Sunday, 30 June 2019

Marbelup Models Home Page

High quality 3D-printed models of Western Australian trains in Sn3½ Scale.

Due to ongoing quality issues with 3D prints from i.Materialise in Belgium, Marbelup Models is not accepting any new orders for 3D-printed models, for a while at least.  In general, small parts like bogies are printing very nicely, but some larger models are causing problems.  i.Materialise claim the problem is inherent with their Standard Resin material which was introduced about a year ago, although most early prints were very good.  Some prints are still very good, but the quality is quite variable.


For information about any of these models, please send email to marbelupmodels@iinet.net.au

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

QMC Car Wagon

The QMC car wagons were converted in 1963 from the earlier QMB wagons.  The WMB's were used to carry car bodies only, which were fully assembled in local (WA) factories, whereas the QMC's and later QMD's carried complete cars.  Photos indicate that the wagons were mainly used between Kalgoorlie and Perth and were often included on the Westland passenger train as well as freight trains.

The narrow gauge car wagons were made redundant after the standard gauge trains started running right through to Perth, and some were converted to QMG long, bulkhead flat wagons between 1970 and 1973.

At 70 feet (in the old measure), this series of wagons was the longest of all narrow gauge wagons.  The WA Wagon Pages have further information on the prototype wagons

As no detailed drawings appear to have survived for these wagons, the QMC model is based on a simple outline drawing and photos, although detailed photos are also scarce.  One of the few photos to show details of the wagon is in the Weston Langford collection although this may actually be a QMD wagon which had fork lift pockets on the upper deck which consisted of four separate panels.  A photo of the later QMG wagon confirmed the overall structure of the steel truss underframe.  The outline drawing indicates there were only ever 2 QMC's but there were a maximum of 23 of the very similar QMD's in the late 1960's.

Because of its length, the model is made in two sections as the standard 3D printers could not make it in one piece.  When fitted with the recommended Steam Era Models passenger bogies (available from Railwest Models), it will negotiate curves down to 700 mm radius.  Kadee long shank couplers are also recommended to allow sufficient coupler swing.  The model does have considerable overhang, particularly on the inside of a curve, so increased clearances may be required for curved platforms and other structures.

The model cars depicted in the photo by are Biante and DDA Collectibles.  Despite being 1/64 scale, the model EH Holdens were about 0.5 mm too high to fit in the lower deck, so four of the DDA cars were "lowered" by dismantling them and cutting deeper slots in the plastic chassis for the axles.



FD 4-wheel Louvre Van


The FD vans were very common on the WAGR system, with a total of 1000 being built between 1953 and 1955.  Most of the class remained in use until the 1980's.  Refer to the WAGR Wagon Pages for more information on the prototype.

FD Models, unpainted and painted (except for the roof)

The model depicts the van in "as delivered" condition.  Various modifications were carried out during the life of the FD vans and Marbelup Models may produced later versions if there is sufficient demand.

The photo below, from Rail Heritage WA, shows an FD van in close to original condition.

The body of the FD has been printed in one piece.  The print orientation has been chosen to optimise the definition of the louvres, which will result in some visible stepping on the roof, which can be smoothed off by scraping and/or sanding.  As well, the modeller will be required to remove the support materials from the 3D printing process, and add various details such as handrails, from brass wire (not supplied) as well as W-irons, wheels and couplers.  For more information, please refer to the Construction Tips.

DC 4-wheel Van



Like the FD's, DC's were very common on the WAGR system, with over 700 being built between 1953 and 1954.  Most of the class remained in use until the late 1980's, primarily carrying grain which was loaded and unloaded by roof hatches and end doors, respectively.  Refer to the WAGR Wagon Pages for more information on the prototype.




The model depicts the van in "as delivered" condition.  An optional version is available with "flat" diagonal braces on the sides.

Various other modifications were carried out during the life of the DC vans, including replacement of sections of timber paneling with plywood.  Marbelup Models may produced later versions if there is sufficient demand.

The photos below, from Rail Heritage WA, shows a DC van in close to original condition and one with the "flat" diagonal braces.



The body of the DC has been printed in two pieces, with a vertical join which is conveniently hidden by the roofwalk.  The print orientation has been chosen to produce a smooth surface on the curved roof which will require minimal finishing.  The modeller will be required to remove the support materials from the 3D printing process, and add various details such as handrails, from brass wire (not supplied) as well as W-irons, wheels and couplers.



The roofwalk for the DC has also been produced on its own, for use with kit or scratchbuilt DC models.

CXB 4-wheel Sheep Wagon

CXB Sheep Wagon after added detailing and painting



The 3D-printed model includes:
  • Floor detail include double floors on upper and lower decks
  • Roof including rain strips and downpipes
  • Detailed axleboxes and springs
  • Brake shoes and vacuum brake cylinder 
  • Vacuum brake hoses
  • Brake lever
  • Shunter's step
Most of the photos show the model after detailing, but prior to painting.  The grey parts are produced by the 3D printing process.  As always, click on any of the photos to zoom in.

To complete the model, the modeller will be required to add:
  • Wheels (12 mm diameter 4-hole or disc, 26 mm axle length)
  • Etched brass W-irons (available from Railwest models).
  • Brass bearings (e.g. North Yard 2 mm diameter, pinpoint)
  • Couplers and fixing screws (e.g. 2-56). Recommended couplers are Kadee #158 with #262 draft gear boxes.  Note that the #242 draft gear boxes, supplied with the #158 couplers, have a different mounting hole location and are also too wide to clear the brake pipe.  If preferred, Kadee #148 couplers can be used with the "full size" knuckle rather than the "scale" knuckle.  Both the #148 and #158 are "Whisker" couplers.
  • Self tapping screws for fixing body and W-irons - 1 mm x 3 mm pan head, 6 required per wagon. (DCC Concepts DCS-PH103).
  • Brass wire (0.4 mm) for horizontal rods in body sides and doors, upper door guide rods, end handrails, and brake rod.  3 lengths are required per wagon.
  • Glue, paint, decals, etc.
The model consists of two unequal "halves", with a vertical join running end to end.  This will allow access to the interior for painting and adding a load of sheep, if desired.

The two sections are 3D-printed on their sides, which results in a good surface finish on the roof and outside surfaces.

For help with assembly, see the CXB Construction Tips.  For information on the prototype CXB's, see the WA Wagon Pages.

RA Class Diesel






Here you will find information on the 3D Printed parts designed by Marbelup Models which will allow a model railway enthusiast to build their own model of a WAGR RA class diesel in Sn3½ scale (i.e. 1/64 scale, 16.5 mm gauge).

The Marbelup Models 3D-printed model of the RA class diesel is based on the existing design for the R class.  These pictures represent a composite rendering of the RA loco.  




The RA is about 16 mm (in S scale) longer than the R class.  The short hood is longer, as is the narrow section of the long hood immediately behind the cab.  The fuel tank is also longer, and the RA does not have the dynamic brake grilles in the end and top of the long hood.  The RA also has different headlights, with the twin lights being mounted side by side rather than vertically.

The RA uses the same bogie mechanisms and motor as the R class, and these are available from Hollywood Foundry.


All of the major parts for the RA class have been designed to be produced as 3D printed plastic parts, including:
  • Loco Body
  • Chassis
  • Bogies
  • Fuel Tank

The 3D printed parts have been designed based on plans and photographs of the RA class locomotives "as delivered" in 1971-72.  As with many locomotives, various modifications were carried out over their life.


In addition to the 3D-printed parts, the modeller must obtain a number of other parts in order to complete the locomotive.  Please refer to the Assembly Tips for a list of the parts required, and helpful tips.

WAGR R Class Diesel

Photo of assembled model with added details, painting and decals.

Here you will find information of the 3D Printed parts designed by Marbelup Models which will allow a model railway enthusiast to build their own model of a WAGR R class diesel in Sn3½ scale (i.e. 1/64 scale, 16.5 mm gauge).

Marbelup Models has also developed 3D-printed model of the RA class diesel.  The RA is about 16 mm (in S scale) longer than the R class.  The short hood is longer, as is the narrow section of the long hood immediately behind the cab.  The fuel tank is also longer, and the RA does not have the dynamic brake grilles in the end and top of the long hood.  The RA also has different headlights, with the twin lights being mounted side by side rather than vertically.

All of the major parts for the R class have been designed to be produced as 3D printed plastic parts, including:
  • Loco Body
  • Chassis
  • Bogies
  • Fuel Tank

The 3D printed parts have been designed based on plans and photographs of the R class locomotives "as delivered" in 1968.  As with many locomotives, various modifications were carried out over their life.

In addition to the 3D-printed parts, the modeller must obtain a number of other parts in order to complete the locomotive.  Please refer to the Assembly Tips for a list of the parts required, and helpful tips.