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Primer It’s not until the car is sprayed with primer that the frame’s detail begins to show.


N Scale This is an N-scale car! It is part of a log train com- pleted by Mitch Valder. The deck on the N-scale cars is part of the Shape- ways package. — Mitch Valder photo


S Scale


TPL No. 574 by Bob Hogan shows the detail that can be done in S scale. The full brake rig- ging is beautiful, even if it won’t be seen on the layout. The paint repre- sents what we think TPL used. After weathering in the damp climate of the North Coast, it became a washed-out brown. — Bob Hogan photo


tion owns. The project could not have gone forward without Mike’s photos and Thad’s photos and measurements.


The designer and I connected via email thanks to Randy Pfei- ffer. The information began flow- ing, with five emails in one day! I described the logging flats to him, which were 44 feet long, with six truss rods, and rode on arch bar trucks. The cars were equipped with K brakes and 2x6 wood decking with four log bunks cre- ated out of a 12x8 piece of wood and old rail. The mill flats are 41 feet long with wood decking and side pockets. Intrigued, he want- ed more information. I sent him photos of the both the log and mill flats. I also sent him dimensions of the mill flat supplied by Thad Wuest. Using Thad’s dimensions, he created a quick design of the basic frame and sent it to the 3D printing company Shapeways to check cost and printability. The designer raised a num- ber of issues. “Is this a standard gauge car? Should it be built to accept an NMRA standard-height coupler? How do you plan to weight the car? Can I have a shot at making the log bunks? (The log bunks are made of a large block of wood, with old rail attached with chocks that slide in the groove.) What trucks are you planning to use? Can I have a shot at the very interesting bolster design?” After answering all his questions, his next communication indicated


56 RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


the design would include queen posts, truss rod nuts, coupler casting, nut and bolt heads. I was overjoyed!


The next day, my computer presented me with multiple draw- ings that made my heart sing! The first drawing showed the end of the car with the retaining cast- ings for the truss rods, the cou- pler casting that includes the cen- ter truss rods, a metal cap on the end beam, as well as nut and bolt detail. The drawing he sent blew me away!


Next came four drawings: an overall view, the queen posts, the end beams, and the side pockets.


The initial drawings were of the mill flat. All the dimensions oth- er than length were the same as the log flats. He explained that it would be easy to lengthen it and delete the side pockets. (Easy for him to say!)


The next day brought more drawings and information. Our designer wanted to share some important thoughts about the de- sign process and 3D printing. It was time to put some reality into my thinking.


“I’m glad you like the car. One thing to keep in mind is that the design may look great, but there could be problems that show up


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