Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Catching up with things

Hello everyone.

Apologies for the gap between posts, I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year?

Anyway, to bring everyone upto speed with what I have been upto here are some bits and pieces...

1. City of Truro

As you can see I have made a little bit of progress, the initial 'hurdle' to overcome were the driving wheels and with the help of Nick Tilson (N Brass) I got some lost wax cast Brass wheels made from my 3D printed masters. I machined these to fit standard association steel wheel rims and I am quite pleased with the results.
The chassis sideframes were machined from some 0.5mm thick PCB on a CNC machine to get them all parallel and stuff and the spacers were treated to a similar treatment albeit from  some thick brass. The chassis has a 38:1 worm and wheel with the worm shaft supported by a couple of ball races. There is still plenty to do but I have moved forward quite a bit.

2. 18000

In my spare time at work (yes, its another one of those lunchtime projects!) I have been concentrating on the GW Gas Turbine 18000 project otherwise known as Kerosene Castle. Things are comming together well and as you can see the bogie sideframes are nearly complete. All I need to do now really is find a beaten up Farish class 37 diesel so I can chop it up and work out the rest of the bogie bits.

Other bits and bobs...

3. I recently attended the St Albans show and took along a selection of my 2mm bits to show people. Once again it was a fantastic show and I really enjoyed myself. Unfortunately this was spoilt somewhat by some comments on a popular forum under a thread title regarding the show. The comments were made in regards to the same demos being at the show and how they should be changed. I do try my hardest to interact with people and show things that might be of interest at these shows and it was a little upsetting to hear that it may not be appreciated as much as I thought it was. It takes a surprisingly large amount of effort to come to a show and I wish some people could realise that sometimes. Rant over....

4. GW Herring Wagon

The picture does not do this little wagon any justice at all but someone at the ST Albans show passed this wagon onto me. Its a 3D printed 2mm model of a GWR Herring Ballast Hopper and the amount of detail is amazing considering its size. Some extra weight needs to be added to the wagon as the enitre plastic body and chassis does make it a little too light but this can be done by adding a little bit of lead under the chassis or in the hopper if its being modeled full. All that's been done to this so far it to add some standard 2mmSA wheels and also a dusting on grey primer to make it a little more photogenic. Ian has done a great job with the model and I would recommend people trying one out, the link to the model is here...Herring Wagon. I was also impressed by his jigs for assembling wagon tarpaulins which I will try out in time too.

5. GW Railcar Number 1

I also have finally managed to get my hands on a 3D printed railcar from b&h Enterprises and it does look good. There is some stepping across the body in paces but nothing that a little light sanding wont remove. Its designed to fit either the tomytec 12R or 13R chassis so fingers crossed this might be a quick and easy little project (I am sure I have said that before though!).

6. 3D Doodler

I have also backed a kickstarter project for a 3D Doodler pen. I have a few ideas for it mainly trees but if anyone else can think of any other (sensible) uses then let me know!

Julia :o)



  1. I've not been to St. Albans for years, shame as its usually a cracking show. Those forum comments about demos was a little odd, especially as one commenter is a show organiser himself. Agenda? At one of the local shows that I visit there's always a chap demo'ing brass kitbuilding. I always stop for a chat, although I only see him once a year its nice to catch up. He's also the reason that I own an RSU after seeing him use one. My point is that if you see something interesting at a demo that you might be tempted to try yourself if you know that the same person will be demo'ing the following year you can seek them out again for further advice, or to show them your own efforts.

    'City' is coming along nicely I see, my favourite copper-capped loco. As for the railcar (Elvis' big brother?) hopefully it will be as quick and easy as you imagine, although I reckon you'll add some bells and whistles along the way just to complicate things...

  2. Thanks for the reply Paul.

    I do enjoy the St Albans show, it comes at a nice time of the year which lightens up the usual January blues. Some have commented in the past about the venue but I like it, it has a quirky charm about it which you dont get with shows held in large 'conference' style arenas.
    Its not really the done thing for one exhibition manager to criticize other shows in such a way in my opinion. I have also heard that said exhibition manager seems to be getting a little too egotistical with regards to the exhibition he organises....
    I am having a 'love / hate' relationship with my model of City of Truro and its very much a slow burner as a result, there are long gaps between working on it while I figure out how to do things. There are still quite a few things left to work out on it yet. As for the railcar, I like it and I think it will make into quite a nice little model, the only thing I am not sure about right now is the glazing.


  3. Hi Julia, and a belated happy new year to you :-)

    Truro is looking great, I know what you mean about the love/hate relationship with a model (er, that came out wrong!), but the slow burners often end up the best, I think?

    Thanks for the link to the kickstarter project, I'll have a look at that. I'm wondering if it could be used to draw figures ones day. Well maybe not, but so many other possibilites. Horse manure being a first simple step! :-)

    1. Thanks for the post Mikkel.

      I am generally happy with how City of Truro looks so far although there are a few things which could have been done better really but are beyond my abilities. Its great to think that all of it so far is my own design and work though, I am sure you have the same feeling too with the quality of things you make.
      Horse manure, of course! You do know I will have to try that out now! Saying that, I am sure that I will accidently produce some while I am getting to grips with the thing once I get it... oP


  4. Hello Julia,

    glad to hear that you enjoyed the holidays, and an extremely belated Happy New Year. Your projects are looking very interesting, the "Kerosene Castle" especially as it's a loco I've long been keen on and the railcar will, I'm sure be an eyecatching model.
    Please don't give much credence to the comments about show demos - I've always been delighted to see your (and other 2mm'ers) new projects at shows, it's one of the main reasons that I attend them and you are right, It's a major faff sometimes to get everything together yet again for people to peer at but so often their interest makes it all worth while. I came in for a bit of stick myself recently on one of the forums so I know that it can be a bit deflating, but don't take it too seriously and keep the good stuff coming, your projects always get my attention.


    1. Its good to hear from you Alex.

      Kerosene Castle has been another one of those log term projects of mine but recently I have had the oppertunity to get some more do on it. Saying that, I dont seem to do anything but long term projects which can be a little frustrating at times! I will be sure to post progress on it when there is enough to post about. The railcar is tempting right now but my heart says I really should concentrate on finishing Elvis first. In hindsight it would have been alot easier to 3D print the ends for Elvis rather than all the faff I went through forming Brass sheet.
      I am sorry to hear you have come across some 'stick' on a forum, its never nice especially when you are trying to do something for the benefit of others. I wish sometimes people would think about what the effects of posts could have on others before posting (and yes, I am just as guilty of that sometimes).


  5. Happy New Year Julia,

    I see you haven't lost your touch, Truro is looking great and I'm very impressed with the railcar and your other projects. I'm pleased to read that 'Elvis' is still around, as for those 'demo' critics ignore them as they probably need help opening their boxes!

    1. Happy New Year to you too Geoff.

      There is plenty to do on my workbench right now for sure. All of it seems to take an eternity to complete. At least I am not sitting around wondering what to do next!

      As for the critics its hard not to ignore sometimes. After all I am there for the public's benefit and so I am very conscious on any feedback I get. Its really nice to hear that at least a few people like seeing my stuff :o)


  6. Hi Julia,

    I was a real pleasure catching up with you last Sunday. I for one am glad that there are regular demonstrators at the St. Albans show. This gives me a chance to catch up with people, see what they've been up to, compare notes and ask questions. While this may lead to a lack of variety, personally it provides me with something of much greater value - consistency.

    Too many a time I've been to a show, met somebody, had a good chat, get some great ideas and then never see them again. This is something I find really frustrating and something I'm glad doesn't happen at St. Albans.

    City of Truro looks fantastic, both in the photo and in the flesh. Interesting to hear that you had the wheels cast from 3D printed masters. I don't recall that coming up in our conversion and would like to know more about how you went about this. As for the 'Bag o' Shame' you wouldn't believe how many 3D prints I've gone through before being happy with a model. Worse still, I've got an awful lot of unfinished projects - some of them I fear will never see the light of day.

    Thanks for showing me CoT's chassis separate from the body. The PCB idea is great and I look forward to seeing the finished model run!

    Incidentally, I found a video on YouTube covering the construction of the 2mm 4F chassis (which you and some of your models featured in). Seeing the construction broken down like this was a big eye opener and I'm looking forward to trying out some of these ideas (with a few of my own thrown in for good measure) once I'm settled in a bit more.

    The Kerosene Castle bogie looks great - another one to look out for in the future.

    I love that BHE railcar (even though it is completely outside of my own modelling interests). Any idea who designed that one? It really does look the business.

    The 3D Doodler looks interesting but, unfortunately, I can't think of any useful application for it. Knowing you, you'll create a 100% accurate to scale locomotive body or something using it!

    Whatever happened to the Southern loco you were working on (was it a Lord Nelson)?

    All the best and happy modelling


    1. Im glad I had time to catch up with you too Steve. Its always a pleasure to hear about what you are upto. I haven't had an invite to next's years show yet but fingers crossed I will in time as I would love to pop along again.

      I will send you details on ow the wheels were made and I am happy with how they came out. It took a couple of attempts go get something I was happy with but now I have a process I will be applying it to some 6mm driving wheels next. I am looking forward to seeing it run too!

      I remember that day at the Abingdon Club very well. It was a great day and hopefully a few people went away from it much wiser on how to build an engine to 2mm. It did seem though that considering my best attempts to avoid the camera I still got into 'shot'!

      The idea I had for the 2Doodler was to attempt some form of tree with it. I am sure I will post my results on here (good and bad).


  7. I've looked in from time to time and thought you might have given up writing, then I saw you had visited my own blog in 'another place', so tried again.

    You shouldn't let one person's negative comment get you down, especially as there were several excellent comments as well. People have all sorts of views and "you can't please everyone all the time". I find that those 'flame wars' that seem to start so easily on some websites just leave me bemused nowadays, so carry on, regardless.

    It's good to see Truro looking so well-advanced and I'm pleased to see you tackling some unusual prototypes - always my favourites (though I go for an earlier period). After all, if you're going to the trouble of making it yourself, it's much more fun if it's not on everyone else's layout!


    1. Yes, apologies for the gap in my posts on here, it was a combination of lack of modelling due to the festive season and the lack of anything worthwhile to post about. Please don't give up on this blog yet though as I haven't.

      Carry on regardless, that's a good tip, thank you. It is so easy to get caught up in the 'flame wars' as you put it. It was one of the reasons why I left the other forum. I still do frequent the other place although my posting days are well over. Its just getting harder and harder to spot any decent modelling on there though.

      City of Truro was a common sight on the DNSR so it was one of those must have engines, I am not sure its that unusual though, especially compared to some of your engines you are tackling. Its been a real experience building it though. I just need one of the big manufacturers to announce one now!!


  8. Good to see you posting again, Julia - it's been too long!

    I know it can be difficult sometimes, but try not to let the comments of the minority get to you - I and plenty of others find your work inspirational.

    City of Truro's looking good - got a haughty look to it already - and I'll be very interested to see how you get on with the 3D Doodler - trees are the obvious things to make with it, but I'm wondering if it might be useful for certain architectural features like the patterns you get on Tudor chimneys.

    How goes the shed diorama by the way?

    Regards (and a belated Happy New year).

    David Varley

    1. Hi David.

      Thank you. The shed diorama is 'on hold' for now, as most people I have far too many projects on the go right now. It will return in time, especially when I need to photo some new engines.


  9. Hi Julia the loco looks very very nice look forward to seeing it one day

  10. Hi Julia,
    Following up on our chat at Snorbens, and your CNC backlash/flexing tribulations, I mentioned a Polish livewire who had refined his process to produce his own gears. Here's the link for inspiration: http://lcamtuf.coredump.cx/rstory/

    Francis K.

  11. Hi Francis.

    Thank you for that link, the stuff he is upto is VERY interesting.


  12. Wow! You are amazing with your hands. Your models are looking great. Yeah, the St. Albans show is fantastic. I’ve been twice with my mother-in-law and son and enjoyed it both times. Your 3D pen looks fantastic. It’s amazing how you can draw a 3D object with the pen. Keep up the good work.

    Brandi Bradley @ Rotax Metals

    1. Thank you for the comment Brandi. I think I am becomming a regular at the show so if you see me please introduce yourself.

      As far as the pen goes it isn't as easy to produce things as they make out in the videos! That is still 'work in progress'.


      P.S. Interesting site/company.