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velotrain

Has anyone powered an Atlas die-cast model?

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Mr Frosty

That does look good and I think the brass hand rail would really set it off. :)

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marknewton

Charles, a few quick comments before I go to bed.

 

The Atlas model Bern steam tram is a mixture of diecast and injection moulded parts. The prototype is metre gauge, and the model is slightly underscale in width. The paint scheme on the trailer is a reasonably accurate rendition of the preserved cars that still run in Bern, although the colours in the photo you posted are a bit off. The trailer underframe and loco skirts are actually a light grey.

 

Black Beetle power units are available direct from the manufacturer Steam Era Models here in Australia.

 

http://steameramodels.com/

 

I have a heap of them under many different models, they're very good little units that have never given me any trouble at all. I would happily recommend them to anyone.

 

I also have 6 NWSL Stanton drive units, all of which run very sweetly as well. I have heard that people have had problems with these, but I haven't experienced any myself.

 

As for Shapeways, you might be interested in these:

 

http://www.shapeways.com/product/CUDQ3ULC7/1-87-tramway-loco-no-7-backer-rueb?li=related-items-solr&optionId=43852609

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

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Densha

I merged two topics about motorizing the Atlas Bern steam tram. There is no point in doing the same discussion in two places.

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velotrain

Thanks for the info Mark -

 

> The prototype is metre gauge, and the model is slightly underscale in width.

 

I knew it was NG, but not about the underscale width - which explains part of the difficulty in fitting a SG HO power chassis.

 

> The paint scheme on the trailer is a reasonably accurate rendition of the preserved cars that still run in Bern, although the colours in the photo you posted are a bit off.

 

I found a proto photo and see what you mean.  It's more of a sedate mint green, vs. the screaming neon of the model.  Would you know if they only ran with a single trailer, or (more likely) that's all that was preserved?

 

 

gallery_941_135_79960.jpg

 

 

 > Black Beetle power units are available direct from the manufacturer Steam Era Models here in Australia.

 

I've dealt with Geoff at Hollywood Foundry a lot over the years, and even advanced some funds so he could buy brass bar stock to turn larger wheels for Oe, but not SEM. 

 

> I also have 6 NWSL Stanton drive units, all of which run very sweetly as well.

 

The biggest issue I read about was jackrabbit starts - how are yours at slow speed running?  There was a suggestion that they were more designed with high torque for pulling power, vs. low gearing for slow speed running, and they might offer a crawler version in the future.

 

 > As for Shapeways, you might be interested in these:

 

At first it looked really short, but might be a reasonable stand-in for the Gamba de Legn 4-wheelers.  I've discovered that they actually had a wide variety of engines and trailer stock over the years.

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Densha

If it's meter gauge in prototype, that means it should use H0m gauge in model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H0m_gauge

If you want to stay true to the prototype that is, but I understand you want to use standard H0 gauge.

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velotrain

Actually Densha, I'm likely to go with HOe, as I have a lot of other equipment in that scale/gauge.  I've never had any HOm, and have no interest in being proto-rigid.  I have some old "Maine" HOn30 modules, but might get some Artitec / other structures to make a small Euro period scene.

 

I'm planning to get multiple sets so I can have more trailer cars, and will likely convert one engine to HO SG, and perhaps get some "old-time", short Euro passenger cars as trailers for that - suggestions welcome.  I may try to pass the SG version off as Gamba de Legn, although the Shapeways tram that Mark mentioned is also a possibility.

 

I don't know if you saw it on the Dutch group site, but they showed a powered HOe version selling for some 170 Euros.  So, I might try that with an extra engine.

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velotrain

I've ordered 3 tram sets and 2 Kato 11-104 chassis.  While I'm waiting for them I had a question regarding slowing down the chassis.  I found the below on the web, and wondered if the 11-105 wheels are available separately, or would I need to sacrifice a whole chassis to get them?  Would they possibly be the same wheels as on a lighted caboose, etc. ? 

 

Also - if anyone knows just what removing "the metal retainer on the bottom" would do, and just why would one do it?  I'd like to think that it isn't the retainer for the axles/gear train.  I can probably track down the O.P. on the web, if no one here can answer these questions.

 

 

"First thing I did was to follow others example and dump the 42" wheels for smaller wheels, nearly any Kato-style split axle works, I substituted 27" Kato 11-105 wheels and also got rid of the metal retainer on the bottom.  It worked well and slowed it down a lot."

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Densha

I found this website of the museum that runs the Bern steam tram: http://www.dampftram.ch/

The rolling stock is under "Rollmaterial".

 

I'm very heavily leaning towards getting the three Dutch trams included in the Atlas collection, but it looks like it's going to be very difficult getting the RET 520 and GETA 73 them. The GVB 465 is quite easily available.

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velotrain

I had been to that site.  I also discovered that the coach is a reconstruction, which is no doubt why they only have one of them.  I like all the lining on the Atlas coach, but need to see if I can tone the color down with chalks, etc.  If that doesn't work, I may paint them some other color entirely, but it will probably be difficult to remove the windows, mask the steps, etc., so I doubt that's likely.

 

I discovered the nicely finished Bern tram in the photo at the top of this page was done by Peter Bartlett of Cray Valley.  He used to sell custom built/finished HOn30 models, including the Chivers kits out of England, but it looks like he's retired now.

 

http://crayvalleyrailroad.com/index.html

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cteno4

I stumbled across a few of these on ebay the other night and was tempted at less than $20 shipped to get the sf cable car just for the shelf... Waiting to see how you like them!

 

Jeff

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Densha

I saw one of these trams on ebay from a Chinese seller for a very low price, but the photo already showed a broken pantograph so I decided not to buy it. There's one Dutch model I can get easily for $20 or so, but the other two I want don't show up on ebay at all. That's the problem with this sort of collections.

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velotrain

I stumbled across a few of these on ebay the other night and was tempted at less than $20 shipped to get the sf cable car just for the shelf... Waiting to see how you like them!

 

 

I was a bit surprised, as the Chinese (at least the guys selling the Bern tram) don't seem to offer combined shipping ordinarily, so I had to do a bit of haggling. 

You'd think moving multiple product at once and only needing one box/packing session should be worth something to them.

Also, my experience with shipping cost is that the first one is the most expensive, and more add relatively little.

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cteno4

but for international shipping its pretty much by weight for the larger stuff like this and i expect its not that much cheaper to put two in one box than ship two boxes. 

 

many times actually changing to put two orders in one seems like less work, but when you have a process set up for fulfillment any divergence usually causes some slow ups and double checks and places for error to creep in... 

 

jeff

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kvp

Afaik some chinese sellers have the items boxed up and tagged and only print the destination address sticker before posting. Also having a single standard box is better than having to fetch the right sized box for every combined order. Not to mention orders coming from different countries. For example someone buys two items on a chinese site and one order comes from the Netherlands and the other from Hungary. The reason is that each item was already stocked in europe and only posted within the EU.

 

I've already bought a few electronic parts directly from China that were sent from the post office nearest to the old Ganz factory where most chinese customs free import companies have their hq. So i was actually buying from a chinese shop in Hungary and paying with paypal in US dollars to a company registered in mainland China. They even managed to get out from the local VAT rules too. This might be the reason why they are cheaper with assembled and tested circuits than getting the parts locally and building them at home.

 

The only company i've seen which does combined shipping across items stocked in various countries is Conrad. Once they managed to get my order from Germany, Austria and Italy. There were 4 boxes in the large box, one from the central warehouse and 3 from other shops. That was quite the logistics and apparently for free (aka. included in the base price).

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Welshbloke

Best bet for powering anything like this is a Black Beetle or the old Tenshodo "SPUD" if they still exist.

 

I converted a few diecast OO trams to be able to run, mostly using kits made to fit them. Annoyingly the main supplier seems to have given up and I still have a handful left with no motors.

 

Easiest was probably a Corgi model of a Brush Railcoach as used in Blackpool. I was able to convert the seating unit into a motorised chassis which just slots into the bodyshell, so servicing is very simple and I was able to preserve most of the interior (apart from where the power bogies are). The Corgi London Transport "Feltham" was equally simple with the matching kit from a now-defunct firm named BEC-Kits.

 

A thought on combined orders - check if your local customs and excise has a minimum amount below which import duty/VAT/etc aren't collected. Parcels with a declared value below this (and it's perfectly legal to send three items which are each worth below that amount, for example) won't attract a ransom demand from the legalised highwaymen. The extra postage is likely to be less than the "admin charge" levied when they collect the tax.

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velotrain

 

A thought on combined orders - check if your local customs and excise has a minimum amount below which import duty/VAT/etc aren't collected. Parcels with a declared value below this (and it's perfectly legal to send three items which are each worth below that amount, for example) won't attract a ransom demand from the legalised highwaymen. The extra postage is likely to be less than the "admin charge" levied when they collect the tax.

 

We don't need to deal with that in the U.S. - I'm sure it applies to commercial shipments, but apparently not personal ones.  Might be a question of declared value, although I've received quite valuable packages from the U.K. with no charges.

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cteno4

Most countries are duty free on mail for TOYS into the U.S.! We do have a 1.5% customs if you ship over a linear accelerator! We must be protecting a domestic market on those!

 

Jeff

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Welshbloke

Yep, here toys are VAT exempt but a lot of sellers won't mark models as such. Otherwise if it's over £15 declared value (including P&P) then it'll attract VAT at 20%. I don't object to that so much as the fact that they charge £8 to collect it regardless of the amount!

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velotrain

While anxiously waiting for my Atlas Bern tram sets to arrive from China, I've been toying with converting one to HOm - with thoughts of selling it to a European buyer.

 

While searching for HOm models, I came across a layout that I believe I first encountered about a decade ago (or more?).  This is Minho Douro, a Portuguese based HOm layout by John Cannons - who I'm quite certain is British.  I think it's rather brilliantly conceived and carefully crafted.  I have no idea where he sourced the structures from, and would guess that most of them are bashed - if not scratchbuilt.  Note how well the structures have been integrated into the scene, vs. sitting on obvious plastic bases as most model Japanese buildings do - even on otherwise well-done layouts. 

 

While no expert on Portugal cityscapes, it all looks very credible to me.  There are dozens of wonderful little scenes spread around the layout, and I especially like how he uses multiple elevations to create visual complexity. 

 

It seems to me that this general concept - a small terminus with a local tram, could be reasonably adapted to a Japanese-themed layout, especially if modeled in an earlier era.  However, with one well-known exception (also U.K. based), I doubt any are willing to sacrifice running fast trains in circles for this sort of operation.  This layout may be illuminating for those who might think of meter gauge only in terms of the RhB.

 

Besides the sampling of photos, this layout is the first shown in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUk_2ngFS_k&feature=player_embedded

 

 

gallery_941_135_10509.jpg

 

 

gallery_941_135_229461.jpg

 

 

gallery_941_135_64862.jpg

 

 

gallery_941_135_108913.jpg

 

 

gallery_941_135_159762.jpg

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marknewton

This is Minho Douro, a Portuguese based HOm layout by John Cannons - who I'm quite certain is British.

 

It seems to me that this general concept - a small terminus with a local tram, could be reasonably adapted to a Japanese-themed layout, especially if modeled in an earlier era.  However, with one well-known exception (also U.K. based), I doubt any are willing to sacrifice running fast trains in circles for this sort of operation.

 

Yes, he's English. His layouts have been featured in the UK magazine "Continental Modeller" a couple of times.

 

The concept is similar to my ideas for Japanese-themed HO scale exhibition layouts. I'm immune to the charms of Shinkansens as a basis for a layout. 

 

(Yeah, I know, there's a Kato E5 at my house. But that's my son's, and even he prefers shunting to just running in circles at high speed. :) )

 

My first idea was for a simple terminus based on the Hokuriku Railway's Komatsu line. I added a siding into the Komatsu tractor factory and an exchange siding connecting to the JNR. The dimensions of this layout would be 8' by 18", which is almost exactly to scale - this was a very compact yard.

 

19004488260_a53d5807a1_b.jpg

 

My second idea, and the one I'm (slowly) building is based on the Kominato Railway's station at Yorokeikoku. I read somewhere that this railway's route was originally surveyed for a JNR line, so that's justification enough to re-imagine it as a secondary route during the late JNR steam era. My only change to the actual track layout has been to add a single track private railway or tramway line that runs into the rear of the JNR platform. The dimensions of this one are 10' by 2'. It's built on two separate  5' x 2' aluminium frames for ease of transport.

 

18571539063_4d94f1b256_b.jpg

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

Edited by marknewton

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velotrain

Mark - I don't understand one thing on your Kominato trackplan.  You show the private / tram line curving through the backboard.  Since you already have fiddle yards at each end, I'm surprised that you would want a third location to monitor.  Or, is this for home use only with no intent of taking it to shows?

 

I recall being impressed with Minho Douro the first time I saw it, but now I'm blown away by it.

Everything on it seems just right - and perfectly done.

 

I've so far been only interested in trams, and not any proper passenger trains.

 

However, I've fallen to the charms of the deep blue Nankei Rapit, so now need to figure out where I'm going to run it.

I'm actually toying with a black light illuminated loop.  Or, maybe a Jules Vern-esque environment - steampunk?

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marknewton

Charles, I'll post another drawing tomorrow which will make it all a bit clearer - I hope! :)

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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