Friday, August 23, 2013

Dm 585

Dm 585 4-6-4T

Here is a few pictures of my latest project. 
This is the prototype model for a WAGR,  Dm class 4-6-4 Suburban Tank locomotive. 


ZBA Guard's Van

ZBA Guard's Van

Another delivery from i.Materialise today - the first test print of a ZBA guard's van.

This is the first item of rolling stock designed since i.Materialise changed their print specifications in June, and it should print well on both types of printers used at i.Materialise.

The ZBA is printed in 2 sections.  One section just consists of one side, with "everything else" being part of the other section.  This has the advantage that the roof is one piece so there is no visible join.  The join is only visible on the ends, but coincides with a vertical join in the boards.

The only details required to complete the model are the truss rods and handrails.  Everything else is included in the 3D printed parts.

The test model is fitted with the Walthers HO bogies (933-1077) which I showed at the AMRA S scale night in July, These can easily be fitted with 12 mm wheels (26 mm axle length).  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

3D Printed Relay Cabin

3D-Printed Relay Cabin

My latest 3D-printed model is a building, rather than an item of rollingstock.  

My layout needed some relay cabins to control the signalling at the intermediate stations and passing loops, about 5 relay cabins in total, so I decided to design one for 3D printing.  I already had a Westrail plan for the relay cabins installed at stations on the South-West main line between Armadale and Coolup.  Several of these are still in situ so the model covers the period from the 1950's through to around 2005, when the asbestos roof on the remaining cabins was replaced with iron, no doubt due to safety concerns, which changed the appearance slightly.

If you familiar with Google StreetView, several of the relay cabins are visible on StreetView, including those at Mundijong Junction, Keysbrook and Pinjarra.

This is my first test model of the relay cabin.  I think it has worked pretty well, and I have a second one on order at the moment.  I still need to put some "glass" in the windows.  In more recent years, the windows were boarded up.

When scaled to S scale, the relay cabin was larger than I expected - 71 mm long x 45 mm wide x 60 mm high.  Even though it is small compared to many other railway buildings, it was a relatively expensive item for 3D printing, costing around $65 (not helped by recent exchange rate variations).  For this material (Prime Gray), the cost is primarily based on the volume (cubic centimetres) of plastic in the finished model.

I have recently updated my Marbelup Models blog with further information on the relay cabin and some other 3D-printed models I am working on.

Even though the problems with 3D printing from i.Materialise in Belgium have not been resolved, and are still preventing further printing of my earlier R class diesel and CXB sheep wagon, the relay cabin and other new models have been designed with a slightly lower level of detail to suit the revised printing specifications at i.Materialise and recent prints are working well.

Monday, August 12, 2013

RailWells 2013

RailWells (apart from being the Scalefour Society’s South Western show) always has a minority interest theme.  This year it was modelling Australian railways and I was lucky enough to be invited along to demonstrate scratch building in S Scale and talk to people about the railways of WA and modelling them.   

There were layouts representing Victoria in HO and NSW in N (both modern diesel era as it turned out), a display board and computer slide show showing pictures of Australian Railways and me. This is probably the first time that there has been this much Australian modelling at a single show in one place in the UK which is why the Southern Cross features on the show badge.  

With only a six foot long table (that’s 1.83m for those reading in metric) it took a bit of thought about what will appeal to a British audience before deciding what to take with me.  They tend to like stuff which is recognisably of British origin but that little bit different.  I wanted to cover prototype themes from my chosen era (1900-1905) such as the variety of stock, traffic types, the livery changes and the private railways whilst bearing in mind that bogie vehicles take up more space (which reduces what you can display so only 1 coach).  I also needed to be able to make points about different types of scratch-building with different materials as well as kits (represented by a G 2-6-0, G open wagon and horsebox).  It’s easy to take far too much stuff and have it sit in a box for a weekend only to have to haul it back home at the end of the show so it’s rather different from going with a layout (where you want as much stock as possible). What I eventually ended up with is the models on the steps at the left of the table with my working area, photos and drawings to the right. The scratchbuilt models included  V, a pair of  I bolster wagons, N, A(MRWA), G (iron lined), J (wooden tank), AA, E, O, an unpainted 4 door R and 3 MRWA/GSR dropside wagons under construction as a batch.

There are a lot of people in the UK with family in Aus and I even chatted to one chap who had worked for the WAGR for a while in the 70’s.  It turned out to be a fun weekend flying the flag for WA in Wells Town Hall (apart from the hour long traffic jams at Stonehenge out and back) with quite a bit of interest and lots of questions.