In January I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Alan Buttler of Modelu who was exhibiting at the Chiltern Model Railway Exhibition 2018; Modelu offers a unique 3D body scanning service alongside an array of highly detailed finescale figures and detailing components for purchase.
Welsh for 'modelling’, Modelu was founded in January'15 and has evolved rapidly ever since, recently relocating to a new studio with the ability to host scanning sessions.
The 3D body scanning process is incredibly straightforward - a scanner was passed around me in four loops, each at a different height, which took 3-4 minutes in total. A 3D model is generated, which is then submitted for editing and printing on Mr Buttler's B9Creations DLP resin printer - the latter stages taking approximately 4-6 weeks. Each subject comes cleaned and ready to prime and paint. At £25.00 per 3D body scan it makes for a fantastic addition to any layout, far more than just a novelty.
Modelu was recognised with The Gwyn Humphreys Award for innovation at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition 2017 and the opportunities available are seemingly endless - Hattons Model Railways having recently announced a collaboration to produce four dedicated crews for their upcoming Andrew Barclay Sons & Co 0-4-0ST and former South Eastern & Chatham Railway (SECR) P Class 0-6-0T locomotives.
Technology once the preserve of industry is now becoming mainstream and Modelu is undoubtedly at the forefront of this - it's an exciting time for modellers.