EXTERNAL: H9 - H10 market potential
NW Modeling List
nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 14 16:14:45 EST 2021
Another possibility, given that you have drawings, would be to make a 3D CAD model, and 3D print it. I just got a Phrozen Mini 4K 3D printer; my selection was based on its ground-breaking 0.035mm X-Y resolution, which I think will produce attractive HO models without requiring post-print surface finishing. Print volume is ~5.2" x 2.9" x 5.1", which should be enough to do a 2-bay hopper in a single (but very protracted!) build. Cost <$400 these days, plus the 3D CAD SW cost; the Phrozen (like most 3D printers) comes with "slicing" SW included.
Don't ask me how I like it, as I am still working on my first CAD models, and haven't attempted a print yet. (I chose the New Haven's Van Nest electric loco shops for a first project, since it includes steel trusses, steel columns, brick walls, some pre-form concrete elements, lacy industrial windows and transoms, and a boatload of machinery detail bits, including two traveling cranes.) Of course, any intelligent human would have chosen to start with a cube, or a sphere. But NOOOOO...
If other modelers are into 3D CAD modeling, you could form a Co-Op to crowd-source the required CAD files (e.g., somebody does the air reservoir, somebody does the hoppers, etc; you could even separate out each individual side panel, if there's enough discipline to make the interfaces between models compatible. At the end, every contributor gets all the files (or the joint file, integrated by one of your number.) Then you could all go to Shapeways or do your own printing, as you each see fit. You might also earn some payback for the Co-Op by marketing the model kits through Shapeways.
I think your product idea is spot on. I'd join your Co-Op!
From: NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org> On Behalf Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2021 13:36
To: nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Subject: EXTERNAL: H9 - H10 market potential
I've possessed a full set of H9 and H10 drawings for many years with the goal of creating models for, at least, the H9. Given that the H9 has only been produced in HO as an Overland import many years ago and over 22,000 were built in Roanoke, this is a car that should be produced. I don't think the H10 has ever been produced. I guess the HL that's been produced-to-death dating back to days of "a box of sticks" (Ambroid) and, most recently, made by MTH, suffices for most folks. Not me. I model 1957-63 and the HLs were gone by 1956-57, having given their lives to the H9 program.
Since the H9 is a fleet car, having more than one on a layout is logical. However, it appears the only way this car will be made is in resin and that doesn't cater to the "fleet mentality" (if you want a large fleet). About 2 years ago, Frank Hodina produced an IC 2-bay hopper in 2 versions: with and without cast-on grabs. His reasoning was, in a fleet, the cast on grabs were small enough to be acceptable, even on a brown car, and the amount of labor saved justified buying a few. He quickly sold out of both versions and recently made another batch but I don't know in which option.
What is your "take" on the H9 (and H10 shares the same consideration) re: a resin kit with/w-o separate grabs? Resin kits are not cheap to manufacture and these cars are no different. The price can be reduced a few $$ by omitting trucks and couplers but the basic kit, which requires patterns, rubber molds and labor, is the greater portion of any kit. Decals are a must-have for my kits. Is there a sufficient market to justify the effort to see either kit become a reality or is the HL "good enough" for a 2-bay hopper and the BLI H-2a for the H10?
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