It’s been two weeks since my last post but I’ve not been idle. I finished the modeling for the HO Scale Baldwin DT6-6-2000 and sent the file off to be test printed at Shapeways. And last Friday the 3D model arrived, so this week I’ll share with you some images of how it came out.
The test print was ordered in Shapeways’ Smooth Fine Detail plastic, which is an acrylic. This is the material with the finest detail and allows for the highest accuracy with parts. It’s the material I use for just about all my locomotive shells and parts. 3D prints always need to be cleaned when they arrive as they have residue on them from the print process. I normally do this by soaking the parts in Goo Gone, but this time I used White Spirit. The White Spirit I use has no other chemical in it that will affect the parts; it’s always worth checking before you use it to soak the 3D printed part. After a 24-hour soak, followed by a wash off under the tap, all the parts turn white; this takes about half an hour. I then leave them overnight and any remaining residue will turn into a white powder which can be brushed off. I use a brush in a Dremel tool; this is the same method I used on my O scale tenders which you can read about here. The big difference between the O scale tenders and these models is the quality of the print. Now that I can specify the orientation of the print I can ensure they are printed the right way up, which gives a smooth surface on top and down the sides. If you’re wondering why I don’t use White Spirit to clean all my prints, it’s because of the fumes. Indoors White Spirit lingers for days, Goo Gone doesn’t, but in this instance I didn’t have enough Goo Gone to hand for the size of the model.
The test print was for the whole kit; shell, truck centers, truck gears, crew and horns.
The truck gears come in a cage to keep the cost down and stop them from getting lost.
The two cab interiors with crew are attached to each other and the horns are attached to the linked piece. These can easily be cut off.
I have to say I’m very pleased with the print. The top and roof are very smooth and the details are crisp. Being an N Scale modeler it also seems massive!
I’m also very pleased that it’s so robust. The N Scale version was designed almost on the minimal limit of material thickness to ensure it fitted over the donor chassis without making it wider than the real locomotive. For the HO model, I left the thickness the same, meaning when it’s scaled up to HO the material is almost twice as thick making it much stronger. The shell doesn’t flex when squeezed. Given the weight of the chassis and the fact that the trainload will be conducted through the coupling, which is attached to the shell not the chassis, having a strong shell was important
Most of the detail was already on my N Scale version but it really pops out in HO.
Inside the shell, you can see the loops I printed into the shell roof for my wire runs. Getting the wires into them will be tricky but worth it, as it’ll keep everything tidy and clear of the drive shafts and rotating truck towers.
The underside of the pilot is a little rougher, as this was the underside of the print, but you can clearly see the bolt hole for mounting the chassis, Kadee Coupling mount hole, and the off-center hole for the powered coupling motor.
The detail on the nose and pilot was again on the N scale version, but it has come out so well. The modeled lever for operating the coupling often gets overlooked or broken on the N Scale version, but here it is clear and strong.
All the detail on the top is clear including the lifting eyes, radiators, exhausts, and riveted plates.
The chassis, as you may remember from my previous posts, had already had one of its trucks rotated by using the new 3D printed truck centers and gears. Now both are done.
The right-hand truck was the first one done, but it hasn’t been cleaned in White Spirit or Goo Gone so it’s still opaque, as are the gears.
The left-hand truck is all white after cleaning but this has no effect on the running. Note the printed gears and black original gears are positioned differently in each truck but again this has no effect on the running. The holes for the gear spindles did need to be reamed out with a drill to allow the gears to spin.
The shell is now fixed onto the chassis and ready for a test run. I only have a foot and a half of HO track at home so it’ll have to wait until I take it to the workshop tomorrow for a proper test, but I’ll get some video.
I still have the other parts to test fit such as the cabs and horns, but I’ll get that done this week.
The next task is to finish drawing the brass parts and get them ready for etching. Once they come back, and assuming everything fits, the kit will be made available to buy followed by the various different versions of this great locomotive.