Monday, January 13, 2014

More of the Same - The Parcel Service Mack is Ready for Prime Time

Well, after many weeks of distractions (work, family, holidays, and more family).... I am picking up the pace of my n scale addiction again.  Although that pace is very slow at the moment.  I got some more custom decals from a fellow N scaler, and finished my pair of Mack Vision tractors.  Of course I could still add mud flaps, tail lights, and probably some other details, but I have decided to move on and call them "good enough" at this point.  That also means that these are available on my Shapeways shop for purchase.

I am surprised at how many hours can be spent on a small N scale truck.  Now that I have completed a decent number of models, I am more efficient with my techniques, and try to work on a small batch of models at the same time to save time.  However, I still clock at least a few hours for each model by the time I clean and prep the 3d print, prime the model, add mirrors, paint a base coat, brush on details, hand paint wheels and tires, and add final decals and details and clear coat.  And what is really frustrating is getting near completion only to make a mistake and waste those precious hours.

One thing I have learned about this tiny scale we call "N" is that it is difficult to replicate perfect results when hand painting a model, creating a custom model, or anything that requires good eyesight and steady hands.  However, it is still very satisfying to design and finish a model that has never existed before in our scale.  That is what keeps me motivated and inspired.

Anyway, here are a few more photos of the pair of Mack Vision tractors.  I added an Overnight trailer for some extra variety.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Almost There! Kenworth Bull Hauler

I managed to inch my way closer to finishing at least one of my Kenworth W900L tractors.  The camera exposes little blemishes that I need to fix, and the cab still needs a coat of clear to seal it.  The stacks are 3/64" brass rod.  Overall I am pleased with the result.  I have at least 6 more livestock trailers in progress, and would like to dress up a set of Kenworth and Peterbilt tractors in "bull hauler" fashion.

On a separate note, I have created a file of my headache racks and made them available for purchase through Shapeways.  The single axle Mack Vision and Kenworth W900 will be available soon, once I get some good photos of both completed models.  I also have a pile of items ready for ebay once I get some spare time.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year! My Kenworth W900's are Progressing

First of all, Happy New Year!  It's been a wild couple of weeks, and I haven't had much time to do anything N scale related.  It has been a nice break from the hobby, and a chance to focus on my family and my other interests.  It was about this time last year when I downloaded Sketchup for the first time, and started designing my first 3d printing models.  I have come a long way, and see some great opportunities in the future.  The hardest part now is trying to design new models, while still spending time enhancing existing models.  And I still have a huge backlog of items to paint and finish.  Oh, and don't even get me started talking about the "next" layout.  That doesn't even seem like a near term possibility as long as I keep focusing on trucks.

Oh well, I am still having a lot of fun, although the progress has slowed.  I wanted to have a complete trio of Kenworth W900's to share, but since it has been a couple weeks since I last posted, and I don't plan to have these done for another week due to some travel, here they are.  I am starting to put mirrors on my models rather than take shortcuts to get them done.  This is all part of my plan to continue to refine my designs, and give each model a bit more attention to detail.  The mirrors are simply wire and styrene.

The Kenworth W900 is a nice model, and I plan to make more configurations available in the future.  As you can see, they need some work before completion.

Here is a mirror design I am going to try for the Pete 387 and the Kenworth T800, where the mirror frame actually has some shape, beyond the standard tube bracket and rectangular frame.  This would be an added detail to the existing models.  You can see them here on a sprue so they don't get lost while printing.