Having taken delivery of his shiny new locomotive the factory owner had really enjoyed running it backwards and forwards along the short line he had had laid within the confines of the factory. While seriously fun to drive, he was aware that he had, at least partially, bought the locomotive to be useful and to help move things around the factory. Unfortunately there wasn't much room in the cab to carry things so he needed some wagons. He didn't need anything fancy, at least to start with, just a few flat wagons that boxes and sacks could be stacked on so he made a visit to the factories workshops.
The friendly engineer who ran the workshops was fairly certain he could build a wagon or two for the bosses new toy, but he wasn't sure about the wheels so he ordered some from a Scottish company he'd done business with in the past. Once the wheels, all 20 pairs on axles, had arrived the engineer set about measuring things. First he measured the wheels, then he measured the locomotive and the track, then he set about drawing a design for a wagon; something the lads who worked for him could bodge together from the timber laying around and a few metal parts. A few days of sawing, bolting, and general work later and the engineer had three completed wagons in front of him that just needed a lick of paint before the wheels could be slotted into place.
Okay so now that the backstory behind 77 Box Lane has been fleshed out a little further we can return to reality. Now I'm sure I could have bought kits to make appropriate wagons but I decided to have a go at doing some 3D printing. As some of you will know I've had plenty of success with 3D printing OO gauge models, although last time I tried to print something to run on 9mm gauge track, an N scale wagon, I didn't have quite so much luck. Having recently used 3D printing to fix my fridge, I thought I'd have another crack at creating a model to run on 9mm track, but with the added advantage of modelling at 4mm scale where the supporting structures would be twice as thick as when I tried the same in N gauge.
On previous occasions I've created models based on what I think looks right rather than how I think it would have actually gone together. This works okay but doesn't give you any real insights into how you might actually have built the original item, or how you might build a similar model from modelling materials. This time I took a slightly different approach. I created the separate parts (planks, bolts, brackets, etc.) and then duplicated them as needed to essentially build a virtual kit of parts which I then assembled into the final 3D model. I'm not sure if this is a better approach or not, but it seems to have worked in this instance.
Yesterday's rather abstract post showed the three wagons (I grouped three into a single model for printing purposes as it was more economical than printing separate wagons) being cleaned. The models are printed in what is known as Frosted Ultra Detail material which is always covered in the remains of the oily support material when it arrives and this has to be removed before you can paint the models. I've found that soaking them in warm lightly diluted washing up liquid works well. I've checked and the 5.1mm wheels I ordered fit perfectly, but I'll hold of showing you them fitted until I've painted one.
I am, however, happy enough with how they have turned out to make them available via Penistone Railway Works, so if you fancy a simple, reasonably priced, wagon or three you know where to go!