D-1 details from William Flatt

While I’ve been waiting for Shapeways to deliver my S scale CNR D-1 body, I’ve been collecting bits and pieces to detail it and the two trailers (C-1 and C-2) that it will eventually haul.

I’d been looking for suitable unpowered trucks without much success: D-1’s trailing truck had a 7′-0″ wheelbase, while the wheelbases for the trucks under the trailers were 6′-6″. Everything I found that looked right was too big – 8′-6″ to 9′.

Then it occurred to me that I was dealing with wheelbases more commonly found under interurbans, not mainline passenger cars. What I needed was parts for S scale traction modelling – the kind of stuff done by William Flatt:

William Flatt's layout
(Click on the image to read more about William’s layout)

Fortunately, William is also a manufacturer. So I checked out his catalogue of S scale traction parts, and found exactly what I needed:

William Flatt parts

This is a 6′-6″ side frame – bang on the for the trailers and close enough (in S, anyway) for the rear of D-1. I ordered enough for the train set, plus truck bolsters. I still need to clean up the castings so I’ve only temporarily assembled a truck with a drop of CA on each end of the bolster, to get an idea of how it goes together. The wheels are 36″ NWSL finescale. I must decide whether I’m adding bearings inside the white metal. While my gut instinct is that I should, I also know live steam enthusiasts who do not and have not had problems with much heavier equipment. The axles turn at fairly slow speed, after all. But I’ll talk to my machining experts about that…

While ordering the trucks, I ordered some other parts from William, too:

William Flatt details

(William’s service was exceptional, in case you’re wondering. S scale lives and dies by small suppliers and it’s good to have guys like Williams helping the rest of us build models and layouts.)

My haul includes seats for the trailers, plus underbody and roof details. It’s not everything I’ll need to finish the project – and there’s probably a bunch of stuff in the pile that I will not need. But it’s a start, and while I install these parts I can figure out what else I need, and where to find it.

Meantime, I can build trucks and determine how I’m going to mount the trailing truck at the rear of D-1. My friend Ryan Mendell, who cut the frame for me, left a large opening on purpose because we did not know what type of truck would be used here, and we wanted room for pick-up wires.

William Flatt truck with frame

The D-1 body should arrive next week.

6 thoughts on “D-1 details from William Flatt

  1. Now you’re just making me nervous for the package from Shapeways arriving. I am really quite anxious to see how the S Scale version of the D-1 body shell looks. I know you’ll create an amazing model from it, but how well my design translates into a bigger scale where any issues are that much more obvious has been making me nervous!!

    • It’s currently (Tuesday morning) still stuck in Customs in Quebec. Has been since Thursday afternoon. I wonder if technology has outpaced regulation yet again: Since Shapeways manufactures the product, but has no idea what it’s building, how does it fill out customs declarations?

      – Is the item a toy? (Which the D-1 is – at least that’s how Customs would classify it)
      – Or is it a medical device? (Which would have all sorts of other regulations to meet before being allowed entry)
      – Or is it a 3D printed gun? (Which would be restricted, and get the person who ordered it in trouble)

      Shapeways has no clue. And if Customs opens the package, they’d have no clue, either.

      I’m curious about how this is being handled. I should look for an FAQ on the Shapeways site…

      • Yeah, its unfortunate that it was routed via Montreal. Any time something from Shapeways has been for me it takes eons to get through customs. Shapeway’s declarations are fine (they have some idea of what the item is from the product description, i.e. they know what you have ordered is a “model train” as per their categories). To date, Canada Customs has managed to properly tax items on my orders (i.e. no duty, just GST and their processing fee), but the postal centre in Montreal is heinously slow at actually getting the job done.

        I haven’t had customs open a package of mine yet. I doubt you’ll find any useful info from Shapeways or Canada Post, this limbo waiting period is just another part of the agony side of 3D printing, the wait once you actually order to see if it prints, and what it looks like when it arrives!

        Hold in there, I’m sure it will get released soon (also, try plugging the tracking number from the Shapeways/US Post site into Canada post, sometimes you get more updated/better info on the status doing that). My wait times on customs in Quebec appears to be about 3 business days based on past orders.

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