WELCOME to the Steamplates website

Website updated December 7th 2016

Made up to the highest standards, not down to a price.


Your Miniature or full size Steam Engine represents a huge investment of time and money. The Name and Works Plates you fit give onlookers an important first impression.

Same As All the Rest?

If you build an established design you could buy hot-pressed or stamped plates for very little money, although your engine will be named the same as many others.

That doesn't suit many builders, it detracts from all of their hard work by removing individuality. If you built your own freelance design or used works drawings, the plates also have to be right to do justice to your efforts. In either case, only individually made plates will do.

How are you going to get bespoke plates made?

Castings

Our process wipes out the need for any pattern making or finding a Foundry that will take on a 'one off' job.

There is no doubt that having a pattern made to get 100 castings made can be a cost efficient process. Although the initial cost of making a pattern is high, it can be lost across large numbers, but will it be worth paying for a pattern if you only need one or two items produced?

Foundries are limited by the size of the casting boxes they can use, but there are no such limitations with CNC. If the job is 7ft long, then you can have it 7ft long.

Whatever size of your job is, and If you do get the pattern making and casting done, your cast plates will then need fettling, polishing and painting. Our products come fully finished - You only have to fit them.


Mounting Letters on a Backplate

If you want to avoid all the effort and expense involved in pattern making, you could spend days cutting Brass letters out from the flat. Alternatively, you could have letters cut out by Laser cutting, Water cutting or CNC milling. In any of case you will have all the 'fun' of trying to solder, glue or otherwise fix the letters to the back plate. Hopefully they will all be in line, standing up straight and level with equal spacing. The time and trouble spent on this makes the true cost of an apparently cheap method much more clear, it isn't cheap at all whilst the results can be less than pleasing.

You might choose to avoid all the above problems by getting someone to mill out the lettering relief for you as a 'job on the side', although compromises on lettering style and layout are likely. Whichever method you choose, and having got this far, you'll need to fettle the plates, polish the upper and side faces, then enjoy the challenge of painting the relief. Getting some paint in the wrong place at this point is guaranteed to bring a smile to one's lips, whereas paint rarely fills machining marks that will come back to haunt you....


Etching

You could avoid all the difficulties above, and save many hours (or weeks) of your time by spending more money to get your plates etched. This is a good solution, although in the larger scales etching can never achieve a truly authentic depth of relief.


Depth like this (1/8" or 3.2mm)
cannot be achieved by etching.


Etched plates can be good although you still have to put a lot of work into them. You may have to cut the beautifully etched but unpainted plates out from a sheet, then finish the edges without damaging the faces. Then you'll have the pleasure of painting the relief, a job that is harder and more expensive than it looks. Etched plates can be quite expensive to buy but way too shallow for any scale over 3.5" gauge, many of them look no better than transfers.


Or you could simply forget all the above!

You could relax or do something more rewarding whilst STEAMPLATES research, design, produce, polish, enamel and deliver fully finished World class plates to your door.

The choice is yours...

We make locomotive plates from 3.5" Gauge to Full Size gauge for Railway Locomotives and 1" scale to Full Size for Road Locomotives. Stationary Engine or Steam Boat Plates of similar size are also welcome! Hard Brass is the traditional choice although Cast Iron and Aluminium can be catered for.

E Mail us and send dimensions or a drawing for an estimate. We guarantee you'll get a reply!

Office 01905 759874 (Often not attended)
Mobile 07811 269186 (You can text even when this phone is off)

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