Thursday, November 28, 2013

Getting Organized - 3d Model Projects

First of all Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  I have much to be thankful for outside of this incredible hobby, but since this is an N scale blog, I am thankful for the enjoyment that this hobby has brought to me, the skills that I have learned and evolved over the years, and of course the friendships that I have made.

Secondly, I wanted to make those interested in purchasing models from Shapeways aware, that there is a great promotion going on this weekend.  I am planning to take full advantage of it myself, as I try to have a steady stream of models showing up at my door.

I started experimenting with this 3d printing drug not even a year ago, and have since developed a very strong addiction.  I continue to think about the next layout, but every time I do, I am overwhelmed with the amount of models I still want to design, and the number of models that are waiting for me to assemble and paint.  I am now toying with the idea of simply building an oval where I can run trains, without the pressure to build scenery at this time.  I have some Kato intermodal cars that I purchased this year, that haven't even been taken out of the box.  If I go too much longer without having the ability to simply run some trains, I think I could start circling the drain, and never recover.

Of course, putting the new layout project on the back burner to focus on 3d design and printing has been well worth it.  But again, I am beginning to become overwhelmed with the list of models I want to design, and the growing pile of unfinished models I currently have.

In the past several years, I have singled out the Great Train Expo as my show of choice to be a layout exhibitor, and displayed the Marias Pass one final time this year in early February.  My goal was to have something stood up for the 2014 show, but that simply won't happen.  I do however have an interest in displaying my new truck models in the 2014 show, and view it as a great motivator to get some models finished in the next couple of months.  So anyway, I bought a couple additional plastic containers with dividers to help organize my unfinished models into unique projects, so I could prioritize which items I wanted to tackle first.  Although this isn't my entire inventory, it is a nice itemized grouping of projects that I can focus on for the next several weeks.

One compartment at a time....

Monday, November 25, 2013

And Finally... the KW is Ready!

I set this project to the side a couple times, and most recently to complete my Mack Vision due to a strong urge to design a tractor for my UPS trailers.  I put the finishing touches on this Kenworth W900L tonight, and it is now ready to print.  My intention for this configuration is to have another bull hauler to go with my Pete 379 on my livestock trailers.  My herd bumper should fit this rig as well.  This should be a beauty once I have a set of straight pipes on it.  This design will have separately printed air filters like the Pete, and a separate frame and wheels.  The grill is part of the cab, and the bumper part of the frame this time.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kinze Blue & John Deere Green

Although I am more of a red fan, Deere seems to have the N scale market cornered.  Here is a pair of Kinze 1050 grain carts staged in front of a collection tractors I have.  I have 2 versions of this wagon, on both flotation tires, and row crop duals.  About the only thing left to do is a white stripe around the top, and a piece of wire added to simulate a PTO shaft in front.

One other item I wanted to mention is that Shapeways is offering free shipping on orders over $75 this week.  Here is my shop in case you need some models:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mack Vision: Single Axle Parcel Service Tractor

I recently completed a design for a Mack Vision in a single axle version which is a really good match for those used by UPS.  There have been a handful of excellent trailer models produced over the years, but not a single reasonable tractor model to pair up with them.  Well, I plan to change that with my Mack.

Here is a 3d rendering to wet your appetite.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

3D Printed Kinze 1050 Sof-Tred Grain Cart - My First N Scale Farm Implement

Inspired by this year's harvest, I decided to design a grain cart to roll beside my Wilson grain trailers.  The Kinze 1050 bushel carts are quite common, so I used it as my prototype.  It should also make a nice load once I get a drop deck trailer designed.  My N scale version features a folding auger which can be secured in either the folded or extended position.  This model has 76x50 flotation tires like the prototype, but I also have a the row-crop version with dual tires as well, and a set should be arriving from Shapeways later this week.  I may also design a third version which would feature tracks instead of tires, to round out the 3 options available from Kinze.

Overall I'm happy with how this model turned out.  There was a fair amount of cleaning to get the raw model ready for primer.  I shot a nice thick coat of white primer on one of the wagons tonight, before I snapped these photos.  The other wagon with the folded auger is not yet primed, but dry after the solvent bath.  A nice coat of blue paint, and some white stripes around the top, and this grain cart should be ready for work.  Now I just need to start working on that combine I was thinking about.

This is my first of likely many more farm implements to come.  This addiction to 3d printing is my strongest yet.  I have no idea how far this will go....


Here is a good illustration of how I designed the auger to be in either a folded or extended position.  The wagon on the left is unpainted, while the wagon on the right has been primed.  I designed the wagon as a base, separate auger, and separate tires, for easier painting and assembly.

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Latest Tractor - Mack Vision

I took a break from my other projects to design this new addition.  It's a Mack Vision, very early 2000's version.  I'll be ordering a test print soon.  I also have some other really neat models coming.

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's the Little Things in Life - Shapeways Packages

I got home today to find a Shapeways box on my doorstep.  After a long eye roll from my wife, I quickly grabbed a knife and opened it like my kids open presents on Christmas morning.  Nothing out of the ordinary this time, but lots of stuff to replenish my ebay inventory, and some models for some friends.  Kinda silly, but I decided to take a few photos to illustrate the experience of receiving a Shapeways package if you have never ordered anything for yourself.

I must say that the quality of the raw prints in my last several orders is outstanding.  Shapeways has retooled some of their website experience, and I have also noticed a difference in how they QC an order before it goes to the printer.  I have had to tweak some things in my files for them from time to time, but overall, I can tell that their goal is to identify problems up front, and avoid some of the initial success but subsequent failure in filling orders.

I continue to use Bestine as my soaking agent.  I have moved away from the jar and now have a flatter plastic container for ease of lifting the models out of the bath.  As you can see from the photo, I just dropped these models into the bath tonight, and they were very clean raw models, with little waxy residue on them.  I think Shapeways is getting the hang of this.  Now if we can get some better pricing on their frosted ultra detail (FUD).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kenworth W900 Flat Top - Coming Soon!

Here is a project that I have been working on for awhile, and put to the side when things got busy.  I have since picked up the project again and hope to have my design ready for printing soon.  Stay tuned.