News Etched Brass Fanatic's... Miller Engineering is considering!

rray Jan 14, 2020

  1. rray

    rray Staff Member

    7,217
    3,737
    123
    Although I have a laser and can make almost any structure I want, I cannot compete with the quality and finescale beauty of etched brass and stainless steel structures and details. There is a percieved value with anything made from metal, that it is better than wood, and anything wood is better than plastic, then paper and resin on the quality list.

    So I desire etched metal kits most. I get this from my grandfather, who I had in my life till I was almost 52 years old. Grandpa was an HO and Z Scale modeler, and he built many of the Miller Engineering kits for his layout. I used to give hime my wood kits to build, and although he enjoyed them, he said the metal kits were the best. They are high quality jewels, with a fine and precise fit and finish. Wood is thick, and there are times where the combination of wood and metal would yield the best possible outcome, however metal is best.

    Grandpa also had an extensive collection of Hubley metal automobile kits displayed that he built, detailed, painted and even used scale polish and scale wax on, just like a real car.

    So I have spent considerable time scouring the web for availability of etched brass and etched stainless kits, and the 3 major suppliers of the day, Miller Engineering, Micron Art, and Train Cat are all dried up. Ebay trading has reached rediculous values lately, reflecting their exclusive rarity.

    So knowing that Micron Art, and Train Cat are no longer in business, I wrote to Miller Engineering pleading for limited runs of their Z Scale city buildings. They at one time offered an extensive line of 2 and 3 story downtown brick structures called Micro Structures. They offered movie theaters, banks, apartments, triangle buildings, diners, etc. They even had a fantastic drive in theater kit called the Starlight Drive In.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Today I received a reply from Chris at Miller Engineering saying they are considering bringing out a limited run of their Z Scale buildings in early summer, and they would be announced in their newsletter. So I asked to be put on their mailing list.

    If you are like me, and really want a chance at stocking up on these prized etched metal structure kits, then I would ask that you email milleren@microstru.com and let them know what you are interested in. It would be nice to have at least all their Downtown Series structures replenished, but even nicer if all their Victorian Series, and a few of their Starlight Drive In kits were re-ran.

    People are getting old, and this hobby is not growing in numbers like the global population, so it's time to step up, voice your desires, and vote with your almighty hobby dollars while you still can. :D
     
    Raytl, gmorider, Pig Gap and 7 others like this.
  2. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

    2,519
    173
    45
    I used to etch myself at home with the Micro Mark kit. It was OK results as long as the sheets were thin (like .005"), but thicker stuff takes longer and increases the chance of it turning out bad. And half etching a whole piece to get rivets doesn't work that well. I was looking to find a service that could etch my parts and found a bunch, but they all wanted large full sheets (around 12x24" or bigger) and I needed to order lots of those sheets (min order) to get it done. So I never did.
    Then someone pointed me to PPD in Scotland. They will do much smaller sheets (like piece of paper size) and if you want to only order 1 sheet that is fine. They charge you to make the artwork from your drawing. The "artwork" is like a photo negative. After the artwork is made you can order as many sheets of it as you want. I usually order 2 or 3 sheets just to have extra parts and all in with shipping to the USA would come to about $75. I never really made a "kit" mostly just parts for my own models. The sheets come attached to thin wood sheets to survive shipping.

    https://ppdltd.com/services/model-rail
     
    Kez and bostonjim like this.
  3. rray

    rray Staff Member

    7,217
    3,737
    123
    How is the learning curve to draw parts for half etching so you can make bends? I mean, how do you know how wide to make a line for folding properly, or how close you can space and how small you can make your rivets, etc?

    I found a great source of cheap brass tubing for making lamp posts and crookneck lamps, etc. Today I got an order of 100 pieces of 15" long .030" brass tube for $15. The hole is only .015", however the red and black insulated stranded wire on .0402 wired LED's is .011".

    I ordered 100pc of the .07mm and 100pc of the .08mm brass single hole EDM Wire Electrode Tube off ebay, and it arrived today. It's fairly flexible, and I tried to fir that insulated wire into the .07mm (.027"), but it didnt fit. But the .08mm (.030") tube I can fit that wire through. I have some red and blue enameled #40 wire that will fit inside the .07mm tube. Now I know you can purchase teloscopic brass hobby tube that has thinner wall and you can fit more wires inside, but it is very expensive. The EDM Electrode Tube costs 1 penny per inch!

    Thats going to allow you to make convincing crookneck lighting for about 50 cents a lamp if you purchase the prewired 0402 LED's
     
    husafreak, gmorider and bostonjim like this.
  4. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

    2,519
    173
    45
  5. HoboTim

    HoboTim TrainBoard Supporter

    1,561
    365
    37
    Fantastic Information!!!! I look forward to their releases!

    Thanks Robert!!!!
     
  6. HoboTim

    HoboTim TrainBoard Supporter

    1,561
    365
    37
    [​IMG]

    Thar be brass sheds here!!! They may not be as photo-resist-icated (pun) as those Miller or Micron buildings, but they are brass and they are modern!
     
    ddechamp71, gmorider, Kez and 4 others like this.
  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

    7,217
    3,737
    123
    Thanks for the PDF's Chris. Those are sweet sheds Tim. Hey guys, be sure to email Miller Engineering with a list of kist you want them to re-release. We have to light a fire under their butts or they might not feel there is enough demand.
     
    gmorider likes this.
  8. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

    350
    282
    16
    Rob Where did you find the brass tubing?
     
  9. Pig Gap

    Pig Gap TrainBoard Member

    18
    19
    8
    Just sent off my e-mail pledging my first born if they decide to reissue the kits. I have three on my bench right now that I paid and arm and a leg for, and with no more arms and legs left, I am throwing in my first born. (It's about time he moves out of the basement anyway, so I have more room for my layout.)
     
    kimvellore, Kez, Kurt Moose and 3 others like this.
  10. cjm413

    cjm413 TrainBoard Member

    112
    40
    11
    A replacement for Micron Art's freight car ladders and brakewheels set would be extremely useful for the Marklin freight car set that I picked up awhile back.

    Right off the bat, this set would account for one pair of ladders and one brakewheel for the "boiler" load that I plan to turn into a second tank car, a second brakewheel for the weird 64' flat I plan to cut down to a 53'6" flat, and a third brakewheel to replace the crude stock brakewheel on the tank car.

    The gondola could also use a new brakewheel, but I'd prefer to replace it with a Micro-Trains Ajax brakewheel than one from the Micron Art set. 20190804_205121.jpg

    Sent from my LM-X410(FG) using Tapatalk
     
    gmorider likes this.
  11. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

    892
    1,239
    29
    Great looking stuff. However, cardstock is my number one preferred material as I model 1/384 scale as some of you know. I just check in here to see the quality. :)
     
    Kurt Moose and rray like this.
  12. rray

    rray Staff Member

    7,217
    3,737
    123
    I got it on ebay. 100 pcs brass electrode tubes I went to the sellers store and bought 2 different sizes, and the price reduced to $15 for 100 pcs at 15" long. Great value, if you want to make custom lamp posts and stuff.
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  13. SMR

    SMR TrainBoard Member

    432
    3,084
    35
    Hi Robert,

    If it helps, we would be more than willing to provide them with some nice pictures of their products for marketing purposes........
    E.g.;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    .....or even a story about THE RAVEN (Edgar Allan Poe)..... "Never-more".......

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Best,
    Sven

    [​IMG]
     
    ddechamp71, zdrada69, EMD F7A and 5 others like this.
  14. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    473
    280
    7
    Fingers crossed that I'll own a few of these some day, I did email them, my favorite part of Z scale so far is building the buildings!
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  15. rray

    rray Staff Member

    7,217
    3,737
    123
    Those are some really nice examples Sven! All the details you added really adds life to the scene, an older neglected railroad town in need of a little TLC. ;)
     
  16. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

    892
    1,239
    29
    Very high quality work. Makes me want to go door to door and sell vacuums. :cool:
     
  17. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    473
    280
    7
    I have had a lot of friends and family ask me what’s up with your new hobby of trains? It’s been one year for me now. And it is interesting that everyone really likes them! Anyway, after a quick running demo I always grab a computer and show them the photos SMR has posted here of The Old Port Shop. The usual response is “OMG! That is incredible!”. And I tell them that is why I’m doing this.
    I’m happy to at least know where those buildings came from.
     
  18. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    2,767
    583
    48
  19. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    473
    280
    7
    Thanks Jeff! I am familiar with the Niles Canyon Z layout, close to home! But not that part of the AZL website. I hope your BAZ layout is pictured there as that is what convinced me to be Z.
    Back to on topic!
     
  20. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    473
    280
    7
    Are there Miller Engineering buildings on the BAZboys layout?
     

Share This Page