I've printed off a set of ladders using rapid prototyping. They have scale stiles, .2 mm rungs and (as they are for Canadian boxcars) built in place stirrup steps which at .3 mm thickness are noticeably closer to scale than anything I have used - molded or etched. They are flexible, rugged to a degree - and take paint well. I'll try to post a photo this evening when I get home from work. The price isn't cheap, but they allow one to design any style of ladder imaginable.
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 7:21 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Let's talk about ladders.
The PE stiles w/ wire rungs approach would allow for wider ladders used by some but individual artwork (easy enough) would have to be done for different rung spacing.
--- In STMFC@..., "Pierre" <pierre.oliver@...> wrote:
Lately I've been thinking about available car ladders.
Generally, I'm not pleased with the overall quality of most of the commercial offerings. Badly rendered rungs, oversized stiles, etc.
So I'd like to generate an informal poll here, to try and establish if there's a desire for better ladders and what form that might take.
I'm particularly fond of the approach Ted Cullotta took with the Miner ladders in the Wabash AAR kitbash in a box. He supplied a set of photo-etched stiles that had the holes for grabs etched in and the modeler had to bend the stile into the angle shape and insert individual rungs from wire. Tedious but very effective. Looks great as well!
Another approach is to etch the entire ladder, while still requiring the stiles to be folded to create the correct angle look. The downside is the rungs are flat in profile.
The first etched approach would also create an option for a variety of rung spacings.
What's your thoughts?