Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Reflecting Back on 2018 and What to expect in 2019

First of all I would like to wish my Blog followers and readers a Happy New Year for 2019.

Reflecting back on 2018, I did not really get a lot done on my personal Project Tumbarumba mainly due to being involved with construction of my model rail club layout of Wingello. The second part of the year for me was extremely busy work wise. However, I have received a lot of learning on the Wingello Exhibition layout project and have certainly picked up some new skills which I will put into practice with my future projects.

Outside of the club and personal project side of things, I was able to somehow make the time to attend some of the exhibition throughout 2018 where I met up with others that have the same interest in the hobby as I do, in which I hope to do the same again throughout 2019.

I have just finished my holiday break and after battling through the long list of choirs that my wife has passed onto me to complete, I have some how managed to get some time to focus on my plans for 2019 in regards to my model rail projects as well been able to get a lot practical tasks done during that time.

First point I will need to make clear before moving onto the other items I plan for in 2019, is that Tumbarumba will be my prime layout for my home location and to get it right, I feel I need to developed skills in getting a couple of smaller layout projects completed first before getting the baseboards and scenery done for Tumbarumba.

I am also reconsidering placing Tumbarumba within the garage area of my home as I see some great operational opportunity if it is gets done right. At this point of time it is not a definite plan, but researching if this is feasible or not.

Either way in 2019, I will continue to persist with the construction of the line side buildings for the Tumbarumba Layout so when the day arrives for baseboard construction, they will be all be ready to be placed on the layout.

New Layout Project
I'm currently working on a new HO Scale layout project, which will be a personal layout. Baseboards are currently work in progress and are almost completed.
More detail on this New layout Project will be revealed in the near future along with the reasons why I'm doing this as a project.

2 x Baseboard Modules currently work in progress

N Scale Trains and Layouts
I have mentioned in the past that I do a little bit of Australian N scale. Im looking at least getting a Micro/Macro sized Victorian N Scale Layout done sometime this year which should fit easy in a small room that can be easily stored away when not in use.

Back in late 2018, news has emerged that a ready to run NR Class diesel/electric in N scale will be released sometime in 2019 by one of the main Australian Model Rail Manufacturers. Could this now be possible that in the next few years an expansion in range of Ready to Run Australia N Scale product being made available?

I'm also working on preparing for a NSW themed N scale layout to be done mainly consistent from 3D Printed line side items. I suspect this NSW N Scale will most likely to be started in 2020, again looking at this layout fitting in a small room and can be dismantled for easy storage.

In 2018, Shapeways not only changes the naming of their materials, but also increased their pricing.
In the mix of this, the Australian Government have enforced a 10% GST Tax from goods shipped to Australia that are purchased from overseas Markets. And the Australian Dollar has gone weaker against foreign currencies such as the US dollar. Also shipping costs need to be added which can be in some cases more expensive than the model itself.

Most of these factors has pushed the pricing up of the 3D printed models from fair to exceeding reasonable pricing.

Furthermore, the volume of special discount promotions that Shapeways had in 2018 compared to  2017 were down. The Black Friday to Cyber Monday specials in November 2018 being the only sales.

At that start of 2018, I started a Shapeways Store where I have made my Cc1 and Cc1 with Lamp Room available. Since I started this store, I was getting several inquires for the Bombala variation of the Cc1 with Lamp Room. Unfortunately, with the my work load last year, it was not possible for me to produce the Bombala Cc1 with Lamp Room and upload it to my store before new pricing structure came into place, hence I was not able to get it in time to have the Grandfather pricing to what the Cc1's that I have currently in my Shapeways store. However, the Grandfather pricing on exisiting models on the Shapeways store is meant to finish in the very near future if it has not changed already. Bombala Cc1 will be placed in the Shapeways store in the very near future.

Link to my Shapeway Store is as follows:

Bombala variation of the Cc1 with Lamp Room

Basically, I do not produce these models for a living, but more so for Model Rail Projects that I'm currently involved with. However, I know the feeling when you are trying to achieve a prototypical model rail layout that most of the line side structures that are needed for your project can not be purchased. This leads to the needed structure to be either kit bashed, scratched built or 3D Printed. When a Lineside model is on the marked that matches the profile, it means that it can save time and effort which enables quicker delivery of a functional Layout.

In the past, when there is a fair demand on any of my 3D models I have produced or a variant, before I market them via the Shapeways Store, I normally will need to print them out to ensure that the print is good to market. Some cases, I have found design errors which means the 3D drawing needs to be corrected, then back to Shapeways to reprint the model and shipped out back to myself. Indeed, all this comes at a cost. The current costs will from now on prohibit me from doing this as I will not be able to break even with the costs and like most people, I do have a limit of funds and I can not do this to a financial cost to myself.

The recent N scale Prints that I have done for the Victorian Railways Extended Station Building, NSWGR Waiting Shed and Goods Shed have seem to have generated a lot of interest when I posted them on a couple of Australian N Scale Facebook pages. Again, the pricing would be too expensive for what they are worth via the Shapeways store especially with shipping added. Fortunately, They do meet the tolerances to be casted and reproduced as a resin casted model. If there is a serious demand then I can look a resin casting option which could be marketed within reasonable pricing.

Unfortunately in the case of the Cc1's models that I have produced can not be resin casted as they fall below the minimal tolerances to successfully cast them.

On a closing note, hopefully 2019 will for bring in at least a completed running Layout and getting more models completed then what I have planned. Next blog I will hope to finish off the Glenroy Pc1project with Part 3.


  1. Have you looked at the other 3D printing providers?
    I've been using Materialise and getting some really nice results with their resin prints, without the headaches that come from Shapeways.

  2. Hi Leon, Firstly Many Thanks for your recommendation. I have seem some good feedback from those that have got Materialise to do their 3D Prints. I will see how they go with pricing and will send out a test print to them to see the print quality result.