Getting in a Bit of a Pickle

Over the last few months it might have seemed that I haven’t really been doing much in the way of 3D printing design.  Well in fact I have; I just couldn’t tell you about it, until now!

The N Scale Architect has commissioned two new N Scale freight cars to accompany their new turn-of-the-century pickling plant kit, pictured below.

This lovely kit has everything you need to build a pickling plant, but how do you move the produce around the layout? The answer comes in two forms.

The 4 Vat Open Car.

And the Enclosed Tank Pickle Car.

Both car kits come complete with a full-color illustrated instruction sheet, photo-etched ladders & stirrups, bronze tie-rods, four 1/4oz car weights, a decal set of your choice and Micro-Trains brake wheel, trucks & body mounted couplers.  Each decal set is inspired by vintage pickling company markings and includes four different road numbers.

The 46′ open 4 vat pickle car follows prototypes made by Thrall, GATC, ACF and other manufacturers from the early 1900s up until the 1950s has four printed sections forming the chassis, vats, roof supports and the roof.

The roof supports are separated before they clip into the chassis.

The 42′ enclosed tank pickle car follows prototypes made by Thrall, GATC, ACF and other manufacturers from the early 1900’s up until the 1950’s and has three printed sections forming the chassis, sides and roof.  All are printed with the best side facing up to get the finest detail.

The etched ladders on both and the sign on the enclosed car are stainless steel.

Both of these new cars are available from the N Scale Architect’s Shapeways shop or through the website.

And that’s not all, there are more cars on the way from myself and the N Scale Architect but you’ll have to wait to see what they are!

Somerset & Dorset Signal Finials in OO

As a little bonus this week Shapeways, my chosen 3D printing company, are offering free shipping worldwide for any order over $25.  The sale ends on the 25th September 2017 at 11:59 PM PDT.  You can find all my models through the Shop drop down menu above or through my Shapeways shop.

As promised last week I have another new project to share with you; finials for Signals on the Somerset & Dorset Railway.

A finial, sometimes known as a hip-knob, is a decorative element used to mark the top of something.  You will see them on everything from bed posts to buildings.  Traditionally railways used them on top of the signal posts.  The example below is a Midland Railway lower quadrant signal (photographed by NottsExMiner).

As well as looking architecturally pleasing the finial also protects the timber post by helping to keep the rain from pooling and soaking into the top.

The S&D railways had some very decorative finials on their railway.  The ones I’ve modeled were for the OO scale layout ‘Bournemouth West’.  Although this station was the terminus of the S&D, the actual line from Broadstone and Bournemouth was owned by the London and South Western Railway.  Therefore the signals on this part of the line are actually L&SW. The finials used here were in a rounded cruciform shape with a hollow section in the middle.

As with all my projects, everything starts with a computer 3D model.  The base of each finial has a round peg. The idea is a 1mm hole can be drilled into the flat top of the signal and the finial can be pushed in, making a secure fixing.

The signals in this area didn’t use timber posts, instead they used lightweight lattice girders and these are often modeled from brass kits.  Again, giving the signal post a flat top and drilling a 1mm hole for the finial is the best way to fit them, making the signal look something like the rendered image below.

The peg in the bottom also helps with the 3D printing of the finial as it allows several to easily be put onto a sprew.  Printed in Shapeways FUD material or FXD gives the best definition for these tiny parts.

Typically these needed to be cleaned before they could be used and to do this I let them soak in a sealed jar of Goo Gone for 24 hours, then rinsed them in warm water.  Bestine is another good product for cleaning 3D printed items in FUD or FXD however that is a little hard to get outside of the US.

Once cleaned the finials were ready to be painted and mounted onto their signals.  And they look like this.

All these signals were built by Roger Sunderland for ‘Bournemouth West’.  They are all fully functioning using under board motors powered by DCC.

The finials are available in packs of 10 and can be found here.

Next week I’ll have a 3D printed body shell to show you which has been printed using some of Shapeways’ new tools.

OO Gauge Fixed Link Coach Couplings – Part 3

Two weeks ago I shared with you the second part of my new designs for 3D printed OO Gauge fixed link couplings specifically for coaches; you can find the post here.  This week I’ll be showing you the final part and, more importantly, where you can get them.

The couplings are designed to give a close fit on straight track and open up on corners, using the NEM cam system, without coming uncoupled.  At the same time they are very easy to manually uncouple by simply lifting the coach off the track.

This saves a lot of time when packing away an exhibition layout as was proven this weekend when around 70 coaches were removed from the new layout ‘Bournemouth West’ at the Swindon Railway Festival.  As the trains rolled into the yard for the last time the coaches were simply lifted into their boxes.

The couplings are printed Shapeways’ Black Strong & Flexible material and come in 5 different types:

Type 1 gives 16mm between NEM sockets. (When two type 1’s are used).
Type 2 gives 17mm between NEM sockets. (When two type 2’s are used).
Type 3 gives 18mm between NEM sockets. (When two type 3’s are used).
Type 4 gives 20mm between NEM sockets. (When two type 4’s are used).
Type 5 gives 21.5mm between NEM sockets. (When two type 5’s are used).

And they are available in two pack sizes; 10 couplings and 40 couplings.

A sample pack is also available which has two of each type.

All the couplings are now available in my Shapeways Shop here.

Next week I’ll have another new product to share with you which was also tested on ‘Bournemouth West’ this weekend.

OO Gauge Fixed Link Couplings – Part 6

As promised in last week’s post I’ve been busy getting all the OO Gauge Fixed Link Couplings ready and uploaded onto Shapeways, and the Short series are now ready to buy.

The Short series will work for the majority of rolling stock and I’ve added a page which describes all the couplings and sample packs in detail, and that can be found here along with the links to buy each product.

The Medium and Long couplings will be available soon.

I’ve been asked if these couplings can be used for coaches as well.  The short answer is ‘yes’, but they are not very prototypical, as coaches normally have different couplers from freight stock.  But don’t panic as I also have a new and simple coach NEM coupler which is designed for exhibition and home layouts.  It will allow close coupling of coaches without the chance of uncoupling on the layout, but, and this is the good bit for exhibitions, when lifted from the layout the coaches separate straight away, making for a quick pack away after the show.  I’ll be sharing this with you, hopefully next week.

OO Gauge Fixed Link Couplings – Part 5

This week’s post will be short as I’ve been busy getting the new OO Gauge Fixed Link Couplings ready for the Shapeways shop.

As well as the sample sets I made available last week (see the post here) Types 1, 2, 7 & 8 are now available in packs of 4, 10 and 25.  As a reminder as to which couplings they are, please see the table below, which you can click on to make bigger.

Hopefully by next week I’ll have the rest up on the site as well.  If there’s a specific combination of couplings you would like please feel free to get in touch.

OO Gauge Fixed Link Couplings – Part 4

This week I have some good news for my OO Gauge Fixed Link Couplings.  All the designing is done and the sample packs are ready.  If this coupling project is new to you, you can read more about it in the previous post here.

All of the different types of OO Gauge Fixed Link Couplings can be seen in the table below.  The main couplings are numbers 1, 2, 7 & 8. These should work for the majority of models.  However as I described in part 2 of this project some manufacturers have set their NEM sockets at different heights so I have also supplied adaptors to cover all situations.

The first fifteen are the shortest and designed to give 18mm between each NEM socket.  Should your layout have tight curves or you have a model with the NEM socket set further back then all the couplings have been repeated for 19mm and again for 20mm.  The extra distance on tight curves will avoid buffer lock which can derail wagons.

Both the 5.5mm Step Up and the Loose 3 Link couplings were a special request from a fellow modeller so I have included them in the range.  Please note that the 5.5mm Step Up will require any existing molded hook to be removed from the wagon but it will put the coupling at a more prototypical height. Also the Loose 3 Link only has the center link loose, both outer links are fixed; this means there will be some slack in the coupling but it’s only good for pulling rather than shunting.

Given how many different types are on the table I’ve made five different sample packs available.

NEM OO 3 Link & Instanter Couplings – Basic Sample

This contains one of each coupling types 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 & 11.

NEM OO 3 Link Couplings – Sample Set

Containing one of each type: 1, 4, 7, 10, 16, 19, 22, 25, 31, 34, 37 & 40.

NEM OO Instanter Couplings – Sample Set

Containing one of each type: 2, 5, 8, 11, 17, 20, 23, 26, 32, 35, 38 & 41.

NEM OO 3 Link & Instanter Couplings – Sample

Containing one of each type: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 16 ,17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40 & 41.

NEM OO 3 Link & Instanter Couplings – Advanced Sample

Containing one of each type: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15.

The packs containing lots of the individual couplings are currently being uploaded and will be available by next week.