It may be obvious from earlier blog posts that there has been a certain amount of indecision about the fate of my etch coach kits. In a way that is to be expected, there are a lot of them and they represent some 20 years of work. However the world has moved on, and the market for etched kits has slowly declined. I had hoped that most of these kits could be up graded by providing new printed bogies underframes and roofs, but that course would have entailed a lot of work for, given the nature of the prototypes, not a lot of sales. Then last month Shapeways made an adjustment to their pricing structure which increased the price of the bogies and underframes made them unviable. As a result I have stopped work on any upgrades to the etched bogie coaches. I will be making all the existing bogie coach kits available as etchings. Look out for new web pages in the next few weeks with details of these etches.
The price for printed carriage roofs actually went down so I will be adding these to my Shapeways page shortly.
In the mean time I still believe there is a market for pre-grouping coaches, but with the way the hobby has been changing I think that something a lot simpler and less time consuming is call for. With this in mind I have recently completed the CADs for a new series of coaches, the first two of which should be ready by March next year. These will all resin, with only the commode handles and buffers metal.
The prototypes chosen are the GNR 45′ Howlden, brake third diagram 277 and composite diagram 129. If these sell well enough then the brake composite diagram 189 will follow.
These are the CADs for the diagram 277:
…and the fret of small parts: