Friday, December 25, 2015

Travel trailers, HO scale, 3d printed

Since I mostly model 1949, travel trailers appropriate to the era are pretty much non-existent in HO scale.  With that in mind, I searched the internet for examples of vintage trailers.  I came up with several, and I have modeled two so far.  

1949 Boles Travel Trailer

 Prototype picture

Exploded drawing, as uploaded to Shapeways.
1949 Boles Aero Travel Trailer Ready For Shapeways 3d printed
As pictured on the Shapeways web site.
Link to the 1949 boles aero travel trailer for sale on the Shapeways site.

I have them printed in FUD (Frosted Ultra Detail), which is an Acrylic product.  As in most types of 3D printing, whenever there is an overhang of material, support material is generated to support the overhang.  With Shapeways, they decide how to orient the item to be printed, not that it makes a lot of difference in this case.

In this particular case, the printed the item on end.  I have primed the trailer so that the flaws are easier to see, and, therefore, fix,  You can clearly see the trails left by the support material under the window and the door in the upper left of this view.  I used some 400 grit sand paper to remove the roughness.

In most drawing programs the curved surfaces are actually a series of short straight lines, and this can be seen in this view of the back of the primed trailer.  Again, a touch of very fine sand paper, and this will not be seen,

Here is what all the parts looked like after painting, with a few extra wheels and tires thrown in.  I prefer the wheels and tires as separate pieces, as they are easier to paint when not one piece.  They take a little filing to remove paint from the mating surfaces, but that is simple.

A completed shot of the trailer with a CMW 1936 Ford in the picture for size comparison.  A relatively tall trailer.

Teardrop Trailer

This trailer is not based on any specific prototype, but is a composite of several different teardrop style campers from the era.

The drawing of the complete unit in SketchUp.

The exploded drawing, 

1935 Tear Drop Camper Ready For Shapeways 3d printed
The pictures of the model on the Shapeway site has the wheels and tires hidden on the other side of the trailer.

Here is what the FUD material looks like when it arrives from Shapeways.

I painted both models silver, to denote an aluminum skin, but in this case I added a wood trim.  I painted the wood trim with a paint pen,  I was going to use a Sharpie, but when I was at the art supply store, I ask for suggestions, and they thought the paint pen would be better..., and it was.

The opposite side.

A view showing the top detail.

Other examples of items I have designed and had printed at Shapeways.

I have lots of Shapeways items I am working on, including a refuse truck, Studebaker US6, a 7-Up truck, structure wall details, roof detail, and gas station details.

I also have several items I printed on my home Afinia printer that I am working on.  I also have to prepare four or five classes for the Amherst show the end of next month; I think that is Sundays project.

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 sag.  A touch with the hobby knife, and they are gone.

 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.  

The extreme close up shows all the flaws.  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,