This is it, the big project that has been causing me to stress with Shapeways and Airbrush Compressors and all kinds of things. My current project for a low volume model to be available through my Shapeways Shop is the Hawker Siddeley Single Level Commuter Coaches in HO Scale. These were the original coaches constructed in Thunder Bay Ontario for the launch of GO Transit, the Toronto area commuter railway service in 1967. Most regular readers of my Blog could probably have guessed what this was from my hints and the knowledge that a lot of my models are of vehicles preserved at the Toronto Railway Museum.
The prototype. GO Transit Cab Car 104, purchased and restored by Metrolinx and donated to the Toronto Railway Museum for GO’s 50th Anniversary in 2017.
They came in three varieties, but I am only designing two. I am designing models of the Cab Car Coach and the Regular Coach. I am not modelling the self propelled cab cars which were a part of the initial order for 1967. In total, GO Transit owned 123 of these cars, 9 self propelled (later converted to just cab cars), 8 cab cars, and 106 coaches.
Following their replacement by the now ubiquitous Bi-Level Cars on GO Transit, the cars found new work with MBTA in Boston, MARC in Maryland, the Ontario Northland Railway and AMT in Montreal. The cars were in service with AMT until 2010, and several remain in service with the Ontario Northland Railway.
3D printed Body Shell for the Cab Car (with a coat of primer so details are more visible).
Through a combination of drawings of various quality found on the internet, and the ability to literally walk up to the existing car to take measurements, this was the kind of project that makes sense for me as a non-manufacturer doing 3D models in my spare time. One that I can literally walk 15 minutes from my office after work and get a missing dimension or a picture of something to make sure I’ve got a shape right or a detail in place.
The first attempt at 3D printed Trucks (not very successful), the underbody/frame piece, and the car interior.
The cars are a little ways away from being available for sale. There are some technical issues to be overcome, including a reliable source of wheels to direct people to. I know there is a market for these, though they won’t be cheap, and certainly won’t be for the faint of heart when it comes to assembling and running, but I’m hopeful in the coming months that I can work out these issues. In the short term at least, I will be looking to prepare a short train of coaches for display at the Toronto Railway Museum as part of the ongoing GO 50th Anniversary Display (though it will likely be several months before they are available for sale to others, as I find time to work through issues and test things before offering them up for sale).