Painting the train

As I finished the models Becke began the painting. She started with the elephant engine. With large detailed models the painting process is painstaking, taking almost as long as a full sized piece. The base colours are layered on, then the glazes. All of it is done with fine artist’s brushes. We still have a couple of day’s work to do before they are done but a circus train never looked better!

Published with permission from Source.

Sculpting fun!

I used Abracadabra Sculpting epoxy to sculpt the animal bodies of the train. Steel rods were used as reinforcement. The shapes were first bulked out and allowed to harden. Then I went back over the pieces adding detail as necessary. I did the sculpts over a period of three days.

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Building the train car files

The mechanical circus animal cars all shared the same routing file. I would sculpt the animal features on later by hand.
The routing files were created in EnRoute using the drawing tools.
I used the dome tool to create the first relief which formed the car body.

I then created a zero height relief which will be used to trim off the extra on the bottom of the car body.
I did the trimming by selecting the body relief and then merging lowest with the zero height relief.
I then used the slice tool to get rid of the lower part.
I then created two new reliefs – one for the deck of the train car and one the lower part under it. These new reliefs were combined with the body relief.

I then duplicated the new combined relief so I could make a front (with a door) and back (with a window) of the car.
I drew the vectors for the window including the bars in the window.

Using the warp tool I bent them inwards.
Too make the window I created a flat relief.

I then modified this relief by using the dome tool to make the bars.

I then merged LOWEST to sink the window into the car.

The easiest way to create the wheels was so do the various components as separate reliefs. I started with the wheels. I first created a flat relief using the outermost circle. This formed the flange of the train wheel.

This relief was then modified by raising the centre portion to form the tire of the wheel.
I then dressed the centre using the subtract command.

The mounting bracket was created as a flat relief.
The mounting flange and gussets were next, also created as flat reliefs.
The journal box was next – also as a flat relief. The star was added by modifying this relief.

All of these components were then MERGED HGHEST to create the wheel sets on the cars.
While I did the car concepts with the doors open I decided it would be much easier to build the models with a rollup door (in the closed position. They were pretty easy to build and add to the car. The key was to do things in the right order.
First I created a flat relief of the door. This relief was then modified using the dome tool to add the round ridges to the front.

The door jambs and eyebrow were created as separate reliefs.
Because the door was lower than the body of the car but higher than the chassis I MERGED the reliefs using the REPLACE function.
The door jambs, floor and eyebrow were MERGED HIGHEST with the car relief.
This made the car ready to route.

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Building a mechanical circus train model

We all seem to collect tons of small pieces of Precision Board when we do lots of routing. The perfect use of these small pieces is display samples. 
We are in the process of designing a very fun project for one of our theme park customers. We were asked to design up some small kiosks to be used for face painting, food carts and a character meet and greet. Since the theme is mechanical circus we decided the perfect theme for the kiosks was a circus train. Once I got started on the designs the ideas came thick and fast. There was no limit to the possibilities as there are an endless variety of animals to choose from.
We chose three of our favourites to model in about 1/12 scale. The elephant engine was a must and the giraffe and hippopotamus called my name. To build the scaled models we would use a variety of tools and materials. The wheels, undercarriages and basic shapes begged to be routed. The files would be easy and quick to model in EnRoute. The bulk of the rest would be faster to hand sculpt. More fun too!
The first one was the elephant engine – with the monkey on top.
I designed the vectors in EnRoute. The first task was to create the domed top. 
I then clipped the bottom using a zero height relief by merging lowest. I then used the slice tool to get rid of the remaining zero height bottom piece.

I then created the lower relief and combined it with the top domed piece. The front and rear bumpers, steam cylinder supports, and fenders were created as separate reliefs. The bumpers and fenders were combined with the big relief.
The steam cylinder supports were merged highest with the base relief.
Once the basics were dome it was time to move on to the details like the wheels. I did this by modifying the base relief. First was the wheel flanges, then the wheel tire. The centres were depressed in a series of steps to create the sidewalls on the steel rims. 

The spokes were created as separate domed reliefs before merging (highest) with the base relief.
Next u came the wheel centers, counterweights and connecting rod supports. These were all built as separate reliefs. 
Raised stars were then added to the wheel centers.
The separate reliefs were then merged highest with the base relief.

The smokestack and monkey drum were built as meshes using the revolve tool. These were then combined with a zero height relief. The zero height relief was also modified with the egg shipped relief and the dome tool. Two of these would form the basis for the elephant’s head.

I then duplicated and flipped the various pieces to create the front and back of the train engine. Everything was then ready to tool path and send off to the router. I machined all the pieces from scraps of 2″ thick 30 lb Precision Board. Between the engine and the two cars and various bits and pieces we used up a big pile of scraps.

As soon as the pieces were off the router it was an easy task to screw them together. There was a front and back as well as two layers of 2″ thick cutout for the centre. The next step was a bunch of hand sculpting.

Published with permission from Source.