Let it never be said I don’ t listen – Another S Scale Speeder Car Available

So to follow up on my post from the weekend, I’m rolling the dice to see if there is interest in a second type of 3D printed S Scale speeder car.  The Fairmont M14, another speeder in the collection of the Toronto Railway Museum that I have produced an HO Scale version of, has been converted to S Scale and Sn42 Narrow Gauge for my one customer (from and modelling all the way east in Newfoundland if memory serves!!).

No pictures, as I haven’t ordered them for myself yet, but I’ve made the adjustments I think are needed, and put them up for sale on my Shapeways Store at the links below the pictures.

Shapeways Renders of the S Scale standard gauge (left) and Sn42 Narrow Gauge (right) Fairmont M14 Speeder Cars.  The body details are the same other than some adjustments to get the body to fit the narrower wheels on the Sn42.

As I haven’t ordered them myself yet, I’m relying on this car having the same frame structure as the S2 Speeder to make sure the parts work and fit together when printed.

Hopefully the S Scale community finds these useful additions to their modelling.

Tuesday Train #113

10050026.JPGNight Moves at Carrog.

Ex-GWR 4575 Class Small Prairie No.5526 and Ex-GWR Dukedog No.9017 simmer in the platform tracks at Carrog on the Llangollen Railway as part of the 6880 Betton Grange Society’s 2009 “Steam Steel and Stars 2” Gala I attended.  This was part of a special night shoot session, with 9017 specially repainted into BR Black from GWR Green to represent her at the end of her working days while based in Wales.  Shot on Ilford Delta 100 Black and White Film.

Layout Design Elements – Getting Closer to Building Benchwork

As I am starting to get settled into the new home, and get the non-layout parts of the layout room sorted out, I’ve been turning my mind back to design and construction of the layout.  I am happy with my track plan that it has reached a point where It will be an interesting to operate layout, and that it ticks the boxes of the things I want.  I am also reasonably comfortable that I am not biting off more than I can chew so to speak in terms of construction or modelling.  I am also now moving onto important details I couldn’t address before living in the house, like locating the studs in the wall for anchoring the layout to, and seeing if mounting brackets to them will interfere with anything mounted under the benchwork, such as switch machines.  So far so good on that count, but still have some more work to do to be sure (I don’t fully trust the cheap stud finder I have, need to get a better one to make sure I am designing to anchor securely into the studs as much as possible vs. using wall anchors).

July 10 18 - Liberty Layout Plan.jpgTrack Plan as of July 10/2018 showing two four track traversers for staging at each end of the layout (with tail tracks to allow run arounds/storage). I’ve since discovered that in the closet, I can probably only have the front two tracks because of bracing for the shelf above the layout, but that’s ok.)

A critical element to the layout operating and working well, is the two staging yards.  I am planning on building sliding traversers at either end of the layout, and they are causing me headaches, probably equal amounts from my usual paralysis by analysis, but also by the need to come up with a reliable design, that can easily be built and mounted to the wall.  Effectively, I am building two drawers without sides, fronts or backs.  They will however, need to be well thought out to be mounted to the wall, and ensure that the sliding deck doesn’t bind on either end.

I’ve found an example online from an Australian modeller whose design I really like, and which with appropriate modifications can work for my layout.  I’ve been sketching in AutoCAD at work on a similar design for my layout, using full extension drawer sliders from Lee Valley for the motion.  My traversers will be 30″ wide by approximately 12″ deep, which is wide enough for what I want the maximum train length on the layout to be and to accommodate 4 tracks with generous spacing.

IMGP7187RawConvMeasuring train length for the layout. Locomotive, 3 x 40′ cars and a caboose as the maximum length for normal operations, means operators will have to go back and forth to get cars from either the Parkdale CPR yard or CNR’s yard at Exhibition (not sure what it was called, I haven’t found the name).

I am planning on starting layout construction in the closet, with the traverser that will represent the CPR Parkdale yard.  This is for a few reasons, key among them is the sooner I get construction done in the closet, the sooner I can sort out the storage beneath the layout in that area and, if things go horribly wrong with mounting or something else, the closet is kinda hidden from view. I figure start and learn in hiding, then move out into the light!!

Sometime in the next couple of weeks I am hoping to finalize a design for the traverser and its mounting in the closet.  While I don’t have to, I am leaning towards building the traverser with the same benchwork design as the main layout, a 1/2″ plywood base, with a 1/2″ foam layer, and the track mounted on cork roadbed above this.  I could dispense with the foam on the traverser, but I think overall construction will be easier if I am consistent all around the layout rather than trying to be too cute and design the traverser to need to be mounted at a different height from the rest of the benchwork to be aligned.  It also means I can design the traverser unit with a mount to fasten the plywood benchwork heading out into the sceniced part of the layout to hopefully have them align nicely.

We shall see, but design continues apace and my current goal of having some benchwork up in August and be laying track in September seems eminently doable at the moment.


Shapeways Sales Review – Who knows what will sell? It sure isn’t me.

The model railroad industry is a surprisingly competitive place, and it certainly isn’t a place where people go (at least not sane people) go to try to make money unless they have a lot of dedication or are crazy (see Exhibit A Jason Shron of Rapido Trains).  I’m a hobbyist, but one with some skills in 3D design, and whose dabbled in 3D printing for our hobby.  As part of this, I’ve been able to make some of the 3D printed bits and pieces I’ve done for my models available through my Shapeways Store.  I’ve sold a fair bit of stuff, but not nearly enough to make any kind of living or consider it to be a real business.  It’s a pleasing sideline to the things I need for myself to fund me buying things I design for myself.  I’m not treating it as a business, and have no plans too, but the emails when things are bought always amaze me and I’m constantly amazed at what sells.

imgp4766My Best Selling Item – A Sprue of HO Scale BBQ propane tanks. I’ve sold 39!!

My top three selling items are all HO Scale little details, the aforementioned sprue of BBQ gas tanks above, a block of 4 HO Scale lockers, then a residential BBQ.  Perfectly sensible small items that are all fairly cheap, and not readily available from commercial manufacturers.  This however, is where it gets weird.  My fourth best-selling item, is something I did initially as a “this would be nice for my friends layout”, a resizing of the HO Scale Canadian National Fairmont Speeder Car into S Scale.

The S Scale Fairmont S2 speeder on its own, and alongside its little HO Scale brother.

Not including the one I printed myself that was gifted to Trevor Marshall, I have now sold 22 of these!! I’ve only sold 18 in HO Scale in a much bigger pond than the S Scale universe.  The message here, is twofold, one, as Trevor keeps telling me, there is a pent-up demand in the S Scale universe for products, and two, even in S scale, something small ish like a speeder can be a profitable item at a reasonable price where its affordable enough to sell lots, but where I can have enough markup to actually make some money from it.

I’ve had a number of people as about the Fairmont M14 speeder I’ve done in HO in S Scale.  I am seriously considering looking at re-scaling it and doing it in S Scale, if there really is a market out there, I’d like to help those modellers, and I’m not going to complain about a few extra dollars in my pockets every month!

imgp6081rawconvFairmont M14 Speeder in HO Scale, aparently coming soon in S Scale based on market demand!

So, with that, S-Scalers, I still don’t do commissions or take on outside work, as my 3D modelling time is my lunch break at work, but if you see anything in the handful of small items or detail parts I offer in HO on Shapeways that you really think you must have or there is a market for, let me know in the comments.  That may be enough to push me over the top into adjusting the 3D model and offering it to you.

Tuesday Train #111

82780011So I Missed last week’s Tuesday train post, as I was busy with the house move and setting up our new home.  But I’m back and ready to go both working on projects and posting weekly railfanning posts.

Today’s shot is of a very tired looking Canadian National Railways 4-6-4 Tank Locomotive Number 47.  She is seen here in the dead line at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton Pennsylvania.  The locomotive was used for Montreal commuter services in her working life, but nowadays she is looking very tired in the yard in Scranton with the other unrestored locomotives and rolling stock which isn’t on display.