So where do you start with an epic 3d modelling project?
Well Google of course and in particular the Google 3d warehouse for Google sketch up. I hit lucky and found that someone had already made a sketch up from photographs of St Pancras. I thought this would give a really good foundation for measurements (I’m not going for an exact scale but as close as possible) because it was picture based.
So I started to look at how I transform a 3d SketchUp into a printable model, and its actually not that easy. SketchUps are solid and 3d printing solid objects would cost a fortune, and then there is the issue of extruding shapes and the fact the detail is in the picture and not the model, so after talking with my friend Samir (an amazing 3d artist!) he helped me in using the SketchUp as a background layer and drawing a hollow, detailed model that we could potentially print.
So following on from the creation of the model railway I wanted to make it as easy as possible to use. I already hooked an Arduino up to the board and always had a fascination with turntables. I wanted everything push button and with a modern twist so I added an Ethernet shield to the Arduino, threw a sketch together on the Ardunio to control a servo at different angles. I couldn’t find anyone else who had tried this simple approach to moving a turntable, it seemed to be a mix of stepper motors and infrared control – this was far far easier and quite reliable too.
Here is a quick update on the n guage layout I am making for the children ah-hem…(cough)
Ok… time for a shocker, the one thing during the whole project I never really thought about was cost – perhaps because it seemed so epic a project I never thought it would actually get this far.
So we sent the 3d Files to a really nice guy at www.3dprint-uk.co.uk who had the following to say (make sure your sitting down!)
That is an absolutely awesome model!
….BUT…. it comes in at 23,000 cm3 – that translates to £46,000!!!!!
I WISH I could do this one – it’s truly beautiful and would make such a fantastic model, but simply due to it’s size, it’s going to cost nearly the same as it would to buy the real thing!
An idea might be to 3D print the features such as the window and alike, and then fix them to a card/wood model, but 3D printing the entire object is out of the question I’d imagine!
After a few hours of feeling totally defalated, I picked myself up and started formulating “PLAN B”!
Just a little reminder who this train set is for, at this rate I think he will be grown up before I finish it..lol
Just quick picture of a DCC Encoder I am prototyping the idea is that this will drive trains and points and will work in conjunction with the DCC Decoders I already have working.
So if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll note I’ve been doing a little research on train sets of late. After visiting a couple of railway exhibitions I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I wanted to do something a little unique and different and so I thought what about the challenge of creating a mainline London station. A lot of railway enthusiats tackle some huge projects but I couldn’t find any that relate to working railway models of London railway stations like Paddington, Kings Cross or perhaps the most beautiful of all London building St Pancras. So I took a pal and we went to look at St Pancras and took some pictures. The project would be epic and in n guage (a small train set scale) the bulding and shed would be some 1.4 meters long and 1 meter wide! After doing some research on St Pancras itself, I finally found a model in…. Lego, which looked amazing and that was it – the project was a go!