Thursday, November 24, 2016

19th Century Freight Wagon 01

This is a mixed media model of a 19th century freight wagon.  The prototype for this wagon was used  widely from the late eighteenth century to the mid 19th century, though they were so heavily constructed many lasted quite a long time.  The shape to the body was designed to keep material on board while traversing grades.  

The model below is a quickly made"first draft" made of 3d printed parts and paper. Several parts need refinement, and the body height needs to be adjusted.  Looking forward to making the next steps and doing a more careful build of this one.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dick Kerr 12

I've been slow in updating the blog, but the Dick Kerr Project is really moving.  There is increasing interest in the possibility of a Dick Kerr kit as people see the project in social media.  I've found that it's possible to achieve the extremely fine detail I want using the Form 2 printer.  This includes profiles beyond the published capabilities of the machine, providing things are appropriately oriented and optimized.  Very glad I upgraded.  A gallery of updates follows.  I'm looking forward to getting this painted.  The floor is laser etched from wood--the only part not made on the Form 2 at this point aside from a couple bits of brass.

Backhead and gears fresh from the printer, Dick Kerr 11

The back head printed beautifully.  The control lever is a bit too far to the left.  I did this for support, but think I can now push it over.  Will also add rivet detail I think.

The chassis looks a bit abstract, but everything seems to fit right.  Looking forward to getting it off the supports.

Gears mesh well! I'm thinking this might actually work now.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Backhead and under the hood for the Dick Kerr 10

I've been busy on the Dick Kerr, mainly working on the "backhead" and technical items.  The detail in the above image looks crude, until you consider how small this little loco is, the cab could be mistaken for an HO scale RS3, and the interior here shown is just a fraction of that.  I've made a couple compromises, but, they should not be noticable through the cab door.

I've also designed a set of spur gears for the revised Mechanism.  The real work was done using the fantastic program Gearotic Motion.  I was originally planning to machine these with the Roland mill, but I am going to use these to put the Form 2 to the test today.  Any significant distortion will cause problems with these small gear of 9mm and 14mm diameter.  If they don't work I can always make them on the Roland.  If they do work, I may need to cast them in a softer plastic.  We'll see.

Bruce Wilson proposed a set up from Hollywood Foundry that looks very good--I may go ahead and make one of my mechanisms, and order a Hollywood Foundry item for the second, just to make the body adaptable to something that is not as custom as my solution.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Oyster Car

Now that things are moving again, there is space to day dream about adding yet another project to the list.  Gasp! Not another.....yes, another.  But I promise there is more progress in the wings on a few fronts.

Colin King's post on the Friends of MRCS Facebook page gets the blame.  The little nugget he posted from Wikipedia for Schools led me to do a bit more digging, which promptly turned up a set of articles in The Cannonball, the newsletter of the Sunrise Trail Division of the NMRA.  The 2 part article series chronicles one modelers journey to building such a car.  I feel a lot better about my random pursuits reading this set of articles, because the author's journey is nearly as long as my life. By those standards I'm at least on pace, or maybe even a speedy modeler.  The two articles can be found here: .  The two issues are fall and winter 2014.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Boiler House

This is the last of the retro-posts, after this we're all caught up.  I've gone ahead and dated the posts in appropriate chronology to keep things organized.  We'll see if I can keep current for a bit.

I've always loved the steam boiler house at the Rhode Island State Capital.  It's traditional form and diminutive size make it a perfect model subject.  Added to the list!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Dick Kerr 09

A retro-post from June 3, 2016, we're almost caught up.

I've gone ahead and assembled the first set of Dick Kerr Prints.  All I can say is "wow" to the Form 2. Once primed, these will require very little post production.  I'm confident that I can make the body consistently.  Time now to step back and fill in a couple details such as the cab interior and the brake system.  Also need to work out the mechanism mounting.  Briefly flirted with the idea of making this little monster "dead rail" using my new Blue Rail Board from David Rees.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Another retro-post to catch us up.

The Dick Kerr Coupler printed on Form 2.  The part is designed to fit a standard Kadee draft gear box.  I've added a vertical hole to the pin slot to allow cars to be coupled using a "staple" as a link.  I still need to test whether this can be done with a magnet, but I'll need to get some rolling stock going to do so.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Reviving Dick Kerr 08

A retro post from late Spring 2016..... I promise, we're catching up.

The Dick Kerr Project reached a stopping point when we relocated.  To be honest, however, I was at a frustrating juncture because I had designed the pieces based on what I thought were the limits of the Formlabs Form 1.  As it turns out, the parts I designed were right at the limits, and probably slightly beyond judging by the success rate and the gymnastics I had to do to print them consistently.

Enter Form 2.  Thanks to a loyalty upgrade, I switched Form 1 for Form 2.  Before I reworked any files I went ahead and set up prints with the existing file.  All I can say is that the improvements to the peel mechanism, resin level management and laser power make a difference.  Taken together with the addition of a tank heater, the machine is a dream.  Resolution is much more consistent.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Uncle Paul's gets an awning

A retro post from Winter 2016.

More than a few projects came along for the ride.  It was nice to re-visit Uncle Paul's--I've been thinking about the awning, and decided it was time to tackle it.  The prototype has faded letters with soft edges, mainly from the paint or pigment "bleeding" into the adjacent canvas.  I think I can do it with the airbrush, but I need a frame to start with, so I got this bad boy soldered up.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Catching up on kits

A retro post from Winter 2016.

With a new place to work, I was finally able to catch up on a few kits purchased since the move. Carts from Train Troll, a Dory by Atlantic Scale Models, and tools from Alkem Scale Models.  I built the Train Troll kit's and the tools as designed, dedicating my attention to painting.  The Dory received minor modifications, including oar locks soldered from brass wire.  All fun builds that I'm looking forward to using on the new railway.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Layout and bench

Another retro-post from early 2016.

The bench work went in without a hitch.  There was some minor shimming to do, but I'm glad planning went well.  The bench work was prefabricated in Utah, far from where I am currently.  I am glad I got the dimensions right enough that all went to plan.

The reverse angle shows the leaf in upright position, allowing more light on the work bench and access to the window.  I should point out now that the main portion of the room is 7'x9'.  I'm working in a space and a format that might be more familiar to a modeler in the UK.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A new start for the Virgin and Lost Shore

I won't apologize for being away, as most people understand that hobbies can come in fits and starts. Part of the randomness of "Random Railroad" is simply that things have a way of changing.  I'm finally catching up with the blog.  Although dated June, this and the next several posts re-cap the time elapsed since January (Written June 2016).

After a year or more of getting settled in a new place, a new place for a workshop has been established and a shelf layout started.  Step one, let's make the room sky blue and start day dreaming.

From there I made a few sketches for a possible model railway.

The thought here was that I could have fun with an inglenook and make just enough scenery to finish in the time we'll be living in this house.  Since I tend to favor structures and rolling stock, the layout is decidedly urban.  I'm keeping the Virgin and Lost Shore name, as well as the slogan, "the lost shore lines".

The bench work cantilevers off the wall and is attached with french cleats and T-nuts.  This will make removal a snap when we next re-locate and allow me to take the work with me.