Friday, March 14, 2014


I finally placed an order through Shapeways. I figured I would start with some small pieces and see what I thought of the quality. My only experience so far with their products was a Trackmobile my friend BH got me for helping to build his Ore Dock benchwork. I picked four parts to try out: a signal maintainers pickup box, 2 different styles of ditch light housings and some GP exhaust stacks. I was tired of robbing shells to get these exhaust stacks and my previous experiments in resin casting didn't yield the results I was comfortable with. These come from David Cutting whose Shapeways store can be seen HERE.  At first look the product appeared good. I soaked them for about 2 hours in Bestine to remove and residual from the production process. Here they are after the soaking:
I cut some away and sanded the bottoms with 350 grit paper, and glued them down. Here are the new stacks installed on the project CF7.
Looking at the close up, the stacks look good, better than I could do out of styrene. They are very uniform and there is even bolt head detail on them.
David has also designed a taller Paducah stack that I will be picking up for some other projects. I understand he is designing a non-dynamic housing that we will be able to use on our Kato Mid-Pro SD40-2 shells to make our GTW units. Keep and eye on his shop, there are some good products there. I'll show off the rest of my Shapeways buys after I get them installed on something, so far so good!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

MNN 424053

Locomotive progress is almost non-existent right now. That will change in the coming month as I transition locomotive building operations to Nevada. What I did get done this weekend was a stripping and re-decaling of a BNSF covered hopper. The hopper started out as an Intermountain large logo BNSF ACF 4650 3 Bay hopper. I had to remove the reporting marks and the large shield logo. I replaced them with the small shield logo, stripes style reporting marks and a MNN patch. I let my daughter pick the graffiti for this one, she has a funny sense of humor.
For the patched I used HO Scale black number boards. The ends were N scale. The letters and numbers came from a MicroScale stencil set and the shield was from a MicroScale BNSF hopper set.
Here is a shot I took in Crookston of the prototype. I still need to weather mine, but I'm happy with the start of mine.