Modelu Seated Figure

For the O9 loco I’m making I wanted a seated driver figure. I thought a whitemetal figure might be too heavy so I opted for a plastic figure from Modelu.

These are 3D printed figures and when it arrived I was rather surprised to see that it still had the 3D printing support structures in place. There were even supports for the figure’s nose !

It was easy to remove these, but my second surprise was that there were a couple of ‘holes’ in the figure. You might get ‘air bubbles’ in injection moulded or cast objects, but I hadn’t expected them in something from a 3D printer. Again not a problem, a little model filler and they’d disappeared.

The figure isn’t quite a crisp and detailed as some whitemetal figures, but it is a nice model and much lighter.

Painting the figure was a pleasure. I gave him some blue overalls, a rather flashy light blue shirt and a dusting of black weathering power to make him look suitably dirty.

I’m pleased with the result. He’ll look good in a loco.


  1. Your figure is actually quite badly printed… First it should be leaning a bit backwards to avoid supports in the face. Second, the hole comes from a badly cleaned printer… You made a nice job of it thou, spite the failures.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Henrik, Good to get the opinion of someone who knows a lot about 3D printing. I hadn’t thought that a blocked / dirty ‘nozzle’ on a 3D printer would cause ‘gapping’ in the model, good point. This figure will be inside a loco cab so I think it will be fine. I brought some other 3D printed figures that seem to be higher quality, although not as good as the 1:24th scale military figures you’ve been making this year – I’m very impresed with those!
      All the best

      Liked by 1 person

      • ModelU figures are made with a resin printer which prints upside down in a bath filled w floating resin, not with a nozzle like a simpler fdm printer uses. If the drawing is ok your print should be top notch. However a firm must make profit so they sometimes use shortcuts. In your case it seems they used a drawing ment for a smaller scale and just increased the size of the figure which works within reason. I bought several figures from them before and the quality various. Most really is top notch, but some are not. I would complain next time, but gently cause they really do nice things 99% of the time.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. I suspect that leaning him backward would increase the price. You get more figures on the bed if they are upright and removing the supports isn’t a real problem. Knowing how price-sensitive UK modellers can be, it’s a sensible decision.

    I find 3D printed figures aren’t as detailed as the best whitemetal ones – but this isn’t an issue as in 4mm scale, you see proportions. Get these wrong and all the detail in the world won’t save the model.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Phil, You are right the supports were easy to remove and definitely not a problem. As it’s the first 3D printed figure I’ve brought I was surprised to see them – I’m not used to that much ‘sprue’ 🙂
      Yes, it does appear less detailed than good whitemetal figures, but that’s not a problem either – he’ll be hidden in a cab. It’s difficult to find modern image, seated drivers to use in O scale miniature railway locos so this figure fitted the bill well. I will use other 3D printed figures where it’s difficult to get appropriate whitemetal figures and where I need lighter figures for coaches etc. I guess the trick will be to use figures of a similar standard across the layout to make it look consistent. At the moment I’m thinking whitemetal figures in open spaces where they are more visible (such as platforms) and 3D printed figures inside coaches to keep the weight down. But, we shall see, to quote Burns, ‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ modellers; Gang aft a-gley.’
      All the best

      Liked by 1 person

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