Resin Casting An Entire Steam Locomotive Boiler


Ed
 

I've seen a number of articles on resin casting HO components, car sides/ends and even casting an entire assembled car body but has anyone seen casting an entire steam locomotive boiler/cab assembly (minus all detail parts such as handrails, bells, whistles, etc, etc.)?

I'm talking a short Camelback loco, not a Challenger!

Probably 3D printing would be better but I have no good accurate way of 3D scanning the original. Anyone have any experience or can point to articles/books on resin casting a complex shape?

Thanks,
Ed


NIGELMISSO
 

Hi Ed;

The first thing that you need to make a resin casting is a master model which is used to create the mold.   Nowadays one of the most effective methods of creating the master is 3D printing.  If you only want one, then you are done after you have the master, and only need to do any resin casting if more units are desired.

Over the years there have been several resin cast steam locomotive boilers; I am not aware of any currently offered.

Nigel

On Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 11:36 AM Ed via groups.io <epts2=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I've seen a number of articles on resin casting HO components, car sides/ends and even casting an entire assembled car body but has anyone seen casting an entire steam locomotive boiler/cab assembly (minus all detail parts such as handrails, bells, whistles, etc, etc.)?

I'm talking a short Camelback loco, not a Challenger!

Probably 3D printing would be better but I have no good accurate way of 3D scanning the original. Anyone have any experience or can point to articles/books on resin casting a complex shape?

Thanks,
Ed


--
Nigel F Misso
Mechanical Product Design Engineer


william
 

Shapeways has several locomotive shells available.  Most are diesels or smaller scales than HO though.    locomotives
If you have access to a 3D printer then Thingiverse has pages of free printer files that can be downloaded.   The first item that came up in my search was a multi-part Big Boy.  thingiverse
If you do a web search for "3D printer Steam Locomotive Files" you will find about a dozen web sites that offer printer files, usually at a cost.   The search also brings up the story of how the Big Boy was made.   1000 hours of printing plus time spent designing the files over an eight month period.

regards,
Bill


Ray Breyer
 

3D printing is a tool. It's an expensive tool, so has to be looked at in context of the end result. If you want ONE, a high-quality print can be acceptable, but if you want MANY, it's best to use a print as a master for resin cast copies (which cost 1/10 of a print).

Keep in mind that as the resolution/quality of a print goes up, so does its cost. And no matter what, you'll have to spend time hand working the print to smooth it out. A higher quality print will just reduce how much time you spend on sanding & smoothing.

Resin casting a boiler is no big deal. Basically ALL resin tank car kits released over the past ten years have been 3D printed and then resin cast, and several individuals have successfully home cast boilers (there's no market for conversion kit boiler shells, which is why you haven't seen any for sale. It's been offered a few times, and none have shown enough commercial interest to bother with).

Don't forget that 1" PVC pipe and styrene sheet overlays is ALSO a viable option when hand crafting new boiler shells. Once you factor in material costs and TIME it's usually the simpler way to go.


Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL




On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 09:38:39 AM CDT, william <butlerw@...> wrote:


Shapeways has several locomotive shells available.  Most are diesels or smaller scales than HO though.    locomotives
If you have access to a 3D printer then Thingiverse has pages of free printer files that can be downloaded.   The first item that came up in my search was a multi-part Big Boy.  thingiverse
If you do a web search for "3D printer Steam Locomotive Files" you will find about a dozen web sites that offer printer files, usually at a cost.   The search also brings up the story of how the Big Boy was made.   1000 hours of printing plus time spent designing the files over an eight month period.

regards,
Bill


Ed
 

Hi Bill --

Thanks for that useful info. I'd been to the Shapeways store and seen a small collection of steam and diesel shells for sale although some were European prototypes. I'll Google "3D printer steam locomotive files" to see what I can find, but my challenge is that I'm trying to model a specific CNJ 4-6-0 Camelback.

The only reasonably priced model of that loco was produced in the early 60's by AHM (New One Tokyo). One can find them on eBay and I have acquired a few but they all suffer to a greater or lesser degree from poor quality zinc castings and the resultant *fatal* zinc pest. They literally crumble apart.

I have one boiler that is in pretty good shape with just a few surface cracks. I was thinking of sealing those cracks with CA and using the boiler as mold model. I have seen some pretty good techniques for constructing mold boxes, using clay and silicone to resin cast automobile models but clearly, a 3D printed boiler would be better. That said, I have my doubts about finding files for this specific model. Oh yes, there are brass models of the loco for sale but I am not in a position to pay the $300-600 price range for those lovely Red Ball models.

Anyway, thanks very, very much for your input. Gives me another source to pursue.

All the best,
Ed


On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 10:38:39 AM EDT, william <butlerw@...> wrote:


Shapeways has several locomotive shells available.  Most are diesels or smaller scales than HO though.    locomotives
If you have access to a 3D printer then Thingiverse has pages of free printer files that can be downloaded.   The first item that came up in my search was a multi-part Big Boy.  thingiverse
If you do a web search for "3D printer Steam Locomotive Files" you will find about a dozen web sites that offer printer files, usually at a cost.   The search also brings up the story of how the Big Boy was made.   1000 hours of printing plus time spent designing the files over an eight month period.

regards,
Bill


Ray Breyer
 

Thanks Gary, but old ads really don't matter; resin production runs are tiny, and don't last long (RCW tank cars usually last a week before their 50-75 piece runs are sold out).

And resin freight cars sell well: steam conversion kits and passenger cars don't. The markets are just too tiny to support them. I've tried to get Harriman/IC Mikes and NYC H-5 conversion kits off the ground for YEARS, and there's just no market (Owl Mountain has "announced" SP conversion sets for SP 2-8-0s for almost two years now, and still hasn't actually made any of them. And that's basically just cylinders and domes!). And now that I'm switching from HO to P:48, there's no real hope for future efforts.


Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL



On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 11:14:26 AM CDT, <vasa0vasa@...> wrote:


Ray, there was an outfit decades ago that made resin castings and made or used existing mechanisms for a D&H 4-6-2 and other steam engines.  On the other hand, maybe they never produced models and just ran ads in MR.  I will see if I can find an ad.

 

Gary Laakso 

 

From: HO-Steam@groups.io <HO-Steam@groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Breyer via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 7:52 AM
To: NIGELMISSO <nfmisso@...>; ho-steam@groups.io; HO-Steam@groups.io; butlerw@...
Subject: Re: [HO-Steam] Resin Casting An Entire Steam Locomotive Boiler

 

3D printing is a tool. It's an expensive tool, so has to be looked at in context of the end result. If you want ONE, a high-quality print can be acceptable, but if you want MANY, it's best to use a print as a master for resin cast copies (which cost 1/10 of a print).

 

Keep in mind that as the resolution/quality of a print goes up, so does its cost. And no matter what, you'll have to spend time hand working the print to smooth it out. A higher quality print will just reduce how much time you spend on sanding & smoothing.

 

Resin casting a boiler is no big deal. Basically ALL resin tank car kits released over the past ten years have been 3D printed and then resin cast, and several individuals have successfully home cast boilers (there's no market for conversion kit boiler shells, which is why you haven't seen any for sale. It's been offered a few times, and none have shown enough commercial interest to bother with).

 

Don't forget that 1" PVC pipe and styrene sheet overlays is ALSO a viable option when hand crafting new boiler shells. Once you factor in material costs and TIME it's usually the simpler way to go.

 

 

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 09:38:39 AM CDT, william <butlerw@...> wrote:

 

 

Shapeways has several locomotive shells available.  Most are diesels or smaller scales than HO though.    locomotives
If you have access to a 3D printer then Thingiverse has pages of free printer files that can be downloaded.   The first item that came up in my search was a multi-part Big Boy.  thingiverse
If you do a web search for "3D printer Steam Locomotive Files" you will find about a dozen web sites that offer printer files, usually at a cost.   The search also brings up the story of how the Big Boy was made.   1000 hours of printing plus time spent designing the files over an eight month period.

regards,
Bill


william
 

Sadly, I am also familiar with the problem of Zinc castings disintegrating.   Some people I know of have been able to prevent it by fully sealing the casting with paint or similar items to prevent air contact.   If the CNJ engine was similar to the Reading version there are several listings on EBay, though most are O scale, including one HO model by Mantua with a current bid of $64.


gary laakso
 

Ray, there was an outfit decades ago that made resin castings and made or used existing mechanisms for a D&H 4-6-2 and other steam engines.  On the other hand, maybe they never produced models and just ran ads in MR.  I will see if I can find an ad.

 

Gary Laakso 

 

From: HO-Steam@groups.io <HO-Steam@groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Breyer via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 7:52 AM
To: NIGELMISSO <nfmisso@...>; ho-steam@groups.io; HO-Steam@groups.io; butlerw@...
Subject: Re: [HO-Steam] Resin Casting An Entire Steam Locomotive Boiler

 

3D printing is a tool. It's an expensive tool, so has to be looked at in context of the end result. If you want ONE, a high-quality print can be acceptable, but if you want MANY, it's best to use a print as a master for resin cast copies (which cost 1/10 of a print).

 

Keep in mind that as the resolution/quality of a print goes up, so does its cost. And no matter what, you'll have to spend time hand working the print to smooth it out. A higher quality print will just reduce how much time you spend on sanding & smoothing.

 

Resin casting a boiler is no big deal. Basically ALL resin tank car kits released over the past ten years have been 3D printed and then resin cast, and several individuals have successfully home cast boilers (there's no market for conversion kit boiler shells, which is why you haven't seen any for sale. It's been offered a few times, and none have shown enough commercial interest to bother with).

 

Don't forget that 1" PVC pipe and styrene sheet overlays is ALSO a viable option when hand crafting new boiler shells. Once you factor in material costs and TIME it's usually the simpler way to go.

 

 

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 09:38:39 AM CDT, william <butlerw@...> wrote:

 

 

Shapeways has several locomotive shells available.  Most are diesels or smaller scales than HO though.    locomotives
If you have access to a 3D printer then Thingiverse has pages of free printer files that can be downloaded.   The first item that came up in my search was a multi-part Big Boy.  thingiverse
If you do a web search for "3D printer Steam Locomotive Files" you will find about a dozen web sites that offer printer files, usually at a cost.   The search also brings up the story of how the Big Boy was made.   1000 hours of printing plus time spent designing the files over an eight month period.

regards,
Bill