A New Year and Look Back

Happy New Year to All!

2021 is here, and despite wanting to look forward rather than back at 2020, for the first post of the year I wanted to reflect on some of the positive things from last year, mainly the new parts and kits released.

The year started out well with the Bachmann N Scale Doodlebug getting a new set of gears and axles to replace the cracked ones.  You can read about these here.

The esteemed N scale MRC/Rowa Y6b 2-8-8-2 also had some new parts in the form of a replacement bell crank. These also fit the 2-8-4 Berkshire and you can read about them here.

Stepping up the scale to OO, the Bachmann and former Mainline brand locomotives received replacement chassis fasteners.  Given that these are a common part to fail with split chassis locomotives they have proven to be a great aid in repairing lots of them.  The parts can be found here.

Returning to N Scale, the UK Britannia 4-6-2 locomotives made by Dapol received a replacement driveshaft.  These tender-driven loco powered models suffered from the same cracked plastic problem as other models I’ve fixed such as the Atlas 4-4-0.  You can read about the Britannia here.

Speaking of Atlas models, the N Gauge diesels also suffer from cracked drive parts.  The universal connecter inside the flywheel often cracks, leaving the locos underpowered.  But new 3D printed parts are now available and you can read about them here.

In a similar way to my Bachmann/Mainline OO replacement axles, the locomotives of the Replica Railways OO range also received a new set of gears and axles.  These are smaller than the Mainline ones, but again come in a set of three.  You can read about these here.

As well as axles and gears I also released a set of dummy knuckle couplings that work with Kadee couplings.  These have NEM fittings designed to fit into European trains forming a permanent coupling that can be easily separated.  You can read about them here.

After the earlier releases of the OO Gauge Bachmann/Mainline fasteners & washers, I was asked to do the same thing for the Bachmann N scale range, so I did.  You can find them here.

One of the older British locomotive models is the iconic Class 14xx made by Airfix.  However, given the huge amount of miles some of these have now clocked up the main drive gears are wearing out. But a new one can be found here.

The final release for 2020, and literally the largest, was the HO Baldwin DT6-6-2000.  This behemoth of a locomotive has been on the drawing table for a long time and I know many of you have been following its progress throughout the year.  You can read about its release here.

So what next, what will 2021 bring?  There are lots of projects in the pipeline and several to finish off.  The HO Baldwin RT-624 will be next as it’s almost ready, and then I want to finish my N Scale 900081 Rotary Snow Plow project.

And I’m sure there will be lots of gears, parts, and other interesting bits along the way which I’ll share with you as we go.

Thank you for your continued support throughout 2020. I hope 2021 is a good year for all and I look forward to sharing my 3D printing projects and modeling adventures with you.

A Baldwin DT6-6-2000 in HO – Project Update

It’s been several weeks since I last posted about the Baldwin DT6-6-2000 HO project but today I had some good news which means we are just about ready for release.

The bulk of the design and 3D printing has been done, as you can see from the photo of the successful test print below, but what was missing was the etched brass parts.

But today I had confirmation that they’ve been shipped from the etchers and I’m expecting them to arrive by tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest.  This means I can do all the test fitting this week, and assuming everything fits okay, I can release the full kit for sale in next Monday’s post.

The Baldwin RT-624 and some of the DT6-6-2000 varients are still being modified, but I should be able to release shells for Baldwin’s demonstrator, number 2000. ()

Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern Railway early DT6-6-2000s. (Uncredited image – If you know where this image originates from please drop me a message).

Santa Fe’s early models. (Picture from http://www.snowcrest.net/photobob/sfl2.html),

The Trona Railway locomotives. (Photo from Vernon Ryder, Jr.- collection of Mark Laundry – http://baldwindiesels.railfan.net/trona/index.html).

The Minneapolis, Northfield, and Southern Railway no 21. (Picture from Illinois Railway Museum http://www.railroadmichigan.com/illinoisrailwaymuseum.html)

And Peabody Coal Railroad’s locomotives. (Picture from Railrpictures.net)

There’ll be more as the variants get done, but if you have a specific DT6-6-2000 which you would like to model, please get in touch via the contacts page and hopefully I can make that shell available too.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the locomotive with all the brass fittings, I’ve just got to decide what color to paint the test print now!

A Personal Post

This week’s post is a little different, it’s not even about trains!  It’s about something my partner and I do each year to help a very good cause which is relevant to a lot of people in this hobby.

This coming Sunday we’ll be riding our motorcycles in one of the most important events in our yearly calendar – The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.

Those of you who’ve known me for a while know we like to try and combine overseas travel with our yearly fundraising ride, but this year we’ll be riding in the UK again given the travel issues.

Despite the situations created by the pandemic the world over, as motorcyclists around the globe we’ll still come together as a community to raise money and awareness for men’s health.  Instead of the usual organized group rides we’ll be riding solo to support the cause.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride raises funds for research and awareness of prostate cancer, as well as providing programs for men suffering from mental health issues, creating resources to break down the barriers for men to talk and deal with their mental health issues, in the hope of reducing the number of suicides. We support the cause by dressing dapper for the ride and, usually in groups, we put on a fantastic show for the public in whatever city we chose to ride in. It really is a day of celebration and joy designed to bring to the forefront men’s health. This year folks will be riding and fundraising, just solo.

If this is a cause you feel is important to you I’m asking you to make a small donation to do something to help stop men dying from prostate cancer, or by losing their lives to mental health issues.

Understandably a lot of people are experiencing challenging times because of the pandemic, but if you are in a position to make a small donation, please do. The link is here – https://www.gentlemansride.com/rider/thedrawnstudio

If you are not in a position to make a donation you can still help – drop a message to a male friend you haven’t spoken to for a while, and just ask them how they’re doing.  Our hobby is largely a social one, and with so many modelers having to shield through these difficult times it’s easy to get cut off and isolated, so let’s just keep checking on each other. There’s some handy guides on the DGR link here – https://www.gentlemansride.com/about/mens-health, so have a read, and reach out to someone who may need a lifeline right now.

Thank you.

Next week I’ll have a train-related post for you, once I get back from the ride.

A Brief Pause

I’m going to hold off posting tonight and prepare a proper post for a few day’s time. The news concerning the new restrictions to keep us all safe and well were not unexpected but I am spending the evening relaxing with my family. We will regroup and proceed as normally as we can tomorrow!

Stay safe, and let’s pick up steam again soon.

A Quick Post of New Parts

This week’s post will be short as I just want to give you a look at what arrived in the mail today from Shapeways.

The large spikes at the top are exactly that; spikes to repair a track system for a wooden toy train. The assembly below contains lots of gears, axels, a drive shaft and a set of drive shaft couplings.  These are to repair several locomotives such as the N scale Doodlebug from last week’s post, an N scale Minitrix diesel, an N Gauge Dapol Britannia and a HO scale Samhongsa brass locomotive.

After the parts are tested I’ll share the outcomes with you, but for tonight it’s back to the workbench, as some unexpected jobs have come up.  Next week I’ll have a review of a new product I found that was a tremendous help in upgrading some older steam engines to DCC sound.