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Archive for the ‘Hofelbachbahn’ Category

Graphic details

Here’s something I’ve been working on for the last few days to deal with the boredom factor during lunch breaks. It’s a train graph, a rather inaccurate train graph in fact, but it stopped me vegetating slowly in the concrete bunker that houses our college.

For the benefit of people with a social life who haven’t seen one of these before, a train graph shows the position of all the trains on a certain railway for a set period of time. On this one it is between 5am and 9pm. The diagonal lines show different trains moving. Horizontal lines are stationary trains.

Wörnritzhausen is marked by a red dot on the lower left of the graph and is about 45 minutes from the connection to the main line railway at the rather leisurely speeds of the Höfelbachbahn. The line’s main source of passenger traffic will be the local high schools, but they are one town away from the northern end of the line, so a train has to run from each direction into the as yet unnamed town where they are, to bring the schoolchildren at 07:45 and take them away again at 14:30.

This completely mucks up everything for the entire day.

One ‘school’ service will have to be a mixed train, in green on the plan. Before it gets on with the job of taking local children off to the school it will have pick up milk from farms at the bottom of the valley, then climb back up collecting children, milk and other items on the way.  In the unlikely event of it managing this and arriving on time at the school stop, it can pass the railcar there, then deliver milk and morning groceries to the standard gauge. The railcar (red line) will probably pull a van or two and can carry post or newspapers the other way.

This reverses later in the day with the mixed train bringing wagons from the main station and dropping off schoolchildren on the way, while the railcar takes the days post.

Beyond Wörnritzhausen an unfortunate village has a bare three services a day, although there are logging trains (blue) which don’t really follow any schedule which is why they seem to vanish.

Of course I still haven’t worked out what happens on market day, and if I ever decide to model the ‘extension’ then this will all go to pot and I’ll have to start again, but I have another three months of college lunch breaks to get through.

There: see what happens to you when you refuse to own a smart phone.

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So here’s this week’s progress on interior decoration for the farmhouse which will take centre stage on Wörnritzhausen. This will be almost entirely hidden when the model is complete, which is why I’m making you look at a picture of it now.

I don’t mind the ‘models’ looking a bit crude because they are only there to give some kind of feature behind the dark windows if someone is daft enough to try and look through them. The ‘hallway’ in the middle is behind the front door, which will have tiny windows so it doesn’t need any detailing. The same goes for the rooms out the back.

I was pretty pleased with this already, when this morning my son came in, declared it was “cool” and went and got his brother to show him. Said brother agreed on the general ‘coolness’ and asked if I’d bought it.

There is no higher complement from a teenager.

I added a double bed to go in one of the attic rooms before realising there was no way it would be seen in the gloom. As the prototype house was used for student accommodation I figured an unmade bed was pretty realistic.

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So here’s the current building project showing several repairs, despite my brilliant plan from a couple of weeks ago. Never mind, it’ll all be hidden under the clay. The white paper is also a repair but that was due to bad marking up, which meant I had a gap of about 2mm at the bottom but the top was correct. I glued some extra card on with superglue, braced it with paper on both sides, and cut it carefully along the correct line when dry. So far it hasn’t collapsed, so I’m calling it a success.


Very observant people will notice that then window in the middle of the first floor on this end of the building is blocked out in the picture above. this is because I want an arched door there giving access to the cellar, and often these stick up into the floor above, so it would be a pain in the backside to have a window right above it. Of course I could just claim this was of the non-protruding-into-the-floor variety but the windows gave the end a rather unbalanced feel, so I’m moving that window further to the left. I’m also not sure why that small window is between the floors, so that’ll be moving up as soon as I’ve got my act together.

I’ve also got to figure out how to make the steps.

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I got fed up with the gate looking like the backdrop for a cheap Gothic novel and decided to brighten things up a bit. It went surprisingly quickly, just thirty minutes to make it look a bit more like weathered limestone, then 10 minutes to tone it down, and another 45 to get it back to how it was in the first place.

I’m not bad at painting, just really indecisive.

I’m generally happy now. The stones are highlighted using a method I learned many years ago in theatre: the top and left of the blocks are painted cream and the bottom ans right grey/brown to emphasise the depth. I fretted for a bit about it being cartoon-like but I worried about that when I weathered the Post Office and now I can hardly see the weathering so I’ll leave it as it is for now.

I’ll leave the panel for the crest as well, at least until I can think of an idiot-proof way of making the a crest that works. Wörnritzhausen is supposed to be near Münsingen, but I think it would have had its own crest representing the rivers or the trade that would have paid for the city wall. Will have to think about that.

It needs a roof as well. Unfortunately I forgot that with the thick walls the roof will come over the top of the windows, making shutters unlikely, so it will have to do without. Gutters and drainpipes will have to wait until I’ve worked out how the farmhouse next door should look.

Still, the trains now run onto the scene through a real gate. It looks like we are getting somewhere, slowly.

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We have pleasure in presenting our latest Executive Bijou Dark Tower, the ideal starter home or secret laboratory for the aspiring ‘Mad’ Professor or Dark Lord.

This compact residence comes complete with pitchfork-proof door (choice of ominous creaks), gloomy archway, and this years must-have feature, an upper storey designed to lean in a threatening manner for the general intimidation of passers-by, and dropping large objects on pitchfork wielding mobs. The tower also features en-suite secret passage in all rooms and small cupboard for your Igor.

Optional extras include deluxe cobwebs, brass lightning conductors for all those nefarious experiments, and for the security conscious evil tyrant, a dragon resistant roof.

The tower is excellently situated with your very own village to terrorise, and a handy rail connection for those essential visits to far-flung minions and the supermarket.

Apply to Agents De Evil, the Estate Agent for the discerning megalomaniac.

Hmm…. Anyway. Here’s the tower halfway through painting, white drybrushed over dark grey.

It’s the second attempt using clay on card and worked surprisingly well except that it really does lean threateningly: when I pushed the post office building into the wet clay so the two buildings fitted snugly together, I managed to tip the tower forward and didn’t notice until everything dried off. At least it is a building not a locomotive so I can hide the gap with a tree.  Locomotives look a bit silly with foliage.

The ‘stones’ are score lines using a piece of wire, and probably a bit too neat. I learned this time that the clay dries slowly. Very. Very. Slowly. I’ll take my time and make nice interesting shapes in future.

And I really need to paint it a lighter colour.

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Finally got myself into gear to finish the railcar, or at least finish it to a point where I can start the next project with a clear conscience. There’s a couple of things will need doing at some point but I’ll worry about them if they annoy me. I’m not building for a museum here.

I’m generally pleased with the model, although I am a bit annoyed with those handrails on the front, as they took ages to fix and they are still wonky. I can’t think how to get them off without damaging the model now so I just patched up the paint and weathered the lot with chalk pastels, the bodgers friend. I’ll probably just leave them off in future or maybe not try and make such a complex shape without a jig.

On the other hand. the method of stippling rust really works well especially combined with drybrushing, so I’ll be repeating those, and the railcar generally has the feel I imagined, of a heavily used hand-me-down that has seen better days and really, really needs some paint. Or a clean at least.

 


In my slightly overactive imagination, the railcar was inherited from the Reutlinger Kreisbahn which rather sensibly upgraded from 600mm gauge to metre gauge fairly quickly,  leaving local lines with less enthusiastic local governments to pick up the now surplus stock on the cheap. This type of railcar was built as a cheap short-term solution in the first place and is already working beyond the makers intended lifespan, but the Höfelbachbahn was desperate and the Bürgermeister is still convinced the railway will not be needed in a few years so he vetoed anything more expensive. The railcar will probably rattle along the Höfelbach valley until it expires, or until the other towns finally persuade the Bürgermeister at Wornritzhausen that it needs replacing.

At some point I’ll probably add windscreen wipers -mirrors will have to wait for a layout with less curves or bigger clearances- and I really need to sort out the glazing in the centre windows which seems to have slipped downwards, but it works,  looks the part, and doesn’t fall off the track, so I’m happy.

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Well, here’s an ugly building, the sort of thing that makes you wonder why we bother having planning laws if something like this can get through.

The Post Office used to be part of a garage/filling station, and this was a workshop and TÜV (German motor vehicle exam) centre. Like most such buildings it was built quickly and with rather more concern for a quick return on investment than aesthetics. Its purpose on the model is help set the scene and make a minor eyesore at one end of the model to contrast with the other more attractive buildings, and prevent the rest of the layout descending into narrow gauge cuteness*. It would also hide the end of the siding and represent the Höfelbachbahn’s repair centre, the logic being that a car workshop should be fairly simple to convert to fixing trains.

Then I drew up a possible timetable for the Höfelbachbahn with a route diagram** it became obvious that the original story would require several more locomotives and railcars than is feasible, and I wasn’t sure they could all be maintained in a small maintenance shed. Unless I claim it is the entrance to a ten road roundhouse, and even I can’t say that with a straight face. It would be more sensible if I say the HHB is a short feeder line running into the hills, with Wörnritzhausen being the last large town, or at least the last town with more people than cows. Some trains would continue and some would stop here and turn around after being recharged or refueled.

On the other hand, if the garage is rented by the post office instead of the railway,  then it could be the local distribution centre and I could run extra vans on the back of the railcars or add them to freight trains. The siding in front could still be used for locomotives to layover or for recharging batteries on the railcar, so I could have the best of both worlds.

While I decide, I’ll work on adding more (ugly) details to the garage and try to find a way to hide the gap between the corrugated walls and the post office.

*Not that there is anything wrong with narrow gauge cuteness, just not here…

**Look, lunch breaks at college get pretty boring, okay?

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