Back in business. It took longer than planned for a lot of reasons but things are now back and stock will gradually become available.
Owing to the house move proving rather more complicated than planned Etched Pixels is closed until further notice. The current aim is to re-open in early April 2017.
Apologies. We are a bit behind on orders owing to flu.
Back in stock: wheels for the WIA Arbel.
The builders have taken longer than expected but I'm now at the point of actually being able to put cupboards, shelving and stock back so should be back open soonish.
Back orders are now cleared except for Thompson parts and Great Central coaches. I hope to have those cleared by the end of the month worst case.
Minimal project work has begun again with 13mm axle versions of the Great Central bogies, and Dean centreless 8'6 and 10' bogies being tested. We are also evaluating some new materials for better 3D print quality.
Working on back ordered parts and other details. All planned new projects remain on hold for the time being.
We are now back open. Order processing may be quite slow for a while however.
Most things are now back in order. Everyone who was owed anything should have it. There are some backlogged special requests and invoices to do and then back in business. Hopefully therefore by the end of February.
Currently we are getting things back in order after the shutdown. We are not yet accepting new orders until pending orders, outstanding requests and other paperwork is sorted.
New stocks received. Hawksworth coaches are now back in stock as are the LSWR style grabs and door handles.
Product Rationalization In order to keep ever rising costs under control the following changes are being made.
However it's not all bad news. The Shapeways pricing changes increased most costs a lot, but favoured models that had a lot of material in them. Careful use of batch production along with this means we can now offer the Gresley non-corridor coaches at rather lower costs.
Due to lack of time quite a few things are waiting instructions. These should gradually appear over the next few weeks, slightly later than planned.
After a lot of work we have finally secured a good supply of wheels on 13mm axles. Conventional N gauge wheels have for some reason been on 15mm axles for as long as anyone can remember. This forces the bogies to be overwide. By comparison the OO/EM world moved to 26mm axles long ago and the 2mm fine scale world uses 12.25mm axles. Now that the supply problems are solved further new products will begin to use 13mm axles. Currently 13mm wheels are used by the LNWR six wheel coaches, GWR bullion van and the GWR Fishbelly bogie.
With the re-planning complete after the Shapeways debacle the 2015 plans are now finalised including the 2014 items that didn't make it.2015 Product Plans
All the longstanding order backlog should be cleared now. There are still orders to go out but those are waiting on cheques clearing and the like rather than long out of supply stock.
Shapeways have "changed" their pricing structure. Translation, they've massively hiked their prices for a lot of models. Their new pricing reflects heavily the number of parts and also the space taken. The number of parts is easily dealt with as most components can be sprued together. The space is more problematic as it appears their tools are too dumb to work out that something with a lump each end (eg a coach shell) has a big space in the middle they could use for other things. At this point the likely impact seems to be
Other news: the production version of the Dean bogies is done for 13mm axles. Unfortunately getting new 13mm axle wheels is proving a problem because the law in the UK has changed on the chemical used for wheel blackening.
New Product Status
We should shortly be starting to re-order components from the out of stock, and backorder lists. At that point the remaining outstanding partial orders from before will be dealt with.
Sorting through the piles of screen printed sides also unearthed a previously undiscovered block of old Cavendish sides so the LMS 57ft Third is no long discontinued but back in production.
We are now back up and running. Initial order processing may be fairly slow as we iron out the kinks and remember where we everything went.
Etched Pixels has arrived at its new address. Everything is currently packed in boxes but we hope to re-open late August.
Large batch of etches received. A fair amount is now back in stock that was missing and a few more will be once I've finished packing all the parts.
Test build for the Ironclad now completed
Several things are currently waiting a bit of time for builds and instruction checking.
Lots of new stock received. Once this is all checked in then a lot of the 'back order' tags will vanish. Shapeways now allow products to be ordered that they consider might not print, but at our risk not theirs. This has finally allowed the re-order of various items that we *know* print perfectly well but Shapeways randomly started refusing. In particular we are now able to obtain the Pullman lamps again, and surprise surprise they printed just fine.
Status update (note that some 'released' items haven't yet been counted and put into the stock database so won't show up as orderable for a day or two).
The GWR bullion van is now released along with the SECR first.
LBSCR Balloon test build.
Status update time for the 2014 products.
Commissions and spin-offs from commissions in progress currently.
Out of stock, but needing a rework before re-ordering
When it's gone it's gone or already discontinued
The compartment divider piece for the Maunsell coaches and for the 'Continental' brakes is now completed. If you ordered one of the Maunsell kits previously and you'd like a compartment divider please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The order backlog is now cleared. There are just a couple of outstanding orders awaiting the arrival of backordered parts.
The first set of new orders for out of stock bits from over Christmas have been placed, and some of the new kits progressed. Providing things go to plan this should include the final etches for the Ironclad coaches (except brake ends), etches for LBSCR/SR 'Balloon' coaches, small 'Golden Arrow' arrows, ends for the WIA car carriers, an SECR first, and test sides for the LNWR six wheel third and the North Staffordshire 20ft Third. Various test parts are also on their way from Shapeways.
The 'Devon Belle' observation car commission is also making steady progress.
More parts and test pieces have arrived. The GWR shunters truck has been test built and is now available. The GWR M11 test builds are done and it should be available as soon as the production body shells arrive. The revised WIA car carrier bogies have arrived and test out OK. The WIA now just needs the corrected end etch before release.
Next up on the workbench are the final LNER F4/F5 tests, after which the model should be available, and the buffers for the SECR continental coaches.
The Bullion van continues to make good progress. It needs scale width bogies which currently means using the 2mmSA bogies and their 12.25mm N gauge wheels - which have been discontinued and out of stock for some time. We have some 13mm axles on order to evaluate and if suitable plan to ship the kit with new bogies using this axle length.
Some photographs of test builds. Firstly the new bogies (note that the coupling mounts haven't been folded into place and they are quick glue together builds. I've now fixed the wonky axle boxes on the test builds)
GWR Pressed Steel Bogie
GWR 9' Bogie
Fox pattern bogie
Early LSWR Bogie
The coaches currently being worked on. A44 autocoach, A42 trailer and LSWR "Ironclad" coaches.
LNWR six wheel chassis.
Lots of stuff back in stock including Maunsell coaches and Newton Chambers car carriers.
On sale to clear stock: all the remaining Bulleid conversions sides for the Farish Mark 1 coaches are now a pound a coach!
On the development side various things are still somewhat stalled and waiting new prototypes. The time however has not been wasted and the basic bodyshell and sides are now completed for the A44 autocoach and the A42 trailer. The commissioned Southern Railway ironclad shell is now mostly finished including Warner double framed 'dreadnaught' bogies. The first testers for early LSWR 8ft bogies and the LNWR 30'1 chassis have also been received and will need some small adjustments. The final bits for the GWR shunters truck have been done and hopefully the production ones will be in time for Christmas.
Back-ordered GCR coaches will be going out in the post tomorrow.
We have also received the test prints for the WIA bogies and these need some minor adjustments and a problem with coupler mounting and clearance fixing.
Time for a status update.
There has been a sudden rush on Maunsell coaches and they are now backordered. The relevant bits will be re-ordered shortly. The interior corridor partition process used for the Ultima Pro stock is also being tested on the Maunsells. If it works out then the interior sheet will be available to those who ordered Maunsell kits in the past as well as with new kits.
The LNER F4 is waiting some final small changes and etched steps. I am also looking at what is involved in making it available in brass using Shapeways new lost wax casting process. This may require some more additional work but would give an option for a much heavier and more robust model. The F4 may therefore slip a little while we experiment.
The SECR matchboard coach test builds are done. Some minor adjustments are being made to correct slight errors in the artwork. Some redesign work is needed on the buffer beams as they are too delicate and hard to assemble.
The GWR bullion van is on target and printed vinyl sides have been produced for the GWR era version. There are some small changes to the bogie height to be made but the next one should be the production version.
There will be a short delay on the final shipping of the Great Central non-corridor coaches due to a small error found in them at the last minute.
New items - GWR style door ventilators (UM337) and GWR 70ft tie rod (pair of tie rods). Generally you want two sets for a 70ft coach as they usually (always ?) had four tie rods.
More stuff back in stock. The Gresley sleeper first and third now available as are the remaining Great Central coaches. The suburban conversions are also back in production.
2014 New Products
As today seems to be the traditional new announcements day at The International N Gauge Show it seems a good day to confirm the 2014 items for Ultima/Etched Pixels.
There are some other items planned subject to time and space for commissioned projects.
The final parts for the corridor Great Central coaches are now done so these should be available from early next month.
Still finalising elements of the Great Central/LNER corridor coaches. May slip to September, but better they are right than on time.
In the mean time a finished Gresley sleeper conversion.
A couple of extra bits of CAD in progress at the moment. Firstly the post parcels reworking of the cream vans (different doors, no ice boxes), secondly the experimental LMS refrigerated milk van which is basically the same profie so trivial to generate. Given that body there is also the six wheel palethorpes body so I can use up the spare Palethorpes printed sides from hacking the Mill Lane Sidings kit into other things.
Several releases today including the Newton chambers car carrier, the first non-vestibule Great Central coaches, LMS sausage vans and the Gresley sleeper first conversion for Dapol coaches.
The non-corridor first has been added to the range of forthcoming ex Great Central coaches. This allows a full London Suburban rake to be constructed.
Some photo teasers for the upcoming models.
LMS 50ft Sausage Van (note that we don't currently plan to offer the Palethorpes livery sides but that is being investigated further)
Newton Chambers NVV/NVX Double Deck Car Carrier. The test build with paper rather than photo printed sides. Etched sides will be included with the kit and downloadable print your own photopaper sides made available.
New etch delivery. Various test etches and some new items and stuff back to stock. The new production item is the Maunsell low window R4 third, done as a commission. Test etches also received for the LMS corridor bogie cream van, LMS Palethorpes van and corridor LMS palethorpes van. We also now have the first etches for the Gresley Sleeper 1st to fit the Dapol Gresley coaches and they seem to be right first time around. The WIA is now just short bogies (which are proving complicated), and the test NVV car carrier is completely built.
The 48DS shunters are now back in stock along with other 3D printed parts. New to stock are GWR milk churns (conical and straight sided), as well as locomotive toolboxes.
We have also received the remaining test parts for the Great Central corridor coaches as well as the buffers for the WIA car carrier currently in preparation and the first production standard tests for the LNER F4/F5.
Time for a mid year update: Target dates for release are
The GWR four wheel coaches will be deferred into 2014 as some elements needed are still being researched and this will also tie up better with other pending GWR and LNWR plans for 2014.
Latest updates on the LNER F4/F5 (GER M15) showing a Wordsell built locomotive in original as built form, and a reboilered locomotive with later chimney and other features.
The test build of the non-corridor Great Central coaches is now completed and all appears to be in order. These should therefore be available in a few weeks time. The corridor ones need the compartment divider finishing.
With some help from Ben Ando we've been able to find someone to refurbish the roof tools and re-run them. The Hawksworth and Gresley roofs are looking good. The Bulleid roof isn't entirely perfect but gives a moulding that needs a small spot of filler in one location.
The affected kits are now available again, with the small caveat about the roof moulding and filler.
The O.13 Milk Brake has now been released. If you have paid the deposit and the remainder of the money owed your kit or kits should be in the post or with you.
The BUT/ACV railbus set is now released as are the WCPR railmotors and the KESR Pickering steam railmotor body. These can be ordered directly as a special order or purchased directly from our Shapeways page, as can the 57ft and 60ft Bow Ended shell scratch aids.
The Midland/SDJR six wheelers are now available. Scalloped dome vents are also finally back in stock.
The order backlog is now cleared again. Various items including the L.22 TPO are now back in stock. Some of the LNER suburbans are now out of stock but will be re-ordered shortly. The Wickham railbusses with interior are now available.
A new batch of white metal parts awaits unpacking. Once unpacked that should fix some of the other out of stock items.
It's that week again and the end of the tax year. Orders may be delayed a few days from the 6th onwards while we complete the end of year stock taking and work out if the nice man at the revenue wants paying.
On other fronts, the Royal Mail have put up prices on everything they can that they didn't promise not to raise again. Hopefully our postage prices will not have to rise again but they may need to for some items. Strangely it seems it would now actually be cheaper to post some of our products from abroad to UK addresses than from the UK to the UK.
The O.13 Milk Brake second test shell is on order with various dimensional glitches addressed and some strengthening done.
Revised bodyshells for the Midland Railway six wheel coaches are on order as well as initial test shells for LNWR six wheel stock.
The railbusses are progressing. Once I have the revised etches the other Wickham railbusses with go on sale. In the mean time a few other slightly less planned 3D print projects are in the pipeline.
Plus a few other railbusses on the TODO list. As some of these will be fairly obscure items the current plan is to make them available via our Shapeways shop only. This allows us to avoid carrying stock which in turn means yet more crazy and obscure items can be done.
The next set of 3D printed parts has arrived. The Midland coaches will be slightly delayed as it seems some minor tweaking is needed still to get the bits to print reliably as I want them.
The roofs are now dome for UM1321/1322 and these kits are now available again.
The milk van has reached the required number of orders. The initial test etch artwork is prepared and the 3D printed shell tester ready to get printed. Hopefully a test assembly will be possible in about four weeks, then any refinements made.
Midland oil and gas lamps are now in stock. This covers all the varieties up to 1899 except the very tiny lamp tops which are too small to print and best representd other ways. The Midland six wheel coaches are making progress, the etched parts are complete and the 3D printed parts are getting some small corrections made.
Also new are NEM bar couplers for fixed rakes. These are particularly designed for the Dapol Mark 3 coaches. Other lengths can be produced if needed, please contact us for information.
The test SR roof for UM1321/1322 has arrived and is correct. Production roofs should arrive in a month or so.
Also in the delivery today are the production bodies for the Wickham railbusses. The extra etched parts for the railbusses are still pending, but the 'Elliot' railbus which does not include chassis parts is now available to order.
Finally some test shells for the LMS bogie sausage vans (corridor and non corridor) as well as the cream van, and for GWR bow ended stock. These are part of a somewhat longer plan to make it possible to create pretty much any GWR bow ended stock.
Turned brass airhorns as used on our inspection saloon are now available as a part on their own.
We have been asked to produce the GWR O.13 milk brake in N gauge. Initial investigation confirms this can be done as a 3D printed shell with glue on etched sides/ends/doors and detail parts. In order to go ahead we need a minimum of ten orders. Reservations can be made here.
Mark 1 63'6 suburban coaches released.
Would the gentleman with the initials CJM who sent a cheque order in the past few days please contact us as there was no address included with his order. Thank you.
All the etched parts we carry from stock should now be back in stock. There have been some significant price rises in the price of metal since the last bulk orders of some parts and we have been advised by one of our suppliers that prices will rise a further 5% again next month. This will inevitably lead to some price rises particularly in products that contain a large volume of metal. The cost to us for some etched parts have now tripled since 2008.
First shots of the test build and brush painted Wickham railbus. The etches for the chassis/buffer beam are still in preparation.
The first batch of new etches has arrived. Various things are now back in stock. All back orders are now cleared except for one person waiting a specific vehicle.
Product changes: the X-Fish is now etches that glue to a 3D printed shell rather than a conversion of the Palethorpes van. For those who built the early kit conversion and have some Palethorpes decals sitting around we've also test printed a Palethorpes body to use them ! Drop us an email if interested.
Restocking is still very delayed due to family illness. However I have managed to grab some time and attend to much of the re-ordering this weekend. Yellow vinyls are still held up.
Happy new year.
Due to family illness order fulfillment will be slow, and a lot of re-stocking will be very delayed. Christmas orders are mostly now cleared except for some back-ordered items and some problems with vinyls.