I was reminded the other day that it has been 10 years this month that I have been manufacturing HO and other scales resin freight car kits.
It was 10 years ago that Aaron showed me the pattern for the Wabash stock car that he'd been working on, and after very brief consideration I decided to make the leap and market resin kits. And I'm glad I did!
So far it has been over 35 kits including variations and S scale an O scale offerings. Lessons have been learned and changes have occurred.
Over the years I've used 4 different casters, with varying results, before the loss of my other income stream was ended by Covid. So I've learned the fine art of resin casting and can now say with confidence that many of the previous issues with castings are now a thing of the past.
I'm using a harder resin which cures much slower, which reduces stress on the molds and reduces warpage of finished castings. Given that I'm not trying to crank out dozens of castings a day, the slow cure time is not a concern for me.
I learned the hard way that consistency of mixing is critical. I had some issues with some of the X31f body and floor castings. Sticky surfaces and weird bubbles arising days after demolding. I realized that I wasn't doing a proper job mixing the resin, so now with stop watch in hand, it's 2 full minutes of vigorous stirring before pouring.
Subtle changes in which material to etch certain parts has occurred. While brass is easy to bend, it's not a great choice for sill steps, so that ended fairly quickly.
We have done a fair amount of work with 3D printing for both masters and certain detail parts, and will continue to do so. But we have found that in some respects it's easier in the long run to hand make car side body patterns. If for no other reason than to eliminate the need to sand away the print lines.
Printer technology is getting better everyday, but print lines are going to be with us for awhile yet.
The disruptions to global supply chains is impacting Yarmouth Model Works as well. There are major delays from my etcher in Germany. I can't get Kato ASF A-3 trucks. Mail in North America is still chaotic. And worst of all, I can't get to RPMs as yet. The land border is still closed to travelers.
But through all that work continues as best as we can.
New projects are under way as well as, (are you sitting down?) after 10 years the Soo Line stock car pattern is almost done!
It is hoped that this kit and a couple of others will be ready for the Indy Junction RPM and NMRA show next May.
So a heart felt thanks to the hard working people in my supply chain and giant thank you to everyone who has supported me with the purchases and words of support.