Wednesday, July 29, 2020

CN Woodchip Car - A Proof of Concept

Yesterday, a few test prints were made to confirm if printing ladders and brake platform directly on the model was both feasible and satisfactory. A big thanks to Guillaume Pedneault for providing these samples with helping me with the final design.

Car ends with ladders and brake apparatus (credit: Guillaume Pedneault)

Be aware the sample weren't cleaned out and got only a quick coat of red primer to make details pop up. I was quite happy to see most details printed well, including the brake wheel and fulcrum. However, we have serious doubt the small chain would survive under normal circumstances when cleaning the model. This will have to be addressed with some kind of support under the chain itself. I still have to figure how it will be done to stay unnoticeable. I could have omitted this detail altogether as I did on my original pre-production model, but it definitely had a level of realism that should be appreciated by modellers.

As for the trucks, I've yet to figure out a few things about NMRA standards and recommended practices. Their information on journal dimensions seems to be a little bit weird and I tried comparing them to Accurail, Rapido and WalthersProto trucks... none of them matched the standard.

Barber S-2 truck sideframe (credit: Guillaume Pedneault)

That said, the printing went well. I can still see a few areas that could be greatly improved on the trucks. However, the person helping me with the prints gave a few good hints and it paid off. The springs looks good even if the sideframes aren't completely cleaned. The cast on lettering is always surprisingly good. Barely readable, but still there. The big challenge is making these trucks run freely.

Meanwhile, I working on a completely new 3D model of 879000-series woodchip car. The original 3D file was full of artifacts due to me not knowing what I was doing. Fortunately, with a better grasp of my tools, it's far easier. Ditching the millimetric template in SketchUp and learning a few new commands is making the work faster and better.

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