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Guy Rixon

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Everything posted by Guy Rixon

  1. This is based on only one photo, mind. It's possible that one particular painter mis-read the livery sheet and got laughed at. If the point of an unpainted interior is to avoid contaminating the load with paint flakes, there must have been some very specific logic to say that a load above the side sheeting isn't vulnerable to this. I speculate that loose loads had to be protected from contaminated and crated loads, or stacks of sacks, were considered immune.
  2. After a summer and early autumn away from model-making, I've acquired a wagon during a brief return to the workshop. This is a mid-period D1327, built by Ashford works in 1883. It's rated at 10 tons load and has the ordinary, low-speed running-gear instead of the "express" type that became typical between 1885 and 1895. The model is based on a one-piece print from the design of skinnylinny, realised in PU resin by DLS process. I got this, and its three siblings, by an indirect route and can't arrange supplies for anybody else. However, if you should be offered something equivalent I suggest grabbing it as the quality from this process is very good. The original design includes axleguards and axleboxes, plus a pre-planted brake hanger, but not buffer guides. Mine got modified from that form because I lack the tools to finish the printed running gear. The printed bearings weren't a running fit on 26mm axles as received, and reboring to take brass bearings needs a special tool. It was quicker for me to remove the axleguards and fit Bedford ones than to acquire the bearing-boring thingy. Changing the axleguards to sprung parts forced me to change the axleboxes, as it's hard to hollow out the printed ones to clear a moving bearing; PU resin is harder than polystyrene, but just as brittle. The printed originals were fine cosmetically, but the easiest way was to sacrifice them and replace with RFM prints. The buffer guides were home prints and the buffer heads (unsprung) by Slaters. The brakes are the original parts, but I had to move the brake hanger firstly to clear the axleguard bridge and secondly to align with P4 wheels. It's quite hard to glue a resin brake hanger accurately into place, so I ended up making it into a free-standing assembly with plastic outriggers, placing that and CA'ing when it was aligned; seems to have worked.
  3. I didn't put the Laycock vents on the print as I wasn't able to get to a GER one to measure it; no chance to get on the roof of the preserved coaches. Also, lots are available as castings and they don't vary all that much between railways. If you think large vents are needed, and particularly if you want larger diameter relative to the point-to-point length, then I recommend the SE(C)R castings sold by Branchlines. PS: or the prints sold on Shapeways by Bluebell Model Railway Shop, which are a model of the same thing, but neater than the castings.
  4. Personally, I'd be OK with receiving designer's commission a few months later. It's what happens at SW anyway. To avoid a flock of micro-transactions, they accumulate the designer's cut and pay it once per month, and only when it exceeds $30. For me, that meant I got paid two or three times a year.
  5. Yes ... but (for me at least), the big problems with Shapeways are not their print costs, but their vast shipping fees and their refusal to accept things as printable that are known to print well. If their charges per print could be matched, then I think a British version might have a market.
  6. I'm interested, and could upload some STL files for tests. My stuff is only appropriate for the resin printers. To make this a viable replacement for Shapeways, we'd some agreements on how printability is worked out. Who does the support generation? How many iterations of test prints (with support variations) are needed to prove printability, and what cost to whom? What's the consistency of prints after printability is proven? If a third-party customer is unhappy with the results, how is this resolved and who pays? There's also the question of spruing parts. At Shapeways one has to sprue repeats of the same part. On my home printer, it's usually better not to. Would the resin parts be supplied trimmed or on their supports? How fully cured would they be? Shapeways FUD prints seem to be a little more robust that resin prints on my home machine. There are things that I can print at home but they break too easily in service so I don't bother. We'd need to know the minimum feature-sizes for the resin. If it's "no wires or walls thinner than 1 mm", then none of my range is viable. Also, if a print does happen to break during washing, who pays for the replacement? Sorry if this seems a bit picky, but to make 3rd-party sales work well we have to sort all this out. I'm sure that there are workable solutions if we don't have a rabid pack of shareholders making things difficult. If some prints are commercially infeasible (i.e. only OK for printing at customer's risk) then that's understandable, but we'd need to know before putting them on sale.
  7. Thanks for the link. Their material guide for high-detail resin doesn't list minimum wire and wall sizes, so it's hard to be sure, and the firm is shut down for holidays at present. I'll ask them later. AFAICS, they don't offer 3rd-party print-on-demand, so not very attractive to me. I don't want to be in the supply loop. However, if I chose to license my designs to societies, a firm that does good, batch printing with SLA might be very useful.
  8. Yes. It's interesting to consider the desirable characteristics of such a company. Runs materials that allow very fine details. Allows customers to print down to near the true limits of those materials at customers' risk. I.e., the "print it anyway option" is more widely available. Runs materials that allow surfaces to be properly flat without finishing processes that grind off details. Offers shipping options at a range of prices, including domestic, national mail service. Supports 3rd-party sales, so the designer doesn't have to be in the supply loop. Has at least a basic web-site for ordering, with perhaps hooks to connect from a Shopify site. Doesn't set too high a margin on the print prices. (That's desired features from the point of view of railway-gear suppliers. Investors would have other demands, of course.) It's the combination that's difficult. Shapeways have managed more of those features than any other company I know of; it's just a pity they now fail on the most important. I know that some modelling societies are investigating domestic printers that do nos. 1 to 4 and no 7, and leaving aside the feature for 3rd-party sales. Perhaps that's the way forward?
  9. With regret, I have to announce the withdrawal of the Rixon Finescale Models range from Shapeways. Recently, Shapeways have started to reject items from orders as unprintable, even when the same models have been printed successfully before. They apply rigorously some rules on minimum part-thickness that are not enforced in the automatic tests, so that alleged problems can only be found by ordering a test-print. They apply thse rules retrospectively, so models that have already be test-printed are also likely to fail, and they don't respect the fact that a model has 100% success in printing. Finally, I'm told that any model can be rejected if a Shapeways engineer thinks it might break during processing, so nothing is safe, even if brought into line with the rules. Many of the products in this range are likely to be deemed unprintable under these rules. All the axlebox-spring combinations have to go, and all the brake assemblies. None of those are worth printing if they are made thick enough to meet the rules. Other products may be at risk too, but without doing test-prints of everything I can't be sure which will pass and which will fail. I can't afford to test-print everything again at once! Therefore, I will be taking the whole range off-sale for the foreseeable future. The shop will remain as a record, and I might put some products back on sale if I validate them with test prints; but that would only happen where I need the prints for my own work. I apologise to anybody who's been inconvenienced by this, but Shapeways have put me in an untenable position.
  10. I suggest making the infills for the turnouts as removable units, locating on pins that go through into the baseboard. That's 1 mm brass pins that slide in rather than hammered track-pins. Then you can lift them out and fix them if they give grief. Or lift them out and bin them if they give continual grief. That's what I'm planning for my layout.
  11. The coarser standards in 4mm scale make this harder, particularly with the over-scale throw of the points. One could cheat a little and paint the surface over which the points move the same colour as the road surface. Then the bicycle-swallowing canyons would not be so obvious.
  12. It's nothing to do with P4 vs. EM. The problem that Dave T. describes applies to both gauges because the same chairs are used for both gauges. AFAIK, the EM tolerances aren't loose enough to overcome this. The DCCconcepts 3-point gauge for EM looks like the kind that avoids the problem by only gripping the rail head. It's harder to tell from the picture of their roller gauge, but that looks OK too. If you have either of these you can test the matter: put in a loose rail and if it can rotate in the groove a little around the axis of the head then its should be OK. If it grips the rail with the web at a fixed angle then you have problems. The gauge-narrowing problem can catch you out on curved, plain line as well as in turnouts.
  13. Chapel tramway, Southampton; the wharves are on the River Itchen. Less well known than the tramway between Eastern and Western Docks. This was still running when I lived in Southampton as a child but closed before I was old enough to go exploring the town. IIRC, one of the wharves retained an internal railway after the connection to BR was severed. PS: if one zooms on the OS map (available free on the Library of Scotland site), there's a curiosity: the sharp curve from the exchange sidings to the tramway goes through the back yard of a house in Melbourne Street; it nearly goes through the outside loo! My guess is that the tramway was original worked by horses and connected via a turntable. The curve was presumably put in later when the industrial users got locomotives.
  14. But if the radius of the transition curves goes to infinity at the point where they meet, does that not do the same as a straight length? How much straight would one need?
  15. Neither piece is tinned in the OP's picture. I predict that things would be smoother with tinned parts. When soldering a small thing to a large thing, I find it works best to tin the large thing and leave the small thing free of solder. Tinning the large part makes for a reliable joint and not tinning the small part reduces the cleaning up. This works better for me than sweating parts into place. I also find that old-fashioned, leaded, 60/40 solder flows better than 145-degree solder, even when the 145 is the leaded kind. This is contrary to published findings, so I wonder if some kinds of 145 solder flow better than others.
  16. The view along the viaduct wall in the first photo is particularly effective. Perhaps this mini-layout would benefit from mounting at eye level? It would look bigger that way. The brickwork is all a bit red for London. Some stretches of yellow brick would place it better. For the setts, you can buy rollers that fits 00/H0 track and imprint a pattern into DAS or similar. Those should sort out neat setts around the curves, but they wouldn't work well through the turnouts. Rather than a canal basin, how about a barge dock connected to the Thames? If I had that layout to finish, I'd put a wagon turntable at the end of the longest siding, with another line running back from the turntable along the dockside. Then I'd hang a scenic extension on the front large enough for a model of a Thames sailing-barge.
  17. Removing the "blue element" in 1916 is removing the lake coats and showing just the undercoat, possibly with clear varnish, possibly with nothing on top. That is a different change from the one in 1910, I believe.
  18. Several of the coach liveries can be correct at different times, on all varieties of stock. First reddish lake (called crimson in the specifications issued to the contractors). Then a browner/bluer, cheaper version of the lake from c.1910. Then purple-brown undercoat with no lake layers, from maybe 1916. (But check that, don't trust my memory). Bachmann and the Blubell's colour is possibly the 1910-1916 shade. Note that Bachmann's 60-foot stock represents coaches built after the original lake was changed to the cheap lake.
  19. The profits of the LCDR in the early days all went to the contractors who built the line. Did Mr. Forbes hold a stake in those companies?
  20. The grey parts look like PA12 which has a surface finish between WSF and FUD. The GWR self-contained buffers can be fitted with larger heads: you just use the parts with 1 mm rams and sheath them with the bushes provided on the print, as you'll need to do for the 13" heads. The buffer guides won't admit 2.5 mm rams as there's no way to print the guides thin enough. Thanks for buying and I hope they work out for you.
  21. A kit with a properly-designed, compensated underframe is actually easier to build than an old-school, rigid suspension. By properly-designed, I mean that it's all self-aligning, so there's no chance of getting the axleguards out of line, or at the wrong wheelbase so that the brakes bind, or higher at one end than the other, or with the buffers at the wrong height. Most wagon kits with compensation do not have this kind of underframe. The D&S ones certainly don't.
  22. I find two problems with the cheaper airbrushes. First, the manufacturers do their best but they can't afford much QC at the price, so the chance of getting a bust one is significant. Second, the metal used is inferior, relatively soft, and of uncertain temper. The critical parts wear out quickly, especially when the brush is stripped down for cleaning. If the brush works on arrival but has to be discarded after six months, then it's not so cheap overall. If it were possible to get spare parts very cheaply, then they'd be a better option.
  23. From what is it recharged? If you need a compressor anyway, it seems odd to have a tank on the brush. If one has no compressor, then I'd expect that little tank to run out quite quickly. Maybe it works with the low-output compressors used for inflatable toys?
  24. The SE&CR was still building wagons with high, curved ends in 1905-ish, maybe as late as 1907 (my books are not to hand). These would have lasted until grouping, easily. Conversely, many of the older wagons with curved ends were "reconstructed" with low, flat ends from 1912 onwards. Whether reconstruction was literal carpentry or actually meant replacement is unclear. IIRC, most of the ex-LCDR wagons, the ones with elliptical ends, were gone by grouping and the SE&CR did not build more.
  25. For plain brown paint on teak coaches, see the Met. dreadnoughts at Quainton Road. Definitely different to the imitation teak on the LNER coaches.
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