adrianbs wrote:Hi All As far as I am aware there is also a very good kit available of the J26/7 from Dave Alexander Models which I have not seen mentioned anywhere in this topic. His models are well up to current standards for kits and not from the dinosaur age in the 1960s. He has a very comprehensive list of kits, especially NER prototypes as well as some of the early type 1 diesels and the Tyne and Wear Metro trams.
I was aware there were some people doing kits, namely DJH, the reason I chose the J26/J27 is because it has is a relatively simple design, plus if it isn't a success commercially everyone can simply move on, myself and everyone else working on the project can move on to some other loco or wagon and those that have built the kit can move on to alternatives.
He was very much still in business when he phoned me at the end of 2016 so I assume the models are available. As his models use whitemetal for much of the construction they have the inherent advantage of weight compared to resin castings or plastic 3D prints.
if I had access to white metal casting equipment I would use it. As for weight, I'll be experimenting with cold casting; mixing brass powder into the resin mix, to improve the weight
Lost wax metal from 3D prints will almost certainly make the kit price prohibitive if it is used for anything more than a few small fine detail components unless you are prepared to spend a small fortune on your own equipment for "In house" production
I was only intending to use it for small components like brake gears or detail parts.
Resin castings are fine for "Lumps" such as boilers and saddle tanks but far too expensive and fragile for thin pieces and and anything that is not "Self supporting". They are also easily distorted if used for items such as footplates as I have discovered in practice, even in O gauge.
hence why for the J26/27, I'll be representing the many variants with different body shells. Other than clean up and fitment of detail parts there is no major assembly required other than fitting the bodyshell on to the chassis. the entire point of the kit is to allow beginners or even long time modellers an option that, whilst still requiring some work, will be a lot more straightforward than soldering a brass or white metal kit.
In house resin castings needs a lot of equipment to be done to professional standards and the raw materials are quite dangerous as well as leading to serious allergic reactions if you become sensitised.
Graeme King of this forum has had no issues making resin kits with largely positive reviews, that's the biggest reason I decided to go with resin casting.
I am sure 3D printing may well advance to the point where one can download a file from the internet and take it to "Staples" or some similar business and return in 24 hours to collect a box full of components such as wagon bodies which may even have been colour printed with all lettering and livery integral.
very rudimentary multi colour prints are a thing, but they use separate colour filaments, including glow in the dark (halloween themed wagons anyone?), in time the technology will improved in this aspect, i mean you can already have full colour objects printed in sand.
We are not there yet and I am not sure whether it will be possible even within the next ten years, nor whether the costs will be competitive with a Hornby RTR product. It will have major advantages as there will be no expensive dies, it can be fully "on shored" and production can be done for small or large quantities whenever required, or at least when the printer is available. The prospects look very rosy for some things, others, such as mechanisms look rather less feasible.
we will always be looking into potential new ways to sell future products, we are already working to have fully working digital versions of our kits available for use in one of the many train simulators.
an example of what is available can be seen here: