Monday, July 9, 2012

More HO scale vehicles for the Model Railroad

I will have lots of vehicles if I ever get a real model railroad layout built.  Here are a couple construction and a couple military vehicles that I have finished up.  Both of the construction vehicles are from Mercury Lit'l Toy.

First up is this International dozer with a Drott shovel.  Mostly a stock model, but with added cab details, paint and weathering.

Second I have a Michigan scraper.  Again, pretty much a stock item with some painted details and weathering to cover damaged paint.

Roco water tank and trailer.  I do not know if the trailer is Roco or not, I actually assume not.  I bought it with some other parts and pieces.  I was glued together very poorly, so I cut it apart and put it back together as best I could.  

It seems like whenever you take pictures of a model, you find things that need fixed.  Now I have to get these back out of the military box, and add headlight, and probably tail light paint.
Next time, a bunch of 3D printed stuff.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Building the Kasia Michon

The Kasia Michon is a a passenger car I built for my HO scale 30" gauge logging and mining railroad.  First, the real Kasia Michon, my daughter in-law.  I started with a standard gauge Roundhouse Pullman Palace Observation car, and then proceeded to cut it in a million pieces.

This is the standard gauge car, as it started out, before all the cutting.
And now the cutting starts.

Viewing the side, the middle piece is what was discarded.
I wanted to detail the interior, and I could not find benches like I wanted to use, so I made them using  First I drew the benches using SketchUp, scaled them to 1/87.1, and uploaded them to  They printed them, and shipped them to me

Here at the benches, painted and installed.
The colors were chosen by Kasia Michon, colors she can see.  I think the pictures might actually be better than the model.

The restroom walls are scratch built using styrene, the floor is printed on photo paper.  The fixtures, are from Red Cap Line.  
I have to update this more often, as I have many entries worth of material.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trucks, Cabooses and Buildings, Oh My

And a bulldozer, bus and tank car.

Random model railroad items I have finished up in the last month.  

 First up, a couple Greg's Garage trailers that I custom lettered for the Atkins Pickle Company, of Atkins, AR.  I printed the decals myself, and made the art work from pictures.  The Moby Dills decal is from picture of a jar label.

This bulldozer is a Mercury Lit'l Toy with added detail.  I added the bolt detail to the blade and the control to the cockpit.  Obviously weathered it up so too.

Here we have an antique Red Ball kit, with cardboard sides, metal cast windows and ends, wood roof and floor.  I scratch built the end railings and used brass ladder stock. This is one of the few pieces of rolling stock I have lettered for my Kansas City, Fort Smith and Gulf railroad.  As a Drover caboose, it has passenger seats, and I installed seats, and have a few people sitting in them.  The pictures really aren't good enough to show them, but, believe me, they are there.

Like Greg's Garage solid resin models, Vulcan Hobbies made similar models.  I would really like to find more of the Vulcan Hobbies items, but they are relatively rare. This is a 1938 Dodge Airflow tractor, and
here, I have it pulling a Greg's Garage ribbed trailer.  The sign on the side of the trailer is retro Boulevard label, as Boulevard was not around in 1949, the year I model.

I made this tractor trailer to haul the half track concrete mixer I made last year.  The tractor is and Imex Peterbilt I painted and lettered, and the trailer was kitbashed from from a Maisto auto rack.  I made the decals myself.

I have got to start building more structures, or not.  This is a Design Preservation Model with added interior details, signs and the roof access was scratch built.  I should have gotten some good pictures of the interior and the door signs for the upstairs business.  There are two businesses upstairs, Scout Investigations, and
Jean Louise Finch, Attorney at Law.  Those refer to a book and movie, but I will leave it to you to figure out which one.  The signs were all made on the computer, and the Cook paint signs were based on photos edited in Photoshop.  This will be a corner building on my main street diorama.

I lettered this American Precision Models bus for the Missouri Pacific.  It looked like it was the right shade of blue, and so I made some decals and had me a MoPac bus.  Sure it ain't prototypical, but it captures the feeling.

I love tank cars, and this is a vintage Thomas Industries kit.  The kit had been assembled when I bought it, but only the metal tank wrapper was painted, as that is how the original kit was delivered.  I disassembled the kit and painted it per the original instructions.  FYI, if you ever need old kit instructions, try, the site is amazing.

More HO scale model railroading next time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Freight car and a Caboose

For this entry I have a couple HO railroad cars I have finished.  

The first is a old Varney Ohio Seamless Tube car with loading rack.  These models were also sold as standard gondolas, without the loading rack, and with the rack as seen here
 I purchased this is well used condition, so it took some rebuilding of damage on the loading end, and some touch up on the paint....also a little weathering to hide some of the damage.  

Next up is a drover caboose.  A drover caboose is a caboose and a passenger car of sorts.  Drovers were the cowboys taken on cattle trains to care for and wrangle the cattle.  Particularly when the cattle had to be unloaded or taken out for scheduled breaks.

This is a old, really old, Red Ball paper side kit with metal cast details.  I added some interior details, but you really have to be looking to see the people sitting in their seats.    

Next up, I am working on a 144 square inch HON30 layout, and I have another bunch of details ordered from  Lots of details being printed.  It has been hard to find time to work on model railroading, as I have started my own manufacturers rep business, and time is at a premium right now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

3D Printed Model Railroad Details

Here is an update on some of the items I had printed by First I have three views of the chain hoist. For size comparison, the I-Beam is 1/4" tall. I designed the crane in HO scale to to fit the Evergreen brand styrene I-Beam, and it fit perfectly. This was made with the shapeways UFD, (Ultra Fine Detail) product. This is a brittle material, but the detail is great. This material will allow a cross section of .30 mm, that works out to .012 inches. I primed them with white, and then weathered them using rust colored paint, and alcohol and ink. I still need a hook for the crane. I ordered the hooks with this order, but the hooks had a problem in production, so I have had to redraw them. I will be submitting them again in the coming weeks, so I can finish this project.

This is the dump truck bed. I had this made out of Black Detail material. Not near as fine as the UFD. I general, it came out acceptable, however, if you compare it to the drawings in the previous blog post, you can see it is missing some of the finer details. Also, if you look at the picture of the bottom, you will see that a couple of the support members on one side did not form completely. Note these were about half the cross-section that was supposed to be able to be formed by this material. Considering that that four out of six formed, not bad. You can see, and feel the layering in this product. This shows up more in this weathered picture. Next time I will order it made in UFD, or FD (Fine Detail). It will cost close to twice as much, but worth it for the extra detail. It is not like I am going to need more than a couple anyway. Just to see how it will look on a truck, set it on a military frame I was working on.

The capstan, idler guide and horizontal sheave was also made with the UFD material. Several cross-sections in this project, as well as the chain hoist, are at the minimum recommended measurements. With a coat of clear flat, these are ready to install on a diorama. Since all Shapeways items are sold based on cubic centimeters of material used, I will be hollowing out the capstan, as I noticed that I forgot to do that on this order. I am real happy with everything I have ordered from I will be ordering several new items from Shapeways in the coming weeks. I will also be updating my Shapeways web store and these items will be available for sale. I will have several HO scale model railroad items available, although, I am making them for my use, and if they sell, fine, it they don't, it really doesn't matter.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

3d Printing

I am certainly no expert on 3D printing, but the things you can do with this technology are endless and mind boggling. To me, it is a simple as it gets, you make a drawing, send it to the printer, in my case, and they send you the part. Below is my first attempt. I drew the bench full scale, and then scaled it down to HO scale. Obviously, you can scale it to what ever you want, so if someone wanted this in O scale, I would just resize the drawing and submit it to the printer. I first drew one bench, the added enough to do what I needed, which was six. I sent the

drawings to and this what they sent me. Shapeways has a setup charge and then charges per cubic centimeter of material used. They have many different plastics and other materials to choose from. These benches were made with the Frosted Ultra Detail material . It will allow a minimum wall thickness of .03 mm, or a little more than an inch in HO scale. I primed them, and painted them. When finished, I installed them in the HOn30 passenger car they were designed for. Obviously they could be used for many purposes, church pews, etc.

If you don't get it, what 3D printers will do, check out this video.

I have received my next batch of projects, and I in the process of painting them. Here are drawing of the next items. This is a hand operated hoist, based on one that was on the Milwaukee Road in Chillicothe, MO. The top piece is made to slide on to Evergreen brand 1/4" I-Beam. In other words, each of these pieces is barely over 1/4" in size. The prototype is a chain hoist, but because no one makes scale chain small enough for this project, I will be using thread to represent cable in place of the chain. I will be able to use chain in a couple places, but not all.

Next I have dump truck bed based on a 1942 IH design. I ordered this in Black Detail, with a minimum wall thickness of 1 mm, so some of the finer details did not print. I will have pictures of these ready to post this weekend, I hope.

The next item is a Capstan Winch Car Puller. On the chance that you don't know what a car puller is, well check out page 4 and page 16 at this link. I have modeled all three pieces, and, again, should have pictures of the final product up this weekend.