Friday, May 31, 2013

Another Kenworth T800 Grain Truck + Other 3D Updates

Just a quick update tonight on some project progress.  I painted another Kenworth T800 grain truck.  This time I decided on a red box with white cab.  All of my straight trucks are tandem axle with a third tag at the rear, but I do have plans to make other configurations.  The possibilities are endless, as it just requires a simple tweak to the design file.

I am getting a nice fleet of trucks finally, as my time has been a little more focused on finishing some of the models that I have had printed.

Here is my 48' and 53' MAC aluminum trailers with mudflaps, DOT striping, and taillights.

A somewhat recent addition to my collection is a tarped version of my 43' Wilson grain trailer.  Here is the first model getting closer to completion.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Orange Crush - First Kenworth T800 Out of The Paint Shop

Now that I don't have a BNSF themed layout any longer, I plan to thin some of my collection of locomotives and rolling stock, as well as use up some of the other items I had from the Marias Pass layout.  Although a bit obnoxious, I decided to paint one of my 379 Pete cabs and my first Kenworth T800 cab with Polly S BNSF Heritage Orange.  I think they turned out nicely.

I'm starting to get a nice fleet of grain hauling rigs together now.  I still have plenty of unfinished models waiting, so the paint booth will stay busy for quite some time.  I only have the Kenworth in a straight truck version for now, but will also make a tractor like I did with the Pete.  I hope to have sleepers, grill guards, and headache racks too.  I'll get around to those someday....

Monday, May 20, 2013

Council Bluffs Sub - Let's Get Going

Tonight I started a very simple mock up of my new Council Bluffs Sub track plan.  I have the backdrop on one of the two tables and hope to begin laying out track lines soon.  Having an actual table to look at is much different than looking at a track plan on a piece of paper.

I know it isn't much to look at, but here is layout section #1 with the elevator located at the back left, meat processing and cold storage on the right, lumber transfer and wholesale, and warehouse in the front.  16' total length is going to give me a lot of real estate to work with, and I'm excited to get started.  The elevator will be the prominent industry on this section at about 4 feet in total length.

Both tables need a few inches trimmed off the front edge, and then I'll add a thin fascia.  The recess below the surface is for hand operated switch levers.

A Chapter Ends, A New Chapter Begins - Saying Goodbye to Marias Pass

With bittersweet emotion, the Marias Pass is now out of my possession, and moving east several hundred miles to its new home.  Of all my layouts to date, this by far has been the most special, for many reasons.  The timing of this sale is interesting, as the last installment of my article series in N Scale Railroading will be published in just a few weeks.  I can't believe how much time has passed since I sold my Orin Line, and at the time had only a frame with legs which would later become the Marias Pass.

I am also very excited to begin focusing attention on my Council Bluffs Sub, which is also just a couple of frames with legs, and has been resting against the wall until now.  I need a break from my 3d printing projects, and spending some time on the initial construction of the new layout will be a nice change of pace.

Eastbound and Down....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hour 25 - Making Progress on My N Scale Trucks

Once in a while, I take advantage of that extra hour in the day (hour 25) and get some modeling done.  With work, family, and farming taking up my time lately, it is hard to find time to complete any N scale projects.  I have managed to piece-meal some minutes together, and actually have a decent fleet of equipment to date.

On a somewhat related note, the Marias Pass has sold and will be on its way to its new owner in just a couple of days.  I will write more about that later, but this means that I can now dedicate my garage space to the new Council Bluffs Sub, and begin focusing on that project.  I will need a lot of trucks to support the various industries I have planned, so I am excited to get started.

So while it seems that I have been modeling in slow motion the last several months, the number of models that I have designed and printed is growing nicely.  I thought I would put several of them into a photo tonight.   This doesn't represent everything, but it does include most of the designs to date, and models in various stages of completion.  Keep watching my Shapeways store for more models in the future.

Wait There's More... 3D Models

I made a fairly easy modification to my 48' MAC flatbed trailer, and made a 53' model as well.  Both models are based on the actual MAC design, which features both lengths, as well as others.  Both have spread axles, and slight differences in the tail end.  I already have 6 of these in various stages of completion, and plan to get more.  They are easy to paint, and the arched deck gives it a great modern look.  Of course now I need to start thinking about the endless possibilities of loads for these things.  My future plans are to make a drop deck, and perhaps a couple different brands of flatbed trailers as time permits.

Here is a comparison of the 48' and 53' MAC all aluminum flatbed trailer.  I am working on mudflaps and DOT striping, and hope to have some completely finished models soon.

For Pete's Sake

It's been a few weeks since I have had anything to share related to my 3d printing project.  I was able to complete a couple new designs, and am in the process of painting and finishing some models that I have on the work bench.  Shapeways has been a great service, and I like the quality of work that they do.  However, they have recently become more fussy with their order review/approval process, and I have seen a few orders get rejected as a result.  Usually a couple minor tweaks to the drawing is all that is required to satisfy their approval process.  What is frustrating is that I will get a successful print or more, and then have subsequent orders get rejected.  It's all part of the growing pains, and I am learning to draw my models and create my files to avoid this inconsistency from Shapeways.  Their online forum has a lot of chatter regarding this issue, so I am not alone.

For those of you that have ordered my designs, I want to first say thank you for supporting this endeavor.  Secondly, please send me feedback and photos of your finished models.  I would enjoy posting some photos here on my blog.

Ok, so back to the updates.  I have a Peterbilt tractor frame now, which fits my existing cab.  I have plans for different sleeper sizes for this as well, but just need time to design them.  For now I have a nice day cab for local hauling.  The frame is stretched, since I like the look, however, I have a shorter frame as well for construction jobs.  I am a fan of straight pipes, so you will likely see few mufflers on my models.  Here is a completed tractor on the front of my Wilson grain trailer.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May/June N Scale Railroading - Snow Shed on the Marias Pass

I'm a little late with this issue, but the May/June 2013 NSR just came out a few weeks ago.  The snow shed is featured in this article.  Probably one of my favorite features on the Marias Pass.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Kenworth T800's Arrived from Shapeways

Not too much to update lately, but I did get an order from UPS last night.  This time a pair of Kenworth T800's, and my 379 Pete in a tractor version.  I had a little time to clean up one of the T800 cabs and apply a coat of primer.  I thought I would share how the shell turned out.

I also have another 379 Pete grain truck near complete, this time in black paint.  Still needs the grill and a few other details.

I keep spreading my limited time across designing new models, and finishing the items I have on my work bench.  I have a couple new models that I want to get printed, and then I will probably shift focus completely on getting my backlog of things painted and detailed.

My Shapeways shop is pretty much updated with models that I am offering for sale.  The Pete tractor and Kenworth T800 should be available soon now that I have an actual print to validate.  I also have the MAC aluminum trailer in a 53' version being printed right now.  Once I get that, I should be able to make both the 48' and the 53' available.

A couple models in the design queue are a Mack 613 Rawhide tractor with sleeper, sleepers for both my Pete and Kenworth cabs, a drop deck trailer, and hopefully that livestock trailer I started weeks ago.  Lots of other ideas in my head, just not enough time to do all of them now.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Marias Pass is FOR SALE

Hey folks,

So, most of you that follow my blog know that I was seeking a new owner for my Marias Pass model railroad several months ago.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances, the buyer that made claim to the layout is now unable to take ownership, so I am once again offering my Marias Pass for sale.  I have posted a lot of photos and details about the layout over the past couple of years, and N Scale Railroading has just printed the 10th article of my 11 article series.  With that much exposure, I feel like the layout pretty much speaks for itself in terms of how it was built, the level of detail it provides, and the amount of effort I put into the project in an attempt to replicate a fascinating place in the NW corner of Montana.

I had a great time building this layout, taking photos of the finished project, and was able to take it to two large annual local train shows.  I am ready to move on to a new project, and am looking forward to finding a new owner that can appreciate it as much I do.

Please contact me with any questions you may have, and indications of interest.  I would also appreciate help in spreading the word about the layout to interested N scale enthusiasts.

N Scale Addict