Saturday, December 20, 2014

D/DA Diesel Loco - 3D Printed

The first test prints have arrived for both the D and DA class diesels.  Both models have now been assembled and are running, including DCC and sound (Tsunami EMD645 non-turbo).

The model is designed to use a Hollywood Foundry mechanism, which can be supplied with the correct axle spacing.  Hollywood Foundry don't offer the correct size (15.7 mm) wheels in their normal range, so the wheels are from Northyard but Hollywood Foundry can fit them to their bogies during the normal assembly process at no extra cost, other than the cost of buying the wheels.  

The cosmetic bogie sideframes will be 3D printed as well.  

There is more info on the Marbelup Models blog.

Test print of D class fuel tank, with 7 layers of lead sheet added.
Weight: 166 grams.  Top 2 layers have central gap to clear motor.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Butlers Swamp Models for 3D printed fine detailed scale model train kits

Hi Everyone,

Its about time I let people know I have started a little kit manufacturing empire of my own, Butlers Swamp Models.

The former name of Lake Claremont near where I currently live, and the name to the original siding nearby before Claremont Railway Station was built on the Eastern Railway (Western Australia).

First model to be released under this brand is my 3D printed A Class bogie for the Railwest kit, which I am absolutely sure will be a cracker.

Why release an extra piece for this already awesome kit, well the resin side frames while they look acceptable I think will look a little out of place. And since I had been working on my own scratch built A Class for some time and have been converted to 3D printing along the way, I was not happy with the appearance nor having to chop up the resin side frames for mine, I was going to create these anyway so I am excited to offer them to you as well.

Please see my new page here to get more details and to order.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Midlander Decal Set

The latest release from Westland Models is the name board decals for The Midlander train.
The Midlander Name Board Fitted to a AZ Carriage
The Midlander was the name given by the WAGR for the new service that ran between Perth and Geraldton over the former Midland Railway between 1964 and 1975.
Initially the train set was painted in Red and Cream and fitted with the gold name boards, later in the 60's the train set was painted Larch Green and the white name boards were fitted. 
Decal Artwork
The decals are supplied in a set of three (one spare in case of a mishap) and both styles are available.
Note: The name board is not included and the decal will not include the red or green backgrounds.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

RA Class Diesel - 3D Printed

This week, I received the first test prints for an RA class diesel from i.Materialise.  Converting the 3D drawings from the R class turned out to be easier than I thought, taking about 1.5 weeks of "spare" time, compared to several months to draw the R class originally.

Although the bulk of the long hood is the same as the R, the RA is about 16 mm longer overall, with the extra length being noticeable in the "front porch", short hood, the louvre panels behind the cab and the fuel tank.  The RA doesn't have dynamic brakes, so the vents at the rear of the long hood on the R had to be "blanked" over.  The headlights are different too, with two lights side-by-side rather than one above the other.

Note that the RA is presently sitting on temporary dummy inner bogies (3D-printed in blue) fitted with 12 mm diameter wheels rather than the intended 14 mm diameter, while awaiting delivery of drive bogies from Hollywood Foundry.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Starting Construction of my Pemberton Layout

After getting back into modeling several years ago after a rather long break, I have spent several years contemplating a plan for a model railway to capture the atmosphere of the Pemberton railway yard, the mill and some of the bridges of the Pemberton line. Struggling to work out how i would fit these aspects into a room of the house i have been renting in that time and deciding which room would be best has led to a slow start, but after much research into the layout of the yard, the mill and the surrounds, I have finally made a start. My initial plans seemed good on paper until i realised the curves i had drawn where too tight to achieve and whilst the revised plan is still developing I finally began construction of the first sections of the layout earlier this year.

My starting point has been the Pemberton yard itself, with an aim that the centre section of the layout would be as close to scale as possible and would include the station, goods shed and loading dock, whilst the rest would be a compromise in order to meet the limitations of the room.

The following blog will follow the construction of the layout as it progresses:

Monday, July 14, 2014

AVL 314 Buffet Lounge Car

In 1958, the WAGR converted Dining Car AV 314 into a Buffet Lounge car for use on the Westland.
 It retained all of its external AV dining car features, but lost its crown light windows and was reclassified “AVL”, entering service that year in the larch green livery.

In 1962 as part of the carriage refurbishment program, AVL 314 was further modified to improve its facilities. The end platforms were closed in, though it did retain its tongue and groove side timbers and the old dining car kitchen was completely rebuilt for buffet use. It was fitted with Bradford-Kendall “Commonwealth” ride control bogies, Evaporative Air –Conditioning (possibly a first for the WAGR) and could seat 21 passengers. The new larch green and cream livery was applied and it returned to service in March, 1962.
With the WAGR takeover of the Midland Railway Co. in 1964, AVL 314 was one of four cars to be chosen to become part of the consist for the new “Midlander” service to run between Perth and Geraldton and was repainted into a special Red and Ivory livery. The Midlander only operated on weekdays and so on weekends AVL 314 and the other Midlander cars were used to form the “Albany Weekender” consist.

One passenger said of the AVL on the Midlander
“In June 1966 we travelled to Geraldton in a first class sleeper and after leaving Midland we made our way down to AVL 314 to have an evening meal sitting at the rotating bar stools that were located at the buffet counter. This was my first dining experience on a train and as a ten year old I was over the moon. Even though it was a Wednesday evening the train was quite busy and the conductor assisted the buffet attendant for a time. As more people arrived for meals the conductor offered to serve our tea and coffee in the lounge section in order for the buffet counter to be used by other customers. We returned on The Midlander the next week and because we were only travelling as first class sit up passengers we were offered seats in the Lounge section of AVL 314 where we also enjoyed a breakfast. 
As well as the evaporative cooling the car was also fitted with Commonwealth ride control bogies which gave an ultra smooth ride.  It was a truly memorable experience.  In fact all of the buffet cars of the WAGR had very high standards of appointments all with a certain individual style. Quite an achievement really due to what was really a very small passenger operation”.

In December 1967, due to the mismatch of liveries when interchanging or adding booster cars to the consists, the lounge car, along with the other Midlander cars, was returned to the green and cream livery, and it then continued to run on the Midlander and Albany Weekender services until the demise of those trains.
AVL 314 was written off in December 1975 and was stored at the Midland workshops till September 1976 when it was painted yellow and re-issued to traffic as a workmans van as part of the breakdown train where it remained until being leased by the ARHS in 1988, arriving at the museum in June for restoration.
Currently AVL 314 has seen some restoration take place and can be found at the ARHS museum, in the back roads, somewhat unloved and incomplete – far from its former glory when it could be found working on three of the WAGR’s named trains.

Information sourced from “A History of WAGR Passengers Carriages” by A. May and B. Gray

AVL 314 - The Model

The model of the AVL came to be during the first half of 2014 whilst our group was constructing the layout "Mogumber Bridge" for this years annual Model Railway Show. The layout being based on the Midland Railway Co. line during the 1960's period was to be operated with MR rolling stock for the Saturday and then WAGR stock on the Sunday & Monday. As group we mostly had sufficient equipment to cover our operating needs but during discussions on this matter it was realised that to operate a WAGR "Midlander" -the main WAGR passenger service - the only car in the basic consist that we did not have was the Buffet Car AVL 314.  

Without too much thought, I suggested "Why not build one" ! 

Being only 3 months out from the show weekend, this suggestion was met with some doubt about the possibility of achieving a completed model in such a short time. After going home and doing a bit of research I decided that I would have a go at it.  As the AVL was originally an AV dining car I figured that I could use the pre-existing AV sides and floor from a Railwest kit and with a bit of Kit Bashing, it would be possible to produce the model AVL we required to make up our "Midlander" at the show. After discussing my thoughts with Graham of Railwest it was agreed that I could have a set of their AV parts I required if I could make it happen before the June long weekend Show.

Here below is the where the project started with two AV dining car sides.
 After a visit to the museum to measure up and photograph the real carriage, I set about the modifications to the sides which would involve shifting a window from the kitchen side to the corridor side, building new end sections with vestibule doors and toilet compartments and paneling across the top row of windows and adding detail. Here below is the modified car sides ready to be moulded in rubber. You can see that essentially the window pattern is still the same but the car is much changed at its ends.
  Once the car sides were finished, new end and internal walls were built and after moulding and casting parts, I commenced actual construction of the prototype model of the AVL.
On the 30th of April, just 7 weeks after the discussion of producing a model took place, AVL 314 made its maiden voyage on the Mogumber Bridge layout during a trial setting up of the layout hauled by X1023.

Some innovations have been built into the AVL kit that I have not previously had with my earlier carriage kits.The windows have recesses cast behind the window for fitting of glazing, The ends of the cars have the buffer beam added so that the floor will sit between all of the walls of the car and the floor itself has had all of the tanks, battery boxes and vacuum cylinders added to enable it to all be cast in as one piece to make it easier for the modeler as well as to give a much stronger/rigid floor casting. New detail parts also had to be made such as the large kitchen vents and circular vents as well as using 3d detail decals for louvres.

The AVL was certainly not a car I had considered making a model of but after researching and planning for the model I have come to appreciate what a versatile carriage it was when it was in service for the WAGR.  
As such I had not really planned to build this particular model but as one was needed for completion of a consist for the show, I feel the project has been a worthy challenge which has added another passenger car model to compliment those kits I already produce. The AVL kit is now available 

Friday, June 13, 2014

The WAGR and Being Mellow Yellow.... (Updated)

Most modellers of the Western Australian Government Railways know that the yellow livery was introduced by the WAGR for its standard gauge rolling stock commencing in 1965 but most also believe that yellow was introduced for its narrow gauge wagons with the Westrail era of 1975, this however is far from the truth. So for a bit of clarity, Golden Yellow livery for the narrow gauge stock predated the Westrail era by four and a half years and here is its story.

Y1114 and train crossing Bindiup Creek with a newly painted Golden Yellow GE amongst the consist.
The locomotive, GE wagon and bridge were built by Gavin Stallard,
The Bindiup layout was Built and Owned by Graham Watson.  
The yellow livery started as noted earlier with the introduction of the standard gauge rollingstock, they were bright, clean and easier to see compared to the earthy brown livery used on the narrow gauge system. The earliest correspondence I found was a letter from the convention of Apex clubs held in Kojonup in 1967 to the Minister of Railways recommending that the current livery be changed to yellow and that yellow tarpaulins also be introduced to replace the green canvas type. The railways were at this time trialling yellow PVC tarpaulins so they were moving this way anyway but the change of livery was rejected. It was seen that the red livery (Red Oxide) was very serviceable and that the yellow would not stand up as well to the elements as it was not lead based.

Yellow was seen on the narrow gauge between 1967 and 1969 with the temporary running of standard gauge covered vans (VWV) on narrow gauge bogies however yellow was only adopted for the standard gauge at this time.   
In February 1970, the subject of a uniform colour was once again put on the table, as a result of this the Commissioner for Railways asked for a comparison in price between applying the current Red Oxide and the Golden Yellow paint to the fleet. By June 1970 the figures were in and it showed that the cost to paint a wagon yellow would be double to that of a red wagon resulting in a difference of $11,800 per year based on 2000 four wheel wagons (bogie wagons were classed as two four wheel wagons) being painted per annum. It was also considered that all standard gauge wagons be painted red as a cost saving exercise.
By the end of July, 1970 the Commissioner requested further information to enable a decision on the introduction of yellow for the NG fleet, this included extended weather exposure tests be conducted. The cost difference did not deter the Commissioner as it as seen that the SG fleet was already being maintained in this livery. The advantages he saw was the safety aspect as the yellow tarpaulins were receiving positive feedback and that it would be seen as improving the WAGR's image.
The Minister for Railways in September 1970 advised that all rollingstock was to adopt Golden Yellow as the standard livery, this however was not communicated to the Foreman Painter until November 1970. A short trial was conducted (number of wagons unknown), with full implementation commencing in March 1971.

Yellow Wagons Start to Make an Appearance
TA class, East Perth Terminal, on goods train from Subiaco.
D.Beazley, Photo 1971
Rail Heritage T2038
New Red Oxide wagons however continued with the HE class, these were being converted in Claremont yard from CXA sheep wagons. It was found that the contract was already in place and the Red Oxide paint procured by the contractor, these wagons were issued in 1971 and would be the last in the red livery apart from explosives and poison vans.
Not all classes of wagons would see a coat of yellow paint, the likes of fuel tankers, freezer vans and some others would retain their individual liveries.

It was originally planned to paint 1500 to 2000 four wheel wagons per annum. Based on a fleet size of 15,322 it would take between 7-1/2 and 10 years to complete. We however know that some wagons remained in their red livery a lot longer than this.

Steam locomotive operations had not ceased when yellow was fully implemented to the narrow gauge fleet (VWV wagons excluded) in March 1971. The WAGR was fully dieselized from Monday, 26 July 1971 but it only lasted one day in Collie, V1206, V1217 & S549 would continue to work out of this depot until November for the V's and December for the S class. A photo taken by Nick Pusenjak in published in the December 1991 edition of the Westland magazine shows X1023 and S549 hauling DC wagons at Bowelling in October 1971 of which two of the six wagons in the photo are yellow.

The brand name of Westrail was adopted by the WAGR in September 1975. The freight stock retained the yellow livery however the Westrail tooth symbol and name was an addition to their sides.
So from a modelling perspective, if you base your modelling from 1971 onwards there is a good chance that a yellow wagon should be in the train consist, obviously the later into the 70's you go the higher the amount of yellow wagons make up the fleet size. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mogumber Bridge at the 2014 AMRA (WA) Exhibition

The Australian Model Railway Association (WA) held the 2014 Model Railway Exhibition at the Claremont Showgrounds on the June long weekend.  Word has it that 17 000 visitors had the opportunity to see the many layouts and stands featured at the exhibition. Once again the S scale group was well represented with another new layout. This Year it was Mogumber Bridge on the MR line which still runs from Midland near Perth to Geraldton. The layout was constructed over twelve weeks from February to May of this year. Here are some some early photos of the Mogumber Bridge layout, entirely un-edited and un-expurgated.

On the Saturday the layout represented the period immediately prior to the 1964 takeover of the MRWA by the WAGR. There were A class steam locomotives and F class diesels hauling goods and passenger trains as they would have done in 1957-8. On Sunday the the layout incorporated vehicles from the later 1960's such as X class locomotives and an F class diesel in WAGR green livery. On the final day (Monday) we ran a range of locomotives and vehicles representing the period prior to the 1975 introduction of the newer, yellow livery of Westrail.

A feature of the layout was the fine model of the timber trestle bridge located a few hundred metres north of the present hamlet of Mogumber.  Mogumber itself has always boasted a railway yard and wheatbin and at one time a passing loop and station building. I am sure there will be more photos placed on the blog by members as the year progresses.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Two new 3D-printed models at the Exhibition

Marbelup Models unveiled two brand new 3D-printed models at the 2014 Model Railway Exhibition, neither of which have been modelled before, as far as I know.

The QMC car wagons were converted in 1963 from the earlier QMB wagons.  The WMB's were used to carry car bodies only, which were fully assembled in local (WA) factories, whereas the QMC's and later QMD's carried complete cars.  Photos indicate that the wagons were mainly used between Kalgoorlie and Perth and were often included on the Westland passenger train as well as freight trains.  These narrow gauge car wagons were made redundant after the standard gauge trains started running right through to Perth, and some were converted to QMG long, bulkhead flat wagons between 1970 and 1973.

The steel-sided RB open wagons were built between 1930 and 1937, with a total of 177 being built.  Some RB's lasted until 1971 in their original form.  Others were converted, quite early on, to class RBW by the addition of wooden hungry boards to increase the capacity for carrying wheat.  The RBW version survived until 1990.  Marbelup Models intends to produce the RBW version in the future.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The MRWA FA Guard's Van

The FA Class Guard's van

The MRWA had  thirteen or fourteen Guard's vans during the life of the railway between 1894 and 1964. Some but not all were taken into WAGR ownership after 1964. Andy May's Railway Page explains the long and complicated history of these vans in great detail.

The simple kit produced by X-class models replicates the vans which were re-built by the Company in the 1950s. These rebuilt vans were numbered 61-68. FA 61-64 had truss rods and full-length running boards. FA 65-68 had angle iron trusses and shorter running boards or steps below the doors.

The first of the following photos shows a kit assembled by Greg Aitken of a very nice example of FA 61 which shows the truss rods and full length running boards as per FA61-64.

The second photo shows an assembled kit of an example of FA 67 which had angle Iron trusses and steps below the doors.

The third photo of the prototype of FA 67 kindly supplied by Joe Moir does not show the trusses but is handy to get some idea of the roof detail and curvature and the paint colour of the vans. It also shows that the roof colour is the same as the colour of the body, unlike WAGR practice which was to paint the canvas roofs a stone colour at least in the corresponding period. The MR vans were painted a chocolate brown for which Humbrol #113 provides a reasonable colour match.

Interestingly the next photo shows that the MRWA were by no means consistent in their use of the colours they used on their guard's vans. This valuable photo also shows the flatter roofs of the un-re-built vans and the oval end of train disk used by the MR compared with the round disk used on the end of WAGR trains. As an aside, looking at the paint colours of the building behind the van with the disk, it shows that the Company's painters were not averse to using the paints that they used on their wagons and vans on the buildings in the yard at Midland. (Photo courtesy of  Rail Heritage WA)

Finally it needs to be said that a number of the MRWA guard's vans survived in WAGR ownership for a number of years and so they would not be out of place at the end of a model of a WAGR train post 1964 though the vehicle numbers would have been altered to have a 40 in front of the them. For example FA 64 became Z 40816 and was not written off until 1977 albeit in yellow livery and without the angled tongue and groove sides.  Once again, Andy May gives a very good explanation of this in his excellent website. Very nice number plates for FA 61-68 are available in waterslide decal form from Westland Models, through the AMRA WA Sn31/2 Special Interest Group.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

VDR Refrigerator Van

 Here are some photos of the VDR refrigerator van produced by 3D printing by Marbelup Models.

The 3D drawing was modified from that for the VD van, although the modifications were quite extensive as the roof of the VDR was raised to provide extra height inside the refrigerated compartment, presumably to allow for the thickness of the insulation material.  

The bodywork for the refrigerator compartment was based on the somewhat derelict WVD van at the ARHS museum at Bassendean, although the WVD is slightly different in that the refrigeration equipment was mounted underneath the van rather than in the centre compartment of the VD.  Little information was available on the appearance of the refrigeration equipment on the WVD, hence the choice of VDR for the model, as well as the lack of evidence that the WVD's carried the attractive advertising livery.

Some of the VDRs had a single door each side to the refrigerated compartment and Marbelup Models would consider producing the single door version if there is sufficient demand.

The main decals were done by Westland Models and are available from them should you wish to have a VDR for yourself.  Some of the tiny decals for load, tare, etc. were done at home on a laser printer using laser decal paper from local hobby shop.  The laser printed decals sprayed with a Testors Decal Bonder which made them easier to apply as the laser decal film is extremely thin and fragile.  I understand Westland Models will be including the smaller decals in their VDR sheet for future orders.

Prior to decalling, the model was airbrushed with Revell gloss white enamel, and Revell matt varnish used as a clear protective coat over the decals.  The underframe is Revel No. 9 "Anthracite".  The bogies are American Models Bettendorf style, with 3D-printed bolsters to convert them to narrow gauge.

The 3D-printed body of the VDR is printed in one piece, and printed upside down to obtain the optimum definition for the louvred sections.  Some cleanup is required to roof as there is visible stepping and also remnant of the support structure from the 3D printing process.  The lack of other detail on the roof makes the cleanup pretty easy.  The exhaust pipe from the refigeration unit is vulnerable to damage while cleaning up the roof, so there is a spare printed on the underframe in case if gets broken (which it did on the test model).  All the the details visible are included in the 3D printed body, apart from handrails and the brake pulls rods and their supports, which must be fabricated from brass wire and strip.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

W-Irons for 4-wheel Wagons

Have you ever wondered why the W-irons on model 4-wheels wagons never end up quite right?  They always seem to have to be bent in or out to make the wheels fit properly.

It turns out there is a "standard" for W-irons and bearings documented in the UK around 1982, but most of the manufacturers don't seem to adhere to the standard.

According to the CLAG Website the UK "standard" for W-irons and bearings is based on:

26 mm axles (also NMRA standard)
24 mm width inside W-irons
1 mm deep holes in bearings.

UK "standard" measurements (from CLAG website)
Using the above measurements, everything should fit together nicely and the W-irons should be vertical and not need to be bent in or out to suit the axles.

The readily available W-irons from Railwest are available in 2 styles:

"Closed" and "Open" W-irons by D&S (UK)

The "Open" W-irons (labelled "DS520") are 24 mm inside when folded.

The "Closed" W-irons (also by D&S but not branded) are 23.3 mm inside when folded.

At various times, Railwest has also supplied two different styles of brass bearings.  The depth of the conical holes in the different types is approx. 1.15 mm deep vs.1.36 mm deep (averaged over measurements of 5 bearings of each type).

The CLAG website specifically mentions Markits bearings as being "different" with a depth of 1.375 mm - so the deeper bearings probably are genuine Markits ones.  The shallower bearings are most likely from North Yard in New Zealand.  (Railwest has advised that they will mostly selling the Markits bearings in the future.)

The various combinations possible between the W-irons and bearings are as follows:

DS Closed W-irons, North Yard (shallow) bearings: 25.6 mm between pinpoints
DS Closed W-irons, Markits (deep) bearings: 26.0 mm between pinpoints
DS Open W-irons, North Yard (shallow) bearings:  26.3 mm between pinpoints
DS Open W-irons, Markits (deep) bearings:  26.7 mm between pinpoints


Despite neither conforming to the supposed UK "standard" the combination of DS Closed W-irons and Markits bearings perfectly suits 26 mm axles and the W-irons end up being nicely vertical.

The only downside is that, due to the deeper bearings, the W-irons have to be sprung out further to insert the wheelset.  (This issue can be alleviated by grinding or filing a groove in the bearing as explained in the CLAG website.  The groove need only be in the bottom half of the bearing.)

The combination of open W-irons and North Yard bearings sort of works provided the W-irons are bent in a bit, and the closed W-irons with the North Yard bearings sort of works but the W-irons have to be bent out a bit.

The combination of open W-irons and Markits bearings is not recommended as the W-irons would have to be bent in quite a bit to suit a 26 mm axles.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Recent 3D Printed Models

For those not at recent S scale nights at AMRA, here are some photos of my latest 3D-printed models.

VD Bogie Louvred Van (painting not finished yet)
Interestingly, the original VD vans were built in Enghiem in Belgium, which is only about 60 km from the i.Materialise factory in Leuven where the 3D printed version was made.

SXT Bogie Sheep Wagon
WAGR Water Column (assembled and painted by Doug Firth)

Friday, February 7, 2014

3D Printers Available from Officeworks

Exciting News is that Officeworks are now selling 3D Printers, yes the revolution is coming, and first order of business is getting down to the East Vic Park or Joondalup stores which apparently are the only ones stocking them.

So $1500 bucks later I am the proud owner of his very first 3D printer I have wasted no time printing things off, some good results and some iffy results but very happy.

I first tried my GC wagon unmodified from what I sent to Shapeways and i.Materialise which while it printed very well it was full of very tough support material which I am struggling to get out of the center, I'm sure it will make a good gravel wagon.

Next to try was my drawing of the AI coach I have been working on a while.

Both in the Lime Green PLA and white ABS materials that this printer uses:

Quality is great for this little coach, which while it wont match the Prime gray from iMaterialise, the look and feel is superior to the WSF (SLS) from Shapeways.

Cost for this coach I estimate to print is about $3, which is pretty good seen as 3DSystems whom sell the printer use a razor blade system to sell these printers (like ink jet printers the cartridges are over priced and you have to use their printer cartridges) but I am working on a work around to maybe print with cheaper generic ABS plastic.

Overall looks like printing the coach sides and glueing the sides together works best for this method, the great thing is that "Plastruct Plastic Weld" is able to glue ABS and styrene together so works great with these parts making seemless welds.

This is probably a great option for making masters for coach sides for casting, but at this price for a small coach which when I finish with the drawing will be complete minus couplers W irons wheels and grab handles and a roof (printed roof doesnt look great, though going to try printing on its side) it could do it just about as cheap as a cast urethane kit... just kidding!