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N Scale PRA Part 1



My N Scale PRAs arrived today! I have given the one in the foreground a dusting of primer so I can better see the detail; I have also mounted it upon the Peco chassis I am using, which although isn't technically correct is getting used because I have lots knocking about. The one in the background is as they arrived from Shapeways.




The steps, handrails and ladders arrived warped (as normal) so I did my usual trick of dropping them in near boiling water out the kettle and they, as if by magic, return to the correct shape. I can only assume they have some sort of material "memory".


Next steps will be carefully smoothing, followed by painting, decals and weathering.


Kindest Regards,



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  • RMweb Gold

That's looking very nice Jack.


I like the gag with the kettle...I would have been a bit scared dunking it in like a chocolate digestive :O


What's the livery for this wagon going to be?

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Yes it is a bit nerve-racking! I actually came across it by accident a couple of months ago whilst washing the wax away; the Frosted Ultra Detail material is heatproof to 80 degrees C and I intended to boil the kettle and leave it a few minutes to cool down. Due to me leaving the room for 10mins and someone else reboiling the kettle to make a brew I ended up pouring near-boiling water on my models. I as I looked into the bowl expecting to see plastic blobs, to my surprise, I saw some ladders bending themselves strait. Since then this is my standard proceedure for warped models.


The wagon will be in generic clay grey/brown/white (I don't think I have ever seen a factory finish photograph, so i don't really know the correct colour!) with the cover being red. I have some artwork for the decals drawn up which I will get printed after Christmas.


Kindest Regards,



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Beautiful work there Jack!


What sort of thickness are the handrails, ladder rungs and wheel on top? I'm looking to experiment with handrails and other fiddly details in Frosted Ultra Detail.

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The handrails are 0.35mm thick, the wheel on top is 0.3mm. They are fragile, though they have a certain ammount flex in them to absorb the odd "finger twang" prior to being glued to the underframe. The wheel is round (strong shape) with crossmembers inside so can be printed at 0.3mm. Obviously the thicker you can make the parts the better the chances are they will print without problems.


If you want them to survive the production process make sure they have as much support as possible especially for any long strait sections. The fact the handrails, ladders etc are printed in situ with the PRA helps support them so they are less likely to break.


Kindest Regards,



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Thanks Jack,


I'd been working at 0.4mm thickness for similar sorts of details, so hopefully that will work out OK. It's good to be able to compare notes like this when getting to grips with useful new technologies!

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Jack,


Assume you have seen this?


Might be worth sending PB a PM to see if he knows?...worth a shot?...



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Yes it is, as with anything new like this which is constantly being developed the only real way to see what is/isn't possible is to try it out.


I have been designing models for printing for 3 years now and I am still learning new things with almost every print.


Good luck with your prints!





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These look great. It's good to see some quality FUD prints after the variable results from Shapeways recently.


Have you thought about trying to cast the bodies in resin to make a (cheap) rake?



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  • RMweb Gold

HI Rod,


If I could attach an idea I've been working on - I would!


I can't - so see direct email.


Now - How do I get some PRA bodies?



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Sorry for the slow replies chaps,


Guy, typically the rakes of PRAs were not too long and were normally part of speedlink workings, I think the most I have seen together was six. Perhaps this method would be well suited to the TDAs I have done to create the barrels?


Scottish Modeller, you can find the PRA model here: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/rail3d


Kindest Regards,



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