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Vendor Questions ... Supplies & Materials ?
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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2022 10:48 pm
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Almostretired
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I tried to search for any answers to my question, but came up empty.  
Is there a section for experiences with online vendors ? 

I have to get nearly everything online, as the nearest local stores aren't so local,
and the one that is in my hometown told me 3 years ago,
he doesn't carry any scratchbuilding supplies, because "Nobody does that anymore"


Specifically I am looking for anyone with recent experiences with ...

https://www.sanjuancarco.com  aka  https://sanjuandetails.com/.  

Both sites have same physical address and phone numbers at the bottom,
but different product lists.

An email to the first site with a product question has gone unanswered,
but the "contact us" form had a phrase to the effect: 
"Don't expect us to get back to you soon, be patient"

Their telephone recording says,
you can talk to them live 3 days a week for 4 hours each day,
but they might have stepped out, so leave a message...

I read a ways back that the company has a history of new owners, etc,
but I thought they were finally reopened for business. 
However, I am not sure I want to deal with a concern,
that isn't easy to communicate with. 


I see some of their products I am interested in for sale by eBay sellers,
but the shipping eBay sellers are asking is outrageous for tiny parts like this.


For reference to how online can be done:
I have ordered several times from Tichy Train Group,
each time my orders came quickly, at extremely reasonable rates, US Mail. 
Several emails were answered within 24 hours,
a phone call during business hours was picked up by a living, breathing, human.




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Mark from Illinois
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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2022 11:02 pm
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Don Drew
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I have the same problem.

I live in a very rural area, on the eastern Shore of Virginia (USA),
I finally gave up and bought a 3D-printer for my HO railroad project.

It has been an amazing trip.


After learning to use the 3D-printer, I have created thousands of dollars worth,
of buildings, fences, cars, trucks, people, sinage, telephone poles etc. for pennies.

And it has been a great deal of fun.

If I at 77 years old can learn 3D-printing,
anyone can.

Don


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 Posted: Thu Jan 13th, 2022 12:00 am
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Almostretired
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Thanks for the feedback.
Great to hear of your success with the printer.

I have SolidWorks each year for free thru the EAA, (EAA dues are only $40).
Haven't used it much lately, used it for other off topic projects, never for modeling,
so maybe I'll give 3D-printing a go, as I have some appropriate software.


One of my nephews 3D-scans stuff regularly, with a phone app.
but he has an expensive phone, too.

The public library in my daughter's town,
supposedly has 3D-printers for patrons to use,
you just pay a little for the plastic.


Last year I was looking into 3D-printing classes at my local community college,
that's where I learned SW several years ago.

In my state, tuition and fees were halved for me,
after I broke through the 3 score birthday barrier.

However, having survived this nasty bug once already (I got it after my 2 jabs !),
it has me cooled a bit on another class, at least until things settle.


The figures are what especially appeals to me, I am trying to model in On30.
It seems available O scale figures are all too pricey for my wallet,
nice ones start at $5 a pop and all the really nice ones are $9-10.

Cheap ones look like blobs.

I tried some 1:50 figures that seemed reasonable, but they are too small.
What I don't understand is, that going to other scales,
real nice figures are much more reasonable, especially the 1:35 military figures.


Do you want to post some pictures of your work ?




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Mark from Illinois
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 Posted: Thu Jan 13th, 2022 12:28 am
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Don Drew
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Hi Almostretired.

My 3D-printer cost $179.00 US Dollars.
The PLA filament is about $24.00 US Dollars.


I just printed a HO water tower for about $0.50 Cents US.
The same water tower sells for $119.00 plus shipping $12.00

I just finished a very accurate O Church for less than $1.00 US,
it cost 59.00 plus shipping.

I have printed over $1000.00 worth,
of accurate, to scale, people, cars, fences, houses of every size.
 
The cost, less than $40.00


I used free youTube courses,
to help with my learning.


Best Wishes

Don


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 Posted: Thu Jan 13th, 2022 03:31 pm
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Almostretired
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Thanks again, Don.

Care to share your printer make ?
Evidently, you are very pleased with it so far.

I started looking around, and the gaming miniature fans
have loads of nfo on their sites regarding 3D-printing.




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 Posted: Thu Jan 13th, 2022 04:23 pm
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Don Drew
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Hi Almostretired.

I did a lot of research.  I did not know what I was doing,
I did not know if I could even operate one.

I have an engineering degree and computer science degree,
so I figured if it was just computer stuff I may be smart enough (maybe).

So I purchased from AMAZON.  I felt like I could trust them (also maybe).
I bought an ANYCUBIC MEGA S for around $200.00 bucks,
and ordered 2 Kilo spools of PLA filament.

All of this seemed to be low end reasonably priced and easy to use.
So as usual I have never had so much fun, been so satisfied.

The 3D-printer is a computer, as with all computers,
they will only do WHAT YOU TELL THEM TO DO.
A lot of people do not realize that. 
They only understand 1-2 3-4-5 etc.
They do not understand 1-3-6-8-4.

As I said, I looked at a lot of tutorials on youTube before I purchased,
so many youTubers just like to hear themselves talk and don't say much.
So I looked at quite a few. They were very helpful.

Don

P.S.  Are you in the USA ?


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 Posted: Thu Jan 13th, 2022 04:31 pm
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Don Drew
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Hi Almostretired.

I see you are in the USA.
Feel free to call me as our cell phones are free USA.


Also I am an Artist Metal Sculptor for the past 30 years,
check me out at coppercreations.biz

I am director of a ART Show this weekend in Ocean City
Marylanddelmarvaartexpo.com


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 Posted: Sat Jan 15th, 2022 05:12 am
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Michael M
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Mark

Take a look at military figures in 1:48 scale.  

Tamiya makes many of them.  

You can modify the figures for civilian use.


I use a lot of altered 1:35 scale military figures on my 1:35n2 layout.  

I've even used some of the green plastic army men.




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https://www.flickr.com/photos/183715370@N03/albums/72157710477887657/
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 Posted: Sun Jan 16th, 2022 06:45 pm
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Almostretired
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No email reply from San Juan about my product questions.
I guess I'll give them a second phone call to see if they pick up,
and if not, put them to the side for now.

I was primarily interested in their On30 archbar truck kits,
they are highly detailed, but I do have some questions before I purchase,
one was simply the diameter of the wheels, for instance.
They also carry a lot of old Grandt Line detail parts I am interested in.

In the meantime, my purchase of Kadee 24" On30 wheel sets arrived,
and I put them into Tichy HO 100 ton heavy archbar truck kits,
and now I have a reasonable looking truck.

The Tichy HO truck scales to about a 3' O gauge wheelbase,
but the enclosed HO wheels scaled at 17.5" in O.
  
Two years ago, I tried the largest Kadee HO wheel sets I could find at HO 36",
they scaled to O scale 19.5", better than what came with the Tichy trucks,
but still shorter than what I was looking for. 
Either they are new, or I didn't dig deep into Kadee's catalog 2 years ago,
but now Kadee markets On30 24" Griffin ribbed back metal wheel sets.

I  realize prototype diameters varied a lot,
but with the 3' wheelbase trucks and the small 19" wheels,
the trucks seemed to disappear, even under a narrow 6 1/2' wide car.

I have numerous plans from the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazettes,
and even though I'm not a stickler for accuracy,
the 18' car I am working on has 22" wheels, as do many of the shorter car plans.

In 1:1 railroading, I get stuck too often at a double rail crossing,
just a mile down the road I live on, so I spend a lot of time looking at freight cars,
and the wheels and trucks seem to be prominent features,
so when model trucks seem to disappear under what I am building, it bothers me.

The best news about this combination of parts,
is that I am in well under $8 for a pair of trucks.


Here's a shot with my new 24" wheels in place under an in-construction frame:





This shot has one HO 36" wheelset in place for comparison:





So, no great loss if San Juan Models keeps silent,
as Kadee and Tichy shipped recent orders fast, well-packaged, at minimal shipping rates. 
Both answered email questions about their products within 48 hours, usually less.


Some close up shots in case any rivet counters wish to crawl under the car:












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