02.04.2023

Dear friends of the modeling hobby! ­čśŐ┬á

I will now begin with the first entry of my blog. A brief introduction about myself: I have been a model railroader in HO scale since the age of 6, growing up right next to the Nuremberg-Bayreuth railway line. When my daughter turned two years old and became more mobile, I had to securely store away my layout and dioramas after a "tornado" had passed through them. It wasn't until the pandemic in 2021 that I finally took them out again. Since my childhood, I had always desired the "king's gauge," but my budget and space constraints didn't allow for it. And now, the moment had finally arrived... I held my first starter set in my hands... M├Ąrklin 55046 with a V100 locomotive, an Omm 55 freight car, and a Gmms 40 covered goods wagon.

It quickly became apparent that M├Ąrklin had made significant errors with this set. The colors of the locomotive were not accurate, and neither was the labeling/numbering. This sparked a strong desire in me to make modifications to this vehicle... It fascinated me from the beginning and ultimately led me here, after studying conversion reports as well as prototype photos and documents.  

Having been interested in 3D printing for some time due to my technical curiosity, it was clear that other parts should be replaced as well. The desire for further improvements with delicate detailing parts quickly emerged. Currently, these include steps with printed handrails, the motor cover with a ventilation dome, tank hatch covers, coupling holders, and a functional fan. Even the interior of the locomotive did not escape my modifications. The newly installed Visaton FRS 7 speaker received a sealed enclosure, and the smoke generator now has brackets and pipes leading to the exhaust openings for motor fumes and train heating. It was important to me that everything is modularly designed and can be easily exchanged without much effort.

What truly bothered me was the appearance of the headlight and rear light. A locomotive has a face, and this face gives the locomotive its character. It's a shame that this is often diminished by inappropriate LED lighting. 

After various attempts with customized light guides and glued-in LEDs that did not satisfy me, I had the crazy idea that everything could be realized with 3D printing... and thus, the idea of light bulbs in 1:32 scale was born! After many iterations, I finally achieved the result that I am currently satisfied with. There's always room for improvement, that's my standard. So, in addition to the light bulbs, reflectors and lamp rings joined the project. I find the result to be very successful. 

Once my website is further set up, I will also showcase pictures of my current and future developments. That's it for my first conversion project.

Best regards,

Thomas Montaperti

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