Re: Let's talk about ladders.

Jim Hayes

Rob, what TLT model is it for?

Jim Hayes

On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM, Rob Kirkham <rdkirkham@...> wrote:

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:

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)
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
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
stiles, .2 mm rungs and (as they are for Canadian boxcars) built in
stirrup steps which at .3 mm thickness are noticeably closer to scale
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
get home from work. The price isn't cheap, but they allow one to design
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
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
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
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
rungs from wire. Tedious but very effective. Looks great as well!

Another approach is to etch the entire ladder, while still requiring
stiles to be folded to create the correct angle look. The downside is
rungs are flat in profile.

The first etched approach would also create an option for a variety
rung spacings.

What's your thoughts?

Pierre Oliver


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