Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A few months progress .... Pt 3

As part of creating a 4000 series Baldie ... one must have the correct couplers.

Presenting the infamous Sterns and Ward coupler:

I gather a "true" 4000 model, whether a Baldie or Plushie, wouldn't be complete without this rather unique, if somewhat unloved, coupler. CRT and the London Underground seem to be the only adopters, maybe due to the Samuel Insull connection. Otherwise, it seems as if early century rapid transit companies missed out on all the fun.

Therefore, after a lengthy study of the real thing at IRM, and the review of scale plans provided by Ed Halstead (be sure to always visit Ed's blog, linked to on the right), I have been working on a 3D model of this much loved (?) coupler.

The above pictures are of the initial 3D drawings. The somewhat lengthy shank needs some fine tuning to correctly fit under the car.

One benefit of 3D modeling is that the models can be combined and measurements taken to see how everything fits together. The following picture shows the couple at the correct height above an imaginary rail head:

Following is a visual study of this much maligned coupler:

Due to limitations in the 3D printing process, the coupler will not be functional. But, I will try to make it were two could slot together.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A few months of progress ... Pt 2

A photo to start things off ...

But, back to the 3D printing...

As I mentioned in the previous post, I made a design for the more modernized doors with the oval windows.

I was able to recess the windows that would match the recessed gasket that holds in the windows as in the prototype.

HOWEVER ...in trying to add some variety, I decided to model the upgraded doors that still maintained the recessed panels on the lower half (in the same manner as the doors of the 4000's at the Illinois Railway Museum (apologies for the use of flash ... the barns, even at mid day, are TOUGH places for photography) ...


And at Howard:

So, the adjustments were made and a sprue assembly of doors was created:

As with the other doors, due to the recessed panel, I had to add a "bump out" on the back of the doors. So, looking at these doors, they make almost a concave shape ...

Which, upon printing, caused an extreme amount of warping. The doors basically turned out like Pringles potato chips. The received door sprue assembly is show below:

And, once cut from the sprues, the parts warped even more. No photos of those, but trust me, they warped like dried out leaves. The doors basically curled in upon themselves. I tried to add styrene stiffening to straighten out the doors, but the doors are warped in both directions ... both horizontally and vertically. 

I'm pretty certain that the warpage was caused by the design of the doors, especially the recessed panel and bump out in the back. In addition, the windows are recessed. I do have another set of modernized doors that were printed without the recessed panel and the window wasn't recessed. The gasket around the window, instead of being recessed, protruded out a scale 1/2". Those doors had minimal warpage.

So, I may remove the recessed panel and add some stiffening ribs along the back to minimize warping.

Back to the drawing board on these doors.

And one more photo ...

Stay tuned for part 3 ... still lots happening!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A few months of progress ... Pt 1

Apologies for the extreme time between posts. Its been a busy time ... both with modeling and other things. 

First up:

I received my 4000 series trucks from Q-Car. And of course, these are a work of art. Beautiful doesn't begin to describe how nicely detailed the trucks are...the craftsmanship is outstanding.

So, currently the shop has replaced the North Shore spare trucks that were under my first Baldie model with the fresh out of the box Q-Car correct trucks...

The shop still hasn't added the under body details, which I also obtained from Q-Car. That might wait awhile as I'll probably make one powered floor and then just swap bodies. The transit agency is short of funding at this time so another set of power trucks has to wait.


As mentioned in a prior post, the design of the Baldie model was changed to better account for the proper roof contour and some minor fixes that needed to be made. Once completed, the files were uploaded to Shapeways and via the magic of 3D printing, the pieces were received back in about 2 weeks time.

Below is the pile of Baldie parts received ...

Since O scale is too big to print in one shell, the car is made up of 13 separate pieces (roof, two ends, four window sections, and six separate doors). In this picture I have enough parts to make an original style door car and a modernized door style car. But. I only ordered one roof ... need to order another.

After cleaning and assembly. the car in primer:

Note ... these pictures are of an extreme close up ... zoomed all the way I could go to show the actual surface detail. At normal viewing distance, the surface does look better.

Also, on this model, I added Archer Transfer Rivet Decals to the roof line to simulate the roof rivets that are a defining feature on a Baldie. These, however, I believe are "too scale" to show up. These are 5/8" street car rivets ... they are barely visible. Next time I will try Micomark's rivet decals. I have heard they are a little larger.

On this particular model, the doors had more warp than my first model. I may add some internal bracing to the 3D part that would be printed as part of the model. I say "may" as any addition material added to these parts just raises the cost. But, nobody likes to deal with warped parts .... especially me ... so I'll think of something.

Below is the internal bracing. I used square 1/32" brass tubing along the letter board and Evergreen 0.100" x 0.250" along the bottom. Various pieces of 0.100" x 0.250" and 0.100" square styrene was used to reinforce the corners.

In the following, you can see that the side does have a slight inward bow. But, the side is flexible enough that once the floor is inserted, this can be eliminated.

Why no photos of the modernized door style car? I'll go into that fiasco on part 2. 

Stay tuned ...