Sunday 11 August 2013

Gas Generator Schöma (1/35)

New technologies are constantly changing what is possible in modelling. Years ago resin casting gave modellers a lot of kits and detail parts that would never have been available otherwise. The etched metal kit or detail part then made it possible to even further expand the number and quality of kits and parts available to us. Now 3D printing makes it possible to print models from a computer generated drawing. Like any (new) technology there is  improvements to be made. 3D printing doesn't differ from any modelling technique when it comes to compromise. All modelling involves some kind of compromise to be practical, so don't expect miracles.

While 3D-printing has been around for a few years, I only recently made up my mind to try a 3D-printed model. Not one I have designed and drawn myself (I have no skills for that), but one bought from the website of Shapeways.
Image from the Shapeways site showing the Schöma built KML5-loco. See the loco and more on Shapeways.
My first 3D model is a 1:35 model of a Schöma loco fitted with gas generator. The loco was built in Germany during the second world war when normal fluid fuels were primarily reserved for military use. The gas generator turned wood into gas that fueled the engine. The loco is of the type KML5 (Kriegs Motor Lokomotive) built by several manufacturers and based on the O&K type MD2. A preserved loco of the type can be seen today at the Oekoven museum near Köln.

Schöma 933/1946 type KML5 in the shed in Oekoven, Germany back in 1997 on my first visit there.
The 3D model came from Shapeways covered with some oily substance. I removed the grease with warm water, soap and some Ajax windows cleaner. What the greasy stuff does in the printing process isn't clear to me, but it has to be cleaned off before any painting can begin.

My first printed model. I ordered the loco in Shapeways' best quality material called 'Frosted Ultra Detail' (FUD). Despite a slight crookedness on the cab right side and some raised lines on cab front and rear I'm quite pleased with the model. The roof will need some work too, but most of the faults will be easily sanded away. 

With the complicated piping of the gas generator unit definitely not an easy model for printing. The quality of the piping is most impressing, nevertheless.
Despite the small faults I'm looking forward working with this model. I now have to find a power unit to drive the loco. Maybe a Bull Ant from Australia will fit?

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