My T gauge adventure

Post details of your T gauge layouts and the progress you are making.
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NeilM
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My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

I had said in an earlier post that I would not start a thread until such time as it could be more of a definate 'what I have done', rather than just a 'what I am planning to do - possibly'. Finally I have managed to make a start, and even though I have currently only got half a circle of track to run on I have made some progress on rolling stock

Firstly a Warship body shell.
I painted this using Vallejo acrylic paints. I was originally planning to use Precision paints because they produce the correct colour, but in the end it seemed expensive to buy a bottle for the little I would need for a T gauge shell, so just picked the Vallejo colour which looked to be the closest.
The first image shows my attempt at hand painting the yellow warning panel. Painting of the windows, and adding a BR logo is still to do.
The second image shows the loco with a coach.
TGF_001.JPG
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TGF_002.JPG
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Just to prove that I can not stick to a theme (as if the fact that I am modelling in N, 009, HOn30, HO, On30 & SM32 as well as T was not enough to prove this!) I have also started on a 50' boxcar. I do not have the chassis for this yet. The rather cruel close up here shows the quality of the body shell, but also clearly shows how terible my painting is. All I can say is that it looks OK at a normal viewing distance!
For this boxcar I planned a livery which I could decal without needing to produce full body decals. That basically means choosing a livery which does not use white lettering (as I do not have an alps printer), so chose a Soo Line boxcar. This car has an all white body, red doors (which are easy to paint as the doors as separate items) and black lettering. Creating the decals is next to do, but I have already prepared the artwork.
TGF_003.JPG
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Finally a quick photo if the PWM controller I am using which is designed around a Picaxe microcontroller. This is still in a developement stage - the two wires sticking up from the top of the board are taking the places of the two push buttons for accelarate/decelarate. The controller does work, but I am not putting to much effort into it until I have at least a whole cirlce of track so I can really test the number of speed steps and the acceleration rate and adjust the software for best performance.
TGF_004.JPG
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Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

ConnorL
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by ConnorL »

That circuit looks really impressive, can't wait to see your homemade PWM controller up and running.

Is that engine from shapeways or other locations? If it is from shapeways, does the paint peel or flake?

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

The loco is from OzRailwaysTstuff, which I ordered from Shapeways as part of a larger order but which is also avaialble from TGauge.com.

I tried acrylics on this shell after earlier failures using this kind of paint, but it seems to be OK this time. Previously I had tried using it for 009 wagon bodies created from cut down 3.5mm and 4mm scale bodyshells. When I did this I found that after two days I could scrape the paint stright off with my fingernail, even though I had cleaned the shell thoroughly. After this failure I just put them on one side an forgot about them, however about a month later I came across them and when I again tried to scrape the paint off I could not do so. This leads me to belive that although these paints seem to be dry after only about 10 minutes they are not fully hardened until days or even weeks later.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

I had said that this thread would be more for what I had done, rather than what I was planning to do at some time in the future, however as the forum is so quiet at the moment....

Firstly, something that has actually happened (as opposed to something that I have done) is that my latest order of track plus one chassis arrived. This now means that I finally have a complete loop of track which makes testing far easier. This also raises the chance that I could build a layout with the small oval of track I have just to show people what T gauge is actualy like.

Now that I have the chassis I was waiting for, and can measure it accurately, I also plan to try and design some US outline freight cars and get them printed at shapeways. Initially I plan to try a 40' boxcar with roofwalks and also an old style 4 tub pickle car. I currently only have google sketchup avaialble. not sure if this will be up to the job or not, but I guess the easiest way to find out is to give it a try.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

Slarge
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by Slarge »

I can recommend sketchup for modeling having used it to create:
http://www.shapeways.com/model/936227/obb-railjet.html
Remember to adjust the unit precision, any queries, I'm happy to help if I can :)

ivanf
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by ivanf »

I use blender and am happy with it - it's free. I sometimes wonder if it would be better to use sketchup but I've invested so much time learning blender...

also happy to help.

tip #1 has got to be design something simple and upload it to shapeways to get the hang of their thin wall checker. It's very dissapointing to spend weeks working on a model, then upload it and speend weeks more removing all the detail... :)

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

With the general caveat that I do not really now what I am doing yet, I have loaded my first model to shapeways and included a test print on my last order.

The US 40' boxcar to fit a commercial chassis, and the trail of a British 4 wheeler wagon, are both taking longer than I would have hoped so I decided to try a print of a series 2 Land Rover than I had created whilst learning sketch up.

I am still awiting delivery of my order, but if it works out OK then I will tidy up my hastily created Shapeways shop and put the item up for general sale

https://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

Clear space in your station car parks and on your streets! I have received the test print of my Land Rover, my first shapeways design, and it looks to have printed OK.

If anyone wants to order a print of this I have now set it to to available in my shop; https://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450
Shapeways Land Rover View.jpg
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Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

I have now added multi pack options to the Land Rover model that I had uploaded to Shapeways, so as to keep down the cost per vehicle.

Whilst creating the 3 and 6 packs I also took the opportunity to create variations to the basic vehicle, so the 3 pack now contains my original model plus one with a spare wheel on the bonnet and another with a van body. The 6 pack contains 2 of each.

I have not printed any of these yet, which is why they are set to Beta, but I have sucesfully printed the single version so am hopeful that there will not be a problem.

https://www.shapeways.com/shops/T450
Shapeways new models.jpg
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I am also working on a set of US 40' freight cars (wood boxcar, composite boxcar, reefer and possibly a stock car). These will use the 19M coach chassis as that is all that I currently have to measure and try, although I plan to try them with the adjustable chassis as well and hopefully if any changes are needed then they will be easy to do. NB the 19M chassis will need to be cut for these models, so they will be to scale length.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

Here is the first view of the 40' boxcar body that I have been working on. Note that this is not currently finished, and I have only loaded this to shapeways to see the renedering, and it is not currently for sale.
Shapeways boxcar first.jpg
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This is the wooden bodied boxcar with a roofwalk, and is one of a number of variations that I have planned if this first one works out.

This is an early cut of the design - it currently does not have any door detail on the other side, nor does it yet have any ladders, but now that I can see that it has passed the basic wall thickness checker I will get these added and resubmit it. When I have had a sucesful print from this I will then put it for sale in my shop.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

Having had a proper look at the boxcar image above I have now reduced the height of the roofwalk (in my development copy, not in shapeways). When I looked into how this had come to be too high I realised that I had measured the size of the details from a N gauge boxcar and divided the values by 3. That would have been fine, exept I that the boxcar I grabbed to do the measuring was an old Bachmann car with the black roofwalk which was not only overthick, but also mounted far too high above the roof. A quick check on a Microtrains boxcar soon put this right.

Still to do is to add the door to the other side and also add the ladders. I am concious of how small the details are so I am not planning to try and add too many more. If you have any thoughts on this car then please let me know. Once I have all the details in place I will reload to shapeways and try a test print.

Just to prove that I do not get anything done fast, last night I primed the Land Rover that I had printed weeks ago. This really made the detail visible, but it was not easy. What I had not realised, but should have been obviously really, was how small the model was - no chance of holding it and painting it! I had thought that a wooden skewer may fit into the hollow I had left in the body, but it was no where near big enough. In the end I glued the model to the side of the skewer with pva. Hopefully this should release with a little water when the painting is complete. It has really made me consider adding a handle to this model which could be used to hold it whilst painting and then cut off afterwards. I will load a photo when the painting is complete.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

martink
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by martink »

I use sticks of balsa to hold models, since you can easily trim them to size and they are soft enough to squeeze in and hold. Alternatively, a blob of blu-tack on the end of a stick also works well.

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

My development of 3D models continues slowly, but what I have been looking at this week was 2D printing. There has been frequent mention in other threads of scaling images to the exact size such that when they are printed they are to T scale. I had not got round to doing this for myself, mainly becuase I did not think that my printer was up to the job. I then realised that I could prepare the image and get it printed as a photograph on the high street which would give the resolution needed.

I decide to make my image 1800px x 1200px, i.e. 300dpi when printed at 6" x 4" (dpi, or dots per inch, is the same as pixels per inch, so will print at 300 pixels per inch). If my maths is correct, and I remember to order the correct print size, then hopefully it should all work out.

As I was really looking at rolling stock it is quite amazing just how much will fit in this one 6" x 4" image. I have taken some actual boxcar images from the internet and rescaled them, and also photographed some N gauge models of both US and UK rolling stock and processed these. One side effect of taking images of actual rolling stock from the internet (or from your own camera if you have them) is that the images will then have all the weathering of the real thing. For the UK rolling stock I decided that rather than photograph modern accurate models I would use old collectable Lima models, which brings about the amusing possibilty of having a T gauge train of 1970's Lima rolling stock.

I have the images prepared now, so just need to get it printed. I will report back on how sucesfull this has been, and if the idea of pre printed fold up card rolling stock bodies works out.


Neil
https://www.shapeways.com/shops/T450
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

martink
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by martink »

That 2D technique actually works quite well for simple rolling stock as long as you are not too fussy.

A couple of months ago I spent a couple of hours making a quick-and-dirty 3-car BR class 101 DMU set as an emergency backup train. I started with good side-on pictures of the Hornby model found with Google, then rescaled them and deleted a couple of windows to fit some standard Eishindo body shells left over from my locos. I just used standard print settings and paper on my old inkjet, so you should be able to get much better results with good paper and higher resolution. There is a cruel pic near the end of the Layouts/Sarum Bridge thread.

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

I have now collected the 2D print, mentioned in my earlier post, from the local photo shop

2D Print 1.JPG
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Generally the quality is very good. Part of the image were 2 coloured bars, one horizontal and one vertical, which should have printed exactly 1 inch long. These actually measure out just very slightly over, but by no more that half a milimetre (if I may mix units) so good enough for what I wanted, but it may be worth creating images slightly smaller and slightly larger to cover yourself if you are matching to an existing model. All the rolling stock worked as I hoped (most are side views only, as it was just a test at this stage). The building was less sucesfull, but that was really down to the original image I started with being not up to the job.

2D Print 2.JPG
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This image show the detail of the side view of a highly weathered Soo Line boxcar (will need to scroll down to see this), along with a printed boxcar body that I am planning to finish in the same scheme. The black on white lettering visible above was a test of the font for the image I plan to use to create the decals for this car.

2D Print 3.JPG
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Finally, a full body print in a fornat to allow it to be cut and folded up. This was created from an old Lima wagon, as mentioned in my previous post. The rear of the print will need to be coloured first to represent the colour of the inside of a wagon (or just bright green as per the Lima original!), then hopefully it will cut out and fold up into a body. I will report back on whether this was sucesfull or not.


My next plan is to try a test print for a British wagon chassis using the new wheelsets. What I also plan to do on this test print is to try a variety of raised and sunken details at different sizes from 0.1mm up to see how they print, what shows up, what would take paint without being obliterated etc. All these things can be difficult to work out when you are in the middle of designing a 3D model. I guess I should really have done this before getting so far with my boxcar models, but better late than never.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

I have finally got my first boxcar design completed and uploaded to Shapeways. It took a while to get all the ladders in place. Not sure how these will print, but they have at least passed the Shaepways initial checks.
Shjapeways boxcar complete unprinted.jpg
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I have not printed this myself yet. I plan to do so soon, but am not going to place an order (which I expect to include quite a few other items) until after the Wakefield railway exhibiton which I will be visiting this weekend - so as to keep my funds intact for whatever turns up on the second hand stall, traders stall etc.

As well as this model I also hope to get a print of my test chassis for UK wagons, which also includes all sorts of test details - raised/sunken lines, corregations, rivets, window frames etc - to different sizes to get a feel for how these will translate from a computer model to a physical print.

I have also finally got round to getting my Land Rover model painted. Just need to take a photo now, but will load that to the forum when I have done so. Also the T gauge wagon body scaled from a photo of a Lima N gauge open wagon. Just need to find some glue with enough tack to glue the sides and ends together without having to spend ages trying to hold them in place, bearing in mind the size which means not much glue can be used.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

I have just placed an order with Shapeways. This will be the first print of my 40ft boxcar, see post above, and also of my test print for a design of chassis suitable for British 4 wheel wagons (not visible in my shop).

Probably not the best time to get something in the post, but I really did not want to wait until the new year to find out if my designs will work.

If the boxcar works I will get it promptly onto a chassis and get a photo on the forum. The chassis print will not 'work' as such, as it is a test print of various options on the axleboxes to see which, if any, may lead to a free rolling chassis. As a last minute addition I also added a 2 axle bogie/truck to this print after a sudden thought that I may be able to print a US boxcar and trucks as one print.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

Today I am expecting a delivery from Shapeways - the first print of my 40' boxcar and also my chassis test. Keeping an eye out for the very large and heavy ups van which will be used to deliver a very small and very light box!

Just realised that I had not uploaded the latest images that I took some time ago.

The first shows how I ended up having to hold the model to paint it. I am sure that I do not have to explain on this forum that it is not a broom handle it is glued to! It is actual a wooden skewer which had previously been holding my chicken wrap together in Wetherspoons - thought that it may come in useful someday and pocketed it, and eventually it did. Waste not, want not!
TTG 20141209-01.JPG
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Fortunately I included the above to show the detail that is on the printed model, as this image does really show up my painting! In my defense it is a rather cruel enlargement of a model only around 7mm long. It also shows that I should get all the dust and fluff off the model before I photograph it.
The painting was done using Vallejo acrylics. It was done by eye, but having seen the photograph I will now have a try at improving it under a magnifier. The tyres were coloured using a extra fine black sharpie marker - but even then the photo shows that I missed and got it down the body side as well.
TTG 20141209-02.JPG
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I am hopeful that the delivery I am expecting today will be OK. Also I have now got some foamboard ready to start a layout - basically just putting my oval test track onto a board and adding some scenery, but having tried T scale scenery making this should hopefully inspire me to get started on a larger layout.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

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dkightley
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by dkightley »

Might have to do a bit of bartering here. I'm likely to need a Landy or two! 8-) 8-) ;) ;)

Is there a RangeRover in the workshop, per chance?? :?:
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

NeilM
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Re: My T gauge adventure

Post by NeilM »

Just realised that I had answered Doug's question in a pm, so there was no answer showing on the forum.

I am planning other vehicles. Nothing definate as yet (I am trying to do more 'real modelling' than computer time, but that ius easier said than done when all the places I can make a mess are cold and the computer is in a nice warm room!). A Range Rover is a possibility as I am looking to create vehicles for British roads, and also it is quite a square design, which is what I need as I use Google Sketchup which is not as happy on complex curves (at least not with my skill level in using it). Having said that, no definate plans as yet, so if anyone has a car/van/lorry they would like to see produced then let me know and I may add that to the list for consideration.

As to the test chassis I printed. That seems to have proved that my idea will work. The test peice had several variations which hold the axle width and the back to back more or less tightly. This looks to be OK, on the looser fits, but it is difficulat to see if the wheels are actually turning or just dragging along the track. Hopefully I will get some more time this weekend.

As for the boxcar that looks to be a success, but I will need to cut up a chassis to prove this. Again will see if I can find the time at the weekend.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

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