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Friday, 11 December 2015

3d Print Experiments - FB track finale

I thought it worthwhile to explain why I have gone to the bother of making my own sleepers? Peco track is designed to 3.5mm scale not 4mm. Spacing out the sleepers significantly improves the look but the sleeper lengths could also do with lengthening. Having a 3D printer to hand gave me the opportunity to produce track that looks more authentic and be able to integrate cosmetic fishplates. If  I did not have that I would simply space out the Peco sleepers.

Having worked out the price of the plastic plus rail and a tad for paint there is a saving of about 65p over Peco ready made track unless buying it in bulk where prices work out about the same. So, no real point in doing it to save money.

Whatever we do in sleeper design it is going to be a compromise compared to the prototype because we can't get away from the track gauge of 16.5mm. (I have mentioned elsewhere that I'm not interested in converting modern RTR locomotives to 18.2 or even 18.83 for complete accuracy to prototype).

Here are the track dimensions adopted.

Item Prototype 18.83mm track gauge (scale 4mm:1ft) 16.5mm track gauge
(scale: compromise)
Sleeper Width 10in. 3.33mm 3.33mm (4mm scale)
Sleeper Length 8.5ft 34mm 32mm (Rail to end of sleeper 4mm scale +  track gauge 3.5mm scale)
Sleeper Pitch 2.5ft 10mm 8.8mm (proportionally scaled. 16.5 is 87.6% of 18.83. 10mm emphasises the narrow look of the track too much.)
Track length 24 sleepers over 60ft 240mm 205mm (approx. measured)

Comparison of Peco, DIY and 18.83.

Note: Peco and DIY sleepers look wider because of the shadows.They are all about the same width.

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