About Us

The idea of Modelu was born whilst attending a Missenden Abbey Railway Modellers weekend in October 2014.  At the time I was working on my personal project Oswestry Works and had set out to find the best, affordable 3D printed detail available.  With the germ of a idea forming, I left behind my 9-5 career in IT, moved back Mid Wales and launched ‘Modelu‘ in January 2015 (Pronounced ‘Mo-Del-Ee‘ – Welsh for ‘Modelling’).

After 3 years in Wales working in a converted garage, attending exhibitions around the country and learning some hard lessons about running a small business, I was very humbled to win the 2017 Gwyn Humphreys Award for Innovation in the hobby at Warley.  This was followed with a close second to Peco for Innovation of the Year in the 2017 British Model Railway Awards.

In February 2018 we relocated the business to Shrewsbury where we spent 2 happy years before moving to Bristol in January 2020.  We offer an in house 3D body scanning service at our studio in Easton, where you can book in to get your own figures created.  See our 3D body scanning page for more information.

As Modelu has evolved, the product range has grown and collaborations with other businesses have been formed.   Our latest projects include full-colour 3D printed crews for Masterpiece Models, and designing crews and passengers for the Heljan GWR AEC Railcar.

We offer a first point of call, be it online or in person at an exhibition, where we can talk through ideas, advise on techniques, and in some cases, recommend who else to use if I believe your requirements would be better served with another technology.

Having worked in IT for 25 years and prior to that CAD design, I’ve had many years of experience in helping people to understand complex systems and processes.  3D printing is new to some and having learnt much of my knowledge the hard way, I can help make this world as accessible as possible to you.

What you will get from us is honesty, flexibility and attention to detail.   It’s an exciting time for model makers, professionals and hobbyists, with technologies that were previously the preserve of manufacturing now appearing in the mainstream.  Modelu can help to bring some of these new technologies to your project.


Alan Buttler

February 2022

Modelu Timeline

Jan 2020
Relocated to Bristol

Oct 2019
Appeared on the final of the Great Model Railway Challenge

Feb 2018
Relocated to Shrewsbury

Nov 2017
Awarded the Gwyn Humphreys trophy for Innovation

April 2015
Started Modelu in Mid-Wales

My Rewards