My name is Dirk Jan Blikkendaal and I have been a N scale Santa Fe modeler for over 40 years.
I model the A.T.&S.F. in Oklahoma in the 1950’s, based on the 1983 Model Railroader series ‘Washita & Santa Fe’.
Because I live in The Netherlands access to models and background information has not always been easy in the past but these days with the worldwideweb it certainly is no problem anymore, only the long distance to my prototype remains……..
I am a member of the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society (member 217, joined its predecessor in the 1970’s) and visited the Society conventions in Chicago in 2000, Oklahoma in 2007, Denver in 2010 and again Chicago in 2018.
The Society books (and Warbonnet magazine) are a great source of information and plans.
With more time on hand and the fact that I would like to run ”prototype” models on my own layout like specific engines, doodlebugs, combines, prototypically correct heavyweight passenger cars, work equipment and also some specific Santa Fe freight cars, gave me the idea to create small runs of models for myself and other interested model railroaders, using 3D techniques.
In the past I have done extensive remodeling of existing models, however 3D creates an opportunity to model prototypically correct models in small batches.
I know 3D prints are not as perfect as injection molded models. My guess is that in the (near) future new printers will produce better prints at reasonable prices. Companies like Shapeways will be the first to join in. It is a matter of personal opinion to accept the present models or to wait for future improvements. In the meantime I use 30% diluted Mr. Primer Surfacer 1000 with very good results. This primer smoothes the 3D printed surfaces quite a bit.
It is not my goal to make a real business out of this undertaking but to promote characteristic N scale Santa Fe models.
Of course I want to cover costs like 3D drawings (I do not draw the STL files myself), masters, etchings and materials but the casting, processing (masters and resin) and mailing is done by myself at almost zero cost. I want to keep prices as low as possible.
Feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions.
Dirk Jan Blikkendaal