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It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but it almost looks like the rear is flat? If so why not print it in that dimension as no supports would be necessary.

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This is truly amazing work. Makes me very tempted to get hold of a resin printer... (or at least dust off my filament printer again!)

When it’s finished this will be an incredible layout

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Martijn - Thank you, I am glad it was useful.


Keith- Ahhh Good point I forgot to say you can just print it laying down if the back is flat 😂 I will get my coat!


This print was just made to write the post and won't be used on the layout. It will have the restaurant interior behind when I do it for real. I will probably use this one to practice painting and weathering. 


It is really hard to tell from the picture but there is a 'porch' part around the centre door that sticks out and a small wall to the right. I could easily have chopped those to make it flat and build them later out of styrene. The right side of the arch, when viewed from the rear is recessed. The will hold two AC units once complete however the amount of support for the recess would be minimal.


This does remind of another problem I have encountered printing things flat on their back. If the wall is thin it can shatter when you use the scraper to remove it from the build plate. UV resin can be insanely brittle. My fix for this, I use a scalpel blade to get under a corner then I use the scraper to push the scalpel blade under print. The sharp edge of the blade helps to separate the print more evenly. The other trick is to just take the broken pieces and dab some more resin in the joins. Then I use a UV torch to cure it and fuse the pieces. I have saved a few prints this way, the resin won't cure until hit with UV so you have plenty of time line everything up.


Edit - I just had a thought, not only will you not get distortion on windows, printing it on its back will massively reduce the print time for a single wall. With a fraction of layers needed to make something a couple of mm high compared to a couple of cm. I will flatten the back and print one laying down this week and post the results. 


Matt - Thank you for your kind words, I am really looking forward to getting some trains running soon. I won't lie it has been a steep learning curve with this printer but being able to print exactly what you need can be really useful. 



Edited by Kamome442
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Martijn Meerts

You have to be careful printing large flat sections as well. Because there's such a large surface per layer on the FEP film, it might get damaged trying to pull the printed object off.


@Kamome442 Which resin are you using btw? I have a Nova3D Elfin myself, which came with some of their own (clear green) resin which seems really tough. I also bought some Phrozen ABS like gray resin, which was getting really good reviews, but it seems a lot softer than the Nova clear green.


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Hi Martijn,


That is a good point regarding wear on the FEP film at the bottom of the tank. I always forget that needs replacing over time. It feels like resin printers are always a balancing act. I do miss the relative simplicity of a filament printer.


I have an Anycubic Photon S, it also came with a small bottle of their clear green resin (I guess that doesn't sell very well😙), I brought Anycubic clear. I am now trying out Anycubic grey. I think my next purchase will be a 3rd party resin to see how well they work. I find the clear is more brittle than the grey but less prone to failed prints. I have had two prints fall off the print bed since switching to grey. I feel the fine detail comes out better in clear however I am yet to print the same object in each resin for a side by side comparison. I could just be the light reflecting through the clear makes details look more crisp.

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Martijn Meerts

Yeah, it's hard to find good info on the differences between the resins, and when you finally found some that seems to work well for what you're trying to print, it turned out it's not available in your country 😄


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I had a go at printing the arch on its back and the results are quite unexpected. Firstly one corner of the print was peeling from the print bed, I guess this is due to having to pull a large surface area from the film putting extra force on the print. I am pretty sure the clear resin would have held as I am getting a more failures using grey. The area that pulled away is just about visible where the reflections show the slight distortion from the resin curling.



The strangest issue with this print is on the front. The finished print has a perfectly smooth surface, with none of brick detail visible. The gap between the bricks is 0.1mm. I checked the resolution of the printers XY axis, which according to the website should handle 0.04mm. 



I decided to print one of my industrial AC units to compare with the ones printed in clear resin. It is hard to tell without a coat of primer on each but I feel the detail is sharper in clear resin.



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Hi Keith,

I really don't understand it myself, I was fully expecting the brick detail to be better. The only explanation I can think of is the light bleeds sideways curing surrounding resin however that would still effect the z-axis ( the louvres on the AC units are 0.06mm and still show up) and I would still expect to see faint impression of the lines. 


I have only been using this printer for around 6 months and to be honest the technology is still pretty alien to me. I am sure it is a setting that I am getting wrong. I will recalibrate the print bed (something I have not done since I got the thing) and give it another go. I have a little bit of clear resin left so I may see if that makes any difference.


That will have to be next week as I am in the middle of a project that I have been waiting to share for sometime. Hopefully it will be some next level stuff, I had to buy a desk mounted magnifier so it could also be a step too far. I will post the results either way!




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Sitting on the Fence


Here is the background to what I am working on. If there is one scenic detail that I has given more trouble than any other it has to be fences. There is a surprising amount of chain-link fencing and mesh on this layout. Here are a few examples:


The catwalks, running the full length of the layout.

High fencing on the curved section of the expressway.

Mesh screens between bridges to prevent debris falling on the road.

Mesh behind the lattice work on all catenary portals, to prevent birds nesting?!

Mesh screens in front of the AC units on the arch I have been 3D printing.


The biggest headache is the fence dividing the Shinkansen from other lines where there is little to no grade separation (around 4 metres of the layout). Here is a picture of an early experiment using scored clear plastic.



I really don’t want to block the view of the trains passing however I also think having the fence there is an important detail. I have been messing around with a range of fabrics and other materials for the past year, trying to get the right look. I even spent an entire afternoon exploring industrial mesh filters (and you don't get that time back!) all to no avail.


I finally found the product that I think will get the result I want about 6 months ago. I am testing it out today and I will post the results good or bad later.


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I did mention looking into mesh filters, while doing that I happened upon a link to The Crazy Wire Company. It seems they put the crazy into many different types of wire however the one that caught my eye was a 200 meter spool of 0.03mm stainless steel wire for £4.50 (around $6 or 620¥). If you are anything like me once you know something like this exists you would question the humanity of anyone who didn’t buy some instantly just to see what it is like.


Ok so I think we all know where this heading!


Ladies and Gentlemen Welcome to Jurassic Park Project Why Do This to Yourself.


The first step to making hand build chain-link fencing in N-Scale was designing a jig.

I created the two different jigs in the end. One is for the more common fences with diagonal wires at 45 degrees.



The second for the type wire used on the catwalks along the front of the layout with a 60 degree angle to create a diamond pattern.



I actually finished these two weeks ago however the wire is well named. I original designs above used a serrated edge and I had planned for a wire to sit in each groove. I know, I know, don't ask why I thought that was the sensible way to do it, I am a fool. It was like trying to control a bag of snakes and spent most of my  time trying to keep each wire in its groove.


Today I finished the first mark 2 jig.



It has 396 hooks make from 0.3mm brass (to give the correct spacing between each wire), the hooks on the opposite side of the frame are offset to keep the wires parallel. The Jig is 3D printed however I had to drill each hole as they became blocked with uncured resin. Then it was just a case of gluing in each hook.


Now it time to test this little critter. After about 40 minutes work I am about a third of the way along one side. Once complete I will be able to fit around 10-20 fence frames in middle. I will lower the jig over them until the wires are touching the back of the frames and carefully glue the wires to the frames.



I will probably finish adding the wire tomorrow. Right now my brain and eyes hurt a little from looking through a magnifier all afternoon.


Edited by Kamome442
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The first test is complete, it is far from perfect however it came out a heck of lot better than I was expecting. 

The first point of interest, when I came back to the jig today, the wires were no longer under tension and had started sagging. For the next test I will use several shorter pieces of wire instead of trying to do it all in one long length. Additionally I will run both wires at the same time so that they overlap and support each other. I didn't do it the first time as I was still trying to work out a technique for threading the wire and two at once was adding too much complication. Now that I am getting used the to using this jig I am more confident handling both wires.


I wasn't able to get the wire back under tension so I decided to cut my losses and just make up a short section. Here is the jig with a second wire added.



Here is a block to sit in the middle. I glued a print out of the fence frames to the top to help align the etched frames. 



I decided to use double-sided sticky tape to hold the frames on the block (This turned out to be a terrible idea as it was really difficult to remove the finished fence and I ended up snapping two of the wires and mangled several others while using a scalpel to get it free). I then placed the jig over the block and dripped glue onto the wire over each frame. For this attempt I used super glue to secure the wire, this worked well all the wires are still bonded. For the second attempt I will try using uv resin applied to the frames before I put the jig over the top. Once all the wires are submerged in the resin I will cure it with a UV torch.


So time to see the results. Ignoring the gaps from the broken wires and the handful bent out of shape I am really happy with the effect. I don't think it blocks the view of the train and once the wires are weaved together it should prevent any wires getting bent out of shape. The edges are a little scraggy, for now I am just using scissors to trim the wire. Once I have everything else sorted I take a little more care cleaning everything up.




Edited by Kamome442
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My turn to say Wow! Thank you to everyone for the likes and kind words. That was really uplifting to come home too after a long day at work.

I will continue to practice using the jig and at the weekend I will have another go this this time without sticky tape. I will hopefully make up a batch of them this time to get a better feel for the finished look. I will also make up the other jig in the week.


Thanks again, you made my day.

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Just a quick update today.


I completely forgot it was Black Friday/Cyber Week and have spent most of my free time getting orders out for an Etsy Shop (not rail related) I run with a friend.

I did manage to try the fence with the wire interlinked and there was still some deforming of the wire. As it was not up to the standards I want I am moving onto plan C. This time I will use 0.01mm rigging elastic. I can put it under tension and hopefully it is more likely to keep its shape.


I did get around the some more 3D printing at the weekend. This time it was the drainpipes that sit between each arch. 

Here is the design I drew up and a bunch of them on a sprue.



The finished print. The detail is ok, I think will be having another go at some point using a finer layer height to see if I can get sharper detail.


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It has been a while!

I have finally sent out the last Etsy orders for the Christmas rush and I can finally get back to working on the layout. I can't complain as I use the profit from the shop to fund this project and this months sales have paid for the Saphir Odoriko I have on order! 


The school term is also over so I have a couple of weeks to make some good progress. Unfortunately I wanted to spend the time building bridges (literally not metaphorically) and lay some track. With current restrictions I am not going to get etched parts I need before the end of the year. I am therefore going on to plan B, this will be to add some paint to the first board. First I still need to make the fences, put in trunking and bases for catenary supports between the tracks and build the pavement (including the drainpipes) in front of the arches. 


I need to work on mixing some paints to get the correct shades and practice weathering on some of the failed 3D prints I saved.


I also want to work on this little side project in Z-scale. 



After talking to Z modellers at the Swindon show about my 3D printing, I promised I would have a go a making them some buses. I am about halfway through the design work, fingers crossed I can get it finished and run a few test prints. Hats off to anyone working in 1:220, I would not want to be painting something that small, 1:150 is bad enough.

Edit: I should say I am not drawing the bus from scratch ( I am not that good yet), it is an existing 3D model that I am stripping down and redrawing, increasing panel lines to show up in Z and closing any little gaps to make it printable. 

Edited by Kamome442
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Once this is done, I do plan to work on a few Kei cars next. After that I may have a go at a Hino coach. I am not sure how well this will turn out as I have not worked in this scale before. It would be nice to be able to offer a range of Japanese vehicles in Z (maybe N too if it's not already available). It will not be a quick process, I have been working on this since March. I tend to only pick it up when I am waiting for supplies can't process with the layout.

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Time to share the first samples of fence using 0.01mm elastic. The advantage of using elastic is that it will spring back to shape if it gets knocked while being cut free unlike the steel wire which stayed distorted. First I dusted the jig with talc to make sure the fence frames didn't accidentally get glued to the middle section while sticking the wires down. Elastic will stick instantly when it comes into contact with the cyanoacrylate in superglue. I dipped a pin the glue making sure there was a drip on the tip of the pin (I have had the elastic stick to the pin in the past) then ran the glue along the fence frames. Once it was fully dry I cut the elastic and trimmed the outside edge with scissors.


Here are the results currently just tacked to a piece of card with sticky tape. It is not 100% perfect but I don't want it to be, it needs to feel like it has been out in the elements and degraded a little over time.



It holds up reasonably well even with a brutal close up, from a normal viewing distance it should be barely visible.



I have done a little more on the bus too. The windows are now all in place. If anyone is interested I may start a new thread for progress on the vehicles as it not really part of the layout.


I now need to make up the other 169 fence sections (79 like the ones above separating the Shinkansen lines and 90 with the diamond pattern for along the catwalk) I need to finish a baseboard. The jig will let me make around 25-30 sections at a time. It will take a while but it will be worth it in the long run. I will generally work on this at the weekend as it requires quite a lot of concentration. 


The main priority is to work on is cutting up styrene C channel to make the trunking between the tracks and to add all the little ATOS sensors and other gubbins to the sleepers. Once that is done I can start to think about getting some paint on the track.




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A quick update. I am around a third of the way through laying trunking on the first board.



I am using lengths of C channel for the base. The tops are made from individually cut styrene sheet glued to the top, the sides are gently filed into a curve to match the prototype. 

There seems to be a mixture of sizes, there are three rows of narrow trunking running the full length of the board. A wider trunking is placed alongside whenever cables split to go under the tracks to various sensors, signals, junction boxes etc. I am watching cab ride videos, running a quarter speed to pick out the correct placement, and noting where the diverging cables run. I then check this against aerial photography the get the exact dimensions and position.



The next step is to add the additional pieces of clutter that lives between the tracks. Along with distance and gradient markers, there seems to be lots of old rail sticking out of the ballast. An example shown in a reference photo I took last year. Others I have seen in from cab rides videos stick up higher and are painted red at the top.



I  assume this serves a purpose, marking locations of hidden cables or drainage maybe?! If anybody knows what they are for I would be interested to understand their use. 

Frankly all that goes through my mind is how long it will be before I forget about them and remove chunks of skin from my knuckles while track cleaning. 

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I nearly forgot, for the track mounted signalling/sensors I took some reference pictures of from the platform at Yurakucho.



Early on in the planning I picked up a pack of the line side details from Greenmax, I was going to use those as they are beautifully made. However once I saw the type being on this stretch of track looked totally different I realised I would have to make my own. This is my etched version roughly placed.



Some of the detailing is a little heavy maybe I have finally found the limits of etching? It also still needs a base which will also be etched and I will need to lift it slightly probably with a little styrene. I can already tell painting these will be a lot of fun!


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