Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pickup Trucks are Out of the Paint Shop - Silverado and Ram

Vehicles are hard to paint!  Enough Said.

Here is my first Silverado and Ram out of the paint shop.  I am happy with the results, although the detail is hard to paint.  It takes a very steady hand and very fine paint brush.  The separate rims and tires worked perfectly.  I'm getting a hang of this 3d design stuff.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Reefer Fuel Tanks & Traffic Barrels

While I was designing my 53' reefer, I decided to take the fuel tank and add it to Shapeways as a separate detail.  I know Trainworx makes a fuel tank, but it is a longer version.  My design is a much more common 60 gallon tank that can be found on most modern day reefer trailers.  My design comes as a 6 pack on a sprue.  They are oriented upside down for optimal printing.

Another idea that I had was a simple traffic barrel for road scenes.  I created these in a 12 pack, in clusters of 4 to a sprue.  I think these took about 5 minutes to design, but I haven't seen these in N scale before.

Monday, February 9, 2015

20' Container Chassis Revisit

It sure feels good to start finishing some truck and trailer models again.  Of course I quickly get too many going at once and am overwhelmed by the amount of time it takes to properly finish just a single model.  I recently bought a pair of my 20' container chassis, as I never actually had one to display here on my blog or on my Shapeways shop.  It's a very nice model, and fits a 20' container perfectly.  I designed the axles as a separate component so that they could be assembled in the extended position as you see below, or the collapsed position when not carrying a container.  I think 20' containers are unique and have a dozen or so for my future layout, and these chassis will make a nice addition to a container yard or highway scene.  Here is my original post about the chassis design.

I took the opportunity to also photograph one of my Kenworth K100's with mirrors and railings applied.

The container chassis are available in my Shapeways Shop

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Custom Pete 389 - Now I'm Just Showing Off

I have been so focused on designing new truck models over the past couple of years, that I decided to take a step back and look at the finer details of trucks in general, and find ways to make my existing designs better.  I have already shared some of those ideas here on my blog, and now I thought I would get fancy and have some fun with my Peterbilt 389.  I'm not a guy that really appreciates some of the extreme mods that truck owners make to their rigs, however, I know I can find some room in my collection for at least a few custom rigs of my own.  

This rendering doesn't do this rig justice, but that is all I have at the moment.  Once I get this printed, I will use styrene to cover the space between the frame rails, add some nice straight pipes like many of my other models, and a nice paint job to finish it off.  A few details I want to note here are: the tall sunvisor, the rear fenders, and the custom rear bumper with shorty mud flaps, and of course the stretched frame.  The fenders and bumper will be separate details added to the wheel sprue, so they can be painted and added after painting.  

That takes me to my next design project.  After designing this custom rear bumper including mudflaps, I decided that making a standard set of mudflaps that could be printed would likely be feasible.  The key is to have these delicate items printed on a separate sprue so that they don't break off of the larger components between printing and finishing.  I will be working on a standard "rear" very soon to be added to all of my existing trucks.  That includes horizontal brackets, and maybe taillights, all in one detail component that can be printed, painted, and applied to any truck.  Yeah, I know that someone else makes etched details like this, but what's the fun in that?  

One last item before I close.  I have a long list of models that I would really like to design, and I plan to get to them over the next several months and years.  Like this custom 389, I start dreaming about separate doors that could be assembled in an "open" position, or how about a tilted hood with a Cat V8 to show off?  The thing that gives us 3d designer guys a leg up on everyone else, is that the sky is the limit of what can be done in N scale.  It all depends on how creative we want to be, and how much time we want to invest in a single model.  Ok that's it for now.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Shapeways Package Arrived Today! Pete 386, Kenworth T2000, and Pickup Trucks

Today I received a Shapeways package that contained a few new models.  I soaked them for about an hour in Bestine and then had to get some primer going.  I sure like grey primer better than white.  It is so much easier to see in photos.

A few observations about this Shapeways order:  I am very impressed with the quality of the prints.  The items had very little waxy residue right out of the package, and cleaned up in a hurry.  I spent very little time with a sanding stick on the items I shot with primer tonight.  As intended, my updated wheel sprue configuration was printed flat, and the results are obvious.  This particular sprue includes mirrors for the T2000, which turned out perfect.  The T2000 cab is very well done, and requires some slight sanding prior to primer.  I know there are still a lot of skeptics out there about 3d printing for N scale.  I've had my share of disappointments in the last 2 years using Shapeways as a print service, however, if these truck models can't get you excited, then keep using those generic boxes on wheels that the other guys make.  Ok, I digress....

I use Rustoleum primer in a can, and the items below have 2 generous coats.  I find that this helps hide any textures that I missed with a sanding stick.  After primer, I light sand the needed areas, and then paint with the final color.  Two or three coats of color are usually sufficient.

I am satisfied with the way these models turned out, so I am going to make them available via Shapeways soon.  One thing I didn't photograph here are the tires for the trucks.  They turned out perfect, and are all attached to a sprue.  Once painted, they may need a bit of honing to remove paint from inside the tire, and then they will slide over the rims to leave a nice crisp separation between rim and tire.

As always, I'll keep updating my progress as I get these things painted.  I have a 53' reefer on order now that should arrive in another week.