I want to make a 3-D train cake, something like a lionel steam engine. I need some help as I don't know where to begin. The only stipulation is no fondant. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.
OK I know you said not Thomas, but with regard to "where to begin" well...why not Thomas? LOL. Seriously, here is a blog with Thomas instructions, can't you adapt the shape to turn it into the correct kind of train? http://thomasthetankenginecake.blogspot.com/
If it were me, I would select the train I want to model and then cut/stack to fit the correct shape according to the above tutorial. The cake is iced in BC with fondant accents, so hopefully some info in there will help with regard to technique.
Not having made a train cake, that's the best I can offer.
I have a picture in my photos of a train cake, but I am not sure it is what you are wanting. I used the Wilton 3D train pan for the engine and 5" squares for the rest of the train. Mini oreos were used for the wheels and two 5" stacked for the caboose. Real candy fill the cars. It was a hit at the party! Hope this helps.
heehee, you're welcome little bunny