Category Archives: Modeling

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

6 Ways to Use a Digital Craft Cutter for your Layout

“6 Ways to Use a Digital Craft Cutter for your Layout” is the title of an article I wrote for Model Railroader Magazine; it is in the June 2014 issue. It’s a nice little article so check it out.

However, since the nature of magazines means limited space, the printed version of my article is an edited, paraphrased version of the original article I submitted. And as often happens when things are edited, the information becomes distorted a bit. That happened with this article. Consequently,  I wanted to post here are a few minor clarifications I would have made if I had been consulted prior to publication:

1. I own an older model cutter equivalent to a Silhouette Portrait, but a bit different. 2. The description of the picture of the Washingtonia and sabal palm flipped around which tree is which and calls the Washingtonia palm just a Washington without the “ia” at the end. 3. I wouldn’t venture into any complex cuts smaller than a half an inch only when cutting decal trim film; with other materials (like vinyl) smaller than half an inch is no problem. 4. A more detailed description of the title photo is that it is a picture of loaded dry rock phosphate hoppers crossing the Palm River Bridge in Tampa, FL headed to Rockport Yard on a rainy morning.

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


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.