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Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?

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Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?  

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  1. 1. Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?

    • Absolutely yes!
    • Maybe, if it was cost neutral?
    • No way!

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Really like the look of this.  Nice option to use the separate sleeper & chair which would be fine for most applicaitons - would it be suitable for P4 I wonder; he appears to be working on this though. 

The solution of printed chairs for the crossing vee of the point would make it easiser than the solution I am working with.   I have found with the fixed chairs printed to the sleeper is quite strong and the gauge is very accurate however it's a bit fiddly completing the vee.  Even so the copperclad solution I'm using allows me complete a point in c. 1 hour.

I do like the option that he can generate any track formation, whereas, my solution is fixed at the moment for a B6 point & straight lenghts - Must work harder  😉

I may partake in the templot option & see how it works; don't know about you guys, but I do find Templot rather challenging for anything other that the most basic patterns.


Worth a go!


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Used Templot for my 21mm, 7mm scale points, but only standard LH/RH formations. Likewise, takes about an hour to make one, plus copperclad sleepers make adjustments fairly easy. Not sure it would be the same for printed sleepers, though I know nothing about either process or tolerances...

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One significant point if you intend to 3D print track and point bases Templot uses two different gauges for modelling Irish 5'3" track in 4mm scale.

21mm gauge for P4 standards and 20.2mm if you use EMF or OO gauge standards, Martyn Wynne did much the same to achieve improved running with rtr OO rtr rolling stock reducing the gauge from 16.5mm to 16.2mm or EM-2.

I struggled with Templot for a small EM gauge layout and have gone back to blown up EM gauge paper templates for 21mm gauge track. 

3D printed point-bases are likely to be challenging particularly if there is no provision for adjustment in the location of crossing vee and switch assemblies.

Personally I have hand laid pointwork in 1:1, 1:24 and 1:76 scales using timber, copper clad and ABS sleepers, using fangbolts, spikes, and individual chairs and soldered assembly and did not find it particularly difficult or time consuming, the main difference was that I needed a lot more people and machinery in 1:1.

Chaired assembly either slide on or individually placed is a lot more time consuming and technically challenging than spiked or soldered assembly.

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On 11/7/2021 at 6:02 AM, murphaph said:

I don't know if it's been mentioned already but Martin Wynne has been busy adding direct 3d printing export capabilities to Templot. The talk is of going straight from design to printing the sleepers and chairs to thread and lay directly. This is pretty awesome I think and I will have to reconsider using soldered PCB sleepers in the visible areas of my layout:


It is awesome and there's a lot involved. I read through the link last night and not having any real knowledge of 3D printing there was a lot to get my head around. As you said in your post, it looks like they have adopted the technique of printing the chairs directly and sliding them onto C&L bullhead rail, them fitting the rails onto a preprinted base of sleepers with plugs under the chairs press-fitted into preformed holes in the sleepers. The seems to be a lot easier than threading the rails into an entire preformed straight (or certainly a turnout) albeit more time consuming. One limitation they are running into seems to be not having a large enough 3D printer to print larger turnouts as a single piece.

Martin Wynne sells these kits commercially for N scale but it wasn't clear whether he was planning a file for 21mm although there was talk of OO. Personally I'd be much happier buying kits from him than printing and slicing chairs and trying to print larger turnouts in sections. One would needs ones own printer and slicer. 

Maybe someone might do a file for a coach bogies in 21mm that we could use as a drop-in replacement for the existing one on Lima & Murphy models coaching stock.

Edited by DiveController
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Yeah I have been considering the bogies as a major use case for a resin printer actually. It would be easy to print off several at a time even in a small desktop printer. Almost no work compared to making up brass bogies and fitting with cosmetic sides. There are decent 00 scale designs available on the web for small money (€3 or so) for non-commercial use (mk1, mk2, mk3 all covered). I think these designs could "easily" be widened out to 21mm and printed off (they are for Hornby coaches so the hub part might need modification for say Bachmann or MM coaches).

The more I read about 3d printing the more I like what I see.

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There are simpler & quicker ways to handlay track than using slide on plastic or 3D printed chairs or solder the rails to every sleeper!


Main Trunk tall steel viaduct scene with handlaid track on viaduct assembled using "Micro Engineers" parts.


S Scale NZR 3'6" gauge track (OO) with copper clad sleeper every 5th sleeper spacing, missing sleepers will be fitted using stripwood sleepers. Some NZR 3'6" gauge layouts use Peco or Atlas for hidden trackage and handlaid track in scenic areas.

Viaduct scene took 18 months to construct.

Layout was exhibited this weekend at Whitianga Train Show first time I have been to an exhibition in a long time!

I am planning to use spiked track for a planned 21mm gauge layout using stripwood sleepers spiked every 5th sleeper with soldered crossing wing rail assemblies.






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