We're pleased to announce that The first of our sawmill machinery is available now in the Shapeways shop (see link below). The detail afforded by 3D printing these is truly incredible as you can see in the photos. We'll be working on the Little Pine Mill, with the intent to have it at least partly ready for display at the Finescale Model Railroader Expo next month in Altoona, PA.
To date, we have the Dolbeer Loader, a single circular saw (headsaw), a horizontal steam engine, a horizontal boiler, and also a log carriage. We will have more items soon. Hope to see you at the Expo, and be sure to watch our Shapeways shop to see the latest 3D prints!
HO scale details and accessories
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Order 25$ in merchandise from the Marsh Creek Mini Shop on Shapeways and receive FREE SHIPPING from September 15th through September 24th!
A project that kind of developed out of nowhere. In an attempt to push 3D printed details to the edge of their usability, I started drawing a dolbeer loader (not pictured). The loader turned into a headsaw, then a log carriage, then an engine, and finally a boiler. I was going to just reuse the vertical boiler I had done for the loader, but I also like the looks of horizontal stationary boilers. I've never had a plan to offer a structure kit, but I may, in the future. November is the Finescale Model Railroad Expo, and I'm giving a presentation on 3D printing, and since the show is geared more towards craftsman kit builders and vendors, I wanted something to show that wasn't a locomotive or freight car. I needed something 3D printed that could really "WOW" the attendees at this show. Since I've always had a love of logging scenes and imagery, I figured that this was probably my best bet. Hopefully the folks at the show enjoy them! I can't wait to get my grubby little paws on them. I doubt I can build a full Mill scene in 30ish days, with the other projects that need to be done in the meantime, but the goal is to get the machines placed onto the floor/framing of a mill.
The new Empire City HOn30 log cars are available on the shapeways shop, and I'm very impressed with the quality of the prints. Time to get some paint on them, and take some proper product photos.
Go Build Something Awesome!
A couple of quick updates:
Go Build Something Awesome.
Yesterday I got my greasy mitts on the latest offering from Toma Model Works. Check out the video I shot of the kit contents, otherwise known as an "unboxing". I'm really excited to dive into this project, but I know that lots of people are afraid to build locomotive kits, so I'll be doing this build on video. Nothing fancy, but everyone needs to see that these kits aren't as hard to do as they think they are.
Toma has done the major components in Injection molded plastic, so this kit isn't a "fly by night" limited run. I expect that these will sell quite well.
To order yours!
You know what would look great behind this little teakettle? Some of our Mann's Creek Hoppers!
We are currently sold out of all of our laser cut items. The Tionesta Valley Caboose, Gondola/Flats, and Boxcars will return this fall. The Boxes, Flats, and Gons will be an all new design, along with other new kits that will feature a common 20' chassis.
Look for us when the air gets cooler!
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Bachmann shook up the industry when it announced that they would be adding Sodor's narrow gauge engine "Skarloey" to their line last year. It was the first time that they produced an HOn30 locomotive, even if it was designed to be for kids. It turned out that Skarloey was an excellent runner, and the modelers in the UK started hacking at theirs to remove the face, and convert it to a usable OO9 loco. We couldn't let them have all the fun, so we designed a Baldwin 0-4-2 body to easily fit over Skarloey's excellent little chassis. Based on an 1890 design for a Hawaiian plantation, we scaled it around a bit and created the "Big Kahuna" tank engine. It's a very simple build, and if you shop at the Bachmann Online Parts store, you can get all the parts required for the Skarloey chassis for around $50, saving a ton of money versus buying a RTR Skarloey and disassembling it.
The Bachmann N scale 0-6-0/ 2-6-2 Prairie has been around for decades. The original version with the plastic frame has been discontinued for a long time, and it has been replaced with a more modern split frame design. Around 2015, Bachmann updated this model again, replacing the open frame motor that sticks out of the rear of the cab with a nice enclosed can motor. We designed our conversion kit around the newest version, but it should work with the open frame motor version, but you will probably have the motor sticking out of the cab.
This conversion kit is easy to build, and includes the cab, the boiler, walkways and cylinder "covers". The donor cylinders need to be trimmed down to allow the covers to fit, but if you don't want to use them, that's fine as well.
Other versions of this kit will be coming, because it seems like everyone has a couple of the 0-6-0s in their stash. A Tender conversion is also coming that simply fits over the donor tender. We've made it separate to keep the cost of the kits down, and not everyone will want to use that tender for their locomotive.
Keep an eye out, because we're working on even more products for the HOn30 modeler to build their empire...
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When we introduced the first two 20' HOn30 car kits, the idea was to create a "family" of similar cars so that a modeler could have a number of cars on their railroad that all shared similar features. Easy to build, and close enough in appearance that a train of cars would look "right". There were a lot of things about the first cars that we loved, and some that we didn't, so Rich has been spending a considerable amount of time glued to the computer designing a whole family of freight cars.
Features of the new cars:
Releases will be done in phases, the 9 cars shown above will be broken up into logical releases, and we're still drawing other cars as well to finish out the series.
A couple of new multi part sprues are available in the Shapeways Shop. Air compressors, and small electric headlights. You can click on the images above to order. At less than 10 bucks per 5 part sprue, you're getting an incredible value, similar parts in brass can be twice that expensive. Bonus... The headlights are already drilled for light wires, and the air compressors have pilot holes drilled to allow you to correctly place wire for air and steam lines. Talk about service! The product descriptions say HOn30, (search engine trick...shhhhh) but they are HO scale, and would look fine on an HO, or HOn3 locomotive as well.
Test build progress on the Yosemite Short Line Coach. Like the Caboose, it will need a minor revision to make assembling the ends easier, but it won't change the appearance, and I'm not going to lie, it looks fabulous. We'll be working on some new trucks to complement these coaches, but you can use any truck your heart desires. Heck, the Mexican 2 foot lines had similar cars that ran on what were essentially freight trucks. The big windows on this are screaming for an interior... maybe we'll do a simple inexpensive interior kit for this one as a 3D printed item separately.
How about a body kit for your Bachmann 0-6-0/ 2-6-2? This version was ordered as a test print over the weekend, and with any luck, it will be here in time for this coming weekend. We're trying to make this conversion as simple as possible, with very few modifications required to the donor chassis, and if you're not comfortable cutting the cylinders down to fit these printed covers, simple...just don't add the covers! The Bachmann body is only held on with one screw, simply remove that screw, and slide the conversion on. (more on that later)
That's it for Tuesday Newsday, but we're working on LOTS of stuff, so be sure to check back here and our Facebook page frequently!
Go Build Something Awesome
Over the weekend, I worked on building the HOn30 Tionesta Valley Railway caboose prototype. Overall, the experience was positive, with just a few tweaks to the files required that came up during assembly. Like our other laser cut kits, the caboose is mostly 1/32” laser cut and etched plywood, with a basswood frame, and .015” laserboard details. The biggest issue that I ran into was that in both the coach and caboose frames, drilling the ends to accept the railings is impossible to do without causing damage to the frame. “Use a pin vise and go slow!”, you may say. This isn’t my first rodeo, so I’m aware of the tricks and techniques. My concern is that I can deal with it, but I don’t want customers to have to deal with it. I’m not sure if I have ever discussed my philosophy of our products before, but I want to produce items that are detailed, and EASY to build. I’ve been building models all of my life, so it’s no big deal for me to have to suffer through a Chinese puzzle box of a kit. That same kit might very well intimidate people who haven’t been building for 30 to 60 years. Many new Hon30 modelers are coming from the RTR world of HO and N. My initial thought with the railing problem was to laser the holes all the way through, but while I was building, I realized that an even easier assembly solution would be to laser the whole end out of .015” and just glue the end of the beam, railings and all to the frame. Simple. You can see that I gave up trying to drill and fit delicate parts in the photo, and I just glued them to the outside. It makes it much, much easier to handle the parts, and speeds up assembly. I want our kits to be the easy button for Hon30, and sometimes I have to dial back my enthusiasm and remember that compromise is sometimes required to make a good product within our scope of resources.
We’re also working on several 3D printed body kits for larger HOn30 locomotives. Back in the heyday of HOn30, There were a handful of manufacturers who built kits based around the available N scale chassis from Bachmann and others. Times have changed, and so have the available donor mechanisms. The popular Bachmann Docksider 0-4-0 locmotives are only available on the secondary market, and many come with the dreaded cracked gears we’ve all come to expect with age. The original 0-6-0/ 2-6-2 mechanism has been updated several times over the last decade, with the most current version having a can motor installed from the factory, no longer a big silver chunk hanging out of the back of the cab. Bachmann has also introduced a 2-6-0 and a 4-6-0 as DCC ready, and from all reports are fine models. Marsh Creek Miniatures is working now on conversion kits for the 2-6-2 and the 4-6-0. The basis of the idea is simple. Make a basic Baldwin style conversion for both chassis, the 2-6-2 being the cheaper option and straight DC, for those who want that, and the 4-6-0 being similar for someone who wants DCC or DC, and prefers the larger driving wheels. Dimensionally, the chassis are similar, and with some smart 3D modeling, different versions of both locomotives could be made available, and easy to build. No fighting with Brass cabs, or dealing with parts cast from old molds, with warped resin parts that require a bunch of cleaning and assembly. Just pop on the 3D printed parts, add details and paint. Simple. Each will have several different configurations available, with different styling based on era, so it’s possible to have 2 or more versions based on each chassis.
We’re partial to the styling on this Mexican 2 foot 2-6-0, so it will be available as well as others. With the addition of these locomotive conversion kits, our line of products will expand into short line and larger lines, making HOn30 a viable scale for modelers who don’t want the expense of brass, or want to model something other than what is available in brass.
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