I’ve had my 3rd Rail Dec hanging out in the shop for maintenance and some sound enhancements for a few days now. Since it was also due to have its weathering touched up a bit, I thought it might be nice to try some more things with the Creality printer. On a lot of my older 3rd Rails I end up keeping the original 4 wire tether in use for simplicity’s sake. To change this one to something else would entail milling out the frame a bit which is something I’d rather not do. I wanted to add synched chuff to this engine while it was in the shop and this setup had to use an auxiliary plug and tether. To keep it from dragging in the ties, I made a plug hanger last weekend. It got me thinking that so many O scale steam engines don’t have much for deck plates. Some might have a sort of fixed shelf or nothing at all if they don’t sport a hinged plate. I thought that making one for this engine would be fun and it could also help cover my dual tethers by keeping them in shadow. My experiment here is a bolt-on that didn’t require any mods to my engine and also incorporated my Deans plug hanger. Below are some pics of the rapid evolution of my Tinkercad doodles. I went from a couple of fixed versions to the final (?) one now in place. I may CA some diamond plate styrene sheet to the deck at some point. I think once painted and weathered it will look pretty nice. I also played around with making a custom drawbar, a part that may lend itself to some of the metalized PLA now available at some point.
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Thanks you guys. This is kind of addicting! If anyone's interested, I can share the parts via Tinkercad so someone can modify and print any way they want. I am considering a second printer just to set up for metalized PLA. In the meantime I already came up with some improvements for the drawbar:
Doesn't seem to be working!
Nice work Norm. You will want to stick with the hinged plate. A fixed plate would only work on layouts that are glass level. Lionel proved that on its Niagara that would not go above horizontal and resulted in scores of deck plates getting shattered.
My first rigid plates were just short of the tender deck but I didn't like the look. Thinking about making an adjustable slotted drawbar too. Hmm. Next set of hinged plates will be set up for assembly with 0-80 screws I think.
I got the catalog to download - some great stuff in there! My parts are very basic compared to the nice stuff in there!
I made another drawbar for experimental purposes, now I am making a bolt-on Kadee mount for my Q2 tender. The goal with these parts is to avoid cutting, grinding, and gluing mods as much as possible.