Thanks for the positive feedback!
But belive me, there is plenty of room for improvement. My soldering skills are very basic, for starters. Some times I am so frustrated when things gets out of alignment, parts get accidently desoldered or blobs of solder gather in the wrong places. Not to mention the (literarely) total meltdown of parts that happens occasionally.
So the main reason I have gotten this far is mainly because I am a stubborn b****rd. I do, and redo over and over again.
And I search the net like a google index-bot for webpages, discussion forums and companies that can aid my modelling. And I ask. On forums, in real life, in emails, on conventions and meetings.
And I do not limit myself to railroad modelling, or even modelling. I have studied webpages on watcmaking, goldsmithing (can you say that?), miniature cannonbuilding, you name it. Any craft that involves small parts and delicate work will catch my interest. You can learn something in the strangest places. I have for instance discovered a lot of interesting tools on jewellers webpages.
Another of my modelling secret is this: I cheat a lot. I am still not capable og turning and assembling a set of wheels to finescale standards. The wheels for this engine is the work of a truly gifted danish modeller named Erik Olsen. His models is the "gold standard" for my work. Take a look for yourself: http://www.modelbaneteknik.dk/model/index-e.htm
(Unfortunately, some of the best stuff is Danish only)
I cheat in other ways as well. Even if I designed all the etched parts for this engine using CAD, I did not etch myself. In England there are several companies that are happy to do work for modellers, even if you are just ordering a single Letter-size or A4 sheet:http://www.ppdltd.com/index.htmlhttp://www.photo-etch.co.uk/
And don´t be put down by the somewhat basic webdesign of these pages, it by no means reflect the quality of their etchings!
The quality is superb, and the etched parts are the totally central in my project. I would strongly urge ambitious modellers to take a look into making your own etched kits. There are unlimited potential here. I will answer any question on the subject as best as I can.
The ultimate "cheat sheet" must be CNC. I am thrilled by the possibillities here, but I have little access to CNC machinery since leaving Architectural school.
If you have seen this before, bear with me, but Its my favourite example of what a CNC mill can do:
It´s more like a custom made kit than a truly scatchbuilt model in a way.
But lets not forget that plain old machining is quite useful (and more fun, really):
This turnbuckle was turned on a small hobby-late and the slot was milled by soldering all the tb´s in a straight line on a brass plate and using an endmill to make the slot.
So if anyone have tips & tricks on soldering, machining in brass or any other related subject, get in the thread! Feel free to hijack the thread, digressions are welcome.
Regards, Håvard H