Searail engine shells

minzemaennchen Apr 1, 2009

  1. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    I don't want to make any ad for MR, but I remember that was the first place 2 or 3 months ago where I saw an announcement for Searails' RS1 shell with a matching picture.... And I was surprised not to read subsequent "WOWWWW" on the Z-scale forums I'm a member of... Even if I must admit, myself I didn't relay the information here and there.

    Dom
     
  2. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jim,
    I think the RS2 and the Baldwin both used AAR type B trucks. The trouble is that in order to fit them on the MT Blomberg sideframes, the journal centers need to be moved to match the MT centers. So, a true to scale AAR type B would not fit. And I think that fitting the existing MT GP truck is the important thing.

    The inboard side would have to be flat, and the outboard side has to be a fairly low relief. The MT truck sidframes can only be sanded so thin. There has to be enough there to fasten the ALCO truck facade to. I cast mine in resin, then sanded them as thin as I could go, but they are still a bit too thick. I'm going to try to go a bit thinner on the cast frames and the MT truck.

    Dan S.

     
  3. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Dan, you have been busy for sure. Great looking work here! Do you have a link to that steam engine you were making? I can't remember if you finished it and I missed it. Thanks!
     
  4. harold grady

    harold grady TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Dan, your pictures look very good. I am awaiting the arrival of my
    Alco shell. It's been almost 2 weeks since I sent the order off.

    I want to ask you this: since there is a definite scarcity of Alco trucks
    out there, would you entertain the thought of casting some sideframes for your admiring audience?
    me, us.
     
  5. david f.

    david f. TrainBoard Supporter

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    well i finally got the shell, the paint, the decals on, and the sideframes attached to the trucks. i like it. Rio Grande, of course. Only one RS3 on the Grande roster was painted with the later "switcher" scheme with the stripes on the end. This loco represents how most of the RS3s lived their life in the "tiger stripe" scheme.

    [​IMG]
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    the trucks are from the Hallmark UP Turbine ornament from two Christmases ago. i used a large cutting disk on the moto-tool and carefully flattened the sides of the MTL GP side frames. then i cut off the turbine sideframes (Alco looking), thinned them a bit, and glued them on the MTL truck sideframe being carefull not let the bottom edge of the new sides get lower then the bottom edge of the sideframe, so that wheels have clearance over the track and the sideframes don't interfere with clear movement.

    the next post will show how i installed the circuit board (DCC). by the way, the Rio Grande decals were a gift, a while back, from joe d'amato. joe will notice that i had to do a little cut and paste with them to get them correct for the RS3s. thanks for them, joe.
    dave f.
     
  6. TechRepJapan

    TechRepJapan Permanently dispatched

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    :thumbs_up::thumbs_up::thumbs_up:

    VERY NICE WORK!

     
  7. david f.

    david f. TrainBoard Supporter

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    ok, i cut the lugs off the GP frames as suggested ... then wondered how the heck i would power up the thing. this was all before the helpful file of hints that was loaded on the Searails (engine shells) site.

    what i figured out was that there was still room up inside the shell for the circuit board, if a little judicious routing was done to allow for the "bumps" caused by the board's various components. so i carefully routed some spaces in the inside roof to allow for them.

    [​IMG]

    next i had to reconnect the board with the motor and electrically conductive frame halves. what i did was drill and tap #90 screws (the coupler screws that come with MTL couplers -- you can by the drills and tap from MTL too) at the place on each frame half where the rear lugs had been. i then wrapped bronze phospher wire (.008") around the MTL screws and from the bottom of the board threaded the wire in the hole provided (where the lugs used to get their electrical contact). with the screws in place and wire threaded up through the contact holes, it was easy to shift the board around until everything fit. i then soldered the wire on one side to the board, soldering from the top, then repeated the process for the other side. here's a caution: when you drill and tap for the screw err to the rear of the board, where there is room to trim the board to allow for the circumference of the screw head. i made sure when drilling the holes that the space for the springs lined up correctly (from motor lead to the top of the board).

    [​IMG]

    the next picture shows the side of the board hanging down, insulated from the frame halves by Kapton tape applied to the frame top.

    [​IMG]

    i can still remove the board as before (undo the springs and unscrew the screws holding the board).

    you will notice that i used the newer Digitrax board for the MTL (DZ123MO) with surface mounted LEDs. the older (earlier) version of this DCC board had the big LEDs sticking out of the ends. THESE WON'T WORK -- the shell is only spaced for the the ends of the boards, not including the LEDs. so this is the board to use, unless you're going to hard-wire one of the other DCC boards of your preference. Sorry, i can't help you there.

    i still have to shroud the front LED light to keep it from glowing in the cab. I'm working on that, but at least the essentials are in place.

    i hope you like the shells. i'm very happy with mine. one more Z scale loco that didn't exist before!! thanks to searails for this effort.
    dave f.
     
  8. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Excellent. Once you get the handrails is will be a great new Z possession. Cheers, Jim CCRR
     
  9. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    Joe,
    Thanks. I have been sort of stalled on the M1 project. No real reason, I just have to get motivated again. It was originally posted in the "what's on your workbench" thread.
    Dan S.
     
  10. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    Harold,
    drop me an e-mail (dpstripe@aol.com). I can make up a few, I guess. Just a warning, they do require a bit of sanding to get them to fit. Some more than others.
    Dan S.
     
  11. Searails

    Searails TrainBoard Member

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    REMOVING INTERIOR SPACERS FROM SEARAILS SHELLS

    Hi,
    Would you allow SEARAILS to post your photos and modification manual on its website, please?

    Also, we heard from users of the ALCO and RF-16 they routed out the "spacers" from the interior to a remaining depth/thickness of 0.085" - is that your experiance as well?

    We can route the spacers in our next RP run (and change this dimension on the next series of shells), but we need to be very accurate. Here are the opportunities we face;

    1. Excising the bolster to 0.085" removes the interior "shroud" from the MARS without loss of structural integrity, is that acceptable?

    2. Should we accept this modification as a standard specification for allour shells?

    3. Most importantly, the vertical void or negative space is critical to fit the included digital boards, AND cover the bottom of the chassis.

    Is removing the spacer thickness going to make the shell too "loose" for the average modeler who will be simply replacing one shell for another?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2009
  12. Searails

    Searails TrainBoard Member

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    SEARAILS shell deliveries

    Hi Mr. Grady (and others who have ordered SEARAILS shells),
    We are excited by the response to this product line, thank you all!!!!
    Our first run of 25 units sold out and were delivered in the first two weeks.
    We were quoting 10 day delivery from time of order.
    Please be patient, we will produce more ALCOs this week, and have some RF-16s in stock.
    Special Order paint jobs by KAT take an additional two weeks and are quoted by request.
    Jim
     
  13. jlundy46

    jlundy46 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi Jim,
    What road paint jobs are available by special order?

    Thanks,
    John




    Special Order paint jobs by KAT take an additional two weeks and are quoted by request.
    Jim[/quote]
     
  14. Searails

    Searails TrainBoard Member

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  15. jlundy46

    jlundy46 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi Jim,
    I just spent the morning routing out the spacers to make a MTL GP9 chassis fit the ALCO shell. I think it would be great if you removed them in future runs. On the MTL chassis, removal of the spacers does not make the shell too loose.

    John


     
  16. jlundy46

    jlundy46 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have modified an ALCO shell and a MTL chassis (with Digitrax decoder with board mounted LEDS) so that you do not need to remove the board or the chassis clips. The hood area over where the decoder sits, between the front spacer and the cab, must be routered carefully. I also removed a little of the rear of the front spacer. Then the clips on the chassis are ground down on the tops until they just still hold the decoder board. I also ground the sides of the clips at a diagonal angle to accommodate the shell. For lighting I installed some fiber optic tubing. The inside of the shell should be painted black and make sure you don't miss any spots to ensure light doesn't show through. Attached are a few picks. I would paint the inside of the shell black to prevent light from coming through. I would choose a lighter color, such as medium to dark grey for a primer to the outside of the shell, since the black magnifies rough spots. As you can see, the height is a little higher on the chassis than a stock MTL unit, but pretty close. I may be able to take a little more off the tops of the clips.

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2009
  17. jlundy46

    jlundy46 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here are pictures showing the coupler height with an AZL car and a MTL car. With the shell at this height on the chassis, the coupler is a little low.


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    [​IMG]
     
  18. jlundy46

    jlundy46 TrainBoard Supporter

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    This morning I gave the shell a primer coat and installed MTL couplers.
    John

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2009
  19. harold grady

    harold grady TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful job JOHN, can't wait till I get mine. WHAT ROAD?
     
  20. jlundy46

    jlundy46 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'd like to do one in SP&S and one in GN. Not sure if I would do them myself or farm them out to more talented folks.

    John


     

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