I've picked up the GM Aerotrain in Z gauge from Shapeways and I'm pretty pleased with it. What I'd like the groups opinion on is the best way to get it operating. Do people favour scratchbuilt power trucks or converting one from a existing train (I'm thinking MTL F7 ) Any and all opinions are welcome.
An interesting question. I've not done it myself, but I am interested as well as I love SW 1500's, and there are a few available there as well.
But I have given it some thought. It would depend entirely on where wheel openings in the shell fit over the base unit's trucks/couplers, and will the remainder of the base unit fit into the shell. It appears those shells have plenty of room up top, so if you happen to have an F7, can't hurt to do a test fit.
Barring that, Searails makes powered trucks:
. It may be that PowerMAX may fit. This is the approach I believe I'd have to take with the SW 1500. Note they do not have exterior truck detail, so you'll still need some donor trucks for that.
If you give it a try, or anyone who has done this can lend their experience, I'd also love to hear it.
I did a SW 1500 but it's a 3Dprinted shell. I did a A & B unit. The Searails powermax V.2 motors do fit and there is some play. I'm trying to get two of the power max motors connected together but still be independent of each other and attached to the shell to handle curves. Searails said they don't need to have any type of resister if they are used together not like the other Searail's motor! But I'm not into making metal frame connectors! I have run the two power max with the shell on them but not connected! I used the MTL push in couplers! and a FM10 44 SW
Having looked at a lot of options I decided to investigate the Japanese angle. I managed to win a ZJ Type 458 set on fleabay for only 25 GBP (a little over 30 USD) I'm hoping that this set will provided a power chassis and enough metal wheels to do the whole Aerotrain. Pics to follow!
The Japanese train arrived and I nearly chickened out of cutting it up as it's quite a nice model.
The powered chassis is about standard, 2 geared trucks run from a double shaft motor via drive shafts. The chassis was too long to have both trucks working so I removed one and it's drive shaft and cut the chassis to length so it would fit inside the Aerotrain. The side detail on the chassis was filed down so it's a clip fit inside the new body.
The coaches required a chassis built out of plastic sheet which will replicated for the other coaches. The idea is to use one of the Japanes train trucks per Aerotrain coach by cutting each of the trucks in half