Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Victorian Railways ZL kit update

For those wanting a ZL kit there is a delay as Peco stopped making their NR112B underframe that was used to complete it. 

Consequently, I have re-evaluated the kit and have decided to produce the more common 6-wheel version and include a 3D underframe as part of the kit.

Each kit will come with 1 ZL lasercut etch and a 3D printed chassis and 6 wheels.

Currently I’m revising the instructions to cater for the changes. Photo courtesy of Paul B. Photos shows old chassis style

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Pushing for more detail

I've only had the printer for a week now but I'm pushing it and myself to see what I can achieve with it. It's not even at its best setting yet but I'm happy with the print of the E car bogie which even has the VR on the horn guides.

Microtrains on the left and my printed E car bogie on the right.

Tried printing an ABE which again looks great.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Trialing the new printer to see what its capable of

A mate sent me some N Scale STL’s to use and try out. I had a successful failure print (so to speak) in that the pilot area did not quite take because of a lack of supports. Very happy though. One thing the details like doors need beefing up so they stand out prouder etc.

Will get some paint on them soon so I can the detail easier but it looks superb and it's 
not even at its finest resolution yet!

One very happy camper!  Prototyping should now be quicker.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

3D making prototyping much easier

One small step for man but a giant leap for my 3D prototyping. I get frustrated with having to make minor changes to models and then wait another month before they arrive back in my hands. Three iterations and there is 3 months gone. Having seen the progress in 3D printers, I took the plunge and went for a cheap resin printer capable of doing very fine resolution and after watching online tutorials and reviews, I am glad I did. I was about order my next model from Shapeways that I had uploaded for iteration no 4 when I decided to give the printer a chance to earn its keep for exactly as I had planned for it.

One it excelled on the print and two and most importantly, I had made a booboo again when working in a mirrored version in that I had moved two supports 0.5mm the wrong way and now they were 1mm away from the correct position.

I corrected the model and 2 hours later, the job was complete saving me a month’s turnaround again. Man, I am pumped and as a result, prototyping will be a lot quicker!
Below Flexicoil bogie sideframes for B's and S's - back row steam loco headlights

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Website gets a major overhaul

Woohoo! After a couple of weeks toiling at night, www.spiritdesign.com.auhas had a massive website makeover to be more contemporary with today’s standards. Menus have been streamlined, contact form added and available stock on hand (loaded monthly) is available. In addition, some items have been deleted or cut back as it’s hard to keep almost 20 years of kits available all the time. Lastly, the LASER page will be updated soon to provide links. So have a browse and tell me what you think and I hope the new look and feel works for you. Christopher Pearce

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Two new four wheelers to arrive soon

4 wheel U vans

Slowly making progress on supplying 2 new 4 wheel kits of the iconic Victorian Railways 'U' vans.

1 piece body casting, 3D printed underframe, FVM wheels, decals, shunter steps and instructions are included in each kit.

Changes to my kit manufacuring

Changes at Spirit Design

The face of Victorian N scale has changed over the last few years and I have seen a definite shift in spending patterns and as a result, I will be issuing kits in much smaller numbers (30 or less) and will only do reruns if viable within 2 years of the initial release.  I have also started modelling in 3D to allow a greater range of items to be covered.

Most kits are produced in batches as time permits after my normal day job during my meagre spare hobby time and there are a number of reasons why kits aren’t being produced in great numbers anymore.  Some of the reasons are below:

Parts required are no longer available from other manufacturers
Processors or materials required are no longer obtainable or are too expensive
Modellers shying away from building kits and are wanting RTR
Slow moving stock suggests new sales growth for a particular kit will be zero
Modellers think that you can carry almost 20 years of models I have produced all the time!
I can always get that later on

As with most cottage manufacturers, our products are usually only around as long as one has the desire to keep producing and as my life changes I am now seeking other pursuits, which may better, utilize my time.

Therefore, if you need something don’t put it off as it may not be available again for the above-mentioned reasons.  As an aid to modellers I will upload the pricelist containing stock on hand levels each month.

Note stock levels vary as items are sold or if I manufacturer more items of that part