Reading Wagon 3D model

Hi I am David Norman. This is a detailed model of a Reading Wagon, sometimes called “Gipsy Caravan”. The Reading Wagons were originally built by Dunton and Sons in the late 19th and early 20th century in Reading England. This design is one of the later models dating about 1916. I have respected the original construction and furniture layout (they were sold as “fitted wagons”), I have taken some liberties. The decoration is my own artistic impression and does not follow the designs used by wagon builders or travellers.

The model was modelled and textured with Blender. Vertex count is high, 743,856 verts, 720,176 faces (mostly quads, a few tris). The individual objects are fairly low poly, but there are 171 objects so I consider the whole model to be high poly. The interior takes up over half of the vertex count. It is designed to render without subdivision unless you want real close ups, in which case geometry will hold. The wire frame examples show the actual geometry in the file and used for the example renders. The model is not rigged. The model contains 171 different objects (not counting cameras and lights) all the objects are named. Many objects themselves are made of unconnected parts, to economies verts. If you separate all lose parts you would have many more objects! All the doors, cupboards and draws can be opened (are modelled “inside and out”).

All of the images textures are original (although based on traditional patterns) and have been created for this model with Gimp by myself. Most of the textures are small images mapped repeatedly thus producing a high res result from low res images. The size of the texture folder is only 12.5MB. This method saves a lot of memory while viewing the model.

UV’s UV’s do overlap Many objects use more than one material and share materials with other objects. Some materials also share images.

The model is not prepared for 3d Printing.


I have updated the files of my Reading Wagon to comply to PBR workflow. The original file was from 2014 blender 2.72, now 2020 blender 2.83.

THE NEW RED WAGON! Most of the original Reading Wagons were painted a Dark red colour, my version was green as I found the red ones a bit overwhelming. As a bonus and to be fair to the original wagons I have now made a red version of the textures. There is only one model of the wagon with two options for the textures. It is very easy to change the colour because the images have the same names, this also makes it easy for you to overwrite the other textures! Please read the instructions provided to change the colour in the “ColourChange” folder to be on the safe side. You can also easily mix the two and for example get a red wagon with green brackets, which is actually a common colour scheme for the original wagons.

“Default” gives you a green wagon and only uses the texture folder named “textures”.

The new materials All the materials (apart from the emission shaders in the lamps), now use Blender’s principled BSDF shader and have image maps named to convention for better portability.

PBR compatability I have used metalness workflow. All the materials have at least diffuse, metalness, and roughness image maps (except for the emission shaders). I have replaced the old bump maps for normal maps, not all of the materials have normal image maps, the ones that do not are smooth surfaces. Some textures also have alpha values, 2 have alpha maps.

The Images have been named as folows:

1. ImageName_diffuse.jpg BaseColor/alebo,

2. ImageName_metalness.jpg Metalic factor, (mostly either full or zero), greyscale, white=fully metalic Black=nonmetal/zero metalic

3. ImageName_roughness.jpg Roughness value, (mostly constant), greyscale, white=very rough Black=Shinny

4. ImageName_normal.jpg Nomal map tangent space

5. ImageName_opacity.jpg Alpha maps, greyscale White=opaque Black=transparent

Most of the metalness and roughness maps are simple 10X10 pixel constant grey values which have been shared by different materials and could be replaced by numeric values. If you change the image colour value it will change values globally for various materials.

There are four materials that use more complex image maps for roughness and/or metalness maps; “Bedgold” and “Royal” (both metalness and roughnes), “LampBall” and “LampVent” (roughness).

There is no dirt or grunge on my wagon, I have kept it spotless!

Other Changes I have made some correction to geometry in a few of the objects, topology is now cleaner. I have checked all the face orientations and got rid some hidden Ngons. I have arched the axel cases, but in general the model is visually the same as it was, with a modern format of the textures. The idea was to update the materials for PBR workflow and improve their portability for other applications. I have done some renaming for the objects, I have named Blender’s new collections system, scenes and cameras. I have set the overall scale in metric units and generally tidied up the file. For Eevee I have put reflection probes in the mirrors. “Auto bake” of the cubemaps is turned on in render preferences, if you turn it off Eevee will respond faster but the mirror reflections will not update. A note on scale, the original wagons are actually smaller than they look in most photographs, mine is slightly scaled up as I thought that it would be better for people who want to make animations ect for the characters not to have to crouch so much to get in. The walls and inside floor were apx 10 feet long, mine is 12.2 feet at floor level the rest was scaled accordingly.

Sample images I have updated the example renders which now reflect the new materials. Visually the new materials are very similar to the originals. The colour sample renders where made with Blender Cycles render engine. The turnaround video was rendered with Blender Eevee.

Native file .blend The .blend file is native and every thing will work “out of the box” in Blender 2.83 or later, both in Cycles and Eevee render. The turnaround video was rendered with Blender Eevee.

There are 7 scenes saved in the blend file which correspond to each camera setup. The cameras and lights are also saved, selecting a scene will render out as in the samples (I did change the intensity of the emission shader on the inside lamp for some renders).

There is not a scene or camera set up for the video, or the equirectangular view. All the images have relative paths to the “textures” folder which has to be in the same location as the .blend file.

Cycles: In Cycles the file will render as in the sample images.

Eevee: The materials now work well with eevee. The turnaround video was rendered with Blender Eevee. Eevee is a real time rendering engine (similar to a game engine) and is not as pretty or physically correct as a ray tracing engine like Cycles, Lux Core etc.…...but it is fast! :-) I have not setup Eevee specific lighting, nor is the turnaround video setup saved in the file.

Non Native files .fbx and .obj:

There are no scenes, cameras or sun lamps in the non native files.

There are two materials that use an emission shader, this does not export properly. The materials are “LampFlame” (used in the LampFlame object) and LanternFlame (used in the two outside lanterns.) You wil have to give them emission values/shaders in your software.

There are two greyscale alpha maps, used in the LampBall object and the Lace object. The other materials that use transparency, 2 for the glass (WindowGlass and DarkGlass) and 5 for the bottles on the fireplace, have simple numeric values assigned in the exported files.

FBX format The .fbx file retains all the material and image information and should load properly en most modern software. All the images have relative paths to the “textures” folder which has to be in the same location as the .fbx file. I recommend the fbx format as it normally does a much better than the obj.

OBJ format I have also made a new .obj file. The .obj format does link the images and UV’S to each material, but lacks some specific input types. Depending on your software this can lead to confusion when importing. The “.mtl” file that comes with the .obj points to the images maps as follows:

map_Kd textures/ImageName_diffuse.jpg map_Ns textures/ImageName_roughness.jpg map_Bump textures/ImageName_normal.jpg map_d textures/ImageName_opacity.jpg

In general most programs will only import the diffuse and normal maps correctly in obj format. I have dropped the metalness maps in the obj’s mtl file because Blender exports them in the relf channel, this will even confuse Blender itself when importing! I have used the hash symbol to disable the refl channel in the mtl file. ( # relf textures/ImageName_metalness.jpg ) The metalness maps are included in the texture folder of the obj file for manual insertion. All materials are either 100% metal or zero% metal, apart from the “Bedgold” and “Royal” materials which have more complex maps for the golden decoration. All the images have relative paths to the “textures” folder which has to be in the same location as the .obj file.

Statistics Object count = 171 (Not counting lights and cameras.) Vertex count is now = 743,856
Faces = 720,176 Triangles = 1,432,848 Edges = 1,462,980 There are 84 different materials. There are 130 Images files, total 12.5MB in the main textures folder, (not counting the optional red textures) The model only needs the main folder called “textures” to render.

All this information is in the readme file that comes with the wagon. All the zip files include the model in its specified format, the “texture folder”, the “ColourChange” folder, the sample images and turnaround video.

  • jjohnjoephilip
    2014-12-14 21:00
    nice work
    • rromadecor
      2015-02-21 14:43
      Dryden Critchlow That's awesome I found a problem with it the spring hangers are done wrong but still very impressive. I can't hardly use a computer never mind doing this
      • DNormanDNorman
        2015-02-21 22:46
        Thanks for your feedback, I have checked the hangers and you are right, the front fixture does not have the "horse Shoe", I missed that detail. I will correct them when I have time.
        • DNormanDNorman
          2015-02-24 16:38
          I have now corrected the spring hangers, the first and third hangers are now "fixed" not pivoted, I flipped the spring fixtures so they are now on top of the spring not below (as they would tend to prize open). I also fixed them more securely to the axle case. Thanks again Dryden for your help. They should now "work" in real world. See the last sample image.
        • rromadecor
          2015-02-25 16:23
          Nice work ! Stunning :)
          • ggudzevgeniy
            2015-07-03 10:30
            • eemily-1
              2018-03-21 09:53
              This is so beautiful!
            Item Rating10
            • wwhite-creation-inc
              2020-07-29 01:47
              Absolutely amazing. It's nice to see such a nice piece of history 3D modeled. Poetry meets technology. Thank you so much.
            Reading Wagon
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            3D model formats
            • Blender 2.83 (.blend)63.7 MBVersion: 2.83Renderer: Cycles
            • OBJ (.obj, .mtl)53.3 MB
            • Autodesk FBX (.fbx)70.5 MB
            • Stereolithography (.stl) -
            3D model details
            • Publish date2014-12-05
            • Model ID#94885
            • Animated
            • Rigged
            • VR / AR / Low-poly
            • PBR
            • Geometry Subdivision
            • Polygons 747,978
            • Vertices 778,776
            • Textures
            • Materials
            • UV Mapping
            • Unwrapped UVs Overlapping
            • Plugins used