Saturday, December 6, 2014

Quick HO vehicle kitbashes, Fire Truck & Tow Truck

These two are about the simplest HO vehicle kitbashes that you can do.  The back half of both are Athearn models, and the front half are from CMW (Classic Metal Works).  

 The fire truck was the easier of the two.  I was able to use the Athearn frame, and just needed to remove the bumper and file the gas tanks to get the CMW cab to fit.

Then I welded the bumper from the CMW frame to the Athearn frame and added the bumper mounted pump from the Athearn back on the the front.

 A pretty easy, one evening back kitbash.

I need to add a beacon to the roof, but I seemed to have misplaced the ones I had printed at  Now I will just wait until I get the SLA printer I have on order, then print one..., or a dozen.

The tow truck was more work, but only slightly more trouble,  I did have to cut the frame and weld the CMW and Athearn frames together, so maybe not anymore trouble.

 In both cases the CMW truck was a single axle tractor, so those parts went in the scrap box, while the Athearn cabs went in the junk to sell box.

 On both trucks, I used the Athearn wheels and tires.

I do need to decal this for some company, but I don't know who yet.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tube Gon, Depressed Center Flat, WP Gon

See, I do build things that are not 3d printed.

OSTX Safe Loading Pipe Gondola
This tube gondola is a kitbash based on a Walthers Ready-to-Run model.  I use decals froOBS-CALS decals.

 One end was cut out, and brass wire and tube were used to build the special end.
The prototype..., interestingly, I don't seem to find any pictures of the real thing, except in copyrighted magazine articles.  Drawings fall into the same category.

The model from Life-Like, as show in a previous post,

Depressed Center Flat Car
I picked up the basic hunk of metal at a show, no trucks, no details, just the piece of metal.  I added brake details, trucks and gave it a coat of paint.

1953 Authenticast catalog page.  I believe this is the car.  Thank you to!

Lettered for my Kansas City, Fort Smith and Gulf railroad.

National Cast Car Co kit build.
This gondola was built from a kit by National Cast Car Co. of Ontario Canada.  NCC supplied the side and end castings, the floor is just a sheet of styrene, and the under frame is from an Athearn gondola.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the only kit they ever produced.

I had long since lost the prototype information, once I got around to building it.  When I got ready to paint and letter it, I set it aside, hopping that I would find it, but after waiting a couple years, I just lettered it with some decals I had laying around.

I have a couple small dioramas that I should finish up over the long weekend, one of which is actually using 3d printed parts that were failures.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

HO Wrecker KitBash, Matchbox bed with 3d printed details, IMEX Cab

From this

To this

Bed with out the added pulleys and rigging.

3d printed pulleys added.

I started the project by first acquiring the Match Box model I needed, and then figuring out how the rigging should work.  Once I figured that out, I went about designing and engineering where the pulleys would and/or could be mounted.

I knew the parts would be fragile, so I printed out twice what I actually needed, just to be covered if I broke or lost a part.  This is the actual drawing, as sent to for printing.

 The parts as they came from

 I used CA to glue the new parts in place, and drilled holes in the metal bed where needed to install rods to hold the pulleys.

 Painted and ready to string some cable.

The cab is from IMEX, I just cut the frame and glued it with epoxy to the Matchbox bed.

The gas cans in the back are also 3d printed at shapeways, as is the beacon on the roof.

The decals on just from the decal box.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Just Giggles #6, Auto transmission in O scale, Theater seats in HO

Just to see if I could figure out how to get an acceptable print on these item,  If what I ended up with is acceptable will up to those that were interested in these items.

First up, someone (I don't name names) online was looking for some O scale automotive transmissions, needing a dozen or more.  I can't imagine where one would find those, but thought it sounded like a reasonable item to try to 3d print.  He sent me a picture of what he was looking for, and I found a few more online.

 Drawing one was relatively simple.

I uploaded the drawing to shapeways, and they come out at about $6.00 a piece in their Frosted Detail material.  They would be nice, but over $70.00 for a dozen of them seems a might stiff.

Really just to get an idea for as to the size, I printed one on my Afinia.  
 Not bad, for such a small part, you should be able to click on the picture and get an extreme close up, but you know, for scenery, this might work.  And heck, they would only be $1.00 each.  I told the gentleman that I would send him one as a sample, to see if he thought they were acceptable, then, upon further review, I just printed out a handful and will send them too him.  If the work for him, I will send him an invoice, if not, oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

An interesting side note.  Check out the subtle but, in my opinion, obvious difference in the quality of the one on the left versus the one on the right.  (Yes, these are primed, if not they are very hard to photograph, and it is hard to make out the details.)  The one the left was printed as a batch of 20 at a time.  The one on the right was printed by itself.  The difference in quality is due to the heat used in the process.  When printing 20 at a time, each layer has time to cool before the next layer is added, and it made for a much nice part.  A good thing to remember.

I threw some A&I on a few to highlight the good and the bad.  I would think they might work for scenery, but that will be up to the person who requested them.  

Number two, same scenario, someone asking where they can get something, in this case, theater seats, a bunch of them.  I thought this would be relatively easy...but the best of well laid plans.  I don't even want to think about how much time I have in getting something I think is acceptable.  

Here is the first attempt, the seats had holes in them, and there are other issues to numerous to mention...sorry about the bad picture.

To simplify matters for the blog, I just lined up all the attempts in a row, and did a video of them.  Jason, this is for you, since you asked about all my failures at the clinic I did at the MoPac/Frisco convention.  

Note that some have been primed and some have had A&I applied to make them photograph easier. The last one, is the one I deemed as acceptable.

 Also, below are some individual shots of failed attempts.

Mostly, I was having trouble with the under side of the seats, but on a couple, I had trouble with the seats sticking to the print platform because the surface between the two was so small.  

In the end, I painted up the one good one I printed, and will probably send it to the person looking for seats to see if they will work for them.  I made the drawing modular, so changing the row from four seats to ten would take less than a minute.  

I also uploaded this file to shapeways, and in their Frosted Detail, this set would run over $7.00.  Using FD, I could actually thin this out, and eliminate the support underneath, and probably save a couple dollars, but still, they would be over a dollar a seat.  I can do these for 50 cents a seat.  That is unpainted, but then so it stuff from  So we will see what works.

Until next time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cassville and Exeter Depot, 3d printed in HO scale

This should be a pretty easy post to do, since I just did a clinic on this at the MoPac & Frisco convention a few weeks back in Joplin.  Just cut a past from that presentation, except now I have to write something instead of just flapping my lips.

I am always looking for something new to try, and this looked like it would just fit on my small printer in one direction, and, if I could design it correctly, it would be the largest item I had printed.

I found this picture of the Cassville and Exeter depot in Cassville, MO on Jeff Cooney's web site.  It was dated 1953.

With a little internet research, I found two more pictures at the Barry County Historical Society.

From this photos, I was able to determine the window and door arrangement for about three quarters of the building.  What is behind the engine in the second photo, I have no idea, and what the opposite end looks like.  I made a few assumptions, and started drawing.

I first uploaded the color picture and sizing it full size using the assumption that the door was a standard 3' x 6'-8' door.  I then went window shopping, literally.  I looked through the Tichy online catalog to find some windows and doors that would fit this build.  

I then drew the windows, 

colored them so they would be easy to see, and placed them on the model in the correct locations.

Then I punched out the openings, and added the gable ends, Now, if you have followed my blog much, you will recall that to get lap siding to print best, the building should be printed upside down.  

So I designed a support system to be cut off later.  Then I flipped up for printing.

 Here is a screen shot of the print software, showing that the building takes up most of the printing platform.

This is by far the longest print I have done, this building took 17 hours and 25 minutes!

This is a shot of the printer after several hours. You can see the support material for the windows, the vertical columns of material, and you can see the horizontal line, which is the line between the support material I designed, and the start of the building.  Everything below that horizontal line will be cut away.

After cutting off the support material, I primed the building and added some color to show through the peeling paint.

Windows, building and roof supports painted and ready to assembled.

The windows and doors all fit fine, which is good, cause I would not want to have to watch another 17 hour print.

 For the roof supports, I designed two fixtures to not only hold the 4x4 lumber while the glue dried, but I was also able to use the same fixture to cut the lumber to size.

The windows were solvent welded in using Methylene Chloride.  Styrene sheet was used for the roof and Laser Kit paper shingles were applied.  The wood roof supports were glued in place with Aleenes Tacky glue.

 I have not had time in the last few weeks to install the dock on the end, and plant it on a diorama.

 A good shot of both of the wood roof supports.

I over did the peeling paint.

The shingles are just dry brushed with craft paints.

I will be finishing this up with a diorama that includes track, the loading dock and a parking area.  I also still have to put the glass in the windows.