Custom Building & Designing
Thank you for your interest in our custom building and design services. Our goal is to produce the most accurate and finest models possible. We can design, assemble, and finish any model you desire.
Our locomotives and custom components are deisgned using the latest CAD and produced using photo etched nickel silver or brass. Castings are also designed and patterned in house just as all of our available brass castings are created. Other components are crafted using 3D printing or CNC machined.
Buildings and rolling stock also benefit from cutting edge technology. Materials used include styrene, resins, wood, and space age laser cut plastics. There are no limits!
For models that are newly designed, the process can be quite extensive. Typical locomotive models will begin as a CAD blueprint from which etching artwork is prepared. Every effort is made to create accurate etchings in the least amount of passes. It is common however to revise the artwork up to 3 times with pilot samples assembled from each pass. In concert with the etched component process, patterns for brass castings are also prepared. The entire process can take several months and each model is taken on a case by case basis.
The first stage the completion of a detailed statement of work (SOW) where the work and model will be clearly laid out with time estimates assigned at each phase. Each project has an estimate provided for overall costs. Components used will be charged to the customer should these components not be provided. These include commercial brass castings, motor/gearboxes, lettering, and sound/DCC components. Every effort will be made to get the best components at the best price.
Each model owner will receive detailed progress updates every other week. These updates will be emailed with photos to show progress. Depending on the complexity and effort required, interim payments may be requested.
Patterns and CAD work
For projects that require custom castings, time spent on building patterns may or may not be charged depending on the part in question. If the part clearly has no other applications, then the full cost of the pattern and molds will be passed onto the owner. When there is no commercially available lettering, we can design and print decals to suit at the shop rates.
Rates are calculated by the hour on a sliding scale. Depending on the size and scope of the project, lower hourly rates are an option. Rates vary in the $40-$50/hr depending on complexity and scope. Please reach out if you have questions.
Please contact us by email to discuss your needs. We guarantee all workmanship and look forward to hearing from you.