Building a Frisco Caboose in HO Scale

Discussion in 'Cabooses' started by r c h, May 14, 2014.

  1. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    Thanks, Ray and Tom.

    Right before I made the jump from civil engineering to railroading I learned a couple things on the computer, including how to print to PDF. There's some pretty good free software available from Software995 that makes printing and editing PDF files easy.
  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    With your PC skills, have you ever considered designing the artwork for sides and ends of the caboose body and cupola for Brass etching to glue to the sides of Atlas or similar bodies so we could finally have correct window locations.
    I dont know if it would be worth doing or not, might cost too much $$ to get it done.
  3. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    That shouldn't be a problem, Tom. I can measure the Atlas caboose and make some drawings for that purpose. It would certainly result in some cleaner lines than I ended up with. Things are kind of upside down for me at home right now (construction project while living in the house - not fun!), but eventually things will return to normal and I can get to work on this. Is there any kind of open source photoetching supplier like Shapeways is for rapid prototyping?
  4. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks Ryan,
    Brother, I am not sure even about that photetching part, but I would be happy to take on part of it. I am sure we have folks on this site that could do it too. Best of luck with your "live in home, or layout improvement project"
    LC GJ

  5. cthart

    cthart Member

    Ryan et al,

    Did you read the last two issues of RMC before Carstens folded? Scott Lupia modelled some SCL E-units with extensive custom photoetched parts replacing various side panels and other parts. He used a photoetching company based in the UK.


  6. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    Great idea, Colin. I'll see what I can come up with. I know of a couple other modelers who use photoetching contractors, so if the one in the article doesn't work out, I may have other sources.
  7. mark

    mark Member

    Recommend also considering 3d printing in plastic as an option. Flat side replacement parts would be nice.

    Hope this helps.


  8. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    If there is a way to print caboose sides that don't suffer from rough edges and stepping, I'd be interested in giving it a shot. I'm concerned the cost might be rather high, though.
  9. cthart

    cthart Member

    3D printing gets pretty expensive when it comes to HO-scale-sized models. And the surfaces are still pretty rough. Etching, in contrast, can be pretty cheap when done in quantities, and is ultra-smooth: the surfaces are smooth by definition, and the edges are as smooth as the resolution of the (2D ink) printer used to print the design.

    IMHO, no contest: etching wins hands down. You can layer etchings too, as described in the articles. This is great for e.g. window frames.


  10. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    To be fair, layered etches have a smooth surface on the "top" layer, but a fine grainy surface on the second level. It's not anywhere near the level of roughness I've seen on 3D printed models, but unless you're dealing with separate sheets of etched metal layered on top of each other, the surface isn't perfectly smooth.

    Also, when large areas are half-etched, curling is a possibility and often a real problem that's not easy to correct. I have dealt with this curling issue when adding etched walkway tread from Cannon & Co. and Railflyer and fan hatches from Plano. Eliminating the curling problem on such a large area as an etched caboose side may prove to be quite difficult.

    Honestly, my experiences with the curling problem makes me think very seriously about 3D printing. I'd like to see some samples of flat printed parts that don't suffer from rough edges and stepping. If I knew it was possible, I'd knock out a 3D model of the sides.

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