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60012 Commonwealth of Australia

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  1. Hi Ian, Apologies for the delay in responding. I have not yet added an interior to my ABW; however from what I've read and what's listed on Wikipedia, "Odd-numbered cars from 1 to 42 had the corridor on the left when looking from the first-class end, while the even-numbered cars in this range were built reversed." On the one I did, the First Class end is the end the battery boxes are under, and has the foot step on the end, see below photos. It would, however, rather embarrasingly, seem that the ABW/ABU cars only had one battery box, not two like AW and BWs, something which I will have to rectify. According to photos of 32ABW later in life as 32ABU under Steamrail, the singular battery box should be on the right-hand side facing along the vehicle from the First Class end (on the side shown by the second photo). At least on this and 40ABW/U; the side with the blanked out windows is opposite that of the battery box. It would seem that as with everything VR it always pays to check photos... The vestibules I did using black paper, folded on top of itself giving about 2mm between folds. From memory I did 7 folds each piece. This was then superglued to each vestibule piece, the springiness of the paper I used effectively providing a working gangway. Unfortunately this ended up causing problems and derailments around corners, so I glued them shut, however they still have the visual appearance. With regards to a CW, at this present point in time there are none available aside from brass ones. Some resin ones have been available in the past, which can occasionally be found on eBay or Facebook buy/swap/sell groups, or at exhibitions once they start operating again. It would be simpler to scratchbuild one using plasticard than it would to modify an AW or BW kit, as the only things that could be used are the underframe details, the bogies, part of the roof, and the vestibules. As shown on the previous page I have been working on some for 3D printing, and have some test-models completed (which I'll show once painted), however the prototypes revealed that I'd made a minor error with regards to the width (1mm approx, so barely anything but enough to notice the difference when next to other W cars), and my latest models from that supplier have some errors caused by the supplier changing my designs without consulting me, which I wish to resolve before I go and get anything more done from them, particularly as it was a rather expensive order that I made which is now unusable short of major work. I hope to make the CWs available to people once I'm happy with the design and have a reasonable stock of them, as they certainly represent a significant gap in available stock considering most other common VR guards vans have been or are available in either kit or plastic R-T-R form in the past couple of years (C, CV, CE, Z and variants, ZF, ZLP). I hope this is of some help. Pete
  2. Motivation modelling-wise, particularly Australian (though that's the subject for another topic if/when it reaches a suitably advanced stage), has suffered from a severe dip over the past several months after what felt like a somewhat world-shattering event of a personal nature earlier in the year. But, as with all issues and setbacks, the only thing to do is to keep carrying on and get back to some semblence of normal. So slowly back into the modelling we get. Having started at a new university this semester I've decided I may as well try and make the most of my time there, one aspect of which is making the most of everything that I have access to as a result. Nicely, this includes student access to the AutoDesk library of programs. Having never really gotten my head around Fusion360 in my earlier design phases, and being so used to SketchUp after some thousands of hours designing in it, but with limited experience in getting 2D CAD to work nicely for me, I decided to try out AutoCAD. At the time I was at my families second house down the West coast of Victoria, in Warrnambool - I've been between there and Melbourne since we took posession of it in late May. Unfortunately, we got hit with a 1 week that turned into 3 week COVID-19 lockdown, and so I was left with the house to myself for 3 weeks, the remainder of the family having been in Melbourne. With plenty of time, nothing to do, and a very empty, incredibly creaky house, I decided I may as well dig out my drawings and try out AutoCAD. After a day or so getting used to the program (designing the following carriage, realising I'd done it all wrong, and scrapping it to start again) I decided to draw up a rather neat little carriage that is believed to be the first bogie passenger carriage in Victoria, a Melbourne and Hobsons Bay United Railway Company carriage that was absorbed into the VR fleet in 1878. Build date is unknown, and when it entered service with the Victorian Railways it was classified 1AA. In 1888 it was reclassified to second class, becoming 11BB. With the 1910 recode this became 11B, it was withdrawn from passenger carrying service in 1940 and converted for use as a Way and Works workman sleeper carriage, before finally being withdrawn and scrapped in 1957. It's a shame that having lasted so late such a historically significant carriage was scrapped, though compared to the scrapping of all 4 famous S class pacifics some 3 years earlier I doubt it even made it onto the radar. The length, width and wheelbase of the carriage are known thanks to the VR line drawing. The height is approximated based off similar vehicles of the period. The sides and ends are designed as a double-etch, to be folded and laminated to give strength to the mostly half-etched outer sides. The not insignificant clear space on the etch will be taken up by another project that's currently going through the SketchUp design phase, as it requires more close attention than a carriage. After some messing about checking, double checking, adjusting, and then triple checking measurements, and reading documents on etching to confirm that half etch lines were in the right place etc, I got the body to a point where I'm happy with it. The point where the sides have the half-etch onto the body is regretfully poor, having no full width etch to form the second border, though hopefully having the inner etch laminated on will help this, along with a good steel ruler. Worst case I come back and design it with the floor as a separate piece and the sides and ends using tab and slot. I then turned to the 3D design aspects, the roof and chassis. VR standard 4'10" wheelbase bogies are available as brass cast kits, of which a set was purchased, and these will be assembled in due course, so the bogies are set. The roof design is a pure guess, though is based off a photograph of M&HBURC carriages in storage at Flinders St in the 1870s. As they all had the same style of construction, I'd say it's a not unreasonable guess that this vehicle would be the same. As can be seen in the background of the above image, I also drew up the sides in SketchUp to put together a 'complete carriage' to see how it would look when it's done. I'm going to have to find a suitable source of lining transfers, as I very much do not fancy attempting to line that all out by hand. With (at the time) no extra etching projects to fill the remainder of the sheet I put the design aside, though hopefully it'll see the light of day soon. Some (semi) kitbuilding up next. Having some time ago done a print of half a dozen of my wooden I wagon bodies. With no chassis, and work being sporadic between lockdowns, they sat untouched in a drawer for some time. Just before our latest lockdown (which by my count ended just over 2 hours ago), I made the trip down to Trainworld to purchase some underframe kits for these and some 6 wheel carriages; 3 of each. The first chassis was quickly assembled (they're nice and fast to do), and attached to a body. Having adjusted the body to be the correct width and length last year, there were a couple of things of note when attaching it to the body. 1) the chassis needs to be slimmed down. Not by a whole lot, and there's a roughly 1mm strip along the edge of the 10'6" chassis baseplates that's thinner than the rest, so easy to run a scalpel along each side to trim it down, and then a quick file of however much is left that needs thinning. 2) I need to thin the chassis baseplate before attaching it to the chassis. The body is the right size. The chassis is the right size. What isn't the right size is the fact that the chassis is designed to fit inside later era open wagons which were wider, and which had bodies that covered the sides of the floors. On the wooden I wagons the floor planking is noticeable between the solebars and the bottom plank of the body. Which is evidently thinner than the kit chassis floor. The height difference can be seen here when sat next to a Precision Scale Models brass I wagon that I purchased off a friend a at the start of the year, and collected in April. The price of the brass wagon would have paid for 5ish litres of 3D printer resin, but I've wanted to have one of them specifically for quite some time. The printed wagon is awaiting buffers as I have none, though what I have to show next may result in a fix for that particular problem. As the difference is only about 1mm or so, a bit under, I'm happy to live with it for this wagon - I'll just make sure not to put it in a train with other recent 3D prints. My plasticard scratchbuild, done a couple of years ago, was done on top of the same chassis with no thinning involved, so it'll happily sit with another one in a mixed train and nobody (else) will be any the wiser... The following can't be described as prototype modelling, so those who came here for rivet counting (in some cases literally), look away now. For some time now a couple of friends and I have discussed various possibilities for the development of the Melbourne suburban network (and regional, though predominately suburban) in the early years. They started out as a 'what if this company didn't close when it did', or 'what if this line had never been built and a different company used a different route', however over time have evolved somewhat into a hypothetical scenario where the Victorian gold rush started around 6 years before it did in reality, and as a result the railway network was being developed earlier - 1854+ becoming late 1840s. Having been reading/re-reading through some excellent threads on pre-grouping modelling on RMWeb over the past couple of days, in particulary Chris P Bacon's 'Sandy, GN &LNWR', and 'MikeOxen's Broad Gauge Blog', it inspired me to turn these thoughts into something a little more solid. So, to start with, 4 basic carriage types and a 'standard' 20' underframe with 12' wheelbase were drawn up, covering a combined luggage and brake van, a 1st class carriage with solid roots in early Stockton and Darlington coaches, and 2nd and 3rd class coaches that, despite starting out with an intention of attempting to make a British carriage with minor local influence, ultimately turned into coaches that look suspiciously like about 50% of the VRs fixed wheel carriage fleet. With the basic designs done I added some colouring, the GER inspired blue, with red window frames, gold panelling, light grey roofs and black underframes of my 'Melbourne & Yarra River Railway Company'. Seen from L-R are the 3rd class, 2nd class, 1st class and luggage/brake van. To get a better idea of how this fictional universe would look after some discussion with the more invested of the friends who I've discussed this with, I also painted them up into his 'Gipps Land Railway' livery of teak and charcoal. Now, all this hypothetical talk and fun designs (I mostly just wanted to do the 1st class car with the ornamental panelling) is very well and good but not particularly relevant for this part of the forum. So, having had its first use since about February last night for the non-Australian project, the small printer (an AnyCubic Photon Mono, which I couldn't recommend enough after the following results) was once again called into use, to do a print of one of the 20' chassis, along with a 1st class body, and a luggage/brake van body. To say that I was astounded by how well the prints came out is an understatement. For context (see following photos), the thin part of the leaf springs on the chassis comes out at 0.3mm tall and 2mm wide. Getting into fine etching tolerances for the equivalent. Pre-printing I was very unsure as to whether the springs would print properly, and slightly uncertain on how the buffers would come out. Turns out that my concern was unfounded. Hard to see with all the clear resin, but that's a very neatly printed out 0.3mm thick leaf spring after a quick metho bath. No issues could be spotted with the springs, nor with the buffers - hence my comment earlier regarding I wagon buffers. Obviously not going to be as strong as the cast brass ones, but even if I come up with a 50/50 printed-metal option - possibly printed buffer shanks and a turned head+shaft made possible by a Unimat 3 modelling lathe I have on long term loan from a friend. Also hard to see but the two carriage bodies came out nicely too. It looks as though the tumblehome on the 1st class car is slightly warped in the following photo, though no visible deformities were spotted when I looked over it while taking the photos. It may be that daylight and an undercoat says differently, if so I'll adjust the thickness for extra strength and have another go. Unfortunately my phone camera doesn't seem too fond on focussing on what I want it to at the moment. And last but not least the luggage/brake van and the full print. The resin printing isn't infallible, though in my experience 9 times out of 10 a problem is caused by either the wrong settings, poor support design, or poor design in general. The non-Australian print suffered from a partial-failure along a bufferbeam as I managed to forget all my previous experience doing the exact same thing, and didn't make sure to put supports in corners. Not something that's in any way groundbreaking, but it can be something as simple as 2 supports in the right place that can be the difference between having a nice sharp, crisp print, and having something that looks like someone dropped a soldering iron on a resin cast. Because I for the most part strongly believe that if it's worth doing it's worth doing well, these and an accompanying item that'll have to wait for a later date to show (though a couple of corners are visible in some of the digital images earlier in the post) are designed for EM gauge to represent true Victorian 5'3" broad gauge. At the rate my motivation for things is coming and going at the moment it could be anything from a couple of days to a couple of months before the next update, but I thought I've done stuff so why not show it. As always thoughts, comments, questions about any of it are welcomed, whether about the kitbuilding, designing, printing or just general modelling related. Peter
  3. Two more coaches completed yesterday, 52ABW and 7BW, which means I now have one of each type complete. The next few days are quite busy so most likely the remaining 4 coaches won't be complete until mid next week. Now that these two are complete, once added to the UP and C van I have a nice short 50s era pass. Very pleased so far with how they're all coming out, especially now that I can set them up in a consist to see how my working vestibules go (so far, very good, I've had them going around 29" radius curves without major issues, and I work off a minimum 36" on my layouts). Peter
  4. 13AW has become the first of the 7 cars to be decalled and ready for service after a late night working on it. All it needs for final completion, and it can be run without it for now as it'll be the last thing I do to the cars, is to fit window glass and permanently secure the roof. The next few days will see the same work (window frames painted, working vestibules built and fitted, decalled and dullcoated) completed on the remaining 6 vehicles.
  5. As promised some more photos today. First up, the M&SRC 2-4-0T chassis, now fitted with Scale Link wheels. I'm yet to clean up the rod etchings after removing them from the etching sheet, and the axles on the leading wheelset need to be filed flat, plus the things noted yesterday. Still, it's awesome to finally have it at least partially assembled. The last image there shows the amount of extra slop in the wheels as a result of the frame spacers being a bit too narrow; oh well, I've learned from it, will know next time to make them a mm or two wider. Next up, nice new passenger carriages. The new AW and ABW shown in my last post have now had the red painted, and the roofs have recieved their grey coat (the crimson car will have the clerestory sides painted crimson tomorrow to ensure the grey's had enough time to dry before masking). Both will get the black underframe sprayed tomorrow, and will go in line for window frames, which will be the same grey as the roofs (XF-24 for the crimson car, and XF-75 for the red car). I'm particularly proud of the ABW, where the join in the sides can't be seen unless looking at it up close. The addition of these cars brings the two consists up to 3 and 4 vehicles respectively, the crimson one being AW-ABW-BW, and the red one being AW-ABW-BW-BW, currently supplemented with the UP van shown the other day, and a C type guards van. The arch roof BW (last vehicle before the C van) has had a spare clerestory roof fitted for the time being, the arch roof which I ordered for it was shipped today, so hopefully it'll be here soon. Work that remains to complete the cars includes the painting of window frames on the entire crimson set, and the AW and arch roof BW on the red set; the painting of underframes for the clerestory AW and BW in the red set, and the ABW in the crimson set; painting the clerestory sides on the crimson ABW; painting and fitting working vestibules to all cars except the arch roof crimson BW which already has them; and then finally decals, window glass, and Sergent couplers. To fully complete the W car sets I decided I needed a CW, the guards van. I have an old resin one, but it's rather poor quality and very damaged (was bought second hand damaged, as the resin is very brittle). With that in mind, using a combination of diagrams, photos, and the occasional measurement from my resin one, I've drawn up the body of the clerestory roof CW for 3D printing, with the arch roof variant and a chassis to follow shortly. You may notice that on the planking the gaps vary in width, this is very deliberate. On the full size W cars, the planking is tongue-in-groove, with each piece consisting of two planks. As a result, every second gap is larger, as a result of including the join between each tongue-in-groove section, whilst the intermediate gaps are purely cosmetic. I've produced this effect on the model by using 0.2mm plank gaps where the tongue-in-groove sections join, and 0.1mm gaps where they're the cosmetic gaps. The next few days will primarily consist of finishing off the 7 SEM W cars, as my printer's currently having problems printing it may be some time before the CW sees the light of day as it were. Peter
  6. Three more Steam Era W cars have joined the fleet over the last couple of days, an AW; an ABW, made from splicing AW and BW sides; and a BW. These bring the total carriage count to 7 (a third BW found mostly-assembled in the search for the red ABWs arched roof), with a final BW being built on commission for me to bring it to 8; which will give me 2 car sets, or any variation thereof, the two consisting of a crimson set of AW - ABW - BW (Arched roof) - BW, and a red set of AW - ABW (Arched) - BW (Arched) - BW. The photos attached are of the newly built AW and ABW cars, the BW having been built and painted, and is currently in the shed with the other 4 cars, once I've had a chance to paint these two tomorrow I'll take some photos of the (almost completed) sets. The AW, to complete the 1950s+ carriage red set, which currently consists of an arched roof ABW, a clerestory roof BW, and an arched roof BW (for which the roof is on-order, as I had none spare). I unfortunately used a little too much glue in attaching the clerestory sides on this side of the car, hence the minor glue spillage seen on the right-hand side, thankfully it shouldn't be noticeable once painted. The ABW, to complete the crimson set (once my clerestory roof crimson BW being built on commission is done). The left hand side consists of the AW sides, the right hand the BW sides, the BW sides being cut halfway down the 4th compartment to provide the window for the small toilet in the centre of the ABWs. The join is barely visible in real life, it mostly shows up in photos due to the colour difference, and if I'm lucky won't be visible at all once painted. The window bar on the toilet window on this side snapped while assembling the carriage, and has been replaced with 0.5mm brass wire, something which I had to do on the newly-built red BW (to be shown tomorrow), and on it having been painted it's almost impossible to spot even knowing what you're looking for. On the freight wagon side, I also got a set of bogies to complete a cast resin model of a VR QN bogie ballast wagon, which has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. Once I've made and fitted a couple of small bogie spacers, to bring it up to the right height, and painted it, it'll start to form the basis of a works train which is a prototype I've been intending to model for several years now. In a development for my very early VR stock, the first set of wheels and bearings for the M&SRC 2-4-0T have arrived and been assembled and attached to the chassis. Once again being out in the shed photos will follow tomorrow. A couple of things I've found from assembling them, are 1) I didn't make the frame spacers wide enough. I'm going to have to fit washers to the axles to stop them sliding from one side to the other, and 2) the front undriven wheelset sits just above railheight (I'd hazard a guess at <1mm), so the bearings for those will have to be opened up minimally. The etched rods, which I was worried would be too thin, seem to be working fine, though the real test will be once I've assembled the cylinders and finished the connecting rods, at the moment only the coupling rods are fitted. More to follow tomorrow. Peter
  7. A rare occasion where a lot has happened in short succession, this evening saw several more wagons and coaches painted or repainted. First up, what will become 52ABW. Purchased coded as 52ABU (1970s onwards coding) and with a rather scuffed paintjob (I believe it was third-hand by the point I got it), I decided to repaint it. Unlike the AW, and the next carriage covered, I did this one in the 1950s onwards carriage red, as I model 40s to 60s having the variation is always a good idea. Once I've located the roof for this car it will be painted in a light grey, as opposed to the dark grey on the crimson vehicles. Next up, a carriage I built myself several years ago when I was just getting into modelling VR, so rather roughly built, the roof in particular (the arched roof was built up using filler, and is not my finest work. At some point it may well get replaced with a cast resin roof, as the kits come with clerestory roofs.) This carriage will become 43BW once I've done some extra work to it, including adding the queenposts and truss rods, which are rather obviously absent. I also successfully managed to knock the generator off the chassis when moving it around, so that will also get glued back on. Some non-coaching stock, a UP louvre van and M cattle van. The UP vans were converted from UB vans in 1958-1959, and lasted until the early 1960s in service, differing from standard UB vans in that they were fitted with passenger type bogies as fitted to C brake vans to permit them to run at higher speeds, were fitted with lamp irons and end of train discs, and were painted in carriage red with black underframes. I have yet to paint the buffer beam and shunters steps black, this will be done by hand as I don't fancy having to mask all the handrails and other brass parts on the ends for the sake of the buffer beams. It appears I didn't push the body down properly on the chassis for the photo, so the body is a little higher than it should be. Both it and the M van are the SEM ones shown in my last post but one. The next items painted were the three I wagons shown in the last post but one, the two buffer fitted, dual coupled vehicles recieving wagon brown (Tamiya XF-10), and the auto-only one recieving a coating of White Knight Red Oxide Primer, which I use for 1955+ wagon red. Along with these three are a 3D printed wagon of my own design, a Q type flat wagon, which I designed and printed on my EPAX X10. The print is slightly wobbly as I'm having major problems with printer supports at the moment. It's fitted with Kadees for now, as it may be going to a friend who requested I do a Q flat. The rivets are thankfully more visible than on the test print of my rivetted D3/K class tender shown earlier this year (the only print of which was an abysmal failure, hence not being shown) The work on the AW, ABW, BW and UP mean that I now have a reasonable stopping passenger consist; I have a further BW that I'm having built on commission, which was sent off and paid for at a time which I thought I would have far less time on my hands this year then I ended up having, and another BW to build myself, which when added to the consist, plus a guards van (which I already have), will give me a nice long consist, with a mix of liveries, as ultimately the AW and two BWs will be in crimson, with the ABW and third BW being in carriage red. The consist as it stands (the guards van sitting in one of my boxes in my bedroom), is below, showing the contrast between the dark crimson and the much brighter carriage red (I had forgotten to remove the windows on one door prior to painting the ABW, though I noticed it between taking this photo and the earlier one, hence the fully red door here). Some final other news that I forgot to add in my previous post, is that I've ordered almost all the remaining required components to complete the first of my M&SRC George England 2-4-0Ts; a set of wheels, bearings, and axles from Scale Link, having found some spare crank pins. All that leaves is the motor and gearbox, both to be High Level items, which will be ordered when funds allow. If I can keep up with this burst of motivation, I may well have more progress to report on various items over the next few days. Peter
  8. Some more work done on rolling stock, this time HO gauge mid 50s stock. My Auscision 830, which for an Alco has looked far too clean for a while, recieved a moderate weathering. It's the first time I've tried multiple weathering techniques on a loco the furthest I've gone in the past being a dry-brushing of a mix of black and brown. It's hardly up to the standards of many people on here, but I'm happy with it. I started out using a black wash, went over the entire loco with a particular focus on the bogies and roof, and then wiped off most of the sides with a paper towel, leaving the panels mostly clean but panel edges, grills etc with a buildup. I then airbrushed a mix of tan, brown, grey and black on, again with a focus on the underframe and roof, and then again wiped off most of the body. The result, happily, looks far more like a regularly used in-service 830 than one on its delivery run. The next item I've worked on is a Steam Era Models AW kit, which I built back in November or December last year, and sat unpainted on a shelf since then. It's recieved an airbrush coat of Humbrol #20 to represent VR passenger car crimson as used from 1920 to 1954, the roof getting Tamiya XF-24 dark grey, with the roof masked off to paint the clerestory sides Humbrol #20. The body was then masked off and the underframe sprayed using a generic Bunnings black spray can. To complete it, the window frames will be painted in the XF-24 dark grey, the vestibules completed and painted black (I make my own working vestibules using folded paper, hence leaving them off for now), the handrails painted black, decals fitted, the coach varnished, and then windows and the roof fitted. Up next will be the painting of the wagons shown in my last post, along with the completion of this AW. I also have a BW kit to build and paint, which will be done soon enough, and a couple of my other carriages (a BW and an ABW) are on the list for a repaint now that I have the airbrush to paint them neatly. Peter
  9. Some more progress recently. The etching sheet for the M&SRC George England 2-4-0T arrived earlier this week, I'm very pleased with how they've turned out. The first chassis sides and spacers were soldered together; and next I'll be placing orders for the wheels, motor and gearbox so that the remaining parts can be assembled, and a first model assembled. An increase in motivation over the past day and a half has seen my pile of unbuilt kits reduced, having assembled (all Steam Era Models kits) a VR UP bogie louvre van, in late 1950s condition with auto-couplers and early shunters steps; a VR 11'6" wheelbase I wagon, in late 1950s to late 1960s condition again with auto-couplers and early shunters steps; two VR 10'6" wheelbase I wagons, in 1930s to 1950s condition with dual couplers and buffers, and a VR M cattle van in 1930s to 1950s condition, again dual couplers and buffers. Photo order UP, M, I (11'6"), I (10'6"), I (10'6") Of interest may be my choice of couplers. I use a mix of Sergent, dual-coupler (Sergent and 3 link combination), screw-link and 3-link couplers. The dual-couplers are hardly an original idea of my own, another VR modeller I know was my inspiration for using them, but nonetheless it's something that I found rather clever. Between the 1920s and 1950s the VR underwent a program of transitioning from screw link and 3 link couplers, to auto couplers. During this time, most wagons retained their buffers, but were fitted with dual couplers - an auto coupler with half a link bolted to the top, and 2 links attached to that. This enabled the VR to mix auto-only and screw-link or 3-link only stock in the same rakes. This image (link embedded, source victorianrailways.net) shows this dual-coupler arrangement, which was kept on some works stock into the 1970s and 1980s while most stock had it removed during the 1950s. The image below (apologies for the poor quality, the light in my room is very poor so I had to use flash) shows the couplers as added to my stock; with one link cut in half and superglued to the top of a Sergent, with the extra two links added once the glue is dried and suitably hardened. The I (11'6") wagon on the left shows the later condition of wagons, once the buffers and dual couplers had been removed shunters steps were added, originally wooden (as seen here), though they were replaced with wire mesh steps in the late 1960s. Extra handrails were also added when the shunters steps were introduced. The I (11'6") wagon has plastic handrails, being one of the earliest Steam Era kits still in production; most others have been upgraded with the addition of wire handrails. When I get around to painting them, all 3 dual-coupled wagons will recieve VR wagon brown (<1950s), for which I use Tamiya XF-10; the I (11'6) wagon will get VR wagon red (>1950s), and the UP will be painted in carriage red, with a wagon red roof, and black underframe; as suitable for approximately 1958 to 1960. Peter
  10. Following on from yesterday I thought I'd show some progress on the L class. With only a couple more details left; the safety valve cover, sandboxes next to the smokebox, buffers, and smokebox front details, this covers the first variant: As Built - American funnel, open cab, horizontal smokebox door, elaborate safety valve cover, round builders plate, type 1 tank wrapper, suitable for locomotive numbers 14-20 (evens only). As noted in my earlier post, far more items are etched brass, including the splashers (which I forgot to include in the list), tank wrapper, cab, and smokebox front. Handrail holes and bunker details are also yet to be added. Removing the printed tank base, etched tank wrapper, and cast brass tank filler reveals a mock-up of a High Level Roadrunner gearbox and 1015FE motor, the combination of which fit nicely into the loco, with plenty of room to spare in the large saddle tank. In the background the 2D templates for most of the etchings can be seen. Unlike the George England 2-4-0T, I'll be experimenting with AutoCad Fusion 360 for the final etching drawings this time, and will translate each drawing across in 2D form, line-by-line. As PPD Ltd accept AutoCad files in their native format this will make things easier than having to import a 2D rastor graphic into Inkscape and insert shapes over it to form a vector file (something which I ended up having some difficulty with last time). One major advantage behind using etchings more predominately can be seen in the splashers, cab and bunker components. The .45mm brass (or nickel silver, I haven't decided which to go with for the body components, though the chassis will be nickel silver as with the 2-4-0T) enables much greater finesse, giving thinner sides, the benefits of which are much greater with open cab designs, and reducing the overall size of the splashers, which are already larger than scale due to oversize wheels. As I have a couple of friends who have expressed interest in getting an L or two off me once I've finished them I'm now planning on doing components and etchings for all 9 variants, instead of just the ones that I wanted for myself (which would have been most, though not all of them). Driving wheels will be Alan Gibson J94 wheels (the closest to the 5' 15 spoke wheels fitted, due to the HO-OO size differences), though the trailing wheels may end up being a challenge, as I would require 12mm diameter 12 spoke wheels, however the only 12 spoke wheels I've been able to find are 8 spoke. EDIT: Looking through the Alan Gibson catalogue they have 12mm 12 spoke wheels, I just hadn't looked far enough through it to find them. Short of some 12mm 12 spoke wheels miraculously turning up, I may end up needing to 3D design and print the spoke section of the wheels, and either buy 12mm wheels for the tire, or turn my own on my lathe (the former being my preferred option at the moment, as it would give me the axle as well). As I've only ever designed disc wheels before it may form somewhat of a challenge, and I would certainly get them printed professionally rather than doing them myself due to the wider variety of materials available, as this gives the potential of getting them printed out of a plastic (or metal and using a plastic or rubber bush to attach them to the axle), which would be stronger than using the resin I use, which can be brittle. For anyone interested in seeing prototype images of the L, a selection of photos can be found on the Public Records Office of Victoria website, the high-resolution collection of railway images can be found here: https://beta.prov.vic.gov.au/collection/VPRS12800?fbclid=IwAR2VmiaydsDC4FHUWPALqG8zvLt83G29k9o-TGyZInW5DEN0NVCF2F2VoEI A search of 'L Class' will bring up a number of photos of them at different points throughout their lives. Peter
  11. Thanks, it's always good to hear that other people benefit from posting about it! The etchings for the M&SRC 2-4-0T have been ordered, there's currently a 6 week wait time from PPD Ltd, so in the meantime I'll be placing orders for wheels and crankpins from Scale Link, and motors and gearboxes from High Level. I've also started development work on another loco, the L class 2-4-0ST; the only saddle tank ever used by the VR. Over their lifetimes there were no less than 9 different variants as best as I can tell, including assortments of 3 different tank types, 3 different cabs, 3 different funnels, 2 smokebox doors and 2 safety valve covers. Having a 45 year service history (1861-1906) makes it much more versatile in model use. It's also going to contain far more etched parts than the M&SRC 2-4-0T, with the chassis, tank wrapper(s), smokebox fronts, steps and cab(s) being etched, with funnels, safety valve covers, and water tank fillers cast from brass; I found a place in NSW that does brass casting who I might try out for the casting work. Once I've done some more work on the design I'll put up some screenshots, at the moment I've only completed one variant. Peter
  12. Having had no motivation lately due to recent events (our family dog of 12 years sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago, and Melbourne has been put back into a lockdown, with masks now mandatory) I decided to throw myself back into modelling and designing, with something a bit different and far more complex than what I've done in the past, for various reasons, the least of which was choosing to design an etched chassis for it (rather than going with a 3D printed or kitbashed one) The decision was made to design the George England 2-4-0Ts built in 1860 for the Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company. 2 were built, named Hawthorn and Richmond, and after passing to the Melbourne Railway Company and later Melbourne and Hobsons Bay United Railway Company through successive acquisitions and mergers, ended up being sold to private contractors, Hawthorn in 1877 and Richmond in 1872, meaning neither made it into VR service - the M&HBURC was purchased by the VR in 1878. This specific choice led to one major problem - only one known photograph exists of either loco, and it's from after they were sold, appearing with a tender attached (https://images.prov.vic.gov.au/loris/7164%2F0926%2F37%2Fimages%2F1%2Ffiles%2F12800-00001-000011-050.tif/full/6000,/0/default.jpg, and there are no diagrams. George England Co records list the builders numbers (160 and 161), and cylinder size (15x20"), but nothing else. Consequently, the base dimensions (namely wheel size, overall length and overall width) were taken off the M&HBRC Stephenson 2-4-0WT (later N class), as proportionally they were similar. 2 days later, and I have a set of 3D components (cylinders and body), and an etching sheet design for the chassis components. The cab roof and rear supports will be plasticard and brass wire, and the body will fit a High Level RoadRunner gearbox and 12mm diameter motor. Due to minimum sheet sizes for etching I've fitted 6 sets of chassis etches, when etched two will become a Hawthorn and Richmond for me, two have been accounted for by a friend, and the remainder may get boxed up into somewhat of a complete kit and sold. As I've documented various stages of my design method here before I'll simply skip to the end images. The chassis etches extruded to full thickness (.45mm) and assembled, with the body and cylinders attached, and a rough set of wheels (RP-110 spec) attached - the wheels were attached so I could rough out the length of the main rod, piston rod, slidebars, crosshead, and slidebar guide. The cab roof will be .5mm plasticard and the rear supports .5mm brass, 3D printing them would be too flimsy. The 'assembled' chassis etch, and an image of the etching sheet plan below. The plan was done in SketchUp, then transferred to Inkscape for final processing into a suitable format to send off to the etchers. I had PPD Ltd of Scotland recommended to me for the work, and will be sending them an email once I can afford to pay for the etchings. The sheet is 300x150mm (the minimum size possible). Being the first time designing anything for etching (I've done some basic designs for laser cutting in the past, but at a much bigger scale) I'm very happy with how the design's come out, hopefully the final version comes out just as well! At some point over the next week or two I'll be printing off one of the bodies to see if any adjustment is needed. Peter
  13. It's often been stated by my railway friends that I can be somewhat of a rivet counter sometimes - considering current circumstances it would seem they were correct There are some 1,605 rivets in the model, as they're all separate entities within the model no physical counting was involved in the final count, though the positioning of them was almost entirely by eye, unfortunately following the spacings specified in the diagram resulted in too few rivets spaced too far apart when compared to photographs. Each rivet measures approximately 0.23mm in diameter and 0.12mm in height. The gaps in the columns of rivets on the rear of the tender are for the numberplates. The design of this one varies from my first tender design and print, it was pointed out to me that later batches of DD (after about 1912) and the K class had self-trimming tender tanks, which had a different bunker design and were slightly longer (8 1/2") than the original type. As the models for which this is intended (R-T-R D3 and K class models due out in the next year or so) I decided to move on and get this type finished and then come back to the original one at some point; I need some more diagrams to be able to start my own DD loco design. After the pain involved in adding the rivets I'm going to take a break from tender designs now, the print of this one's starting as I type. I'm not sure what I'll do next, I may start on another loco project or step back from designing and do some kitbuilding; I still have a nice big pile of both unbuilt and part-built kits to work on. Peter
  14. My latest project has been the start of something which will be much bigger eventually. I recently got a set of General Arrangement drawings for a VR DD steam loco (first built 1902), which happens to fit my EM gauge era nicely. So, I started with the tender. The design itself was incredibly complex to do, the tender includes a flare with beading, which is (in my opinion) easily the hardest shape/design aspect to design using SketchUp. The base design of the tender took about 5 hours, drawing it to 1:1 scale using feet and inches. The flare and beading took another 15 hours. It's not my neatest work, but in HO scale it looks fine. The completed CAD design is below. I'm yet to add rivets (several hundred of them, a task which I'm rather dreading), but they'll be done eventually. Once the CAD was completed, I ran off a print. A lack of interior support led to the sides bowing outwards during post curing process. Some extra supports were added, and a second print was done, which turned out fine, save for some Z axis shift, which will be rectified. The second print was painted satin black, and bluetacked onto the tender frame of my brass K class. It's not accurate (K192 is a boxpok K class, built in 1946, the first 10 Ks built in 1922 were the only ones fitted with flared tenders), but I like the look of it. The eventual plan is to design a complete DD, including different variations (they had 3 styles of footplate and 2 different cab designs), but I need to obtain some more detailed drawings before I can do so. Peter
  15. Thanks Mark. As Nile posted, I use the Sketchup STL extension when exporting all of my models. It's very convenient too as it gives you the option to only export parts of a model instead of the whole thing (unless you want to export the whole thing). Peter
  16. It's been a very long two weeks, both personally and on a modelling front, so I thought I should post what I've been up to. One of the things I enjoy the most about modelling is that it makes for a very good distraction from real life on both a personal front and worldwide front, so I've very much dived head-first into it since the last update. The update I intended to post on the evening of the 21st concerns a new carriage, and some wagon painting. As referenced in an earlier update, I repainted the EM gauge wooden U van into the as-built livery of white with a black underframe. It's not that neat - this is now the third livery the wagon has carried, doing a reverse of what the real ones did - starting out in 1950s+ wagon red, then getting repainted into the earlier wagon brown, and now being repainted into it's as-built livery. At some point I'll strip the entire wagon, clean it up properly, and repaint it again, but for now it'll do. It's slightly out of era for what I intend to build as my first layout anyway (my plan being for a line that was only open for two years - 1891-1893 - with this diagram U vans being built from 1895 onwards.) Next up was a new coach. Based on the diagrams for 6 coaches built in 1865, I later discovered that my design was wrong - the real coaches have a tumblehome, which I did not replicate. As such, I have only printed one of these so far. The carriage was printed, and fitted to a Steam Era Models 15' wheelbase underframe. SEM buffers have been fitted, and once I complete painting it will be fitted with Smiths screw links. It rides a little higher than my other coaches, so I may sand down the underframe more to lower it a bit. Next I decided to work on some goods stock. As of about 1888, around 2/3s of the VRs wagon fleet comprised of wooden I type open wagons. I have one of these scratchbuilt, and a couple of years back started a 3D design to print them. The design was resurrected, some faults fixed, and then test-printed. The print revealed that the design was too wide - having lost my measurements of one of the only remaining ones after building the scratchbuilt one. I've left this as a body, as the extra width in a train of wagons would frustrate me. The width has been revised, and once I get a spare moment to use the printer (it's been running almost non-stop printing coaches) will print off several. These will go on Steam Era Models 10'6" wheelbase underframes, which the scratchbuild is built on. I also built a small N type ballast hopper, using an SEM 10'6" wheelbase underframe and some 2x1mm plasticard strip, with the edges bevelled so the planking was visible. It's not accurate - it should be slightly shorter and on a 9' wheelbase underframe, but it'll do for now. It also needs some extra detail added, and couplers. Once I've printed some more I wagons, the underframe will likely be recycled under one. Next up was something different, a bogie vehicle. One of my earliest 3D designs, done back in 2017, this is of a 45' 7 compartment AA first class swing door car. Some 116 of these were built, all save 6 between 1889 and 1892, the final 6 being built in 1902. As swing doors were built to first class designs first, enabling fixed wheel first class cars to be cascaded down to second class stock, it made more sense to make the first class variant. Some 8 different diagrams of 45' swing door vehicles were built before 1900, across AA (First Class), BB (Second Class), ABAB (First and Second Class), ABDABD (First and Second Class with Guard) and ADAD (First Class with Guard) classifications. I have completed designs for 7 compartment AA and BB cars, and part complete designs for ABAB, ABDABD, ADAD and 6 compartment AA cars, the part complete designs requiring updating, as they were very basic and contained inherent design flaws when I first designed them. The 7 compartment AA/BB design was the first to be updated in line with the standards of my later 58' cars (post 1910). It was fitted with a set of kitbashed bogies - cut up from Steam Era Models 6 wheel E car bogies, to represent 4'10" wheelbase bogies. They aren't quite accurate, at some point I'll design some for 3D printing, but they look right. I also think I need to add a washer under the bogie at one end - the ride height varies from end to end as I made the bolsters too large and had to cut them down manually, it would seem I overcompensated at one end. There's also a slight upwards bow along the carriage, a result of the post-curing process. I have a UV lamp on order which should help resolve this issue. Having a bogie vehicle for some extra variation and first class accomodation, my attention moved back to fixed wheel stock. The next design covers the first 16 second class vehicles built for the VR in 1859 - 1-16B. This is the first car I've designed with a tumblehome (curved lower side), and I'm not entirely happy with how it's printed, however I have a theory as to how to partially fix this. To maximise efficiency, at this point I started printing 5 vehicles at a time, the most my printer will fit. As it takes some 10-12 hours for a single print of a fixed wheel coach, this makes a noticeable difference in terms of speed. This is designed to fit a Steam Era Models 6 wheel chassis with the centre axle removed (being a 4-wheel coach), however I don't currently have any, and finances were limited. So for now, I have the 5 bodies. At this point, having discussed it with a couple of friends, I decided to print off a batch of 5 of the first design I did - the M&HBURC ones mentioned in my second and third posts. These were listed on eBay on a price that I thought was on the cheap side, but reasonable. Within two hours of listing, all 5 had sold, and I had a message from someone else asking if I would be making more. A second batch were printed that night, and again all 5 sold within a day. It would seem I had greatly underestimated the demand for such vehicles. As I have my own business, previously focussed on producing the later 58' swing doors (which have unfortunately had several delays due to issues with printing), I have made the decision to sell further batches through there. Plans for the production and sale of the correct types of fixed wheel coach through there are currently underway, and if anyone is interested I run the business through Facebook, the page name is Pioneer Models. The fixed wheel coaches haven't been listed up yet, as I intend to run a few print batches before I do so, but they will be listed at some point in the next week. I'll be posting business-related updates on the facebook page, and won't put any more here, as this isn't the place to put them, and I don't see much point in putting up a thread in the manufacturers section here, being a mostly UK and EU based forum. With the business side out of the way, I then turned back to more designs. With some 8 different fixed wheel coaches and 1 bogie coach, all without guards accomodation, I moved my attention to suitable guards vehicles. By 1893, there were some 3 codes suitable - AD (First Class with Guard), BD (Second Class with Guard) and ABD (First and Second Class with Guard). I chose a diagram of coach which not only had several photos available, but also covered two of those three codes. The diagram covers vehicles 1-12, 62, 63BD, and 1, 2, 10AD, built between 1882 and 1887. The AD cars were recoded to BD in 1889, 1891 and 1901 respectively, which allows me to have 15 as BD and 2 as AD in the period I'm currently focussing on. The design was drawn up, and again 5 were printed. As with 1-16B, these are designed to fit SEM 6 wheel chassis, though this time retaining the centre axle, and needing .5mm extensions each end, being slightly longer than the underframe. The next week will likely see a large quantity of carriages printed for business sale, and once my intended quantity has been produced I'll be turning my attention once again to goods stock - more I wagons, and some vans being on the agenda. I'm also slowly working on refining and adding parts to the M class design, and at some point will do another print of it, and purchase some running gear once I've sold some more coaches. I've also had a request to produce a very specific vehicle - an ABD that varies slightly from the diagram, so there'll be an update showing it when I've done it. Once again I hope it's been interesting, and feel free to comment on any of it or ask any questions. Peter
  17. Thank you very much for your kind words. I know of two other modellers who have done pre-1920 VR, however both in other scales. Frank Kelly's incredible 4mm collection covered most of the locos built by the VR pre-1900, and some built after, and there's a modeller who has a small O scale shunting layout set around 1900 with a two-tone green M class. The layout goes out to exhibitions here in Victoria. As for EM to represent broad gauge, I believe there's a layout currently in England based on Broadford in the 1970s and 80s? which uses EM for the broad gauge, and HO for the standard gauge, and there are a couple of people I know of who have done some bits in EM, but I don't know to what extent. There's been some more progress so far today, but I'll wait until tonight to post so I can include it all in one post. Peter
  18. Some 16ish hours after I started the 3D design work, the 4 wheel coach was complete, minus transfers and glazing. In the end, the double-skin roof was actually from another kit, an SEM Victorian Railways U van, as the kit sprues come with two roofs there's always one spare. The roof was cut to size, and superglued to the stretchers. The two photos below show the differences between a GY chassis as-built, and the modified chassis: The axleboxes on the modified set of axleboxes and side channel have been filed flat, and had some of their height reduced, and the side channel has had 1mm cut off each end. The 1mm was also cut off the main chassis piece in order to fit the buffer beams as part of the 3D model. The strengtheners on the base of the chassis were also filed flat to reduce their depth to that of the side channel, the difference can be seen in the next photo which shows a GY chassis as built. Once the other set of axleboxes was filed down and the side channel cut to length, they were glued to the chassis piece and the wheels inserted. The chassis was then slotted into the freshly printed body, buffers and couplers added (though couplers not glued in yet), and the double skin roof was loosely placed on top. All the components were then put into grey primer, then the chassis was sprayed black while the remainder was painted by hand. The buffer beams are Tamiya XF-1 black, the body Tamiya XF-79 Linoleum Deck Brown, and the roof and window frames XF-24 Dark Grey. I also started repainting the wooden bodied U van shown in the previous post into the white and black livery they were in in 1900, but will save that for the next update. For now, I'm printing a second one of these carriages for myself and a couple for friends, and will do models for a couple of other variants. As I'm almost out of resin the current batch of 3 coaches might be the last prints for a while, but I have a total of 4L of resin on order so hopefully will be able to do a lot more soon (though the website says 7-30 days for delivery given the current crisis, so will have to wait and see). Peter
  19. A rolling stock and brief M class update this time. Having designed a very basic chassis block for it, I printed out V3. This time I managed to get the cab roof off the build plate without snapping it! The hornblock slots are to fit Alan Gibson hornblocks, as I have a spare set from a MR 700 class kit in P4 that I bought for spares (missing some frame pieces and the instructions). When I went to get the hornblocks out of the box, I made a very happy discovery - the tender wheelsets are almost the exact diameter as the wheels for the loco. They're obviously only in temporarily until I get proper drivers, but they certainly help make it look the part! Buffers and Smiths screw-links were also added. The frames are blu-tacked in for now, they'll be glued in once everything's painted and I have the proper wheels and gearbox. The pony truck is yet to be designed. A terrier backhead was also added - a surprisingly good fit. Next up on the list is some actual kit modification. Having got the loco to a point where I can sit it on a piece of track and look nice, albeit unpainted, missing a lot of detail parts, and without a pony truck, I decided to move to wagons. I have a few wagons suitable for the 1900-1910 era already, fitted with screw links, but all on HO. So, my EM back-to-back gauge was used for a second time (the first being regauging the P4 tender wheelsets to EM for the M class), to regauge the wheels on the 3 which had enough clearance for gauge conversion. Future kitbuilds for the EM layout will be built with the axlebox/sideframe sections pushed further out to enable easier conversion. Wagons suitable were a Steam Era Models wooden U van, a scratchbuilt (on SEM chassis) wooden I wagon, and an SDS Models M cattle van. Technically this design M van wasn't introduced until 1936, being of a longer wheelbase than the steel type introduced in 1897, so is unsuitable for the layout, but will do for now. I have a couple of the shorter wheelbase ones to build as kits, so if I decide to keep cattle wagons on EM the kits will be built to EM. Being all suburban stock however there isn't much need for cattle wagons, except for the occasional country train. Wooden U van and wooden I wagon. M van, showing the self-gauging axles fitted to SDS stock. This will make converting it back to HO nice and easy when the time comes. M class at the head of the 3 converted wagons. The guards van visible at the back right of the photo was going to be converted, but unfortunately wouldn't have fitted EM axles. So a new one will be built when I have the money to buy one. Up next is my current project, which is half kitbuild half 3D-design/print. For the planned suburban layout I'll need a lot of coaching stock, a mix of 4/6 wheel and 45' bogie stock. Conveniently, a lot of the 4/6 wheel stock will fit on kitbuilt underframes, so I decided to make a start on one. 20 coaches to this design were built around 1870, unfortunately accurate build dates are unavailable as they were built before the M&HBURC (Melbourne and Hobsons Bay United Railway Company) was purchased by the Victorian Railways in 1878, and the M&HBURC was notorious for poor record keeping. They were built as first class stock, and when introduced to the VR fleet around 1880 (the two fleets were kept separate between 1878 and 1880 for political reasons), were given the code A, and given random numbers between 26 and 476. With a wheelbase of 12', and an over-body length of 21'6", it's almost perfect for a standard VR open wagon chassis - 11'6" wheelbase and 21'6" over-body length. Axleboxes and leaf springs aren't quite accurate, but some cutting, filing and adding can make them a decent representation. As no photographs exist, as is the case for most of the 4 wheel coaches, my design job was simplified extremely. I only had a basic line drawing to work off, as is the case with all other early passenger stock (as far as I have been able to find out), but it shows the basic dimensions which is enough to work off. The simplification due to no photos comes from the fact that the basic line diagrams are notorious for being incorrect, having no photos means that as long as I follow the diagram there's no evidence to prove that it's wrong, beyond the obvious inaccuracies in the chassis. Photos of the chassis build and modifications will follow in the next post once I've printed the body, but for now here's a screenshot of the body design as it's about to be printed: The vertical stretchers on the roof are as the early 4/6 wheel coaching stock had double-skinned roofs, with the second roof often being corrugated. This will be done with either corrugated card or corrugated plasticard. The carriage will be printed just after I post this, and will hopefully be done by, or at some point during this afternoon (currently 5am). I hope it's been interesting, and will post more when there's more to post. Peter
  20. For a while now I've just been posting all my kitbuilds, scratchbuilds and 3D prints in the layout thread of whichever layout the model suited, so I thought I'd start a fresh thread. I considered putting this in the 3D designing/printing section, but thought it would be better to have a single thread to cover both 3D models and standard kitbuilds/scratchbuilds, which I currently do more than 3D printing.At present my Australian modelling covers a reasonable variety of prototypes and gauges - at this precise moment in time I have layouts under construction for both HO and HOn3.5, and models under design/construction in HOn3.5, HO, and EM, which I intend to use to represent prototype broad gauge, as the Victorian and South Australian railway systems which I am interested in were originally built to 5'3" broad gauge, though Victoria also has some 2'6" narrow gauge, most famous for Puffing Billy out in the Dandenong Ranges, and some standard gauge (though that's only been here since 1962, and not the focus of my modelling interest), and South Australia had a mix of 3'6" narrow gauge ,standard gauge, and 5'3" broad gauge. My current builds cover the South Australian 3'6" narrow gauge system circa 1880, and the Victorian 5'3" system circa 1890-1920, and 1940-1970. The reason for the two different eras is to cover both prototype broad gauge modelling using EM gauge, and standard HO modelling. A lot of the earlier designs don't suit HO gauge without modification, as will be shown at some point in this post, hence doing the earlier period in EM. As my work on SAR NG to date has been building track out of matchsticks and Code 75 rail, and regauging a couple of BG wagons, I won't bother to cover it here as it's not that interesting, nor would it serve much purpose. To which end, I'll start with my latest HO/EM project. Originally started as a project to teach a friend how to use Google SketchUp for railway modelling to 3D print, this particular project has evolved somewhat, partly due to necessity and partly due to accident. The initial plan was to design a small, basic early VR loco using drawings in a book I have, which covers VR designs from 1854 to 1904. The Victorian Railways M class 4-4-0 suburban tank loco was chosen, after some convincing from another friend who is somewhat obsessed with the M class and it's 4-4-2 rebuild, the ME. Below is a basic line drawing of an original condition M class. The sloping smokebox appears to have only been a feature of the prototype, so I decided not to overcomplicate things in the design, and use the standard smokebox fitted to the remainder of the class. The basic design - footplate, cab, tanks and boiler, and the start of the funnel, was completed in a single night, and some screenshots are shown below. Footplate, cab and tanks done to the basic outline Boiler and smokebox added, and the bunker and tanks have now had more detail added after close inspection of the few photographs I have of original condition Ms. The next day I added the funnel, smokebox door outline, and the dome, and designed a removeable cab roof for it. Funnel, cab roof and smokebox door outline done. The funnel saddle looks like it sits up a bit too high at the base - this was reduced later. The dome, buffer beams, and tank fillers were then added, and the funnel saddle modified slightly to make it look slightly slimmer. Much nicer. At this point I decided to put it on my 3D printer, an EPAX X10, and run a print overnight. The print came up the next morning, and revealed a couple of areas which needed improvement along with the extra detail that needed adding. Namely, the footplate was slightly warped due to it's thickness (only 0.5mm), and the boiler had sagged due to a lack of supports. The footplate beneath the boiler up to the smokebox saddle was hollowed out - this is prototypical anyway upon further inspection, so didn't bother me, and the footplate was thickened to 0.75mm. I was reluctant to make it thicker as it would have looked bad, but am glad with my decision. In addition, the bufferbeams had warped somewhat to be on an angle to the footplate, so a strengthener was added to them. A couple of photos of the print, showing the issues, are below. Once the fixes noted above had been added, I also added the base for the safety valves into the design, along with holes to add buffers. This was then printed, and came off the printer as of 4:30am this morning (2 and a half hours ago). More or less a complete success! The first print is in the dark grey, as it had received a coat of primer. The new M hadn't been cleaned up quite as much as the original, hence a couple of areas not looking as crisp. Notably, the sag in the boiler was gone, as was the angle on the bufferbeams (mostly...). At this point, I started measuring it up to design the chassis, at which point I discovered a fatal flaw in the design. Having been designed to scale off diagrams for a locomotive built on 5'3", there was not enough space in the tank cutouts for wheelsets to 16.5mm gauge. My problem is shown below - the rear driving wheels are meant to fit in the cutouts. Solution time. Some time ago, I purchased a set of EM wheel and track gauges, with the intention of modelling true-scale BG. At the time, I didn't have the 3D printer, and so my only option was to go for extremely expensive steam locomotive kits or R-T-R (a steam loco kit in Australia is $600 AUD, currently around 300GBP, though that includes wheels and a gearbox, and an R-T-R steam loco is anywhere between $600 and $800, or 300-400GBP), which would come out even more expensive accounting for new wheelsets or axles and other modifications, or to go for diesels, and my preference has always been for steam locos. With this in mind, beyond a couple of pieces of test track being built, and a couple of wagons test-converted, nothing came of it, and the gauges were left lying in a box in my room. The solid area between where the wheels need to go is 16.1mm. My EM back to back gauge is 16.5mm. I can reduce the tank walls by <.5mm either side without compromising structural integrity, to get .5mm clearance either side I only need to reduce each side by .3mm. This should be simple. I haven't designed the frames yet, but when all it takes is a few lines for stretcher bars making it EM instead of OO is easy. The gearbox and motor setup isn't affected by the change. Therefore, for my M class models and future early VR tank locos (which I've been planning to do even before realising I'll need to make them EM, because many other early types will have the same problem), I'll build them in EM for me, and modify the designs for OO for any friends who want them. This will mean the cab interior is unrealistic, as the base will come far too far inwards. On what is already a very narrow cab this would have bugged the hell out of me, but the couple of friends who were interested won't care so much about this as long as they can make it run. Wheelsets and electrics. The M class had 5' driving wheels with 16 spokes. This comes out at 17.5mm 16 spoke. After some investigation it was revealed no wheelsets of this diameter or spoke count were available. The closest were 17mm 14 spoke - J94 wheels. I'll be ordering a set of these from Alan Gibson, along with a set of wheelsets for an HOn3.5 project soon, though it'll most likely take a long time for them to arrive given shipping delays given the current crisis. The boiler will fit a 12mm diameter motor, conveniently I have a very nice 10x12x15mm dual-shaft motor here that will hopefully suit it. The gearbox will most likely be a High Level RoadRunner, but I have to check measurements first. Paint. The model will be painted in Victorian Railways two-tone green, and fully lined out. This was the only livery they had in original condition, the next livery on, Canadian Red and Chocolate, was introduced in 1903, and the M class was rebuilt into the ME class 4-4-2T between 1901 and 1905, meaning that none would have received Canadian Red, being rebuilt from green into green (for 1901-1902 rebuilds), and green into red (1903-1905 rebuilds). I don't currently know what paint colours match the two tones used, but know there are people who have painted models into the livery so will ask around. Worst case scenario I can approximate the colours based off photos of colour models. I hope this was interesting, the next update may be of either the M class, or a couple of kitbuilds I plan on starting soon for the SAR HOn3.5 layout, and for wagons for the M class (coaches will have to be sorted out at a later date). Feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments or suggestions. Peter
  21. Finally some more real progress on the layout. This will most likely be the last for some time, as once some materials arrive Borderton will be dismantled so I have the space to continue working on a layout I'm building on commission for someone. The first item on the agenda was to test whether the sidings made available in the last track plan change would be suitable for carriage storage. These are two of the three sidings that formed the diesel depot on the original plan, the third of which will become the cattle race, which gives the excuse for the wider than normal gap between roads 2 and 3, which was originally going to be a fuelling point - keeping the smelly animals away from the nice clean carriages. How often these sidings will end up getting used for carriage storage will remain to be seen, but the possibility is there, with one of the sidings fitting 4 75' carriages, plus a standard length bogie guards van, and the second fitting another 4 75' cars. The next item on the agenda was to lay the track to finish the extension to the grain silo siding. This was done, and the new siding will fit 18 standard length 4-wheel grain wagons and an F class (VR imported Class 11). The oil tanker is included in the rake as I only have 17 grain wagons so far! Seen in the foreground is one of my latest projects - an SAR Model Co 400 class single-car Red Hen railcar. This one is almost complete, only needing couplers, a DCC chip, decalling, and the windows being fitted to be complete. I also have a 300 class 2-car set to build, the 1st car can be seen part-built in the background behind the wagons. The remainder of the trackwork in this area (two more sidings through swapping a turnout for a double-compound, and moving the turnout elsewhere) is yet to be done, and most likely will have to wait for the commission layout to be completed. Finally, I moved on to do more work on the super scissors. Some of the track required re-aligning due to kinks, and the addition of extra sleepers. The former was completed, and the latter started, as seen in some photos below. If you compare the following photos to those on the previous page, you'll be able to see the differences, as the kinks were quite obvious in photos. As can be seen in the above photo, even the extra sleepers make it look very rough, and at some point in the future I may well replace it with a handlaid one, this will depend on how well it goes in operation. If I get permission to do so from the buyer, I may start a thread covering the build of the commission layout, if so I'll post the link here when the time comes. Subject to funding coming when necessary, the commission build should only take 3-4 months at most, so construction on Borderton will hopefully continue at some point late this year. As always, thanks for the interest, and would always be happy to hear any thoughts or suggestions about the layout! Peter
  22. Merry Christmas to all those who view this thread! As I'm currently nearly 2 weeks into our 5 week holiday, writing this from my hotel room in Helsinki, there has been no progress on the layout recently. However, on a personal note, I got accepted into my first preference for university - a double degree in Business and Accounting at Monash University, close to where I live. At this point my uni timetable looks likely to be completely clear on Mondays, which may well get set aside for railway purposes, either volunteering at one of the heritage railways I volunteer at or for work on the layout. At some point during the year I may also continue on construction of a layout I'm building on commission for someone else - subject to funds starting to appear from their end again, at which point Borderton may get taken down for a couple of months to enable work on it. I hope everyone has a great new year, and I look forward to being able to show some more progress later on! Peter
  23. Just come across this thread, looks quite interesting. For DCC, you'll need 6 isolating rail joiners at the points marked below by the red lines, basically at every joint coming off a turnout frog. Good luck with the project! Peter
  24. I think the 520s ran out to Serviceton occasionally, but one or two are definitely on my list of locos that I'd like to get for the layout. There are a couple of resin kits designed to fit on Bachmann R-T-R chassis available which I look at every now and then, will probably get one once the layout is more complete. Peter
  25. The first bit of layout work in several weeks happened today, with underlay being glued down for an extension to the siding the grain silos will go on, as the first part of major changes to the South Australian end of the yard. This extension will more than double the capacity of the siding from 9 4-wheel grain wagons and a short loco to 19 or 20 4-wheel grain wagons and a short loco. Work on the more major changes, including the removal of two catch-points, replacement of a turnout with a double-slip, and re-locating said turnout to the platform road to enable faster loco-interchange between the VR and SAR system, will commence either tonight or tomorrow. Peter
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