Model Railway


3D printed model cars for OO gauge

Not some of my 3D designed products, but definitely ones of which I approve. Digitawn has designed a load of variants on popular cars (all Fords so far, I think) from the 60s to 80s. Originally available in 1:87th (HO), they’re now also in 1:76th (OO).

My first car was a Mk2 Escort estate, and, as far as I know, this is the first time it’s been available in this scale. There are some very good diecast models available, but they don’t have the variety of versions that Digitawn offers.

Source: digitawn by digitawn – Shapeways Shops


Very small bikes


Look at my Tiny Chopper!

Look at my tiny Chopper

Based upon a popular child’s bike, these little beauties will bring life and colour to any modern image layout set in the seventies and later.

The bikes frames are 3D printed and come unpainted with a section of bent wire for the handlebars- trim the bars to the appropriate length and attach them with super glue. (The handlebars supplied will be in silver, not, as seen in the photo, black.)

The OO Gauge Chopper 2 pack is available to order from Spinneyworld.


Little pieces of plastic that make me very happy

Little pieces of plastic that make me very happy

These arrived today, and I am very pleased with them. They’re the latest test prints of my first set of modern image bikes for model railways. The larger bikes are O gauge (1:43rd), and look to be ready for market. You can order them from the Spinneyworld shop, with the first full scale print late this month or early next.

The smaller bikes are OO (1:76th). At that size, the handle bars and pedals were too fine to print (I had to fatten them up for the O gauge ones). The question is, would people buy them if they need to fashion their own handle bars? I could make them in etched brass, but that could be expensive, or make them from wire, a little labour intensive. But I’m selling to resourceful folk, maybe I can rely on them to do a bit of the work.

Modellers, what do you think?


Manchester Model Railway Show 2011

Manchester Model Railway Show 2011

Photos from the show on Saturday. What you may notice is that, although it was a model railway show, there are not that many photos of trains in the gallery. I’m more interested in the scenery, architecture and vignettes which appear away from the railway lines than in the rolling stock itself. However, I did get to put a tiny video camera on a few of the larger gauge trains and run them through layouts. When I make the time, I shall edit the footage together.


In the tiny little dog house

Model Shipyard is a Polish company specialising in laser cut card and wood models, such as these 1:87th scale accessories for your model house’s garden. 1:87th is HO, a model railway gauge favoured in Europe and the USA but less so over here and there are products available for it which put the more British OO (1:76th) to shame. I have plans to rectify this, if I can spend enough time learning 3D modelling and do a better press blitz for the products I’ve already created.


Wigan Model Railway Exhibition 2009

The Wigan show was much larger than the last time I attended in 2007. It was in the same building, but ccupied two halls rather than one. Copious photos were taken, and can be seen in the Wigan Model Railway Exhibition 2009 set on Flickr.


Gimme Shelter. New 3d printable products

Mondays are my designated 3d designing days, though for the last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling up the steep initial learning curve of Blender. I’ve reached a level where I can create what I want using boolean operations such as union, though that doesn’t always produce printable objects. I have an extra day to dedicate to 3d this week, so I’ll see if I can move on to sculpting rather than gluing.

This Monday I made three bus shelters, which are available from my Shapeways shop

The small shelter without an advertising box comes in a four pack. It needs painting and glazing- acetate should glue easily to the backs of the supports. I may design a map/timetable transfer to go on the incorporated board.

The small shelter with an advertising box comes in a two pack. I may design advert transfers for it, in the meantime you can always print out your own to fit. Again, it will need painting and glazing.

The large shelter is available singly or in a two pack. It’s cheaper per unit in the two pack, but you may need just the one for the stop right outside your station. Painting and glazing required, of course.

I’m going to take a break from model railway stuff for a week or so to build wargaming bits to be sold at the upcoming Gamecon in Manchester.


OO modern street furniture through Shapeways

The plan is to produce a few simple models every week and build up a wide range of street furniture for model railway builders. I’ll be ordering copies of my own products, some of which will go to magazines for promotion and some I will build myself and record here. In fact the first batch should print and ship this week, so next week I’ll be painting bins.

Today and yesterday I designed and uploaded some benches-

The cantilever bench comes as a set of five, the other two as sets of four. The price will depend upon which material you use, but includes taxes and shipping charges. There’s a minimum order of $25. None of the models will exceed that individually, but the idea is for you to be able to pick and choose street furniture until you’ve got enough, with enough variety, for your layout.

The benches, and the bins I designed last week, are available from my Shapeways shop.


Modern image model railway street furniture by 3d printing

I have recently started uploading 3d models to a site called Shapeways, where you can order them and get solid copies. The 3d printing process allows for some fine detailing, so I’ll be taking advantage of that. Currently available in my Shapeways shop are a few items of street furniture, and a casket for hearses or graveside scenes. I shall be adding more on a weekly basis (though that may become fortnightly as the models become more complex) with enough variety that it will be easy to uniquely decorate your town.

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Oxford Diecast 1:76th Ford Pop

I may have got a little too excited when I found out Oxford Diecast were doing a Ford Pop in 1:76th scale. And I don’t think I was the only one. When I went to pick some up today I got the last two in the shop.

The first thing I did was take one of them apart to see what the prospects are like for customising. Oxford’s cars are held together with screws rather than the rivets that so many others use, so this was easy enough. The bumpers are moulded as part of the body. They’ll have to be filed off and there’ll need to be a bit of sculpting to make that convincing. The interior is a pretty basic tub. I’ll probably build a whole new one, particularly if I go with early plans to build a drag or Pro-Street car.

It’s time to dig out the old copies of Street Machine and Custom Car for inspiration.


Rochdale model railway show

ROCHDALE Model Railway Group will showcase some of the countries best model railway layouts at their 45th annual exhibition.

The show will be held at the Oulder Hill Leisure Centre, Oulder Hill School, Hudsons Walk, Rochdale, on February 2 and February 3. Tickets cost £3.50 for adults, £2.50 for OAPs, £2 for children or £9 for a family ticket.

More info from Manchester Evening News.

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Manchester Model Railway Club Show 2007

I’m afraid I can’t tell you much about the Manchester Model Railway Club show because I was slightly out of synch, having just flown back from the US a few hours before attending.

It took place in one of the Co-op’s many buildings in Manchester, in a pair of halls also used for the CAMRA real ale festival. Overall it was larger than the Wigan show, but not by much. I took notes of which layouts I photographed and when I find the notebook I’ll go back and name all of them in the Flickr gallery for the event.