Easier panelled coach sides

I would love to take credit for noticing this, but in all honesty must thank Chris Mears for bringing this to my attention.

Prince Street

I’ve only just discovered the Yeoton Wharf blog. The blog itself reports on the construction of a beautiful 3mm scale railway set in Victorian times and featuring a mix of broad and standard (oops, sorry, narrow) gauge track. While browsing through the blog’s pages I came across one in which he descibes his method for producing panelled coaches:

The process couldn’t be simpler and certainly couldn’t be more brilliant!

1 Print coach side elevation onto a sheet of self-adhesive label paper
2 Stick label “side” to a sheet of thin plastic
3 Cut out the window openings (the glazed bits) removing the plastic
4 Cut around the panel lines removing only the label material where the raised panel beads should be

…and there you go. Three easy steps and it should be quick, reliable and yield a very nice looking car side. As testiment to the process he’s…

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4 thoughts on “Easier panelled coach sides

  1. James Finister

    And if you want to make life easier still, though at the price of a little investment, buy a silhouette cameo cutter to cut the paneling out for you. Not quite up to the standard of a laser cur but only around £140 on Amazon

    1. Dunks Post author

      Ah, but this method is cheaper, and requires more input and involvement from the modeller: there is no reason why the drawing could not be done by hand, if required, for even more personal satisfaction.

  2. James Finister

    Horses for courses I think. My particular horse can’t seem to cut out curved beading even with the help of a swivel knife. I normally use the technique of cutting two 45 degree lines at the end of the panel and then filing it out to shape. Generally that works well. I’m struggling with the guards duckets I’m working on though, but I’m persevering. I nearly got it right at the third attempt and then came across a better photo of the prototype that showed I’d used the wrong design of ducket.

    Cost comes into it as well of course, and that is still the main reason I’m doing things by hand. To justify £140 I would have to be building a lot of rolling stock and other structures requiring precision cutting and I’m not, and neither, I suspect, are most of us, but it could make a good investment for a club.

    Despite, or because of, having done TD at school I do find producing drawings using software quite absorbing and satisfying. In some ways I even find it needs more skill because mistakes become so obvious when translated into reality.

    You might enjoy this old BL film on quality and what happened when an old fashioned drawing office got it wrong. It brought back a lot of memories for me

    Would I rather hand build something rather than exploit technology? Tough choice. I’m increasingly loath to compromise authenticity for the convenience of using an off the shelf item, but where an off the shelf item exists and is just right I wouldn’t bother trying to recreate it by hand. The grey area is using technology to assist in scratch-building.

    I’m beginning to see 3D printing, laser cutting and so on for modelling in the same way I see Light room and Photoshop for photography, which is as tools to do what I could have done in the darkroom, but to do it better and more consistently, which in turn lets me apply my human skill to do something else even better.

  3. Dunks Post author

    As with all tools, it depends on how they are used, and that’s a personal question.

    I can see that at some point in the future, when 3D printing in the home is commonplace, that the major manufacturers will move away from selling physical models to selling virtual models which are downloaded and printed off. This cuts out a whole swathe of issues and reduces costs: no factories, no distribution, no shops. It also creates a host of other issues – what happens to all those jobs, and the people who would be employed? Will the hobby become more about design than construction? Possibly, but not for those who wish to develop craftsmanship.

    Put simply, I use computers all the time: at work, for communication, for entertainment, etc. I really enjoy getting away from them and making something with my hands, but as you say, if something already exists that is suitable, I am happy to buy it (maybe alter/improve it) to save time which can then be spent elsewhere.

    To quote my friend Jas Millham, it’s iron horses for model railway courses.

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