Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Modeling

This morning I sat myself down in front of the computer to try and do something I've been contemplating for a long time. What I had in mind was figuring out a way to create and print some 53' intermodal containers. The idea came from sites like this one, where you can get a huge variety of images of 20' and 40' shipping containers that can be printed out folded to create passable HO scale models. I have a bunch of these and really like them, especially the price, but today's Z trains are chock full of 53 footers. How could I create such a thing?

Well, I took a 48' JB Hunt container I had, scanned it, and using the cut and paste tool in Elements "grew" each end about 2 1/2 feet. (Note to self: make sure to extend the ends, not the center. One of the principles of intermodal transport is that the frames remain on 40' centers. Don't ask why I am mentioning this.) I scanned each side, the top, and each end individually and after editing them pasted them all together to create this file:

After printing a few copies out, and cutting a piece of wood to the proper dimensions, I folded and glued one up. It worked fairly well. Next I just folded a couple more up, without the wood block, to compare. Here are the results:

They certainly aren't perfect, but with the factory made items bringing more than $8 each, I think they prove acceptable. With two more sets of spine cars on the way, I sure can't afford to fill everything up at nearly $10 a container. Now to figure out a way to manufacture 53' trailers.

While I was playing in the basement, I ran a train as well. Here's a photo to show off the work of Muller Locomotive Works. He installed the ditch lights on this unit, along with a sound decoder. I finally got the front handrails and couplers back on, and the unit is now in service on local trains. Kudos to Chris for his work on this unit!

So that's how I spend my leisure time today. It was great fun and for once, I actually have something to show for the time.


BB-Idaho said...

I found that link to container prints very useful. N-scale,
and quite a few loads of Uniglory and P&O Nedlloyd so far. Got about
fifty well cars and enjoy changing

daniellaprice30 said...

I think this could be possible because they are now using storage containers for housing and other more functions. This may possibly be able to help ease train problems.