Author Topic: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update  (Read 4984 times)

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rodsup9000

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2023, 10:36:55 PM »
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Made from new molds?
The last ones were not that old so an expensive investment for…?
Don't know where you've been, but the batch I got a year ago had flashing in the ties (as I stated before) and around most of the injection pins.


The only thing that was really grinding on me was how they had the rails off center from the tie center
So when they put 3 sections together to make a full length of flex track they inverted the center section so it would jump out that there was a noticeable stagger.

  Of the 80+ bundles I've used so far on the railroad, I haven't seen any of that. The first 25 bundles were bought about 20 years ago.
Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0

sp org div

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2023, 01:31:51 AM »
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Micro Engineering retooled the tie molds about 10 years ago on both the code 55 and code 40 due to the excessive flash issue and loss of detail on their original Railcraft molds.
But as far as I know there have only been two versions of the code 55, the Railcraft and that ME revision. You can tell them apart by scrutinizing on the tie spike features, as there are very few double spikes per plate on the later molds… and also that offset tie feature.
On the code 40 ME added tie plates and a thicker depth tie similar to the code 55 - and again less double spike detail… with the tie offset (I want to say the tie lengths were reduced by 6-12” on the 40 …if not on both styles also).
Apparently the code 40 now uses 9” tie sections and the 55 uses 12” sections to comprise a 3’ stick
Im guessing others have been sold old stock if they are not aware of the mold changes… or just never noticed!?!
The offset tie issue has been discussed here by many before.
Reinhardtjr and Pedro discuss it here too:

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=54555.15
Edit- link
« Last Edit: April 09, 2023, 01:38:12 AM by sp org div »

wcfn100

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2023, 01:37:34 AM »
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Are the ties still trapezoid shaped?

Jason

nkalanaga

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2023, 02:00:55 AM »
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Jason:  I suspect they are, at least slightly, as it would be much more difficult to get perfectly square ties out of the mold.  Just one of the issues with injection molding tooling.  It can be done, but the trapezoid shape makes unloading a lot easier, especially for non-rigid shapes like a tie strip.
N Kalanaga
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peteski

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2023, 07:54:39 AM »
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Ah, the old draft angle thing.
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ednadolski

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2023, 01:02:39 PM »
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They want to add #8's and #10's turnouts (no promises though) to their line too, but don't know if, or how soon that will happen.

We've been hearing this sort of thing for years.

I just wish there was an easier way to make frogs other than by hand.  Investment casting seems too difficult/expensive.

Ed

rodsup9000

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2023, 03:31:22 PM »
+1
Micro Engineering retooled the tie molds about 10 years ago on both the code 55 and code 40 due to the excessive flash issue and loss of detail on their original Railcraft molds.
But as far as I know there have only been two versions of the code 55, the Railcraft and that ME revision. You can tell them apart by scrutinizing on the tie spike features, as there are very few double spikes per plate on the later molds… and also that offset tie feature.
On the code 40 ME added tie plates and a thicker depth tie similar to the code 55 - and again less double spike detail… with the tie offset (I want to say the tie lengths were reduced by 6-12” on the 40 …if not on both styles also).
Apparently the code 40 now uses 9” tie sections and the 55 uses 12” sections to comprise a 3’ stick
Im guessing others have been sold old stock if they are not aware of the mold changes… or just never noticed!?!
The offset tie issue has been discussed here by many before.
Reinhardtjr and Pedro discuss it here too:

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=54555.15
Edit- link

   Early to mid '90's, I bought 6 bundles of Railcraft code 55 flex








  Around 2004, I bought 25 bundles of the ME flex.


 






  Bought another 12 bundles around 2010 that was weathered rail (couldn't find any unweathered at the time)Small bits of flashing on the tie ends









 

 The next 10 bundles were bought August 31 2018
 September 19, 2019, I called Robin at Fifer Hobby to order 12 more bundles as they showed none in stock.  She was going to order more in. 
 These two orders is when I started seeing flashing on the edges, along with the ends
 









 All of these have the 9" tie strips







  Here is the easiest way to see they are using new molds   Newest is on the left







 Newest on the right (I'll try to get a clearer photo later)










Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
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mike_lawyer

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2023, 04:01:38 PM »
+1
I really hope they start making some #8 and #10 turnouts.  I really like their #6 turnouts, but some larger number turnouts would be nice to have as well.

rodsup9000

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2023, 08:24:19 PM »
+2
I just wish there was an easier way to make frogs other than by hand.  Investment casting seems too difficult/expensive.
Ed
Athabasca Scale Models used to sell etched frogs and diamonds for code 55. I have 2 packages of the #7, #9, and #11 frogs along with a package of diamonds for a 45 degree crossing That I'll be using soon.



Here's the #9 frogs




#11 frogs




  45 degree Diamonds





  I have several turnouts built with them on the layout. Here's a #11





Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0

MetroRedLine

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2023, 08:51:41 PM »
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I really hope they start making some #8 and #10 turnouts.  I really like their #6 turnouts, but some larger number turnouts would be nice to have as well.

And curved turnouts. And crossings. And...
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nkalanaga

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2023, 12:47:17 AM »
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Rodney:  I can't see any of your pictures, which might be my browser.  However, I listed the source code, and found the image file URLs, from ImageShack.  Trying to open them directly failed, so I downloaded and saved the files.  None of my image viewing programs can open them either!
N Kalanaga
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Sokramiketes

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2023, 09:45:23 AM »
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Athabasca Scale Models used to sell etched frogs and diamonds for code 55. I have 2 packages of the #7, #9, and #11 frogs along with a package of diamonds for a 45 degree crossing That I'll be using soon.

How well do they work in practice?  I always wondered, since the flangeway is so shallow.  Maybe 12 thou on a 25 thou half-etch?

peteski

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2023, 10:24:37 AM »
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Rodney:  I can't see any of your pictures, which might be my browser.  However, I listed the source code, and found the image file URLs, from ImageShack.  Trying to open them directly failed, so I downloaded and saved the files.  None of my image viewing programs can open them either!

David, that is strange as the images are all standard JPG images.  So for example you can't see https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/1024x768q70/924/OxHa2q.jpg  ?

As for getting thr URL link to the images, I mentioned to someone recently that there is no need to sift through the source code.  All one has to to is to hit "quote" in the upper right side of the post you need to extract the links from.  That quotes it (in plain text) to the indow where you would compose a reply.  They you can easily copy/paste the nreeded info, then when done hit the "back" button on your brwoser to cancel the post (since the forum has no "cancel" button.
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sp org div

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2023, 01:20:17 PM »
+1
Looking at those photos it sure looks like there have been more than just two molds over the years.
Those pictures elude to two versions cast in brown, and two more versions later which are a reddish tint. So this latest 2023 version would be a fourth set of molds?  If so that would mean a third version is what I last picked up, and I was not too enthusiastic about how they looked as compared to their earlier version(s). Curious what other changes were made between the possible third and fourth molds at this point…
I dont like the loss of what I call museum quality as time has moved on but at least we still have a replacement on some level. Apparently I was fortunate to have acquired most of my c55 and c40 back in the day

rodsup9000

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2023, 07:31:26 PM »
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How well do they work in practice?  I always wondered, since the flangeway is so shallow.  Maybe 12 thou on a 25 thou half-etch?
  I have 6 #11's on the main and a few #7's in Oroville that has been in service for almost 15 years with no problems.
 Cars with old Kadee/MT pizza cutter flanges bump a little, but no derailments. Most of my rolling stock has the small flange MT's and you barely notice
them going through the frogs.
Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0