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Modelling in 014 - now and the future?

014 narrow gauge 7mm scale 7mm NGA trade support




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#1 Dava

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 20:14

I've started this thread to open up a discussion on narrow gauge modelling in 014 as I feel now is the time and this is the place. I'm aware that there is a dedicated narrow gauge forum, which I also contribute to, but there are some very experienced narrow gauge modellers in the scale/gauge combo on this forum.

 

Personally, most of my modelling is in standard gauge 7mm Gauge 0, light and industrial railways. However I wanted to start a narrow gauge project, and having done both 012 and 09 layouts [Groudle Glen and Irton Road respectively] in past years decades, it wasn't going to be either of those. 016.5 does not appeal to me, as while it is suitable for representing 2'3"-2'6" prototypes, too many of the layouts I see are rather formulaic, and it is not accurate for 2ft/60cm gauge unless you go to 8mm/foot scale. I'm not going to a smaller scale, having sold off most of the 009 stock, nor upscale to Gn15, 1/35 or whatever. So 014 was the choice.

 

The history of 014 seems to be that the modeller/designer to whom we owe a great deal, Roy Link, started it off in the 1980's with a set of fine scale track standards based on the Robert Hudson portable railways catalogue, and a little range of track parts, gauges, Rugga skips and chassis for other wagon types, and some locos including a Lister RailTruck and Ruston LAT and then LBT. All beautifully designed and engineered. Other designer-makers entered the scene and for a while it was pretty healthy. Wrightlines made a lot of kits which could run on either 014 or 016.5, and the gauge started to be more widely adopted. Some very fine layouts have been built, including 'Rhyd' [Ffestiniog Railway], 'Brookford' and 'The End of the Line' [picture below] at opposite ends of the size bands, but all highly influential. As is 'Denton Brook' today.

 

End of the line.jpg

 

The problem for new entrants to 014 is that not a lot is now available. Roy Link sold his range to KB Scale, who developed it for some years with additional loco kits, but none are now available, partly due to the Mashima motors no longer being produced, and the 'core' wagon kits and essential track gauges and point crossing jigs are not available either. The business appears to be in hibernation. There are probably good reasons for this, but without this range it is harder and much less attractive for new modellers of average confidence and ability [ie, like me] to start in 014. 

 

Add to this that Wrightlines was acquired by ABS and is totally unavailable; the resin mine wagons and items from Black Dog are only patchily available at a few shows; Nonneminstre don't respond to enquiries for their loco kits; and a number of the other producers on the list of 014 manufacturers are no longer producing: 

http://o14group.org/...-and-suppliers/

 

It's not all bad news, and locos are not so much of a problem, if you can assemble a kit. Mark Clark [Locos'n'stuff] produces well designed loco kits and a very handy motor bogie; Mark Hesketh produces a O&K MD2 complete kit which is again very well designed; and EDM have a chassis under development for Hunslet quarry locos and other kits, parts and goodies are available or promised.

 

If you look at recent and forthcoming shows, 014 layouts are very thin on the ground; nothing at the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association AGM or EXPONG this year - no bias by the organisers, simply a shortage of new layouts to fly the flag.  I do have a little project under way, and have been relearning to build points for the past three months, so my humble efforts can wait until a future post.

 

The question for now is, does 014 have a future? If so, what is it? Will it become a tiny niche scale/gauge combination, in which case we're going to need a bit more mutual help between modellers? Will it attract more trade support and especially an intervention to replace or re-introduce the KB Scale jigs, gauges, and wagon kits?  Or is it just going to fade away?

 

Any thoughts?

 

Dava

 


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#2 ngtrains.com

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 18:28

Dava,

 

I suspect the lack of any reply tells you a lot of what you need to know, or at least expected? 

 

I started a reply last night on a tablet whilst watching TV and feeling lousy with a cold. Somewhere in that process I managed to lose all I had typed so I’ll have a go at finding those same thoughts again and typing them on my proper PC.

 

Right, let’s start with trade support. First, I guess you have to accept that this is a niche and rather than any trader setting up in business to supply 0-14 as a commercial opportunity this scale is going to rely on the enthusiast. Roy Link started the range because he was modelling in that scale and was able to both produce the parts and promote the scale in his publications. He passed the range on to KB scale when it was no longer his own modelling interest but it was the interest of the current owner. I talked to Roy about buying it but its wasn’t enough of my core interest. Now David is busy with work and family so KB scale is largely paused. The other suppliers you mention are doing their own small thing but are producing the 0-14 versions as an aside to more commercially viable gauges.

 

When it comes to the gauges and jigs it gets more complicated. What do you supply? The KB scale gauges are all based around the Hudson portable track which is fine for the matching range of loco’s and stock but you wouldn’t get far arriving at a radius one point with your L&B 2-6-2 or double Fairlie.  However, there is another aspect to this. By its very nature 0-14 has attracted modellers wanting to do better than representing 2ft with 16.5mm track so they are going to tend to be wanting to do the particular variant of track for their layout be it chaired track of the Festiniog, concrete sleepered flat bottom of the L&B or the completely knackered track of the Ashover.  Just what should a trader produce?

 

Now for the personal bit. So far, as EDM Models, I have made passive provision for 14mm gauge in our own loco and rolling stock kits. In the Linda/Blanche/Charles and Darjeeling B class locos it’s simply a matter of pushing the wheels in a bit as they’re outside frame locos. The Double Fairlie actually has alternative cylinders and motion brackets for the two gauges.  It is my policy to supply these kits as complete kits with wheels, gears and motors and they all have the potential of the lack of Mashima motors affecting availability.

 

(Incidentally, I am now taking reservations for what will be the last run for some time of the Double Fairlie kit. It’s come up against the Mashima motor issue. I have enough for this run of kits but after that it’ll need reworking around a new motor and with most of the demand met its going to get rested)

 

Of the ex Agenoria narrow gauge kits I bought from Pete Stamper when he retired in 2010 they remain available to order in unaltered form. So far all I have done to these is redo the instruction sheets. They can be built to 14mm gauge if you can get the Romford wheels and 14mm gauge axles. These kits are supplied without wheels gears and motor but include recommendations in the instructions.

 

The chassis under development you mention is really some experimentation with a view to a revamp of the ex Agenoria Models to bring them up to date but also to make them a bit more buildable. The chassis is a 3D print into which the wheels are a drop in fit, the coreless motor a push fit and it adds double reduction gearing giving them a more appropriate speed profile than the original model. It’s not all going 3D print though. It will be a multimedia model retaining thin metal where there should be thin metal. I am doing quite a lot of the 3D CAD and then altering it to get a chassis design that easily adapts to the small models in the range so it’s more of a design it once then just have alternative configurations in the CAD for the variants. There are some compromises that won’t suit everyone and I’ll admit didn’t sit well with me initially. The current Agenoria models were all designed before Romford did their 1/8” diameter axle extensions so they have working inside frames and dummy outside frames. This grated to the extent that back in 2006 I produced an alternative outside framed chassis kit and 108:1 gearbox for the Alice class. The new chassis is solid between the wheels and is a working inside frame with dummy outside frames but the compromise allows the better gear train, drop in pre-assembled and quartered wheels for either gauge and alternative profile thin metal outside frames (the Alice class were built with 3 different frame profiles). If it works then there will be some new models in the Agenoria range [kind of thinking of marketing the smaller, easy build locos under that brand].

 

I am currently working on the L&B engines (and no I won’t say when they’ll be ready) and starting to look at reintroducing the Bagnall 0-4-2 (Gelert & Isaac) which will allow 14mm gauge whilst other models such as a 2`6” gauge Garratt won’t.

 

I am not sure that diatribe has contributed a lot to your dilemma or to the future of 0-14. It seems to me that as it won’t on its own sustain a business it’s going to be reliant on any crumbs it gets from models in more commercial scales. Whilst there are noted 14mm gauge layouts they are individual efforts and the scale is currently lacking the promotion it used to have. There is the 014 Group online http://o14group.org/ but the last entry on that website was in April this year with the one prior to that being August 2016.  For example, probably the most significant recent thing for 0-14 has been the release of the first in a range of L&B coaches by Slaters with an 0-14 option but there’s no mention of that on the 0-14 Group site.

 

I think that to flourish its needs a new champion who probably isn’t reliant on it for a living


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#3 Dava

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 23:23

Paul,

Thanks for your considered comments. I'd understated the contribution of EDM towards loco kits for 0-14, clearly the North Wales FR/WHR/Penrhyn systems are well catered for in terms of loco power, thanks to you. It reinforces the point that the problem for 0-14 is not so much the absence of locos as other items. The quality of loco kits overall seems very good. Producing loco kits as 'passive' add-ones to 0-16.5 is a pragmatic option when the 0-14 market is clearly a small one, and that's probably at the heart of this, the 0-14 market at present is a small one for producers to invest in.

I don't have a dilemma as I can build what I need, so long as I can get more of your curly spoke wagon wheels for mine cars, but 0-14 modeling does have a dilemma because as you say there isn't a champion and some basic items, even track gauges, are non-available. I know this has deterred some would-be adopters.

I just think we need some more 0-14 layouts out there to show what can be done, whether they be FR, WW1, South African or whatever. I hope to have a modest mine layout for 2018, otherwise you have the wonderful 'Denton Brook' and not a lot else.

Dava
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#4 Jub45565

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 11:40

Hi Dava,

 

Trade support is part of the problem I guess, but there are people out there who show it is possible and provide inspiration!  As Paul says, the prototypes vary so much that there are few 'generic' things which could be thrown into the marketplace.

 

I have plans for an 014 layout, but they are lower down in the list than my P4 testing (yes, 16.5mm for both would have been far easier, but wheres the fun in that!).   One thing which has helped with P4 dabbling is the trade support. For example ready assembled common crossings and switch blades take the guessing game out of turnout construction, and Ultrascale drop in wheelsets allow a test loco to be easily sorted out.  Then with a known test bed, my own skills have been and can be developed without having to try it all at the same time and not know which of my creations/tests/bodges is the weak link...

 

My current P4 layout is using off the shelf track components, the next one I am aiming to form my own crossings and possibly switch blades, and once those have been proved I will be happy to transfer the skills across to 014 (albeit with alterations to techniques for bullhead rail to light flat bottom rail as for the Welsh Highland 1923...).  While all very nice in theory, with life and other interests it therefore looks unlikely I'll make any proper progress within the next decade.

 

It is one of those things though as you say - if more people are actively involved then they help inspire each other, and inspire others to give it a go.  It needs a kick start to help that, which the recent L&B recreation may have helped to do if the stock was available for them to progress at the current time - and maybe when things are right for them to continue it will!


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#5 ngtrains.com

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 12:22

As we appear to have managed to get a discussion going let me pose a question and, maybe, make an offer…….

 

If the trade were to offer a single item, specifically for 0-14, available commercially what would you wish for?

 

My guess is that the question won’t get a straight answer.

For example, if a track gauge was produced what rail would you want it to suit. Many would say for the Karlgarlin rail but that’s not a commercial possibility really as the rail is limited availability (I looked at stocking it and we couldn’t make the sums add up). I stock Micro Engineering rail so for me gauges to suit this would be the commercial choice but would you want the gauge for Code 55, 70 or 83?

 

My offer is that if, by some miracle, there is a consensus on an item that it is viable to produce then I’ll see about getting it made and available.


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#6 BG John

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 12:29

Surely this is a problem with narrow gauge modelling in general, as there are so many different gauges. O-16.5 is a convenient generic gauge, where lots of OO gauge components can be used. It's only fairly accurate for a small number of British prototypes, which is a shame. I've just started on an O-16.5 layout because it makes things so much easier to basically model OO gauge with bigger bodies! However, it looks as though I'm going to have a go at metre gauge too, and if you can find any trade support for that (apart from some expensive RTR stuff that's useless for what I want to model), I'd love to know about it. It seems that no one can even agree on what scale to use for it (1:43.5 or 1:45)!

 

O-14 does make sense, as it's a common British gauge, but with 2ft gauge modelling being well established on 16.5mm gauge, and 9mm in 4mm scale, and with narrow gauge modelling being far less popular than O, or OO, there probably isn't even the potential market that P4/S4 has in 4mm, and about as obscure as S7 in 7mm scale.

 

Standard gauge models almost all fit the same loading gauge too, which is something that narrow gauge doesn't. I've got some KB Scale wagon kits, but they're far too small to go with anything else I want to build. So there's a huge diversity of incompatible locos and rolling stock too. I think hoping for trade support that suits most people who want to model accurate 2ft gauge is a bit of an impossible dream, making it an ideal gauge for scratchbuilders and kitbashers!



#7 brack

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 16:44

The big problem here is that everything needed WAS available, it's just the circumstances surrounding kB scale that are causing an indefinite lack of supply. However a change of circumstances or a sale of the range could lead to all the current gauges and kits being available overnight. Notwithstanding the offer, I'm not sure any manufacturer would wish to invest time, effort or money in replicating a high quality kit or jig which could reappear tomorrow.

Is there something complementary to kbscale or other currently non available ranges which might help?

The other big sleeping range in 7mm NG is wrightlines - several of their smaller locos have been spotted on 14mm track and an all white metal kit like their bagnall is pretty simple for a beginner to put together, but when detailed up provides a very nice model.

#8 Jub45565

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 17:02

I don't agree that everything was available - 'mainline' pointwork (or parts) would be very useful.  The Ashover Light Railway used 2nd hand WD track parts, which don't look rediculously sharp and could have been purchased by anyone.  Ideally this would be Kalgarin compatible, but doesnt need to be.  Otherwise, C&L buillhead 00 track parts could be used in a FR/PQR themed layout initially to prove the principle.

 

The best back to back gauge I find is the GW Models one which is variable using a grub screw, has a cutout for hornblocks but otherwise covers as much as the rim as possible.

 

Roller track gauges were available from KB, which could be the major sticking point at the moment.

 

Track component filing jigs I think are available for flat bottom, so aren't an issue.

 

One thing my 014 tests so far suffer from is wobbly wheels.  A wheel press (or attachment for the GW one) to regauge wheelsets keeping them parrallel to each other, and centrally spaced along the axle, was/is the next thing I needed to find a solution for before progressing my plans.  This would be my one thing, if thats a straight answer Paul!  I appreciate that those who don't already have the roller gauges from KB Scale may think differently...


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#9 Dava

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 19:46

Thanks to Paul for the offer of making an item...I was going to suggest a 2ft gauge 4 wheel wagon underframe of solebar, axleboxes and headstock, for example the Vale of Rheidol [ex Hafan] wagons which will suit latterday 'Welsh' 2 foot but wide enough for 2'6", ie 16.5mm gauge. Then I spotted the Slimrails kits, if still available they probably meet that need even if they are generic rather than a particular prototype: http://www.slimrails....5kitspage.html

 

A rollergauge is pretty essential if you haven't got one...or two. As for rail I am using the Peco IL1 rail, code 60, sold for 00 conductor rail or Z gauge, but far too light if you're modelling a 'public' narrow gauge line with heavy steam locos.

 

BGJohn, if you've no use for the KBScale wagon kits, happy to trade...

 

Dava



#10 velotrain

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 07:31

Out of curiosity, is the rollergauge something that could be reliably produced via 3D printing?  Or - does it require a "more robust" material and process?

 

This may (or not ;-) reduce development (certainly production) costs, and would eliminate the need for someone to maintain stock (potentially of multiple versions) as it could be ordered on demand.

 

As an outsider, I'd say the basic issue is the small number of modelers who are unwilling to compromise on 16.5 gauge for their 7mm NG needs.

 

You're also fighting the ease of using existing 16.5 gauge mechanisms, etc. to create highly individualized models, which was a major impetus behind the rise of On30 in the States before Bachmann got involved.   In any battle between prototype and cuteness, I fear the latter will usually win in the end - especially with an ever-declining number of folks who may have first-hand experience/memories of that prototype.



#11 BG John

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 09:16

BGJohn, if you've no use for the KBScale wagon kits, happy to trade...

 

Dava

I'll PM you.



#12 BG John

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 09:29

Out of curiosity, is the rollergauge something that could be reliably produced via 3D printing?  Or - does it require a "more robust" material and process?

I've just bought these O-MF gauges from Roxey Mouldings. I wouldn't have thought it would be too difficult for an individual to get something similar etched, and sell a few. Or a group of people to get together to get a batch etched.

 

DSCF8509.JPG
DSCF8510.JPG
 
I'm wondering if they even need etching. Would cutting them in card on a Silhouette cutter, or laser if you can afford such luxuries, and treating them with shellac do the job? If they don't last long enough, it would be cheap and easy to make more.
 
I've also seen that someone sells an O gauge 3-point gauge that has an adjustable third leg. The body of the gauge is slotted so the leg can be moved, and locked in place with a screw. Something like that would be easier for a non engineer to make than a fixed gauge that needs accurate positioning.
 
My interest isn't 14mm, but as I said earlier, a more obscure gauge!

 


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#13 ngtrains.com

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 12:15

Without committing to anything the thought processes have been working on an idea for track gauges but I could do with some help from folks out there.

Can you help with answers to these questions?

 

  1. How wide is the head of the Karlgarlin Rail?
  2. How wide is the head of Peco IL1

 

If the thoughts go anywhere other than a dead end I'll let you know



#14 Dava

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 16:42

Good idea Paul,

Peco IL1 rail dimensions: Height 1.57mm Top Width 0.76mm Bottom Width 1.24mm

Dava

#15 49395

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 16:50

The dimensions of the Karlgarin rail are listed here

http://www.karlgarin...ottom_sizes.pdf

#16 brack

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 17:09

I made a 5 rail multi gauge test track using track gauges cut from styrene on a silhouette cutter. I melted a couple but I'd started with 6 so didn't mind. A laser cut ply gauge would probably be more heat resistant and accurate enough for those so dedicated to accuracy they're modelling 60cm, 1'11.5" or 1'10.75" with 14mm track :)
An etch similar to those roxey ones would also be relatively simple to manufacture.

#17 BG John

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 17:19

I made a 5 rail multi gauge test track using track gauges cut from styrene on a silhouette cutter. I melted a couple but I'd started with 6 so didn't mind. A laser cut ply gauge would probably be more heat resistant and accurate enough for those so dedicated to accuracy they're modelling 60cm, 1'11.5" or 1'10.75" with 14mm track :)
An etch similar to those roxey ones would also be relatively simple to manufacture.

Or a Silhouette cut plastic one could be used as a filing jig for a metal one.

 

And why aren't you planning to use 13.78mm, 13.71mm or 13.27mm gauge anyway? ;). It's just as easy to bung the correct gauge into Templot, as it is the wrong one :).



#18 Dava

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 10:48

Out of curiosity, is the rollergauge something that could be reliably produced via 3D printing?  Or - does it require a "more robust" material and process?
 
This may (or not ;-) reduce development (certainly production) costs, and would eliminate the need for someone to maintain stock (potentially of multiple versions) as it could be ordered on demand.
 
As an outsider, I'd say the basic issue is the small number of modelers who are unwilling to compromise on 16.5 gauge for their 7mm NG needs.
 
You're also fighting the ease of using existing 16.5 gauge mechanisms, etc. to create highly individualized models, which was a major impetus behind the rise of On30 in the States before Bachmann got involved.   In any battle between prototype and cuteness, I fear the latter will usually win in the end - especially with an ever-declining number of folks who may have first-hand experience/memories of that prototype.


'Unwilling to compromise' and 'fighting'? I don't think so. Simply using an accurate scale/gauge combination because 16.5mm gauge does not look right for 2ft gauge prototypes in 7mm scale. Especially with heavy rail Peco streamline track etc.

Interestingly, SN3 is a North-American origin scale using 14.3mm track gauge, track available from Shinohara, so there is a tradition in a close-to gauge, as there is in fine scale 1:100 3mm/ft scale of 14.2mm. Which both suggest possible sources of wheels, compatible motor & gear components etc.
http://www.scalelink...work__SN3_.html

Dava
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#19 Giles

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:14

I suspect that 0-14 Will always creep along in the background as a minority interest - benefiting from some of the available kits that can be regauged or partially used. It may be that there will only ever be one or two occasional dedicated suppliers, but things will keep cropping up - though not necessarily the same things....

We've been very lucky with Roy Link, KBscale, Wrightlines and EDM - but it seems the nature of these things that theyre not available for ever. A cynic might suggest that you stock-pile whilst you can...

0-14? If I'm modelling 2ft gauge, then I want to try and make a good, plausible job out of it - and in this day and age, there is very little reason why not.... The hardware is there and the support is there - you simply have to do a few more bits yourself....

Edited by Giles, 01 October 2017 - 10:02 .

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#20 Dava

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 19:34

Thanks for your encouraging comment, Giles.

 

There are 3D print designers on Shapeways offering 0-14 compatible rolling stock, including WW1 items from Recreation21 (Rue-d-Etropal on here), Tebee and others, and 0-12 items too (Henrik Laurell Models). Usual debates about surface print quality apply and you have to trawl to find them. I have a couple I've yet to build, I'm still building track....

 

https://www.shapeway...trains/?tag=o14   https://www.shapeway...laurell-models/

 

Just for completeness, Nigel Lawton supplies a very well engineered 20hp bow-framed Simplex complete kit for £105, patient building needed I understand. http://www.nigellawt...WD_Simplex.html  Wrightlines and Roy Link/KBScale kits fetch similar prices.

 

It all points to there being loco kits and some rolling stock available. And you dont need much to get started.

 

Dava



#21 Furness Wagon

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 19:49

We are just about to launch a range of 3D printed replacements for the Wrightlines Talyllyn wagons in 0-16.5. If people are wanting 0-14 stock all you have to do is ask and Give me some time to design them. I want a WD simplex myself but happy to do other things.

 

Marc


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#22 Dava

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 20:18

Thanks Marc,

Would your wagons work for 014 just by regauging the wheels on the axles, or does it need a design change? That worked with the Wrightlines kits for 012 years ago.

Dava

#23 Furness Wagon

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 20:49

The Talyllyn wagons are on Gibson wheels so they could be re gauged from 16.5mm  to 9mm although they could be a little unstable at 9mm. 

 

Marc 


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#24 Craigw

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 05:09

I have accumulated a healthy stash of they Roy Link and KB scale range - as well as a few other things relating to 14mm gauge. The KB range is skewed towards industrial, which is where my interests lie. However, surely one of the biggest issues now is that Peco have discontinued the IL115 rail, which is what is used for the jigs and gauges supplied by KB scale. This certainly takes some of the "ease' out of building in On14.

 

Regards,

 

Craig w



#25 Dava

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 21:04

I dont think the loss of Peco IL115 rail is a big problem, I wasn't aware it was discontinued but didn't locate any and didn't bother with the Karlgarin as that would have been elusive.

 

I am using Peco IL1 which is both their Z gauge and 00 conductor rail, readily supplied in 2 foot lengths. It is ideal for light industrial track and very easy to work. The head and foot are slightly narrower than the IL115 but it fits in the KBScale gauge and jigs with just a little slop. Careful alignment has prevented any problems so far. 

 

I've built 5 points and some plain track so far, these are positioned on the mine section of my layout project awaiting installation and point control before I lay the rest of the track. 

 

Bunny Hill points.jpg

 

I had not built any points for over 20 years so there has been some relearning old skills...those diamond files from Maplin are a great timesaver!

 

Dava














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