Martin Tärnrot

3D-Printed Gondolas

Martin Tärnrot
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Duration:   12  mins

This video shows how to create a gondola via 3D printing using a $300 machine. WIth this modest investment, you can make nicely detailed rolling stock. MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot demonstrates how he does it, sharing many tips and techniques.


Martin prints the HO 1-87 scale Boxcar Eanos 3D print model from CGTrader. The total 3D printing time is 3 hours and 51 minutes. Then the printout must be washed to clean off the resin. He puts it into a container filled with methanol and puts it on the Wash and Cure machine, which came with the 3D printer. Eight minutes later, the gondola comes out free of resin.

Martin then cuts off the supports from all the parts and puts the parts on a transparent plate and back into the Wash and Cure machine for curing under ultraviolet light.


Martin suggests starting by priming all parts. Here, Martin uses a fine surface primer in Light Gray. Be sure to paint all sides at the same time to avoid bending or skewing. Next he paints the outside of the cars red using an airbrush. The inside remains gray.

From the internet, he has printed some logo type and technical data that is printed on the side of the cars. He attaches these to the cars. Then it’s time to paint the black parts of the body—the lower parts and handrails. Next the yellow parts—all the parts handled by the switch crews (brake wheels, handles, and foot steps). Some boxes on the bottom are painted white.

Next, Martin adds some corrosion on the top of the body, then paint the bogies with black acrylic paint. Martin uses an airbrush for this, and when it’s dry, he brushes on a black-gray. Then he adds the couplings and bogies to the bottom of the body. It takes about two hours total to prepare the gondola after the 3D printing.

For more work on gondolas, watch our video on Creating Dents in Gondolas. And for much more on 3D printing, Martin has created a 3D Printing class here on MRA.

3D-Printed Gondolas Join Model Railroad Academy to continue watching for $10.00 per month / $102.00 per year