Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Aberdeen Station Building Fitted with Small Signs

I installed three small station signs on the Aberdeen Station building that was the subject of a recent post. The signs are mounted with a 1 mm peg on the rear of the sign. I used a 1.1 mm drill bit after using a scriber to make a small drill centre indent in the plastic brick cladding as a 1 mm hole was too tight.

These signs were white with black as a background to the white lettering. I achieved this by using black paint over the white then carefully scraping away any black paint that got onto the face of the lettering.



The signs are WAITING ROOM, STATION MASTER and PARCEL OFFICE.

I am very happy with the signs and really must get back to the Werris creek Station building. My next mission is to do something about the brick platform edges, I could use the Slaters brick sheet but that would mean a visible join every so often, not easy to disguise.

I have had a thought about photo-shopping some of the brick platform edge that appears in some photos of Werris Creek Station that I have but due to shadows, etc it might not be too good. More thinking required, I am good at that! Don't we all do it when there is something that we are stuck on and don't know how to make a start?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

NSWGR Small Station Signs and Shapeways Changes

I have just uploaded two sets of small wall mounted station signs for NSWGR station buildings to my Shapeways Signals Branch shop.

These signs are based on actual measurements that were taken from signs on Junee station building and used to scale other size signs based on the size of the bracket used and other aspects such as the spacing of the wording used on the signs, height of the sign, etc.

Firstly there is a basic set of signs for a small station.



Secondly there is a large set of all the sign variations I could find on a search of photographs in books and elsewhere.


The brackets on the signs are the most common type I could see in the photographs. While I saw a couple of other types I suspect that they might be repairs.

There is also a very early fancy style of sign and bracket that I haven't done.

The signs have a 1 mm peg that is designed to be inserted into a 1 mm hole drilled in the wall of the station building.

Painting instructions are on the shop in the product description for the signs.


Shapeways Changes

A word of caution here, Shapeways is currently changing the look and operation of their web site. Luckily the shop doesn't seem to have changed so far but for us designers they have been moving a lot of things around, very useful, NOT!

Shapeways has a new Chief Executive Officer and I think a new board, so this will be him showing that he is doing something.

Another thing I have noticed is the lack of any discounts or free shipping offers, I don't know if these types of offers will continue or not but several materials have been removed from their 3D printing range so I suspect that there is some belt tightening going on.

Also you will see that most items on the shop now have very odd pricing, this was always the case if you viewed the shop showing Australian Dollars due to the currency exchange rate. However, now the US Dollar prices are odd, this is due to the fact that Shapeways has included the Australian 10% GST as required by our government.

I guess we will get used to the changes.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Model of Aberdeen Station Building

I appear to have been a bit quiet of late but not so. I have spent some time working on a HO model of Aberdeen Station building for Ron Cunningham's Werris Creek layout.

For a number of years there was the start of the Aberdeen station building sitting on the platform of the Aberdeen on the Werris Creek layout. This model consisted of the walls in Slaters brick backed with about 0.060 " plastic. As I had a plan of the building I mulled over what to do about it. One Friday night at our a meeting I removed the building from the layout and told Ron I had taken it so he wouldn't wonder where it had gone.

A month later I returned it complete and ready to place on the platform.

I had decided to draw up all the windows, doors, gable ends, awning post with cast iron brackets and chimneys; then print them on my ANYCUBIC Photon 3D DLP printer. It turned out to be a bit of a mission as I had to draw up the brick arches that are over the windows and doors. Now that wasn't too bad but the fun started when I had to cut the shaped holes for the arches into the existing walls that were about 0.080" thick!

Ron had also missed a door to the 'Out Of' part of the building in the rear wall which is not visible in the very few photos of the Aberdeen station building (but it was on the plan).

As the building had no roof as yet I decided to try something different and I printed a roof in two halves on my Cocoon Create Model Maker PLA filament printer. These roof sections really gave the building a lot of strength. I had to do the roof in two parts as my printer is only a baby and didn't have a big enough build platform for the whole roof.

Even with the 3D printed parts the model was still a challenge due to the extra detail parts that still needed to be added. what had I started!.

The corrugated roof was added using some polystyrene sheeting and all those angles for the hip roof was a lot of fun, NOT!

The bricks were done to look like 'common' bricks as that is what they seemed to be. I had to guess a bit with the brick colour and also for the roof which appeared to be a very weathered green roof. I did my usual common brick effect using Tamiya Buff, followed by a watery off white wash for the mortar and then I used a watercolour pencil of a darkish brown to give the burn marks usually seen on common bricks in NSW.

Anyway I got there in the end and presented the station to Ron two meetings later.

Here are the only Aberdeen station building pics I could find:

Aberdeen in its early years
Aberdeen in 1958
Aberdeen undated - Train Hobby book - Country Stations of NSW Part 5
Here is a link to the Aberdeen Station Building Plan.

And here is the model:






I will put the 3D parts on my Shapeways Signals Branch shop if there is any interest, just let me know.

Yes, I know, I still have to finish the Werris Creek station building, it is getting closer, next job is to work out how to do the brick platform edging, easy enough to say.





Sunday, June 24, 2018

Wombat Models C30T Funnel and Steam Dome Replacements

I have added replacements for the Wombat Models C30T funnel and steam dome to my Signals Branch Shapeways shop.

The funnel and steam dome have been designed from NSWGR plans and are available as replacements for the three part funnel and the steam dome of the Wombat Models HO NSWGR C30T Class steam locomotive.

The funnel has the correct 8 bolts around the flange.

The funnel and steam dome have been produced in Smooth and Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic (SFDP - acrylic). The SFDP steam dome has been made hollow to allow rolled up lead sheet to be inserted for extra weight, it should be noted that the existing dome on the model has a small piece of brass inserted in it.

The funnel and steam dome have also been done in brass after a request from a modeller.

The brass steam dome is solid for extra weight and to minimise the weight of the brass funnel the hole goes right through.

Unfortunately the Wombat Models smokebox has a weight in it which is well forward of the front driving wheels which with the lever action produced will reduce the weight on the rear driving wheels, bad design. It may be possible to remove the weight but it is almost certainly held in by the same glue as the funnel and steam dome. Perhaps there is a 'solvent' that will dissolve the glue without impacting the plastic of the smokebox (brake fluid, citrus oil, eucalyptus oil, maybe?). If attempting this, do remove the small lighting printed circuit board and test a small drop of the 'solvent' somewhere out of sight, inside the boiler perhaps.

The funnel and steam dome have been designed to fit in the same slight recesses and holes in the boiler and smokebox.

The Wombat Models funnel and steam dome have been glued in place with a slightly flexible glue that doesn't attack the plastic of the locomotive. They can be removed by pulling and working it back and forth carefully using your fingers.

Clean the glue fully from the recesses and continually trial fit to ensure that the original glue is all gone or the funnel and steam dome will not sit correctly.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Bit of a Catch Up - Some Actual Modelling!

I have been a bit busy of late so here is a few things I have been working on.

Firstly I have completed the Laser Rail Bits timber trestle bridge and fitted it with my 3D printed 1 1/2 inch square nut/bolts with 3 inch square washers and the bridge came out very nice. I followed the instructions and stained the timber with a Raven Oil and methylated spirits mixture. I did find that I had to make the mixture a bit stronger than in the instructions though, possibly more dense timber. I also noticed that the line drawing of a trestle in the instructions seemed to be incorrect in regard to how the diagonal timbers would go onto the piles. I will contact Rod Kelly of Laser Rail Bits about this.

As Rod had already laser marked the square nut/bolt/washers on the timber so it was an easy task to drill a 0.6 mm hole and insert the 3D printed ones.

Laser Rail Bits timber trestle bridge with 3D printed nut/bolt/washers
Close up of nut/bolt/washers on trestle bridge
Next, I have been back working on the Werris Creek station building for Ron Cunningham. The downpipes on the North West platform side of the building had me bluffed as sometimes can happen with a model. I was put off by the complicated way that that pairs of the downpipes came down from the 'scuppers' joined together then went through a water filter, emerged from the water filter then went down through the platform awning. The water filters are Rail Central parts available from Casula Hobbies. Anyway, as can happen, once I started it only took about three hours to cut the 1 mm Evergreen plastic rod and fabricate them.





Signals Branch 3D printed 48 inch single flourescent light as on the prototype

Tamworth platform side

North West platform side showing upper floor awning against the western sun.
One aspect of the awnings is that all the nice window, door and downpipe detail is virtually hidden! Oh well.

I still have a few more things to add to the building but these will be done once the handling of the building is basically over to prevent damage. There are two flag poles coming out at a 45 degree angle from the upper floor on the Tamworth side, some double flourescent lights projecting out in several places as well as a couple of 'stink pipes' that come above the top of the building.

The next thing to do is to work on the brick platform faces, these will be made from Slaters brick sheets and it will be next to impossible to connect them without a join showing.

Items still to be done will be station signs, the signal box, small cast iron signs for Station Master, Men, Ladies, etc. and the surface of the platform.

The last thing I have done recently was to present at the Modelling the Railways of NSW 35 where I gave a talk on practical information on 3D printing. The talk seemed to go over well and I had about 60 attendees over three sessions. A good day in all.

Here is a sneaky photo taken by Zane Maber.


That's about it although I have been doing a lot of stuffing about with my two 3D printers as well.

FDM 3D printed mounting for three PMG key switches for Bylong signalling
DLP 3D printed Cheap Signal Box - Learning about support placement
Til next time then......

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Shapeways Makes Changes to Material Names and Drops Other materials

Well, Shapeways have done it again!

They have today renamed a number of their materials, no doubt for marketing reasons or trying to make it simpler for new customers.

Anyway, for the the main materials I use on my Signals Branch shop White Strong and Flexible is now called White Versatile Plastic and Fine Ultra Detail is now called Smooth Fine Detail Plastic.

The various web pages have been modified as well and some things have moved.

Also they have dropped a number of materials from the available line, none that worry me but I am sure there will be an outcry from those who use them in their shops. 

I will have to go through the text descriptions of some of my models and change any references to the old material names.

What a pain!

Here is the announcement from Shapeways from their Forum:

We are so excited to announce the release of updates to our materials portfolio. Available, starting today are:
  • Silver: Antique Finish
    • A unique finish that gives a rugged personality to your pieces
  • Full Color Sandstone: Matte Finish
    • A smooth and matte finish for even bolder colors
  • Steel: Matte Bronzed-Steel Finish
    • A subtly rustic finish for industrial chic pieces
  • Professional Plastic (previously known as HP Nylon Plastic) is available to sell in your Shapeways shops
To make for a simpler, more user-friendly creation process, we have also updated our Materials Hub. Along with lovely new end-product photography, we have now broken our materials in to benefit driven categories which will help guide you to the right materials for your projects. The new categories are:
  • Strength & Value
  • Professional Finishes
  • Industrial Strength
  • Scale Replicas
We’ve done some renaming of our materials, more details on that can be found here in our updated Materials Naming Guide. We’ve also begun updating our Model Upload and Checkout flow to make it easier to pick your materials and finishes.

You may also notice some changes to the material offerings; as part of this refresh process, we decided to say goodbye to some of our less popular materials including:

  • High Definition Acrylate (instead try our Black HP Nylon plastic or Frosted Ultra Detail Plastic)
  • Acrylic Plastic (instead try our Frosted Ultra Detail plastic)
  • PLA (instead try our Strong & Flexible plastic)
  • Metallic Plastic (instead try our Gray HP Nylon plastic)
  • Elasto Plastic (instead try our Strong & Flexible plastic)
  • Castable Wax
  • Matte Gold Steel (instead try our Polished Gold Steel)
  • Matte Bronze Steel (instead try out Polished Bronze Steel)
  • Porcelain
If you have purchased or sold any these materials in the last 6 months, you should have been notified via e-mail. If you have any of these materials enabled in your shop, your products will no longer be offered for sale in these materials. If your product was only enabled in one of these materials, it will now be listed as public, but not for sale.

Shapeways is ever-evolving, and we will continue to focus on providing the right material solutions for your projects.

We can’t wait to see what you create with this updated experience!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My 3D Printing Talk at the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention 35

As you may know already I will be giving a talk on practical information for 3D printing at the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention 35 at Loftus on 19 May 2018.

I will be passing on the knowledge and experiences that I have gained over the last four years playing around with 3D printing. Firstly with Shapeways and more recently with the two different style 3D printers that I bought.

I hope to give those who are interested enough information to get them started in this fascinating aspect of our hobby.

Be aware though that it can be very absorbing and another hobby in itself. I have probably put hundreds and hundreds of hours into the drawing side and the printing side is certainly not the fastest thing going.

The successful setup of a 3D printer can be a bit demanding but when you get a good print it is a great feeling, particularly when you have had the idea and drawn the item up.

A recent item I printed came about when I had the idea to draw up some one and a half inch nuts/bolts with three inch square washers for the Laser Rail Bits NSWGR Timber Trestle Bridge kit I was building. Within about 2 hours I had drawn the nut/bolt/washer, copied 272 of them, attached them to a sprue arrangement,, saved the model to the STL file format and printed them on my ANYCUBIC Photon DLP printer. Now that was fun!

I have yet to install these on the trestle bridge as that other thing called real life keeps intruding.



I also did some hex nut/bolts with 3 inch round washers, just because I could.


I have added both of the nut bolt washer types to my Signals Branch Shop.

HO 1.5 inch square nut-bolt and 3 inch square washers

HO 1.5 hex inch nut-bolt and 3 inch round washers

Here are some other things I have printed on the Photon printer.

HO 3D printed cows - 3D model from the internet - Showing
some support marks I didn't clean properly
HO 3D printed water tank - Support marks not cleaned off yet

HO Werris Creek station building window - Dots are support marks on back of window