Missing one red buffer from your Big Big Train Hymek or the chimney of that nice steam loco? Maybe you finally bought a nice Barrel Loader but it did not have the necessary barrel triggers or a wheel set from your open wagon is broken.
So, how do you get spares for your vintage Big Big Train?
One way to get spares is to strip one model to complete the other. That may be fine if the model to be stripped is badly damaged but it is not very satisfying to strip an otherwise reasonably good model. The advantage is that the spare parts you obtain this way will fit your model and will probably have the right, original color.
Another way to get spares is to contact me, obviously 🙂
But with modern technology in 3D-printing it should be possible to reproduce spare parts. That means a lot of work and skill because not only you have to take all measures from a spare part but you also have to master 3D design software to create a printable design for a 3D-printer to create your spare.
I am not a computer illiterate but still it would take a lot of time before I could do this myself. But let’s say I had a printable design then there was the problem where to print it as I do not own a 3D-printer myself and in what material should it be printed and in what color? Although companies like Shapeways make it look easy I thought it would be challenging enough and so I gave up on the whole idea.
Then some day I came across a guy named Vincent that designs alternative track segments for Big Big Train. I posted about one of his designs in this earlier post.
We came into contact and we agreed it was worth a try to reproduce parts with 3D-design. I delivered him a set of Big Big Train parts and he would try to convert these into a printable design. This is of course a lot of work but he managed to get some great results so far.
His latest product is the buffer for the Hymek loco like the “Blue Flier”. I tested this final product and the measures are great and it fits very well. I do advise to change all four buffers on a loco though because the color of the 3D plastic is slightly lighter than the original.
For any Big Big Train enthusiast it is good to have a look at Vincent’s Shapeways designer shop.
I hope we will see more of his designs for The Big Big Train in the future!