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Ross' Workbench - "Magical Mystery Train Tour" : Teak LNER's, King's Cross, DCC++ and layouts


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So I'm new to the forum, and I'm using the Covid lockdown to get back into the hobby after a 25 year hiatus.   I'm an ex-pat Brit now living on Florida's Space Coast building satellites, so when I have some spare time I'm now trying to put together a layout in UK N-gauge (1:148) - which is pretty unusual on this side of the pond - and this workbench is going to cover a lot of different areas, so expect a bit of an eclectic mess as I chop and change subjects and get stuff done :)

 

First off, the last few days I've started designing a Teak LNER Restaurant Triplet to go with a full 12-car A3 Flying Scotsman rake.   It's based on the 1923 Gresley designs and I have to thank forum regulars Mike Trice and Steve (Atso) for a lot of help and support already, on many fronts.   The first carriage I'm doing is the 3rd class Restaurant Car, which I'm going to 3D print on my Fauxton.

 

1425769116_!Assembly3rdClassRestaurantCar.JPG.e1009e3a4cbe0745da977aa39d72410e.JPG

275490004_!Assembly3rdClassRestaurantCar2.JPG.948f723f55dde30a4687e1dadb0da5fc.JPG

 

If anyone can suggest where I might find some 7mm diameter wheels in stock, I'd be very grateful :)

 

Ross.

Edited by RBTKraisee
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Another thing I've been doing on and off recently, is experimenting with Luke Towan's wire tree technique. The guy is amazing and I've had some good success replicating his technique so far, and best of all these come out really cheap.   I can make about two or three a night while sitting with my better half watching TV in the evening, and I figure a year from now I'll have over a thousand trees of different sizes, all for under $50. Here's a pic.

 

Ross.

 

20200429_044203m.JPG.9a190fbf0722f75f227580c0d4b5df48.JPG

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Posted (edited)

I've been doing some, I guess, beta-testing for SCARM on the track planning side too - pushing the system beyond its normal limits.   Using Google Earth as a basis, I've put a number of track plans together, covering a lot of sections of the East Coast Main Line (ECML) from King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley, and also continuing up through Glasgow and up the Western Highlands Railway (WHR) to Fort William and on to Mallaig - one of the most scenic routes I've ever encountered.

 

I've been using Peco Code 55 track for the majority of the plans and so far, starting at the southern end, I've got King's Cross, Hornsey Yards, Nottingham, Doncaster (holy cow, that's a big plan!), York, Newcastle, Edinburgh Waverley, Fort William, Garelochhead (I'd love to model the sub base at Faslane) and Glenfinnian Viaduct.   I've made a start on Peterborough too, and I want to add Grantham, Alexander Palace Yard, Durham, Glasgow, the Beasdale Climb and Mallaig, then I'll start looking at the Midland, West Coast, Southern and South Eastern lines too!

 

Anyway, these were a lot of fun to assemble and I'll post updates here

 

Ross.

 

Kings Cross:

851081342_NGaugeKingsCross1-148PECO.jpg.4959a474db476871eb6af09eed248d2a.jpg

 

Doncaster:

 

1122196454_NScaleDoncaster1-148PECO_K_---FINAL---.jpg.b770787d39b4c52dc5707df09c2a994e.jpg

 

York:

 

N_Scale_York_Station_1-148_Scale.jpg.d18900e44514cdf602824c4fcf7b7e3d.jpg

 

Newcastle:

 

2004490023_NScaleNewcastle1-148PECO.jpg.a870a2b2451dfdb1298e005adfb52ba0.jpg

 

Edinburgh:

 

669446502_NGaugeEdinburghStation1-148PECO.jpg.00c34b45e12786697035dbbea4c92aa1.jpg

 

Edited by RBTKraisee
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Posted (edited)

And finally, my "big" project...

 

King's Cross station.

 

Now, progress isn't fast, and I had to start completely over because of a screw-up with the wrong scaling, but things are finally on the right track (heh), and I've got some additional updates coming down the pike soon.   But for now, here's a bit of an archive covering some of the work I've done already...

 

Again, a really big thank you to Mike for access to his invaluable archive!

 

Enjoy!

 

Ross.

 

518259051_KingsCrossLayout200320Ortho.JPG.5e1574f4d5cd25eaf232f503ee1d0aca.JPG1069455596_KingsCrossLayout200320Top.JPG.e7c4221ece335e2599e97fa050c40c87.JPG1178800486_KingsCrossLayout200320North.JPG.d34c1089209820608150284372804bec.JPG1081599001_KingsCrossLayout200320East.JPG.725181e58f92a1b42f03fa0b514cf90d.JPG1629833303_KingsCrossLayout200320Details.JPG.f073d823837174f6a2c04fde13dbfa0d.JPG

Edited by RBTKraisee
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LNER Teak Triplet update:   3rd class restaurant car now has corrected fans (thanks Mike!) and I've added the roof gutter and label board mounts too.

 

I'll try printing it now...

 

Ross.

1426549527_LNERDrwg4620NThirdClassRestaurantCar(triplet)CoachBodyv5.JPG.b587b9fae0f30081ff198b3b404e1b26.JPG

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Posted (edited)

So the 3D test print of the teak coach went fairly well :)

 

I have a few things to fix, for example there are some printing lines that need some gentle sanding, and I need to make the handrails a lot thicker, and the body bulges out a bit around the side/roofline transition because the roof sagged a bit, so it will need some internal reinforcement and supports, but those are fairly easy to fix, so for a first attempt, I'm actually quite chuffed! :good_mini:

 

Next up, tomorrow I'll sprays some primer and pale yellow base coat on and see what the details look like under some paint.

 

Also gotta figure out how to get better pictures of all these things.   Definitely need more light.

 

Ross.

 

20200430_230524m.jpg.5bdc4541faf198e0f9cabe3817634188.jpg20200430_231258m.jpg.257c9c9cb590453e5496d0bce319fe2f.jpg20200430_231340m.jpg.963f8523afd059e60eae948f1c76438b.jpg20200430_231425m.jpg.7e11465f3fe6c1baa0ca55c2e4a0089d.jpg

 

Edited by RBTKraisee
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So I've been trying to 3D print this coach and I've had a series of small problems to resolve.   I'm just starting my fifth attempt at these 5 hour prints - fifth time lucky, maybe? :)

 

In the meantime I made myself a simple light box from a spare carboard box and some tissue paper.   It has already helped me to take better photo's of these parts.

 

I primed and base-coated some of the failed 3D print parts, because they'll at least give me something to practice my teak painting techniques on before I try on a "final" part, so here are a few of the photo's of those - you'll see the failed elements in some of the pictures, but just ignore them.

 

Also, I finished off another batch of my trees.   Enjoy!

 

Ross.

 

20200501_230738m.jpg.dcdcf6bd08addf5140c7dbfd41964e89.jpg20200501_230819m.jpg.db8ceb50f5467639248997fc839c479b.jpg20200501_225444m.jpg.cb453f5f4dd67701d213f1297f4169f1.jpg

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Yay!   35 hours of continual printing, and 7th time lucky!! :blush:

 

LOL.   That got a bit arduous.   C'est la vie.

 

The very last print was actually messed up by the slicer program that prepares the final file for printing - a really weird error occurred where it placed an extra bit of material right in front of one of the doors, blocking all the details with a blank flat block :angry:   Bizarre and frustrating issue.   I sent example files to the manufacturer of the printer & software to see if they can resolve the issue - and switched to use a different program which supposedly doesn't deliver as good a final surface (no anti aliasing), but the results actually came out fine, as you can see below.

 

I also switched to my old iPhone for the pictures.   I think it does a slightly better job on these.   Still need much more powerful lights though.

 

Regardless, I'm a happy bunny now that I'm over this hump.

 

IMG_0015m.jpg.740b001ab65f1788c23d975cbb39b4e7.jpg

 

 

I kept myself busy with other things throughout this time though...   And yes, I said this was going to be an eclectic collection...

 

I've finished my designs for some isolation track joiners to allow me to use my Peco electrofrog's without modifications.   I've got a variety of connectors that allow me to mix and match any of my Peco and Atlas track, bringing the railtops to exactly the same height, and also inserting sleepers in the right places, without me needing to do any additional work.   These will come in very handy on my next layout:

 

IMG_0020m.jpg.1f12db76bcfeebe5a4cfe9b33e317112.jpg

 

I also printed a track way gauge to my own preferences:

 

IMG_0016m.jpg.147d3626002130b385a5ac9f437c1dec.jpg

 

I've designed a box for my DCC++ Arduino and Motor Shield too - ready to print:

 

1602840519_DCCFullBoxm.jpg.e948eace5753877a3ae691460cd42bb8.jpg

 

And I did a little more on King's Cross station too, with the central columns of the main shed now finished (about half way through the Western ones too):

 

240307394_MainShedCenterSupports.JPG.94c9f15e6a620c4b8df5602756d6fcb4.JPG

 

Enjoy today's updates and please don't be shy to leave feedback!

 

Ross.

 

 

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Oh, I forgot!   I also made a start on the underframe for the triplet car too :)

 

And I ordered a pack of correct scale 7mm wheels from Dundas Models, ready for when I do the bogies.

 

Ross.

 

850588270_LNERDrwg4620NThirdClassRestaurantCar(triplet)Underframev1.JPG.cc23edee1b26c8c32a736cda5eabf0f7.JPG

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And just for S&G's, I used the first failed coach print from above, the one with the sagging roof, as a test piece for trying-out Mike Trice's teak painting technique.

 

As my very first attempt, I don't think this is too bad! :D

 

Ross.

 

IMG_0025m.jpg.235a87b384d202afd92de645a64dc69f.jpgIMG_0024m.jpg.4ff4827466d8dc16bd968da792240ee3.jpg

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First two (of three) parts of my screwless DCC++ Arduino box are now built :D

 

Also decided to give the Tam Valley Octopus III a go, to control a bunch of servo's for motorizing my turnouts.   One is on order together with their DCC decoder addon.   Decided to skip the auto-aligner - for now.

 

Ross.

 

IMG_0031m.jpg.d4fdff4f5ca9fc9bdf9703e7dc423b8d.jpg

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Brief update today.   Done lots of work, but most of it is only partially complete, so can't really show it off.

 

New print of the triplet coach body, this time with a *much* smoother roofline and I've also managed to get rid of most of the pixel lines.   Very happy with the results now, so this is going onto the "finished" list.   Just need the underframe and bogies, both of which are coming along, and then I can use all the lessons learned here to complete the other two coaches fairly swiftly.

 

IMG_0032m.jpg.afb954274ff0c25649a8f7703a13d5d0.jpg

 

With thanks to Mike for some great reference material, here is my initial design of Gresley bogie, ready to fit either 7mm or 6.2mm diameter wheels.   I'm going to try printing over night, along with the final parts of my updated DCC++ Arduino box that corrects some early mistakes, improves the force of the clips holding it together and adds an external button for resetting the boards.

 

1587248971_BasicBogiem.jpg.8422c753f38fd37133abcb679d0f63ba.jpg

 

Received my first coach for my Jacobite rake today too, thanks to John Upton! :D   Now all I need are four more and a loco to pull 'em.   All coming, just as soon as the order ships from Blighty to the New World.

IMG_0044m.jpg.4a69f0924f0709608c77a0e0c44ee734.jpg

 

That's it for tonight.

 

Ross.

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So, just a quick update this morning. Last nights print included these:

 

IMG_0045m.jpg.c05b4dfde794afa37151e99f4d37ea13.jpg

 

I'll prime them when I get a chance later today and they'll be a lot easier to see, but very nice so far :)

 

Ross.

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9 hours ago, Bucoops said:

Wow, fantastic work. Speechless really with the detail you're managing!

 

Extremely kind of you to say! :)

 

I really enjoy tinkering around with all these things. I'm learning a ton of things too, and that's always fun!  Now, all I've got to do is lay down a bit of track and actually start running something!

 

Ross.

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Posted (edited)

Not much in the way of pictures to show again today, only an update to the DCC++/Arduino 3D printed box below.

 

I spent a day working bug reports with both of the companies who do the slicing software for my 3D printer; Anycubic and Chitubox.   Below I'll go a bit techie-speak, mainly for those who already grok 3D printing, but it might be useful for others experiencing similar issues.

 

The Anycubic Photon Workshop package is putting extra material into my prints that aren't in my designs.   Apparently if the software detects a structure that it thinks might not be supported in the way it expects, it just adds its own supports and doesn't let the user override :(   So even though all my structures are well supported (and they're actually just mirror of the other side - so why aren't both sides being flagged?) this piece of material ends up covering up all the details around one of my doors and even fills-in the window!   Argh! :angry:   I have no resolution to that issue yet, but Anycubic have the source files and instructions to allow them to repeatably create the problem themselves so I'm hopeful they can trace the problem.

 

1512291677_PhotonExtraMaterial.jpg.ec909e233a033b764cadf7024f70adb4.jpg

 

As for Chitubox, there are actually two different issues, the first of which we seem to have resolved today.

 

Firstly Chitubox seemed to sometimes add a whole "membrane" layer of material when any form of tube of some sorts was either opening or closing - for example where the body of the coach is completely surrounded by material on one layer, and the layer above has an opening for a window.   I could get the membrane to move to different opening transitions throughout the height of the coach The problem for me is that this membrane appeared right near the top of my windows, where the tiny little row of window details is also located - and the extra material in that specific location proceeded to screw all those details up!   Again, Argh! :angry:   Chitubox has however issued a new Beta version that appears to fix the issue.   I'll be testing it some time tomorrow, but I'm going to be out for a lot of the day so I'm not sure how much testing I can get done.

 

The second Chitubox issue is just weird.   All the parts it makes appear to be about 5% too large (actually 5.272%).   I'm hoping it's just some sort of setting that I've screwed up somewhere, but I've posted the problem on their own community forum and look forward to a resolution that is better than "just re-scale all the parts down to 95%" - but that's a viable work-around in the short-term.

 

IMG_0052m.jpg.989e47f84424bbab165ace38a23c5d94.jpg

 

Aside from 3D printing issues I've been figuring different potential strategies to enable lighting these Gresley coaches - things like where to place holes for wiring, where caps might be hidden, who's lighting strips to provide a mounting for etc.   That and working out how to fit couplers that allow for a fair bit of movement is likely to be an ongoing challenge for a while.

 

 

I'm also giving serious thoughts regarding potentially making this Gresley triplet into a kit, either Shapeways or eBay special - and with my design approach it isn't very difficult for me to produce HO/OO scale versions too, if there's interest.   So as you see it developing, if you'd like a set, please don't be shy to say so here on the thread or by PM.

 

 

So that's it for today.   I'll leave you with the latest DCC++ box in pre-painted condition.

 

Ross.

 

IMG_0049m.jpg

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Hi there, looks like some great work you're doing!

 

Re: the membranes and other spurious features, have you tried running your files through the Photon File Validator before printing? https://github.com/Photonsters/PhotonFileValidator 

 

I long since gave up on using the Anycubic slicing app. Regarding the Chitubox size issue though, I do remember having a similar problem with scaling of objects when I first started using it - the screen resolution wasn't set correctly! Worth double checking?

 

I like the DCC++ case - I had been considering something similar for a setup I recently put together, but ended up just using a ready made box from Rapid for now. What kind of tolerances did you use for the clips / are you using a specific flex resin?

 

Justin

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Regarding the strange  infills and membranes over  windows and so on. I've had similar issues and in each case can trace it back to the original 3D file. Its usually a reversed face, internal surface or the mesh isn't watertight.

 

These won't show up in the .stl file that the 3d software (Sketchup in my case) outputs, meaning I can look at that in meshmixer, Flashprint and even Chitubox and the Photon slicer and it looks good. The slicing software will produce a file but when I run that through the Photon Validator the membranes and spurious points and planes appear.

 

Depending on the 3D software you are using there might be an option in it that checks  for the above issues, for instance Sketchup has a solid inspector add-on that will flag issues, and fix the non-ambiguous ones.

 

I've actually found the slicing software to be quite forgiving in that I've had one or two flagged  issues that I can't fix in Sketchup so given up and exported the .stl file anyway and the slicing software has produced a successful print file which has been fortunate. 

 

Anyway, just a thought..

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Posted (edited)

Hi guys,

   Thanks for the suggestions.   Just looked up the file validator, tried it a little and it looks like a useful utility to have, I think it will help, cheers.

 

   Chitubox issued a Beta version (1.6.4.3) that seems to fix the membrane (and anti-membrane too) issue.   Its on their website.   What are your resolution settings?   My overscale issue is likely user error :)   I'm currently using:

 

Res X: 1440px, Y: 2560px

Lock Ratio: Off

Size X: 65mm, Y: 115mm, Z: 155mm

Build Area Offset: Off

Machine Type: AnyCubic Photon

Mirror: LCD_mirror

Layer Height: 0.020mm to 0.050mm - occurs with any setting

Bottom Layer Count: 8

Exposure Time: 15s

Bottom Exposure Time: 60s

Light-off Delay: 1s

Bottom Light-off Delay: 1s

Bottom Lift Distance: 5mm

Lifting Distance: 5mm

Bottom Lift Speed: 120mm/min

Lifting Speed: 180mm/min

Retract Speed: 180mm/min

Anti-Aliasing Level: 8

 

 

   Reversed faces might be a cause for the extra material - I've designed one side of (most of) the coach and then mirrored it before adding a few extra parts that can't be mirrored.   In SolidWorks when you make items you can sometime make them all merge them together into a single component, but for this model a few features prevented that, so mirroring without merging might be part of the issue.   I'll have to do some experiments on that, but thanks for raising the issue as a possible root cause.

 

   I've started looking for a SolidWorks addon checker specifically for 3D printer checking.   Haven't found one yet, but will continue to look.

 

   DCC++ case is ordinary Anycubic clear right now.   My latest itteration uses four semi-circular clips, with the cutout exactly 1mm diameter and the lug 0.9mm.   0.5mm clearance either end of the lug too.   Seems to work pretty well for what I need, but I'm sure there's room for further refinement.   Only thing I would say, is don't print such things 'face down' on the build plate - they're a *&%%$ to remove and you risk damaging the build plate with the force needed.   I shattered my last "top" piece of the box before it would release.   Definitely raise and support them from the connection edge!

 

Hopefully I'll get some more stuff done to show tonight :)

 

Ross.

Edited by RBTKraisee
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Oh yes!

 

Monkeysarefun - a massive thank you!

 

Your point about the reverse face was exactly the issue.   It appears that the section of roof gutter attached where the roof curves down at the vestibule end was not merged.   That was fine on the side where I created the part, but when it was mirrored it was became a completely separate entity.   The slicer interpreted decided it was essentially just "hanging there" (even though it does actually touch the roof part) and decided it needed a support structure - and just put one in.

 

I'll talk with Anycubic about my existing bug report and share the discovery.   The simplest fix would be to warn the user that the slicer wants to add some material, show it to the user and give the user the option to override such behaviour.

 

Yay!   This means that even if I don't get anything else done on my set today I'm still making great progress today!

 

Ross.

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Posted (edited)

Glad you found the problem. The validator is a very useful tool, I always step through each file layer by layer before sending it off to the printer.  Sounds painful but if you hold the arrow button down it will flash through a couple of layers a second so it doesn't take too long.

 

Chitubox can do the  same kind of thing if after you've run the slicing step use the slider to the right of the window to navigate through the sliced file. Any strange membranes, infills, blank layers  and spikes will pop up if they are there. Need to do it fairly slowly though since some of the  issues occur on one layer only so its easy to scroll by them unseen but it is an accurate rendition of what the printer will output and can avoid many wasted prints!. 

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Posted (edited)

Now that my slicing issues seem to be behind me (woo hoo!) I've made some progress on a couple of fronts.

 

First, I've been experimenting with painting the teak walls.   Here are a few of my test pieces, all based on Mike Trice's great teaking technique.   In the background are four pieces with progressively darker coats of Burned Umber/Liquin top coat over a light yellow base coat, which turned out to be too light and without sufficient red in it.   In the foreground is a pure pumpkin basecoat with some patches of pumpkin with a little red mixed in to darken it.   An equal mix top coat covers it all, and I think this makes for a great final effect.   Doing it this way allows me to very carefully apply the darker layers to specific panels of the teak to get the right degree of variance across the whole coach.   I think I'm finally happy with this for final effect.

 

IMG_0059m.jpg.96876844a4725561f3ec1f769de7c194.jpg

 

The DCC++ box is finished.   I redesigned it with more venting, slightly repositioned the hole for the motor shield power lines and now have a press button on the top of the case that correctly presses the reset button on the motor shield.   What colour(s) do you think I should paint it?

 

IMG_0058m.jpg.8204e915730b879cd190f0a32aade6d0.jpg

 

While I continue to work on the underframe for the Gresley, I hand painted the bogies, just to get some better pictures of them.   I increased the size of the bolts and the ID plate in the print, just so they show up more clearly.   Again, I'm pretty happy with these results and consider these 'ready to go'.   Here are a couple of piccies :)

 

IMG_E0061m.jpg.04b23c7eabe573b3b68f76f2c57351ae.jpg

 

IMG_0057m.JPG.8697f257525ea8aeb4b09309d03c2bbd.JPG

 

That's it for this morning.   This afternoon I'm going to be experimenting with masking some of the teaked parts to try painting the roof and the gangways - I want to test a couple of different tapes to see which ones pull paint and which ones don't.   I'm also doing a run to Walmart to get supplies, and while I'm there I want to get some brighter lights for my light box.

 

Ross.

Edited by RBTKraisee
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Posted (edited)

Not much new stuff recently because work has been keeping me very busy, but I've done a lot of work on the underframe and finally tried printing my first structure last night.   Unfortunately it snapped into multiple parts while trying to remove it from the print plate, so that design clearly needs more attention. :(   I think I may merge it into the interior piece and print that seats towards the print plate - because the small support marks won't show very clearly once painted and visible only through the windows.

 

One thing I have managed to do is assemble the various parts together in CAD, to check the coach spacing when using the double bogie.   A bit of refinement work and I think I've got it working well even on 1st radius 9" / 228mm curves.

 

1861129973_BogieAssembly1stRadiusm.jpg.4e65931a9d0c854d4bcce6118311ee29.jpg

 

The attachment will be with a simple M3 computer-style flat top screw, for simplicity.

 

Something else I have in mind is trying some of the Bachmann concertina corridor connectors on this.   The door size to and from the kitchen car is quite a bit narrower than a regular gangway, and it's offset from the center-line, but I think it should work fairly well.

 

Ross.

Edited by RBTKraisee
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I've completed the design for the 1st class coach body now too :)

 

3rd class coach on the left, new 1st coach on the right.

 

Kitchen car and all the underframes are still to finish off, together with figuring out what lighting support to include and the coupling design.

 

Ross.

 

1840108799_AssemblyGresleyRestaurantTriplet-FirstTwoCoahes01m.jpg.79a389e788cb56151d9842a039cae5a5.jpg

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