About Us

3D-Companions was created in 2004 by Francis Leach, a semi-retired, industrial engineering designer. With more time on his hands now, he is intent on using the best of his 3D-CAD design skills and computer technologies to assist modellers who wish to enjoy proven live-steam locomotive designs modelled for 10mm to the foot, 1/32 scale and 16mm.

By collaborating with several renowned and established designers of successful gauge 1 and 16mm models, 3D-Companions can now offer an extensive and expanding range of interactive 3D virtual models and supporting modelling reference information. The CD-ROM based package is supplied with a royalty-free interactive viewer that turns a locomotive into a model, which can be manipulated in a 3-dimensional world on your own personal computer. This is a considerable help and boost to anyone building or just interested in particular locomotives. Even those from non-engineering backgrounds will understand the detail of every component part and assembly in the example. These virtual models are usually supported by a video of the real locomotive or examples of a model running "in steam". The package is further enhanced with still photos of the detail in the model.

This up-to-the-minute and exciting development is accompanied by the availability of ready-to-run and affordable rolling stock for gauge 1. The first comprise mark I BR coaches in the blood-and-custard and maroon colour schemes of the 1950s. Ideally, they can be purchased for the lowest unit price in the form of a complete rake of coaches representing a typical set to be pulled by the owner's locomotive. Individual coaches may be purchased but cannot be given the same low price. The purchase cost of the set had to be kept to an affordable level to allow the benefits and enjoyment of garden railways to be experienced by more people as the hobby is encouraged to grow. Enabling newcomers to purchase affordable RTR rolling stock was the main driving force in the design as well as the wish to provide practical and durable coaches for those who appreciate good value for money.