My name is Bernard Hellen and I started miniprints to fill a very specific niche in the model railroad hobby. I’ve always loved the scenery aspect of the hobby. Super-detailing a scene to create a prototypically accurate miniworld is a wonderfully obsessive trip down the rabbit hole.
I was looking for an HO scale beaver to complete a pond scene on my layout. I googled… and found nothing. There were moose, deer, bears, even wolves, but no beavers. The beaver is iconic. A Canadian symbol. The beaver (and its pelt) lured the explorers to this land. The beaver is so important it’s even on the shield of the Canadian Pacific Railway. So, I wondered, ‘Why were no HO scale model beaver figures available?
So what to do if no one makes a 1:87 scale beaver?
Happily in this day-and-age of 3D printing, almost anything is possible. If you can’t find it – you can make it, and that’s exactly what I did! With the help of 3d modelling software, and the purchase of an Elegoo Mars (my first 3d printer) miniprints.com was born. With the creation of the very first HO scale model beaver the pond scene was now complete! Fellow model railroaders started asking for beavers of their very own.
There is a wonderful Facebook group called 3D Printing for Model Trains and I started to see what resin printers were capable of. Blew my mind…. What really got me was a post by Kurt Bainum where he showed the level of detail he was getting printing in HO scale. Then I stared watching YouTube videos and as they say, the rest was history.
Well I was hooked. The beaver, led to more and more animals and before I knew it, the requests and suggestions were rolling in. It seems that there is always a mini detail that someone wants that isn’t commercially available.
With 100s of figures, details and animals now available, miniprints.com makes your model railroad layout come alive!
I am a model railroader too and I model the G&W Quebec Gatineau shortline railroad in HO scale from Montreal to Quebec City. You can read about my adventures in the hobby at my blog https://qgryinhoscale.wordpress.com/