Chicago Traction Models

O scale models of Chicago Rapid Transit cars.
Thank you for visiting Chicago Traction Model's Shapeways store. Please contact me at with any questions, concerns or comments. Terry Gaskin, designed and modeler.

About Chicago Traction Models: CTM was spun-off from my O scale Chicago rapid transit modeling interests. I currently model O scale Chicago Rapid Transit elevated trains in three rail. Details of this layout can be found on my blog at CTA L Scale Layout . There are certain Chicago rapid cars and elevated structure detail parts that I wish to have in O scale that have not been offered in O scale or are currently out of production. Therefore, I decided to create the models using Shapeways' 3D printing.

About the models: I will be creating Chicago rapid transit cars that were never available or are out of production. While working within the limitations of the 3D design process, I try to make the models as scale accurate as I can using scale drawings, plans, photos and field measurements if available.

Some FAQ's:

Why O scale? I model strictly in O scale. The 3D drawings are scaled to maximize details for O scale models and therefore aren't scalable to other scales. I have no plans on offering items in other scales.

Why the separate pieces? Why not a complete shell? In order to make the highest quality car with the highest amount of detail, along with the smallest amount of surface preparation, the cars will be made out of separate (ends, sides, doors, roof) pieces. By using this method, Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) can be used for most of the parts. But, due to the limitations on the size of objects printed in FUD, the car bodies need to be broken down into components. Also, by using this method, a modeler can "mix and match" the styles of components they want on their car. Chicago rapid transit cars had many variations over their service life.

Are these models difficult to put together? A modeler with average skills and normal tools will be able to assemble the models without difficulty.

What about instructions? Please email me at and I will send you the assembly instructions. I would strongly recommend reading the instructions before you order so you know all the aspects and limitations of the 3D printing process.

What is included? What about trucks, floor, couplers? Only the basic shell is offered. Trucks and other details will have to be obtained by the modeler. Q-Car Company ( Q-Car Company ) offers trucks and other detail parts. The floor will need to be obtained by the modeler. A 3D printed floor, while possible, is cost prohibitive when much cheaper (styrene, wood or brass) alternatives are available. I will eventually be adding some detail parts that are currently not offered elsewhere, so check back often.

What do the models look like? Will I be happy with the quality? As much as possible, I will print the parts before offering to sell. Pictures of the design process and models can be viewed on my blog ( CTA L Scale Layout ). I'll try to be as transparent as possible about the limitations of the 3D process. By printing the majority of the cars in FUD, the detail is well defined and crisp. However, there are instances where print lines can be seen or some items might be missing (for example, rivets). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me and I can send additional pictures. However, I believe that this process can offer models of cars that aren't available elsewhere and in a quality that will be acceptable to most modelers.

What cars will be offered? I am planning on focusing strictly on Chicago rapid transit, street car and interurban cars in O scale. Since I do the research, design and printing as an off-shoot of my layout, lead times can be long. But, I plan on offering the 4000 series Plushie, several Metropolitan cars, and possible some CA&E cars. However, I won't produce a model for a car that is currently available.

What about other parts or traction related items? I will be offering structure detail parts as I will need them for the completion of my layout. These will components that can be used as masters for mold making and eventual casting. The 3D printing process is too expensive for mass productions of these types of items.

Again, thanks for visiting the store.

Please contact me at with any questions or concerns.

Terry Gaskin, Chicago Traction Models.


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