me).

Tonight I finished the temporary trackwork at Rykene. I'm not sure if this'll be the final version, but maybe the first session will shed some light on this. I hope that Rykene will be a challenging place to operate. I'm thinking of it almost as a small time-saver of sorts where an operator will have plenty of switching tasks to perform. There are severeal spurs in opposite facing direction, and that will lead to some switch around moves which has to happen on the main line. Should be interesting...

The trackwork at Rykene will be of a lesser quality than the mainline, so on one of the spurs I've experimented with spacing the ties further apart, and with a double tie for every 14 cms (12 meters in real life) where the rails are joined. I think this looks good so I will eventually do this on all the industrial spurs at Rykene before I glue them down. I will also lay the main line some millimeters above the rest of the tracks here.

19 October 2009

New scenery shots from Grimstad

This Morris Minor has to be brand new as it's extremely clean, and for some reason it has no numberplates!

A Cmdeo 10 from NSB is handling today's passenger service between Grimstad and Rise.

It seems the owner of this rowing boat don't care about it's appearance anymore.

15 October 2009

No news is good news?

Well I guess in this case this saying is not entirely true. But I have at least started the indoor season now, so updates will be more frequent from now on. Not much to show for so far, but the modules will receive a scenery upgrade. the picture shows a little experiment with weeds from Polak Model.

26 May 2009

The find of a lifetime - old footage from Grimstad!

Forget Zapruder's film of the Kennedy assasination, forget the footage from the lunar landing - this little clip beats them all! It's a small film from the very last train leaving from Grimstad in 1961. This answers a lot of questions I've had about Grimstad station; the station building itself, colours and lots of other small small details that doesn't appear in any of the photos I have.

09 May 2009

I managed to take this picture of a NSB Skd214 while it was busy doing some swithcing in Grimstad. Normally all the freight trains and switching is taken care of by GFB, so what this norwegian state railway engine is doing down here I haven't been able to find out.

23 April 2009


It's spring, and it's that time of the year again. The time that I delve into the depths of our garage to make this thing here ready for this seasons racing. First race of the season this coming Sunday. Hence no model railroading updates lately :)

03 April 2009

Grimstad on the road!

My local model railroad club was invited to participate with some of our Fremo-modules at a hobby-fair in Neumünster Germany in the end of February. We brought along several of our modules, and my Grimstad-modules had its first outing with scenery! More pictures of all the other modules can be seen at www.amjk.no

An overview of the layout.

Roar Børte is preparing for the first operating session.

Grimstad ready for action!

The fair was attended by over 10000 visitors during the weekend!

A freight train in Grimstad with a class 18c steamer in front.

Unloading of firewood.

The freight depot is nearing completion. It's still missing some details out- and inside.

It's an early afternoon in Grimstad and the 13.30 train from Rise has just arrived 5 minutes ago.

09 March 2009

Water - the making of..

Now for something really scary - water! I'm venturing out into unfamiliar territory here, but I'll give it a shot. Grimstad is a coastal town, so I wanted to add a lot of the water to place the modules geographically. First I smoothed the surface as much as possible, and painted it all black.

Then I added embankments made of styrofoam and some rock castings to the left.

After the embankment and the rock castings were painted, I glued some small rocks and weeds in place.

The fun begins: The first coat of dark blue paint (Lifecolor UA047) was applied with a brush over the whole area.

Close to the shoreline I painted with a light brown color while the blue paint still was wet, and without cleaning the brush. It was suprisingly easy to blend the colors into each other this way.

I used the same technique at the edge of the section, only this time with black colour to simulate deeper water.

To represent the water, I used artists acrylic "Heavy Gel Medium". This stuff can be bought at most art supply stores and dries completely clear and glossy.

The waves was by "dipping" the brush in the gel in this fashion.

This is how it looked after drying overnight.

And this is how it looks with a little norwegian morning sun shining on it. The "waves" look much better with some direct light shining at them, so I'll point one of my layout's spotlights directly at it.

I like "before and after" shots :) Compare this picture with the first in this post to discover what I did over the last 5-6 weeks. This last picture is shot at a hobby fair in Neumunster, Germany. More pics from this event soon.

23 February 2009

More gardening

I've planted some trees today.

Three more days now, and I'm leaving for Germany with my local model railroad club; Amjk where we are going to show some of our modules. This'll be Grimstad's first outing with scenery.


I feel like a gardener these days. Now it's the area open area on the middle section of Grimstad that has received some basic greenery. I need some good looking trees here, and some weeds in the road, and it'll be complete.

18 February 2009

A railfan is photographing a T3 in front of the freight shed. But what's up with that hovering fence to the right???

Section three is more or less complete now.

17 February 2009

More ballast

I'm done with ballasting all three sections of my Grimstad-modules! That's a good feeling. Next job is weeds and grass, water, seashore, telegraph poles, details and more details.

16 February 2009


In Norway in the 60's, the norwegian state railways used mostly sand for ballast. I've tried to replicate this the last couple of days, and now 2 of the 3 sections that make up Grimstad are completely ballasted. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it will do for now. I will later weather the track and ballast, and that'll hopefully lead to the look i'm after.

To the left in this picture you can see the recess i've made for the water, which will make up a nice harbour scene eventually.

03 February 2009

Scenery, details, buildings

I'm steadily working towards the completion of the area around the station building in Grimstad. The latest projects include building and painting the freight depot seen here (not done yet), the fence by the road, and scenery and trees in the background here.

16 January 2009

Scenery around Grimstad

I've just started getting some "green stuff" around Grimstad. This is the work I really love to do. I'm using a mix of mainly Woodland Scenics and Heki materials with some Silflor thrown in here and there.

I really look forward to when this whole section is complete. It'll be the centerpiece of my layout.

14 January 2009

House - part III

The roof on the house is now in place, and I've started adding some details. It still needs a lot of work until it's completely done. Here it is trying out it's place at Grimstad.