Growing Cane

With regards to railway modelling, summers always tend to be a bit slow … so it’s a good time to browse the web a bit. During one of my searches, I bumped into some great pictures of modelled sugar cane on a Japanese site . It took all my language skills …or better to say, the automatic translation option of Google Chrome to find the the owners of the Japanese layout.

HO scale cane

It is called the Hawaiian Pacific R.R. and I dropped them a note to find out what material they had used to model the HO scale sugar cane. I was very surprised hear that it is artificial grass … and of course it was only available in Japan itself, so I contacted the company that sells the stuff. Unfortunately they didn’t ship outside of Japan, forcing me to find another way to get it shipped home.

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A quick update …

Just a quick update on my 3D-printing adventures … as mentioned, I ordered some additional parts from Shapeways. These were the parts for the 13 ton Shay that I previously ordered from, as I wanted to see if they could meet that same level of quality. Unfortunately I hit a small bump in the road here. Most parts printed fine, except for the cabin of the Shay.

Oil burner side view

I ordered four of them from Shapeways and somehow the wall thickness turned out thinner than it should be. According to the 3D model, the wall thickness should be exactly 0.75 mm. Amongst the four printed copies of the Shay cabin, the wall thickness varies between 0.35 mm and 0.70 mm. I am not quite sure if this problem was caused by an issue during the upload of the STL-file or if it was an error with the printing process itself.

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It finally arrived!

As already mentioned in my previous post, Shapeways is now offering a new material called Frosted Ultra Detail … or better known as FUD in the Shapeways community. According to the specs sheet, FUD offers the same detailing possibilities as the material that was used by As a test, I placed a FUD order about a month ago …

shapeways order 01

Due to the overwhelming success of FUD, they unfortunately could not make the promised 10 working days for delivery … but what the hack, it finally arrived today! As you can see all parts arrived nicely packed in separate bags and the quality of the details are superb. The material itself has an icy look to it and is probably the reason why they call it Frosted. As for the parts that I have ordered, I believe that they came out very well.

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Long Time Comin’

For those of you who have been waiting for an update on my HOn30 Shay … this one has been a long time comin’. I have not been spending much time on it, because I am building a diorama of the Dutch Inlet Canning Company. I however also had issues with my 3D-printing service. First of all they increased the material cost and secondly they increased the shipping cost.


You can imagine that sending over test parts for fitting purposes, became a bit too expensive. Fortunately Shapeways, a well known 3D-printing service introduced a new high detail material just before Easter. They named this material Frosted Ultra Detail and the specs come very close to the material that was used by the old printing service. So I started designing parts for the Shay again … and will make them available online in the near future. 

The Dutch Inlet Canning Co.

Man, I just noticed that my last post was over three months ago … way too long. So what have I been up to since the end of November last year? As mentioned last time, I decided to enter the diorama contest of Eurospoor 2011. I finalised the design of the layout (which you can find at the end of this post) and finished my first Craftsman kit.


The Moose Air Lines cabin is based on the Dill’s Market by American Model Builders Inc.. I changed the paint scheme and have replace the standard roofing with corrugated metal roofing made by Rusty Stumps Scale Models. It’s great stuff that I will surely use for the structures on the Koala Creek layout.
I’ve now started working on the first building of the cannery , which will be based on the  Whalen Apiaries kit van Fos Scale Models.

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