Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Yippee-IA : a laser-cut IA wagon

DB says: As will be discussed in excruciating detail in a future installment, I've found me a local laser cutting outfit and here is the first output - the IA.

Despite getting mine cut in .010 styrene - whoops, half the designed thickness - I was surprised how well this went together. Flawless, would be a word that springs to mind. Thicker styrene would have helped the deck stay flat when things were glued to it, and with general warpiness, but the addition of a little extra bracing seems to have rectified most of the wobbly bits.

Three B challenges:

Bogies/couplers. You'll obviously need some. Trackgang, Microtrains, Farish, Kato, etc -all have been discussed in previous posts. I'm using some Kato Taki bogies stuck on with cut down screws; bogie-mounted Rapido couplers at one end and MT couplers on the 'long end' deck.

Beam Clearance for Wheels. Depending on your bogie and wheel choice, you may need to remove the end sections of the hex-cut central beams to give enough clearance for your back-to-back N scale wheels to swivel on model-radius curves. You can see how much I removed in the top picture - the beams used to go right to the headstocks. This required the creation of new bolsters as well, and looking at the prototype pic here now, it looks like I should have used thinner bolsters to have the deck sitting lower.

Ballast. These completed wagons are light, so you need to weigh them down and stiffen things up, but I didn't want to plop containers on the top and hide all the nice deck and beam detail. I'm looking for some 2x4mm steel strip that doesn't obscure the hex-holes, but in the interim have used some K&S brass scrap packed with lead weights. I've mentioned these lead sheets before and I'll not tell you again to ask your dental office manager what they do with the lead from the xrays. These wee foil sheets can be rolled up into tiny places. You can see how all that was done in the top pic.

In the two middle pics, you can see how little squares of plasticard were added for twistlock bodies (underneath the laser cut protrusions) and the handbrake stand is yet to be added.

Overall rating: impressive. See the posts/instructions/CAD files in the 'projects' section on if you want one. Now for some goldies...


MaverickNZ said...

Very impressive.


lalover said...

Saw the ZH (?) lasercut kit at the local expo.
Very good, but yes can see how weight will be a problem!

Definitely a major step forward for the scale, or for any scale!

Making up wagon kits from plastic is very appealing!