New Rocket – Apollo 42

apollo-42-complete-engines-extended-03A couple of years ago I bought a Pegasus Hobbies model kit called “Apollo 27” because it looked awesome. I haven’t built it yet, but I will get to it.  It has these four rocket engines offset from the body with a solid structure holding them in place. I looked at it and thought “Hey, what if they swung in and out?”

apollo-27-box

Apollo 42 is born. (42 – Reference to the Ultimate Answer.)

I changed the design naturally, but I liked the original enough to keep the basic shape.

Here are the parts: One engine has been assembled to show how the parts fit together.

IMG_3896

A bit about the design:

Like many of my rockets, it prints in multiple colors. I design it so that body stripes are individual cylindrical pieces, and I use holes and pegs to align them for gluing (the black mass in the picture is a group of pegs.)

Each hinge arm has a hole in either end. In the body of the rocket and in each engine, there are four hemispherical bumps that the hinge arms get pushed onto. Once in place, this acts as a very solid hinge. In a future design I may change how this works, but for this one it works well. A careful eye can detect that at each end of the hinge arms there is a funneled channel carved in to make sliding these onto the bumps a bit easier (though it’s no easy task.) Once snapped on, however, they work very well.

The number 42 is inlaid using four individually printed numbers, booleaned into the body and angled correctly. I do this by making the letters, the making a cutting tool object that is just a bit larger all around, so the number can slip into the cavity without too much difficulty.

I designed the rocket with two hinged arms for each rocket engine. Each engine retracts to a recessed section of the main body, and extends outward to a maximum distance.

As it is now, each engine can be pulled in and out individually, and because each uses two hinged arms, the angle stays correct as you extend them and retract them.

apollo-42-complete-engines-retracted-03 apollo-42-complete-engines-retracted-04 apollo-42-complete-engines-retracted-01 apollo-42-complete-one-engine-extended-01 apollo-42-complete-two-engines-extended-01 apollo-42-complete-three-engines-extended-01 apollo-42-complete-engines-extended-01 apollo-42-complete-engines-extended-02

 

I will note that during assembly I came up with a great way of making it so that when you pull out one engine, the other three will also pull out, and in. I will be working on that in the future, perhaps Version 2.0 of Apollo 42.

Vending Machine Bubble UFO – Flying Saucer – 04

I wanted to make another UFO, this time using a 2.25″ spherical vending machine bubble capsule, one of the newer versions, not the acorn-shaped ones.

So I perused the internet for ideas and found one that I really really liked. I admit I took a lot of the design directly, and then added some stuff of my own, including re-using legs I created for Thunderbird 1’s display stand, with some alteration.

Here’s the final result:

ufo-04-finished-01

Here are the constituent parts:

ufo-04-parts

The bubble is clearly not 3D printed – it’s the clear half of a vending machine spherical capsule.

Assembly:

Two halves of the saucer, along with the purple interior console and green seat:ufo-04-assembly-01

Front grill and green headlights:ufo-04-assembly-02

Green vertical thruster and legs:ufo-04-assembly-04

Five green tail lights:ufo-04-assembly-03

Beauty shots:
ufo-04-finished-05 ufo-04-finished-02 ufo-04-finished-03 ufo-04-finished-04

Inspiration:

I am often inspired by models, things I see in every day life, and in searching the web. I found this one and liked it so much I only made small modifications. Apologies to the original artist. I loved your work so much I had to use it.

IMG_3853

 

Luxury Rocket

In my continuing series of rocket designs, I spent some time last week designing a sleek rocket whose fins sweep down the entire length of the body.

lr-full-01

It’s hard to see, but rivets line the body on either side of each fin, and along both rims of the engine section. The window is printed in glow-in-the-dark blue because I like how that looks as reflective glass.

Here is the underside, showing re-use of an engine detail that I modeled for an entirely different purpose but have used in several projects since.

lr-rear-01

It was first designed for a GI Joe project, an ice blaster.

at-ice-blaster-front-view-01I used that central core (fused into one part) to create a jetpack for a Corgi which I designed and printed for a friend. (I did not design or model the dog, I just used it with my own jetpack design.)

I also used it on my Jetpack Rocket:

rocket-jetpack-2

My rocket collection so far:

2015_04_rocket_collection

Left top right: Luxury Rocket, Rocket Jockey Ship, Silver Bullet Rocket, Fathers Day Rocket, 3DAGOGO Rocket, Jetpack Rocket, Regular Joes Rocket(s). (One for me and one for each of the Regular Joes.) (That’s the Regular Joes Podcast, which, if you’re not listening to it, you’re missing out.)

Rocket Jockey Rocket – My Unapologetic, Blatant Rip-Off

I admit it. I really liked coolrockets.com‘s Space Tub. I have one here. I’m thinking of selling it, though, as I really have to get rid of the bulk of my toy collection. Here it is:

coolrockets-space-tub

So before bidding this one a fond farewell, I opted to make my own version of it, with minor changes, so I don’t have to be lonely no more.

Here are the parts:

rocket-jockey-parts-01

Body in two pieces, rear and front, pegs to fit them together, a cockpit which has two window sections, unlike the original, a cowl to fit around the cockpit, with a fin slotted into the cockpit, and two on the sides, which form a perfect triple rocket. Top it off with an engine and nose spear.

And it looks like this when completed:

rocket-jockey-assembled-sitting-01rocket-jockey-assembled-01

And to finish it off, to be like the original, I added a sewing pin:

rocket-jockey-pitot-tube-01

And here he is alongside his larger brother (printed at 1.44x scale) with a slightly larger sewing pin:

rocket-jockey-with-big-brother-01

 

Thunderbird 4 – A 3D Print

tb41

I have been looking for good models of the Thunderbird rescue craft that I did not want to bother to model. Thunderbird 1 and 3 were ones I wanted to model, and thought I could do a good job. However, the curves and nuances of TB2 and TB4 made me not want to go through the trouble. TB5 I could do easily, but I’m not sure I want to.

So recently I found a model of Thunderbird 4 on Thingiverse. But it had some issues.

First, it was solid. I wanted it to be printed in colors. Also, various bits were just thin polygons placed in the mesh, not combined and not closed.

I remodeled those bits, then split the body in half, adding detail, and 3 screw holes to fasten the two body halves together.

All parts

Yellow: Front, rear, engine hoods, fin, nose, lightbar arm.
Red: Stripes and engine housings
Silver: Grill engine inserts
Blue: Windshield and dome
Clear: Lights – raw filament
tb4-parts-all

Adding red engine housing stripes and grills:tb4-grills

Attaching front and rear with 3 screws:tb4-body

The screws:
tb4-screws

Nose stripe:
tb4-nose-stripe

Nose:
tb4-nose

Engines:
tb4-engine-housings

Attaching engines:
tb4-rear

Adding fin:
tb4-fin

Adding light bar:
tb4-lightbar

Windshield and dome:
tb4-windows

Clipped filament strands to fit the light fixtures: (Fuzzy picture, sorry.)
tb4-lights

Result is rather nice, even though I had to work hard to get the flat bases (where the body halves meet) to print flat. My printer has been warping up things with large flat surface areas. But it’s not a bad model.

tb4-finished

MPC / fundimensions Revised Moonbase Alpha Model Kit

How I envied my friend back in the 1970s when he got the model kit of Moonbase Alpha from the TV series Space:1999. It featured a moon diorama base with the radial iconic Moonase Alpha, with three Eagle Launch Pads, six miniature Eagles and as a bonus, a larger model of the Main Mission room complete with tiny figures.

moonase-alpha-original-kit-box-cover

Some years ago, AMT/ERTL reproduced the kit, fairly accurately, but notoriously with a vacuum-formed base that was not very good. The tubes leading out to the launch pads were molded into the base and badly defined, and the launch pads themselves had issues: they were too large (by 20%) and there were only 3 of them when there should be 5. This meant that the tubes were incomplete, since the pads needed to be connected to base by transport tubes.

moonbase-alpha-ertl-repro-kit-cover

Nonetheless I snapped up a copy of that repro kit for later construction.

I decided the base itself was not going to cut it, and what I ultimately wanted to do was make a square, framed wall hanging of this moonbase to hang on my wall.

Last year I took it upon myself to take the moonbase parts (the base itself is not bad) and make my own lunar landscape, lay down the moonbase, then use coat hanger wire (the only thing I could find to scale – but heavy) and 3D print smaller launch pads, and lay out a very accurate Moonbase Alpha.

layout-to-scale-I-hope

I cut a 50cm x 50cm piece of styrofoam pink insulation sheeting (a go-to favorite for project work) and spray-painted it. Spray-paint eats away at styrofoam, so the result was a rough lunar landscape with craters and mountains carefully sprayed in. Then I used craft paint with a roller to paint it and cover the pink pock-marks I made with the spraypaint.

Here is the rough layout before I put the transport tubes in place:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Alpha Moonbase patch was to be part of the display.

I began this project before I got a 3D printer, so the first thing I had to do was create two more launch pads or buy them. I bought some molding putty and epoxy resin and molded and cast a few pads:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I printed the landing crosses on a color laser and glued them down. Not a stellar casting job…

I also needed more pips, the housings that terminate and join the transport tubes, since the kit did not come with enough:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I printed this diagram out on several sheets, taped it together in scale, then used a piece of plastic over it, drew out the tube layout and base placement, and taped this to my lunar base for layout, just test-fitting the pieces on the layout:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was about to glue everything down when I got my 3D printer and decided to scrap the cast bases and model my own at true scale, complete with docking tubes (a piece missing from the originals) and re-lay it out again with minor changes needed to adjust the scale.

First, I reproduced the original launch pad, adding the docking tube, at original wrong scale:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Later, I printed several of them at 80%, which is closer to accurate.

I was preparing those when I noticed that my styrofoam layout had been attacked by one or more of my three cats.

willow-wanda-rowan-3

Oh, sure, they look all nice and peaceful and harmless lying there… but believe me, they are vicious diorama killers!

So I gave up on the project, it being winter now, and I had no way to recreate the moonbase effectively. Spray painting outside in winter is not a great activity. I gave up the project.

But then AMT/fundimensions go and announce they are again reproducing the original Moonbase Alpha kit – only get this:

This time they are producing it properly! The lunar base diorama will be more accurate, better and easier to assemble, fit together properly, and would not have the transport tubes molded in.

They would provide transport tubes to lay out.

mpc803-4

They would give us 5 launch pads, not 3, and at proper scale, with docking tubes! As well as the originals for those who wanted to reproduce the original inaccurate model kit.

mpc803-5

They would remove the Main Mission component from the layout and make it a stand-alone section of the model kit.

mpc803-2

They would give us not only the original overscaled Eagles, but six new properly-scaled Eagles as well!

round2-kit-parts

And this whole kit would cost under $40.00. Did I fall asleep and dream this?

NO!

It arrived two days ago! I will be spending some of this fall building it, and framing it when I’m finished. More as news develops!

Dinky Scaled Freighter/Pallet Pod Containers

In Space 1999’s first episode “Breakaway” we see Eagles transporting nuclear waste containers in freighter or winch pods for storage on the dark side of the moon. When the nuclear material begins to become unstable, winch pods are used to distribute them to alleviate the approaching critical mass.

eagle-unloading

Here are a few of the real Nuclear Waste Canisters as seen in the episode:
eagle-nuclear-waste-canister

Here is someone’s (sorry, I forget who. If you know, I would like to attribute it to the proper person) custom-made Freighter/Pallet pod made from parts of the Product Enterprise Eagle, to fit those models:
eagle-freighter-pallet-pod-real

A couple of months back I spent some time modeling a Winch Pod and a Freighter/Pallet Pod for my 4″ Konami Eagles and also for my 10″ Dinky Eagles.

One thing I modeled was the nuclear waste container. It was a single piece, a fairly simple 3D printed cylinder, with rings and a cap. I would paint the rings and create my own water-slide decals to give them the warning label the canisters had.

dinky-freighter-canisters-plain-painted-01

You can see I found painting the black rings to be quite difficult. Getting anything consistent or even was near impossible for me. I’m not that skilled at painting models.

So I decided – hey, I have a 3D printer after all, I don’t have to print these as a single piece. In fact I can print them in two colors in their individual rings.

So I set out to break the simple model down into a base with a post (that also forms the center of the cap at the top) with two black rings, a central body section, and a cap.

dinky-freighter-canisters-all-pieces

Here, the first black ring is slipped on over the base post/cap:
dinky-freighter-canisters-bottom-ring

Then the central body ring slides on:
dinky-freighter-canisters-body

Flanked by the top black ring:
dinky-freighter-canisters-top-ring

Topped off with a white cap that snaps to the central hub:
dinky-freighter-canisters-cap

I used clamps to hold them while the Super Glue was drying. Then I applied water-slide decals I designed and printed myself.

Here you see the painted version on the left and the printed version on the right: (I think I can probably thin out the rings a bit…)
dinky-freighter-canisters-painted-vs-printed-02

And here is what the finished Dinky Pallet/Freighter Pod looks like:

dinky-freighter-canisters-loaded

NOTE: For anyone who buys these models from me at my shop (Fourth D) on Shapeways, you may want to print the decal sheet I created. The two links below are to PDF files you can print.

Pod-Decals-Better-Layout

Pod-Decals-Instructions

You can print them on white waterslide paper either in laser or inkjet (make sure you have the right paper and follow instructions that come with the paper) or you can print them on simple white paper and use simple glue if you like. The decal sheet has both the Konami and Dinky scaled decals. Also, the instructions for the decals (for waterslide) are available here.

 

1:64 Scale Deckard’s Car Custom

I posted already about preparing my ERTL Blade Runner Deckard’s Car car for a custom version.

ertl-deckard-car-side

This is what the car looks like out of the box (or card). These are fairly rare these days and sell for about $25.00 and up, depending on condition.

Now you know Deckard didn’t have a big honkin’ “Blade Runner” logo on the back of his car, nor was it metallic brown.

Here is the box cover of the recent Fujimi model kit of the car in 1:25 scale. (I have this kit and will probably do something with it this winter.)

fujimi-deckards-car-1

Here is a restored or replicated version:
br-deckard-car-for-real-01

So here it is, finished.

Beside the original ERTL car:
my-br-deckard-car-with-original-01

I used some of the decals from the Fujimi sheet, scaled down:
deckard-decal-sheet

Details:

  • I painted the car a slightly rusty orange.
  • I painted the door bumpers black.
  • I cut out the thick vertical window posts.
  • I printed front orange curved lights over the bumpers. Due to the shape, I had to chisel out some space in the inside bumper
  • I painted the interior tan and black.
  • I put decals on the dashboard.
  • I painted silver detailing.
  • I printed custom headlight decals.
  • I printed custom decals for the 56 on the front bumper and the rear side.
  • I printed custom POLICE decals for the angled front sides.
  • I printed a decal for the top circle.
  • I painted tail lights.
  • I cut a small bit of glossy cardboard from a product package, scored it and painted it silver for the windshield guard.

my-br-deckard-car-left-01 my-br-deckard-car-rear-01 my-br-deckard-car-right-01 my-br-deckard-car-front-01

This is, supposedly, a shot of the real car taken some years back:
deckard-winfieldshop4

 

 

Thunderbird 3 – Original Version

This is the original Thunderbird 3, space rocket from the TV show Thunderbirds. I modeled it almost 18 years ago in Lightwave. I found the files, had them converted to Maya and I refined the model quite a bit, including all separate pieces per each color, and reinforcing slots, tabs, and even channels for coat-hanger wires for strength down the arms.thunderbird-3-model-near-complete-01

Last year, one of the first things I was excited to do with my Afinia H479 printer (which has dropped in price, by the way, so check it out!) was to print a large model of the re-visioning of Thunderbird 3 that I had designed in Lightwave about 15 years earlier.

tb3-v1-built-up

Back then, before modeling this variation, I also modeled the original Thunderbird 3.

I still have those old Lightwave files, so I had a friend at work convert it to an .FBX file so I could import it into Maya and pick up where I left off. I decided to update the model for printing. And while I am currently working on a secret commission (which I will certainly talk about when I can – nothing huge, but very interesting) I took a bit of time to test-print some parts.

The original model was made for rendering, so it wasn’t overly smooth around. It had something like 24 vertical cuts on all cylindrical shapes. So I vastly increased that so I would get a nice, smooth print, and proceeded to redesign the whole thing from scratch using the basic shape of the original old model.

Here are all the pieces that make up one of the main engines:

tb3-original-engine-parts-test-print-01 tb3-original-engine-parts-test-print-02

I tried this orange, but it’s way too neon orange. And I tried red, but it really isn’t supposed to be red either. In fact, that one red stripe at the bottom of the engine is supposed to be red, and visible against the darker orange that TB3 should be.

So I ordered a red-orange filament, and when it comes in I will reprint the orange pieces you see here and post new pics. Hopefully that filament will do the job. I’d rather make this of native colors than paint it, but if I have to paint it to get the right tone, I will.

Update: July 7, 2014 (wee hours)

I spent Independence Day weekend completely re-arranging the home office space. I didn’t have much time to model, but I did remodel the upper engine arms to make the pips more accurately spaced. I split the arm out into individual parts, then modeled a wire rod and cut holes in the arm pieces.

This is a color view from my modeler showing the completed model:

thunderbird-3-model-near-complete-01

Here are the arm pieces (with the exception of the bottom piece which bends into the vertical rod.)

upper-arm-pieces

The rod is a segment of a wire coat hanger. I drilled two holes in each piece which should force very accurate alignment and a lot of reinforcement for strength when the model is done. (Note again: This orange is not the final color.)

Here you can see how the first two pieces are fitted onto the rod:

upper-arm-pieces-wire

Then the rest, squeezed together, form a solid arm:

upper-arm-test-assembly

I’m really curious to see how my red-orange filament I ordered turns out. And what the final model will look like.

The next updates here will be showing the model printing in progress, since the computer modeling is now finished.

Update – July 8 – New Filament Has Arrived

orangered-filament

I got the new filament in the mail yesterday. When I opened it I was a bit disappointed. The color was called “orangered” on the website, and of course web photos can’t be trusted. But to me it seemed way too red, and not as orange as I would have liked. I put it up against my normal red reel and I didn’t see much difference.

Also, a bit of a snag – this is a one pound reel, which is non-standard. Usually reels come in 2 pound reels, and the reels are bigger. Afinia Premium comes as 1.75 pounds on a thinner, but larger reel.

But the problem was in the spool’s central hole. It was much smaller than I have ever seen, and the first thing I had to do before using this reel was print a new reel holder that I had to model to fit the new reel. How meta.

But I redesigned my own spool holder to hold this new, small reel, and re-printed the engine pieces I showed earlier. Then I re-printed the arm pieces.

Here are the results:

tb3-engine-and-arm

I think my initial assessment of the color was a bit premature. It’s going to do fine.

Next, I had to decide between the two reds I previously had, the Octave red, which is a brighter, more toy-like plastic, and the Afinia Premium red which is a darker red. This was a no-brainer because the red stripe on the bottom of TB3’s engine should stand out against the orange-red filament, and as I indicated earlier, the difference between that Octave red and this new orange-red was not great. So this picture shows the two reds together:

tb3-engine-rings-01

And so ultimately, I chose the Afinia darker red:

tb3-engine-bottom

Here is the engine from the top. The black stripe has rods that protrude into the four intakes, and you can see the black here (though the picture is a bit out of focus.) I may lengthen those rods to bring them closer to the surface.  tb3-engine-top

Update: July 13, 2014

I just finished a fairly large 3D printing commission, 30 [redacted]s printed in 3 colors, in 15 pieces each, and one small screw. The last 10 went through the assembly line today.

Then I finished printing four rather long prints for a project at work.

So I was freed up to do some more of my Thunderbird 3 today.

I printed four engine posts (one safety) in red-orange, and glued the engine together.

Here is the full engine assembly, from engine body to upper arm, shown fitted together.

tb3-engine-assembled-01

You can see one metal wire (a coat hanger segment) sticking out the top. A second one will go on there for stability. The wire above the arm will fit into the body for even more strength.

And here is the upper body section printing: (I apologize for the fuzziness. The printer was in motion so focus was impossible.)

tbe-body-section-printing-01

Here is the upper body section, printed, with the two wire rods in the arm, and one arm assembled (to the point of the post):

tb3-upper-body-and-arm-assembled-01

Update: July 14, 2014

The printer was busy last night, printing the large, bulky base section of the rocket. This morning I printed the nose cone in two sections. (I already had the black ring printed when I did the arm pips.)

tb3-parts-01

The hexagonal openings are for a rod that I will use to fit the pieces together and ensure alignment.

tb3-nose-cone-assembled

Update: July 15, 2014

Last nigh I printed the docking ring, the yellow lower fins (though in the wrong yellow – as a test print I use my neon yellow), the central fins and central ring, and the connector posts. The only thing left to print is the bottom cap, and two more arms.

tb3-parts-02

And here it all is, put together, with one arm in place, though I haven’t filed down the metal post enough to fit the arm post into the arm yet. And the bottom cap is not yet printed.

tb3-test-assembly-one-arm

Update: July 16, 2014

Here we get closer to the end. The bottom cap is printed (showing the true weakness of 3D printing in layers, since it really accentuates those layers) and getting the other two engines printed.

tb3-parts-03

Update – July 17, 2014

All parts:

tb3-all-parts-final

This is all of the pieces needed to make the entire rocket. One entire engine arm is assembled here, they just need to be joined. So let’s count:

83 parts. (Not shown are the other two arm posts. I forgot to put them in the picture.

BTW, The arm posts are interesting. My printer has what is generally considered a 5x5x5″, (just a bit over 12.5×12.5×12.5cm)  print volume. These posts are, in their final form, 4.85″ (12.3cm) in height. So I had a bit of room. But note their thickness. These are thin posts. Yet this printer was able to churn them out without deformity.

tb3-engine-posts

How this printing process works is a layer is printed down by a hot extruder head, melting plastic and pushing it out of a nozzle in exactly the same way a glue gun works.

Imagine that it’s trying to lay a layer down on existing layers that are 12.5cm tall, and the thickness of only .5cm! Nearing the top, just the act of laying down the melted plastic wiggles those posts quite a bit. Yet it still maintained its form. And they did not snap off the raft base. (I have had this happen.)

Color me impressed!

Update – July 19, 2014 – Morning

I printed the conical cylinder at the top of the vanes wrong. The intakes were at the wrong angles. With the hexagonal slot in the middle for alignment, I couldn’t just arbitrarily rotate it.

I checked my model and sure enough, I had modeled them at the wrong angles and never noticed. So I aligned them and printed the part again. Now the intakes were prefectly in line with the arms – which is wrong!

So I rotated them to be between the spans of the arms, and re-printed. But somehow I must not have unloaded and reloaded the model because I printed it a third time, exactly as I did the second, which was wrong!

I just got my Zen Toolworks Silver spool (my Inventables silver was becoming quite problematic, clogging at the low temperature, and becoming unmanagably hard to remove from the support material in the high temperature, and giving me an uneven flat surface) and printed it with the new filament. It printed right this time, and better than the older filament.

After doing that I test-fitted the three arms on the model, to make sure they fit. This is because I knew I would have to Dremel down the coat hanger wire that protruded from the arms to fit precisely inside the hole in the arm posts.

tb3-arms-test-fitted-01

So this morning I assembled the whole beast, and I’m proud to show it off. Here it is, with several of its younger brothers. (Matchbox, Konami, and a very tiny one that comes with a Thunderbird 5).

tb3-complete-with-younger-brothers

And for Derek Trapp:

tb3-derek-trapp-tribute

Update – July 19, 2014 – Evening

I bought some white Testors water-slide decal paper, which I have used in the past for small decals. I designed and printed the decals for Thunderbird 3. Since the rocket needs white text, this can only be printed on white decal sheets. Clear won’t do, since no printer prints in white ink.

So I had a clever plan to print the letters with orange in the background so I could cut the letters close to the edge and let some orange bleed over. This would look good and work. Sure.

The trick was in getting the incredibly thin, wet decals on the body without them folding up like sheets in a brothel. It was impossible.

But I also printed the black 3s (for the engines) on clear decal paper and that worked fine.

But what to do about the white text?

So instead of using decal sheets I went with glossy sticker paper, using the orange background idea. I carefully cut out the main 3s and the THUNDERBIRD, and stuck them to the body. They peeled up at the edges. Not permanent sticker sheets, apparently.

So I used some Elmer’s permanent bond spray glue and stuck them to the rocket.

The result isn’t bad. I couldn’t cut out the individual letters for THUNDERBIRD, since they would be too complicated, so I did HUNDER and BIRD as a block, with orange background. The T had to be cut out since it crossed over the black stripe, and had to look right doing so.

Anyway, the result was better than expected. Here it is, finished. (Well, there is some debate as to whether there is only one THUNDERBIRD going down the body or three. Some say three, so I will add the other two.

tb3-complete-with-decals

 

 

Shapeways Here We Come

Over the past month or so I have been experimenting with Shapeways.com. I had various models shipped to me so I could gauge how good they were, and if I could sell them.

I altered, perfected, ordered again, until I was confident enough to open up a shop which now sells some of my designs in some limited materials that I know work.

Here are some of the models now available in my shop:

Konami 4.5″ Eagle Winch Pod

shapeways-eagle-winch-pod-attached

Seen in the premier episode of Space 1999: Breakaway, the Winch Pod was used to lift and transport nuclear waste containers. I based mine on the Product Enterprise 12″ “Freighter Eagle”. It is not, in fact, a freighter pod. A freighter pod is a flat pod that is used to carry a number of the nuclear waste containers.

Here it is sitting next to the Rescue Pod that the Konami Eagle came with. Originally I had plastic spanning the top of the pod, thinking the walls on either end would not hold. Originally I was right. But when I modeled the diagonal struts, those walls became very strong.

shapeways-eagle-winch-pod-angled

This version is made of Shapeways “White Strong & Flexible”. It is a slightly grainy material, like a fine sand, but looks great.

I spray-painted the winch barrels in a gray primer. No further painting was needed, I felt. But most people will probably want to weather it with a black or gray wash to make it match the Eagle a bit better, and I’m sure that would work fine.

If you buy this from Shapeways (here) you will find that it is actually a bit too long. I did that on purpose. I had no way to be sure all of these Eagles were identically-spaced. This way, if it’s tight, you can file it down a bit until it fits snugly but not overly tight.

shapeways-eagle-winch-pod-assembled

Here is the underneath, painted with a silver spray-paint (rattle can). This could be done better, with a darker metallic gray for the jets, and a straight primer gray for the landing legs. But the bottom is fully detailed.shapeways-eagle-winch-pod-underneath

12″ Scale Stun Guns

12″ action figures like Action Man, GI Joe, Dragon Models, etc, are 1:6 scale. I printed one of these stun guns at 1:6 and it seemed a bit small, so these are more like 1:5 or 1:5.5 scale. But they look pretty good.

shapeways-stun-guns-x4-sfw

I sell them in White Strong & Flexible Plastic material, which is a bit grainy, like fine sand, but strong and it looks good. There are two files, however, if you want a set. Shapeways currently has no way of grouping everything into a single “product” or “project”. They are working on it.

The hand-grips glue in place, and make it so you don’t have to paint them. They look good in either Black Strong & Flexible Plastic, or Black Detail Plastic.

This set comes as two separate files. You need both:

Here are some of mine, roughly painted. I didn’t take a lot of time with them, and I didn’t clear-coat the white one before painting. That meant I got some paint bleed. But the silver ones worked better.

shapeways-four-stun-guns

I have to say, they look pretty good in the hands of an action figure, like my custom Doctor Who Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, (who is holding one, for some inexplicable reason.)

shapeways-stun-gun-held-by-brigadier

Moon Buggy Scaled for 12″ Eagles

AMT made a very nice 12″ model of the Eagle back in the 1970s. Some years later, ERTL/AMT made a reproduction of it, and now a new version is available using the same molds. Product Enterprise also made a very very nice version of the 12″ Eagle with various different pods. They even sold one set that had a laboratory pod, a tank, and a scale moon buggy. I wanted some of the moon buggies for my 12″ Eagles, so I made one:

shapeways-moon-buggy-parts

Unfortunately, the flat lighting shows NO detail in this photo, of the Strong White & Flexible Plastic version of my moon buggy.

This model comes in two separate files:

Here it is with a painted version. I’m not a professional model painter. I did this rather quickly in Testors yellow, and used a fine black sharpie to draw on the body detail. You will do a much nicer job, I’m sure.

shapeways-moon-buggy-with-finished

But even with my crude lines, this tiny beauty looks great next to my Eagle (This is it before I drew on the body lines):

shapeways-moonbuggy-next-to-eagle-model

Here it is with my 4.8″ version and my 2.3″ version:

my-moon-buggies

(I will be making decal sheets for the larger ones. Those were printed on my Afinia H479 printer.)

Cargo Crates for 12″ Eagles

These iconic double-trapezoidal crates are meant as props for your 12″ Eagles. They measure 6mm wide, and 7mm tall. The detail is there, but it’s so small it’s hard to see.

shapeways-crates-moonbuggy-12-scale

You get a set of four.

 

Cargo Crates for 44″ Eagles

These are also available at 20mm across and 22mm tall. Available in Strong & Flexible (and Polished) Plastic.

I haven’t got these printed at this size yet, but this is the 3D file as seen on Shapeways.

shapeways-20mm-crates-shop

Moonbase Alpha Landing Pads

The 1970s version of the Moonbase Alpha model kit was inaccurate in several ways, but it looked pretty good to me. One inaccuracy is that there were only 3 Eagle launch/landing pads, when there should have been 5. They were also over-scaled to fit the overscaled Eagle models that came with the kit.

shapeways-landing-pads-both-scales

I modeled a version of the original-scaled landing pad so you can buy enough to make up the difference. But I also added the detail of the docking tube.

I also modeled a version that was more accurately scaled to the rest of the moon base, which was about 80%.

The cross landing pad is raised slightly to help with painting or decal application.

 

A Note on Materials

Strong & Flexible Plastic is a grainy plastic, and as the name implies, strong, and has some flex to it, especially on thin parts or areas. Good for display, good for priming and sanding and painting.

Strong & Flexible Polished Plastic is the same material put in a sand polisher. This smooths out surfaces but means tinier parts may not print as well. If I’m selling it in my store, it means I’ve tested it on small parts, and I’m very confident on larger parts it works well. Some items may not be available in this material because of the tiny parts I model. For the Stun Guns, you can use the “Print it Anyway” check box. This removes any guarantee from Shapeways, but I did this with the Stun Gun bodies and they look great.

Detail Plastic. This is a plastic for better detail, but some tiny parts will not print in this material. I don’t make many things available in this material due to its limitations.