Appleseed MegaDork
6/26/22 10:45 a.m.

I scored a deal on some LGB wagons and track. The seller said that an older gentleman in the neighborhood had a garden railroad, passed away, and it ended up in disrepair.

The wagons were sunk in the mud. Axels rusty.  I fixed all of that with a good scrub, a wire wheel, and some lithium grease.

The problem is there are 4 coaches and only 2 roofs. The easy button is just to buy a pair of roofs off of Ebay. But that ends up at $20 a roof, plus shipping  (which is brutal)

The roofs have an arch, with a locating square on the underside.

When it's all together,  it ends up looking like this:


I can work with wood, plastic , metal, etc..I have a few raw materials around, but let's assume I'm buying every new. What can we build to replicate the roofs, for less that $20 a roof?


BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/26/22 10:52 a.m.

Honestly, I'd check how much the carriages go for. LGB stuff is expensive, so you might find that the $20 per roof is actually cheap.

Otherwise, I'd look at the plastic sheets that plastic modellers use to scratch build stuff.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/26/22 12:28 p.m.

Neat! Many years ago I worked at a hobby shop that sold a little LGB stuff, but I never learned anything that would be useful here.

I keep coming back to the idea that it's going to be hard to beat $20+shipping unless you pay yourself negative dollars for killing time. Polystyrene sheet (and shapes), like Tim suggests, seem like a good approach. The only other things I can think of are trying for sheetmetal, which won't match but could be good, making a mold and casting the others in resin (likely to run as much as buying them), or modeling and 3D printing, but that presupposes a printer I don't recall whether you have, and a fair sized one at that (though maybe printing four halves makes sense if they're symmetrical end to end?)

Any skills you're looking to brush up on that would make a path worth trying just for the learning?

93gsxturbo UltraDork
6/26/22 4:10 p.m.

Yeah, just pay the $20.  That barely got me a lunch at McDonalds today, and I would much rather have a roof for my model train. 

Steve_Jones Dork
6/26/22 4:37 p.m.

Coroplast. Steal a few election or "we buy houses" signs and it's free

Schmidlap Dork
6/26/22 9:56 p.m.

It's a fairly simple design,  can you 3d print them? It might have to be made in a couple of pieces and glued together depending on size.

What about making a mold from a good one and casting new ones? They are pretty thin though, so that might make it difficult, and the overhang on the spring clips would force a flexible mold making it even more difficult to hold tight tolerances. 

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