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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed These are our AB brake system sprues, without regulators. In front is the &quot;small&quot; size sprue, in SFDP; in back is the &quot;large&quot; size sprue, in XSFDP. The &quot;extra large&quot; size sprue is not shown.

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These are our AB brake system sprues, without regulators. In front is the "small" size sprue, in SFDP; in back is the "large" size sprue, in XSFDP. The "extra large" size sprue is not shown.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed These are our AB brake system sprues, without regulators.  In front is the "small" size sprue, in SFDP; in back is the "large" size sprue, in XSFDP.  The "extra large" size sprue is not shown.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed These are our AB brake system sprues, without regulators.  In front is the "small" size sprue, in SFDP; in back is the "large" size sprue, in XSFDP.  The "extra large" size sprue is not shown.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed The parts are protected in large cage-like sprues.  The best way to begin removing the parts is to cut the main cage into its individual brake system sprues.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed The parts are protected in large cage-like sprues.  The best way to begin removing the parts is to cut the main cage into its individual brake system sprues.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Next, cut the sprues next to each component.  Press your blade against a cutting surface whenever possible-- or use sprue clippers.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Next, cut the sprues next to each component.  Press your blade against a cutting surface whenever possible-- or use sprue clippers.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This is a safe way to free the delicate AB valve from its sprue.  Watch out for the air filter!
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This is a safe way to free the delicate AB valve from its sprue.  Watch out for the air filter!

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Note the thin sprue "gates" that aid in freeing the brake levers-- these can be used to index a blade.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Note the thin sprue "gates" that aid in freeing the brake levers-- these can be used to index a blade.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed The four brake components are shown freed to the left.  And look at all the cool scrap shapes that you get to the right-- a free bonus!
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed The four brake components are shown freed to the left.  And look at all the cool scrap shapes that you get to the right-- a free bonus!

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This is a safe way to handle the AB valve while working.  Again, watch out for the delicate details.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This is a safe way to handle the AB valve while working.  Again, watch out for the delicate details.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed You way wish to file off the little mounting pins.  A gently-applied sanding stick will do this quickly and easily.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed You way wish to file off the little mounting pins.  A gently-applied sanding stick will do this quickly and easily.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This is a Tichy boxcar underframe, prepped with some styrene stock shapes to create a typical AB brake mounting bracket layout.  Mounting locations did vary by prototype, so there is some freedom at this stage.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This is a Tichy boxcar underframe, prepped with some styrene stock shapes to create a typical AB brake mounting bracket layout.  Mounting locations did vary by prototype, so there is some freedom at this stage.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Here is a suggested AB brake layout using a Tichy boxcar.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Here is a suggested AB brake layout using a Tichy boxcar.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed All wire pieces fit into pre-formed holes in the brake components.  No modifications have to be made to the Tichy parts, either.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed All wire pieces fit into pre-formed holes in the brake components.  No modifications have to be made to the Tichy parts, either.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Note the detail around the AB valve!  All of the valve ports have pre-formed holes for easy wire installation.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Note the detail around the AB valve!  All of the valve ports have pre-formed holes for easy wire installation.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Another view of the AB valve.  Install as much or as little extra wire detail as you like!
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Another view of the AB valve.  Install as much or as little extra wire detail as you like!

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed The brake cylinder features a pre-formed shackle that can accept scale-size chain.  If the shackle is cut off, there is also a hole hidden behind it for a direct rod connection, for those who'd prefer to install a handbrake rod that way.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed The brake cylinder features a pre-formed shackle that can accept scale-size chain.  If the shackle is cut off, there is also a hole hidden behind it for a direct rod connection, for those who'd prefer to install a handbrake rod that way.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This is a "cheat sheet" chart for those wishing to install piping into their AB valve.  The center port is often left unused in models (including the example photos shown here) but it is included anyway for those intrepid souls wishing to try it.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This is a "cheat sheet" chart for those wishing to install piping into their AB valve.  The center port is often left unused in models (including the example photos shown here) but it is included anyway for those intrepid souls wishing to try it.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This image illustrates the typical mounting orientation for the air reservoir, with the notches in the ends facing towards the rails.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed This image illustrates the typical mounting orientation for the air reservoir, with the notches in the ends facing towards the rails.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed From the side, the parts offer a very nice silhouette.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed From the side, the parts offer a very nice silhouette.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Another track-level view.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Another track-level view.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Another use for K.Kadwell brakes-- replacing damaged parts, as was done with the missing air reservoir on this service-worn car.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Another use for K.Kadwell brakes-- replacing damaged parts, as was done with the missing air reservoir on this service-worn car.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Once painted, it's better than new.
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Once painted, it's better than new.

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Remember what we said about free scrap?
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed Remember what we said about free scrap?

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed The quintesential railroad parts pile... (Roundhouse built by Gary Wemyss.)
HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator 3d printed The quintesential railroad parts pile... (Roundhouse built by Gary Wemyss.)

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HO AB Brake System Kit WITHOUT Regulator

$12.00
3D printed in matte translucent plastic that showcases fine and intricate details.
QTY
Product Description
2019 Update: This product page now sells AB air brake systems WITHOUT attached regulators only.  AB air brake systems WITH attached regulators can now be found on their own separate product page via our main Shapeways store page.

This product is now available in three sprue sizes, which can be selected from the menu to the right.  The "small" size includes 2 complete AB brake system sprues (as originally offered); the "large" size includes 4 complete AB brake system sprues; the "extra large" size includes 16 complete AB brake system sprues (available in SFDP only).​  A small hobby blade and a file or sanding stick will be required to separate parts from their sprues and to clean up the edges.

The parts are offered in both SFDP and XSFDP, although, as the pictures above attest, there is virtually no discernable difference in quality between the material grades.  SFDP looks and feels beautiful!

This model now features improved, more accurate geometry, too!

- - -

This may not be the first AB air brake system offered in HO scale-- but it just may be the best!

Included with each AB brake system sprue are:

-AB valve with attached air filter;
-Air reservoir;
-Brake cylinder with attached piston rod, B-end brake lever, and lever hangers;
-A-end brake lever with attached lever hanger and pivot bracket (for a version that includes an attached brake regulator, please visit the appropriate product page via our main Shapeways store).

Multiple sprues are included according to size selected before purchase!

BACKGROUND

The AB brake system replaced the earlier K brake system as the AAR standard design for American railroads in 1933, making it mandatory equipment on all cars built after that date.  By the early 1950s, AB brakes were required on all cars used in nation-wide interchange service.

THE KIT

These AB parts are not modeled after parts already produced by "the other guys"-- these parts are truly scale, modeled from prototype drawings, plans, and photographs.  The cylinder, reservoir, and infamously-complex AB valve are modeled with exacting scale fidelity-- you may be surprised to see how much better these parts look than those found included on high-end models!  But even the lowly brake levers, with their included hangers and rod hinges, are made to AAR-standard lengths and proportions.

Use these parts to bring your current R-T-R models up to a new standard, to repair damage, or to detail a kit or scratch-building project already under way!

These parts are designed to be not only incredibly realistic but also easy-to-use.  Because the brake levers and hangers are offered as pre-made assemblies, there is far less chance of fumbling with small parts compared to some other brake system kits-- and you can still "see through" them for an impressive side-view profile.  The AB valve has its scale air filter pre-installed, also helping to keep delicate work to a minimum.  All of the parts-- including the brake levers-- have pre-formed holes for the easy installation of wire pipes and brake rods as supplied by the modeler (0.012 or 0.0125 rodding is recommended).  The AB valve has holes in its back for all five of its prototypical ports-- including one in the air filter itself.  The B-end brake cylinder lever features a realistic printed clasp for the installation of a metal hook and handbrake chain, but it also features a hole behind that clasp for modelers interested in an even more secure attachment point.

INSTALLATION

All of the parts feature mounting pins.  The brake cylinder and AB valve feature pins that will fit into #76 drill holes.  The air reservoir and brake levers feature pins designed for #80 drill holes.  Because the cylinder and AB valve are mounted to their sprues via their pins, be careful not to trim off the pins by mistake when removing the sprues-- although if this does happen, both of these parts feature broad flat surfaces that are still easy to glue to.  Of course, all pins can also be cut off intentionally if it is desired to glue any particular component to a flat surface without using a pin hole.  Because brake-mounting brackets varied by prototype, styrene plastic may be needed to create new mounting brackets for these parts, depending on the HO car being used.

MISCELLANY

Because the brake levers and hangers are made to railroad industry standards, they will fit almost any center sill without modification-- we've tried them successfully on cars from many manufacturers (Tichy center sills run a bit narrower than most, but our brakes will still fit-- see photos above).  However, please note that our brake levers are not made to fit "fishbelly" center sills-- although they can be made to work with a bit of modification.

The brake systems are delivered in sprues that form a cage around all of the parts to protect them during shipping.  Care must be taken in cutting away the cage and removing parts from the sprues-- please separate one part at a time from the cage before removing the direct sprue connections.  See illustrations above.

The AB valve and its attached air filter feature several delicate details!  To avoid unwanted damage, see photos above for recommended handling techniques for this part.  (We went a bit above and beyond with this valve, figuring that, even if damaged, one of our AB valves is still better than anyone else's!)

As always, take care when using blades to cut sprues, and enjoy using these parts!
 
Details
What's in the box:
AB brake system 2019 HOx2
Dimensions:
2.98 x 0.9 x 2.77 cm
Switch to inches
1.17 x 0.36 x 1.09 inches
Switch to cm
Success Rate:
First To try.
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Rating:
Mature audiences only.
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