Let's talk about ladders.

Robert kirkham

I've posted two photos of my most recent effort at printed ladders in a folder titled "rp ladders", which is waiting approval from the moderators. Hopefully this link will work: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/photos/album/219763914/pic/list>.

The ladder shown is simply laid on the side of the TLT model. I modelled both end and side ladders and included two of each in a set. I've also printed a drilling jig to assist precisely drilling mounting holes to fit the mounting pins built into the design. The ladders only arrived in yesterday's mail, so I haven't installed them yet.

The ladders are drawn with Google Sketchup's free software. I had them printed in the US by ADC (thanks to advice from list member Brian Bussey) as I was not happy with the service at Shapeways.

This process allows one to design and model any style of ladder in HO or larger - with different rungs spacing, width or stile designs, etc. I expect that the longer the rungs have to be, the more risk there is that they won't turn out. In a box of 80 ladders I found two rejects. One has a rung that isn't attached at one end - easily repaired with CA. The other was missing a whole chunk - it will go onto a gon . . . .

But as I say - they are not cheap. I've not been careful counting the pennies as this is a personal project (a fleet of about 25 cars), but I think they are coming in at about $11 for a set of 4.


On May 9, 2012, at 4:35 AM, Rob Kirkham wrote:

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.

Rob Kirkham

From: <jerryglow@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 7:21 AM
To: <STMFC@...>
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.

Jerry Glow

--- 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?

Pierre Oliver


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