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Author Topic: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus  (Read 427 times)

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Offline woodbury22uk

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Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« on: October 01, 2017, 07:54:04 pm »
In a recent N Gauge Journal I described making an adaptor to fit a Tomytec motorised chassis to an Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus (aka the Borismaster). Tired of all the fettling needed to get my clumsy scratchbuilds to fit, I needed another way. Shapeways recent post free offer stimulated me to sit down for an hour and design an adaptor for 3D printing. These have now arrived. The Tomytec WBM-L01 chassis snaps into the adaptor, and the adaptor then snaps into the Oxford Diecast body. The design allowed me to keep the upper deck seating of the Borismaster intact. I will be changing the design a little to ease a couple of the fit tolerances but all in all I am pleased with the outcome.

Here are the first 5 buses in simultaneous operation, although I only ever expected to run 3 buses at one time. With five the last few seconds contain the inevitable collision!

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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 08:07:34 pm »
Lovely video. Apart from the London buses it reminds me very much of Birmingham in the 70s :thumbsup:

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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 08:14:42 pm »
Lovely video. Apart from the London buses it reminds me very much of Birmingham in the 70s :thumbsup:

The layout is my Grand Central which is sort of modern Brum, but with London buses for the moment. Though I do have a West Midlands Enviro bus in the paintshop at the moment. Should have finished Grand Central 12 months ago, but I've taken up the rail tracks 3 times, and it currently sits trackless! It might end up a bus and tram layout only though I am hoping to get the rail part to dovetail with it to provide a convincing city centre feel. meantime playing with the buses is great fun!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 08:15:52 pm by woodbury22uk »
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 09:04:38 pm »
looks superb.
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2017, 10:04:40 pm »
How about a photo of the Bus adapter & chassis? it would be inetersting to see how you did it.
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2017, 10:13:05 pm »
How about a photo of the Bus adapter & chassis? it would be inetersting to see how you did it.

Tutorial is about three quarters written. Give me a couple of days to finish it.
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2017, 10:53:43 pm »

Hi Mike,

I'd be really interested to see how you did this too.  Will you make the adaptor available to others to order on Shapeways?

Also, if you're looking for a Birmingham tram inspiration, how about Snow Hill?  Or even something similar to New Street with the station in a cutting and the trams serving it at street level?

I've been spending a bit of time in Birmingham recently - I do find the trams rather tasty!  This view shows one at the New Street stop.  After dropping off its passengers, it advances about 100m up the road to the end of the line before reversing back over a crossover ready for the trip back to Wolverhampton.



Cheers

Ben A.



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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2017, 11:12:54 pm »
Thanks Ben. Tutorial coming. I will make a few changes to refine the print design before offering it for sale.

Brum has its attractions. The Bull Street/Corporation Street junction is a bus and tram preserve with a constant procession of buses, and a two way flow of trams, and just the occasional service van.

Those trams reverse outside the Ian Allan book and model shop. Upstairs with the transport models and books is a glass cabinet with a model of the 5 part CAF Urbino tram loaned to the shop by Centro, or whatever they call themselves now. Now there is a scratchbuild/3D print project. The display model is about 00/H0 proportions.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 11:15:26 pm by woodbury22uk »
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2017, 05:35:50 pm »
Prior to a full tutorial I have written this lengthy description of how I went about designing the housing to fit over the Tomytec chassis and inside the Oxford Diecast Routemaster

Choosing the right Tomytec motorised bus chassis to fit the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus was easy. All the regular Tomytec chassis powered by 2 x LR44 button cells have a very long rear overhang at just under 20mm. The Oxford bus has an overhang which is roughly 3mm shorter but the rear end is also curved in plan view which reduces the usable length further. Really major surgery would be needed to fit one of these chassis. The Tomytec range includes a Lithium ion polymer (Li-po) powered chassis with a rear overhang of only 10mm and an adjustable wheelbase of nominally 38mm. This is the chassis used in the 1/160 American GMC 4512 H, 1/160 Mercedes Citaro, and 1/150 Mercedes Benz G articulated buses in the Walthers, Faller and Tomytec ranges respectively. The chassis code is WBM-L01 in the Walthers catalogue (sometimes wrongly quoted as WMB-L01  but also Tomytec/Faller 264583), and WBML2 (Tomytec/Faller 266297) in the Faller catalogue. The Oxford bus has a wheelbase of 40.5mm but the WBM-L01 wheelbase can be extended to about 39.5mm without any changes, and to 40.5mm just by removing the screw which secures the steering slider in place. This chassis is ideal for the New Routemaster. It has the facility for extinguishable front and rear LED running lights and a red LED brake light which turns on when the bus slows or stops. Charging of the Li-po battery is through a micro-USB socket on the underside of the chassis.

This is the bare chassis, with close-ups of the front and rear parts which help locate the chassis in the new chassis housing.







Once I had chosen the chassis I was going to use then the design of the chassis housing could begin. From earlier scratch built trials I knew I wanted a box which would fit over the chassis. It would have solid sides so the chassis itself was not visible through the lower deck bus windows. The housing needed to fit snugly over the Tomytec chassis so it was held crosswise and lengthwise. This involved a location point for the upper rear (A) and a second one at the front of the fixed part of the chassis (B) which would hold the chassis lengthwise in the housing. A third location point [C] was needed to hold the front of the sliding steering holder in the correct position. The photos below are the design showing the three location points. My design needed to take account of the minimum material thickness allowed for printing in Shapeways’ cheapest material – white strong and flexible nylon (WSF).

Photos viewing the inside of the housing from below.








The chassis also needed to be held horizontally at the rear and also adjacent to the front fixed location point. These slightly narrower parts of the body can be seen adjacent to (A) and (B) in the photos above. After drawing these we had a housing with internal dimensions which meant the chassis was a snug interference fit inside it. In the event I have changed the snugness of this fit for the production version to allow 0.2mm of extra play.

The next consideration was mating the housing with the Oxford Diecast clear plastic bus body. The internals of the original model are fixed in the body at two points. There is a lug at the rear of the diecast chassis which fits through at slot at the rear of the lower part of the bus body and forms the rear number plate. At the front a single crosshead screw holds things together. This passes through a plastic brace which is part of the main bus body and secures it to the diecast chassis. However, the final stage of production of the model conceals this screw by gluing the printed clear plastic front of the bus to the main body. Some surgery is needed to separate the chassis from the body and this is described in the tutorial which follows.

I wanted to replicate the principles of the Oxford fixing method so drew a rear extension with the number plate lug to fit in to the slot and a front extension to fit up to the clear plastic brace at the front of the bus body. These are visible in the drawings above. I also set the overall width to fit snugly inside the bus body. A front bulkhead was installed above the steering length locator [C] to improve rigidity and provide a greater area for securing the upper deck seating to the housing. This bulkhead needed a slot at its lower end to allow the steering magnet to swing freely. There is also a slot in the rear bulkhead to clear the gearbox extension which protrudes from the rear of the Tomytec chassis.

The internal width of the Oxford body allows very little clearance for the moving road wheels, so large rectangular wheel arches were let into the sides of the housing. Although these look a bit crude a neatly rounded wheel arch could not follow the wheel arches of the bus without compromising the free movement of the front steering set-up which can rock from side to side as well as allowing the wheels to turn. As it is the rectangular wheel-arches do not limit the scope for a little fine tuning to cater for minor production variations such as a wheel not 100% accurately centred on an axle or an axle which is not 100% straight throughout its length.

At this stage I needed to incorporate some windows in the body to simplify its use. So, in the final design there are windows in the middle and rear bulkheads which allow the light from the LED running lights to show through, and two small windows on the left-hand wall of the housing to allow the red on-charge LED, and the flashing orange low-battery LED to be seen from outside the assembled bus.

This is the finished design seen from the front and the rear.






I have now test printed in three materials :- WSF; dyed and polished flexible nylon; HD black acrylic. WSF is cheapest and a thin coat of Tamiya XF-85 Rubber Black is all that is needed. The acrylic is too brittle and double the WSF price. The nylon polishing and colouring process appears to increase the flexibility of the front and rear chassis extensions. These cannot easily be thickened without compromising fit in the body. and the finish of the WSF print once painted is perfectly acceptable for the application without polishing.

This photo shows the first version of the housing printed in Shapeways’ WSF. The design has now been refined slightly to ease and improve fit and incorporates an extra side window for the on-charge LED.




And this is a painted housing inside the bus body. More information to follow in the tutorial once I have uploaded all of the pictures.






And the view from below.




« Last Edit: Yesterday at 05:21:07 pm by woodbury22uk »
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2017, 06:42:45 pm »
This is how to put all the pieces together.




1.   Materials required

Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus (catalogue numbers:- NNR001, NNR002, NNR003, NNR004CC, NNR005)

Walthers/Tomytec WBM-L01 motorised chassis (note some retailers list the number as WMB-L01). Also listed as Faller WBML2, and Faller Tomytec WBML2,

3D printed chassis housing from Shapeways printed in White Strong Flexible material. (available soon). Some black water based paint.


2.   Principle

2.1 The motorised chassis clips inside the 3D printed chassis housing, which then clips inside the bus body.

2.2 The fitting needs the bus to be dismantled, which requires the use of a drill bit or burr, The motorised chassis will operate without any changes but a slightly better appearance can be achieved with a small modification which extends the wheelbase. (Section 6 below)

2.3 The 3D printed housing needs to be painted black to improve the appearance of the bus.


3.   Dismantling the bus

3.1   Unless you are very lucky and front has not been firmly glued on then some minor work is now required. The bus is held together by a cross-head screw hidden behind the front of the bus at bumper level. The screw passes through a clear plastic brace which is part of the main body moulding. The final part of the factory assembly is to fit the printed clear plastic front over the screw, and glue the front in place. The screw head is not accessible then!

3.2 I found that using a fine burr in a motor tool on low speed I could remove the portion of the clear plastic brace outlined in red in the photo as far as the mid-point on the screw thread. Use eye protection, proceed slowly to avoid melting the clear plastic, and little by little you will get there. The same result could be achieved by using a burr in a handheld mandrel.

PHOTO 3.2




3.3    By pulling on the front wheels the chassis can then be removed, pivoting it downwards about a lug which forms the rear registration plate. You are then presented with the printed clear bodyshell, the metal chassis, upper deck seating, lower deck seating and the crosshead screw. There is a clear plastic support on the rear of the left side of the lower deck seating unit which holds the upper deck seating at the correct level.

Photo 3.3

                       

3.4 The upper deck seating needs to be separated from the rest of the bus. If it has not loosened during the dismantling process a sharp tug will probably achieve this. Keep the seating unit for refitting later.


4.   Fitting the motorised chassis to the 3D printed housing

4.1 Before proceeding any further make sure that the chassis is in full working order. It needs an initial charge using the cable provided which links the micro USB socket on the underside of the chassis with the USB socket of a suitable charger or computer. When first connected to a power source a red LED will glow. After about 90 minutes the red light will go out, and the battery is then fully charged. When the battery needs recharging an orange LED with flash. There is about 5 minutes running time left when this LED first starts to flash. The flashing LED is visible through a window in the left side of the chassis housing after fitting to the bus.

4.2 The motor is turned on by depressing the white on/off button on the underside of the chassis near the rear end. With the motor running the headlight and tail light LEDs will illuminate. These can be turned off by holding in the white on/off button for 3 seconds whilst the motor is still running. For the purposes of this installation the wheelbase of the chassis needs to be set to the maximum. To do this loosen the screw by one turn and slide the steering section as far forward as possible. Then retighten the screw. Do not overtighten as this will strip the thread in the Tomytec chassis. See photo 4.2

PHOTO 4.2








4.3  The motorised chassis should follow the buried wire in Tomytec Moving Bus System road sections, should stop at the Tomytec bus stop, and restart automatically if the extra  magnet has been installed in the bus stop road section. The chassis has two speeds which are toggled up and down as it passes over a magnet in the roadway. The slower speed is usually around a scale 20mph/30 km.hr, and 50% faster in higher speed.


4.4    Unless the chassis housing has been printed in black I recommend painting the outer surfaces of it with black acrylic paint. Tamiya make a Rubber Black shade (XF-85) which covers well, dries quickly and provides a satisfactory appearance over a housing printed in Shapeways white strong and flexible material.

4.5   After initial testing the motorised chassis should be offered up to the 3D printed housing. There are 3 location points within the chassis housing as indicated in the photos below. Two of these (A at the lower middle, B at the upper rear) hold the chassis at the correct height and in the correct fore and aft position in the housing. Locator C is for fine tuning the wheelbase of the chassis as described in Section 6 below. Photos 4.5 and 4.6 show the inside view from the underside based on the design drawings. Photo 4.7 shows an actual prototype 3d print, which will be changed only slightly for the final version.  Once clipped in, test run the chassis again. The housing weighs less than 2 grams so should not affect the running of the chassis at all.





PHOTO 4.5                                                                   




PHOTO 4.6

                     

PHOTO 4.7



5.   Fitting the chassis to the bus

5.1 The housing has provision for the lighting to be used by installing fibre optic light guides to the head and tail lights through the windows in locators A and B. However, these extra lighting parts are for the user to design and fit. The running lights can be turned off by holding down the power on/off button for 3 seconds while the motor is running, A red light will still illuminate when the bus is stopped or paused at a bus stop.

5.2 The upper deck seating needs to be installed on the upper surface of the chassis housing. The rear of the seating unit should overhang the top rear of the 3D printed housing by 2mm. My preference is to use strips of double sided adhesive tape, which means that the seating unit can be separated later if needed. Some glues can fog the clear plastic of the bus body so certainly avoid cyanoacrylate type superglues and solvent based glues if not using double sided adhesive tape. This photo shows the correct location of the seating unit on top of the housing.

PHOTO 5.2





5.3   The housing complete with motorised chassis can then be installed in the bus body. First insert the front of the upper deck seating unit just above the clear plastic brace at the inside lower front of the bus body. Then engage the projecting tab at the rear of the chassis housing in the slot at the bottom rear of the bus body. Next pivot the housing upwards so that the front of the housing fits inside the lower part at the front of the bus body. The housing is intended to be a tight fit in the bus body so you may need to gently spread the sides of the body as the housing is inserted. Make sure that the chassis housing is pushed back as far as possible so that the rear number plate protrudes fully through the slot.



5.4   Test run the completed bus. You will notice that the front steering axle is not completely centred in the front wheel arch. The bus should run correctly with this set up but if you want to alter this study the instructions in the next section first.

6.   Extending the wheelbase

6.1  To extend the wheelbase remove the screw which holds the steering slider in place and slide the steering support as far forward as possible until it contacts the locator C (see Photos 4.5 and 4.7 above). The front wheel should then be centred in the middle of the front wheel arch.

6.2  Friction will hold the steering in place but this can be reinforced with double sided tape between the front of the slider and locator C shown in photos 4.5 and 4.7 above.

6.3  Optional engineering solution.  A new hole can be drilled through the slider to accept the fixing screw in the new extended position. I would only recommend this method if you are happy carrying out precision drilling. If drilling near the rear of the slider it is essential that the slider is removed from the chassis completely, and the steering subframe with the wheels is removed from the slider. Any drilling should be carried out on a firm surface using a drill held in a mandrel or similar. Do not use a powered drill. The new hole should also be countersunk to accept the taper under the screw head. This will avoid the screw projecting too low down and risking touching the road surface. An alternative is to extend the slot in the steering slider by 1mm, and countersink the rearmost part to accept the screw head.




« Last Edit: Yesterday at 05:23:16 pm by woodbury22uk, Reason: Amended detail »
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 07:25:11 am »

Hi Mike,

That is a fantastic solution and a great tutorial.

Thanks very much for posting!

Now all we need from Oxford is a double decker Enviro 400, or something similar, which can be seen further afield than the capital!  Unless other cities are using the new Routemasters and I just haven't noticed them?

Cheers

Ben A.



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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 07:42:08 am »
I have a kit of the Enviro 400, which is being 'motorised' at the moment.

Mike has kindly let me borrow a chassis to use to test this out.

I will also do a version of my Citaro  bus, and I also have a lorry which fits onto the BM-03 chassis.

There  will be more to come............

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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2017, 02:15:49 pm »

Hi Mike,

That is a fantastic solution and a great tutorial.

Thanks very much for posting!

Now all we need from Oxford is a double decker Enviro 400, or something similar, which can be seen further afield than the capital!  Unless other cities are using the new Routemasters and I just haven't noticed them?

Cheers

Ben A.

There are a couple of good quality Wright Gemini buses on Shapeways in double deck and single deck form. My next motorisation projects. With the motorised chassis housing design already done for the WBM-L01 I just have to add the link up to the Gemini bodies. The grey cells are working on it.
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2017, 02:35:50 pm »
 :admiration: :admiration: :admiration: :admiration: :admiration:

Sheer genius. :thumbsup:
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Re: Motorising the Oxford Diecast New Routemaster bus
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 05:41:07 pm »
Shapeways have now delivered my slightly revised interface between the Tomytec chassis and the Oxford new Routemaster bus. The amendments to the fit between the chassis and the 3D printed housing have worked out as intended. I have incorporated a second window in the left side for the on-charge warning LED to be visible. I also adjusted the fit between the interface and the Oxford body, and included a blanking plate to cover the top of the forward staircase so that the running lights mostly only show where the user chooses to install light guides for the head and tail lights. There has been a minor change to the instruction about the positioning of the upper deck seating. All in all I am delighted with the final version of the interface. It really is a simple process of clipping things together. Some pictures just to round off.

The new housing




The chassis mounted in the housing





Upper deck seating  in place





Finished bus





New view from below


« Last Edit: Yesterday at 07:51:30 pm by woodbury22uk »
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