Dinky Eagle – Winch Pod

After making the Winch Pod for the 4″ Eagles made in Japan by Konami, I decided that next I would tackle adapting it for the Dinky Eagle.

The Dinky Eagle is approximately 9″ in length and has a strong metal spine for support, but that gets in the way of having an open pod.

The tiny size of the Konami meant I had to cut corners on the design of the superstructure at either end of the Winch Pod. I made it solid rather than of interlaced piping, for scale and convenience. It would never print on my printer that small.

But the Dinky Eagle had to have it.

I had to first make a holding system that would work with that spine while not getting in the way, and working with the double-claw mechanism that the Dinky Eagle uses to hold onto its pods.

The Prototype

(I print in neon yellow to ensure the model is working, and so I don’t waste colored filament, and so I can always know it was a test print.)

So here is the holding rack, with hole for the grasping claws, attached to the floor of the pod:


But you can’t see the hole from here.

Here is the fully assembled test print, from above, showing the claw hole:


Here is the same model from the side, showing all of the detail of the Winch Pod:


Here it stands next to the Dinky Passenger Pod:


The yellow doesn’t photograph terribly well due to its slight translucency in bright light.

Here it is, snapped to an Eagle:


When I looked at the finished pod, I realized that the holding rack did not have to be fully closed. I remodeled it to open it up, thusly:


Note: This made cleanup of the piece harder, so I may have to strengthen it a bit by making it just a tad less open. But the concept worked well.

Production Model

First, I printed the barrels, legs and engine cones in silver:


I started printing final production pieces at .15mm slices in Slow mode, for the best possible print my Afinia H479 can do, using Premium White for the body and Silver (which is really just a shiny grey) for the winches, legs and engine cones.

Here is the floor, the two pieces on either side of the floor, and the winch base, with the rectangles I printed to align them:dinky-eagle-winch-pod-floor-parts

A word about those pieces. Why not just make holes in the platform? When you 3D print something, it prints the underside on a raft. It’s fairly easy to peel up a flat surface. But it gets harder the more detail you have underneath, and having an underneath with “floors” at different levels makes cleanup much harder. So I printed these “plugs” to just work better. You may notice some messy plastic in the holes in the larger pieces. That’s ok because these parts are hidden, and I only needed enough vertical room in these places for the plug to align them. It looks a bit more complicated than it had to be, but for 3D printing, this is actually just easier.

Here, I have placed the “plugs” into the holes on the three pieces, and now they will be a breeze to align to the floor:dinky-eagle-winch-pod-floor-assembly

Ouch. Lighting! Shooting these shots on my table means sometimes the detail gets lost. Anyway, here is the floor assembled:dinky-eagle-winch-pod-floor-assembled

Here is the Winch Pod basically assembled:dinky-eagle-winch-pod-silver-sideAt this angle you can’t see the legs and engine cones, but more or less this is finished. Note, however, that I messed up and the barrel on the right has the wrong cap on the front end. I figured it wouldn’t matter since the barrel is just a barrel, but I was wrong. The barrel is not just a barrel. It has a slice taken out of it to fit it into the winch housing.

Here is the bottom. Feet and engines in place:dinky-eagle-winch-pod-silver-bottom

The Toy Version

Since the original Dinky Passenger Pod has red legs and rocket engines (mine does anyway) I decided to make a more toy-like version as Dinky itself might have made it (without the metallic green and/or blue parts.)

Here is the assembled toy version:dinky-eagle-winch-pod-toy-version

And here is the bottom:dinky-eagle-winch-pod-toy-version-bottom

I think for my own interests, I’d prefer to have (for my white Eagle with red jets) a version with the silver/gray winch barrels, but with red engines and silver feet.

I also decided to experiment with a more ivory-toned white, which I think closer matches the original Eagle.

I put a finished pure-white/silver version up on eBay with a starting bid of $19.99 (shipped free US).

dinky-eagle-winch-pod-detached dinky-eagle-winch-pod-side-detail dinky-eagle-winch-pod-with-passenger-pod dinky-eagle-winch-pod-bottom

Here it is next to the Product Enterprise version which I used as a reference in modeling this.

dinky-eagle-winch-pod-detached dinky-eagle-winch-pod-comparison-pe

Of course proportions and other features had to be changed to make it work well with the Dinky Eagle, but the result is strong and plays well. You can drop the Eagle down onto the pod and pick it up with ease, and then drop it off using the clamp trigger. Very fun.

My Favorite Version

Since the white Dinky Eagle (usually shipped as a Freighter with a red cargo bay to carry nuclear waste containers) had red underjets, I printed a new version of this pod with two changes:

– It’s printed in a less pure white. This is more of an ivory color and has no translucency. It seems to fit the Eagle a bit better.
– I printed the feet in gray/silver, but the underjets in red, to match the Eagle itself.

I think it looks very nice:

dinky-eagle-winch-pod-ifory-red-engines-side dinky-eagle-winch-pod-ivory-red-engines-underneath

One Last Change

I have to say I am very satisfied with this project. I was able to make two pods with quick revisions. The Winch Pod was modeled for the 4″ Konami, scaled up, superstructure ends added, structural functionality put in for attachment/detachment, and with minor changes (removing the central winch) I was able to make a true Freighter Pod, sometimes called a Pallet Pod, used to carry the Nuclear Waste Containers around.

But I wondered if I could make this just a tad more accurate by adding longitudinal ridges to the floor. I wasn’t sure this would print well, since that floor has to be on the raft. I print these upside down, and cleanup with this color is harder.

However, it printed rather nicely, and I was also concerned the ridges would be too small to resolve on my printer. I needn’t have worried. The result is rather nice:


Freighter Pod (Pallet Pod)

Also featured on the TV show was a pod that was essentially a flat-bed. It held containers of nuclear waste which was off-loaded into storage on the moon.


I made a minor adaptation to my Winch Pod, removing the central winch pieces, and then I modeled some Nuclear Waste Containers. Here they are for my Dinky and my Konami Eagles:

eagle-freighter-pods-dinky-konami-alone eagle-freighter-pods-dinky-konami-attached

I have to say, putting those decals on the Konami-scaled barrels was difficult. Each decal is less than an inch long, wrapped fully around a barrel about the size of half a Tylenol.


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.



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.


6 thoughts on “Dinky Eagle – Winch Pod

    • Patience is something I earned over a long period of time. But yes it does take some patience to model, print and refine something. Luckily, with a 3D printer, though, now printing is rapid. No sending files away and waiting weeks. Minutes to hours later, depending on size, you’re trying out your new part and finding out where it needs changes.

  1. Hi Sean,
    I picked up a dinky eagle this weekend with a big empty cargo area, do you have anything up on eBay currently or plans for a simplified thingiverse version?

  2. Hi, Eric.

    I have not yet made the Pallet or Winch pod available for people to download. Nor are there any available on eBay at the moment. I was planning on putting some up on eBay but have been rather busy.

    I really should start making some available. I also plan to make them available through Shapeways, which is a print on demand service, but the pod could get pricey through them. (I haven’t checked to see how pricey.)

    eBay often has the standard transport pod available separately, and prices vary. Keep your eye on eBay to see what I mean. If your Eagle is green it likely came with the white transport pod. If it’s blue or white it may have come with a “freighter” pod which is a toy version (not screen accurate but functional) version of a radiation container carrier with magnetic winch and four magnetic radiation containers. That would be either red or white depending on which color Eagle you have. (That is, what came with those colors originally)

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