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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on a long term project to create a "g-scale" Chicago El train. I have received drawings of a 5000 series car, imported them into Adobe Illustrator, and begun to trace over the top and create dimensions for 1/32. The process I went through was to draw a 45MM rectangle reflecting the track gauge, placed that between the wheels, scale the drawing for a best fit, and then draw lines and measure in MM through illustrator. You can see where I started and where I ended below. After doing this I have a few questions from anyone that has taken the same approach:
1) Is starting with track gauge and "eye-ing" the location of the wheels appropriate?
2) I am scaling to 1/32 since the Elevated Trains are Standard gauge... that said I recognize it might be best to use motor blocks from USA Trains (NW2?) or LGB which might challenge my current scale. How does one come up with the right scale? There are a few measurements in the plans that I could have anchored on like wheel size of 28"
3) Where are modelers more precise vs. let things just fit? As I started the process I thought gauge was most important but as I have continued I am wondering if I should have tried to anchor off wheel size since I will probably use pre-built motor blocks. My current plans have 2.45" between wheel centers; the NW2 trucks appear to be about 3". Wonder if I should redraw with those dimensions?
4) Are there motor blocks you might recommend I should use?

Appreciate any help, this is a fun process but I am trying to figure out the right way forward.

Rectangle Font Schematic Parallel Engineering
Rectangle Font Parallel Engineering Schematic

Kevin
Rectangle Font Schematic Parallel Engineering
Rectangle Font Parallel Engineering Schematic
Rectangle Font Schematic Parallel Engineering
Rectangle Font Parallel Engineering Schematic
 

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My real job is freelance design, mostly packaging. I use illustrator daily. It's by far the best vector drawing program. Personally, I would size to the overall car length. Can't speak to the motor blocks. I 3D print mine. What are you building with? Styrene? Brass?
 

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Are there motor blocks you might recommend I should use
Take a look at the Hartland ones, which are in quite a few models so you should be able to find some.

And note that our wheels have larger flanges. If you use scale wheels (e.g. 28" over the treads,) then the oversize flanges may cause clearance problems with bodywork, etc. It might be better to use slightly undersize wheels so the overall outside diameter over the flange is the same as the scale size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My real job is freelance design, mostly packaging. I use illustrator daily. It's by far the best vector drawing program. Personally, I would size to the overall car length. Can't speak to the motor blocks. I 3D print mine. What are you building with? Styrene? Brass?
Thanks, good to know it is the right software. The cost is relatively high for a casual user and I am not a fan that Adobe has gone all in on the subscription model. Using the 7 day free version for now and hope to get plans done before it runs out.

Not sure how I am going to build it yet. I dream of doing it in brass but I need to investigate how I can appropriately get the bends I would like. I am very much an amateur at this and one of the goals of this model is to improve my skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Take a look at the Hartland ones, which are in quite a few models so you should be able to find some.

And note that our wheels have larger flanges. If you use scale wheels (e.g. 28" over the treads,) then the oversize flanges may cause clearance problems with bodywork, etc. It might be better to use slightly undersize wheels so the overall outside diameter over the flange is the same as the scale size.
Will do, thank you for the assistance again! Will do on the flange sizes
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Personally, I would size to the overall car length.
Thanks, I redrew it this morning based on car size (48' / 32 = 1.5' -> 457.2MM) and it is slightly smaller than I had originally drawn (462mm).
 

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It's by far the best vector drawing program.
It's your personal preferred drawing program, right? I use Visio, which is now owned by Microsoft. This EBT M-1 drawing

Rectangle Font Parallel Pattern Slope


was exported as a DWG file and sent to Alan at G.A.L. He laser cut the model parts. (Yes, that's a lot of rivets. About 1,000 each side. The laser cut the holes - we had to apply the rivets!)
 

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I use Illustrator because it's industry standard for creating printing files. I have to use it in my business. I've used it since it was Aldus Freehand. Before Adobe bought Aldus. Vizio is aimed at flow charts. I imagine both will work for model drawing.
 

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Lazzy man method.
My very simple technique to boost scale on drawings isn't extremly precise, but it is sufficiently so for most of what we modelers can do:
I take a scan of the drawing at whatever scale it is. I take a given dimension on that drawing and calculate how may inches or cm it would be in 1/32 scale. ( IE the wheel base or lenght over buffers or couplers. I preferably use a long dimension rather than a short one like the track gauge as otherwise there can more easely be an error) then I use Paint to blow the immage at whatever that dimension should be. Once I obtain that I make a test print, to see if the dimension on the screen matches the printed dimension (sometimes it doesn't) and if it doesnt I compensate by adding a few percent or substracting a few as necessary until it fits the dimension I want to obtain. For long things like a 85' coach I print in sections which I then past together. This crude method works very well and is sufficiently precise to build gauge one rolling stock to accurate dimensions.
Get to the workbench!
 

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I have never used Illustrator. I'll have to try it
If you can get the length or height dimensions, that is the best way to go. Just divide by 32 to get the measurements. The next best thing id the wheel tread diameter. Use it yo get your drawing scaled but because of the flange difference, you may need to go with the wheel size that looks and works best.
I use IrfanView a free program that will print to any percentage of your scan. I print one drawing and measure my length, height or wheels and then reprint at the correct percentage.
If you have CAD, you can use the scaling function to do the same thing
 

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Showing your age Pete, "now owned"? I was around when the purchase was made, programming. 22 years ago....

I'm surprised you draw in Visio, I use it for block diagrams, with the cool "stretchy connector" lines which is what really set it apart. I'll have to look at the raw drawing stuff.

Greg
 

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I was around when the purchase was made, programming. 22 years ago....
Well, I had a copy pre-MS, so I was around too. ;)
I'm surprised you draw in Visio,
If you right-click my EBT M-1 drawing and "Open it in a new tab" you will get the option to enlarge it to original size. Then you can appreciate all the rivets I drew and aligned. :cool:

The feature I really like is being able to place a photo in the background plane and then draw on top of it. A great way to get the dimensions right!

Train Motor vehicle Vehicle Wheel Automotive tire
 

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Very cool Pete, learn something every day. I can see all the rivets normally, I use dual 27" monitors in high resolution. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My real job is freelance design, mostly packaging. I use illustrator daily. It's by far the best vector drawing program. Personally, I would size to the overall car length. Can't speak to the motor blocks. I 3D print mine. What are you building with? Styrene? Brass?
Do you have a thread showing how you 3d print yours?
 

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I like seeing all the vector design here! While I have tried to use Templot for turnout and track design, since I am so used to designing in Illustrator and Inkscape I find it easier and much less aggravating to draw my templates in those programs.

I'll be following this thread to see your project come together, I have been very impressed with the creations many have many as of recent using laser cutting, 3D printing, etc.

-Mike
 

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There is a number of methods. I've been modelling a 1:32 South Australian Railways F Class loco scaled from plans so it has been a mix of 2D and 3D plans drawn up Sketchup.

As for exact and eyeballing it. Thats down to the level of detail you want. Finely detailed is awesome, but fiddly and can be delicate for use. The opposite is eyeballing and going for near is good enough. You need to find your happy spot where highly detailed, functionality and durable meet.

Looking forwards to the updates as your work progress. Don't worry about being unfamiliar or new to this - it's a journey and experience thing for your skillsets. Build on it.
 

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I agree totaly with Scott; in France we say: "le mieux est l'enemi du bien" it means the better is the enemy of good. Super detailing in the garden is a difficult thing to practice. When one thinks that a twig fallen off a tree can create a big derailment that can ruin a beautifully detailed model. Think about it.
 
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