Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another Mack CH613 Tractor - Mine This Time

I recently posted some photos of a Mack CH613 tractor completed by a good friend of mine.  I have had my own first version in various stages of progress for several weeks now, and finally finished it up.  Probably could use some mud flaps, and perhaps a wet kit.  I could see a lot of uses for this tractor, as well as a lift axle version with a heavy lowboy trailer for construction equipment.  Oh the possibilities are endless.

I think I'm getting better at painting wheels, and my fronts are much easier now that I made the rim a bit more prominent.  I hope to do some "how to" series in the future to illustrate how I complete these models, but I am seeing some really nice outcomes from various modelers without them.  I guess sometimes leaving the kit open to creativity yields some unexpected and very appealing results.

I haven't had much time to do any design work, but I do have a Kenworth 900 in the works and hope to have it ready soon.  Of course, just maintaining my current files and keeping current with Shapeways can take up a lot of time.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thank You Steve for the Video Promo

It's always great to get feedback from others about my truck models.  Steve (banjol4595) has taken the time to capture some video of a couple of trucks and trailers that he acquired through my Shapeways store.  Looking great Steve.  Thanks for sharing.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pete 387 - Fresh from the Paint Shop

I have my first Peterbilt 387 in full paint.  Overall I am very happy with how it turned out.  It takes a steady hand and a very small paint brush for the detailed work.  It still needs an exhaust stack behind the sleeper, and I will probably add some mudflaps when I have time.  Mirrors on this model would probably be a fairly easy addition, as they are a single lower arm, and a large aerodynamic housing for the mirror.  The extra bulk would make it easier to replicate this in N scale versus a conventional mirror frame which tends to get a bit chunky on N scale models.  There are plenty of N scale trucks that don't have mirrors such as the Kato Volvo, so I guess I will personally consider this an option.  I would rather spend the time painting the rest of my unfinished models at this point.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mack CH613 Tractor - Arizona Style

My good friend Bob actually beat me to the first finished Mack CH613 tractor model, so I asked him to share some photos of his work.  I have also received some photos from others that have purchased my models and finished them.  I will share those in the future when I have more time to organize those files.  My goal is to create an album of 3d models, both my own, and models that others are willing to share.  So thank you to those that have sent photos, and anyone else willing to share photos, please do so.

Bob does great work, and I hope to feature more of his finished models in the future.  Here is his Mack CH613 with a headache rack.  He used window tinting for the cab glass.  I think it looks great.

Here is my first Mack CH613 dump truck that I already shared in an earlier post:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pete 387 - A Sneak Peek !

The new hard drive is in, so I am up and running again.  To my surprise, Sketchup has a new 2013 version which I discovered after the new install.  It looks very similar to what I was using before, but I haven't used it yet to see what is different.  I am itching to get back to designing, but meanwhile, I have had a couple Shapeways packages arrive.  I have sleepers for my Pete 379 and a new frame which includes twin 150 gallon fuel tanks.  I also revised my front wheels to make the rim more prominent for ease of painting the rim/tire.  Thanks Glenn for that suggestion.  The highlight however was a pair of Peterbilt 387's.  I posted the 3d renderings of this beauty a while back, and now that I have the actual print result, I am very impressed.  My focus to date has been day cab tractors and trucks, yet I have been eager to start designing some over the road rigs.

Well here is a sneak peak of the pair so far.  One is in primer, and the other cab has its final blue coat.  I designed the simulated sleeper glass and headlights with a slight recess to provide a subtle line for filling in with a brush or marker.  After the solvent bath, clean up was very minimal.  This is where I am as of tonight.  I think the primered cab will get red paint, and I might shoot that before I go to bed.  Hopefully in the next couple of days I can paint my details, and have a completed model to share.  Let me know what you think.

Here is a comparison between the 387 Pete and a Kato Volvo.  The biggest difference that pops out at me is the Honda Civic tires and wheels that Kato put on their truck model.

Here's a converted reefer that my friend Bob made up for me.  I think it makes a nice pair.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Inspirations & Aspirations of Printed Models

First of all, my hard drive is dying a slow death, so while the new hardware is on the way, I am backing up a few remaining files, and getting ready for that exciting half a day of installing software, and setting up my PC the way I want it.  That said, this is a good reminder to all, that backing up files is never a bad idea.  I routinely back mine up, and thankful that I got sufficient warning versus a quick and irreversible shutdown.

I have mentioned here before that in addition to my full time career, I also help manage a 600 acre corn/soybean family farm.  We will begin harvest very soon, so between computer issues and many extra hours in the field, my time to work on N scale projects will be slim.  My Pete 387 will arrive on Tuesday via UPS, so I am very excited to see the results.  The Kenworth 900 will most likely wait until after harvest.

Enough babbling.  Now that I have this 3d design and printing initiative (addiction) consuming a good part of my life, I have looked at our Case IH 2577 through an N scale lens and have been more than once inspired to create my own 3d model.  A very similar inspiration led to the genesis of the 43' Wilson grain trailer.  It strays even further from model railroading than my current truck and trailer models, but it is still a major void in our scale that I am sure many N scalers would find a use for.  So as I am sitting in the seat over the next several weeks, I will begin thinking about what it might take to design one.  Lucky for me, I have my own model I can study and measure.  Anyone else interested in a red harvester?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Another Truck on the Way

With my Pete 387 in the process of being printed, I have already begun work on the next big rig.  It is amazing how many short cuts I have learned with Sketchup, allowing me to produce designs in short order.  It still takes many hours per design, which is the biggest hurdle for me being limited with time.

I hope to have this one wrapped up in the next week or two.  This time I chose a Kenworth W900L to compete with my existing Peterbilt 379.  My inspiration for this model has been my livestock trailer.  I see almost 90% of local cattle haulers being pulled with a KW or Pete.

My first version will feature a 72" flat top sleeper.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

UP Council Bluffs Sub - More Revisions

My life must be changing, because with as many things as I have going on in my life now, I don't know how I managed to build my Marias Pass in less than 18 months.  I do recall several nights up to and past midnight working on trees.  That said, I know most of my precious hobby time has been spent designing and finishing trucks and trailers, and I continue to neglect the new layout project.  Of course I am the type of person that if an unfinished project becomes stale, or goes too long without proper attention, I lose interest, and sometimes abandon it completely.  My Council Bluffs Sub has become victim of that, and I am already looking at different bench work arrangements.

As you might recall, I had 2 8' table sections built and waiting for final touches before laying out track lines.  I have already dismantled one of the two tables, and I really like how the remaining 8 foot table fits in my garage space.  I had toyed with the idea of a 10x4 foot "L" shaped shelf layout, and wrote about that a couple weeks ago.  Further noodling on this subject has produced yet another idea.  This time it is an 8x4 "L" shaped layout, with a permanent shelf, and enough staging on the backside of the backdrop for a possible scenic'ed space rather than simple hidden staging.

My logic is as follows:

I like the idea of a small simple shelf layout that I could finish in a reasonable amount of time without it becoming stale.  I imagine that my 3d design and printing efforts will continue into the foreseeable future, and I doubt I will have large sums of time to dedicate to a larger layout project.  This space still leaves me enough room for the industries that I had proposed on the original design, but more condensed.  The purpose of this shelf layout is becoming more of a "diorama" where I can showcase my trucks and trailers, and I am putting more emphasis on this modeling aspect as time goes on.

So here is a mock up of an 8x4' "L" shaped shelf layout.  I still plan to maintain a similar track plan as the previous "L" that I posted a couples weeks ago, with the extension for switching.  The lower shelf was added for storage, and additional bench work integrity if I choose to use smaller lumber pieces to keep the overall structure light weight.