I have been watching the development of 3D printing with interest but have been rather sceptical about the quality. However a recent thread on a completely different topic made me look at the CD Design / Street Models website where, tucked away amongst Met A tanks and various GER tanks there was a delightful picture of the Millwall Extension Railway's minute Manning Wardle tank loco, and this discovery coincided with a "Post Free" weekend offer from Shapeways so I bit the bullet and sent off my order. Within a very surprisingly short period, a small box arrived on the doorstep, and inside were two very fine mouldings for the body and chassis with virtually everything included. I was very pleasantly surprised by the fine quality of the finish and the amount of detail such as the Westinghouse brake, the springs inside the cab and some details on the firebox back which will be a challenge to highlight in the painting stage, as the cab is incredibly small. In fact, the loco is probably the smallest mainline(ish) passenger loco on the standard gauge, and makes a Brighton Terrier look enormous.
The finely detailed chassis would need a bit of fettling to fit, but looks fine for OO. However, as I would intend it to be in P4 I will need to create a separate chassis and probably just use the sides cosmetically. What will be the challenge is fitting a gearbox and motor and DCC decoder and getting enough ballast in the tiny space available.
I think I can get a old Studiolith gearbox in with a Mashima 10/15 motor at a push, but I would welcome any suggestions. I need to track down the relevant MRJ somewhere in the loft to confirm wheel diameters (3' 6" and 2' 8" I think) before I order Gibson wheels, and I will have to investigate Archers rivets to provide the distinctive pattern on the side tanks. My one regret is that I ordered it in white, as the black version would mean that, for instance, the chassis, although needing painting, would not show any marks if scuffed, whereas the white will, no doubt, show through, but it looks so good in white I am not complaining.