Author Topic: DPM Replacement Fascias  (Read 2179 times)

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The Dalles Hostler

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DPM Replacement Fascias
« on: February 26, 2013, 08:20:58 PM »
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For many years, DPM has produced some nice 2-story N-scale brick buildings, as found in many small urban settings. The problem is, they and now Woodland Scenics have not produced anything new, and you are limited by what they have to offer. Even the built-up Woodland Scenics kits are just a rehash of DPM's catalogue. Some have ventured into kitbashing, but I have never been successful at modifying production models, and I've found the details on DPM structures to be grossly out of scale. For example, the doors and windows on most DPM offerings are a scale 12-inches thick! So, thanks to 3D printing companies, like Shapeways, we now have a means to customize our urban dioramas, at a level of detail, which is much finer than can be commercially offered.

My first venture into this field was a project I had been mulling over for about 10 years, and that was to take Otto's Parts and customize it to resemble a small town fire station. As previously mentioned, I am not a good at cutting and pasting existing models, but I have developed a fondness for 3-dimensional CAD. So, between Google Sketchup, Shapeways and a lot of free time on my hands, I am starting to develop a line of replacement fascias to be used with DPM parts. The Small Urban Fire Station is the first item in that line. I am in the process of painting my preliminary sample, and will be posting pictures as I proceed with the project.

Here are links to my first four fascia offerings through Shapeways:
http://www.shapeways.com/model/892359/n-scale-urban-fire-station-fascia-w-driveway.html?li=productBox-search
http://www.shapeways.com/model/927764/n-scale-urban-fire-station-fascia.html?li=productBox-search
http://www.shapeways.com/model/941157/n-scale-city-hall-fascia.html?li=productBox-search
http://www.shapeways.com/model/941414/n-scale-coffee-house-fascia.html?li=productBox-search

I must note the production model does not have an interior base. I removed it from the design to cut down the cost of the model. However, you can get this model with or without the front sidewalk and driveway. I am always open to suggestions on how to improve my designs, and am also interested in getting suggestions for other projects. One of the ideas I've been thinking about is developing a supplemental package of roof details (smoke jacks, air conditioning units, etc.). If you have pictures of said roof details, I would like to see them. I would like to do what's not commonly available, or is no longer available, as is the case with most N-scale detail parts.

peteski

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 08:50:29 PM »
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It is good to see someone (like you) taking the initiative to design this type of an easy way to change the look of the same ol' DMP kits.  However, IMO, the price is a bit steep. I understand that the price is dictated by the cost of printing the wall, but to me paying close $20 for a single wall (plus the price of the original kit) is a bit much.

While it might be more than you are willing (or able) to do, but you could use the printed (and cleaned up) part as a master pattern, then cast the walls in resin. This would most likely lower your cost and the selling price.  This is just one guy's opinion...
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wazzou

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 08:55:45 PM »
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+1 for what Peteski said, believe it or not... :trollface:
But in some cases the Shapeways wall is 2-3 times the cost of the original kit.
Bryan

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Catt

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 09:31:36 PM »
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At those prices I will take a pass.I do like the idea though.
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
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johnh35

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 10:03:26 PM »
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I would suggest that you make masters using the Shapeway part you developed and offer resin castings. The price would be far more reasonable and I would imagine the interest would be there

mmyers

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 11:06:11 PM »
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I wouldn't worry over those 12 inch thick doors and windows. The brick houses I restore in Baltimore city are at least that deep. My average entry door jamb depth is 14 inches plus casing. I've used 20 inch jambs on a few. I have to make window stool with 1 x 12. That's behind a 3 1/2 inch window with 2 inches of brick reveal.

The Dalles Hostler

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 11:15:33 PM »
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I understand the comments regarding the cost of my designs through Shapeways. When compared to the cost of the original DPM kit, at about $16 per kit, the cost of my fascias would seem outrageous. However, if you take another manufacturers design, say Downtown Deco, the overall cost of my replacement part plus the DPM kit, is about the same.

http://www.downtowndeco.biz/site/?p=723

Yes, the resin process is cheaper, but there are some details I include in my Shapeways designs, which probably cannot be replicated through a Latex mold. My window mullions I designed are as close to scale as possible, at 3 scale inches thick. I doubt the resin would withstand being taken out of the mold, for those thin sections.

Just some things to consider.

Steve Wilson
The Dalles Hostler

johnh35

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 11:28:07 PM »
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At $29 for the fire station kit + the DPM kit at the $16 you quoted, that would be $45. There are some kits with a lot of extra details on the market for that kind of change. I like what you are offering, but for the money I just can't see it. As I look at your offerings, it seems that you offer some complete structures for less.

wazzou

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 11:41:07 PM »
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I'm glad I bought most of DPM kits when they were like $5.95.  :D
Bryan

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bbussey

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 12:09:57 AM »
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Rendering the hi-rez RP master and making resin castings off of that definitely is the way to go.  You adjust the model accordingly, such as increasing the thickness on the mullions to withstand the casting process.  But the pricepoint would become reasonable and you would sell a bunch of them.
Bryan Busséy
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SkipGear

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 12:11:53 AM »
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Cool idea but I agree with the others. The price is too much compared to the price of the building you are converting and the detail on the facade is lacking a lot of detail that could make them worth the price. Where is the brick detail on these buildings? Do the same thing with brick detail ,and more than just plain brick. I think you will have a lot more interested people. Create somthing that can't be scratched together in an evening. Honestly, if I was wanted a stucco or smooth surface building, Tichy windows and some styrene could do the same thing in an evenings work for about $5.
Tony Hines

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 12:24:31 AM »
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As Tony alludes, you're offering facades, not fascias.   :trollface:

I like the concept though.

peteski

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 12:30:20 AM »
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So ok, your facade has properly scaled window mullions but the rest of the building (original DPM walls) does not.  Just like Bryan said, some compromises could be made to make the Shapeways parts into viable master pattern for casting resin copies.

Also, lets not forget that FUD printed items have the dreaded raster texture on them.   That could be fixed and again, this would make a good master pattern for resin casting.  These fascades are ideal for casting, even in a simple 1-piece mold.  That is because the back side is flat and featureless.
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-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
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-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm puzzled!!!!

Dave Schneider

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 12:51:46 AM »
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Steve,

Thanks for joining us here on The Railwire. I realize that some of the responses might seem overly critical of your efforts, and I wanted to urge you to not take them personally. Recently, another small manufacturer joined this forum, and seemed to get a bit frustrated with the responses of the group. One of the members wrote a short message explaining the culture of this group. It is worth a quick read in my opinion, so as to set the context for the comments.

You can find it here:
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=28681.0

I wish you good luck in your endeavors.
Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

DKS

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Re: DPM Replacement Fascias
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 01:13:58 AM »
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Yes, the resin process is cheaper, but there are some details I include in my Shapeways designs, which probably cannot be replicated through a Latex mold. My window mullions I designed are as close to scale as possible, at 3 scale inches thick. I doubt the resin would withstand being taken out of the mold, for those thin sections.

Actually, they should cast and de-mold just fine. I've replicated details in resin about half that dimension. Just some food for thought.
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