Hardy’s Hob­bies fig­ures

Model Rail (UK) - - Reviews -

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.

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