Available now is a new wheel fitting jig for assembling wagon and coach wheels on pinpoint axles, see the full details in the Useful Bits section.
With printing the smaller Alco parts, Bagnall cylinders and the various Ruston parts and WD bogies, my Photon printer was in use for 16 hours a day, which is probably not good for it and I had no backup plan if it broke down. Unlike most machinery where you can get away with doing large jobs on a small machine and vice versa, you can't do that with resin printers. A small print in a big printer will fail more often than not as the forces on the print when the film separates from it will pull it apart. Therefor I bought another small printer and spent a weekend modifying it and hooking it up to my home made extraction system. For those that know the Photon printers, my first was an original with the blue windows and not too clever UV light array, the second is the same thing as released later with yellow windows.
The reason I didn't get the later S version is that the main improvements were a more stable Z axis and a better UV array, the down side was a much poorer build quality and a very flimsy casing. To use the earlier version to its best, adjust the Z axis rollers correctly, few do as its a bit of a job to get to, and don't use the last 10mm at either end of the build area as that bit gets a poor UV exposure and can ruin the whole print. There is now a smaller and much cheaper Photon Zero that interested me for a while until I spotted that the screen was not 2K and gave much poorer resolution, a shame really as it has a one piece removable top cover that would be much more convenient than the doors on the other models.
A friend has been after a 48DL for some time now and despite 3 attempts to buy a Wrightlines one he is still without one, so I thought I could print one to fit on my larger diesel chassis.
4 bases with 16.5mm atthe back
40/48DL slope sided bonnet and cab
40/48DL YC engine bonnet and cab
Early cab with long and short bonnets
4 and 2 slot couplers
I started with the 1943 48DL as requested but found there were 2 different bonnets, slope sided and the angled one for the YC engine, so I did both with their matching cabs. I then found out that the one he was lusting after was actually a 1946 40DL, exactly the same but with a shorter bonnet as the engine was smaller, no problem, just chop off 3mm and use the 48DL parts.
I then realised that the base on the earlier versions was the same as the later but with earlier axleboxes so I drew those and started on the earlier bodywork. The 36/42 and 44/48 from the mid 30s were again the same on the outside but the 33/40 had a shorter bonnet but at least all 3 used the same cab.
I originally drew the base with couplers attached but had distortion problems during printing, the solution was to remove the couplers and print them separately so I added 2 and 4 slot couplers to the list of parts. The bare chassis ends had Kadee slots cut in them for users of these but those wanting Ruston couplers just glue the printed ones on the ends to hide the slots.
All parts have attachment points that need to be cleaned off with files or abrasive paper, on the cabs and bonnets they are mostly inside so very little needs to be done, on the bases I had to print them upside down so the attachment points are on the top but as its mostly flat it can be filed easily. Almost all of the top is either in the cab or bonnet so very little actually shows on the finished model. Assembly of the printed parts is with super glue and a few bits of ire will be required to make handles and levers. Some mesh will be supplied for radiator grills.
The base is too narrow for 16.5mm so 2 types had to be made, the bare base for gauges of 14mm or less and the one with the side extenders for 16.5mm, just as Ruston planned. The chassis is built as it comes with no changes and just slots in from below. It comes with a flywheel and drives both axles, the gearing is around 33:1. It is easy to build and can be done with glue, although soldering the wiring and bushes might be a good idea.
These are available now at £80 for any variant and I can offer the chassis built for an extra £40
I will be adding the 20 and 30 DL and the 18/2, 16/20, 22/28 and 25/30 at a later date but new bases are required for these.
Below are some pictures of the various types, none are actually glued together, the parts are just balanced in place. Top left is a slope sided 48DL and below that is a YC engined 40DL. Top right is a 33/40 and below it a 44/48 or 36/42. At the bottom are pictures of the chassis under and next to a base, in both pictures the left one is 14mm and the right is 16.5mm.
I have shipped about 8 so far and will be sending more in the next few days. As I have ordered parts for 40 there will be enough to last a while. The WD ones are available immediately but the Mountaineers will be delayed a few days due to a printer malfunction, I have no idea what the problem was, the printer had no idea either but it seems to have got over it and is printing happily now.
03-12-2020 Around 18 have been sent out with at least 2 waiting for other bits before posting. As I ordered 40 of everything there are still 20 or so left and the printer is behaving itself after I gave it a good talking to. If anyone wants the printed parts in a different scale I can do that easily, I have already sold 2 sets in 1/32nd scale.
Full details on the Loco and chassis kits page.
I must apologise to all who have bought the Mountaineer version of the Alco, it seems I got the boiler completely wrong as I based it on the WD one. It seems that early Mountaineer had the WD boiler until it was replaced with a larger one in 1982. The boiler/tank assembly also doesn't like being posted and several have arrived damaged and with warped parts. Therefore the bodywork will be having a remake over the next few weeks, the smokebox will be removed from the boiler for printing separately which will cure the base that prints poorly, the tanks will have the supports attached to them and will plug into the boiler for assembly by the customer, this will be more accurate and solve the warping and posting problems. Mountaineer will have a new boiler in the same fashion but this will take a few weeks as the parts have to be drawn, test printed, modified and retested as I don't want this happening again. The WD versions are fine as they are but will also get a few tweaks in the process, particularly to the tank mountings.
I will be replacing any parts required when they are available and emailing those that bought Mountaineer as that is affected most. I am really sorry about this as its the first real glitch I have had with a kit and it will be put right at my cost. The main reason behind it is that the kit was delayed with etch problems for a long time and the bodywork drawings were done 9 months ago. So much time and effort was put into sorting out the chassis that the bodywork didn't get the attention it needed. My fault entirely.
Since I know who has bought the kits, you don't need to call me until I announce here that the new parts are ready, and I will probably be calling you first to say they are on the way.
I have replacement body parts available for the WD Alco, some have gone ahead with the old parts but anyone who wants them can email and I will send a set. The Mountaineer version is still under review and may be some time.
I was asked by 2 Indian gentlemen for a chassis to fit an Indian Ry NDM6, a bit like our BR O8 shunter but with 4 wheels. This was to be in OO9 which I don't do often and my printed plastic ones cannot do below 12mm gauge as I can't get the gears in, too narrow. The solution was an etched chassis which I made as universal as possible.
It can be built to all gauges from 9 to 16.5mm (and wider if you ask for longer axles) and in wheelbases from 17 to 30mm. It comes complete with wheels, motor and double gearing around 33:1, wheels can be 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 12 or 14mm and the motor can be an M15 (8 x 15), N20 (10 x 15) or N30 (10 x 20), a flywheel is provided where possible. This will suit anything from OO9 to O gauge, the frames are 64mm long but can be shortened prior to assembly if required.
The pair in the pictures were built from the test etches for the 2 NDM6 owners and are 9mm gauge, 18.5mm wheelbase with 8.5mm wheels. The 2 strips with holes are optional mounting plates, they are wider but these have been cut down. This is a simple kit with only 9 etched parts to solder.
These chassis come as 6 on the etch and all 6 were built for various people. One was assembled in a cut down fashion to fit a Shapeways Ruston for 9mm gauge and turned out really good, I think this chassis will find far more uses than I expected.
These are now available from stock at £50.00 as from 20-09-2020 and they are really easy to build so I will do RTR ones at £90.00, your choice of gauge, wheelbase, wheels and motor.
A solution at last for the water pick up hoses that were draped on various parts of WD locos. Its 12 cm long and 1.5 mm thick and made from solder with a can on one end and a flange on the other. The hose part is textured by rolling to look more like a reinforced canvas hose.
Now available at £3.00 each
If anyone wants a different length, I can make them to order.
I am considering having a range of small wheels made, probably steel tyred with plastic centers, the trouble is that the set up cost is high and I don't know what is required. These would be suitable for 7mm ng, OO and HO, O-9 and any scale/gauge that can use RP25 code 110 wheels, about the same as current Hornby/Bachmann.
I think I will stick to the sizes I already do, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12mm with spokes of one kind or another. The options would be 6, 7 or 8 spokes either plain, split, curly or T shaped. Without doing a vast amount of research I don't know what would be popular so if you have a particular need, email with details including where it was used and I will add it to the possibility list.
Mold making for spoked wheels is very expensive in the UK, £1000 to £1500 per type, although using the same tyre for a different center is a lot cheaper as the middle part of the mold is about 20% of the cost. I am hoping that the Chinese manufacturers I use might be more reasonable on cost but I need to send drawings of requirements to get a price. I am open to suggestions.
There is a UK manufacturer who made some molds for 7mm ng wheels that were paid for but never went into production, I will be discussing these with him as I don't want to duplicate anything already existing, even if none were ever made.
A replacement chassis for this has been an intention for a while so I borrowed a body kit from Robin Edwards to see what could be done. I hoped to use the cranks and rods supplied in the kit with a newly acquired L shape geared motor. As you can see from the pictures it worked but there were issues, aren't there always.
The body kit is designed with a 30mm wb, the Tenshodo that used to be used was 31mm wb, which caused some fun and games during assembly. The rods on this kit were 30 and 31mm wb, one of each due to casting tolerances, on top of that the holes are slots. I printed the chassis with a 30mm wb to fit the body and manually filed the slotted rod ends to suit and soldered in some fine tube. The same tube was used as retainers to hold the rods in place. The cranks were drilled out to 2mm and fitted with threadlock, the quartering was done by eye. Amazingly it worked first time and is powerful with good slow speed performance, which is all that is needed on a De Winton.
Above are 2 views of the test chassis using the cranks and rods from the kit, the copper strip around the top of the boiler is a 1.5mm wire ring soldered on and filed flat. This raises the top for motor clearance without moving any of the boiler mounting points.
The gearbox is around 80:1 ratio in 4 stages, the motor is a K20 but 7.5v and requires a ballast resistor. The center of the boiler base needs removing to fit the motor through. The kit uses a tube through the boiler that fits into a central holder at the base to represent the chimney, as the motor is in the way, the chimney tube will need shortening to be just the visible part above the boiler.
As I work from home, the Corona virus outbreak has not affected me or my business much so far, other than running short on toilet rolls and having to queue in the car park to get into a supermarket. Petrol is very cheap now, a shame I have no shows to go to to use some. I am having to ration my stock of Belgian beer as I won't be able to get there to restock any time soon, 3 bottles a week is just not enough.
I have all my kits and bits in stock and can still get routine parts from suppliers. Unfortunately the etcher I use has closed for the duration and the caster probably will soon. This means no etches or castings for the Alco or the new 0-4-0 chassis kits so they will have to wait until the world gets on top of the virus. My 3D printed chassis are the most popular item at the moment and fortunately I can still post them when they are ready.
I am not offering any reassurance to anyone as I'm sure you have all been reassured by everyone from your bank to the corner shop down the road, I certainly have. Be safe, stay indoors and don't mingle with anyone but those in your home and things might get back to near normal in a few months. A friend has a vulnerable Mother who she loves dearly but now cannot visit, the solution is to visit from the garden with tea and conversation through an open window. There's always a way if you look for it.
Best wishes to all - Mark, from a very depressing Medway Towns that looks like the opening sequence of a Zombie Outbreak movie.
This is a 14mm version and due to the tight clearances the chassis and gearbox uses common bushes, gauges less than 14mm are not possible. The 16.5mm version will use separate bushes. Wheels are my 10.5mm disc type with simple wiper pick ups.
I can make these to order but RTR only and the buyer will need to sort out the cranks and rods. At a later date I can draw rods, cranks and a crank setting jig to assemble it all but not until after the lock down as the etchers are closed for the duration. The chassis would be supplied now as you see above, with extended axles but no rods or cranks at a price of £50.00. When I do an improved version with rods etc the price would be around £85.00 assembled.
This was seen trundling around at Tracks to the Trenches last year. Henrik Laurel kindly drew the body in 3D for printing and it comes out fine on my Photon.
Now available as RTR in primer with one of the power bogies shown below, any gauge from 16.5 down to 12mm.
See Loco and Chassis Kits for details.
This loco is owned by Peter Smith who keeps it at Amberley who stopped by at EXPO to photograph the model. We discussed the permutations of voltages and amps in a 102 year old electric motor, apparently a mobility scooter motor would do the job in a tenth the space on a tenth of the power.
I built these when I was making something to fit under a friend's 4mm tram, the left one is 14mm and the right is 16.5mm, both are 26mm wheelbase. I built two because I wasn't listening when he told me the gauge and I built 16,5mm when he wanted 14mm so had to build a second one.
The motor is a 12v N20 (10/15) with my 13:1 gears at both ends and 9.5mm wheels. It runs fine but a bit fast, similar to a Tenshodo. There was no room to get a 2 stage gearbox in which was why I tried direct gearing rather than my usual O ring drive. If you look carefully you can see that the left one has a reduced width to fit the 14mm gauge wheels but is full width around the motor.
This is a good unit when space is limited and I can draw the chassis to any shape required, with wheelbases from 26mm upwards in gauges 12mm or wider. I can do 24mm wb but only in 16.5mm or wider as the wheels would clash with the motor. The main advantage of these over a Tenshodo is that they use brass axle bushes and metal gears so no undue wear or gear splitting.
These will be cheaper than the 2 stage type and are a lot easier to put together, a kit is £35 and RTR £50, if its a new drawing I will have to build the first and it would be RTR only but later examples can be kits. Wheels can be 8.5, 9.5 or 10.5mm but I wouldn't recommend 12 or 14mm wheels as it would go like a rocket and be under powered.
These will be added to the general sales list as I make them for specific prototypes. I am also working on a range of direct Tenshodo replacements, the same size and shape but slower and with metal gears and axle bushes.
Two all new items for kit and scratch builders, roller bearing hornblocks and bracket bearings. They assemble from a folding etch with a 2mm bore ball race which is held in tiny fingers and araldited in place. The left one in each picture is the bracket bearing, suitable for motorised accessories or any loco with a motor mounted remotely from the gearbox and needing a bearing. The size is 11 x 6mm and depth 2.4mm, the holes are 1.2mm spaced at 8mm. The hornblocks are on the right and fit straight into standard 6mm frame cutouts, a guide is supplied for either functional or cosmetic use. There is a fold up tag to set the height in the frame cutout and/or limit the travel as may be required. Both use 5 x 2mm double shielded ball races with a 2mm bore and have vastly less friction than a similar sized bush with no need to lubricate ever.
When fitting, the axle must be a push fit through the bearings and is locked in place with a tiny spot of bearing lock when positioned. If the axle is a bit tight, it can be eased by spinning in a drill or lathe and fine abrasive paper used to reduce the diameter a fraction. I an now fitting these ball races in my motor bogies as standard and they greatly improve performance.
Supplied in pairs of either type at £4.00 for 2mm axles only and yes I can supply spare bearings if needed.
I have recently had some failures of the small motors used in my Universal Power Bogie, this motor is a Chinese 11/8 can motor. I have sold well over 50 of these as kits and RTR and have had to replace 2 motors for customers and 3 for myself. A customer asked if the controller might be an issue so I ran his repaired chassis 6 times up and down my 6ft test track using my pulse width modulated controller, it ran well and got a bit warm. I then repeated it with my Gaugemaster type D and it didn't run as well and got quite hot.
I called Gaugemaster to discuss this and was told that all Gaugemasters are only half rectified and have no inbuilt power restrictions, this gives a raw output that small motors don't like, the larger ones can cope as they are a bigger heat sink but it will probably still shorten their life. When the motor gets hot, which it will do on half rectified power, it will keep getting hotter until it burns out and there are no power limiters to stop this. This was a bit of a surprise as I thought the problem was the Chinese motor suppliers lack of quality control when it looks like it was my Gaugemaster all the time.
Therefore I cannot recommend my smallest motors for use with Gaugemasters or any other half rectified controller. I have done some research and found that PWM controllers should heat motors more than plain rectified one but half rectified controllers heat them even more. Suitable controllers are any controller using full rectification which includes the Hornby R965, HM200, the Tech4 range, most H&Ms with the wave switch in the full position and any make of hand held unit so long as it is supplied from a fully rectified DC supply, not from AC as then the inbuilt half wave rectifier will take over.
Sorry for this but I have no say in how manufacturers design their controllers. If you have a controller that you are unsure about, ask the manufacturer, if it uses full rectification it will be fine, if its a hand held, use a fully rectified DC supply, if its an old one that's no longer made, ask others on forums, try Google or ask me.
This kit has been on hold for a while as the rush due to Covid 19 and the panic to get the Alco ready both took over. I have done absolutely nothing to it since early this year but I will be getting to it some time soon. The etches I have are good to go but they only cover the body and basic chassis, I needed to build this before I tackled the valve gear and that is the next stage, followed by the castings.
Now available in 5.5mm gauge for 16.5 mm track
I can now supply this in 1/32nd or 1/35th scales, that's the best bit of 3D printing, just scale it up or down and print.
It has been pointed out to me that my Barclay chassis which is 7mm or 1:43 scale will actually make quite a good chassis for an O&K tank loco or similar in 1:35 scale. Well, I didn't see that one coming but in 16.5mm form it certainly will. I will have to try it myself.
I bought an unknown vertical boiler loco body thought to be 1/35th scale on Ebay, it turned out to be a 7mm scale ETNA by Smallbrook Studios. Rather than use a Smokey Joe chassis, I printed one to fit and used my larger geared motor, 16mm spoked wheels and rods and cranks borrowed from one of my Pecketts. The result was surprisingly good, except that its more suited to 1/35th or 1/32nd scale. Its sort of an adaption of a De Winton but much bigger to fit the Hornby chassis.
If anyone has an Etna that they would like to use for whatever scale but need a better chassis, I can build these to order. You get Scalelink 16mm spokedwheels and around 140:1 gearing with an N20 motor. The drive is smooth and silent and very good at slow speeds. These are RTR only at £90.00 and take around 10 days to supply as I make the outside rods to order.
This is a print from Tom Bell of Teebee models from Shapeways for which I printed a chassis for 14mm. Its not wide enough for 16.5mm so can only be gauged from 14 to 12mm but I can make achassis for 10.5 or 9mm if required.
Cost in any gauge is £90 as the loco is fairly large and the print is around £36 on its own.
Paint not included.
These have finally arrived from China and they have surpassed my expectations.
The gears are so well cut that they need no running in and just work perfectly from first fitting. They are 0.4 module 13:1 ratio, the gear is small enough to use with 8.5mm wheels and the worm is actually 2mm longer than the ones in the picture, they were a test sample. Both have 2mm tight push fit bores to suit my power bogies where they will be standard fitting from now on.
The wheels are 10,5mm blackened steel but still conduct electricity, on turned plastic bushes with 2mm brass pin point, brass blind or steel blind axles. They are supplied loose so that I can choose the axle and they push on dead square every time, unlike some plastic centered wheels I have had to use lately. They are also perfectly concentric as they are CNC machined. I have these wheels in 12 and 14mm now at the same price.
The pulleys are much as my previous ones, no real changes there. The large one is bored 2mm and the small one 1mm, ratio around 2.8:1.
All these are available separately, a gear set £3.50, 2 pulleys with 2 O rings £2.50 and wheels £2.50 per axle.
The bottom picture shows the new wheels at the back, my previous ones in the middle and Gibsons at the front for comparison.
As I need a lot of these for kits etc, I had a batch of 10,000 made in China, I can supply standard 1/8th bushes, large 2mm bushes, same as the 1/8th ones but with a 2mm hole, standard 2mm bushes and extended 2mm bushes, same as standard but longer. I can supply these in any quantity 12 or above.
Found by chance while looking for something else on Chinese websites. It turns out to be the best iron I have ever owned, mine has been in use for over a year now and I still can't fault it.
Its 60Wand variable from 90 to 420 degrees with a temperature lock switch to avoid accidental adjustment, has the fastest warm up time I have ever seen, 0 to 360 degrees in around 20 seconds, It also does not loose temperature when soldering, even on a large piece with the biggest bit.
It comes with a sponge tip wiper, a brass shavings tip cleaner, a solder reel support (not shown), 5 assorted bits and has a sleep function that lowers the temperature after 10 minutes of inactivity. Extra spare bits are universal to most Chinese irons and come in packs of 11.
I have sold several now and highly recommend them. The irons come from a European warehouse so supplies are quick but the bits come from China and can take a month to arrive so I try to keep a few packs in stock.
The wholesaler has increased the price of the station by £3.00 so I have had to as well, sorry about that.
WEP Soldering Station £45.00, 11 bits £10.00
Soldering Station with 11 extra bits £53.00
I now keep replacement elements for this iron at £10.00 each.
They last a long time but I thought it best to keep a few in stock as they have to come from China and can take a few weeks to arrive.