7mm US model dabblings

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Jordan, 8 April 2013.

  1. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    If you offset a polyline, then all parts of the polyline will offset. In order to offset only one element, you would need to explode the polyline first. But rather than doing any of that, use the stretch command instead. This will move the segment in question, while also stretching adjoining segments to match. Do a crossing window that includes the endpoints of the segment you want to move, then move it. All other defining points for any other segments of the polyline not included in the crossing window will remain unchanged. You must pick the end points, or nothing will happen. Think of it in terms of how a line is mathematically defined.

    Stretch is a very useful and powerful command.

    Come to think of it, you can also use the grips, which are the blue squares you see in your 1 x 1 square example above. If you click on a blue grip, you can then move it, which in turn stretches the entities that are associated with the grip. If you select the midpoint grip, it will stretch both end points of that segment.
    Last edited: 10 September 2020
    mickoo likes this.
  2. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Grips....thanks for the correct term, I call them nodes, it's an old StudioMax label........ I use them all the time to manipulate the shape.

    In fact, I'm struggling to think of any object I've ever drawn, where the grips have not been used as some point to achieve the end result.

    In StudioMax there was a really powerful function called slice, you simply drew a line through your object and hit slice and it would create two manifold items each side of the slice line. The slice line auto deleted once the function was complete.

    The slice line is in blue and would create two new manifold objects left and right.

    To do this in CAD I draw one box, mirror down the joint line, then select both objects and use the grips to shunt the points along to generate the same pair of objects.

    I have worked out that holding the shift key and clicking the grips allows multiple grips to be selected :D

  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Oh dear :cool:

    Overland #0604.1 O Scale Brass Diesel | eBay

    Must resist....must resist....

    In all fairness, there's no immediate shipping to the UK option, things get messy...generally.... if sellers don't offer Global shipping of the bat, second, despite being Overland, I'm a bit under whelmed by the body side detail, doors and such, or I am I becoming overly picky :D
    cmax likes this.
  4. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    Wow, quite a flurry of messages about AutoCAD and some CAD techniques in general. One disadvantage of self-learning is that it is too easy to pick up and adopt bad practices (in the eyes of tutors) which become near impossible to shake off (been there), but if it works for you, well so be it.
    I'm with Overseer in my way of working (which was also my bread and butter in an international variety of disciplines).

    The selection box for Object Snaps (as displayed in Jim's message) can be accessed by entering OS on the keyboard. F3 toggles them all on/off in one hit globally.

    The Fillet tool is great for ending two lines together cleanly (either by extending or trimming as required) by entering a Radius of 0 (zero value).

    Whenever there is a requirement to ensure a bunch of lines all join up correctly, without any spurious end points, it can be helpful to convert them all into one continuous polyline, then check the vertices within by toggling through.

    To do this, have the Properties dialog box open (Ctrl+1).
    Then when you click on the Polyline, its details will display.
    AutoCAD polyline vertices 1.gif
    The coordinates for the first vertex (Vertex 1) will display.
    Now the next step might be a little obtuse as AutoCAD's user interface is a bit deficient here. One needs to click in the blank space (position as at the 2nd arrow above) to bring up toggles which can then send a marker to succeeding vertices in turn (see below).

    AutoCAD polyline vertices 2.gif

    The toggle arrows are now visible. Toggling down the polyline, the coordinates for vertex 5 are displayed, along with a corresponding cross mark at the location.
    Should the cross mark not leap immediately to the next vertex after clicking the toggle, then this indicates the presence of a duplicate vertex, which can be upsetting for some downstream processes e.g. manufacturing or satellite navigation, if not model railways!

    -Brian McK.
    Last edited: 11 September 2020
    mickoo likes this.
  5. Allen M

    Allen M Western Thunderer

    A bit of a side line but this CAD info reminds me of a situation about 25/30 or so years ago when 3D was quite new. The engineering office of the contractor had produced brilliant"virtual photos" of the new pipes and ducts to go into the factory space. What they had not taken into account was the fact that it was an upgrade/refit and much of the machinery and support equipment was to be retained.
    However the fitters & electricians on site sorted with a few fag packets.:headbang::):mad::confused:
  6. JasonD

    JasonD Western Thunderer

    If you're not especially impressed with the detail and will rebuild bits of it(?) taking a Sunset as the base model could save you £500 or so. No, I haven't seen one! :drool:
  7. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Yeeessss, moving swiftly on.......:D

    There's not much to choose between the Sunset and Overland bodies as far as I can tell, certainly in the door stamping and grill areas, though the Overland has a much more detailed and higher fidelity cab structure. The trucks on the Sunset are dire, you'd be better off with a Lego or LGB motor brick under there.

    Having said that, I do have the Overland ATSF Dash 9 and the doors never stuck me as simplified on that, maybe it's the more stylish paint job that detracts the eye.
  8. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    The new 3rd rail c44-9's are listed for reservation on their website now. The shells will be injection molded, with decent if not amazing detailing. They are anticipated to be a fairly short run, so prices are higher than they might otherwise be. Another concession to limited volumes is that they usually settle on one phase or version which covers as many prototypes as possible.

    You may like the shell, but you almost certainly will not like the drive train. The single motor is fine, but the drive line out the end of the fuel tank prohibits use of that volume for a speaker. Not necessarily applicable on the Dash 9's, the tank drive also affects the detailing of the trucks if end transoms or traction motor mounts are in the way (think EMD HTC-1 trucks and probably others as well).
    mickoo likes this.
  9. JasonD

    JasonD Western Thunderer

    Wonder if Scott'll give me a discount for spotting the wrong artwork on the NS version. $899 list.
  10. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    The Sunset Samhongsa Challenger arrived today, I was expecting the worst, poor packaging, grubby filthy model but having got it cheap wasn't going to get too downbeat with it.

    I have to say the seller didn't take very good photos of the model...to my benefit....it's actually not that bad, there are some huge elephants in the room, but the overall condition is much better than I first envisaged.

    It's certainly big, heavy too and yes, I do need to sort my white sheet out and get rid of all the creases, a wash and iron is in good order, problem is these big brass engines are big, really big.



    There's a little bit of damage here and there, primarily where the original owner, or an owner in the past, has tried to fit lights into places where, well lets just say, places where their skill set was lacking.


    Up front the class lights and number boards are mullered, as is the headlight, they'll all need coming off and repairing, maybe new castings from PSC, I get the whole light thing but it's not an essential thing for me.

    I may have mentioned previously about having concerns with the front engine pipework, I wasn't wrong, there are three sliding pipes missing, one for each cylinder exhaust pipe and the middle live steam pipe, these are completely missing as are the flexible joints the tubes fit too. I know PSC do the Big Boy and Jablemann Challenger ones as castings, they might fit the earlier 'lite' Challengers too, if not, some more flexing of the limited scratch building skill set will be needed :D

    The cab area is okay not sure about the extended frame section aft of the rear drivers, that might need some work and fidelity.


    I have my doubts about that trailing Delta truck, it's a bit of a chunky sort of affair, the front end needs some work and there's no transom at the rear.

    The tender is a bit beat up, it's a good representation of the oil equipped 19-C tender, again the lights have taken the brunt of a previous owners handiwork.


    The trucks are really nice, fully articulated and fully sprung, not with the usual spare tractor springs Korean brass models seem to sport, mind, quite a few of them appear to have 'escaped' over the years :eek:. The rear end could do with some work on the coupling and draft gear area too.

    Up front, not so good.


    Big hole in the front, two big switches and a gaping hole in the middle, something seems twisted as well, either the footplate or buffer beam, there's a also something loose inside, probably the weight...hence the foam to try and keep it in place. I may not even be able to get in there, I'm hoping the centre tender frame comes away to reveal a lower opening, failing that it'll be the 'ship in a bottle' tool set to sort something out.

    I've got a good set of 19-C drawings so should be able to replicate and fabricate all the required bits to get the front end up to scratch.

    Now to the really big elephant in the room, a whole herd none the less.


    Massive amount of front end swing, way more that the model is designed to do, which is why the three inner ends of the steam and exhaust pipes are missing, they would prevent a lot of this side play I suspect.

    Even worse is the amount of vertical play in the front end, I've wedged it with a bit of wood to show just how much slack there is, another reason why the inner ends of the pipes are missing, or maybe even broken off.


    The real engine has a sliding bearing between the boiler and lead engine, it sits above and rests on the motion bracket, the model has small little wheel which rolls on the motion bracket to replicate the real thing. Over time it has worn a nice little patch on the motion bracket, quite a wide little patch actually. The long and short of it is that someone hacked the front end to give more lateral play.

    Despite all that, it has merit and promise, it's a much better starting point to upgrade and detail out than the later Sunset 3rd rail production version. I may just put that one up for sale and use the funds to offset the next target, a Samhongsa 4-12-2, again it'll need some work but if the price is right :thumbs:

    First thing (hopefully tomorrow) is a total strip down of the tender and then a good bead blasting to see what's under all that lacquer.

    In other news, I finally managed to cross another three books off the wanted list, these are basically the bibles of each class, we don't really have an equivalent sort of theme in the UK, they have all the minutia and detail that the 'Book of' series have, but more engineering based as opposed to sheds, tender swaps and boiler changes, they also have a good smattering of detailed drawings, some are works drawings, others generic line drawings but more detailed than say Railway Modeller or Isinglass.


    They're big, heavy, top quality paper and in a nut shell, not cheap, especially prime copies like these, like all niche audience books, print runs are small so getting hold of any copy is hard, the UP type I've been looking for around four years, the Daylights around three, the ten coupled I didn't even know existed until I saw it linked next to the Daylights on the web pages, that was a big bonus.

    As a bit of a yarn, the ten coupled are near copies of the UP ten coupled classes, the tenders differ and some fittings and detail differ, but underneath there is a lot of commonality. Both UP and SP have 2-10-2 and 4-10-2 classes, the 4-10-2 being three cylinders with Gresley 2:1 valve gear (as indeed the 4-12-2 have).

    UP only ordered 10 and converted them to 2 cyl early on, SP ordered many more (not sure of exact number) and ran them until scrapping as three cylinders.

    Those not up to speed with US stuff won't know that the 2-10-2 wheel arrangement is called the Santa Fe class, simply because they were the first to employ that wheel arrangement, however, SP had/have an apocalyptic loathing toward ATSF and refused to call the 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, instead referring to them as 'decks' a nod to Decapod.

    The 4-10-2's came later and with their three cylinders and asynchronous exhaust were referred to as 'Stuttering decks'.
    PhilH and jonte like this.
  11. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Yes I saw the new models a week or so back after someone tipped me off ;)

    Even taking on board the drive train comments, it's the truck frames that do it for me, just too toy like, shades of G scale models there. My gut feeling is that it's the same drive train and trucks from the previous incarnations, they certainly look familiar, all of the update being in the new plastic body and tooling.

    They are not their best models I have to say, much as I love my GEVO's I think I'll opt out and head for a ML4000, those look to be much better model.

    I've read good words spoken about their SD7/9 models, I've only ever seen one for sale and it went for a very good price; it did look very good indeed for a RTR model.

    The tank drive doesn't overly phase me, in some ways I prefer it as it's a straight drive train, granted most do seem to have massive drive shafts which I don't get, 1.5 mm ground steel, or even smaller, would probably transmit all the torque you'd ever need.

    I do concede that long thin drive shafts may well flex under load and create vibration at higher speeds unless they are truly straight.

    I'm told these belt drives and Delrin tower drives are much better, I've not used one in anger as yet but the logic of the drive line is at odds with my way of thinking. They also stick up above the truck and through the floor, usually requiring the loss (partial or whole) of the drivers cab.

    I get the visual impairment of the tank drive shaft, but feel it's less of an eye sore than towers sticking out of the top of the trucks. If it's aligned well it should run close to the chassis floor and should, I say should, clear any transom at the rear end of the truck.
  12. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    That photo on the website is at best of the earlier brass model, at worst it's of a competitor's model. Likely the prior, so there's a reason why it looks the same as before. They are simply open for reservations at this point, to gauge interest in the model in general and road names specifically. No production, or even engineering has been done yet. So don't put too much stock in that photo representing what will be produced now.

    The rest of the drive train will certainly not be the same as the earlier run. The current drive has been upgraded and refined over the number of recent diesel loco production runs, to the point where it's fairly refined now. Ball bearings all around, for what it's worth. It's also nice to see that they've finally ditched the QSI dcc system for ESU.

    Anyway, I wouldn't give up on them yet, and as noted don't pay much heed to that photo.
    JasonD and mickoo like this.
  13. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    The Brass Guide gives the production date of the Sunset Early Challengers as 1982. Builder Samhongsa with coal or oil versions and original price $1425, but no details of number produced.
    mickoo likes this.
  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Ah, okay I get that, for me they'll have to really up the game on the trucks and under frame areas, pretty much all of the RTR GEVOs suffer badly in that area.

    The pricing is good, if they can deliver something with fidelity, not convinced on the Railroad choices if they're running a generic shell, specifically the CN option who's cab is different to all the others, whether CN, BCOL, or IC, none of them match the other railroads, the CN Dash 9 cabs (both types) are unique to that railroad only.

    It's not until part way through the third order (EF-644L) of ES44DC's that CN fell in line with other railroads and adopted the standard production cab on the line at that time, MK II with left hand access door.

    CN has recently begun to acquire old BNSF nee ATSF stock, these do have the standard wide cab set up but with gull wing roof, but these are all Dash 8's, the chassis is shorter and the trucks are different, at first glance you could mistake them for Dash 9's.

    I hope the NS drawing is wrong as it's a spartan cab not a wide cab.

    BNSF is probably the most interesting for me, if they can sort the truck fidelity out I'd be very interested in a couple of Heritage II cigar band logo units (its a shame Microscale stopped this particular livery in O gauge, you can still get it in HO mind). Again the cab differs in that it has the gull wing roof.

    UP didn't buy big into the Dash 9, only 40 units, there fleet only expanded with all the acquired SP and C&NW units later.

    CSX has Dash 9's but you can't model them, they're actually Dash 8 units in shape, size and trucks, but equipped with Dash 9 technology.

    If the SD7/9 and ML4000 are indications then the fidelity should be improved, I have to say the previous brass version was not that good. I've read complaints about 3rd rail going to plastic shells, but in all honesty, if it raises detail, reduces costs and keeps them in the game then I really can't see the issue.

    I think I read somewhere that MTH are closing up shop, this years (or maybe next years) catalogue will be their last.
  15. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I see you caught on that the war bonnets are in fact offered. :thumbs:

    There's some chatter about this over on the OGR forum, from when Scott announced the project. CSX was originally on the list but got dropped after somebody pointed out the dash 8 issues. There's also information noting the variations in the BNSF orders, gull wing cabs, 5 step pilots, 4 window cabs vs. 3, that sort of thing.

    Regarding the artwork, usually there's a disclaimer somewhere saying that it's only to market paint scheme options for the purposes of ordering. So the CNW unit being yellow and black rather than yellow and green doesn't mean much right now, nor does the NS standard nose and dash 8 inertial air filter grille (presume this is supposed to represent the NS dash 9's that were the last units made with the standard cab). The reality is that they receive permission to use the "painted" loco drawings for the advert, there may not have been an appropriate NS unit available at the time.

    Or conversely, maybe this will be the loco that they step up their game on, offering more road specific details. I know that the announcement for the sd40-2 said that the artwork was generic, and that details would be appropriate for each road. But that model never got enough orders ( :confused: !!!) to move ahead. At any rate, I would consider noses and cab styles like CN to be road specific or phase specific details. With some modular tooling, these differences could be accommodated. But consider that according to Scott Mann, they only anticipate selling 200-250 units, because the market has already been met to an extent by other manufacturers. It's why the price is higher than for for other more popular units (of course, they sold plenty of F units, and everybody has made those). Perhaps if they get more support than anticipated, they will consider additional investment in tooling, and/or a lower cost per unit.

    Does anyone know if the native CN units have open grate walkways to mitigate snow build-up? I'm not familiar enough with the units to know.
  16. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I'd forgotten about the 5 tread steps and thought they were Dash 8 only, seems it carried on into the Dash 9 as well, all of the CN Dash 9's run with 5 read access steps.

    As far as I can see, no CN Dash 8, 9 or GEVO has snow clearing holes in the walkways, solid through out with raised pimples as an aid to anti slip.

    I'd read the early NS Dash 9's were upgraded Dash 8 with the spartan cab, GE called them Dash 8.5 or something. NS do have bog standard Dash 9's (8889 - 9978) but like almost all other NS units have the headlights moved to the central brow location, that's what kills the MTH model, you're kinda stuck with NS or NS, mind I think I have seen some with different cab mouldings on Ebay but didn't pay much attention.

    The US market is driven by the 3 rail genre and it's heritage, one where you 'play' trains and I do get that, even with their lunatic curves, UK and Europe is biased more toward the genre where you 'model' trains and I get that too.

    80% of those prospective 200-250 sales will likely have to be into the 3 rail market and there you're competing with MTH, lionel and the likes, those folks tend not to be swayed by the higher fidelity of the 'model' genre.

    It's a catch 22 situation, folks won't reserve if they don't know what they are getting, Scott cannot commit to a run until he knows he has a solid customer base, I don't envy that position.

    Needless to say, all of the above has opened the GEVO interest bubble, something I was trying to tame and not allow to take over my entire life......

    I hadn't updated my master spreadsheet with all the Dash 9 variations but have done so now, just leaves the Dash 8 to research and fill in the blanks.
  17. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    Here's a link to the OGR thread. You can skip most of the first two pages, it's a lot of people saying "that's great, but you really should make xyz it would sell better because it's what I want". On the third page though, there is some good info posted by user Rich Montague on the ATSF/BNSF iterations, as well as a post by Scott Mann saying in response that both 3 window and 4 window cabs can be accommodated at a reasonable cost. So it is possible that the CN or NS cabs could be accurately rendered.
  18. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Cheers, I'll go have a browse shortly, any GEVO info is good to add to the data banks.

    The problem with the CN units is not just confined to the side windows, there's two batches, 3 and 4 window or what I call MK I and MK II, maybe even read that somewhere.

    MK I is the original with the front quarter light window in a rubber gasket. Problem is, they leak and the cab shell rots away where water ingresses past the rubber gasket.


    The MK II cab revised this with a sealed double glazed panel, they also reduced the size of the sliding window opening and added a duplicate quarter light to the rear.


    All of the GE cabbed CN Dash 9's feature the MK II cab (but with MK I cab steps, I.E 5 treads - 4 steps). However, CN opted for the extended/improved vision windscreen, shades of early EMD cowl units and Centennials, for my records I call this the teardrop windscreen.

    The change in windscreen design also has an impact on the nose top, the change from flat to angled is mid width, not at the corner on GE standard noses.

    Standard nose.


    CN extended/improved vision nose, copyright exists with owner (unknown) and image cropped.


    That accounts for the GE wide cabbed CN units, the remaining ones are fitted with the original Canada wide (comfort) cab which is totally different.

    Copyright Andrew (Flickr) and cropped to show only the nose.


    There's not many of these, but they are kind of cool and something out of the ordinary.

    So Sunset, best of luck with the CN version, I think it has more tooling changes than they will probably accommodate all told, if it's not and they opt for the teardrop screen version then I had to say it'd be hard to resist one, as far as I know they've never been modeled.
    Last edited: 16 September 2020
    Big Train James likes this.
  19. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Back to the Challenger and time to strip the tender down, the chassis does indeed come off, held in place by four screws, in this case just one and the thread on that is marginal, some repairs needed there later on.

    Once opened the source of the rattle was evident, one battery pack, one large speaker, one even larger speaker, a big birds nest of wires and some foam plus the two switches up front, both were jammed but some persuasion revealed that the lamps still worked :eek:


    Anyway the whole lot was ripped out and consigned to the bin monster.

    The interior was as expected, filthy so it was out to the bead blaster and a good clean.


    The bead blaster took the lacquer off easily but would not touch the tarnish in the brass, fine grit helped there and eventually it was clean enough to work on.




    There's some work that needs doing right away, the front platform is slightly wonky and the plate below where the switches were is also wonky, my guess would be that drilling out the switch holes snagged the metal and ripped one of the joints open. In short, footplate, front lower bulkhead and step brackets all come off. A new etched front sheet will be required, there should be a singular opening in the middle for the stoker engine and screw fitting, or on oil engines a blanking plate and inspection hatch for the tank heater.

    Starting at the rear there's some more remedial work/corrections to do, the hole in the middle I think was originally for a headlight, this was later changed to a switch and a new back up light fitted higher up, being as I'm modelling late UP steam then the back up light and bracket are required.

    The classification lights are in the wrong place, need to be higher and further in board, in later years they often appear missing, the hole left by the previous wiring for lamps will need filling and blending in.

    The water tank top is okay, some engines lost the wooden walk boards, the only change here is an extra stanchion for the hand rail, there should be five evenly spaced, not four and the rail needs to be thicker, at least 0.8 mm.

    One thing missing from the top is the coal division plate, these tenders could be coal or oil but spent most of their life as oilers, some were converted to coal but then back to oil, as such an arched division plate is needed behind the oil tank; some engine are also fitted with an additional (tool?) box up here as well.

    The oil tank top is very barren, there's a mish mash of pipes and valve handles to add and detail up, most of that pipework goes over the front end and down the front of the tender.

    The front end needs the coal door space filled with the front end of the oil tank, there's also a sand box fitted here just above the footplate.

    Denver public library has a very good shot of the top of a 19-C tender, the only decent one I've found as it happens.


    Emil Albrecht also took some nice detailed shots around the cab and tender of 3825 at Ogden

    1950 Jan -- Ogden (Roll 267) - Don Strack

    The Chassis is so so, kind of looks right but really isn't, there's no drag or draft boxes and the underside looks nothing like the real thing, there's actually so many things wrong it's easier to just etch and build a new one, it'd probably be quicker than trying to tart this one up and I do have a small number of bespoke etches for clients to find an etch for as well.


    I'm in two minds what to do with this one, it has some handy castings on it, it's also missing a lot as well. I can keep as is and simply bolt it back on if it ever got sold to keep it's originality (mute given the extra work above) or, just strip it of the bits I need and simply move on in life.

    Considering some of the work planned/needed to upgrade the engine I think keeping it as original is out of the window, decision made really, lets go to town and super detail the whole model as far as is reasonably practicable...to coin a phrase from safety programs.

    The trucks are nice, until you look closely.


    They're way to wide, nearly 4.5 mm and the wheels are monster biscuit tins, there's also a lot of play in the bearings which is allowing the axle boxes to twist and thus the cast side frames, it all gets twisted out of square very easily. There should be a brake plank for each pair of shoes, the model only fits the front and rear ones and then only one remains here, the others long lost.

    The plan is to narrow the whole truck and fit near-er scale wheels, I'm not going for P48 as the engine will need just too much work on the main frames to be practical.

    Right, time to browse the PSC catalogue and see what I can add to the shopping basket :D then poke some electrons in CAD.
    Last edited: 16 September 2020
    Lancastrian, simond, PhilH and 5 others like this.
  20. JasonD

    JasonD Western Thunderer

    Those are good ole Code 172 wheels some of us oldies took for granted. If they're 33" PSC or NWSL will have some code 145 or Peartree may agree to some custom-turned steel whls if enough of us get together for a min qty order.
    mickoo likes this.