The Cod Wars 2

All going well so far, Shapeways started printing the models.

It took them a week to say that they couldn’t print the models as some parts were too small for the material – you have to follow their material guidelines

I tweaked the model to make some parts larger and about a week later, these arrived:

Baldur – a converted stern trawler:

The Lloydsman – a large ocean going tug.

A few Trawlers

Icelandic Gunboat – Tyr (only one crane, her sister ship Aegir has 2)

All together:

When FUD (Frosted Ultra Detail) models arrive from shapeways they are covered in an oily substance and need cleaning before any paint will stick.

FUD will handle 85C max so I put washing detergent into a pint glass. Quarter filled with cold water and topped up with boiling water.

Each model was dropped in, stirred for a couple of mins then removed, rinsed and left to dry overnight.

There still seemed to be some oil on the surfaces so I had another go. This time I brushed on some “Flash” first then dropped in hot water with detergent as before.

A much better result this time, good clean surfaces.

A coat of humbrol satin varnish was next. I use varnish as it sticks well to the resin, provides a good base for the paint and dries very thin so not much detail is lost.

Painting next…


The Cod Wars

Someone sent me a message via the Shapeways website a few months ago, asking if I’d like to make some models to go with a set of wargame rules for the Cod Wars (actually written by someone I had previously come across on the Wings of War forums.)

I can vaguely remember this from my childhood (history here) The relationship between the UK and Iceland got quite frosty.
There are also a few good videos on youtube that give a good impression of what was happening at the time.

I like a challenge and it sounded vaguely interesting.

So, after a bit of research, I made a few 1/1250 scale models.

With the ships being quite small (5-6cm long) and the Frosted Ultra Detail material being quite expensive I decided to cut down the handling fee shapeways charge for each model by combining 6 into a single “print”.

(Click on the image above to go directly to the shapeways page)
This gave us a British tug, 3 trawlers and a couple of Icelandic Gun boats, Tyr and Baldur

A Solid Model – 3D printing

A logical step from trains and planes – boats.

Many years ago a group of us played modern naval wargames with 1/3000 models (well modern in the 1980’s). Someone recently mentiond having another go and using 1/1250 scale. The trouble was Soviet ships were difficult to find.
Then we started talking about Shapeways.
They take uploaded 3D model files and print them in acrylic. They’re based in Holland and NY.

I had a go – here’s a Kresta 2 Cruiser rendered by 3D Crafter (took quite a few evenings work to get to this point)

I exported the model as an STL formatted file, uploaded to Shapeways
A couple of weeks later and a few pounds less in the wallet and these arrived – the Cruiser is 12cm long

The frigate was one of mine too (6cm long)

Wonderful to see your virtual creations made into real solid objects.
The box behind the missile launcher below is 1.5mm square and 1mm high


3D Canvas has had to be renamed to 3DCrafter after another company claimed the name. Richard didn’t want the legal battle/costs so he’s changed all references to Canvas to Crafter to keep the 3DC abbreviation.

Unfortunately that means older versions are no longer available to download (or you could look in my Skydrive downloads for 7.1.2 which was the most reliable version prior to 3DCrafter)

3DCrafter 8.2.4 (and now 8.2.5) seem reasonably stable now and can be downloaded here :

There is also a link to the latest compilation of my plugins and scripts on that thread.

My current X-Plane exporter for 7.1.2 is downloadable from here, the 3DCrafter 8.2 version is included with my plugins pack from or my skydrive folder in the links section of this blog.
(Read the rest of the thread for info on how to use it)

My 3D modelling journey started 9 years ago in the winter of 2001. I made a few static models for MSTS1 and a pump trolley but my first “proper” rollingstock model was the GWR 4 Wheel Siphon and it has never been updated – till now….

Here’s the initial test in Rail Sim, hopefully I’ll get it working in MSTS/OR, TRS and Rail Sim.

First wagon

Moving to WordPress lost my downloads link

The MS blogging tool had a link to my Skydrive folders where I kept a few useful files.

Here’s a link new link, I’ll try and find a way to add it to the side bar on the blog…

Big and Small, Trains and Planes

It has been quite a while since I posted last. Recently, things have been hectic with summer holidays, an imminent change of jobs, the stress of grammar school entrance exams (for my daughter) , it’s time to settle down to some winter modelling.

Around mid April this year (2010) I finally completed a Decapod! for MS Train Sim. One of the most powerful steam locos that ran on UK rails, known as Big Bertha or the lickey banker. I seem to have temporarily lost enthusiasm for train sims (which I’m sure will return) in favour of small 1930’s aircraft.

Here’s big bertha and the latest flight sim model – Click to see the bigger picture.


MR 0-10-0 Big Bertha



POVray rendered Luton Minor

POVray rendered Luton Minor


Now which is bigger?

The loco and tender combined weighs in at 32,000 polygons (triangles drawn by the graphics engine), the Luton Minor aircraft is 35,000 so there’s not much in it.

Shhhhhh – don’t mention X-Plane to the MS Flight Sim community but I’ve also started writing a plugin for 3D Canvas Pro to export OBJ files for that simulator too. I have already added a selection of scenery models to the X-Plane download library.

FSX BA Swallow has flown out of the door

I have finally released the model to the downloads section of
The first 3D canvas model for FSX. I quite enjoyed the experience so I’m pretty sure there will be a second.
Although I am tempted to at least get one or two more locomotives finished.
In case of download troubles and as a backup, I have also added the model to the downloads section here too.

Catching a new train

The new kid on the block
With all the discontent with Rail Sim/RailWorks it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.
A free, open, community led train simulator.
Still very early days but the team is building up and almost all of the comments on the forums have been positive – so far….
Let’s see how far we can get this project – I’m glad to say I’m part of the development team so I’ll have some input.

A flock of Birds

Finally! – my BA Swallow 2 aircraft for FS9 and "true" FSX is nearing completion.
I have now mastered the XML gauge system – all quite simple really. The Virtual Cockpit all works and the chaps over at Classic British Files have been an invaluable help with flight tuning and beta testing. 
It will be my first release into the flight sim community. It will also be the first native FSX model from 3D Canvas. Matt Ivey beat me to releasing the first FS9 model from 3D canvas when he put out a drivable Challenger tank a few years ago.
I was looking for the collective noun for a group of Swallows. Flocks of birds usually have unusual names, for example – from wikipedia:
A siege of bitterns
A peep of chickens
A clattering of choughs
A covert of coots
A herd of cranes
A murder of crows
A trip of dotterel
A dole/dule of doves
A mob of emus
A charm of goldfinches
A train of jackdaws
A parliament of owls
So what is a collection of Swallows?
A flight of Swallows
Oh well, quite apt I suppose, here they are – click to see the bigger picture Smile