May 17, 2010

New products coming down the pike

I was able to wrap up some projects this weekend that have been on the back burner. As a result, three new ACW related products should be coming out soon from Alkem Scale Models. First will be the O Scale switch stands. I have the test etches on my layout and they work well. An example is in the photo at the left. The production etchings are under way.

Each switch stand kit will contain one switch stand and 4 variations of switch target. The stand will work for two or three way turnouts.

The photo also shows a simple method I am using for making the bridles. I got the idea from Tim Warris at Fast Tracks. I use an N scale copper clad printed circuit tie as the bridle rod. These are available from Clover House and Fast Tracks. To it I solder two filed down pieces of rail joiner. I make sure the two rails are the proper gauge. Then I file a small break in the copper cladding between the rails to avoid a short. This is the simplest and strongest way I have found to make O Scale turnout bridles. The technique should also work in HO scale, though the N scale tie may be a bit large, but it is strong enough.

For power routing, I plan to use DCC short circuit detectors, so no mechanical linkage is needed. But it is not hard to rig up a mechanical switch under the table if you are not using DCC. My first batch were built this way.

The switch stand is designed to have the proper throw for O scale two or three way turnouts. This eliminates non-prototypical stops or finicky adjustments tabs. With these switch stands and bridles, making prototypically scaled O Scale track for ACW or even narrow gauge layouts is easily in reach. They are built and work just like the real ones.

The second item in production is a set of photo etched detail parts for my freight car kits that are also soon to be released. They include a couple surprises - so stand by.

Finally I have some decals being printed for USMRR freight cars.

I'll post info when they are ready for sale.


  1. AnonymousMay 17, 2010

    Do you have any plans to make the switch stands in HO?

    Bob Harris

  2. I would love to do it, but i am not sure all the dimensions can be sorted out. We'll give it the college try.

  3. AnonymousMay 19, 2010

    Bernie, the switch stand looks better and better. Let me know when they are available. Looking forward to your freight car kits as well.