Shay Fever

I have probably been struck by a bad case of Shay Fever … at least that’s what it feels like. As mentioned previously, I fell in love with the tiny 13 tons “Class A” Shay locomotives and am determined to build one in HOn30.

The HOn30 Shay is slowly  progressing

I finally scored an N-scale Shay made by Atlas on eBay and replaced the body with the one that I bought a couple of months ago. The N-scale pilot steps and headlight have already been removed with the Dremel
After cleaning the 3D-printed diamond stack with acetone, I applied a couple of layers of grey primer and placed it on top of the boiler. Applying the primer, almost makes the 3D-printed part as smooth as the body itself.
There is also another method to make 3D-printed parts  smoother … apply small amounts of Superglue to the surface, but do not soak it! The Superglue will be absorbed by the 3D-printing material and will smoothen the surface. Just be careful with the fumes and do not get stuck to your printed part …

Weathering the truck

As I am not that much of a weathering expert, I decided to experiment a bit on one of the 3D-printed wholestick trucks. I started out by taking the truck apart again and spraying a layer of Tamiya grey primer on the chassis & couplers. Once this had completely dried, I applied a layer of Tank Grey from Humbrol.

The painted & weathered wholestick truck

The rust was simulated by dusting the chassis & couplers with some self-made weathering powders. They were made by sanding down pastels from Conté à Paris, which sell a great set of 12 sketching pastels with colours ranging from red-brown to black. I first applied a base of dark brown powder and sealed it with a layer of Anti-Shine Matt Varnish from The Army Painter, which is a great alternative for Testors Dullcote. After that I applied a couple of touches of red-brown powder and finished it off with a layer of Anti-Shine Matt Varnish.

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Never to old …

I learned something interesting this week … wax is being used during the 3D-printing process. You might wonder how I found out … well that’s al quite simple. I decided to complete the first two printed wholestick trucks and added the corner posts to the trucks. After doing this, I applied the first layers of grey Tamiya primer and that’s when the trouble started …

Checking the proportions with Preiser figures (1:87) 
Unfortunately the primer started peeling of directly after it had been sprayed on. This was caused by the fact that 3d-printed parts are being supported by a wax structure during the printing itself. Most of it is cleaned of afterwards, except for a thin layer …
The 3D-printing service informed me that it would be best to clean the parts with acetone, before applying the paint. Hope the printed parts will stand a nice bath of Airbrush Cleaner first …

Wow, that’s quick …

About nine days ago I place my second order of 3D-printed parts at and it just arrived this afternoon … wow, that’s really quick and what a great service.
The order consists of two wholestick trucks, that have been based on the models made by Greg Stephenson. I still needed to add more details like a winch and the nuts & bolts, but ordered a couple of them already to see if they would fit the little Roco chassis.

3D-Printed wholestick trucks
As you can see from the picture above and the ones at the end of this post, it is a perfect fit. It simply slides on without having to cut-off any parts and it does not require any glue. Furthermore, I have added four holes for the vertical corner posts, which can be made of  square (1×1 mm) brass or styrene.

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It finally arrived!

Two weeks ago, I modelled and ordered the diamond shaped smoke stack for my Shay. After some delay due to the eruption of an Icelandic volcano, it finally arrived today.
I must say that I am very pleased about the result and the picture below does not really do it justice.

The Diamond Stack from

The material at the top of the of the smoke stack is quite thin (about 0.25 mm) and due to the fact that the 3D-printing material is translucent, the quality of the part is not fully visible in the picture … probably best to spray it with some Tamiya primer on of these days and to shoot another picture.
I however believe that I have found a great method to model an HOn30 “Class A” Shay and will proceed to model more parts for this model the coming months!