Wisbech and Upwell in S7

Discussion in 'S7 Group' started by Marc Dobson, 16 May 2020.

  1. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    Since I started my move to S7, from FS, I have been working to convert all my GER stock with the plan to build something like a tramway,W&UT style. My usual way of working is build the layout then worry about the stock. Having come unstuck by having a layout and no stock I have decided to do it the other way round this time.
    So starting with locos. I have 2 of Jim McGeown's G15 trams but his kit only covers 2 of the 10 locos in the class, and a fold up chassis. So I started to design some of my own. I produced two prototypes, one each of the other two variants, about 2 years ago and then had a major data loss and lost everything apart from the trial etch. So I have redrawn everything and I've now got this far with the 3D design.
    I did originally have the idea of doing them as ready to runs but its impossible to build them for a figure that people would want to pay for and give me a profit to live on, with out going to china to have them made. They might come out as kits if anyone asks, but that is something for the future at the moment they are for me.
    inside windows mock up 1.jpg inside windows mock up 2.jpg outside windows mock up 1.jpg outside windows mock up 2.jpg
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  2. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    A bit more progress. I have now realised the there are now another variation some have round based buffers and some have square based buffers. this is onto top of the variations in the windows that had spotted before.
    inside windows mock up with cow catcher.jpg outside windows mock up with cow catcher.jpg
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  3. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    I'm now working on the chassis and the frames. When the prototypes were built in FS I had 22mm brass frame spacers that I had to shim out to 24mm to get the slaters plungers to work. I have changed the design to fit the bigger ones from Premier Components but that still leaves me requiring 26mm spacers. For prototype 3 I could make my own but if I could buy them in ready made that might take some of the cost out. Does anyone know were I can buy 26mm spacers?
    The chassis so far. Big cheat FS wheels on S7 axles if you can't see them and they do go through the track work what is the point of turning them down?The inside of the plungers are shown at their full movement position.

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  4. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer


    The S7 Stores sell frame spacing n/s strip in several widths. The two nearest your requirement are 26.6mm and 25.8 mm. Cut a couple of pieces, bend to a 90deg-ish angle and solder in place. Miscellaneous - Scale 7 Group

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  5. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    Hi Dave
    I was hoping to produce a bolt together chassis which would mean if I produced them commercially the only parts that would be required to swap out to change from FS to S7 manufacture would be the spacers. Also "Bolt Together" is faster in build a would reduce the cost of manufacture.
  6. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    I have no experience of manufacturing but I would have thought that the cost of accurately machining the chassis sides with countersunk holes for the spacer screws plunger pickups, brake gear etc., the spacers themselves (which would require drilled and tapped holes) would have outweighed any perceived cost and time savings. If the builder will need to solder other parts of the kit together, it is not unreasonable to expect him/her to be able to solder a couple of tabbed frame spacers into etched chassis side slots like most conventional kits.
  7. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    The chassis sides are etched along with the cowcatchers, roof and a few small fittings for the FS version the only soldering anyone has to do is the contacts to the motor and the end parts of the cowcatcher. I built the FS prototypes in about 3 hours which means I can just about compete with china while keeping 95% of components UK manufactured. A growing majority of modellers are scared of brass in any form so I have reduced it to the bare minimum. I have 1.5mm of extra play in the contacts I could just put the 24mm spacers in and washers on the backs of the wheels to reduce side play. Then the only component differences would be the axles and packing washers.
  8. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    This is the chassis with the 24mm spacers. just need to model the motor. Prototype 1 and 2 were fitted with slaters motors and gearboxes really nice but very pricey so I need to find an alternative motor for any that I do ready to run £85 needs to be in the region of £45 to make any money.
    Chassis 2.jpg
  9. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    We are hoping to have these Locos ready for GuildEx this year, If it goes ahead. Having worked out all our figures we can now announce the prices.

    There are 4 body types options

    • Inside side windows with square based buffers
    • Inside side windows with Round based buffers
    • Outside side windows with square based buffers
    • Outside side windows with Round based buffers
    Other options

    • Ready To Run options available in Fine Scale
    • Ready To Run options available in S7
    • DCC (no Sound)
    • DCC Sound (ZS070A ZIMO Digitrains sound)
    They will be able to be ordered after June10th for August bank holiday delivery.

    • Kit price: £195 Requires: wheels; motor; gearbox; paint and transfers to complete
    • RTR Price (LNER/BR): £300 Brown upper works and Black below the footplate
    • RTR Price (GER): £375 Either brown or red upper works and either blue or grey below the footplate
    Add £50 for DCC and £150 for DCC sound

    They will be able to be ordered after June 10th for August bank holiday delivery.

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  10. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Guildex this year??

    That's a crazy short development time.

    I hope the show isn't cancelled for you, and wish you all the best.

    adrian likes this.
  11. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Why? :confused:

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  12. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    We are living in an age where being able to think like an engineer is not valued and subsequently has not been taught in schools, for the last 20 years or more. People don't have the skills and want things that are less complex than a airfix kit, if they want to build themselves. O gauge is slowly turning into big OO were it is pull out of a box and stuck on the track. I would say 40% of our annual sales are now ready to run, and its growing year in year.
    We do mail order so if the show is cancelled, which I expect, I will reduce the production rate to meet initial demand, as I do most the manufacturing in house.
    The project has been on going for a few years. I have found a motor and gear box this afternoon so that will be drawn out tomorrow morning.
    I'm starting on a NER/LNER H2/J79 next week. and the its a GER/LNER/BR E22/J65.

  13. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I'm not sure it is a majority modellers but certainly a growing number of new modellers to the scale seem to favour multimedia kits which glue together. Perhaps it's a result of their modelling journey to the scale. For many I suspect they have never had the joy of soldering and prefer to go with what they know and that just happens to be gluing kits together. Even Severn Models recommends superglue for assembling their etched brass kits.

    That said I'm slightly confused because the first post mentioned a "trial etch" so I sort of assumed that the main body was going to be an etched kit, but then later on it seems there are only a selection of etched items. So a query for @Marc Dobson : for clarification how is the main body to be assembled, plastic mouldings, 3D printed, resin cast?
    It does seem "challenging", I would prefer to have something physical to view as despite the best will in the world there are always variations in translating from computer screen to a physical model.
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  14. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    The majority of the kit is 3D printed resin or cast polyurethane resin. the etched parts are the cowcatcher, roof, smoke box and backhead front plates, the chassis side plates and the lamp irons. The only thing on the kit that does require soldering is the electrical contacts the rest of the brass parts are glued to resin parts and the chassis screws together.

    I have attached a photo of one of the prototypes that we have had running for some time. The livery is GER 1915-23 it need lettering and the number plates. And another on both the prototypes together



    GER tram.JPG
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  15. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Agreed Adrian, certainly it's what your brought up on I suppose, takes the enjoyment out of it for me personally, give me a box of parts, or sheet metal any day :D....not knocking what your doing though Marc :thumbs:, it brings more people into model railways and hopefully entices them to have a go.

    Even in S7 there are a lot of 'modellers' having rtr stuff converted.
    Col. :)
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  16. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Thanks for that and the photos you are obviously further along than just the computer sketches.

    Given your earlier comments about keeping costs down low were you able to make any comparison with getting the body laser cut? Perhaps erroneously I thought that 3D printed resin was expensive ( material and timewise ) - Shapeways never appear to be cheap. Given the prototype is wooden bodied I was wondering if a lasercut wooden shell to glue together and then etched overlays for the strapping etc. might have worked out cheaper?
  17. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    I produced the moulds for the main resin parts footplate, boiler, firebox, smoke-box, sides and ends a few years back, using Shapeways prints. The main cost is the time it takes to manufacture and build rather than the individual parts, once patterns and moulds have been produced. I produced a test etch for the brass parts as that meant that I didn't have to commit to expensive production tooling for prototypes. I now have a 3D resin printer of my own on the way from the manufacture's which will give me more flexibility in producing parts.

    The main cost out side time on producing RTR stock is wheels, motors and gearboxes. If i used the parts from slaters that I used on the prototypes you would be looking at about £150 from the sale price of £300. then add in the cost of everything else and I would be loosing money on the build and not getting anything back for my time. Or I would have to put the price up to a point that no one would pay. Initially the RTR price was floating around the £500 mark. I can see the manufacturing logic of contracting everything out to China, it would be cheaper and I would make more profit, but I would like the money to be kept in the UK economy.

    If I was just doing them for me then Laser cut or as complete 3D print is probably the cheapest method of manufacture unless your scratch building from sheet. With laser cut you have to put every rivet in by hand time consuming. The other advantage I have with 3D design is that have spent the last 20 years using it in the real world and I come as second nature. I can turn round a 3D cad file from an orthographic in about 3 hours.

    Another project that I was going to have on the stand at Doncaster on Saturday is a Maryport and Carlisle 3 plank open. I currently waiting to go to the printer for patterns.

    M&C 3plk.jpg
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