MLW RSC sideframe project back on track

Preview of the HO scale version – click on the picture to see the model page on the Shapeways website.

I think this project is at a point where I can start to share it.

The photo shows a sideframe that I’m working on, that will be available on Shapeways. This sideframe is designed as a direct replacement for those on Kato’s RSC2 trucks and represents those found on the iconic Canadian RSC13, 14, and 24 lightweight diesels.

The final part will include mounting pins so these sideframes can just be plugged directly into the Kato truck. I’ll include brake rigging details that are found on the face of the prototype truck but none of the details typically found behing the truck (e.g. brake shoes). They’ll be packaged in a set of four and I expect they should price out just under twenty dollars for a full set.

I expect to have a test print ready to submit by the end of the week, this week. Once I have a test print in hand I’ll be able to adjust it to make sure what I created works as well as I want it to and to adjust any details for thicknesses and similar refinements.

Also on my drawing board right now are some other detail parts for typical lightweight MLW parts including hood ends for the same 13, 14, and 24 diesels. The first parts will be in HO scale but very close behind will be TT (1/120) and N (1/160) scale versions.

Since this is all still in development, let me know what you think and any suggestions for the design.



    1. Thanks, Derwin. I think this is a neat little project and I’m quite pleased with how well they are turning out. I expect to have a set ready to print this evening and may even be able to bring a set with me to Moncton next weekend.

  1. Chris, You might want to add a web between the pairs of equalizing beams so they pass minimum-wall-thickness muster, and more importantly so they don’t sag. Also, might I suggest that you plan for specific sideframe replacement and print the studs or other mounting aids? Nice looking project. Cheers, Rene’

    1. Thanks, Rene

      For the Kato truck I’ll include a mount pad behind the sideframe that aligns with the locator pins on Kato’s truck. I’ll include a hole where a modeller can just insert a length of rod to make the actual pin.

      I’m curious about the “if” part of whether or not those separate equalizers will actually print. I like the idea of including a plate between them to carry some of that load.

      I’m hoping to submit a set to print this evening and I’m keen to see how they will actually work in production.

      1. Well, how’d it go, Chris? I said “if” because I myself always seem to be pushing the limit of minimum wall thickness for Shapeways, and those beams looked like they might fail the test. I’m not sure if it’s still the case, but they even used to have a manual review of the model, which might reject it even if it passed the automatic review. Looking forward to seeing you print on a model!

      2. Good morning, Rene. My apologies for not replying sooner.

        I regret arranging the pairs of sideframes the way I had. Those sprues joining the parts probably cost as much to print as the sidframes to print. I should have laid both pairs on the same plane.

        Not only do I regret the stacked pairs for cost reasons but also because they still may not print. I actually can’t imagine how they are going to orient this print to make it work. I feel silly for allowing myself to submit this.

        I just received an email from the folks at Shapeways to say that the model has passed their tests and it is in the queue to print. Of course, it could still fail on the printer itself. I’m crossing my fingers pretty tightly.

        Gosh I hope it works.

        While Shapeways is working on what I’ve submitted I’m still editing the model itself to revise some things that I could have done better on and to prepare for a few minor areas that I may need to change once I have a set to see “for real”. Design-edit-design…

      3. Hey Chris, I must say I empathize with you! Their automated tests are always getting better, and so, there’s a good chance it will print at this point, and you will get something that looks just like your model (machine irregularities notwithstanding). However, yes, you are likely going to want to refine the model as you learn. I suppose some people must be happy with their first effort, but I’ve not been so far.

        It’s a pretty amazing world we live in though, eh?

      4. I think that commitment to constant refinement rests in all good design efforts. I am content with what I submitted as a beta design but will constantly have ideas for ways to improve the design either to capture more detail or better take advantage of what this method of production can offer me.

        The first set are on the way to me now. I can’t wait to see them.

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