Saturday, September 19, 2015

Etched Couplings: An Experiment

Virtually all my OO9 locomotives and rolling stock are fitted with Greenwich couplings. While these are the standard coupling used by most people in OO9 they are not without their problems. Firstly the loop is quite large which leads many people to only fit the pin part on locomotives, and they require a slot at the right height in the buffer beam. While many kits are designed with an appropriate slot, not all are and it can be a pain to cut one. The solution that some people use to bend the shaft of the coupling at right angles and glue this to the front of the locomotive, but again I think this is a little unsightly.

While I'd thought about this before I'd not come up with a better alternative, but then in May Paul blogged about some couplings he'd made from a bit of left over brass etch. These were designed to look more natural and be easy to fit, and so I decided to see if I could come up with an etched version.

The plan was that you would bend them around an etched former but in the end that doesn't really seem necessary as the etched fold lines work well enough. The half etched holes can ether be punched out to form bolt heads or drilled through so that metal rod can be used to represent bolts and add extra strength by going into holes in the loco as well. I was a bit heavy handed trying to punch out a rivet and went straight through the etch but you get the general idea.

I'm not sure what the plan for these is yet, but I'd be interested to know what other people think.


  1. Looking good (but then I would say that!). But I wonder if they wouldn't be even better with the width of the central section reduced a touch? It would help if you curved the same section slightly as well.
    I did note the comment on the forum concerning the pin height, I would leave it as is. Anyone who doesn't like it can simply take a file to the etch.

    But the question is what are the rectangular parts for?

    1. I need to check the pin height, but I'm sure it's the same as the Greenwich ones and as you say filing it down is easy. Reducing the central section would be nice and easy as would adding some extra half-etched lines for curving it further towards the centre. I'll hold off on making any changes though until.... half the remaining etch makes it's way to you in the post so you can have a closer look.

      The rectangular bits were originally intended as something you would bend the coupling around, but in retrospect trying to do that is fiddly and not necessary so I'll drop them from the etch in future -- I only intended to produce one rather than one per-coupling but there was a slight misunderstanding when my artwork went on to the etch batch.