Hunslet Shunter RTR or Scratch

Started by headstone, May 13, 2024, 11:50:12 AM

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maybe its me but as a new naive modeller

first it was (and continues to be) steam trams

and now Ruston / Hunslet diesel shunter,

ive bought a Tomytech chasis which is nearly the right size,

brass or 3d for the body (if i can create a design) ?

anyone out there had experience with creating a little shunter from scratch?




Personally for me I'd 3D print, brass strikes me as immeasurably harder, but I can use CAD software and have an array of printers, and can never remember which end of a soldering iron gets hot so I'm maybe not best placed to comment...  :worried:


These little battery shunting tractors are 3D prints drawn up by a friend, printed and decorated by me.    They're not powered, they sit on old Farish loco front bogies (the ones with the undersize wheels) and even then the model had to be stretched a little to accommodate the bogie wheelbase. 

Unpowered is arguably a better choice for these, they can couple to a loco (eg. overhead electric) and look like they're shunting around my loco depot away from the catenary :)

Of course, no sooner had we produced these then Arnold have announced a working model which I have on pre-order!

If you're going to create a working model make sure there is room to stuff it full of as much "liquid lead" shot as you can if you want it to pull anything :)
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!


Don't have experience with building shunters but if this is a passion project and you're willing to learn there is no reason why you can use both materials.
3d print for the basic body shape and etched brass for the details that still look better as etched parts think very thin details like railings and window frames that either won't print or will be too delicate in 3d printed resin.

You'll need to learn a CAD program to produce the 3D model and you'll need to learn a vector graphic program to produce your etches. You'll get a laundry list of packages if you ask which is the best so just experiment until you find one that suits you. You can start with open source i.e. FreeCAD and Inkscape for no cost but other commercial packages often have a free version that you can use.

I never found a single, tell-all how-to, I've learnt techniques from various sources across the Internet as I went and had some useful experience from kit-building when younger but it's not been a quick process hence why I said passion project at the very beginning if you're just starting out.

So, my advice would be start small and build on what you learn as you go. Maybe build a 3d model of something small, solid and relatively simple like an oil can that sits on the deck of the shunter for your first project or make an etch of the fence or gate in the yard that the shunter works in and build from that. If you start small, the mistakes and errors that inevitably occur won't set you back so much in terms of money and motivation or heck just jump right in, you'll know what works for you.


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