Monday, 17 August 2015

The perils of fitting tiny bits to little locomotives...

The two Australian partners of Ixion Models were together this weekend, as Phil Badger stayed at my place whilst he was running his modelling clinic table at the Newcastle Model Show.
The main discussions out of hours centred around the etched "Hunter" nameplate on lined maroon 3265; how and when to fit it.

Essentially, we have two choices; one is to supply it as an accessory, for fitting by the purchaser. One solution is to have two dimples on the underside of the sandbox, which is cast as part of the metal chassis. Undo two screws, and the body and chassis can be separated; drill the two holes in each sandbox, from underneath, with a 0.5mm drill. Fit the extended legs of the etched plate into the holes, bend them over inside and superglue. Voila!
Sounds easy? Well, yes and no.
The problem is that this solution requires modellers to have the confidence to dismantle and reassemble a brand new loco, and have access to and the skills to use a mini drill, and at least one 0.5mm drill. It can't be done as part of the factory assembly process because the loco can't be disassembled after painting because of the extra time, and cost, this would require.

Alternatively, the loco could include the fitting holes in the design and manufacturing process. Then the nameplate can be installed during factory assembly. The problem with this solution is that the holes would be on every loco, not just 3265. Would tiny holes in the top of the sandbox be visible on the rest of the locos, which are all going to be painted black? We don't know, but we've asked the factory to really step up and see if they can help us find a solution. In HO scale, the legs of the nameplate are just 0.4mm wide, so there's not enough surface area to glue it on. This is all part of the fun of trying to make the most accurate model of the 32 the market has yet seen. We'll keep you posted...

Friday, 14 August 2015

Newcastle Model Show 2015

For folk who are heading to the Our Town Model Show in Newcastle this weekend (August 15 & 16), Ixion director Phil Badger will be up the stairs (and escalator, if it's running) at his modelling clinic desk. He will have the first EP of the 32 Class for viewing, though don't expect it to be in the pristine condition seen in the photos below. 

Having been dismantled multiple times, and in multiple ways, it's now missing the funnel, and lots of the fine etched details on the tender. It is worth seeing though, if only for the absolutely brilliant sprung buffers. At various times on the Saturday, I'll be up there too, so do call in and say hello if you're in the neighbourhood.

Lindsay O'Reilly.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

32 Class Box Art

I have finished the artwork for the 32 Class box. This will be printed on high quality card and folded up into the box lid. Click on the picture for a larger image.

If the quality is high enough to allow the viewer to read the text on the end, the eagle-eyed will note the details there are for the new company, Ixion Model Railways Australia Pty Ltd. 

This company has now been established and registered, and the bank account will be operating next week. This will allow for a much wider range of ways for customers in Australia to purchase from us, including cheques and direct deposit.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Decorating 3265

Ixion's Technical Director Phil Badger has just sent the factory this artwork for our model of 3265, which is preserved in the beautiful 1930s lined maroon express passenger livery.

Phil drew the New South Wales Railways (NSWR) crest from scratch in Corel Draw; I'm not an expert in the software, but this looks like a creative tour de force to me. Bravo, Phil!

He has also completed the artwork for the etched "Hunter" nameplate, seen in the photo below.

As always, click on the pictures for a larger version.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

As promised in tonight's earlier post below (read it for other news too), here are some images of the finalised 32 Class CAD. It's looking good!

As always, click on the pictures to see a larger version.

C32 CAD finalised

Three important announcements tonight:

1. Ixion's Technical Director Phil Badger has signed off on the CAD drawings for the 32 Class, which is a major step in the production process. The tooling now has to be modified to match the drawings, and a new prototype sample manufactured and assembled - the second Engineering Prototype (EP). I am currently working on the box artwork, and then we'll have to create the instructions for the decoration samples for our chosen liveries.
I'll post images of the new CAD in a few minutes (I need a different computer, as the Blog software can't access them on my iPad! Unless I'm doing something wrong...)

2. Internet pre-release sales of the 32 are strong, with the $50 saving on the release price proving very attractive. 3265 in its preserved lined maroon livery is the runaway winner at present, so if you're thinking you'd like one, maybe don't delay too much longer. Sales are available on our website at

3. I have got the Ixion Facebook page up and running, about three or four years after I created it! I just couldn't make sense of it, and had to wait 'til my eldest son returned from Canada with his wife and moved in temporarily with us. This gave me a captive Technical Advice Bureau, and so Ixion has properly entered the Social Network.
Search for "Ixion Model Railways" and Like the page to stay up to date with us on a different news platform.