It's taken me over a year, but I finally woke up with the solution that has been learned long ago by fellow modelers...[proof that this COVID situation has a damper on my model-making learning curve for sure, as I can't go to the meets and ask silly questions!] OK, here it is....drum roll...I can connect all the tubings amongst my (increasingly complicated) feed bin complex using tiny rare earth (neodymium) magnets! I have been struggling to attach the tubings which exit the elevators and descend to each bin. I wanted to accomplish this with realistic angles and no obvious bends, also with all of the fine wire tubing supports in place. This is a tall order. Me, bent over the structure, fussing with this, my sore shoulder and all. Tiny parts, lots of gravity, a lot of "hard work" at stake (invested in this model) and therefore...not much fun. Alas, these magnets have been used extensively in modeling steel mills. Why not for feed mills? And they are tiny. At 1/16" diameters, they will fit inside Plastruct TB-4 tubing (1/8" dia). Very affordable as well. Now, I haven't tested this system, but that is coming! As I have 1/8" diameter mags on hand (attempt at my own under the track uncoupling system, read about and learned elsewhere I cannot recall), I did go so far this morning as to cut one in half with the Dremel. Lots of sparks, tough material, vice grips, "neo-dust", ahh...forget it. I will redesign some of the 3D parts in FreeCAD to accomodate the tiny buggers that are soon to be in the mail. I will fix them with some JB. Bomber! The structure can (will be) able to be taken apart for adjustment, cleaning, modifications, additions, etc. Magnet addiction? I can feel it coming! -R
I recently uploaded my entire folder related to everything I've generated with regards to my efforts on grain co-ops to an all-access GDrive which you can get to by clicking here. I need to update this with the latest version of the Plastruct tubing connectors I designed using FreeCAD and printed on the Creality Ender 3. What these do is they allow you to aim all of the tubings coming from the top of the elevator. I'm doing this for my Oregon Coast RR in HO, for the Tillamook Cooperative structure. A few photos to help explain. Although not really prototypical, this may give you a chance to figure out how to aim those distribution tubes. I have no idea right now how I'm going to handle six of them though. You'll see I have single, double, and triple connectors, and also 90-degree turns and right angles. I thought this post might be timely with respect to the recent article that came out in Railroad Model Craftsman this month. Tons of STLs and FreeCAD designs related to grain handling in that folder, so check that out!
Tell you what, I'll put these latest tubing connectors STL file right here. Email me for the whole kit & caboodle. I have some sorting out to do on these files, many were tests and also I started out with different tubing before going with the Plastruct. Have fun!!
I prefer to use steel planting pins in the bases of the trees. Unfortunately it's not feasible to use for every tree kit or package of trunks, because they are cut individually. However, I do make them and use them for handmade 11 and 13 inch trees. As I've wrestled with trying to find the best way to do this, I just thought I'd share what I've learned so far. A few photos here:
Lately I've been making a few trees for my Oregon Coast route. I've also been pushing myself to make a few that are not of the usual shapes I've made in the past. It's after Christmas now, so pardon me if I immediately divert from trees that look like isosceles triangles.
In fact, I would even go so far as to say, having spent some time about the woods here in the Pacific Northwest, most trees, in a forest setting, do not have the upright triangle shape. I'd say they're more like inversed, or upside down. Trees are (often) wider at the top, where the most active foliage is busy catching the sun's rays. Under this canopy, you'll find shorter, thinner, and less viable material. Please note, this pertains to a forest of trees. With all due respect, solo trees out in open areas tend to retain the isosceles presentation.
Try packing "traditional" tree shapes close together. It's not easy to do unless you leave plenty of (vertical) room between the foliage pieces, so you can wedge them together. (Forests' know; they don't even try). I'll post a photo of my current project, as soon as I have more than a few posing for a shot. I'm already wondering if this could be / should be a new product idea?