2017/05/25

Lehigh Valley Transit "Liberty Bell Limited", ex C&LE "Red Devil", in N scale

Liberty Bell Limited, painted N scale model
The  Lehigh Valley Transit "Liberty Bell Limited" cars, former Cincinnati & Lake Erie "Red Devils" will be produced in N scale soon. Three versions are considered:

1/ unpainted 3D printed body with accessoires (truck frames), to order at my Shapeways Shop. Release date early June 2017.

2/ painted 3D printed body with accessoires (truck frames, dummy poles), will be sold in small quantities on eBay for a fixed price.
Release date end of July 2017 (see photos on the right)

3/ painted and lettered 3D printed body with accessoires (truck frames, dummy poles), will be sold in small quantities on eBay for a fixed price
Release date not yet fixed, aimed for September 2017

Due to very recent pricing changes by Shapeways I cannot yet announce the prices, I need some days more to rework the drawings, the prices will be published soon.

The body is snapping over a standard Tomytec TM-TR04 drive, this drive had to be purchased separately

2017/04/27

Models for Allentown [4] Back to the Old Times

Winona "Windsplitter"
The last group of N scale models for the Allentown meet are three classic Interurban cars, a combine representative of the mid 1920 steel car era, and two older wooden cars. All three models are derived from HO 3D models.

The steel car is a St.Louis Car Co combine built for the Fort Wayne & Lima and the Indiana Service Corp, later Indiana Railroad. I am particularly attached to this model for two reasons, first because the late Paul Mayer asked me to make this car and gave me many photos and documents, and second because it was the first model I have drawn only from photos.
Indiana Service Co/Indiana RR steel combine

Winona "Windsplitter"
Now I know that I could build every car even if only photos and no plans ara available. I will present the car in two versions, the early two manned version with the baggage compartment in front (in production, red with green roof) , and the later one man version turned front to back with a folding passenger door (already finished, in Indiana Railroad traction orange with green roof). The car is powered with the extra long Tomytec TM-TR05 drive and has Commonwealth truck frames.

The two wood cars are the famous big Winona "Windsplitter" and a C&LE arched roof box motor, based on C&LE car 622. The fine wooden grooves are a challenge, because they are going to the limits of 3D printing, and sometimes beyond. Both cars have Tomytec drives with bigger 5.6 mm (36") wheels and a 14 mm wheelbase, all trucks powered. The Box Motor has a truck mounted Micro-Trains Coupler in the rear and can safely pull (and push) several freight cars even through the sharpest curves with 103 mm radius.
C&LE Box Motor





Rear Micro-Trains coupler on the Box Motor

Models for Allentown [3] The tale of the three Siemens

Making Interurban cars in N scale is not so difficult. If the 3D drawing is well made, you only have to make some adjustments, deleting or thickening some details too small to print, like rivets or small handrails. And you have to adapt the inner shape of the car body to the Tomytec drive of your choice.If all is well engineered, you will recieve your 3D printed car body from Shapeways and it will directly snap over the drive and stay in place. The paint job is a little tricky, but otherwise it's done.

Modern LRV are not of the same shape, they are articulated, they are in fact 2 or 3 cars permanently coupled together. And if none of the Tomytec articulated drives fits, you have to build something on your own.

As N scale model I chosen the Siemens S70. Because I had already made the car in HO, and because its one of the most build in the USA. And because it is running as multiple unit: I wanted to make three Siemens S70.

I will not talk here about the headache I had, just to say you that is was not simple. But the 3 cars are now in the assembling line. A first beta car was build and painted before for a well known trolley connoisseur from California.

The main hurdles are the building of an articulated frame, with two modified Tomytec TM-TR01 drives as A and B units, and a custom build C unit made from laser cut styrene parts. The car with 2 motors and all wheels capting current is powerful. A three car Multiple Unit is just tremendous.

But you need fine and calm fingers, for making the folded paper bellows, for soldering the fine wires connecting A, C and B unit, for masking and painting, for all

Two cars will recieve the red paint scheme of the San Diego MTS, with N scale decals made by Custom Traxx. One car will recieve an all white paint scheme, in order to be decorated later - after the meet - as an Utah Trax from Salt Lake City.