Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vintage Kits, Metal Tender, Water car, with 3d printed details

I picked this up a few years ago at a train show in Wichita.  According to the experts in the Vintage HO Yahoo group, this is a Penn Line tender, and not a rare item.  Now many are saying it is a Bowser tender.  Either way, a heavy cast metal piece.

 I have been looking for a tender to use as a water car in maintenance of way service, and this fit the bill.  It weighs ton, FWIW.

 I disassembled it for painting, so not a lot to it.  The most work was going to be fabricating ladders and railings.  As you can guess, I decided to design and 3d print what I could.

 I used various pictures for reference to get an idea of what tender steps and ladders might look like.  I printed them on one of my home printers in ABS.  

All of the ladders took several attempts to get them to fit the curves of the tender.

 I don't think a single ladder fit on the first attempt.  

The most challenging ladder was the curved ladder on the back of the tender.  On top of getting the curve correct, there were holes in the casting where the ladder was to fit.  It took several attempts to get everything lined up. 

To eliminate any need for support material, I split the ladder in half for printing.  Since it was printed in ABS, it was easily solvent welded together.

Here are a few of the ladders I printed that did not work.

I primed all the painted parts before the finish coat. The ABS parts were glued on with 5-minute epoxy.  

The top hand rails are brass wire with some old Athearn metal stanchions.  

Past vintage builds:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Vintage Kits, Roundhouse Metal.

A friend picked these up for me two years ago at the Amherst show,, the largest model railroad show in the country.  They were cheap, as they were in bad shape.

This basket case was broken in several places, and although I spent a lot of time trying to piece it back together, I finally gave up.  
I used epoxied styrene to the back of the broken parts, but in the end, there were too many problems trying to fit all the parts together.  I saved the parts to use as car shop junk.

The Great Northern Ore car in the back of the unfortunately fuzzy pictures above only had a few broken parts.  
I disassembled it, primed the bare metal surfaces, and then painted the primed surfaces with Badger Modelflex.  Modelflex has three shades of Tuscan Oxide red to choose from.  

 With some rusty weathering, the color match looks fine.

I used Sophisticated Finishes Iron paint, so in essence, the rust is really rust.

I believe all these car are Roundhouse kits.  I stripped the paint off the flat car, and tried to match the paint on the gondola, since it had lettering I wanted to preserve.  

I added A-Line metal stirrups and a brake wheel from the scrap box.  I primed the metal, then painted the sides and underframe gloss black.  I painted the "wood" with a wood toned craft paint, and added some streaks to random boards.  

I primed the interior, and painted it with a mix of Modelflex paints.  I then heavily weathered it, again with Sophisticated Finishes Iron paint.

Sophisticated Finishes Iron paint is basically fine iron mixed in paint.  So I just painted it on where I wanted rust.  Once it dries, I apply the rusting solution supplied with the paint.  Wait a day, it this is what you get.  

Other vintage HO kits I have posted about:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Vintage HO Model Kits, a couple Red Ball kits.

I like to build the old kits, using modern materials when I feel it fits the project.  I have seven vintage kits I just finished up, and will be posting them over the next couple weeks.  Here are a couple Red Ball Kits, that date back when cars had printed paper sides, and consisted of wood and metal parts...pre-plastic, for the most part.

Red Ball Tank/Box Car

I picked this up off eBay.  It had lots of damage, but it was a kit I had been wanting, and it looked repairable.  This was a prototype for an early tank car and box car combination.  The thought was that one would fill either the tank portion or the box portion, so the car could be hauling a payload in both directions.

This was a paper side kit, with cast metal details.  The ends and underframe are metal, and the roof is wood.  With a lot of weathering, it came out acceptable.

Red Ball Poultry Car
This was also a paper side kit, bit I did not use the paper sides.  I scratch built most of the model from wood, wire and tulle.  

 The only parts of the kit I used were the cast metal ends, the feed box (the wood block under the floor on this side), the wood roof details, and the metal ladders. 

 The rest is either parts from the parts bin, or scratch built.  All the lettering was done with decals, one letter at a time, based on the original paper sides.

This is the original paper side I used for inspiration.  

Next up, some Roundhouse metal kits I picked up at the Amherst Show a couple years ago.  I also have a Penn Line tender I built in to a water car, and trackside water tank that is a 1949 kit...,so it fits my modeling era perfectly. 

Until next time.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Concrete blocks, O Scale, 3d printed

I have been printing quite a few individual blocks for people, and I thought I would try to print a pallet of blocks.  Then I decided, what the heck, lets try to print the wood pallet too.

 I have not performed any cleanup on the block, I just primed them.  The pallet did take some cleanup to make it anywhere near reasonable.  

 There were some strings hanging down that needed filed off, then a little sanding on the faces.  The pallet was painted with craft paints.

I changed my design since I printed this one, and there is less stringing now, but still one or two at each board, as I am printing this without any support, and few strings will sage.

 A little sanding on the faces of the blocks would help them, but I wanted to show what they look like right out of the printer.  

And since I don't model in O scale, I don't have any use for them anyway.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

M3D Printer #3, Concrete Blocks in HO scale

For a lumber yard diorama, fsm-barnstead-lumber-ho-scale, I 3d printed several details at Shapeways, including pallets of concrete blocks and some individual concrete blocks.

As you can see, they came out fantastic, all be it, a little expensive, as Shapeways is not cheap.  

I tried printing something similar on my Afinia printer, but with it's software limitations, it will not allow one to print walls any thinner than about .020" thick.  I was able to do O scale block that look pretty good.  As noted in my previous post regarding the M3D printer, it will print smaller wall thicknesses than the Afinia.  If you print them very tall or without lots of support, they will fail, which is why the Afinia software ignores walls that thin.  

Since a concrete block is not very tall, and with all the bracing built right into the block, I thought maybe it could be printed in HO scale on the M3D.  While certainly no where near as fine as the blocks done at Shapeways, to me, they are quite acceptable as scenery items.  

This picture is of the raw prints, right off the printer.  The O scale blocks were made on the Afinia, and the HO scale ones were printed on the M3D.  The HO scale blocks take a little clean up, like a metal casting might, only they are much easier to file and sand since they are ABS plastic.

 This extreme closeup shows all the good, the bad and the ugly.  The block on right side of the penny is one make at Shapeways.  Notice it is perfectly smooth, and perfect, even in this close up view.  The stacks to the right, and the pallets to the left were printed as one piece.

 The big blocks in the upper left are O scale, and were done on the Afinia,

This a more normal viewing distance, and in my opinion, they look quite acceptable.  These were printed in white ABS, and painted.

 While I was writing this, I had some silver (it looks like gray to me) filament in the printer, so I thought I would print some in the gray to see how they looked.

Honestly, I think they look better than the ones printed in white and painted.  For whatever reason, the gray filament seems to print cleaner.  They still need some cleanup, but a few quick cuts with the hobby knife, and hit them with a file, and they will be great.

The M3D will allow me to print some items I was not able to previously.

I also printed some shelves for a piano store on the M3D, and they can be viewed at this link,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bath Fixture Update, 3d printed in HO scale

I had printed these previously, and blogged about them too, but there were issues with the designs, as some details did not print.  This post shows the redesigned items, and they all printed correctly.  For comparison purposes, here is a link to the previous post, Original shapeways-bath-fixtures post

Here is what they look like when they arrive from Shapeways.

I have used Bestine and soap and water to clean the parts after they arrive, and so far, I see no difference.  I have the Bestine, so I will use it up, but it seems to do no better than soap and water to me.

I designed two different toilets.  Both with a wall mount tanks, although by 1949, most new toilets had bowl mounted tanks.  

The bowl mounted tank design can be printed on my home printer, but to do the wall mount, I went with Shapeways.  With the lid down, the model is quite fragile. 

One lid up, and one down.  The lit up adds a lot of extra strength 

The faucets on the previous designs did not print, and neither did all the legs on the tubs.  As you can see here, with a little adjustment, the printed fine.

The supply lines under the sink are extremely fragile.

The wall mount sink also formed perfectly.  

Now all I have to do is find a use for them!  So far, I have not built a building where I needed to detail the restroom,

If you are interested in these, they are available at my shapeways shop,  Or, here is a direct link to the bath fixtures

Here are a few of my past posts on items I have designed and printed at Shapeways.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Piano's, HO Scale, 3d printed at

These can be used in a piano showroom or possibly as part of a factory scene.  I decided to build a store front, with big windows, and a full interior piano showroom.

There is a lot of information on the internet regarding sizes and styles of pianos, so that was easy information to come up with.  In my assortment there are four sizes of grand pianos, and three sizes of uprights.  As usual, I drew them in SketchUp, full size, then scaled them down for 3d printing.  Because of the fineness of detail needed for these items, I sent the files to Shapeways for printing in their FUD material.  

FUD, Frosted Ultra Detail, is very brittle, and I broke a stool and the peddles of a piano.  Since Shapeways sent me LOTS of extra stools and benches, I did not bother trying to fix the stool.  I usually glue FUD with either CA or five-minute epoxy.  I had trouble with both, getting it to hold when the glueing cross-section is only .025 inches square was an issue.  Guess what I used, yeah, Aleene's Tacky Glue to the rescue.  

Note above that I said t Shapeways sent me lost of stools and benches.  I am not sure why, but I assume they had some issues with other items being printed in the same batch, and they ended up with extra benches and stools, like lots of extras, so they had no use for them, so I got them.  I used them to make a wall display of benches and stools, and I still had extras left over to put in my furniture box for later use.

For the store setting, I built  floor and one wall for now.  (The store front is under development, and will be posted at a later date.)  The floor and wall are just some scraps of 1/4" plywood that I had laying around.  I found images of wood flooring, rock wall and oriental rugs on the fabulous internet, and using PhotoShop and PowerPoint, I put together walls and flooring sheet to print out on photo paper.  

I coated the paper with dull coat to seal it, and obviously remove the gloss.  I painted the plywood flat black, then glued the paper to the plywood.  Anyone who knows me, knows what I used to glue the paper down, Aleene's Tacky Glue.  I use it for everything.  I don't thin it, I just brush it out very thin, and press the paper in to it.  Pressing the corners down extra hard.   

This assortment is available at piano-store-stock.

Here are some shots of the diorama as it stands now.

The shelves on the wall and the music rack were printed on one of my home printers, the M3D.

Note that every piano was to have either a stool or a bench, and I received enough extras to put at least one bench and one stool at each piano, put some on the shelves on the wall, and still had some left over!

The three smaller grands. 

I added a design to the front of the tallest upright.  This was 3d printed as a raise area, and then highlighted with a silver pen.

 The two smaller uprights.

A little lower angle side view.

My original plan was to have this be the view through the front windows.

But now, I think I may go with this end as the front.

FWIW, I plan on building the store front using a Cricut, and building it up in layers.  First I have to to learn a 2d CAD software.

Some of my previous blog entries with items that were 3d printed at Shapeways: