Author Topic: Kato N scale well car upgrades  (Read 682 times)

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GaryHinshaw

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Kato N scale well car upgrades
« on: October 03, 2021, 04:52:18 PM »
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Most of you who will bother to open this thread know that I have been working on some upgrade parts for the Kato N scale well cars (see, e.g., this week's Weekend Update).  While I'm not 100% happy with the state of them at the moment, I think they're good enough now that it's time to post them and move on to other things.   Here is a direct link to a folder in TinkerCAD which should point you to public files you can download and print:

https://www.tinkercad.com/dashboard?type=tinkercad&collection=projects&id=dqAKSC9PoA2

(If this link doesn't work for you, please let me know.  I'm still planning to post files to Thingiverse but haven't had time to yet.)  You should see a collection of crossover walkways:



and two end-frames, A and B.  Here is a screen shot of the B end:



When I print these, I tip them up by 45 degrees, like so:





and add supports as necessary.  The flanges that are attached to the designs are intended as print supports that snap off after curing.  (I should look into adding these to the end frame parts as well.  It really simplifies the part preparation.)  All of these parts are designed as press fit replacement for the corresponding Kato parts, though I found it helpful to use a spot of canopy glue to hold the crossover parts in place.  The end frames did not require any glue.

Here are a few model shots with commentary; the stock model is shown for comparison.  The inner crossovers with integral container guides:



The replacement end frame, crossover walkway and container guide, A end:



The coupler pocket is sized for a "Lee English Z scale" (LEZ) coupler, but it could be easily redesigned to accommodate an MTL coupler if someone were so inclined.  The truck bolster is designed for a standard MTL 70 ton roller bearing truck and bolster pin.

Ditto for the B end:





A few notes:
* It remains to be seen how durable some of the details are on the end-frames, especially the upright grab iron posts.  If they end up breaking off in service, I'll look into adding angled supports (like some of the later prototypes have) or replacing them with etchings.  I'm hoping to avoid etchings, however, because the detail on those bits is superior to an etch (IMHO), and the ability to print them at home whenever I want is so much easier than dealing with an etching shop.
* I've had some minor issues with residual warping.  You can see that most clearly in the last shot of the end cross walk.  For some reason this does not show up on all prints, so I'm not really sure what to make of it.  For now, I'm just going to live with it and get to other projects.
* I have tested the end frames in service by running this AOK set at the head of a fairly heavy 32 car train up and down my Tehachapi grades, without rear helpers.  They did great with the LEZ couplers, so it's really nice to be able to banish truck-mounted Kato couplers finally.

Thanks for looking.  I hope some of you find these useful.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 05:36:30 PM by GaryHinshaw »

John

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2021, 06:07:49 PM »
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Nice work Gary .. I couldn't get the link to work ..

But I searched for Kato and got this ..

https://www.tinkercad.com/things/3kiMNa9BZiy-maxi-iv-crossover
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 06:10:39 PM by John »

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2021, 07:02:28 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback John.  I see that you were (apparently) able to download the crossovers and the A end-frame.  In any event, I created a Thingiverse account and have started porting files there.  Seems like it's taking forever to render on Thingiverse though...  I'll post new links when I have this figured out.

TinkerCAD is great for simple-minded designers like me, but it sucks for organizing and sharing files.

jagged ben

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 12:25:45 AM »
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Gary these look awesome.
What wheels did you use with the MT trucks?

BTW, the link is asking me to log in.

I'm just gonna put out there that I'd be willing to pay someone to print a batch of these for me, with MT sized coupler pockets.  I think I need 7 sets, plus some spares.   At least, for the time being, that's going to work better for me than to get a printer and learn that.  PM me if interested.

James Costello

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 08:02:09 PM »
+1
I'm just gonna put out there that I'd be willing to pay someone to print a batch of these for me, with MT sized coupler pockets.  I think I need 7 sets, plus some spares.   At least, for the time being, that's going to work better for me than to get a printer and learn that.  PM me if interested.

I'd be a grateful customer for this too, as I'm still a while away from being able to justify a printer. Likewise, 7-10 sets and either a 1025 or 1015 coupler would be sweet.

Also, these look awesome Gary!
James Costello
Espee into the 90's

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2021, 12:49:06 AM »
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Thanks gents.  I'll send you a PM with some thoughts.  -gfh

pmpexpress

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2021, 10:42:22 AM »
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Tinkercad web page link with all of Gary's Uploaded Designs.

https://www.tinkercad.com/users/3CzmFAf8ceH-gary-hinshaw

Maxi-IV-crossover web page link.

https://www.tinkercad.com/things/3kiMNa9BZiy

Maxi-IV-end-A-v3 web page link.

https://www.tinkercad.com/things/3WcpnMPoBHu

Maxi-IV-end-B-v3 web page link.

https://www.tinkercad.com/things/f6PllO5MYID

You must have or create an Autodesk Tinkercad account to download any files and/or view Gary's 3D Designs page.

Kudos to Gary for sharing his outstanding design work and files with us.

Will be working with a friend who has several different sizes of 3D printers on hand.

Hopefully, he can modify the files to accommodate MTL couplers and bulk print fairly large batches of Gary's Maxi-IV and eventually Maxi-I upgrade parts.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 12:34:46 PM by GaryHinshaw »

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2021, 12:48:56 PM »
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Thanks Neville.  Those links worked for me (of course).  For some reason the A end link does not show the preview thumbnail, but it otherwise works fine.  (BTW, I edited your post to correct the A and B end descriptors.)

It would be great of you could modify the end parts to accommodate MTL couplers, and then make the parts available!  I don't really have the time and inclination to go through the process of testing the coupler height for a new design, but I'm happy to have someone else do it.  :)

BTW @jagged ben I'm using MTL 70T roller bearing trucks with FVM 33" wheels for the ends of these cars.  Any 33" wheel/.540" axle will do though.

Hopefully the mods for the Maxi-I will be done soon.  The changes required are pretty minor.

pmpexpress

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2021, 01:47:33 PM »
+1
Thanks Neville.  Those links worked for me (of course).  For some reason the A end link does not show the preview thumbnail, but it otherwise works fine.  (BTW, I edited your post to correct the A and B end descriptors.)

It would be great of you could modify the end parts to accommodate MTL couplers, and then make the parts available!  I don't really have the time and inclination to go through the process of testing the coupler height for a new design, but I'm happy to have someone else do it.  :)

BTW @jagged ben I'm using MTL 70T roller bearing trucks with FVM 33" wheels for the ends of these cars.  Any 33" wheel/.540" axle will do though.

Hopefully the mods for the Maxi-I will be done soon.  The changes required are pretty minor.

Gary,

You're welcome.

Noticed the missing thumbnail images, but as you have indicated, the files downloaded properly.

Thanks to you, I was able to forward the files and copies of your photos to my friend with the printers.

He has indicated that modifying the ends to accommodate MTL couplers should not be a problem.

If everything goes as planned, we should be able to make your upgrade parts available to anyone who is unable to print their own.

Looking forward to the future release of your Maxi-I upgrade parts.

What are your thoughts on appropriate paints to match the BNSF and TTX colors used on the Kato models?

Did you wind up painting the aluminum colored walkways?

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2021, 08:48:17 PM »
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Great to hear about your plans, Neville, and good question about the painting - please see below.  This reminds me that I should post some more photos of how I prepared the parts and what minor mods I had to make to the Kato wells to accept these parts.  I'll try to do that soon.

I have been using Vallejo Model Air almost exclusively for the last few years, since that is what I have access to locally.  For the walkways, I used a mix of Steel (71.065) and White Grey (71.119), with a roughly 50/50 ratio.  The White Grey helps give the steel a bit of an oxidized look.   The exact ratio is not critical.  I spray this on, and once it's dry I brush paint the container guides (which are integral to the walkways) with White (71.001).

I also spray the walkway portion of the end frames with the same Steel/White Grey mix.  Once that is dry, I mask them with Tamiya tape and paint the body colour.  For the TTX cars, I've found that Yellow Ochre (71.033) straight from the bottle is a pretty good match, though it takes a few coats to get a good opaque covering.  For the AOK set pictured above and below, I used Mahogany (71.036) straight from the bottle.  You can see how well or poorly it does (depending on your colour sensitivity) in this shot:



The amount of exposed surface area here is pretty small, and these ends get pretty heavily weathered in service, so I'm fairly liberal when it comes to matching these.  YMMV.  I have yet to complete a BNSF set, but I suspect I will mix a bit of Black Grey (71.055) in with the Mahogany to darken it a bit more.

pmpexpress

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2021, 04:40:46 PM »
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Great to hear about your plans, Neville, and good question about the painting - please see below.  This reminds me that I should post some more photos of how I prepared the parts and what minor mods I had to make to the Kato wells to accept these parts.  I'll try to do that soon.

I have been using Vallejo Model Air almost exclusively for the last few years, since that is what I have access to locally.  For the walkways, I used a mix of Steel (71.065) and White Grey (71.119), with a roughly 50/50 ratio.  The White Grey helps give the steel a bit of an oxidized look.   The exact ratio is not critical.  I spray this on, and once it's dry I brush paint the container guides (which are integral to the walkways) with White (71.001).

I also spray the walkway portion of the end frames with the same Steel/White Grey mix.  Once that is dry, I mask them with Tamiya tape and paint the body colour.  For the TTX cars, I've found that Yellow Ochre (71.033) straight from the bottle is a pretty good match, though it takes a few coats to get a good opaque covering.  For the AOK set pictured above and below, I used Mahogany (71.036) straight from the bottle.  You can see how well or poorly it does (depending on your colour sensitivity) in this shot:



The amount of exposed surface area here is pretty small, and these ends get pretty heavily weathered in service, so I'm fairly liberal when it comes to matching these.  YMMV.  I have yet to complete a BNSF set, but I suspect I will mix a bit of Black Grey (71.055) in with the Mahogany to darken it a bit more.

Gary,

Thanks for sharing your painting suggestions.

With no paint clogged holes, the finished parts look great.

Recently viewed a "How to Airbrush Vallejo Model Color Tutorial" on YouTube and was wondering if you are using a paint cup, rather than a bottle to apply the Vallejo Model Air paint with your airbrush?


Although I have been meaning to try out the Vallejo paint line for some time now, with no hobby retailer nearby, it is compulsory for me to locate an online supplier who stocks and sells the individual colors.

Checked the Vallejo inventory at Hobbylinc, Internet Hobbies, and Micro Mark and found that none of them are stocking the Model Air product line and that they are all focused on paint set sales.

Any suggestions on a North American based online retailer for the Model Air paint line?

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Kato N scale well car upgrades
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2021, 05:41:41 PM »
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Hi Neville,

Interesting video.  It looks like he's getting really nice results with the thicker Model Colour paints and a lot of Flow Improver.   I've been using Model Air with 2-3 drops of Flow Improver per ~10 drops of paint and no other thinner.  I do indeed use a top feed Iwata airbrush, and I love painting with it.

I'm fortunate that my local shop (Central Hobbies) is pretty well stocked with Vallejo, but when they ran out of Black, I looked online and had trouble finding individual bottles for sale, so I ended up buying a (useful) weathering colour set that included Black.  Since then I have found Sunward Hobbies has a lot of individual colours in stock and they ship to the States (from Canada).  If others know of sources, please chime in.

-gfh