Wednesday, 28 January 2015


Sometimes it is good to remember that experiments don't have to be 'successful' to be useful.

I've been playing around with the Silhouette cutter again. Late in the evening probably wasn't a good time to start but it was the only time I had. It is so long since I last used it that I made a few silly mistakes along the way. All of which is part of the learning process, I suppose, especially getting used to how it cuts different materials.

And of course there are the happy accidents along the way. For instance having accidentally misaligned two lines I discovered that in 10 thou plasticard you can cut extremely thin glazing bars compared to using card. Oddly though there is one shape that should be cutting cleanly but consistently isn't, as you can see in the photo. I'm guessing it is something to do with the order in which the cutting blade changes direction.

Can  you tell what it/they is/are yet?

There are some big clues here that I haven't given up on the 14XX body that suffered from the unfortunate mix up with the paint strippers, and also that I'm attempting to emulate laserglaze on the cheap. Incidentally since taking this photo I've discovered how to massively improve the quality of the curves the machine can cut.

The other parts will hopefully look familiar to Phil Parker....


  1. Looking good. I'll admit that when I posted my scratchbuilt loco, I was wondering if I could do it again with a machine to handle the cutting...

  2. Very nice work James! It's a mixture of type of blade and the settings I beginning to see some patterns appearing in performance.

  3. Looking forward to seeing where you're going with this. Its always interesting to note how different modellers approach the craft. I firmly believe that there's no right or wrong way, just your own personal way.

  4. One thing that is very clear is that this can only be part of a modelling solution. It is inherently much less capable than either a laser cutter or a 3d printer. I suspect cutting out windows is still going the bread and butter work I do with it. At the same time I want to have some idea of what it can let me do that I would otherwise struggle to achieve with a sharp object in my hand.