Hardy’s Hobbies figures
George Dent examines the latest 3D-printed figures to be produced by Hardy’s Hobbies.
◆ GAUGE ‘OO’ & ‘O’ ◆ MODEL 3D-printed railway workers and civilian figures, unpainted ◆ PRICE £5.00 each (‘O’); £3.00 (‘OO’) ◆ AVAILABILITY Hardy’s Hobbies Web: www.hardyshobbies.co.uk
3 D printing has been with us for some time now and, as with many new technologies, it has developed markedly over the years, with processes and materials constantly being improved. Indeed, I’d found that it was the quality of the printed material that was holding the process back, with brittle parts or rough surfaces requiring much effort on the modeller’s part to create attractive and resilient results. Things have changed, though, and these 3D-printed figures from Hardy’s Hobbies prove that modern resins offer a much more user-friendly medium. The range features a variety of railway workers and civilians (and dogs!) in a host of realistic poses, to suit the steam age and modern eras. Scanned from real human beings, the figures are well proportioned and exquisitely rendered, with plenty of facial and clothing detail. The same human model can be identified in a number of the figures, but once the figures have been painted this becomes less obvious. New figures and poses are constantly being developed. At the time of writing, Hardy’s Hobbies was already working on some 1960s lineside photographers and women in 1940s dress. A small selection of footplate accessories will also be available in ‘OO’ in the
near future. Work is progressing on a few Pullman attendants and some industrial footplate crew and staff. Furthermore, Hardy’s Hobbies also offers a custom service, so you can have yourself scanned and replicated in miniature if you desire. The figures are available in a wide range of scales, from ‘HO’,
‘OO’ and ‘O’, through to ‘Gauge 1’, ‘G Scale’ and larger. Supplied unpainted, they require a degree of preparatory work in terms of cutting away the support webbing created during the 3D printing process and they must be washed thoroughly to remove any residues before paint can applied, following a light coat of primer.
In contrast to cast whitemetal and moulded plastic figures, there is no flash to carve away and the material is lightweight and fairly robust. Delicate items, such as shovels or tools, are a little less forgiving of rough handling. The figures offer great value and are great fun to paint and pose on a layout or locomotive footplate.