Friday, 15 January 2021

WAGR/Westrail AB Diesel Locomotive Kit

Prototype Photo by G Stallard

Marbelup Models announces the development of a 3D-printed "kit" of the Westrail AB diesel in Sn3½ scale.

Introduced in 1969, the AB class were a development or the A and AA class locos, being slightly longer overall and featuring an EMD 645E prime mover.  The six AB locomotives originally carried numbers 1531-1536 (later 1501-1504). The AB’s were delivered in the WAGR green/red/yellow livery and were repainted in the orange and blue Westrail livery and later ARG liveries.

Basically, the "kit" will consist of 3D-printed parts for loco body, underframe, fuel tank and bogie sideframes,   The general construction will be similar to the Marbelup Models D and DA, and DB locos, previously produced in Sn3½ scale.

The expected "kit" cost will be as follows:

  • 3D-printed body, underframe, fuel tank and bogie sideframes: $400
  • drive bogies, motor, and couplers: $200
  • optional “detail pack” containing handrail stanchions, brass wire and air hoses: $30.  
Actual costs are subject to variation due to exchange rate variations against the Euro and/or price increases in 3D printing or other parts.  Postage, if required, is typically $15 within Australia.

The initial production run of kits will be based on the AB locos as they appeared in their latter years under Westrail ownership.  If there is sufficient interest, various parts can be deleted to represent the locos in earlier years.  

Evidence from drawings and photographs suggests the following timeline for major changes in the loco's appearance:
  • 1983 approx. - front of short hood extended to accommodate larger, replacement batteries
  • 1984 approx. - radio antenna "ground plane" added on top of short hood
  • 1990's - air conditioner unit fitted behind cab
  • 1990's - cast cab side numbers replaced with painted numbers (probably as same time as renumbering)

The drive mechanism is based on smooth-running bogies by North Yard in New Zealand, same as used by the RailWest Models A class loco kit.  The motor is by Auscision as used in their HO scale locomotive and is equipped with twin flywheels.

Assembly instructions are available online.

Kits can be reserved by payment of a $100 deposit per loco.  Deposits are payable by PayPal (to marbelupmodels@iinet.net.au) or Bank Transfer via PayID (to marbelupmodels@iinet.net.au).

If you require the cab side numbers to be 3D-printed as part of the model, please specify the required number (1531-1536) or specify no numbers to be 3D-printed.

Expected delivery time: Progressive during remainder of 2021.

Deposits are refundable only if Marbelup Models is unable to deliver, for any reason, 12 months after payment of deposit.

Please note that Marbelup Models will not be producing complete locos in ready-to-run form.


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