Category Archives: N Scale

Atlas N B36-7 Out Now

Atlas N B36-7 Seaboard SystemI just got my Atlas Master Line N B36-7 Locomotives. And I wanted to mention something some potential buyers might have wondered about. In the product photos that I’ve seen on various websites, the Seaboard System models have gray fuel tanks. I couldn’t understand that since I never saw any photos of real Seaboard System B36-7 locos with gray fuel tanks. Fortunately, the actual models have black fuel tanks, as they should, unlike the promo pictures. So I just wanted to make that clear. Overall the new models look great. Atlas N B36-7 Locos are starting to appear on Ebay.

N Scale Flex Track Comparison Guide

track1Here is a breakdown of the main N scale flex track options available. I personally use Micro-Engineering code 55, not because it is perfect but because it has the most features I want relative to what is available. I’d probably use Peco code 55 if the tie spacing was prototypical for the United States. Atlas code 55 is nice but the spikes cause issues with some of my older locomotives. The ideal track for me would be code 40 Peco style track (where the rail is actually code 80 but half of it is embedded in the ties) with prototypical US tie spacing, prototypical tie width, and small spikes. (Update: there is a new track product “Central Valley N 3001 Code 55 Curvable Mainline Ties” that looks promising. I’ll add it to this list once I have used it.)

 

Micro-Engineering code 55

Pros:

  • Long 36”
  • Small spikes
  • Prototypical US tie spacing and tie width (close enough anyway)

Cons:

  • Somewhat hard to bend into smooth curves
  • Plastic flashing is somewhat common
  • Somewhat fragile

 

Atlas code 55

Pros:

  • Easy to bend into smooth curves
  • Prototypical US tie spacing and tie width

Cons:

  • Short 30”
  • Spikes are too big and interfere with wheel flanges on older equipment. But not really an issue if you just have newer equipment made in the last decade or so.

 

Atlas code 80

Pros:

  • Cheapest
  • Easiest to find
  • Easy to bend into smooth curves

Cons:

  • Not prototypical US tie spacing or spikes
  • Short 30”

 

Peco code 55

Pros:

  • Long 36”
  • Uses code 80 rail embedded in the ties…making it sturdy

Cons:

  • Not prototypical US tie spacing or spikes

Peco code 55 track can be used to make transition tracks from code 55 to code 80. All that is required is a file.

Peco flex track code 55 80 transition N scale flex track 55 80

N Scale GP11 Paducah Geep

GP11 N ScaleAn N scale GP11 is now available. There are two versions depending on if someone wants printed handrails or do it yourself brass handrails.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/ZXHAYHYCB/gp11-n-scale-paducah-geep-for-brass-handrails
https://www.shapeways.com/product/AEFMLNLAD/gp11-n-scale-paducah-geep-for-printed-handrails
https://www.shapeways.com/product/WUNYFSQVJ/gp11-handrails-download-file

For the printed handrails you can just download the handrails file here: gp11handrails – STL. The file is a .STL file and is in a zip folder. So you need to remove it from that folder on your computer before you try uploading it to Shapeways. Then upload it to your own Shapeways account (choose “inches” when asked). When ordering, select “print anyway” and Shapeways will print these for you. These are too delicate to put up for sale but Shapeways will print them for individuals. Contains two of each handrail piece in case one breaks, but they held up fine in my own test orders. Print in either Frosted Detail or Frosted Extreme Detail.

I was thinking of doing some other Paducah Geep, but I don’t know. There is a place that currently sells resin cast chop nose GP7 and GP9 shells
http://www.bigdawgoriginals.com/collections/n-scale-shells?page=1

Yes! B36-7 in N, Seaboard System and CSX

B36-7 Seaboard System N ScaleAtlas is finally putting out the N scale B36-7 in Seaboard System and CSX paint. Now I can model a Seaboard System Juice Train. However, there still aren’t any truly accurate Tropicana Reefers available. But I’m glad to finally see the B36-7. Now Atlas just needs to change one piece on the U23B to make U36B models and I’ll have the main models I’ve long wanted.

Dmc-12 DeLorean N Scale 1:160 and HO 1:87 Back to the Future

DMC-12 DeLorean N ScaleI took a stab at making an N scale vehicle available. I’ve started with a Dmc-12 DeLorean. If shapeways ever starts offering a clear material that I could use to model window glass, I’ll start making a lot of vehicles. In the meantime though, I’m using my own printed decals as windows for the DeLorean. I printed the decals for my own DeLorean on MicroMark clear laser decal paper using my color laser printer. I cut close around the decals leaving just a sliver of the clear decal film around the edges. Get the printable files here for your version of the model: DeLorean decals N Back to the Future DeLorean decals N Back to the Future DeLorean decals HO DeLorean decals HO

Buy the N DeLorean model here.
And the Back to the Future N version here.
And the Back to the Future HO version here.
And Dmc-12 DeLorean HO Scale 1:87

M-5 Caboose N Scale Now Available

m5 n

The M-5 Caboose is now available in N Scale from Shapeways.

The M-5 Caboose was used by ACL, SCL, Family Lines, and Seaboard System between 1964 into the 1990s. There were 438 total M5’s built.

This kit requires trucks, couplers, etched roof walk, paint, decals, and wire for grab irons (a small jig is included for bending grab irons). The picture above is of a pre-production model I put together (it isn’t quite finished in the above photo, but it’s close enough for now). I improved a few minor things on the model that is now available at Shapeways relative to the model in the above picture. If you want to model the Atlantic Coast Line, you can just use Microscale ACL decals. For SCL and Family Lines, here is a print ready PDF to make your own decals m5decals. I just print my decals with a laser printer on decal paper from MicroMark. After printing, seal the decals with a dull coat and they are ready to go.

N Bluford Shops Transfer Caboose Replacement Roof

Bluford Transfer Caboose

This is a roof designed to replace the smooth roof found on Bluford Shops N scale transfer cabooses. The Bluford Shops N scale transfer cabooses are great, but the roof (and some of the handrails) are not true to different railroads. This replacement roof is the kind of roof used on L&N Family Lines (CSX) bay window transfer cabooses. The roof on the Bluford Shops models snaps off with minimal effort and can be easily replaced with this roof. As always, soak the 3d print in Bestine. Also, for additional cleaning on non-delicate parts (like this roof) use a simple toothbrush and tooth paste. If anyone wants this roof in HO, contact me and be ready to provide me with measurements (in mm) of the HO Bluford Shops transfer caboose roof.

Buy it here

STANRAY roof csx caboose

N Scale Pontoon Boat

N pontoon

Now available on Shapeways: N scale Pontoon Boat
It comes in two variations, one with railing detail and one without. The railing on the one without railing detail can be modeled graphically by printing out the railing as artwork and attaching it to the model.

Download printable graphics here (includes railing in four colors and floor carpeting in two shades of gray).

3D Printed Woodchip Hoppers

Richard Thomason shared these photos of some painted and decaled N scale woodchip hoppers built using my woodchip hopper designs printed by Shapeways. This is what is possible when Shapeways delivers sufficient quality. But Shapeways is still not consistent in its print quality, so if you ever receive a substandard printed model (i.e. warped or inconsistent printing of details) ask for a reprint.

SCL 195529

A&WP 46031 s

san 103

Wood-chip Hoppers in N and TT

AN_4049_Wood_Chip_Hopper_on_CSX_Montgomery_Px2_07-25-09.142193050_std

I’m adding some wood-chip hoppers to the line of TT and N models available at Shapeways. These models feature sides separate from the frame to improve the smoothness of the print and to ease the cleaning/sanding prep work. They are complete other than gluing on the sides to the frame, adding trucks, and they require building the side ladders using scratch building materials like styrene and wire. Shapeways recently changed their design restrictions, so they now refuse to print fine details like ladders unless they are of a certain thickness. Consequently, the viability of printing certain details like ladders while still looking good has diminished.