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  1. Resins in UK for Elegoo Mars
    Resins in UK for Elegoo Mars

    As no one else has jumped in I will try and give you some ideas but my experience of different resins is limited.


    First off, the bewildering descriptions for the resins:

    • Standard: Basic
    • ABS-Like: Stronger but still quite brittle
    • Rapid: Cures at shorter exposure settings
    • Tough: Less brittle and as suggested stronger. Can often be machined
    • Resistant: No idea
    • Flex: Flexible


    So lots of different resins which in the current Covid crisis are extremely hard to source. The Anycubic Basic Grey is I think ABS-Like and is my first choice of resin. Unfortunately it has been out of stock in the Grey form for a while (unless you are prepared to pay extra to buy the 500ml bottles) and I have recently had to use White. Elegoo do a standard and an ABS-Like version. When I could not get my preferred Anycubic Grey I did buy a couple of bottles of Elegoo ABS_Like. It printed OK but I did not like it as moulding seemed to remain sticky on post curing and the uncured resin is quite runny and needed constant stirring to keep it mixed (not possible on a big print job). If you want a tough resin the one everyone raves over is Siraya Tech Blu. I suspect this is the one worth looking into for wheels based on reviews.


    Warping seems to occur when the resin shrinks slightly. Different resins have different shrinkage rates and this can also be affected by the exposure settings used during printing. Some shapes it is almost impossible to stop warping however there are a couple of dodges that can be used to reduce this:

    • Place warped item in near boiling water, straighten, and put under cold tap. This seems to remove a lot of the stresses that cause the warping.
    • Add to the model various cross bars that are left in place until the model has cured, then cut them off.
    • Leave the model on the support structure to cure.

    I have used all three at various times. For wagon bodies I would try a simple open box with the Anycubic resin and see how it reacts.


    I have an Anycubic Photon and there are a lot of similarities to the Elegoo Mars including some shared components. I have recently replaced my LCD screen with an Elegoo one and likewise am now using Elegoo FEP sheets in my Photon. Elegoo parts are usually cheaper.


    The best advice I can give you is to join the relevant owners' groups on Facebook. A lot of people are present on both the Photon and the Mars groups. In addition to problem solving they are often trying new resins out and reporting back.



  2. The Light
    The Light

    Finally here is the finished Penfold patent folding modellers workshop MkI. 

    Folded shut


    Storage drawer/crates


    Brakes and stabilisers


    Space for compressor


    Double width workbench


    Pillar drill stand


    Airbrush booth stored


    Airbrush booth deployed


    Test tracks for 00 gauge DC and O gauge DCC. Croc clips with uncontrolled 12v DC for testing lights etc.


  3. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    Making Holes – Top Tips





    Whether it’s wood or brass, quite often you’ll need to make a hole in a piece of work when making something. From small holes for handrails to large openings in chimneys, the methods will differ depending on the material you plan on cutting through.

    One essential is a set of good quality drill bits, while a mini-drill is also a good investment. Here's our top tips.


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/Techniques//model-railways-making-holes-top-tips

  4. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    Using Pencils on Brickwork – Top Tips




    Unless you have a lot of spare time, or are building for Pendon, painting bricks on a model building individually isn't an option because of the time required. Some laser-cut bricks are too sharp-cornered for this technique to work effectively though, so test on an inconspicuous area first. The method works in all scales from N to O.


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/Techniques//model-railways-using-pencils-on-brickwork-top-tips

  5. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    Working with Plastic Sheet – Top Tips




    From buildings to wagons or locomotives, these sheets can be used to good effect on models, though the most common procedures used will be the cutting and gluing of parts. Attempting to cut plastic sheet to the uninitiated might require a learning curve because of its smooth nature and the tendency for a knife to slip if not used correctly.


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/Techniques//model-railways-working-with-plastic-sheet-top-tips

  6. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    Building Card Kits – Top Tips




    Card kits are an affordable and easy method to rapidly add architecture to your model railway. Ideally suited to beginners, these kits can be enhanced further with a few simple techniques...


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/Techniques//model-railways-building-card-kits-top-tips

  7. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    5 ways to improve the running of your locomotives




    We all have our cars serviced, so why not our models? Follow BRMs five-point plan for smoother running.


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/techniques/5-ways-to-improve-the-running-of-your-locomotives/

  8. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    Wiring your model railway: top tips




    When it works, we ignore its existence, when it doesn’t, we can be tempted to lose all patience. Wiring is perhaps the railway modellers’ least favourite subject to become enthused about, but it’s a necessary requirement to permit all of our track-powered models to function.


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/wor/techniques/wiring-your-model-railway-top-tips/

  9. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    5 glues every railway modeller must have



    Modellers are always getting themselves into sticky situations, but do you have the right glue for each? Here are our top 5...


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/Techniques/Other/5-glues-every-railway-modeller-must-have

  10. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    Using Weathering Powders – Top Tips




    Weathering powders work best over a matt paint finish, hence if used on an RTR model, we’d advise a little airbrush work beforehand. Consider powders as a semi-permanent form of weathering. They will stay in-situ if left alone, but must be sealed if you intend to handle the model. Buildings aren’t much of a problem, but locomotive, coach or wagon sides should ideally be sealed with a quick spray of matt varnish paint.


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/wor/techniques/model-railways-using-weathering-powders-top-tips/

  11. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    Brush Painting – Top Tips




    Painting models isn’t like painting emulsion on your walls at home. The model must be clean, the spread of paint must be even and the way it's applied must be methodical. Many a model can be brush-painted, though with the latest RTR models having such an excellent finish, it is best respraying these with an airbrush if a repaint is required.


    Read more here https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/wor/techniques/model-railways-brush-painting-top-tips/

  12. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    5 ways to improve the reliability of your layout




    A reliable layout is a fun one to operate. With time on your hands, we've put together a few ideas to help you fettle your model to make it run like a Swiss watch.


    Read more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/Techniques/Track/5-ways-to-improve-the-reliability-of-your-layout

  13. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    The BRM Guide to DCC Decoders




    The concept of ‘going digital’ is no longer something new, yet there’s still a widespread lack of knowledge when it comes to decoder options. It has to be the second most-asked question, closely following “Which DCC system should I use?” Just as there isn’t a ‘one-size fits all’ DCC controller, the same can be said for decoders, though many modellers are left confused by what they require and the suitability of a decoder for a particular locomotive.


    Read more - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/Techniques/dc-dcc/the-brm-guide-to-dcc-decoders

  14. Techniques topics on World of Railways
    Techniques topics on World of Railways

    How to cosmetically improve track points





    In our latest practical feature, we turn our attention to enhancing the appearance of this most standard element of model railway infrastructure.


    The main objective is to improve the points appearance by removing the spring block, thus making the sleepers look more prototypical, and to enhance the point changing operation. The strength of spring was causing the actuator rod to bend slightly, mainly due to the thickness of my baseboards.


    Find out more here - https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/Techniques/Track/model-railways-how-to-cosmetically-improve-track-points

  15. OO Gauge
    00 gauge Standards

    May I ask a basic question please? What is the b-t-b setting created by Romford/Markits driving wheels on standard 16.5mm axles (Not having used Romfords for years I am asuming the wheel standards the two use is the same - overall thickness, tyre profile).


    Hi Izzy,


    Markits 00 driving axles = 14.5mm back-to-back

    Markits EM driving axles = 16.5mm back-to-back


    Notice the 2.0mm difference there -- a clear hint to anyone devising track standards to match. smile.gif



  16. AutoDesk Mesh Smoothing
    3d printed buildings
    On 08/06/2019 at 15:39, tabletopengineer said:

    Hi Woko,

    To Petes point i guess you're using zbrush to add stonework detail? 

    They look very impressive, will look fantastic when all complete.

    Hi tabletopengineer yes I am using z brush to basically smooth off the details and take away that typical 3d model look, though I do think the same effect can be achieved with mesh smoothing modifers and soft selections as I feel its perhaps a bit excessive to purchase z-brush for this, I just use it as I have a copy for my work :) 

    I do however believe the most important software I use is actually meshmixer from autodesk this baby is free, and really booleans the mesh together creating one skin/shell ready to export STL's from, since using this software my prints have become so much better.

  17. Maintenance
    Loco lubrication OO gauge

    Lubrication and Model Trains


    “What should I use to oil my favourite locos and rolling stock?”


    This is a recurring question, with a variety of answers and opinions. The following thoughts reflect lessons and experience including over 20 years as a professional chemist in the NSWGR labs, looking at such materials as paints, alloys, fuels, lubricants, cleaning chemicals, and occupational health issues associated with the use of chemicals, fumes and dusts. They also include over 60 years of railway modelling and maintenance. However, the following paragraphs are just one man’s musings: they are not the last words on the subject, by any means.



    First, one has to understand what lubricants do:

    ·         They separate moving parts to minimise wear

    ·         They provide a slippery interface between moving parts to minimise friction and facilitate movement.

    ·         Some lubricants also have anti-oxidising agents to minimise corrosion and/or conserve mechanisms during storage


    Historically, lubricants were based on natural oils and greases, such as lard, tallow and vegetable oils. These had several disadvantages:

    ·         They oxidise easily, forming sticky gums

    ·         They become less viscous (ie, they become thinner) when heated, permitting them to escape from bearings and so allowing metal-to-metal contact, resulting in seizure or excessive wear


    From the late 19th century, most lubricants have been based on mineral oils and (later) their synthetic derivatives. In automotive oils, they also contain additives which:

    ·         Resist oxidation

    ·         Keep contaminant particles in suspension, to eliminate blockages of oil passages

    ·         Maintain viscosity (“thickness”) over a wide range of operating temperatures, so the oils are not too thick when cold or too thin when hot

    ·         May contain special additives for extreme pressure applications (such as the odorous sulphur compounds in gearbox and differential oils)


    Some of these additives and the base oils may be incompatible with materials found in model trains.


    Modern industrial and automotive greases typically contain a mineral oil mixed with a water-insoluble soap, such as those based on lithium. It is unlikely that the mineral oil component is “plastic friendly”.


    Materials in Model Trains

    Model train locos and rolling stock make use of a wide variety of materials, which include:

    ·         Brass

    ·         Copper

    ·         Bronze

    ·         Zinc-based die-cast alloys

    ·         Aluminium

    ·         Lead-based white metals

    ·         Pewter

    ·         Steel

    ·         Polystyrene

    ·         ABS

    ·         Polypropylene

    ·         Rubber

    ·         Nylon

    ·         Card

    ·         Modellers’ timbers

    ·         Alkyd resin enamel paints

    ·         Acrylic paints


    Not all of the above are compatible with all lubricants (or the potential cleaners that may be used before re-oiling our models).


    For example, ethanol (“methylated spirit”) will attack acrylic paints. “EP” grade lubricating oils, although great for car gearboxes, will attack bronze or brass gears, causing them to wear out rapidly. Acetone will attack cyanoacrylate (“super glue”) adhesives. Most white spirit solvents, including “mineral turpentine” will attack polystyrene and ABS, due to their aromatic hydrocarbon content.


    In the same way, many common lubricants, such as WD40 and sewing machine oils, will degrade some components of our models. I had the sad experience of writing off two NWSL gearboxes due to the use of the wrong lubricants. Similarly, the plastic axle centres of some Mainline loco axles embrittled, cracked and fell apart after using the wrong oils. Expensive lessons!


    Isopropyl alcohol can be used as a general purpose cleaner. It is relatively safe to use, with minimal health issues, but is still flammable, with a flash point of just 13 degrees C. It should be used with plenty of ventilation. It is relatively benign to most plastics, but may affect some paint finishes. Applied with a syringe fitted with a 25 gauge needle, it can even flush out the driving wheel bearings of Hornby live steamers.


    Lubricating Tips

    1.       Don’t over-oil. Excess oil may contaminate the rails and degrade traction tyres, cause poor electrical conductivity and cause your locos to slip.

    2.       Don’t over-oil. Excess oil will attract dirt and dust, which will build up to a thick sludge that will cause bearings to seize.

    3.       Don’t over-oil. Excess oil will be thrown off rapidly rotating parts to contaminate areas that should remain clean. In some cases such oils may cause embrittlement of plastics and their eventual collapse.

    4.       Use oil that is fit for purpose. For example, Hornby steam cylinder oil is too thick for use elsewhere. Fleischmann wagon bearing oil is too thin for use in Hornby live steam cylinders.


    Suitable Lubricants

    My experience has led me to use the following:

    ·         Fleischmann 6599 oil: coach, wagon and loco axle and armature bearings

    ·         Labelle 102 gear oil: metal locomotive gears and gearboxes

    ·         Hob-E-Lube HL657 white grease: plastic/nylon gears

    ·         Hornby steam cylinder oil: Steam passages of Hornby live steamers


    Servicing tips

    1.       Test your models periodically to verify that they still roll freely. Those that don’t will be straining your locos and causing avoidable damage, especially to their motors.

    2.       Vehicles that show resistance to free rolling should be inspected. Any sludge in the bearings should be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, while ensuring that no excess solvent goes where it is not wanted. Fine cotton buds may prove useful here, particularly to dry away all solvent when cleaning is complete. Look out also for wads of hairy sludge that may need to be removed with tweezers.

    3.       Use a fine applicator to place just enough oil to where it is needed. The Fleischmann oil has one supplied with it. Such applicators can be easily made from a cork and an old sewing needle.

    4.       Check that the model is rolling freely again. If not, check for other issues, such as misaligned axles, tight bearings, foreign matter, etc.


    I look forward to reading the thoughts and suggestions of other modellers.



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