Jol Wilkinson wrote:I prefer separate door and commode handles. So a kit with holes for these (or markers showing where to drill) would be my choice. Commode handles can be made from wire, not too difficult if a folding jig is part of the kit. Door handles are easily made from brass lace pins with a file.
Now here's an interesting thought, making and fitting the door handles is going to take longer than assembling the rest of the coach...
If 3D printing is the answer to a maiden's prayer that some believe it is, then why not print the handles for subsequent fitting?
You can't do that. It's to do with the resolution of printers and the fragility of thin sections of resins. The recommended minimum sheet thickness for my printer is 0.4mm, which is about double what is needed for stand-alone door handles.
This is reminiscent of the early days of etched kits where some designers tried to etch nearly everything. If you are designing kits it is important to recognise that multi-material or composite kits attract the more experienced modeller, while "simple" kits aimed at beginners may not do so if there is too much work needed to uplift them and alternatives are available.
Maybe, but trial and error is what makes a designer. It is more important to know what you definitely can't do than what you obviously can.
Oh, and the market is not for 'simple kits for beginners' it is really for sophisticated kits for people who have realised that life to too short to get their magnum opus layout finished with the standard 1000 piece three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles that pass for 'state of the art' kits.
making things is what some of us enjoy. Otherwise why not just do what so many do, and simply get our models from the wide range of RTR products available.
If prototypical accurate door and commode handles can't be printed as separate items, then can they be printed attached to the side but with the relevant air gap behind the handle so that they look more realistic than the moulded on handles on plastic moulded coaches? Or is that asking too much?
Not everyone is building a Magnum Opus, so defining what a kit should be based on your idea of what they want, is not what everyone wants.
Yes, I know about designing kits (albeit etched ones), the learning curve that it involves and the need to build what you design to ensure it works. I've also bought products that haven't been tested by the designer, which can be quite a challenge and sometimes very frustrating.
Sometimes products, where new technology has been adopted early, doesn't produce acceptable results. I've seen some frankly appalling 3D printed models, but regarded by the designer as a great example of what 3D printing can provide. Examples include 3D printed wagons and vans from a certain print "bureau" where the surface finish is so poor and the material characteristics such that they cannot be finished to produce an acceptable surface, even for a weathered wooden wagon.
Another example of sometimes unsuitable use of a developing technology, a laser cut plywood model horse drawn van. Easy to assemble, inexpensive, but impossible to paint to get a satisfactory paint finish. Either the grain shows through, or by sealing it for a smooth surface, the laser cut surface detail disappears. That's why, when designing the artwork for the laser cut components for the LNWR covered footbridge on London Road
, I opted for Rowmark, rather than ply, as the best material.
So, while recognising the benefits of new technology and happy to adopt it whenever appropriate (I think Alan Butler's Modelu items are great), I think we should always recognise that it isn't always an improvement over what we already have. The market place is varied, with people wanting different models and kits in different formats to suit their preferences and level of skills. There isn't, and probably never will be, a one size fits all answer.