The Oneonta Project [3] - modeling grooved wooden side panels

Grooved wooden side panels of Interurban passaenger cars were considered too fine to be realized with 3D resin print.

But now I think that it could be done. The grooved sheeting with prototypical 2" planks greatly improuves the look of this car.


Truck frames for NWSL Stanton drives

Currently, I have produced three different truck frames for NWSL Stanton drives as resin print models.

A Baldwin 78 truck with depressed ends, the same with strait ends, and a Standard C80P truck.

All this frames are made for NWSL Stanton            
Underfloor Power Units
Model 1210 , Part# 39279-4          
Wheelbase 7’(84”)
Wheel dia.  36”  

The resin prints are available at the i.materialise shop


The Oneonta Project

The Oneonta & Mohawk Valley Interurban, in the State of New York, had some wooden combines built by Cinncinati Car Co. They were handsome smaller cousins of the big midwestern Indiana or Ohio cars. This combines were 51'3" long instead of 61'6" and had elliptic window sashes instead of angular sashes. The oval window was also omitted.

To modelise this car, I had to split the entire 3D part list and put all things together in new combinations. Useless to say that it is easier to say than to do.

On part missing, and it is a mess!
But now I have an entire library of all car elements with different styles: Front ends, back ends, side panels with single or paired windows, oval windows, blind side panels, clerestory window elements.

With rectangular or elliptic sashes, folding or swing doors, sliding baggage doors... To be completed with different pilots, roof mats, trolley boards and chimneys.

Amazing! This is a "structural grammar of Interurban cars" and I called this my "Oneonta Project". Any car composed of this basic elements could be created, plus some imaginary ones...


It must be done: painting

I hate painting, I am literally scared of painting. I wanted to buy a airbrush kit, but I'm afraid I would not meet the standards. In the meantime, I tried out brush painting on one car. I went to a shop for art articles here in Paris and bought several green acrylic or vinylic artistic paints and tested them on styrene sheets. One of them gave fascinating results when brush painted: nearly no structure, with an ultra matt aspect.

This paint is Lefranc & Bourgeois "Flashe" Matt Opaque Color. Their tint "Verdaccio" may perhaps well simulate a Pullman Green. This vinylic paint can be thinned with water, I use some drops of alcohol to make the paint smoother. Many shades are available, but their colors could also be mixed. 

 Lefranc & Bourgeois "Verdaccio"
Applied on printed "Prime Gray" resin, with or without a primer coat, it gives excellent results. With this very quickly drying paint, it is possible to do one car in two evenings. 

The airbrush option is not canceled, only delayed, till the day I would have some more courage.


Cincinnati Wooden Combine H0 kit

For those who are tempted by the adventure, the Cincinnati Wooden Combine is now offered for sale als a resin printed kit via i.materialise.

First in his Northern Indiana version.

The car is split in three parts:
1. the carbody with pilot, rear doorsteps and radial coupler.
2. The frame with underbody equipment, ready for two NWSL Stanton drives.

3. The truck frames. Two models of Baldwin MCB frames are available for this car (Order always a pair ;-) :
with straight outer ends #BDW7901
or with depressed ends #BDW8001

Required NWSL Stanton drives are of type 1210, with 7' wheelbase and 36" wheels.

This car kit is not "ready to run", but "ready to finish" with immediate pleasure. After cleaning of the resin shells, I have made the basic model run in one hour on his NWSL Stanton drives. After this inaugural running, you will unmount the car again and make the final detailaing work.

Only few parts must be added of your own: The truss rods made of .5 mm piano wire. And the curved end window handrails made of .3 copper or brass wire.

You will add also two trolley poles and pole hooks. If you want to operate the radial coupler, it is time also to mount it. 

I have all this tried out myself, and as I am a far better computer designer than field modeler, don't be too afraid. For all this steps I have already published small "howtos" here in the blog. But as they are dispersed, I will put them a little together soon.

Don't hesitate to ask for further information about this model.


Northern Indiana 300 Combine in H0 scale

The Northern Indiana 300 combines had a different window arrangement as the sister cars from Terre Haute or the Ohio Electric combines.

The oval window was situated at the rear and the baggage compartment was a little shorter. For this reason the heater and his chimney was moved a little forward. 

The Northern Indiana Cars had also a slightly different unterbody arrangement, the resistor bank was located in the center axis.

The frame is ready made for two NWSL Stanton drives 1210 (item #39278-4). 
Baldwin MCB truck frames for this drives were resin printed in the same "Prime Gray" material by i.materialise in Belgium. 


New printed traction models out of the box

Cincinnati Car Co. Wooden Combines
I got mail. Two newly printed wooden combines arrived from Belgium, very pretty realised by i.materialise.

The first is the slightly upgraded Terre Haute Indianapolis & Eastern car. The second is a Northern Indiana combine, who had an inversed window arrangement with oval window in the rear.

Both cars have their own frames with different underbody equipments and have also different Baldwin trucks.

More soon...


Building radial couplers by stereolithography

Radial coupler with radius bar (red) and drawbar (orange)

Functional radial couplers in H0 scale are rare to find as spare parts and hard to built from scratch. So it was natural to engineer them within the 3D print project. Weighting pros and cons, I decided that the coupler mount must be part of the car body and not of the frame. For two reasons: the radius bar is positioned close to the buffer, and the drawbar support close to the doorsteps. Both are part of the body shell.

I designed a drawbar who has a little nose who is overrunning the radius bar under the buffer. The general geometry is strictly to scale. As separate small parts cannot be 3D printed, I integrated the coupler inside the monotlithic car body as internal bars, avoiding warping of the body during printing. They must be cut out of the shell and sanded a little, together with the radius bar. Screw holes are pre positioned.

The production model of the wooden combine -  to be released soon - will have two coupler bars per shell. One is ready for Kadee NEM coupler heads, the other is spare.

2 drawbars are "cast" in the carbody
The coupler bar is working well with trailers, even in push mode through S-curves, despite the tendancy to jackknifing. This radial coupler will be mounted to all my future models,  and the older box cars will be redesigned as well.


How not to loose control over your traction cars

CCCo Wooden Combine: Northern Indiana (green) and Terre Haute (red)
3D drawing is computer drawing. This means that you will meet a point where things will get out of control if you can no longer track all the trunks of your project properly. I am there...

3D printing is a tricky affair, and a minor error in one of the hundreds (or thousands) of elements will make the whole file unusable.

So I put things in order and separated the Cincicinnati Car Co.Wooden Combine into several parts :

- A common base used for all variations (grey)
- An additional pack for one given version (green, red, ...)

Now I have merged the Terre Haute version (red) and the Northern Indiana version (green) in one master file. For one print project, the common base (grey) plus one individual package is exported into an STL file. On both showed versions, the side walls, the clerestory windows, the pilot, the rear roof mat and the chimney are not the same or missing. As this car was built or rebuilt to so many versions for Indiana and Ohio lines, several dozen individual packs or sub packs could be generated.

This technique not only applies for the carbody, but also to the underframes, who had different arrangements.


Baldwin truck frames for the H0 wooden combine

Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern Traction combine, front end with Baldwin truck
The Terre Haute wooden combines were equipped with Baldwin MCB trucks. The wheelbase was to be about 6'6" or 6'10", the sources are contradictory. I choose 6'10", or in fact 7", making the truckframes matching on a NWSL Stanton drive. Anyway, the difference would be invisible in scale H0.


Cincinnati Car Combine resin print model

Resurrected: The old beauty from Terre Haute Indianapolis and Eastern Traction.

When things get real

Today I got a shipping from Belgium. When you open the package, and the things that where before only on your computer screen are suddenly real, this is always like a shock. I.materialise did an impressive job - and I have made no major error in my drawings.

Only a short hour to put NWSL Stanton drives on the car, and he was ready for a photo session. Thanks to a moment of Indian summer in Paris the light was as good as the models. Flush and fuzz are not yet removed. All is nearly as it comes out of the box.


Detroit United Railway - the 25 Dollar brand

Detroit United Railway herald
The Detroit United Railway, according to the Street Railway Review, driven by "the desirability of having some distinctive emblem to mark the property, stationary and general literature of the company", once organized a public contest. This contest was won by a Mr. William J. Ryan who submitted the herald shown here and who has been awarded the $25 prize money. 

This happened in 1903, the golden years of Traction Lines, and the 25 Dollars were a considerable sum in this days. Translated to actual values, the worth could be situated in a range between  $659 (using the Consumer Price Index), or about $4360 (using Production Worker Compensation as indicator).

I don't know what use was made of this trade mark, and if it was displayed on their cars. But you can download the editable pdf file here,

(Source : Street Railway Review Vol. 13, No.4, April 1903)


Cincinnati Wooden Combine, last virtual rendering

This was sent out for printing (except the NWSL Stanon  Drives). Hope that I have made no big error.

The model is dived in two main parts, the car body with rear doorsteps, front pilot and truss rod support, and the frame with underbody parts like the compressor, tanks and the resistor bank.


Ohio Electric boxcar moves to the paint shop

With handrails and truss rods, before the prime coat

After the prime coat
It is time to choose the right green color


When you do not know where you're going, get there, and as soon as possible

Traction Terminal Waiting Room, front view (click to enlarge)
For years ago, I worked on 3D drawings of the Indianapolis Traction Terminal. This left to some results like this and thisbut all this work remained essentially unfinished. In recent times, there was a long gap, as I turned to draw Interurban cars, and finally started to make 3D prints of Interurban cars in H0.

Traction Terminal Waiting Room, rear view with hollow structures
But when you are able print H0 scale carbodies, you must be able to print H0 buildings?

In real life, things are not so easy:  I unfolded my old 3D data files and stated that all the work must be done again a second time. Those 3D drawings are not "printable", because I ignored this technique and the requirements.

Some details must be simplified, as the minimum detail offset for 3D printers is 0.3mm, and minimum wall thickness is 1 mm. This is nearly invisible, but otherwise your 3D file is not usable. And more important : 3D printing remains expensive, and you pay the volume, not the details. This means that I had to throw away all the plain pillars and walls and replace them by sophisticated hollow structures, with as less wall thickness as possible.

As a test object, I redraw the Market Street Elevation of the Traction Terminal waiting room. This is only a small part of the entire structure, but it contains many elements that could be reused by "copy and past" for the Terminal Building. If this works, the dream of a self made "plastic kit" of the Traction Terminal could become reality. Obviously, 3D printing technique will be applicable only for building, not for the shed. The train shed could be produced with laser cut styrene parts, but this is another story...

Fortunately, when you do a work twice,  the second time it is often quickly done. So now the Market Street Elevation is nearly "ready to print". I must just add doors and make some minor corrections. You may have noticed that the eagle is missing. Actually, I am not yet experienced enough to modelize the stone eagles in 3D. This will be a project for this winter.


NWSL Stanton drive : corrected drawing

In the previous drawing, I made a small error : the 7 foot version of the NWSL Stanton drive is not symetrical, due to the modular construction of the truck for multiple wheelbases.

Download pdf diagram

The most important change in the diagram is that the real centerpin has moved 0.87 mm to the (front) A end of the bogie. I consider as A ends those where the wires came out and where the removable coupler support is mounted (who is not shown in my diagram)

So you must deal with a "real" and a "virtual" centerpin with this motor bogie. The Stanton drive with 6'6" wheelbase would be symetrical.


Doors for the THI&E Wooden Combine

Front view of Interurban wooden combine
After a short summer break, it is time to resume work on the big 61 foot wooden combine. I gave him rear passenger folding doors and baggage sliding doors in the front. Buffers were added also.

To pain the modeler, the Cincinnati Car master mechanics has given the front and rear end a different curvature radius. So you need to model all panels and complex end roofs twice and you can not "copy and paste".

The ovale window in the passenger departement was also punched out of the side. And then I tested if this version would be "waterproof" for 3D resin printing  - and it is ! But it will be still a long way from the virtual 3D drawing to the real H0 model: the pilot, rear steps and underbody parts, all this is not yet made.

The first version I want to finish would be those from the Terre Haute Indianapolis & Eastern Traction. They had rear folding doors, but in this case I need to built new Baldwin truck frames. The Standard C80P frames matching for the Ohio Electric version, but then the rear door must be a swinging door at floor height.

Rear part of Interurban wooden combine


Streetcars in Wrocław / Breslau (2)

The backbone of the streetcar system in Wroclaw are still the Konstal 105N cars. They can not hide their relationship with PCC cars. The Polish manufacturer Konstal copied many PCC features, even if he was not licensed as the CKD Tatra of Prague was.

In Wroclaw, they ride in two-car trains, with the second car mostly "downgraded" as a motor trailer without controls.

A number of the Konstal 105N were rebuilt and recieved new doors and new front and rear ends made of plastic with rectangular headlights.