Rail braces are one of the harder patterns to cast in quantity. In machinable wax they take about 25 minutes of cut time per brace. They’re nice and accurate, especially for 1:160th, but they are a hard casting to pull and I wouldn’t want to make them for others. When I first started in on my resin printer build they were at the top of the list to print and be done with. The 90lb ones will be available soon. I’ve only just started making and testing the adjustable braces.
Had an FEP failure while printing these adjustable 131 lb braces on the first go around. Only 1/2 of the first plate is saleable but luckily I can use the rest. Judging by the artifacts the resin was likely contaminated by an earlier print. Still learning how to do these full plate prints. You can really here them pop when the FEP releases.
It’s worth noting that these are fairly small autonomous parts that are easy to lose and sacrifice some ease of use for the sake of resolution and repeatability. The easiest way to get around this would be to print them with to a tie base. That way, anyone could use them regardless of dexterity.
Some pros and cons for both systems:
Free range rail brace
augments existing Code 40 empires
Very small part that needs de-spruing.
Integrated switch ties and rail braces
Ease of use. One piece with all of the static details incorporated.
No critical de-spruing.
More costly (consumables/print time/repeatability).
Long term gauging essential for to-scale applications is more difficult to attain without adding reliable gauging materials. PCB being one example.
Different artwork for every flangeway/switch length/tide chart.
That said, I do have switch ties ready to print for my display table so I will probably test with them as well.
Over the past five or so years I’ve picked up the series of books Jurgen Eicharrdt wrote on machining. His practice is centred around model ship building but his technique is very well suited to the small scale modeller. All four books in his latest series are in German but they are very well illustrated and anyone familiar with work of this nature will be able to follow along.
Eichardt is East German, built his own machine tools, has plenty of opinions and is a pretty skilled guy.
Here’s his website. Scroll down to see his evolving model of the USS Cassin Young.
If you’re young enough and are interested in learning how to make mechanical items properly Robin Renzetti is the most talented person I’ve come across on the internet. His IG and youtube channels are the best I have seen in terms of execution, reduction of tasks to basics and overall creativity. Truly a master.
I think a lot of people have come across Attilio Mari’s models but maybe less so his Youtube exploits or the book that features his model production throughout the years. If you haven’t run across him, he’s an interesting character making very neat models. I’m a lover of continental electrification and his 1/32 scale models never disappoint.