Wednesday, 29 January 2014

VD Bogie Louvre Van

Wire details added, but not fully painted yet...
Marbelup Models has just received the first test print of a VD bogie louvre van.

A total of 180 VD vans were built in 1952-3.  Ironically, the VD vans were built in Enghien in Belgium, which is only about 60 km from the i.Materialise 3D printing factory where the model is being made.

The model depicts the van in "as delivered" condition.  There were many modifications carried out during the life of the VD vans and Marbelup Models may produced later versions if there is sufficient demand.  The prototype vans lasted until approx. 1991.
Computer Rendering of VD Model (Bogies shown are not supplied.)

The photo below, from Rail Heritage WA, shows a VD van in close to original condition.


Refer to the WAGR Wagon Pages for more information on the prototype.

In the Paintshop
The body of the VD has been printed in one piece.  The print orientation has been chosen to optimise the definition of the louvres, which will result in some visible stepping on the roof, which can be smoother off by scraping and/or sanding.  As well, the modeller will be required to remove the support materials from the 3D printing process, and add various details such as handrails, from brass wire (not supplied).  For more information, please refer to the Construction Tips.

The expected price will be about $140 subject to exchange rate variations.

Monday, 6 January 2014

WAGR Water Columns

3D-printed model of "extended" water column (unpainted)
The Marbelup Models WAGR water columns are typical from the late steam era, and are available in two heights.

Prior to the mid 1950's, the original, shorter version of the water column was in use.  However, in preparation for the introduction of larger steam locos like the V class, many existing water columns were raised in height by 18" (in the old measure) by the addition of a cast spacer piece.  Photographic evidence from the Rail Heritage WA web site, suggests that most water columns at larger stations were raised in height, but some shorter columns remained at smaller stations and on lines not suitable for the larger steam locos.

Having drawn the 3D drawing for the extended water column, it was then a simple matter to produce a version without the spacer piece, allowing either type to be 3D printed.  The price for either type is $15.

Computer rendering of WAGR Water Columns
Here is one photo of the many available from Rail Heritage WA, by searching for "water column".


Assembly Tips

  1. Carefully remove the support structure from the model using a sharp craft knife, starting from the valve handwheel, which is the most delicate part of the model.  A knife with an Xacto No11 blade is recommended.  For delicate areas, cut with multiple strokes of the knife rather than trying to cut through in one go.  
  2. The flanges on the vertical post typically have bolt heads/nuts top and bottom.  When cutting the support structure away from the bottom, leave a small amount (similar in size to on top) to represent the bolt detail.
  3. Use 0.3 mm brass wire (not supplied) to form the support for the arm.  The distance between the right-angle bends in the wire should be 35.25 mm.  Install the wire in the holes provided, and secure with super glue.
  4. Paint in desired colour.  The Rail Heritage WA web site has several colour photos of the prototype.
  5. Fit supplied length of heatshrink tubing to form hose. 
  6. Weather to taste.
  7. For installation on layout, the base is intended to be 3.5 mm below rail level, corresponding to the typical height of sleepers and rail.

SXT Bogie Sheep Wagon

SXT - ready for painting
Marbelup Models has just received the first test print of an SXT sheep wagon.

The 10 prototype SXT bogie sheep wagons were introduced in 1961 and 1962, and were written off between 1975 and 1990.  They were literally kitbashed by WAGR from two CXB 4-wheel sheep wagon bodies mounted on a long bogie underframe from a TA cattle wagon.

Marbelup Models was able to replicate the prototype kitbashing by cutting and pasting the 3D drawings of the CXB onto a stretched version of the underframe from the VG bogie covered van.  It wasn't quite that easy, as the gangway linking the two CXB bogies had to be drawn in, based on available photographs, and various minor alterations were required.  Nevertheless, the ability to reuse parts of 3D drawings already done saved a lot of time compared to drawing a new model from scratch.

Computer Rendering of SXT model (Bogies shown are not supplied.)
The photo below, from Rail Heritage WA, shows an SXT in good condition.


Refer to the WAGR Wagon Pages for more information on the prototype.

AS with the CXB, the body of the SXT has been printed in two pieces with a vertical join.  The modeller will be required to remove the support materials from the 3D printing process from the two sections, and add various details such as handrails, from brass wire (not supplied).

For further information, please refer to the detailed Construction Tips.

The expected price for the SXT (body only) is approx. $195, subject to exchange rate variations.  3D-printed sheep loads in Polyamide material are also available for $25 per wagon (180 sheep).